July 29-August 4, 2002: Nanette Rayman and Richard Jordan

week of July 29-August 4, 2002

Nanette Rayman and Richard Jordan

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Nanette Rayman

Bio (auto)

My credits include Three Candles, Concrete Wolf, Disquieting Muses, The American Muse, Stirring, FluidInk, Small Spiral Notebook, Remark, Dakota House Journal, Tyro’s Pen, PoetryMagazine, Poetry Motel, Poetry Super Highway, Net Author’s E2K, Circle Magazine, Wired Arts for Wired Hearts, Octavo, Doomed City Journal, 5 Trope, and UNO Anthology published by Xlibris-Random House Upcoming poetry will be in The Worcester Review, Words on a Wire, Millennium Papers and Snow Monkey I was recently published in the Berkeley Fiction Review and I have fiction also published in Attic, Comrades, Carve and Onyx I received Honorable Mention in the 2000 Writer’s Digest Fiction Contest
I am also an actress and I have appeared in numerous off-off Broadway plays and independent movies.

The following work is Copyright © 2002, and owned by Nanette Rayman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Everything That Has Been Shall Be Again
First appeared in Three Candles Journal

You were begotten in a meadow with disturbed hawkweed hair
Oh, where is my violin, I can’t compose a thing on weeds
except more weeds I would have loved you more as weeds multiply The weeds are pricklier than me, nervous to seed, nimble
under the muted heckle-moon
Quick turn of my head and you broke from my hand
as unitemized wind slaughtered my womb My hands ache in bee-swarmed colors: create, can’t create
for you I find, stretched in the goblin arms of maiden-grass,
the zig-zag of squirrels, vermillion blooms down their heads I find your eyes so deep, explorers with compasses would lose track
Months my hands are cut off, lie here like comas,
unfed and atrophied, heated to trace your face Hands can’t touch your white shoes and sash as they grow dimmer,
The orchid pinned to your black suede hair I am hoarding each white petal of grief for ransom, for hands.

You Fell
First appeared in Three Candles Journal

Crimson like the smell of strawberries
burning in Diaspora, more vermillion
in the winter fog, shriveled with the inversion
of time
I used your absence up,
wasted it all in longing
A weight in the scent of spice,
in the sienna smoke of Winstons,
the moon hiding, I know where,
in your face, or is that an excessive gesture?

my handsome Walter Matthau
I see your face Rain slides into it
and hangs there Your eyes dart in rainbows
against Mum’s theatre of raging lip An inmate face
Your words, your teachings
deep in me,
are held on to like Van Gogh’s
starry Starry Night, tea-rose sun
over Painted Desert, me shellacked
to your shoulders in Dennisport waves
I see your blind faith
hunched and gray near the bima Then it was me wandering in to find you,
all peacock eyes aflash in green ash
You fell into the winter fog
and the smell of strawberries,
black grains of teaching, humid
as the soil around plants The synagogue windows sodden and shut.


steel bolted in skylight,
shylight of a pie-crust wing
hands like a deranged ballerina
scrounging breeding blackfly
for some thing
a lame nightingale
dragging no cause and effect
across Mojave dunes
brain collosumed
in Natalie Wood eyes too big for my face sweet pain of intellect
blood washing a violin
people whisperer, knowing
time has come today Hannah Arendt hoodoo numinous as Nietzsche
naming the ballet troupe
ronde de jambe out of fourth position
Our life
is sawed-off shotgun
across patchouli carbuncle blues
my Velvet Crush lips
my Cat on a Hot Tin Roof slip
slips creamily to the floor
sewing me together
for now agog in Greek tragedy
my white eyelet dress
turning the corner
like oleander to spray your eyes
return me
as sparks
to that pre-universe accident
and we drop-kick life
off the Verazzano Bridge
as we gather
bird membranes in heaps
the way everyone else
gathers for a hanging.


Like a blind hibiscus groping for mulch
slit-shut eyes, woodsy, brown and underlined
I imagine myself
Still-born Jezebel,
I have breasts, skimmed wanton milk to waste
watered-down urine and lunar-powered voice Do away with these walls and the sticky phantoms contained Cull from bats digging my shoulder some reason
my fallopian hair lies with all those smells
on my absinthe soaked sheets, why
I hear ancient lovers smooch me through the mirror
and Daddy with marionette strings clipped
Once I dashed
in and out of rooms like this,
the pocket of my black lace skirt
stuffed with C-notes mashed into balls
I risk a lot with my redwood hair
my older china doll face This is an old woman’s room, cupping
a treasure chest of drugged sleep and loss My own loss an animal shape, seething entity
and clamoring to escape
I must move small
or gash my thigh on hanging antennae
each year a dump
attracting seagulls I am a seagull *
No I am an actress
first appeared in Small Spiral Notebook Journal

The Tall Man
First appeared in Tyro’s Pen

mosquitoes and lilies frayed by February stormdazzle Unaware
of their wings and stamens in dreamed snow, quick print of fate
down and down the Georgia coast, a waterfall of the tall man She stops for a moment the uncalled number cubed evenly in hand
jobless roaches arranged by the bed like guilt and the stillness
of breath red as mad-hatter’s blood jounces her knowing

of his body, landing in disarray by his bed like a tottery puppet a choice he made to let the string go, his heart split like ax on wood
He doesn’t see her brushing her hair behind him, perhaps finger on dial
perhaps eight years he hasn’t tasted this relief
through his daughter’s window, and now he regards her
as she sighs all along the pulled-tight curtains
a sheer ache in his ear, as if he heard
a whole village * a synagogue, a school, a girl in a cage,
here she is, gales calling with a ghost and a funeral
does it matter where she says the Kaddish?
things disperse without her, even fathers
here the daughter speaks of this room made bearable
despite hair painted right into walls, despite stink,
she leans from the window, now moldy, now yellow with smoke
this is, after all, merely bone jutting through flesh,
quite edible This is her own window
She knows the tall man loved her as one loves a remembered thing,
still, she brushes her hair behind him, mirror now covered
only later she’ll know
there’s a kind of calm among wings and stamens.

Richard Jordan

Bio (auto)

Richard Jordan is a PhD Mathematician who lives and works in the Washington DC area By day he develops and analyzes mathematical models for the spread of infectious diseases, and by night he does his best to avoid contracting any such diseases He started writing approximately 18 months ago, and poems and flash fiction have appeared in over 40 print and on-line magazines in the past year, most recently, Melic Review, 3rd Muse Poetry Journal, The Pedestal, Adirondack Review, Steel Point Quarterly, NetAuthor E2K, Maelstrom, Poems Niederngasse, Kimera and Red River Review He is a Coeditor of the new e-zine, Slipknot He has also served as Guest Editor for Stirring and Facets The editor of Branches Quarterly has chosen lines from one of his poems to be included in the 2003 Poet’s Market

The following work is Copyright © 2002, and owned by Richard Jordan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.


In the ward you have to draw
blood to the surface with blunt objects–
a hairbrush, a Dixie Cup
My roommate, a three-timer,
showed me the ropes
We swapped medications
and I thought I would become him Perhaps that’s what I needed;

to be ten years younger with a tattoo
of Dee Dee Ramone naked 

and a scar, kissing the jugular,
impressed with a number two treble hook
All that changed
the night he tried to hack
off an eyelid with a plastic spoon,

and everyone was pissed
when the head nurse announced
there’d be no more

Cream of Wheat
for breakfast.

Baby Food

   A man grills his finger on the stove How peculiar that I should grill my own finger, he says to his wife The baby is hungry, she replies But would he not gain greater nourishment suckling a breast? he asks My nipples have turned to muscle, she sighs Besides if he is to become a man, he must consume a man And after all my fingers are gone, how will I rip out my heart for him? asks the man I have already done that for you,
says his wife I chewed on it during conception.  
Haven’t you noticed that my mustache has grown thicker?
   Oh! he cries I thought I’d been kissing my reflection.

Confessions of a Slightly Maniacal Poet

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I took neither Instead, I consumed a magic toadstool and spun counterclockwise, until collapsing from exhaustion and a mildly upset stomach When I awoke a decade later, my stomach had settled, my body had shrunk, my mind had expanded, and a troll had set up house in my whiskers He told me: According to the Furry Troll Handbook, I am obligated to grant you a wish I replied: Ummm, and he turned me into a poet Now I pour vodka and Gatorade in my coffee, and wear my beard in beaded braids When I venture into the outside, I skip hand-in-hand with Mary Magdalene down the sidewalks of New York City, blowing kisses at angels and poltergeists Sometimes I vanish entirely, but they always find me–naked under a futon, choking on splinters, chatting with termites Yet I maintain compassion for the tall, clean-shaven ones who have never even written a Rondelet Upon their deathbeds, what could they possibly envision but shapeless popcorn clouds and a big blue exclamation point?

Carnival Ride

Who remembers the Round-Up
at the carnival?
The amusement ride that spins
you faster and faster,
becoming more and more vertical?
They say if you vomit
fried dough and sausage,
it whirls around with you,
owing to centripetal (centrifugal?) force Not that I’ve tried it myself,
but I think, in reality,
puke should fly off on a tangent
and splatter the clairvoyant
who charges five dollars per fortune
I’ve been asking around lately I said to my mother:
Do you recall the Round-Up,
that ride at the carnival?
She said: What about the time
we fed cotton candy to the horses?
Next I went to my nieces and nephews,
who  were familiar with bodily fluids
but knew nothing of carnivals Finally I broke down
and asked my neighbor He’s spits tobacco
and should know
He told me: That’s how it goes
with the laws of physics Einstein and Newton both showed
that the planets are held in orbit,
and however you slice it,
rocks will keep falling
on your head
For some reason,
he didn’t mention the Round-Up.

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