August 26-September 1, 2002: Karl Koweski and Peter Kenny

week of August 26-September 1, 2002

Karl Koweski and Peter Kenny

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Karl Koweski

Bio (auto)

My name is Karl Koweski and I live in Guntersville, AL though for the first twenty one years of my life in Chicago I’m twenty seven now, so if you do the math, you’ll find I’ve spent way to much time in this substandard state My poems and stories have appeared throughout the small press and internet My first story collection, Playthings, was published earlier this year by Future Tense Press.

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

always root for the winner

my father wanted me to be
anything but a Cubs’ fan

as if by embracing the Cubbies
I would accept losing as the norm
lower my expectations
settle for less
become jaded
eschew higher education for a
career in the custodial arts
drive a fifteen year-old car
with no air-conditioning
eventually die from a
slow, agonizing disease

my father was a Cubs’ fan
I think I’m becoming one, too


after blowing his whistle
the referee calls for a
time out and tells me
to tie my shoes

it seems I had just
tied them moments before
cheap Pony high-tops
squeaking with every step

two minutes later, another
time out and I can feel
my neck burning red as
I hunch over shoes I
wish were Nike Air Jordans

I hear the crowd jeering
and I imagine charging
into the mass of parents
and students, gouging out
eyes and whipping the
sightless faces with my
five foot long shoe laces

then I’m riding the bench
the coach asking what the
hell’s wrong with me
don’t I know how to tie
my goddam shoes

and I can see my father
sitting in the bleachers
still wearing his navy
blue janitor’s uniform
and I don’t know who
feels more ashamed

a unicycle built for one

Max rides his unicycle
throughout town
obviously a ploy
for attention
of the only sort
that matters

the female kind

the unicycle leans
against the counter
as Max talks to Jenny
at the dry cleaners
as he chats with
Mandy at the bakery
or Collette at
the beauty salon or
Laura selling lottery
tickets at Circle C

but he doesn’t say
a word to Paula
at the video store
as he flips through
their porno selection

Peter Kenny

Bio (auto)

Peter Kenny lives in London, England Having grown sick of poetry he spent a few years grinding his teeth, staring at walls and writing prose Happily, 2001 saw him return to his first love –poetry– all over again For him, the year had two other writerly highlights One was playing the part of a corpse in his play Wrong, and the other was starting AnotherSun which is an ezine worth visiting

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


A magpie feather, myself middle-aged
I bring my life to my father’s headstone;
The feather, a momento of you uncaged
A showy minor mobster: name unknown How did my flown boy-father become a tree?
His roots dragged up one strange monument
This long-hidden, ant-ridden thing called me;
A big burly bastard who can’t relent Unrepentantly you stole from my life
My name and your roof, but now you’re rumbled
It’s easy to blame you, now blame is rife
This is your headstone, I want you humbled,
You are the proper place; my origin
I must disinter you before I begin.


And after we’d made them queue
In their gaudy clothes and dusty skins
Their women sang
A wet sound
From their parched mouths
Sung as if sound alone
Could make rain
Beyond the hand-out line
Once we’d given them debt
Sown debt deep in their soil
Inedible debt
Leaching the land:
Making it easy
We doled-out bread
Specially formulated
To swell and harden
Into a stone
When mixed with saliva It cracked against their teeth
And petrified their tongues
It wasn’t complicated
They just couldn’t speak any more
Except for a tongueless groaning
Some of us, restless in the sweaty nights,
Crept to where their women slept
And with our administrator’s fingers
We pinched and puppeted their thick lips
And taught them pidgin English.

The day in spring

A door slams From the window he sees
The child collaborate with the quick wind Behind her back Rachel tells it secrets
And dances some hip-hop copied on the street She is a spy for the spring, noting
The bright green and the warmth in the wind
And everything about her makes him glad
Spring’s come and he’s just young enough to remember
What it was like before the adult took over
A door slams Down the path to the swings
To tell her he’s leaving her mother Hours later, in the playground, he dumps his bag Not quite decoding the coldness
The Jack Frost man in his familiar skin
She was skipping still skipping
But now the wind had chilled and it was colder
Rachel reached for his freezing hand
Lost five years and sucked her thumb.

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