January 15-21, 2001: Ravi Menon and Mary Jane Tenerelli


week of January 15-21, 2001

Ravi Menon and Mary Jane Tenerelli

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Ravi Menon

Bio (auto)

Ravi Menon’s most recent works have appeared in The Black Bear Review, Paumanok Review, Poems Niederngasse, Isle Review, The Horsethief’s Journal, Kimera, Red River Review and the Sun among others Poems are also forthcoming in The Journal (UK) and Generation X anthology (Vol.3) He is a poet and journalist based in Bangalore, India

The following work is Copyright © 2001, and owned by Ravi Menon and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Inside The Bubble

What a flow lay in the movement, 
the gurgle of a shimmering scale,
in the decade of the proverbial bubble
when everybody held their breaths Behind an embezzlement of inches
opinions and smiles had crackled inside
glasses frothing under shouting lights
Music spilling out of bone china bowls,
utterly classical in these improvised years Even the man who went to sleep
among the weeds had his wife thinking
he wanted to keep the fish company,
as though drowning himself thrice
would rid her of him and herself All in a single piano chord
of notes breaking into tears on china bowls
In this city, the rats chase
the cats into the sewers No prizes, I know who finishes first
at the big yellow line There are those who still whine
over the strain of inhaling apathy,
those running on calling it lead pollution, 
we laugh it off with our marble skins
Morning mist cocktailed
with last nights’s pegs
of memory, tremendous
inches that separate:
Rains and roses, riots, 
shattered jaws, polyvinylchloride Even the vultures are
pecking somewhere else Humanity harvesting its undercurrents, 
the brawn of cat-and-mouse
conversations swamping
a few good senses,

we still have a few great ideas fighting
without end to finish in the streets I have seen fierce battles won without
collarbones wearing away, those purloined victories
(Blood, glass and garbage
in the recycling factory,
flesh and disagreements
piled up inside trucks,
the rest of us trotting off
to overtime)
In the dated rouge gallery, 
actors wear tepid eyes
nobody’s missing their lines, 
flaming Romeo, pale as a rose Achilles’ fears the tedium of his heels Brick and mortar grow in amoebaic convulsions
under the blanket of different roles, 

stages reassembled and torn apart,
awash in the language of glycerine Men who judge a salacious contest
between the divided loyalties of altruism
and the arms of Marie Antoinette
I don’t know who arrives here, who leaves this place The actor and the curtain-boy are ready to swap dialogues Good performers in roles of no consequence,
malnutrition swims in pools of neon, tangerine
This lipstick stage is french-kissed by pillars Beehive buildings furious with people and parts
alive in the leisure of their emptiness,
theirs is an inanimate silence, barely moving Twenty years, a rumour of old age, 
and blankets of cloud are
drawn at their feet, kissing their dust:
they who had judged their time was nigh
to grow into dust again
Often, these are edifices pulling their
stomachs in like slumberous monks slowed
down to a ponderous prayer
sitting down dead on the earth
in their euthanasic modesty
Orchards of steel and brick, the mazes to an end Through roads speared in inconceivable directions
gutters and skyscrapers sprout from the seeds of
our desires, fears, the frenzied dance of our chimeras Our ambitions are scattered like bubbles
of sweat, beads snatched and woven
under the strings of grinding wheels
The guests at the dinner table do mind
when I treat my hands to grilled lobster They will read into my hands
applying no full-stops between fingers The grill of their eyes I fear more
than the fish bared open like a sore,
the emotional striptease
Their swallowing mouths leave no room
for beauty, laughing Buddha in
no danger of going on diet No danger of choking on champagne The traffic takes over Harbour Bridge
coughing and writhing out metal
in conflagrant shapes, flowing up and down
into the bubble’s fluttering nucleus
Down 14th Main where the sidewalk
breaks into the diversions of slush
there are people who hand out music
betwixt the swill of a hat Not to forget that woman who enters
the brightest car she will see
and sits inside for a fee While entering the next car
and exiting the next she leaves
behind the remnants of a smile,
and serves out friendly grins for free
Sometimes, inside the mousetrap lift
there are a few good people
clotted in the glue of providence
who beg to be excused a little too loudly.

Mary Jane Tenerelli

Bio (auto)

Mary Jane Tenerelli is a freelance writer, poet, and mother of two small children living and trying to stay sane in the picture postcard town of Northport, New York (famous for it’s pretty harbor and satanic murder )

The following work is Copyright © 2001, and owned by Mary Jane Tenerelli and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Night Drive

I want to get into the car
And drive on and on in the dark
Making for Santa Fe or New Orleans,
Anywhere but this house, this cape of claims
With its goose down, gimme’s and get me nows I am not Rapunzel I’ve no wish
To be climbed like Everest
And then obligated to provide
A cool drink, a warm bath
To the usurpers of my solitude
In the car there is only the steering wheel,
The gas and the brake
To operate at will I have been alone, but not alone enough The children will have to go elsewhere
For mother care, and adequate feedings I will live on roadside apple pie and night air I will grow like Night Shade I will shed my size and tower
Into the open sky with stars I will steal a convertible
And live lush on the lam Mother will always be somebody else:
The woman just in the corner
Of my sped up vision,
Shushing a backseat of brats
In a different lane;
A woman who bears
No resemblance to me.

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