January 29-February 4, 2001: Alexandra Moss and Larry L Fontenot


week of January 29-February 4, 2001

Alexandra Moss and Larry L Fontenot

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Alexandra Moss

Bio (auto)

Alexandra Moss is a seventeen year-old resident of Great Neck, NY  She will begin her freshman year at Harvard University in September 2001  She has been writing for over five years now, mostly poetry and essays, although some short fiction sneaks in every once in a while  Alexandra has been published in various print publications and, more widely, on the internet  Her electronic credits include Friction, Wave, Eclectic, Pangaea, and a stint as Poet-of-the-Week on Café Poetry  She is also a correspondent for the new young adult website ytrybe.com, which launched in December 2000  She has participated in and won several local and international writing contests, but has yet to be published in print outside of school She has ample time for that, though

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

The Taste of Flesh


I tasted Gouda
the first time
in a loft
in the West Village
just before a
one-woman show:
a dance
and poetry
about her friends
who died of AIDS
and how they
shed their flesh She wore black,
a leotard,
and sprang,
a leopard,
from stage
to stage
across the world

Across the world
was how far
I had to travel
to taste
the flesh of
an ochre land
where the rain
never falls I tried to
some through Customs,
but customs
dictate that
pasteurize their
dairy products;
just another way
they differ from

What happens to
a Catholic man
who tastes
the forbidden fruit
of Adam?
Can he still
the flesh of God?

Position and Arrangement


we sit side by side,
my father and i,
eating creamed spinach
and gambas
that sizzle
in red ceramic,
drinking txakoli
and sidra
spritzed through
time-worn taps it’s strange to come to Catalunya for Basque food eating Catalan’s too expensive, though in Barcelona, anyway
i’m used to 30 cent espresso
and 34 cent wine
this is something new no more a bit of cheese,
“solamente queijo,
por favor,”
holding court between
rough slices
of hearty Portuguese bread,
as we sit diagonally
in the salt air
of an open shack
in Aveiro
(or Costa Nova)
reinventing the tongue

i’m used to lazy days
and rousing nights
with German friends
and Dutch beer
and Dutch friends
with Moroccan dope
and a young French girl
from a small town,
who’s never even
sat across
from anyone, let alone
beside her father
this is nothing new no more a shock to
the finer sensibilities;
just the way
of the world
and a wave to the crowd
and a wave on a sea
turned tempestuous
we lie side by side,
the Marquis and the Baron,
re-evolving ourselves
revolving ourselves
the Marquis may well have been a Frenchman,
but the Baron, no-
he was like me.

Hamlet’s Famous Mandate Assumes New Meaning


There is a convent
made of gold
that stands
in a sandstone cluster A cloister
for the rich
and righteous
of the past There is a clandestine
running underground,
to a monastery
on the other side of town
Hamlet’s famous mandate
assumes new meaning Even monks need release
This is where Loyola lived

Today the nuns
sell pastries
through a window
with wooden panels They are invisible, but
centuries of nocturnal visits
have left their scars
All they do now
is churn out
and all sorts of meringues
planted with Jesuit seed.

Larry L Fontenot

Bio (auto)

Since 1981, Larry Fontenot has made his home in Sugar Land, Texas He is a member of the Twitching Limes Ensemble, a local troupe of poets active in the Gulf Coast area He has had poetry published in Arrowsmith, Chachalaca Poetry Review, Chapultepec Press, Conspire, i.e magazine, Maverick Press, Maelstrom, Melic Review, Moveo Angelus, Mystic River Review, Minimus, Red River Review, RiverSedge, Savoy Magazine, The Lucid Stone and upcoming in Snow Monkey and Sulphur River Literary Review Larry was a Featured Poet at the 2000 Houston Poetry Fest A chapbook, Choices & Consequences, was the winner of the Maverick Press 1996 Southwest Poets&Mac226; Series Chapbook competition.

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

Mowing Deconstructed

The woman across the street ties back her hair,
puts on an old gray shirt when she mows As she circles her lot, crescents of sweat
grow huge under her arms and a dark patch
slowly spreads between her breasts
like a shadow drawn out after midday
This shape reveals more than separation It conjures the lure of heat, suggests
a stance against grass and marriage I watch as her duel with nature becomes
a feud broken off only when the sun
begins to thin in the air of dusk
Some nights when her man comes to visit,
I cross the street and stand outside her house I listen to her soft moan, the sound of sheets
stripped from the bed, the creak of bodies falling in She knows this about me, and teases
with an open window even when it’s cold
She has carefully constructed a boundary
that says this is me and this is you and we
will never share desire across this dark patch,
never speak in anxious tones, never meet
in the crux of a major crisis, have first names
or pretend to teach when we are really learning
So I watch while she mows, step outside to retrieve
the paper, wave back when she raises one hand
to greet me, that splendid loop of moisture widening
like a mouth, a wound, an orb of love I will never know,
just fantasy held close, like the notion of climbing
through her window one night when she’s alone.

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