May 14-20, 2001: Alex Stolis and Lauren Ashley

week of May 14-20, 2001

Alex Stolis and Lauren Ashley


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Alex Stolis

Bio (auto)

Alex Stolis lives and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota  After a ten-year hiatus, during which he had kids, got sober, changed careers (from Hotel Management to Drug and Alcohol Counselor) and got divorced, Alex has returned to writing poetry  In the past year, he has edited the on-line Literary review Samsara and has been published both on-line and in print Recent publications include Ilya’s Honey, Stirring, Nerve Cowboy, Thin Coyote,  Poetry Motel and Chiron Review.

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

a different sameness

i comb burnt leaves
from sara’s hair, watch
the moon trace triangles
on her face, a streetlamp
blankets sixth avenue
like a bonfire, paints
a fleck of morning
on her arms i drink
from bitter fountains, walk
past picture windows,
my reflection fades
to white-ash, slides in the street cars rust outside the pawnshop,
watch me stumble i punch
the curb, light my last cigarette,
draw pictures of her in wet cement.

breaking up in silence

sara rides shotgun, sky-blue
fingernail polish blurs the windshield,
her legs poison the dashboard FM static rests on the laundry basket,
wrinkled mayhem, spin-dried
delusions smell like burnt rubber she fingers a hole in the seat, watches
me drive, the corner of her eye
naked on my lips.

2AM at a Motel 6 in Duluth

two doors down mandy and rick grapple
with bra straps, button-fly jeans stella, the front desk girl, listens
to patsy cline on the radio, snaps
gum, watches the ice machine rattle
in time with the freeway six-pack fishermen wade back from pete’s,
lost from a canadian roadtrip   
rick tosses a used rubber in the corner
of their twenty-dollar room stella looks at her watch, rolls her eyes,
takes another cigarette break

Lauren Ashley

Bio (auto)

My name is Lauren Ashley and I am from Syracuse, New York I’m a student of Creative Writing.

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


You are coming up like
something I should have
dealt with,
bile so thick on the
that it burns more belligerent
than your eyes separated as of late
by a crooked white bridge
I broke your nose
another tirade to drive me
from behind
over the cliff now
jagged as a
prehistoric tooth,
you jaunty
on my hands like a
tap-dancer struck by
his one true bolt of inspiration I lash out
I look at you like landscape What you have I can
re-cultivate And you, in turn, must
see me as your shaper:
a natural disaster,
a lover, an earthworm
wriggling too far into the
rich heat of your soil
Mutuality, you plead Please leave me some warmth My blood so Rorschach
on these tiles
and you are in too far, 
too far, unforgiving
as though you flat
between the thighs
are unsatisfied until you find
an inch
or six
or nine
Still my satisfaction
runs clear I will weave my way
through you
to honor each tremor
that pulses through me in
the silent weighty waves of
my own heartbeat,
until I unite bone to bone
and mend the jag, the little rift,
glorious, seismic, an earthquake
most fluent in the language
of reverse.

Celestial Body


So now I am hollow as
a paper towel tube,
now the one with the infant hair:
you must touch me softly then cringe You must note my change
dutifully, the first medic on the scene
remembering this morning the
unbloodied street beneath her tires You must remember guilt, the guilt
that comes with the living, alive and
mortal in their short-shorts, treading
heavy on their sandals as they wait for
the undesired change in season
to find that they have wasted plenty,
and, cyclical in their human skin,
will waste plenty more again and again

I wanted to be born a serpent
to feel the weight of Mary
against my back seductively I remember your lithe statuette
of the Virgin:
she was prettier than she must have been,
and when you cupped your hands
around her head,
her forehead burned a green-gold fever Yes, Mary glowed in the dark The snake beneath her foot did not I still wonder at that fairness

Mostly I’d like to shed
my skin I’ve spent too long in it,
I’ve grown at last
too comfortable There is evil in too much comfort
because it signals end I modify my sleeping positions,
I neglect to fluff my pillow And still, there it is:
I am comfortable I don’t bother setting
my alarm clock

You tell me I look better You look hurt when I call
you a liar You mean to pay me a compliment,
but you like all men are
misguided You don’t understand the mirth
I find in the wet round of an
honest mouth Truth upon the tongue is
like the finest truffle:
later you will ask me
for the recipe I will give it to you willingly You will tell me I look awful I will smile
unsaddened in the knowledge
that I have replaced
Saturn I am that much closer to the sun.

For My Future Husband

and I am staring at the furnace
in avid anticipation At night I grow too hot for you,
a slow-blooming plant with a
four-skinned tongue
transparent atop and fuchsia
below One lick
and your skin steams like
branded beef Our bed smells like a steakhouse
You scornfully call me the
Snow Queen A fawn finds birth in spring
but I am wet and awkward
splayed on the ground in fall By November I can stand By December I can stand alone
But when snow swells
in the great broad pocket of
Eastern clouds
I choose a mate that bears
your name Still a flower I am the poinsettia,
thriving outside cold as bone
but vital in the heat Again you call me Snow Queen,
but this time you are smiling.

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