May 21-27, 2001: Angélique Jamail and Jenn Rubi

week of May 21-27, 2001

Angélique Jamail and Jenn Rubi


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Angélique Jamail

Bio (auto)

Angélique Jamail has a cat named Isis She earned her degree in English-Creative Writing from The University of Houston She lives and writes poetry and fiction in Houston most of the time and ponders daily the strange conceptions people from other states have about Texas Her first book of poems, Gypsies, came out in late 1998, and she expects to complete her second book, Barefoot on Marble, sometime in late 2001 She counts librettos and the occasional textbook among her minor publications Her poems have been featured in various anthologies and journals, most recently including issues of Curbside Review.

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

The Deaf Listen for Atlantis

This deep, the debate over waves
and particles can be settled The light is grainy, too far spotted
by the sand I’ve disturbed
to be tossed by currents of water above My keen eyes barely see,
but the fringe edges of my shawl
seem even darker here than
the midnight trickles of dye
trailing behind me I should not
have worn it walking into the wet,
where the salt stings the burnt-out
velvet and grits against my skin
Down here is more than quiet
And even the cold water cannot
penetrate my ears into soundful
vessels I am the narrow bowl of silence Finding the sound of even my own voice
will not climb the steep, smooth slope
any more than I can grind pearls
to spice under my bare feet
In the foam green light,
a seahorse is reluctantly visible,
his every watery breath like
a tiny sponge being squeezed
The silent bubbles are what I have The bubbles, and nothing else.

Flying Kites on a Grainy Day
inspired by the photograph “Reflections on the Beach” by Grady Carter

I have only a few memories
of my brother, most not of
his words or his face or his clothes,
but of the strangeness,
the grainy air of disconnection
that we breathed when we were together
He used to stand in the tide
every day, staring at the curve
of the planet and watching the waves
fold the years under themselves He always seemed to be waiting
for the next life to snatch
his impatient soul into its next home,
while I stared at the curve
of his shoulders and rarely spoke,
knowing so little what to speak about I buried sisterly love
in the beach where we lived,
reaching out to him with the tail
of a kite that bumped around
in my brother’s grainy wind
The sea was cold then,
even colder than now when
his steps have been erased
from our beach, from our house And the air feels distinctly
smoother, and I trade my regrets
every day for the tail of a kite.

Earthquakes in Houston

The earthquakes of Houston build the mountains
of people’s lives, the subduction zones
of thought and feeling These are different
from the West Coast tremors that
only move stuff around
No fingers of earth raised up in
folded hands like Brazil nuts,
here is the flat-footed lack of arch
The fingers of the planet
fold and form a rocky steeple –
pop its knuckles and
see all the people
fall in?

Not here,
where talk is earthquakes reined,
and earthquakes are tears and laughter
and shaking your hair out so violently
even the lightning gets caught in it.


The first time the understanding hit
me that stars did not go away
in the daytime sky, but that
their light is only blinded out
by the sun, the sky paled from
blue to yellow to white, and later,
when all the heat of summer focused into
the smallest, brightest punctures
above the dusk-darkened trees,
a glowing crescent already was moving
across the sky and hanging in the balance.

Jenn Rubi

Bio (auto)

Hello, I am Jenn Rubi, a 27 year old, Californian born Latina/North Jersey girl hybrid  I now reside high in the hills of Jasper, Georgia, where I enjoy spacing out in the woods, and creating art These 4 poems are titled: Living with 2 black Labs, Blue Ridge, HIGH, & Coward.

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

Living with 2 black Labs

I am so used to the tapdance of dogs’ claws
across a floor,
sometimes from the next room
I imagine them tophats & canes,
barrel chested,
porkchop legged Fred Astaires,
the speckled purple of liverlips curled up in smiles,  
pink and pointy whites
like they do
when Kings of the convertible,
2 black licorice gumdrops
expanding and contracting in the fresh air,
only missing aviator caps and goggles Ski masks
when they’re casing our pizza,
raptor style.

Blue Ridge

I could grow old here
grown over with kudzu,
sprawling tremendous,
swaggering towards the sky Photosynthesize in spring sun,
by serenade of crisp birdcalls among
the layered secrets of branches Home in these woods,
content to be timeless as any
condemned fill station,
rundown ramshackle,
widowed moonshine still,
abandoned rock mound,
deserted chimney I could become part
stardust mountain skyline,
turquoise shoulders fading to indigo,
expansive as hawks flight.


at least 9 hours a day
there is music so loud
I would have to read your lips


I used to think I was born for you
the way we came together
and all the psychic puzzle pieces I loved you with life in my hands,
I cannot believe it is all in my head
I have dreams that we are happy again
and wake up killed but still breathing I must really be crazy
a “freak” just like you said And you are the joker
so I must be your joke;
cannot live without you
and yet I am a survivor of you
So I figured it out Don’t need you to tell me,
don’t even want to hear you say it anymore All this love turning to hate But you got what you wanted right?

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