July 9-15, 2001: Kevin Allen and Rachel Dyer

week of July 9-15, 2001

Kevin Allen
Rachel Dyer

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Kevin Allen

Bio (auto)

Kevin Allen was born in Gia Dinh, Vietnam in 1973 Adopted by an American family at 11 months and grew up in Rochester, NY Got tired of living by the rules, so moved to Seattle, worked for a dot.com, got laid off, and is now working for an adoption agency Plans to go back to Vietnam for the first time next April.

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


was when I told you I loved you and you nodded
as if I would just go up in smoke
leave you alone to blend back
into your mother’s thigh drown cups of rice in a
cooker until tender, 
like the back of your hand
the white of your teeth the afternoon we kissed
was the vietnam I left thought I’d never go back
without you by my side
on the couch we sat you and your brother
sang to vietnamese karaoke
so similar
to the songs you taught me the ones
my mother must have taken to her grave


walking around the lake like we do
the houses you plan to sell
the cities I plan to move to
kissing while twisting
layed my hand on your stomach
for love, I wondered
to go back to how it couldíve been
when in a second life
without hesitation
I asked for your hand
instead of your hide

It Would’ve Been Saturday

man sits on a park bench
bicycle by his side
shot to death by another bicyclist
the dead manís apartment goes up in flames
left the stove on after cooking eggs
too busy thinking about which book to bring to read in
the park

Rachel Dyer

Bio (auto)

i’m a sixteen year-old living in boston, and i’ve been writing poetry for several years, ever since i attended a summer writing workshop and understood that there are no limitations for the art, just the desire and drive to express oneself i attend boston latin school, i’m in my sophomore year there, and i’m hopefully college-bound, studying for a career having something to do with writing i mentor younger writers over the summer at the workshop now, and my work has been published in the school literary magazine, “the register,” and in the books produced by the workshop over the summer i try to keep writing, and hopefully someday i’ll develop the experience and a voice strong enough to be published.

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

olivia the sister 1/15/2001 olivia
Wed, 18 Oct 2000

as a leaf falls under my foot
flaming and then going out
like a crushed dream
like life
i hold you and contemplate your importance
for the first time since before everything
you are the incarnation
of my father’s infidelity
the infidel still unforgiven
.he probably will remain
unforgiven for years
even in death unforgotten
by my brother
but especially my mother
i’ve learned to look past this or over this
or through this, clouded
but not eclipsed
i remember the first day
i received the news of you
growing in the womb of the bad-named one
your mother
toward whom my mother enlisted hate
through us, the children-products
of denial gone awry
emotion based on little
little else .other than
my father’s inability to control himself
because he lived in a bottle
any bottle he could find
or vial or syringe nameless things
providing escape momentarily
this was his excuse for living
the pointless life that he did
and still does execute in his every action

i cried when i heard of you
something welled up
my mother’s wounding hate probably
quiet hate-loud at times
never accepting i felt the solidity of life as it settled
around my shoulders
even though it killed me
and ate out my liver
at specified times of day
like when i would wake up
in some pugatorial dream state
in solemn remembrance of a pseudo past
which was second -guessed and corrected
after the initial shock of a fallen
paternal deity i cried when i learned of you you meant something
i wasn’t sure what
you were significant it was wrong of them
to invite you into the world
maybe they cursingly tried not to
forgot to but you came anyway
my mother claimed that a baby
or a child is a sure-fire way
to keep a man around didn’t keep dad around
i pointed out, embittered-
and i’m sure she cried
and resorted to her own bottle
of liquid escape after that
as i angrily turned back to reveries and in our household
we were mad at each other
for our emotions for days
and we didn’t talk
but we still hold the emotions
stained memories in untrusting hands at first mother resisted outright denied
that we should have
at all
to do with you my brother as a tree
fell in the opposite direction
of the chopping at all times
he’s good at siding
and knows when to side with whom
i’m not, and i don’t
my brother lay between
as i strayed above
conscience faded in and out like snowy reception
after all you were just a baby
i had seen pictures of you
when unwilling pity overwhelmed me
you were alive-i couldn’t pretend you weren’t
and i certainly couldn’t hate a baby
still ignorant of its own circumstances
still ignorant of the circle it was perpetuating
by no fault of its own
then there were
angry outbursts from mother
who commanded the ultimate
fidelity and obedience
on the parts of her children
whom she got to keep pending divorce
like the house or this chair or that car
we were objects
whom she wore
as badges of her ability to continue
even as life cut the tendons
behind her knees
we dragged her by her arms
but she dragged us by our loyalties
and we suffered
and we wondered about you
and on quiet days-summer days
mother would work to stretch ends
and make them meet
and my father unallowed
unlawfully, in fact
would bring you around
at first he forced us by way of guilt
took advantage of my good conscience
but i gave myself the chance to know you you were named olivia
and you had green eyes
the very center of your life
it was as if you breathed
through those green eyes you aren’t yet capable of hate
but now you have hair and can sit up
and smile and make us fall in love
with the hope-the new life that you represent i wish i could take you take you away
from the atmosphere that i know will be your
i want to make you into a poet
i want to make you brilliant
i can see you would be-
if not for what will happen to you
in the future i see it in the green eyes
innocently reflecting the fall clouds but you aren’t mine you belong to my father
his committment to the bottle
and to pain as much as i want to make it
different for you
my hands are tied and my eyes
and my heart and my life
so that i can regard you
but not help you
i’m fifteen you’re five months
and our green eyes regard the leaves
as they twirl from the trees
and regard the wind as it reddens our cheeks
and regard life
from the same viewpoint for a harmonious moment
and i feel the wisdom in you and the life that will be
i can’t help but cry again
as leaves swirl around and my heart aches
my sister-i whisper your name
and the fall winds carry it away
along with my dreams
the spicy smell of leaves and lives fallen
but not wasted
remind me that after rain
there is sunshine
and after winter
there is spring

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