December 24-January 13, 2001: Nick Marzano, Karen Choy, Lytton Bell and Nick Carter

week of December 24-January 13, 2001

Nick MarzanoKaren Choy,
Lytton Bell and Nick Carter


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Nick Marzano

Bio (auto)

My name is Nick Marzano I grew up just outside Pittsburgh, PA, and continue to grow up in State College, PA as I attend Penn State University My addiction has become music and the pursuit of new artists of some sort of depth; it’s easy when you realize that with next generation Napster-like file sharing programs the first hit isn’t the only free one At any rate, I’m reading Musashi and playing ultimate frisbee, hopefully with the team next year, and that’s about that In my high school days I was known to act and sing quite a bit, but now I just act like an idiot and sing in the shower and no one is very receptive In all truth though, a place like state college means either you conform to something, or you force yourself to appreciate every little thing, and I have never been happier than the day I realized I loved everything My friends know full and well that my new mantra is, as Bowie once said, “I dig everything ” I feel odd writing bios so having stated the city I’m from I’ll simply leave it alone

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

Rain Dogs Rejoice

Winter sunk,
Draping from trees,
Then melting by
The hot sun into
Pools of spring
On the sidewalk
Sweat dripped
From bare jungle
Branches and
Wrung out onto
The ground And the air

The air was all
Tar and perfume I became canine
And we all wandered
Without the desire
Of winter

To find roofs
And awnings No,
Now we were
Wet with spring,
And sat in the fog
With our tongues out.

Karen Choy

Bio (auto)

Karen Choy writes poetry and fiction A native of Los Angeles, she currently lives in Chicago, where she works in a library, DJs at WHPK 88.5 FM, and co-edits Primavera, a journal of women’s fiction, poetry, and art Her work appeared previously on Poetry Super Highway

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

Don’t Just Love Them for Their Bodies

Leading my mother to the
vegetarian food freezer at Ralphs
is like transporting her to another planet

A world where cows have their rumps intact
Where pigs have butts
Where chickens have breasts

Where tit and ass can’t be sold
for 99 cents/lb

Where Farmer John’s penis
sits in a hot dog bun
instead of ground up pig guts

Art Piece at Heaven Gallery

Shirt made of baby bottle nipples
Wearing this on a particularly cold day
one would not have to worry about going braless
Just fear hungry babies
who don’t give a damn about art

Advice From His Mother

Serious boyfriend
farts into his hand
cups hand over his mother’s nose
He calls it the
Poop Stick Snorkel Cup
His mother tells me to think it over
This is what I’d have
to live with for thirty years

The Portrait
or, “New Boyfriend’s Apartment”

Five roommates, all boys
One does not believe in any clothes
except underclothes

Classics line the bookshelves:
Good Will Hunting
Girls Gone Wild, Vol 6

Pot’s in every room except the kitchen
That room is reserved for the entire Midwest’s
supply of Nutella
Also half a dozen brands of rice
Because one brand of plain white rice
tastes so different from another

I have held in all comments
I have held in gallons of pee
For fear of their bathroom

A print of Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup can
in the living room
Pop art, I can deal with that
Photographs of the boys on the mantle
It takes two or three visits
before I notice the Pop Up Art:
A penis hanging out in one of the photographs
As if it is the sixth roommate
The one named Dick Johnson

Lytton Bell

Bio (auto)

I have appeared previously in Outsider Ink (June 2001), Poems-for-All (October 2001),  Poetry Now (December 2001) and Poetic Voices (December 2001) Additionally, I will be included in the Quarterly Haiku Journal Still (Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall 2002), and several of my poems are scheduled for publication in upcoming issues of Slow Trains (December 2001) and Clean Sheets (March 2002) My “Book of Chaps” will be available in early 2002 through the 24th Street Irregular Press

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

Monkey See

It’s hot, mid-August and all the camp counselors
and campers are on a field trip to the zoo
I have taken ten eight-year-old girls
into the monkey house

One monkey diligently picks his nose
carefully eating each booger
The girls shriek and giggle

In the next enclosure, a large, male orangutan
hangs by one arm from a fake tree limb
With the other hand, he leisurely masturbates
and I wonder if I am only imagining
the defiant, unblinking stare he gives
“Don’t look, girls!” I shout, but they
ignore me, pointing and laughing
The ape refuses to avert his gaze, which
seems increasingly sardonic

Primates are unusual creatures to cage
They are only 1% different from humans, genetically
speaking, less if you’ve seen the _Planet of the Apes_ movie
where they look much better in police and fire uniforms
than anyone you see on COPS or Rescue 911
My best friend, who went to boarding school up in the mountains of India
told me a funny tale about the monkeys She said, the first day
of class, the older girls warned her never to leave her window
which had no screen, open for any length of time
They did not tell her why She did it anyway, only to return from her
later that day to find that the monkeys had taken over
They’d trashed everything, and they ran back out of the window, screaming,
as soon
as she opened the door — all except for one, the biggest one, who continued
to sit on top of her dresser, very calmly eating her favorite lipstick
giving her a “what are you going to do about it” stare
his fangs stained Party-Girl Pink

I once saw a chimpanzee take an empty Cheese-Its box
over to a waterfall, and drink out of it like a glass
Many people I know could never have thought of it
And to cage a monkey seems more than anything
like an act of self-hatred

I remember Koko, the gorilla who spoke sign language
and invented words for things she didn’t know, calling
a zebra a “tiger horse,” and a lighter a “bottle match”
and the legend of the female anthropologist
raped by an orangutan on the banana platform
and wonder if he was only returning the favor
for his brethren caged or slain

In the last case, a long, black monkey with white circles
around its eyes comes right up to the glass
The guide had said the barrier is tinted on the inside
to prevent the monkeys from seeing us
But this one seems to clear enough
He paces back and forth, then back
digs something out from the corner
and with the precision of a professional pitcher
hurtles a fat turd directly at us
where it splatters
the clear pane transfigured suddenly
darkly to a mirror

Blackbird, Fly

We were locked in your attic
ten years old, playing a Beatles cassette
It was so hot even the birds and bees
held their breath
And there was only the hum of a lonely plane
and Paul’s voice crooning
Blackbird, fly
We were only waiting
for this moment to arrive

A group of jealous punks had beaten you
on the playground the same day you won
the science fair; from my perch in the old
Oak tree with my grown-up book, I saw it all
They even smashed your remote control robot
A silver spray of nuts and bolts lay shattered
underneath the monkey bars and a
hard, red surge of protective love for you pounded behind my eyes
Take these broken wings and learn to fly

And we decided that sex was best because
it’s what adults do when they say love and
mean it, and
when you removed my Osh-Kosh overalls
pulled my long hair loose from its ponytail
and folded my wonder woman underoos in a
neat little stack near the ladder
it seemed like the right thing to do
And when you extended your little tongue into my
pre-pubescent mouth, a shadow of the woman
I’d become sparked to life in me
opened up her crusted eyes and peered at you
as if through a clouded sky

I laughed then (you were the first naked boy
I’d ever seen)
and you climbed on top of me
pressing your flaccid loins against my
hairless pelvis, squashing me, kissing me
I quelled a plume of panic as it rose up my throat
and held you like the ladies on TV held
their Ponches and Mikes, their Six Million Dollar men
like the air holds the flapping of dark, tattered wings
and I couldn’t breathe, but was determined to love you
in grown-up way

But then we heard your older brother thundering up the stairs
My foot lurched, knocked over a can of coke and a
brown rivulet ran toward the cracked trap door
dripping down into your closet
You held your finger over your closed lips
motioning silence

I thought I heard mice in the walls
moving then
sighing for the meadows they’d
forgone for food
I longed for the meadow too
and for my yellow kite, my muppets, my sit-and-spin
but not as much as I longed to hold you
and be the Farah Fawcett of your young life
smiling in a red swimsuit from atop a ten speed bike

We climbed down
We had learned how much
of love depends upon
the way things have
of breaking
and I wanted to tell the blackbirds
it was never wings we needed

Nick Carter

Bio (auto)

My name is Nick Carter I live in Christchurch, New Zealand I am 25 years old and have been writing for nearly two years

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

Coffee Anaesthesia

( in coffee anaesthesia )
sucked along in the wake of a gone moon –
batted away like a swingball,
dipped in clotted cream and curdled milk then frozen,
I wait for it to thaw to convince myself of its age –
check the best before date, check mine too,
swerve on the road to miss its drops –
moondrops a leaking tap in the back of my thought
provides the soundtrack to my day
forming pools, flows
and sunlight breaching my eyelids, red, swirling
high-beam bathes me in antiseptic
cats clean themselves –
my knees and head are cleaned by afternoon angular sunstreaks
privacy and anxiety don’t mix well –
well ?
forget it
I let my notes blow off the chair next to me, and find it hard to remove my fingers from a wrinkled brow –
there is glitter all over my hands from mars.

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