Week of February 1-7, 1999
BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here for submission guidelines
Joannie Kervran Stangeland
Joannie Kervran Stangeland lives in Seattle, Washington, USA Her work has appeared in Point No Point, Pontoon, Rain City Review, and Wings Magazine Joannie’s chapbook, A Steady Longing for Flight, won the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award.
The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Joannie Kervran Stangeland and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.
At the End of Normal
Sleek and eager, his slippery body
welcomes the delicious lift and weight Born to be a fish with the fin heart of his father,
he wishes for gills, a sheath of silvery scales
and a key to the cool unknown
The water beckons to the pulse of his blood,
pulls with the moon’s hollow yearning He relinquishes land legs,
hands, trembling chin,
but his head bobs, an island among child waves He stops at the edge of the kingdom,
feels the shorelines of his skin
beginning to blur He is this close to himself
and knows only that his eyes must
belong to the realm of air.
The name drops
off the tongue
like a cosmic joke,
a comedy sketch
with truncated punch line
Their bodies lay cool as wax,
empty of omens,
the aftertaste of cleaving
clinging to rigored lips The desert wind carried fetid warnings
Farther north, we stood in cold air,
watched the comet
trail its wake of dust
like a bridal veil,
a mantle of tulle
attended by stars,
a winding sheet,
She did not ask for the deafening wings,
white smother, seraphic interruptions
Now the donkey’s sharp spine
juts into her untouched flesh
Her thighs are heavy as the temple,
her belly, a stone
Even the mother of God
must wake in the night
Constellations will whisper ancient comforts,
the desert sky pressing
as weary astronomers arrive
with unfamiliar gifts
and Joseph’s rough hands lead her East She will carry more children, feed new mouths,
but she will never escape
the stars of this first.
I’m a 17 year old from Morgantown, West Virginia, whose rolling, mist shrouded hills become remarkable fodder for poetry at times Most of my work consists of either raw emotion manifesting itself into 2nd person form, or just my own personal musings I used to write to change point of view-a ceaseless pursuit of that altered perspective that makes people gasp Now, I believe, I write more to hide from my own sight-to escape from that vantage and hovel on the ground, which is why some of my latest poetry seems to be more compelling I heard once that you should only write about things you’ve experienced, and I’ve abided by that more or less, aside from the more situational poetry, for which you have to search for a much deeper meaning in order to grasp the experience I had to evoke it.
The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Adam S Hewitt and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.
Like a deck of cards
Thrown to the wind.
So many didn’t want to hear –
Didn’t listen-didn’t look –
Shut their windows
Or walked on by, less erect then before.
When it was done I laid there
Like a model
Posing for my chalk outline.
A dead bud in a blooming flower bed –
Waiting-on the cold concrete –
For someone more important
To die beside me.
In my palm I held it
Burning like incense
Because of the ink –
The edge ignited
Into an orange front, like horses
Charging to the center Which wafts and convulses –
As I watch-it bends to my will –
It pleads-it bows to me –
It begs to be saved
Like a memory I dare not say So, you wrote me a letter?
I stomp on its remnants on my way out,
My eyes dried from the flame.