February 8-14, 1999: Shotsie Gorman and Joy Olivia Yourcenar

Week of February 8-February 14, 1999

Shotsie Gorman and Joy Olivia Yourcenar

Shotsie Gorman


Shotsie Gorman steps in to the winners circle in a new artistic direction As a Tattoo Artist/Poet After receiving honorary mention as a finalist in 1997, Shotsie received a second place award in the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Competition Shotsie is the winner of the AOL Online prize for the summer Poetry Competition and the winner of the Orpheus Summer poetry competition He also earned special editors mention in the Grasslands Review Summer Competition.

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Shotsie Gorman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Akira Kurasowa Died Today

carrying with him his shadow They said; he was a worrier

Caused him to stroke
they said it was
with the slash of light
he wrote
Don’t rush a man
it takes time
to speak.

Akira Died Today

I sat,
fat assed in my kitchen Stuffing my face with
a French pastry Reading the local paper on how
yoga was becoming main stream
because of Madonna
When I heard it Droning out of the blue Japanese TV
Akira Kurasowa died today
of heart failure Today ?
Before I finished my swallow?

Before our paths crossed
in a world of shadows Before, I could drink my
Italian Cappuccino
tears rolled down
had recently sent flowers to
Les Paul’s hospital room
while my new friend Tom Woglom
laid in the next bed after
open heart surgery
Soaking up the tears
and the news that Yoga
was becoming main stream I considered;
How would
America respond
to Akira’s passing?
or yoga?
It was a tough
decision for us after all We’re Americans Lets have some more Creme Brule
and think about it.

Dark Branches

We were running scared
like deer
through the buffalo grass The smell of it’s seeds flying
filling us
while chasing down the screaming rabbit

“Go ahead do it!” Bleated out of me
the blood of our eyes
blotted out the blue sky Kenny raised the small hatchet over him

“Kill em!
He’s suffering!”

Small hind legs rushing under him
couldn’t carry him away Like us he ran with all he had
and still could
not escape his pain
The arrow pierced
his rear haunches
caught up in the low briar
held him fixed
Like the anger of our fathers
held us
I ran up to our small St Sabastian
Took the hatchet into my hand
with raised arm, cursing in my fathers voice
I struck the first blow
and caved in his head
It ended his suffering,
I said, It was more of a question
in the voice of Brutes
I closed off his pain I thought I could do it for him
but not for us
The second blow
was out of my jealousy
over his release
from this life The crunching
in dead grass
snapped closed my
for years

Joy Olivia Yourcenar



Joy Yourcenar is a writer and teacher living in Halifax, Nova Scotia She is a Chapbook editor for Web Del Sol and has two personal websites: Mythologies (her own site) and icon/graphy (a collaborative visual poetry site with Eric Boutilier-Brown She has been published on-line at Gravity: A Journal of On-Line Writing and the Initiative and off-line in the Maine Review, the Stolen Island Review, and Silhouettes in Electric Sky, a print anthology featuring the best of two years of Gravity.

The following work is Copyright © 1999, and owned by Joy Olivia Yourcenar and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Ophelia Dreams

Hamlet dreams
hope impaled
on a fingernail moon,
Imagines her skin,
imperfect porcelain
flecked with freckles,
remembers the linger
of his finger along her back
and how her shoulders
smiled back at him
in the dark

Final Solution

Who has time
for Zyklon-B these days?
Cremation takes 20 minutes
we have no personal effects
to sort,
didn’t think it could be
more efficient
(Say what you will
about Hitler,
the man
knew how
to get things done)

Pile of clothes,
my glasses,
teeth and bone,
all coated
with a physicality
of ash
More Masada’s child
than Warsaw’s,
I drove myself
into the fire,
I thrust my own hand
into the oven
until the smell
of my burning flesh
made me reel,
overcome by fumes
of raw ambiguity
and pride-soaked lust
(I wonder if
I reached
the nostrils of God
and was “He” pleased
or mythed?)

Wild-eyed Zionists,
You tried to stop me,
but I had the delusions
of the Chosen,
saw Rimbaud’s unspeakable visions
of the Promised Land,
and I did not fear
the Holocaust
as a Holocaust survivor
Who now is left
to say Kaddish for me?

From The Age of Exploration: Cartography

There are times,

lying skin to skin,


even that slight separation

between us

is unbearable
Island to isthmus,

we lie in bed,

intertwining finger bridges


the unsettled country

of my body

to your sensual sovereignty
An erotic cartographer,

I rely on physical relief

to map you,

secured beyond memory
Frustrated by distance,

I want to erase

our borders
If you turned away,

even the Northern Star

would be extinguished,

leaving me lost

within my insufficient body.

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