May 3-May 9, 1999: Edward L. Wier and Francis Till

Week of May 3-May 9, 1999

Edward L Wier and Francis Till

Edward L Wier


Born to Polish immigrants in New Jersey, Ed makes his base in Atlanta as a professional musician, teacher, and a freelance writer with a BA in theology He has written music for national television specials and film, and his articles and poetry appear in various journals and magazines such as Tomorrow, The Formalist, The Oval,  SPSM&H, Whiskey Island, 360 Degrees, The Lyric, Troubadour, The Ledge, The Door, Windhover, Acoustic Musician and Guitar Review He recently won the Felix Stefanile Sonnet Award and his fiction appears in Sideshow 1997, Fine Print, The Bitter Oleander, and Reader’s Break

“Self-expression is for babies and seals, where it can be charming A writer’s business is to affect the reader “

Vincient McHugh

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


Nothing says desire
like the grating groan
of my dog’s dry dish
being pushed
across the floor
“More! More! More!”

The Last Days of Paper

The scroll was there to hold the early ink,
Of symbols sent to find a future mind,
But wound up as a quick computer link,
A verb to trigger operation find The letter, signed and sealed by human hands,
Soon made the sad transition just as well And printed pages taking their last stands,
Were dying where no matter dared to dwell Efficiency soon made its final stroke,
As pens and pencils were the next to go Then mail became a slowly moving joke,
That could not give us what we had to know Gone were cartons, money and mache,
And then the paper airplane passed away.

Crash of the Conversational Valkyries

At first, our well-chosen words fly, 
Fleshed out and winged with all intent,
Sent towards the goal, hopeful
That they will arrive and accomplish
Airy, lucent, mind-born Valkyries
Carrying the souls of thought
From the mind-fields of memory
Up through the neural haze
But during flight, while we yet believe
They are somehow stripped
Of any self they may have worn
Taking on the feel of brittle information
Once breathed out of warm damp cavities
Shaped by living mouth and tongue
They lose their pulpy purposed meat
Becoming hollow husks of intention
Skeletons of thought crash on hard tile
And go skidding into baseboards
Where the bare, quiet bones of last night’s
Conversation still lie, shattered still.

James Dickey

His snakes and toads all haunted me,
In the mist of the bootlegger’s breath,
Till I busted out like an old seat spring,
Released, and restored in the sun
I followed him like a plantation piper,
Through humid woods; down dirt roads,
With a trailing troupe of beetles and ghosts,
To the parking lot of the dead
I drank revelation from his whiskey still,
A bold, bitter brew of chide and charm, 
Watching through words and broken glass, 
Distilling with kudzu and sweat
I saw his heat rise in waves up above,
Wild wreckage of car tops and hoods,
Beyond the bumpers, gear knobs, and caps,
Like a cock cry the world can’t stop
Too soon swallowed in the cricket’s dirge,
Himself, now the heart of the junkyard,
Tracing the scared southern features and lines,
Of a face I have never once seen.

Francis Till


Francis Till was born in Atlantic City but left at the insistence of the villagers after only a few months This scenario has been repeated in countless countries since then, and has led him to an unusual understanding of the phrase “it takes a village ” Francis now lives in Auckland, New Zealand, where he has gone relatively unnoticed for nearly six months, and hopes to keep it that way Except for this Visit him through his labyrinthian webpage at and reassure him that his current obscurity is well deserved and likely to remain perpetual.

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


Here in this ocean country
I live a quiet life, so much more and less
than any dream I have ever had
of peace There is frost
in my flesh, now, and it grows
outward, wild and crystalline, in my hair;
my strength is porous,
and I betray myself with its limits
when I climb upon the ragged shoreline rocks
or the mermaid bodies of intemperate nights Even my sleep is artificial,
for all that it runs deep; like so much
that has passed before
Elm and pine grow densely here;
in the endless wind, their limbs
are stirred to speech It is, at times,
an ominous sound, like that made by armies
approaching in the night And I respond
as soldiers do in the pause before dying;
not with dread, but memory
I remember tonight the night I did not break
your drunken backward fall into the fire;
the sound of your skull on the stones;
your dress riding high to display
careless bruises left by another man
on your softest skin I remember you laughing into my stricken face I remember that instant of your death
as if it had actually happened, as if you did not simply
still laughing, and curse me, and laugh again As if
we did not then fall together
into our months of passionate falling away
I remember your face
as my train pulled away, the sudden fear
that took the blood away from your cheeks
and hollowed your eyes I remember the smile
I smiled at the triumph of your pain,
and the tiny fragment of immunity
I wore like metallic pentimento
as the train gathered speed
and we were lost
There is a crowd of ghosts, Regina;
you are never alone I am
finding you all and
I am finding nothing
where something large and warm
should have grown and lived in silence
deep within My cellars
do not contain my secret self
Here in the distant ocean country,
it often rains I walk in the mornings
through the edge of this small bit of sea It is quiet here;
so much more
and so much less
than any dream I have ever dreamed
of peace

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