February 23-March 1, 1998: Caron Andregg and Borb Ludner


week of February 23-March 1, 1998

Caron Andregg and Borb Ludner

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Caron Andregg


Caron Andregg lives in La Jolla, CA (San Diego) where she runs her own research business and raises vegetables on her balcony She has published three chapbooks and is also the publisher and editor of the annual California Poetry Calendar Her poems have been published in Spillway, Zero City, Minotaur, The Olympia Review, Impetus, Talus & Scree, Sheila-Na-Gig, Rattle among many others and on the Internet in Gravity, Poetry Cafe, Zero City and on her own website at http://home.earthlink.net/~carona/ She appears regularly as a featured reader at venues throughout the US.

BTW-She also won Ben Stein’s Money Watch the show regularly on Comedy Central, and before too long, you’ll see her do it

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by Caron Andregg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.

The Theorems of Desire

If we keep halving the distance
between my finger and your lip
the two will never touch
If a woman falls in the forest
and you’re not there beside her
can you hear her heart beat?

From the absolute zero
of independent orgasms
to the ignition flash
of an incandescent gaze
the Tao of one plus one
makes one
The shortest distance
between two points
is a shared intention.

The Late Shift

It’s slow going, this night work
slipping in and out of rented rooms
in the crease across midnight
fumbling in insufficient light
to add small strokes to our broad canvas;

Begin at the extremities —
your lips, your limbs, your feet
your beautiful, soft hands;
work inward toward the core —
my throat, my breasts, my back
We Braille each other into art
like smiths and craftsmen toil without a plan
like the blind define an elephant
create in our own image
build each other carefully by hand.

On the Night Road to Reno

It’s a recurring dream I am traveling, aimlessly
on some slow conveyance
maybe a bus named “Lucky Streak “
I’ve lost my luggage
I’ve mislaid my purse
I have no identification, no identity I am missing my connections I am fighting my way OUT of a casino;
it’s time to turn my back on chance
This is a nightmare without monsters
the kind that stays on past dawn
the kind that settles like a cat on my shoulder
as we roll to our sides, make spoons We never really make our connections
settle instead for symbols, tokens My hand finds yours in the moonlight
our wedding rings gleam, side by side
the dark between our fingertips
a sliver of the vacuum of space.

South Shields

March is not
a time for tourists
on the Scottish border;
especially not
for tall young men
from the dry west coast
of a brash young country
used to broken-rock towns
on the high desert
with spike-lettered
names like
Doyle and Inyo, 
Blythe and Zyzyx;
towns with pasts
but no permanence
booming and dying
in a generation He pulls over at the port
gets out to walk
in the drizzling rain
says, “I think
my mom’s dad
sailed from here,”
looks out east to sea
where the north wind
ruffles his history.

It’s been ten years

since I saw snow
since we fell backward, side by side
to splash out Siamese angels;
since I asked, in pious satire
what was the sound of one hand clapping
and you fingered me to orgasm
clapped your hand across my mouth
as if my gasps would cause an avalanche;
since my teeth applauded your palm
while fireworks burst across the back of your hand
snowflakes sizzling into steam Winter invites an avalanche of silence
like the peal waits in the hollow of a bell;
the flood-tide and slack tide of your breathing
the murmurations of snow
the sounds that echo only in their absence.


When Persephone ate six seeds
from the pomegranate
she forfeited six months in hell
and the world knew winter I’ve lost count of the thousands
of pomegranate seeds
that stained my lips and hands
and winter without you is immeasurable
Events, having happened, continue
time’s indelible wake
go on with us, or without us We are as tall as our history
as deep as the mould of image upon image
a forest of limbs and faces
the past overlaying the present
and the future a mobius twist
a train of fate on a closed track
which never derails, leads all things
inevitably back to their beginnings
I have hundreds of gems in a velvet bag
we bought from children
off the ferry in Wrangel
with its cantilevered candy-pastel houses
perched on stilts over the sea They handed up muffin tins
luscious with garnets
handsful, bucketsful, 
cascading through my hands
like a shower of crimson rain
obscene as a pomegranate
split and exposed
Maturity lies less in the measure of time
than in the persistence of memory,
which is to say, I have grown old with you;
the sound of your name in my ears unspoken
your form beneath a sheet
behind my eyes, between the lines
my hands upon your chest
my face pressed, wet
against your pomegranate shirt In my dreams, I can smell you
The articulations of memory
bud, bloom, fruit, burst out
between my pomegranate lips
like garnets from a velvet bag
ripe, ripe, ripe.

Black as Bears

The sun shone, and that was reason enough
to pull out the bicycles, peddle
toward the north end of the island Along the way a black bear, 
having no particular malice
but nothing better to do, gave chase
then fell in with an easy stride
Cold, hard winters make you tolerant
of fellow creatures trying to get by The bear is welcome, if he has a mind
to roll his bowed hams down the road
in company, so long as he stays to his side But if he turns, we’ll pull out the .357
and there will be no warning shots There is no fucking around
when you’re not at the top of the food chain
Brown bears, on the mainland, 
will eat you just because they can Black bears need a reason;
which is not to say they can’t
do their own share of damage
as much by accident as by design Head to head on a dark night
on a quiet road at speed
a bear can total a Toyota
Of course, it doesn’t do the bear
much good either And when it happens
you hope it’s in the spring
before the salmon run
when his meat is berry-sweet
and fit to harvest That’s the most
you can hope for in the end:
to go out being of use to someone
The night is black as bears
at the north end of the island
where we lay on the hood of the car
under the shimmer of The Bear
look north, wait for the auroras
ignoring all those other eyes.

Poles Apart
(Neskowin, Oregon)

Our bags wait, packed, by the beachhouse door
while the rain slashes down in sheets We came to watch the storms along the wet north coast
In three hours we’ll be back home
where the same sea, subdued
laps at the edge of the desert
A journey of months reduced to minutes The globe continues shrinking
yet we remain poles apart
I catch a last glance of fir and fern
the deep blue-green of spruce;
all oceans touch one another, if only through the rain.

Borb Ludner


Here are the facts Organize them as you will:

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by Borb Ludner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner
whatsover without written permission from the author.

On Course

A smile, a word, a kiss,
an empathy, a bond a biologic urgency
and two will find a way
to travel through the stars
aboard a single pillowed vehicle
while even breath will yield to passion
up until the moment cries and shouts
are unrestrained!

My God! Your wondrous belly
heaves in splendor underneath my substance Those luscious thrashing thighs
enfold my plunging lower body as commanders
on a mission of delight and exaltation Yes, and two exquisite breasts
make dedicated servants of
my hands and mouth
as if the end of life itself were near
My love!
All wilfulness abandoned for the sake
of one creative act of beauty–
of which bounds are infinite Such an act to glorify the very sweat
emerging from our pores And then the floodgates burst,
and for a moment of suspended time
even thought is gone for one effulgent interval
another paradise could not exist
and just the all that two create
.is everything!


A call is to a thing we cannot know For some, a fear
for some, an opening
for everyone, a challenge
if the cost will not be counted To the inclined ear,
the very air will shimmer
with the approaching waves
and roll on silent drums the cue to take the moment
on its terms beheading unseen monsters
lurking in the shadow, or perchance,
inhale the breath of angels,
for adventure never comes
is passenger to choice
And so there is a time for breath This human reservoir in surfeit
for an interval
assembling power with purpose,
reward in limbo,
faith in vested spirit,
faith in faith
as rainbows fade
and emptiness commands
Foreign lands .deserted isles
will call to millions then
as if forever were an open slot
assigned to rash behaviour,
exclusive to the few But there is opportunity
in every carpe diem,
from every breath,
and every sigh
and every pair of eyes one sees
and from it, new tomorrows
yesterday with senses dulled
could not envision even with the soul
That dark, forboding night
brings warm and friendly spectres
when with fear embraced
and mystery in quest
an atom shows a whirling universe,
a waterdrop a seething sea and voyages begin within the heart
and end in glorious tumult,
winding down the curtain of a life
to thunderous applause.

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