September 21-27, 1998: Robert Wynne, Caron Andregg and Robert O’Sullivan Schleith

Week of September 21, 1998-September 27, 1998

This week presenting the winners of the 1998 (first annual) Poetry Super Highway Poetry Contest:

Robert WynneCaron Andregg,
and Robert O’Sullivan Schleith

Robert Wynne


Robert Wynne (Sherman Oaks, California) is a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets reading series is pursuing his MFA at Antioch University He is a former Poetry Super Highway Featured Poet and author of the collections “Driving” (Inevitable Press) and “Patterns of Breathing” (Mille Grazie Press) Robert took first place in this years contest with the following poem:

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

Budagher’s Ark

Halfway to Santa Fe, history rewrites itself Three letters
have fallen off the sign for a market, and what’s left proclaims:
“BUDAGHER’S ARK ” Suddenly Noah wasn’t alone We rush
past the remnant of a lost prophet, thrust into the world
by the weight of language And I wonder, did God speak
to Budagher? Did Budagher know about the weakness
of flesh, about the way water levels mountains?

.A cubit
is the length of the forearm, any forearm, elbow to middle finger Did he know how we deny standards of measurement,
living in different worlds: the breadth of flesh
that contains us, arms measuring distances between us How big was his ark? I could reach out

.and touch
my friend Bob, press my pale flesh to his and remind him
that he is not alone He has drifted off I am focusing on the road Wind has replaced rain The Lord would sweep us
from the surface of the earth without leaving any fingerprints,
but I wield the steering wheel against this judgment, nudge the car
back and forth in the narrow lane The white Civic in front of us
is fighting it too There is a burden to this skin we’re in, a cost
for feeling a mountain under you as you climb, for knowing
fragility, for understanding one another, ourselves Blood quickens and I am so aware of my body
as we come within two feet of a cliff, gusts inviting us
to the valley below The rental car slides sideways
like a Hot Wheel pushed too hard, and I guide it back
with my hands, like I used to on that bright
orange track
.We are driving toward Ararat We won’t get there
in this small vehicle, but we have to keep moving
or be blown off the page, out of this chapter like Budagher was This is the newest Testament We are all prophets There is a rainbow
in the distance, God’s covenant with man always out of reach,
shimmering at arm’s length, any arms-the one distance
we each measure the same.

Caron Andregg


Caron Andregg (La Jolla, California) 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 widely published in print and on the internet She is a two time former Poet of the Week on the PSH and took second place in the contest with the following poem:

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


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.

Robert O‘Sullivan Schleith


Robert O’Sullivan Schleith (San Diego, California) is an active member of the San Diego poetry community and a former Poetry Super Highway Featured Poet Known in San Diego as host of the popular poets/performance at Java Joe’s in Ocean Beach, California, and is editor of Joe’s Journal: Best of the Beach Anthology He took third place in this years contest with the following poem:

The following work is Copyright © 1998, and owned by
Robert O’Sullivan Schleith and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Poem For Leo

And now it is mid-August, the faires
& festivals of fertile summer have all
paraded by, seducing this humidity
from tropical skies, inducing humility
of labor; this poem came into being
accompanied by diamonds & rust
on the car radio, moon in watery
Cancer, a flamenco-like rhythm on
the landscape, storm of cumulus aloft
Born under a restless tawny lion, it is
a child of California, smells faintly of
Tulare apricots, sugar-pine woodsmoke, 
salt on heavy air, & Amador’s sweetest
black Muscat
Science teaches that the act of breathing
is involuntary, but I swear this poem
learned to breathe with the ebb & flow
of the bay tides, the rise & fall of Joan’s
guitar strings; its own voice not unlike
the sorghum-soprano descant that helped
birth it- it takes strange delight in the
you burst on the scene already a legend
verse, remembering the song for David, 
Hwy 101 revisited in e-minor chorus, 
lost & alone in a coast redwood forest, 
listening to this midwife from Woodside, 
San Mateo County

On a day too sultry to wear sleeves, 
much less underwear, this poem covers
its nakedness in summer gold, a fold of
foothills yarrow and swallowtail yellow, 
tree-tobacco’s citron-flute & muted-blue
of roadside chicory to remind itself of
the sky before the monsoons came-

It allows nature to dictate its movements, 
left part of itself behind in the razor-
snapp’d beak of corre-camino: Mexican
roadrunner now choking down dusty
scales & whipsnaking tail; sage-&-rust-
banded lizard escapes & extends its
lifespan one more miraculous day
in the seeding chaparral

This poem insists on remembering
the word sacred precedes datura, 
asks that it be taken at summer’s end
up into the Siskiyou’s and laid down
in scarlet larkspur at Maahcooatche, 
to await autumn’s diamond-bright frost
where the deer come down to drink.

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