January 27-February 2, 1997: Poetry from Alex Papanicolopoulos

Alex Papanicolopoulos

Send us your poetry for POET OF THE WEEK consideration.
Click here for submission guidelines.


I am in love with Sylvia Plath trying to remain interesting studying English and French at UCLA tired of people not thinking hard enough I started writing poetry to impress girls It hasn’t quite worked Currently I’m torn between the immediacy of the “confessional” or “coffee house poem” (as my professor would scoff) and the more formally concerned, stuff that nobody gets nor reads anymore I hope to eventually get to Paris (in the footsteps of Rick) mais je n’ai poit d’argent I hope I hope–
I am enthralled by the piano music of Alexander Scriabin and the spanish guitar etudes of Hector Villa-Lobos I like normal music too. Alex also organized the weekly reading series at UCLA’s Kerckhoff Art Gallery.

The following work is Copyright © 1997 and owned by Alex Papanicolopoulos and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.


Carry-on clamps clang to the rabble
of grumpy shoes beating busily
the brand new blue linoleum tiles
of the lunar-looking terminal Rush rush rush for forty well-
used slashes in the day Dash like a
virus through langorous lines of easy
rubbernecks, swingers, slackers, tick-like families,
tikes and girls girls girls all done
up for L.D ships they think they’ll always
see flashing “Stay, stay ” across the
way while fleeting towards other candles–
dash them all one sludge in the travelling vein
of a bloodshot eye watching Veering towards
a soda fountain, you see her–
and her
and her
but her–
She’s lounging in a half-filled
row of chairs, thumbing through a dictionary The big hand’s stuck between four and five How never she seems, drowned in carrious conversations
that hug her like a donnut, glazed She’s not exactly hot, yet
she burns your stern-
um with queesy wonder
like the erotic dance of soda bubbles Your throat is a dried rock Your eyes sting like
cig smoke Your heart falls off its prelapsarian
bookshelf You rush towards her and stop, standing
stiff as her upward gaze Her lips fumble an
inquisitive “Yes?”
You just stare at the nape of her
breasts like a moron A second couldn’t have passed She looks away Someone sits down beside her, hands her a taco You reply in a look aside
The woman tongues her right then and there You’ve got four minutes
You’ve got a candle belly-dancing “Stay, stay ”
Across the way You’ve got a wrong way to go.

Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter: