March 31-April 6, 1997: Charles Ellikand Shawn Donavan Truesdell

Week of Mar 31-Apr 6

Charles Ellik and Shawn Donavan Truesdell

Charles Ellik


Heh Bio’s can be so boring, mm? I graduated from Cal State Long Beach last year BA in Studio Art Been published lots–Notables include NEXT .magazine, where I was an editor for two years; Pearl, a fine mag outta Loooong Beach; and Cupid, a new mag dedicated to “Amoratory expression ” Most people know my work from performances at venues nation-wide, best known for directing/hosting the Living Planet/Poetry On Wednesdays series in Long Beach A recent move to the SF Bay Area has given a needed change of scenery and perspective I might even finish a real book! For the time being, I am a corporate lackey at the Pacific Stock Exchange

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

Great Spirit, Great Spirit
my Grandfather
all over the earth
the faces of living things
are all alike .

–Black Elk 1863-1950

Belmont Shores, 1AM

Cool sands caress
inky harbor waters Marked by footprints
and jagged bottles
left by daytime crowds Tomorrow morning
civic tractor drivers
will sweep these sands
but this clear night
the only residents
are Styrofoam coffee cups
and locked lifeguard towers From high-tide driftwood
a smooth slope leads
to shiny low tide flats Happy toes wiggle deep
in buttery smooth silt
gleaming in moonlight Pale hands carve a moat
and raise protective walls
away from blazing sunlight
cameras of tourists
and their jealous children The moon ambles over
for a better look
while slim towers rise
proud as a boy’s crown This work well done
brings a private smile
even spy satellites
cannot see Tides change The East is restless Yet for a breath
this kingdom stands
with a unique view
over mounting waves
as tract houses.

The Sell

-This is your car!
He rattled the garage lock
and rusty hinges groaned Resting in semi-darkness
under thick chalky dust
was an old Mercedes
gleaming as tantalizing
as a fond memory
Kept my Poker face The old man
was enjoying himself:
-A man needs a horse
to survive in California’s
wide western expanses Your bicycle is just
a mechanical horse Only a fool rides a horse
on the streets of LA Didn’t want to commit:
-My bike works fine -You’ve been indoctrinated
by do-good tree-huggers, kid He began the run-down:
-This is a 1973 280 Coupe only 7,000 produced
and better than sedans Walked around it Odd under inflated tires
added to it’s mystique
like some magic carpet
rolled up leaning in a corner He continued smiling:
-Powered by a straight-six
with dual overhead cams
and a block based on
an old 1930’s Chevy Design Virtually indestructible It’s pre-catalytic converter
with no emission devices
to slow you down Only stupid piece
is the dual barrel carb Germans were suckered He smiled He once owned a dealership -What about leaks?
A thin line of fluid
oozed beneath it
-Hasn’t been run lately Those leaks will re-seal
once gaskets get moist Kept my eagerness
hidden in a hip pocket -This car projects sophistication He stroked his white beard -Imagine yourself driving
up to a poetry reading
other poets going insane
trying to figure out
how you afford it -Maybe I will, too -Don’t be so sure
He told me -Autos take cleverness When was the last time
a woman was impressed
by your bicycle?
Didn’t answer him -Imagine women reacting
to you strapped in this!
I smiled -Sold!
-No! He chuckled Bought!
You’ve agreed to own
a magnificent partner For a young man
new cars are love affairs
shapeing values, beliefs
and how others think of you -Really? I asked -Congratulations!
You’ve just joined
the 20th Century!

Physics Lesson

Near 7th and Redondo
Between a liquor store
and a travel agency
two picture windows
displayed trolls, fairies
and wilted house plants A faded sign read
Mexican food at midnight
but that ended
when Rick died I pounded on the screen -Are they closed?
My friend asked -Nah she won’t let anyone in
until a couple of locals show Wait She’ll recognize me The proprietor shuffled out
jangling a mass of keys My buddy choked
when he saw her B-52
and cat’s eye glasses -Whatta ya want?
She rasped -Shoot some pool
I told her -Ya got any money?
I held up some bills -Does he have ID?
My buddy was quick:
-No, Dammit It was stolen
back in Denver -From Wyoming I knodded his way She looked at me, him,
them me again -Well, OK But he doesn’t drink
We took my usual
table in the corner Patsy Cline’s ghost
crooned Crazy
on the stained jukebox I let him break
and watched his game:
He was more practiced
too confident
and lost by scratching He broke again
and asked me:
-Do you love my sister?
-Yeah I told him -Enough to marry her?
I leaned on my stick -Enough to know
she’s not ready He nodded -Don’t ever hurt her I looked at him
then at the felt -I won’t But I can’t stop her
from hurting herself He nodded again I had two clear shots:
what appeared to be
an easy hole
across the table,
or a tougher bank
near my own corner -Which one?
-Take the close one Not the shot I’d pick
but it was a friendly game He looked at me straight:
-It’s the difference between
moving that small object
right in front of you
or moving the whole table Tap-click–clunk

After The Busses Stopped Running
(previously published in Cupid; San Francisco, CA )

My lips rest against
her supple back A window shade rises
like a bride’s veil
This is a silent film
without subtitles
A tongue of light
draws a diagonal
down one plaster wall It touches the floor
like a young boy’s
first French kiss
There is nothing
in this spotlight
Amy moans softly
slides from my sweat Strands of black hair
coil serpentine behind They are hypnotists
entangling my ears
We ignore the clock
and it ignores us
Fevered cats fighting
fence-top battles outside
and jasmine blooms luring
nocturnal pollination
are omens ripe for reading
But this summer night
is too hot for thinking
Through an open window
a stealthy silver moon
creeps across the room
and kisses us asleep


Divine the future
from portentous events:
An automobile backfiring A bum hollering
in some back alley An ambulance wailing requiem
for another unmet loved one Tally up luck
from unlikely sights:
A set of signals
all lit up green A crumpled twenty
floating in the gutter the odometer turning
another set of solid zero’s Cast wishes on
chance witnesses:
Ocean boulevard blinks
its street lamps awake the precise moment
dividing day and night Fog-piercing amber bulbs
for a harbor city’s
hazy jumbled streets Ask now:
Only chance No comets penetrate
industry’s toxic smog The bleary moon is
red-rimmed unblinking
alone in heaven Don’t aim so high Make a wish
on the busy streets
chart your future
by them They
are within reach The sky
remains indifferent Stars
fulfill wishes
for someone else

Cleaning Up

Empty theater Vacant chairs Long shadows The Alone
left to chew
on compliments
a few thin bills Satisfaction
must be pulled
>from thin air
-much more difficult
than rabbits Smiles afterward
are a victory toast
best shared among friends
but all too often
savored solo Pack equipment Fold chairs Shake out a coat Slip on an old hat Endless supplies
of surprises
is tedious labor
-audiences won’t wait
even for the best Point headlights home Plan another miracle Tomorrow started
three hours ago

Shawn Donavan Truesdell


My name is Shawn Donavan Truesdell I was born in the US on November 6 1978 I now reside in Jakarta Indonesia and have for the past 6 years I attend Gandhi Memorial International School where I am in my final year I am the leader of the student body, student police force, student ambassador, Leader of the school band and president of the Literature and Dramatics club I am a very busy person, but not a good little boy like my positions make me out to be I have written over thirty poems and I can’t believe I wrote most of them because in my opinion they “SUCK”.

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

The Dream

A gray haze falls, then turns to black as I drift away to sleep;
Away I’m swept to a world of dreams as dark as one could know Strange things they happen in my dreams, for reasons still unknown;
Things that within our waking hours would scare us all to death Black wraiths appear within my mind to torture and to threat;
They set upon me, beat and scald me until I’m on deaths door Then away they take me to the ancient shores of the river Styx
Souls they wail as they tell their tale of all their suffering and great pain;
As I await for the great Charon to take me across the boundless Styx Once in Hyades, the land of death, no longer mortal will I be;
My mortal mind, my mortal body must submit unto my soul
Set we sail across the Styx with great Charon at the helm;
As tortured souls wail and moan and tell of their misfortune As we glide across the waters black, I think about my life;
The things I’ve done, the things I’ve missed and the things I’ve just never done I sit and wonder then I ponder what brought on this death What in life did I do so wrong that I deserve this horrible fate?
Then I see, my heart it breaks as I realize my faults
Darkness engulfs me and sorrow it hurts me as it rips away at my heart;
My soul, it falters as my spirit crumbles and I know I am nearing my mortal death My life it is gone, my faults they live on and I will suffer for them down in this land;
I know now, more certain, this is life’s final curtain, my judgment is now at hand
On the bank I see my fate shrouded in the mist;
The Lord of Death, the King of Hyades, Great Pluto on his throne So frightful he looks in his robes made of black, he beckons me to come;
I lower my head and close my eyes and fight down my fear as I go His eyes they study me carefully, hard as stone they are;
Then he grins a wicked grin and rasps a horrible laugh “Your time has come my little one, your soul is mine to take;
“Come to me, surrender your soul to the torture that awaits “

Great pain I can feel, a burning deep inside, as my soul is ripped from its mortal cage;
My body I feel, for the last time I’m sure, as it slowly and painfully rots away My soul it is free from the mortality to which for so long its been bound But still not free to roam where it will;
It is committed from now until forever to suffer this eternal hell
Then I awake as the haze slips slowly from the darkness deep in my mind;
To the land of death I had been, all to real it had seemed, the image still engraved in my mind A dream it was .I think it was .or was it fates prediction?

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