February 21-27, 2000: Randall Forsyth and Dee Cohen

week of February 21-27, 2000

Randall Forsyth and Dee Cohen

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Randall Forsyth

Bio (auto)

Randall Forsyth lives and works in Downtown L.A He teaches at FIDM

The following work is Copyright © 2000, and owned by Randall Forsyth and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Dr Caliper

.In a cast, I hobble to the Doctor’s office It’s my left leg–broken I wait in the reception area They usher me into a room I sit on the examination table The Doctor enters, begins to remove the cast The saw whines and buzzes He starts from the thigh,  works down to the ankle The final section cut, he breaks the cast off My leg is stiff, gold He immediately suggests melting it down to make doubloons I disagree A Nurse enters, sees my file, recommends a seance She adjusts the lights, sits down,  chants, quietly My leg talks to us in a mixture of Tagalog and English The Nurse translates My leg says, in short, that it is more important to be rich than mobile and, in a whispering voice, the good Doctor adds that wealth always coexists with significant loss.

At the Depot

Really, only a
single truck is
unloading We
are the help
through mirrors The shipments,
replica upon
replica, and
the workers,
cashless clones

May 22, 1999

So, I’m skateboard
riding on a cruise
ship, smelling lemon
scent from the
captain’s quarters, and
a Chinese national
stops me with an
L.A.P.D badge, asks
me if I know
anything about a
missing barrel of
whiskey I say “No,”
and I add, “I’m just
a sightseer from
Missouri ” Suddenly,
my shirt inflates
like a balloon and
the National Anthem
is only half way
through I point at a
lecture him about the
philosophy of innocence
being unreadable,
unwritable He agrees,
admits that he lies
and cheats I ask him
where he got the
badge He says
“Goodwill,” jumps
overboard Strictly
routine for me:
Agent 5, reporting.

.For Marjan

.In a white t-shirt, you turn your back I pin a partial drawing of a giraffe upon it I try to complete it You turn around towards me, again, too soon So, a savanna takes shape on your forehead I’m rendering antelope and you seem worried You forbid elephants I am done and you turn your back I reassess the giraffe as if he were me He needs work and a skilled hand You reach around and, without looking, complete him.

Dee Cohen

Bio (auto)

I am from New York but have lived in Southern Ca for 25 years,  now in Lake Forest I have been published in RipRap 20 & 21(Cal State Long Beach), California Quarterly, 51%, Faultline (UC Irvine),  Blue Satellite Poems are currently in MonkeyFlower and RedRiver Review on line I wil soon be published in Spillway I’m a director of a YMCA childcare site I, too, am Jewish Wow

The following work is Copyright © 2000, and owned by Dee Cohen and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

First Family

Against a white wooden garage door
we posed for a picture Me in a sweatshirt dragged over
a terrycloth dress,
bare feet, toes curled
away from the sharp weeds,
hair still wet, anchored
with two big bobby pins Him in a flannel shirt, wire frame glasses, 
what he called his ‘writer’s sweater’,
his arm around my shoulder
like I was very old
or he was following a list
of sad and complicated instructions The baby in my arms,
eyes squeezed shut,
about to cry,
one hand grabbing at the air Across our faces
the drainpipe
leaves a gray striped shadow.

Grand Prix

Here, he said,
This is where the Grand Prix will be Sandbags squatted along the streets,
Half built bleachers climbed
into the domed night sky In the headlights
of the big station wagon,
orange cones led the way
We drove the course,
slowly, like officials,
The tires mushy and dull-witted,
the streetlamps waving us on I opened the glove compartment,
coins and maps
and all the accessories of escape
glared at me
We picked up speed With each lap I got younger,
the years backing out, embarrassed,
as if they had walked into the wrong room,
until tiny and tired
I curled up on the seat
While he drove, humming, smiling,
reaching over to lock me in.

At a Loss

At a loss for you
I go through the day,
folding laundry into
the coffin of a drawer,
smacking at cobwebs
with a damp cloth
and dusting shelves
where an army of books
stands united
spine by spine
against me
Avoiding the sad
shut bedroom door.

Cypress Swap Meet

Two black boots
leaning drunk against each other
like they just got home from a party Tough little boots, ankle high,
with zippers up the inside
and squared off toes These were the boots I craved in high school,
teased hair boots, white eyeliner boots,
hanging out a car window
at the Hempstead Drive In,
tapping the floor in the last stall
of the bowling alley bathroom I leaned on your shoulder, pulling them on
and our eyes met from my new height,
your hands holding my waist
like we were dancing.


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