April 3-9, 2000: Neca Stoller and Michel Cicero

week of April 3-9, 2000

Neca Stoller and Michel Cicero

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Neca Stoller
neca@mindspring.com

http://members.xoom.com/Neca.1/
http://members.tripod.com/neca/index.html

Bio (auto)

Neca Stoller was born and raised in Georgia Her first book, “Bound by Red
Clay
“, was published in 1999 by DeeMar Communications It has been nominated
for Ben Franklin Publisher Award, Kate Tufts Discovery Award and Ga Author
of the Year Award Her poem “The Gopher Tortoise” was nominated for Pushcart
Prize Neca’s second volume, “Peidmont Stubble”, will be available in
June, 2000, by Street Saint Publications Additionally, the workbooks,”How
to Write Haiku” and “How to Write Cinquain,” are being released March 15,
2000, StreetStaint Publishers Books available at Amazon.

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

The Last May Pole

That last May Day something broke
with a slight, definite sound
like ice settling under hot sugared tea I was in the seventh grade
neither skinny nor fat
but self-conscious with my new breasts
Mother nudged, and my flat-chested friends
entered us into the dance contest Meek as worn-out water under foot,
my tap shoes danced blue and flat
trailing through the studio
in whispers willful and evolving
Courage sticking at each turn, I weaved
crepe ribbons about a painted pole When my friends trooped on the stage,
I stayed in the bleachers
watching others dance in unison,
glad that I wasn’t among them
Behind, my mother was calling;
ahead, just the vast expanse of me That surface touched, I won’t go back Even an ebb tide finally turns That year I quit dancing lessons.


Ryan

2 a m and he is breaking
in my thoughts like a soundtrack
breaches a quieted theater He was first at everything:
the dry wafer of communion
marriage and adultery,
scotch, then secluded vodka While on television men his age
host talk shows, he invades my sleep What else can a man do
imprisoned in the ground?

I sent flowers to the funeral,
my card and a wreath of something It’s true, we always stood
on opposite ends of a row,
but there was that one evening
at a pompous cousin’s wedding
we drank Manhattans, and he revealed,
“Did you know they are tearing down
the Rialto on Broughton Street?”
Blinking in the balcony, we’d slip
through the crack of self-forgetfulness Soon I will have no one left
with whom to compare myself.


The Coloring Book

Over the flower cross
the cloud of incense spreads

expanding in many stages
like sperm in a woman
How intent you were hunched
over the page with crayons!

Such lovely flowers, I said,
turning you in the sun

to open like a kaleidoscope Wrapped in thought, I close

the coloring book Bent
in the shape of a cross

it is large enough
for the casket.


Mambo

I seen all them bottles broken Eula tapped into this earth
glass like bits of rainbow,
edged the walk with colored glints Her man, Hubert, never did no paintin’
still don’t, ‘cept a ring of blue
round the door and windows They house was skinned, alright,
scraped as the backside of a coffin Missin’ another try for Hubert,
Death reeled in Eula, by mistake Out that window her spirit flew
roamin’ scared over Canoochee Swamp Lost, she chanced to see the bottle-path
glitterin’ under the moon like an airport runway,
gave her an easy glide through the bare door
In they parlor, her body be laid out
dressed in her purple Sunday shift,
while in they bed Hubert be laid out
with the neighbor woman Already stewed ’bout being dead, Eula
churns they house with chillin’ air,
bouncin’ plates and spookin’ that bed clear Leaves Hubert in the shambles,
his same sorry self
But I be Mambo I still gots to cast the bones,
call the spell, stirred the paint blue,
voodoo blue,
to keep that haint away.


Michel Cicero
theciceros@earthlink.net
http://michel-cicero.tripod.com

Bio (auto)

Rumor has it that my biological parents were, among other things, art lovers Whether their love of life’s finer pleasures included literature,I may never know.The nice Jewish couple who took on the challenge of raising me were most definitely voracious readers 3-4 books per week were required to satiate their collective appetite for the written word We had a small library of mostly genre fiction with a few self-help books thrown in for good measure (most memorably “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sex,But Were Afraid To Ask”, which in my prepubescant fervor, I spent  many steamy nights reading by flashlight, under my covers and the auspices of sex “education”)
When I wasn’t busy with tidbits like foreplay and intercourse, I filled up on Judy Blume and the Nancy Drew mysteries It wasn’t long before I was feasting on Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis, Herman Wouk, Hunter S Thompson, Shakespeare and the occasional bestseller
If not for my penchant for prose (and a love affair with alliteration) I would have flunked school entirely Fortunately, scoring “A”’s in most of my English and Literature courses raised my gpa to somewhere around 1.75 Suffice to say I didn’t graduate with honors My low scores weren’t the result of forgotten brain cells (that came later) or a murky gene pool I  had a “bad attitude” I “didn’t apply myself” I had a natural aversion to authority and structure Whatever classes fell in between Shakespeare 101 and English Composition were replaced with cigarettes and  coffee It was culture I was seeking, not education.When sufficiently amped on caffeine and nicotine I would return in time for Journalism and my column in the school paper
My community college education came to a screeching halt when I showed up for my journalism final on L.S.D My career as an upstart gonzo reporter was soon successfully usurped by my apprenticeship in substance abuse
Throughout all the twists and turns (and the occasional run in with an unwelcome boulder) of my winding road, I never stopped writing Whether it was journaling, poetry or  ranting, my fascination with the craft of writing has never waned
A couple of years ago, a mud slinging fest with my husband spawned a short story and a new desire to get my act together and take it on the road I began writing short fiction and poetry as an escape from the doldrums of domestic life Having lost my edge somewhere between my first AA meeting and the birth of my son, my first foray into competition was the County Fair The only thing I had to lose was my appetite There was some good writing to be found there but the smell of funnel cake and horse manure had me seeking greener pastures (not without a collection of blue ribbons and a check for $4.29)
Today I can say, I am 36 years old and I’m a writer I’m also a mother which pays about the same I can even say that I’m published Most days are spent pushing the vacuum cleaner or pushing the pen, (and occasionally pushing my husband over the edge) from my lovely home in Ventura,California, where I peacefully reside (since my escape from L.A 5 years ago) with my spouse, son, and beloved dog, Lucy

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


Dirty Dishes

Fatigue, a heavy blanket
purchased with 5 years
of hollow kisses and
jagged one liners
settles over the woman
before she can swallow
a handful of herbs for
the pain which returns
when her man force feeds
her testosterone and four
letter suitcases full of
his failure while the rain
on the rooftop echoes
the sound of tears on
a sink full of dirty dishes.


Prelude To A Split

Not sudden or slapstick,
like the sound of a seam splitting
when you’re not wearing panties
Not adorned in tie dye
on the run, in the moment You need good shoes for that Birkenstocks,stable Not sexy like scuffed white
pumps, trash appeal
Not when the tongue seeks cool
satisfaction in vanilla mounds, creamy
with chocolate nipples and bananas, sweet
the way we used to
More like deliberate
separation An old pair of Levis
naked underneath, softly exposing
button by button, the truth.


Sunburn

Summer
burns into the consciousness
of the populace
branding any unsuspecting fool
who forgets to wear sunscreen
In L.A  the seasons don’t change,
they slam into each other
like preoccupied drivers
who find themselves
in the momentary shock
of  a fender bender.