April 24-30, 2000: Jeannine Shackleton and Verian Thomas

week of April 24-30, 2000

Jeannine Shackleton and Verian Thomas

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Jeannine Shackleton

Bio (auto)

Transplanted from the deserts of New Mexico to Warrenton, Virginia, I am a reclusive artist, poet and web surfer My past consists of a BFA, advanced study
with the director the Munich Ballet, and an advertising directorship of a chain of Northern Virginia newspaper publications until 1994 My poems have appeared in literary anthologies, publications and e-zines such as The Melic Review, Wellspring, Suite 101, Conspire, Savoy and the upcoming issue of Pudding Magazine I am also a featured writer on Kookamonga Square All my artwork is simple self-indulgence and abstract exposure shown in private and Internet viewing on my personal web site “the birdbath

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


When I was a virgin in a sundress
on a pew with a bible and a rosary,
I believed that babies began
somewhere on the far side of Venus,
and whenever one was cradled,
drooling at my face and
making me blink, I presumed
it was the tips of short stars
above mouths and closed eyes,
as if every baby were a
a constellation of cries
only to rotate in the lull
of breasts and arms
Today I walk late into the church,
parading over the still grass,
dragging my toes, stand up
to face the congregation,
to watch the babies that
are still coming in, cheeks
brushing at my hair, the fresh
and soiled, all fingering into many
curling palpitations The nearer
I stand the faster they seem to reach,
this one pressing in so quickly
it almost jumps like a grasshopper
something I never saw as a virgin
a baby so perfectly moving
I could fly out and grab it from the sky,
then carry it home and stuff it in my drawer
or place it on the dashboard
of my father’s white Chevrolet,
or I could just throw it up
and let it escape earth’s gravity,
one of many that hurl themselves at us
morning and evening, inside
a black hole or a light snow
another heart beat,
another fixation, another suck or surge
the maternal, you would say
visiting us without regard,
slipping off my sundress.

Verian Thomas


Bio (auto)

I was born in 1967 in the small Welsh town of Aberdare Back then my first language was Welsh, it’s a beautiful, emotive language that is wonderful to speak and listen to Unfortunately, I left Wales at the age of nine and moved to Oxfordshire, England With nobody to converse with for the last twenty something years I have lost most of the language but have slowly begun to re-learn it
At the age of sixteen I moved again, this time to Warwickshire, England I used to be a songwriter but gave this up having discovered that most song lyrics are complete rubbish and everybody seemed to be only interested in doing cover versions I still love music though I turned to poetry which I find much more satisfying, both to read and write I have written a book which is in the process of going through a second draft and being edited It may never see the light of day, but the feeling of accomplishment makes it worthwhile
Recently I decided to attempt to unleash my ramblings on the world and have been fortunate to have been published at a number of web based publications In fact I was so pleased that I have set up a new e-zine called Comrades at which is accepting submissions now

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


She checked my meta tags
To search me
To know me
She didn’t like what she found
And packed her bags

So I changed them
Registered once more
And found another her.


I have a mineral water bottle
It’s kept in the fridge
Every time it gets empty
I fill it from the tap
Then put it back
When we have guests
I get it out again
They drink it unknowingly
None of them ever
seems to notice.


Trouble with words?
You’re not alone
There are more of us out there
More like you
Who never really know
If they’ve splet it right.


.“Are you a Winter person
Or Summer”, she asked,
.“I like them both.”
.“But you must be
one or the other.”
.“Why must I?”
.“Because everybody is.”
.She must have asked them all .“I’m an Autumn person.”

Big Knickers

For three days a month
She wears her big knickers
Away goes the arse cutting string
A blessed relief.