June 26-July 2, 2000: Jennifer Poteet and Don McIver


week of June 26-July 2, 2000

Jennifer Poteet and Don McIver

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Jennifer Poteet

Bio (auto)

Jennifer Poteet, 36, lives in Glen Ridge, New Jersey She works by day in Manhattan in the Cable TV industry When not writing, reading or listening to poetry, you can usually find her scouring flea markets for Mexican religious artifacts and Scandanavian furniture She is also a clothes horse She has had her poetry appear in Thunder Sandwich, Salonika, Stirring and The Astrophysicist’s Tango Partner Speaks.

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

Numbers Game

She handed me her phone number
and a poem Two pieces of paper I unfolded one of the pieces
on the street and read it It had a lyric ring The phone number, not the poem I didn’t read the poem until later, in bed It was about numerology,
which I know zero about
and she had misspelled ‘numerology’
three times
Still, it was nice
to be given a verse
by someone with a pretty smile
on a Wednesday afternoon
as I got off the downtown #9 I tried to call her several times
although she hadn’t written down her name
but the phone was always busy There are patterns, you know,
that push buttons make They play a little melody, too
if you’re lucky enough to get the numbers right.

Desire and Inspiration at 2:40 a.m
I can’t write anything, this cigarette poised
like a fountain-tip, so I
try to get you to feed me
material, almost ask
you to write my
poetry for me, dread
the commute tomorrow, know
work will be another
dog and pony show, wish I could blow up
with hysterical pregnancy
and now it is almost 3 So, unmused,
we go to bed Your hands, cool reams of paper, release
the lines;
I let the words in
all at once:
a detonation.

Sex, Lies, Advertising and Food

What a lovely
this bacon makes Branded West Virginia, it is
actually produced in Pennsylvania
It tastes good
on the tongue of a woman from New Jersey
who fancies herself bred in Boston It sounds good to the ear
Everything is
made palatable, sexy Our lives are eggs
artfully arranged in the skillet,
sprayed with a high gloss We wait to be peppered, then are consumed
And I sit at the kitchen table
warm as toast
sopping up suggestions from the television
not immune
to the hope that I can make my dishes gleam.

Don McIver

Bio (auto)

Publications credits include the following: The Albuquerque Journal, Crosswinds Weekly, The Weekly Alibi, The New Mexico Daily Lobo, The Red Rocks Journal, The Campus Press, Conceptions Southwest, Static Planet, Signature: Writing of the New West, Endless Possibilities, The Duke is Dead, Willow Street, The Tongue’s Literary Supplement, Poet’s Sanctuary, and the on-line magazines: Spokenwar.com, Poetry Life & Times, and Jambands.com
An active member of the ABQ poetry community and has read as a feature at the following locations: Sonny’s Bar & Grille, the El Rey Theater, Golden West Saloon, the Launchpad, R B Winning’s Coffeehouse, the Blue Dragon Coffeehouse, Irysh Mac’s Coffeehouse, High Desert Café, Bandito’s Hideout, Rancho de Corrales, the Poetry Diner at the Poet’s Plaza, the East Mountain Groove, 3sidedhole, the Sun Tran Transit Yard, Albuquerque High School, The Poet’s Diner and the Poet’s Plaza, The Reptilian Lounge at the Riverside Repertory Theater, Babooshka and the Tivoli Brewery in Denver and the Warehouse in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Hosts a monthly features only reading at the Blue Dragon Coffeehouse and has featured 34 different poets and performers An original member of “The Out Caste ” Hosts/produces the weekly Spoken Word Hour on 89.9 KUNM-Albuquerque And teaches a weekly poetry class through SEED Open University

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

Under my bed

While I am at work, rain overwhelms the gutter,
stumbles over the rail and into my window well,
and erupts through my window and onto the floor Late in the evening,
I discover two yellow
sucking up the flood The room smells like a swamp
and little bundles of seperate identities and disparate lives
crawl out from under the bed
As the flood waters wash over my floor and crawl under my bed
all these memories come rushing back Graded essays, worksheets, word searches, and lesson plans
that I pushed under the bed
come back in one big saturated pile Names, handwriting samples, and a failed career come back to me
in a square, sopping mess as I carry it out to the alley like a pizza
A spare pillow, your pillow as I recall,
is sopping and drips water as I drag it outside A pair of your shoes, your backpack, your socks, and your black frilly top
are pushed in the corner and leave a puddle behind After three months of bachelor hood,
I wonder how under my bed became your storage shed?
You won’t even talk to me
yet you left parts of your life shoved under my bed?

We were so careful about taking off shoes in the living room,
yet your shoes made it under the bed next to the essays and lesson plans?
And now, after jokes of sweating feet and leather, I find your shoes
stinking and tapping their way into my dreams
and nightmares
This is not the time to think about teaching,
and I certainly don’t want to think about you.

The Foot and a Half Epiphany

You’ll never believe it I mean, never believe it But I finally figured it out I mean, really figured it out It was sudden, late last night I’m sitting there and it just passed through
and I realized I’m no longer depressed I’m not heartbroken
or still mourning the passing of yet another so-so relationship,
or worrying about the Cerro Grande fire my finances have become,
or agonizing over the fact that I haven’t written in 2 weeks
and the thought of pen to paper has left me kind of empty
or the fact that I have a Bachelor’s degree and still wait tables,
rent a house, use my bike as my only source of transportation,
still hold on to issues from being terrorized by my neighbor Trent,
bullied by Mark Drummond on the bus,
and beaten up by Steve Crowe during middle school I’m not still worked up
over being dumped by Carla Fischer the day of the school dance,
or the inevitable move from Colorado Springs (boyhood heaven)
to Evergreen (teenage hell)
or the subsequent fallout
and failure of all my significant relationships,
or jobs that grew boring after just a few months,
or dreams that never materialized,
or expectations of adulthood that just never measured up No It was none of these things
and as I pondered my sluggishness, chronic fatigue as of late,
and the slow unease in my stomach, it happened I’m not depressed I’m not worried I’m not agonized I’m not still holding on I’m not worked up I’m constipated
and as I stared at the foot and a half epiphany in the bowl, I realized,
I’m happy.


Somewhere in the Rio Grande gorge
the cottonwoods are conspiring with Russian Olives
to pull as much water out of the river before it merges with the Red Those pesky humans are dumping chemicals,
mine tailings,
nitrate laden water
agricultural runoff and top soil in their river They’re gonna put a stop to it The trees are conspiring
to change the flow of the river,
to store it up in new lakes
to have a highway of deer as teamsters
to carry the water down to the cottonwoods
and Russian Olives in small quantities
and bottles and not let anyone else have it
Somewhere in the depths of Elephant Butte,
bass are conspiring with trout They’re tiring of Jet skis,
motor boats,
water skiers,
fishing line,
casual swimmers,
three day weekend barbeques, and drunks The fish are nibbling toes,
dragging innocent children down to the depths,
stuffing and mounting them on water made walls
Somewhere in the Rio Grande bosque,
the cranes are conspiring with ducks They’re turning on dogs, horseback riders, and joggers,
ignoring the grain that BLM rangers leave behind,
posting memos and trail signs,
organizing field trips
and erecting educational walks for viewing:

bird watchers,
and the elderly
Somewhere in El Paso
the Texas and New Mexico bureaucrats and water managers
are conspiring to take more of the Rio water
away from human farmers, pueblo communities, and the desert If the courts can mediate a settlement,
Albuquerque can grow even larger,
El Paso can sprawl even more,
and the natural communities and habitats
that depend on the Rio
can fend for themselves Deeds are written;
titles notarized for water,
a naturally occuring
chemical compound.


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