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III

Defining Borders



_________________________



Oswald LeWinter
( Lisbon, Portugal )
Coming Out

How shall I emerge?
For a chrysalis, too fat,
gay doesn’t suit the look,
below my eyes, a classic 
mask of tragedy. I am 
no beast but neither
am I elf nor fairy. Fond
as Rabelais of mischief,
the seismic rage of Caliban,
disguised as servility,
bursts the mind's dam 
quicker, floods my veins
with bile. Is it envy 
that congeals my blood?
Like Narcissus, I am
caught in the shimmer
of my reflection, held
therein by curiosity,
lacking substance, all
liquid, and dissolving
when I stir my self.





M K Ajay
( India )
Aesthetics in Sense

The beauty of this art, he opined, is that you can
turn just about anything – moments, moods, shadows,

waiting, why? even time’s recklessness- into poems.
When he had grown old, leaves of trees he had seen

in childhood summer, red inertia of hibiscus flowers
he saw near the pond, the green ripples on the pond itself,

scars on the palm tree he anguished with his cousin
during vacations and smile on his daughter’s face, 

had all turned into words. His world had emptied out
to become a ghost town of images he struggled to imprison.





M J Tenerelli, Two Poems
( Long Island, New York )
Introducing Mama

She is the next subject.

I know it in my bones

And in the hunch

Of my shoulders.

I will tell the story

Of  the curtain rod,

The screaming,

And the agreeing

To be nobody of note,

Because survival

Is instinctive.

This is the beginning.

My hands shake

Even at this.

I can’t tell anymore right now,

And still

There will be more.

I will magnify,

And memorialize,

And we will finally

Both get

Everything we deserve.

 

 
Destiny Is Not The Root of Destination

We are not inevitable.

One hot insanity

Hooked to another

Does not feel

Like fate

Anymore,

Though your cobalt poetry

Puts a pulse between my legs

And your story

Breaks my heart.

Night clutching night

Is an ecstasy I’ve known

And paid for.

When I lie down again

Sweet darkness

It will be

For the heat

Of  the sun.






Sylvia in the River,
Trade River, Wisconsin

by Doug Beasley
( St. Paul, Minnesota )




Kris Raido, Two Poems
( Washington )
Hecatomb

You have the face and the body of a man.

That is all. You have no halo, no unearthly light,
no black wings to open wide (as you have suggested
you would like), no hidden flight or radiance,
just two arms, two legs, a trunk, a cranium—

why should I fear you like I do? But this fear
is the religious ecstasy of terror, trembling
in every limb in the face of a god, to kneel
before a treasured shrine, to sacrifice—

I would burn you a hecatomb, the black bulls
roaring and snorting, the grain sprinkled
on their heads, the hot jet of fresh blood, and after,
the feast, and we would grow drunk

on watered wine and sound of laughter—the scent
of roasting flesh and good companionship—you hold
me tethered by my sex, my clutching heart
that wants to beat but only in your fist,

this leash of tongue, this lash of kiss.

 

 
Leda Lovely

Leda, lovely, let the evening settle
heavily upon your skin; there is a god
who has been waiting for the twilight
of your youth, that little epoch
where you begin to decline, the prime
followed so quickly by the slide—
you will not recognize it yet, not now
and not for years, perhaps,
but memory will leave its taste
like the shocking kisses of a swan,
all white-gold feathers, diamond eyes,
and you will be glad some day
to have the border so easily defined.





Jnana Hodson
( Dover, New Hampshire )
Snow Squalls and More

           magnolia blossoms
              and corn flakes
feathery as kittens
fiddleheads uncoil

three weeks after
tenacious snowfall

flood watch

three magnolia trees in a row
blooming at the Bay Bank in Newton

other tree limbs already bright yellow-green clusters
about to unfurl
forsythia yellow

the rampant flood of spring unleashes
phlox.  violet.  dandelion.

we begin





P J Nights, Three Poems
( Maine )
Living Under Road Runner Rules

For you, Eternalii Famishus
with an Acme credit card, there’s no thought 
of a twelve-step program; 
your next attempt to snare the bird 
will surely succeed 

        — one in the hand is worth ever more
                  than one on the road —

but when you live on the sweating brow of Earth,
undiluted rays turn mirages to brass tacks
and cactii. Gravity becomes your enemy.
Acme anvils make a liar of Galilei as they curb 
their rush to the ground until you fall past 
then ker-BLOINK on the top of your head. 

You should learn, my flat-craniumed friend, that

    A. you never fall until you notice your error.
    B. painted doors on rock walls work only 
       for the elusive Acceleratii Incredibilus.
    C. Acme holes work only on you. 
    D. Beep beeps always signal a backfire.

Perfect silhouettes through billboards, 
head-holes in mesa overhangs, charred bits 
and pieces of Rube Goldbergs ditched 
for still fancier plans — you’ve left 

your mark, Wile E, with a fanaticism 
we should run from in recognition, 
yet still we applaud 

your dawg-dang-it-all, 
gutsy persistence.

 
 

 
Obliviousness (consumption)


but you'd never know, would you,
that the house was no longer yours
though the spores creep up the stairs
to bloom into fungus 

and ladybugs crowd into corners
to call the cockroaches in





her personal chauffeur


from the feedback of fires
comes imitations
     of gathering seas — they do
know her, combine her suns with smiles,
     chestnuts with beasts-of-the-
               night

but what comes of these dandelion wines,
books in mason blocks (his laid gently, 
               hers with bent corners)
and that one,

                    lone


         orchid?


a noncommittal pebble, a rotting loneliness,
draws rambling hands inside; cinema 
     —	the last shade (of her) —
rains down in apple blossom white
     ‘til her love lays bare 
                          the auction



I - Simple Equations
II - Sleep Screen With Lavish Proportions
IV - Bodies in the Rain

Featured Poet - Rebecca Loudon

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Current Issue - Summer 2004
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