Oswald LeWinter( Lisbon, Portugal )M K AjayComing OutHow 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.( India )M J Tenerelli, Two PoemsAesthetics in SenseThe 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.
( Long Island, New York )Kris Raido, Two PoemsIntroducing MamaShe 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 DestinationWe 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 )
( Washington )Jnana HodsonHecatombYou 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 LovelyLeda, 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.( Dover, New Hampshire )P J Nights, Three PoemsSnow Squalls and Moremagnolia 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
( Maine )Living Under Road Runner RulesFor 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 inher personal chauffeurfrom 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
Current Issue - Summer 2004