Weary With Desire

Two Backs by Cheryl A. Townsend
( Stow, Ohio )


Cheryl Hicks

( Athens, Texas )
Much Like Oppenheimer's Dilemma

my intent is not
to make light      but

isn't this everything?
isn't it ever
this urge to press      my mouth
		       against your

inevitably explosive?

Robert Klein Engler
( Chicago, Illinois / New Orleans, Louisiana )

That student I want asks about fire.
Our age stands between us like a boulder.
He sees my eyes weary with desire.
I see the chip on his shoulder.

Ace Boggess

( Huntington, West Virginia )
Consider Abstract Subjects

Horoscope (Libra: September 7, 1999)
The Moon-Woman by Jackson Pollack

Wearing two-faced mask of night,
sultry fire-skin profile underneath:
she's the great, ambivalent vagina,

speaking in words which become
the stars, confuse reasonable men.
Her breasts form an hourglass

set to someone's blue-green infinity.
At her center, everything: intestines,
candle's flame, parasites, ovaries,

dasein reflections nebulous &
depicting the soul for a thing-that-is,
but isn't. Over her shoulder lurks

the sun's flower, a hungry erection
giving light & taking darkness,
dim romance. She's sulfur,

rock salt, as much gristle as candy.
The rest is menstrual blood, disorder,
abyss & universe, her home.

Danna Jae Botwick

( Las Vegas, Nevada )
Speaking French in the Shower

The hot water wakes my body;
I know my time alone is limited.

Utilisation: Versez une petite quantité de
shampooing parfumé sur une éponge pour le corps.

While dampening my hair and skin,
absentminded, I study the plastic soap bottle.

Faites mousser et rincez.

I studied French in high school and remember
a few words, but my pronunciation skills are fine-honed.

Après usage, rincez l'éponge et laissez-la sécher
à l'air ambiant.

I squirt the soap into my palm and lather
my underarms and sex.

En cas de contact avec les yeux, rincez à l'eau.

After shampoo, I squeeze the conditioner
through the ends of my hair and while it sets,
I turn the bottle over and read more aloud:

Seuls la nature et Yardley peuvent donner à votre
peau ce qu'il y a de mieux.

A neighbor's mower whinnies through my window,
interrupting the flow of water and words.

Le shampooing hydratant pour le corps de Yardley of London
nettoie et hydrate votre peau sous la douche.

“Mom! Mom! What are you singing?”
“Nothing...I'm not singing.”
Pounding on the door.
“Well, what are you talking about then?”
“Never mind, honey, just reading the soap bottle...”

Il renferme des produits naturels qui adoucissent et
protègent votre peau.

I rinse and turn the water off.

au revoir.

Cheryl A. Townsend
( Stow, Ohio )
How I Saw It

Black opaque nylons
running and mending
as he ripped away
on drenched highway
into another storm

Alan Britt
( Reisterstown, Maryland )

The moon travels
through your hand.

Your blood
turns green.

The red-haired
street light's
first appeared
in Gustov Klimpt's
The Kiss.

like starving cheetahs
sniff my bare legs.

Vicki Hudspith, Two Poems
( New York, New York )
Tunnel of Love

Where ferries travel in earnest
People run sweating
Cars and trucks overshoot the red light
A tonnage of brick and glass weights down
The river's edge
Five years ago it was landfill
Approximating human recreation
There is no darkness only light
Spring is unrelenting in its optimism
I will carry full pockets
Like a willing slave to the pyramids
Your love
And see you with mirrors in the angles
Of indirect sunlight
Bounced off corridors into ever smaller pin dots
Camera obscura
Viscera elucida
Lead weight love
The ha ha of adhering images
Tearing pinholes in my heart
A pleasantly disturbing atonal scale
Banished from earth orchestras
But the river knows the symmetry of cycles
The size and proportion of this modern affliction
Egg beaters in the sky monitor the weather
And our daily chant
To be given happiness in a lifetime of sporadic peace
Your voice
Listening to music beyond comprehension
You are beyond my comprehension
And I am so Kleenex

Like Ice in a Glass

Was it your house I called
As rain poured through my eyelids
Drenching resolve
To be a better person
The way you deserved
But resilience is lacquer
And all I could say
Was the usual assortment
I wanted to be different
Full of optimism and hope
Not sticking pins in everything
I was ready like ice in a glass
Heart pounding loudly and flying around
Like too much cologne
Heels tap linoleum
Gas heat clings
Like the handles of the living
I'm hardly a hero. I'm barely alive.
Important to you, but crowded with lies
We want to be different but it's all the same
Too much motion
Too much action for the truth to hide
Virtue tears me in half
The way old lovers do
Who knows maybe I'll
Devour a meadow of clover
Like a lost flock of one
Love's bandit
Intoxication, hook and line
Just spare me more wisdom
And let me dwell in your fragrance
One more time

I - Driving With Strangers
II - Water Bird Practicing On Concrete
III - Double Layers

Featured Poet - Virgil Suárez

Summer 2001 Issue