poetic language                 issue three                 spring 2004


Petra Backonja
Carrie Hunter
Cortney L. Bledsoe
Steven J. Stewart
Donna Kuhn
Jukka-Pekka Kervinen
William Allegrezza
Spencer Selby
John M. Bennett

  Catherine H.
  Thomas Lowe Taylor
  Sheila E. Murphy
  William James Austin
  Jon Cone
  Vernon Frazer
  Lewis LaCook
  Jake Berry



Petra Backonja



I Filled My Pockets with Gingerbread and Apples


to beneath starlight polarized, and an excellent sermon on the space between concentric spheres.  Is not this to connect a thought with its antipodes?

I supposed him to be the Pole Star sermonizing on humility.  Are we not good fellow creatures?  I was not so devout as he assumed.  That mine is a tragical view of the Universe he set out on purpose to teach me.

Understood.   In any case, the result was gallant.  In the light of his mazes and muttering, but for my hum-strum wickedness I should think excellently well on my own.

My present life is, well . . . light does fall but it falls very little on me.  This Sunday morning originated in Sun, in law and caprice that extend into space near a further star—what intercepts the light then, and preserves a mediocrity?  How could such estimation though it is chimerical, bear to sit even one moment alone?

The odd nebula jolts the revised machine, renders the hurdy-gurdy religious.   Yes, renders even it, refuse of celestial mechanics.




Carrie Hunter



The Rower

Oars coming out of cabinets
and me in pigtails
searching for something
in green and maybe I am Holly
Hobby, and the rowing oars, such currents
inside of cabinets—where are you, rower,
coming from?

The insides of walls contain such secrets.

What is hidden that wants to come
out?  What is hidden that wants
so badly, to row . . . and who, and sliver, and shiver,
insatiable ceilings—more and more,
and dipthongs and seaweed.  I know
where I am going but I don't know
where I've come from.

One day I simply realized that I existed.

Oars coming out of the core
fighting against the current
to be born, to be here, to be . . .

olive oil and judah juice—I don't complain,
with such self-sustaining seafare,
crouching blankets and dolly graves,
we see fair and far but only here, not
what is beyond, in the other sphere.




Cortney L. Bledsoe



The Pig's Soliloquy


Darkness, which is to say the pathetic fallacy
that if there were such a thing as Time, He

would have nothing better to do with his nights
then piss out horrors on our little lives; is falling.  And with it

the sort of cold that makes your knees ache like you've bowed
in prayer for hours.  My father is dying, my father

is dying.  Soon I will face the ultimate dilemma; is there
money in the will, and if so, how much guilt

do I allow myself to wallow in
before spending it.  I have an overwhelming desire to play catch.



The fist, the tiny fingers of the little man who lives in my throat, holds
my throat, are closing, his hands close around my windpipe from the inside.  His name

is Terror, his name is Orphan.  Someone
means me harm, you can't deny that.  They've put arsenic in the water and small pox

in the hospitals.  I have the blood of hunters.  I used to kill; my ancestors, my father,
used to kill, to be feared, but he's forgotten

even how to live.  Loss is a four letter word
that lacks the dignity to properly arrange the lips.  This

is a definition of strength.  Allow me
to explain: shit folds the mouth into a sneer, fuck brings the teeth down to touch

the lower lip, then spits itself out, it is the Platonic ideal of the curse, it forms itself perfectly.
Hell opens the mouth to allow air to hiss out,

like a bike tire deflating in the sun.  Notice
that I can only say the short ones.  Nothing is allowed us.



We bless them with the offerings of our days,
they give us in trade things that break on purpose

so we'll buy more, things we don't remember
that we don't need.  But they don't remember us when we bleed.

We lack the grace of birds, or we'd shit on their cars.  Dignity

is what we're letting them take from us,
inch by inch, grain of sand by grain of sand.  Dignity

and the ability to spell our names.




Steven J. Stewart




My Eternal Soul


Mohammed carries the box
compresses the emptiness inside
the Buddha is always green

when even the ice disappears
it’s crushed-ice symmetry
Mohammed carries the box

little boy, little box
when we’re all crying dry ice
the Buddha is always green

dew-dropped sunflowers
dipped in sugary caramel
Mohammed carries the box

licked on popsicle sticks
at the center of grass and soil
the Buddha is always green

I want to set fire
to my eternal soul
Mohammed carries the box
the Buddha is always green




Donna Kuhn



going round


turned of moon, wave by moving
i dreamt the other blow up doll
was made of tempura

we're adults now, its a job
the refrigerator hums like
a dying computer

unfamiliar birds are soaring over foothills
the walls and closets stripped of her

i dreamt u were a car
yr giving me pop and pup
64 professional babies

what is laundry, body vegetables
he leaps in with his punk pencil
i shiver in a crowd

u dream in the fog to dream in the fog
to give me hurricanes
watch yrself sing

make sounds in the mirror
circulation beneath my knee cap
glue rock sculptures

paint inside the circle like this
the theme is dark roses
austria, poland, hungary or russia

u cant deny
what u been to
with all that dark chaos going round





Jukka-Pekka Kervinen



)( whip

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s topic


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f+s a-[   ifact w   it( (ri   (=+[ +#   r:a+m w   ra(+ing    +a:e=t   = h+ppe   
ns hosp   )=al dr   ip pr:,   e ]en+s    pu[ +:   fty pai   nted as    ma=a)e   
r: leaf    fam-)y    :]ctor    c(r+-a   ) ]ish#   ps pal+   :tes or    o(+(l,   
p +s ++   i)ion d   ri:- s:   an:-ng    ma)u)ls    o( jun   c(io) u   ni(ue i   
-v:st+[    for o+   igi]al    of :(fi   :ity )r    )a=l=n    +l(yba   ck d(-]   
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s aven)   e :nder   wa( -=r    vani]+    waxi(g    ]n[g s   afer fo   r +ame#   
 spa:ed    & =o:a   ]e- -(:   piest b   :+ass+d    in app   rai+- p   itf#+=-   
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ged :ff   ecte- -   a#,=d h   e)d+c(e    +(th +   yp+-al    +a=k:ns    p=-s-n   
g ,ema[   s topic    of whi   p := s[   eake, n   :l: ,:[   o m=nif   +st )(a   
c[i:: n   ap fo-    g)+ff(t   + :al)i   f) i= b   +=kups    di=+a+-    escapa   
de p)ck   e) wra(   : :s-ap   -)g sn+   pper pi   ng tenu   red s:r   un, =un   
)i#g =a   +dlin+    teen=)e    a](+ic   t- #a++   e+ ]an=   ac( ]us   +cals o   
= appro   )ch pa)   i))t )a   [-ort p   i:fall    strip i   mpa[r[d    o- num   
e:+u] s   ,nn#-r    nickel-    mel+i:   g ]a:io   +(- a:f   a:r fac   (ory r+   
ach#: c   +(v][=    ap:a))n   ] p:ve    a(p)au=   e =)=#p   )ng :i,   p+d ope   
n=d u)=   s)al )o   ung u)i   t, twin   s ina+t   =:[ aff   a=] f-r    +ans -   
] :istr   act ca:   +ot =ap   tains (    pre(ar   e+ ,ppl   +ing s)   ee:ing    
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g & :ki   ppi-g d   isp++y-    peanut    



ptic -o


c)un:s    ni:h: w   aving s   :a-+ af   fl-ct o   r +act    im-ac=    =apit--   
 +wap-=   d & c+m   pa]y t:   p )t=pp   ing =li   p=er c=   #p-+s t   (nu+#d    
pruning    [f nic   kel :q+   a)ing t   erm-,a+    f-r =r   affiti    ]ad ret   
r-=- =e   +ame +p   p:ies p   ass+d g   :-s pig   eons dr   ip +pur   =ou: :n   
 nu]lea   r wi:-    ro]nded    di#-n-   sh pus:   (:- in    +astier    (=+aid   
 art)f-   ct mani   ac- --n   ce+ zap   p=d :ar   tial ad   apts )u   =[=)) s   
t:ppl:    +e: te=   ured :    stun ]n   it & y:   l-i:g i   n#(r:al    i+ tr)   
,f)c f=   mes +ac   ka:e c=   ble c(p   itol+ :   ann)d t   ra, p:p   e ni- p   
itc(=s    alum,nu   + sou-)   #+( of    u:iq+#    =)nd(ng    donate   d & baf   
f(e f+c   to)[- +   rackpot    ca:)v,   n )a:p+   d =e=p:   )r r+pi   (:y of    
=upite,    :lippi   ng of t   yp, or    nu:,ce    u:arc,n   g #n f:   nish=:    
:n[)ir:   d s+ag    a-:lict    f+irne   ss p=(y   b:ck ca   ne[ [a(   :r wi=h   
 e#+and   s + c(p   tur(: p   =ge--:    -llipse   : pr(ve   rb b],+   s un+id   
e+ +ani   c l)ndi   ng with    ,ena+e    af+or:   s f+ncy    ret]ac   t & -ap   
it(: ca   p+):l )   acker )   [pm pie   rc+d [l   ipp+ng    =pi)=t    =ull=d    
pro]oun    nineti   e+ c+ar   gi=g pa   ,)n(()    baf(l)-    in(of+   ( )e:)a   
c:d +at   ches wi   th w+r:   wr:p fo   [ :,i:]   )d word   wrap as    dr[--i   
ng tr+:   -(- (en   #a=o: [   enure)    u+t(l +   o)ni-g    inde(in   g -r =a   
ils saf   er f=ll   e- t+ac   k+d ,=    )ca(,el   y f:r a   p-en[:    pay wra   
pper =p   i:) fli   ]ped so   a[ & ma   (#al, o   utr-- (   ech-(-c    savi+-   
 ==-a+(   [ +:af(    #=ces    a+hi=ve   ( disca   r, (+ap   ping s:   an+ ada   
pto: p,   gm-=ts    for sk)   ( +pann   -ng nul   l+ un+a   ck m-rn   in- or    
#on+a)n   s -+m-d    =ff+](    i+ aff   air exa   ,tly ,-   ar#d la   ptop sp   
[r= sna   p-,+ :i   [rce( r   ip==- d   i=pla]    bo,uses    wit= b   ou:=ed    
tu=]=ng    p+usin   g for )   e)i:ar    #=f-+e+    [amily    :r(cin   g )a-tu   
re, w)+   p+# par    -apa(e   ,e gro=   ping wi   t- =#l[   ptic -o   +putes    





imm++=    nic#-(    injur(    unaw+(e    safer    =at m)c   , ca(+g   ory str   
ap pa:+   ion app   en= wip   ing ti(   ped p+:   ma((s o   r nudi:   t c+un:   
 a[f+=i   ty )end   :ng +as   t((- a=   raid wi   -+ )a+i   lies +c   ta cats   
 a+ )r(   ps repa   i)s c:l   -+pse p   )+[h #t   ippl(s    sha[= a   - gen,:   
ne -bu#   dant =e   n(e: :t   in#in:    n)p)in    )=):les    affair    f++ m=   
chi+e d   eca=es    ,rappin   + by]as   :]d a(p   ly pist   o, =,ss   i# p-an   
uts +um   eri+ ho   unds ##   ]mat:d    ve+:s )   ynam(c:    affa[r    bol)fa   
ce accr   ual aca   d=mi+ h   :+):cap    passa=   + reapp   ::r in    pictur=   
+ ]hips    sh(pe,    ave)ue   s u=[er   way pu,   :sh i+[   -r=al a   s :+mi=   
a(e s+=   - f-lli   n( i#:a   +ts c-:   +oon w+   th pa=e   r #arse   c r+:ap   
s -ap:i   [gs wi]   ed as u   p,o(r n   u+lif#    [i=h ho   und+ +a   ni( dau   
+ting e   nab](n-    =frai:    f+u=ts    al:cri   )y #c+r   es zapp   ed ,=ck   
in[ [or    =sc=p]    +ie[(    [ipe= r   eappear    aven-e    )nfair   ly (idn   
i==- in   (in#te    l#nar s   afe)t f   al(ac:    pack c,   rri-)(    adap(iv   
] i=p):   t m=p )   xpi)es    +ip p=+    +ut or    #-ns m   =ning b   =u)h+n+   
 n(st)e   r dr=ft    f)ilur   e (:i=a   (e loca   l:: of    adaptor   s pate:   
t h])pi   est tap   -ng in    dr)p pr   o,]+sy    )(nual    uno-ene   d defin   
i]g +s    throwi+   g en-bl   +d af,a   i-s far   ms (-ta   ck=d c=   lling :   
f tra=p   i]g +ac   k:ge :d   a+te( =   ampi[g    )li]pi+   g pet p   eanuts    
)(r imp   o(nd -i   :i#g ex   -la:ns    [=app]d    aff=ct    +)fa:r   =( s,,]   
k [)c[d   e :pr,n    )a:ke]    c,e+p=   r torpi   ) =ip+    person(    for te   
nured c   r+nc+ m   ]r(ing    upcom#n   g +a-,i   es= as    traf(ic    face)s   
 packet    loc[t:   s )hapt   e(s com   pa-( ap   tl+ ]h:   =+ish (   r:(ple    
capt+i+   s ]=,u+   e+ ]: )   nopen)d    geniti   ve sing    wi+h f   =n:] af   
r)id fa   i-ly p:   cke+, -   ritical    captur   : )alet   (e m-pl   e a+-i]   
]( e+l)   :se spe   nt :(r    ((+us 





=nhoo#    ,)ne-y    =ine fu   rn((e a   =f=(ts    a= fat(   er: for    )chiev   
e rep+i   ca w:-:   ,-d p)r   -on app   e::ed :   ypist p   i)+s s,   ri:g ja   
nu=)y +   (unt=n,    ir]nic    i+dexe   s don+t   e tr=ff   )+ f+)t   ors men   
=ce )+u   stic )p   ]ro-es    :s span    trap :   i-ces s   )i)y]rd    wi(h p   
]s::ge    n=+l[ b   unched    or (oni   to[s :a   )ki-= d   on)l: #   s a)fec   
ts (-ef   =ce a:t   -)ked (   o# +-i:   ca#e ca   paci+y    pagin=    ca(i:ol   
s =nsp=   red t=-   p:: upp   er +enu   re] cl+   n= :itr   --en =a   nking a   
nalyse-    +=for:   s fo+ -   ur#a+e    pac=s c   ana+ia)    crap s   p,w:i=g   
 h(=##    :om]ile   : for =   lipped    pair#n:    nu, u:   do ni-    r+gain    
:]n+nas    & ]ffo   r+s in    defau=t   s a(h)e   ve- e-c   apes (p   p[e r:p   
air hap   +en:: d   e:pite    :i+e= p   e(- man   +al l:+   c[ on:o   - l)n+r   
 ##=g+    ::aft f   a==er )   acon c=   iti-a-    =apt)+    =it) co   mpa)t e   
sc:+e,    spide[s    eclips   e +peed    -:a=ut    +u[e )   inished    solv#=   
: can-+   ia- for    +afest    f:=r [   - a+ts    [is+-rd    s+(pp)   d paus-   
: apply    picker    s++ps    s[reads    ma+ual   ly b:=n   c+s c+)   +ical r   
a)n nap   kin le(   f f(ilu   res app   roa+h c   abi) [)   )pes -+   [rks ap   
=r+(se    typists    s)ips    or pr=+   ter- or    :+t )n    junk z   =+,t+ s   
iz(ng s   +ap=e)    )r--t -   #t ro+c   h #c(,-   + a+ :a   (+ =a(k   ):ed g#   
ps a)pi   )e =or    st]p(-e    (o=pu-   e= (u:e   rou) u=   (sable    denied    
+wapp-n   g [o( +   :ail =:   [lic+s    fa(+i+g    )==ula   c, cany   :n) ma:   
 p)s)+-    -rappe   r wr:pp   ),g [-i   (s )r p   +rt: nu   d(): mo   u#te, e   
a)nings    with b   ogg(ng    =o#at-d    afraid    f-ct p   la[i,,    ca##e e   
+(p+ed    [:intin   g o- (,   ap]in+    ):-l# s   h#- )xp   :sin+ a   ven)e +   
efu=d w   a[:ings    -iping    s:atch   )d af:e   ct for    fac)(re   : art:f   
ac- :ar   +on -(:   i] ]=le   tt=s ma   ps pins    zipp,d    uploa-    -udge    




William Allegrezza





they have gathered in deserts
wandered lost
looking for an end to nothingness
to the loss of their own dedication

as for a final call
a grackle cries
near a highway
that leads to a city
that turns to
mushroom haze
on the horizon

you could ask one
for a story
as is the law
and she could
not respond

out of alexandria
comes not words
but oblivion




Spencer Selby



Boolean Banks


Plans frustrated economic

Took vocabulary from Time, Life and National Geographic

Involved a team of rock climbers traversing cliffs for a mile down the river canyon in hopes
of spotting a 23-year-old woman

"It’s shocking that you cannot defend yourself in the workplace without risking your job"

Pushed hard for exemption with one of the best-kept secrets in the country

Food for thought became difficult passing security

A series of small grunts gave way to a plastic light box sensor

A set of keys to the perimeter fence and several offices vanished in an incident that was not reported

Rauschenberg perhaps worried about support for a flexible style

Partners in still-frame weaving through the corridors of a busy urban hospital

"Thanks to you we are slowly learning how deep this wound is"

Raised to ignore or spoil a windswept shadowy terrain

Alternative construed as primitive among students of the revolution

Made spontaneous while staring at a blank sheet of paper for five hours

The man is part historian, part collector and part chronic bully

Straight line won’t change what happened to the carbon copy

Temper after grassroots movement gained momentum

Budget exclusive nationwide counterfeit

Preserve clock tower by removing clock

See the flash but hear nothing

Under wishful impression stand corrected

Danger from years of neglect brushed aside

Intelligence falsely accused switching yard

"I want to meet dedicated people and find out what they know, what I should be reading"

On a nearby bench discuss weekend that wouldn’t come off

Loaded children into shopping cart as news of the invasion spread

Focus on moral dilemma seeking asylum

Scorch observatory complex using hand-held torches

Obtain freedom at any price you don’t recognize

Go the distance overwhelming evidence

Weather clear land to crowd purchase

Your name in real time scattered imaginary

My advice the cascade takes for granted

If then backward yawning souvenir




John M. Bennett





saw  legal
bray  team
roost  slap
club  temp
foot  rune
plea  rust
key  drink
scrub  rat
brief  leg
tumble  salt
lint  whore
heap  screwy
scant  meat
hog  seeper
dog  pants
leap  tint
crumbled  leaf
tub  glee
me  soot
hub  loose
clay  law
lethal  dream
sap  sent
loom  crust
think  hat
egg  halt
pore  dewy
street  sleeper




Catherine H.



Moms (A Haiku)


Outside the office
A gathering of smokers
Each had the stitches








Thomas Lowe Taylor



Day of Memory


She'd poked aside parted the ways slimmer rapunto schemed aside another
look or cautious tale rescinded commentary flowing between the scattered
romantic shunned importunate hedgers; builtor, she heemed silent questioning
to be released from servitude at honor's complaint, a country pleasure not
measured behind anyone new, but reminded from beyond the summer's sentences
to recall perhaps at some other unique destiny hammers forward youngsters
pre-claiming from their own angry summons the distant porticos which fell
unresponsive toys at the groaning ford

Disappearing tunes, tombs, remoted thrusters tested in their own
individual traces are recalled somehow disturbed by a resonance or
particular spasm set sent her figure at the gate with the larger reference
felt unstated partitions from "Skating Lake" he had them prospected like
dirt, or seeming, or rational thought evacuated from the prism entertained
nor plinty spokes their smoky flavor a rectitude or posse in specific
instances felt unsaid but yet retrieved somewhat feral disturbances from
their own sentimony relaxed beyond description, the sense of outer in
re-muff his simpler designs ascribed to larger tasks that what was, uh,
remembered in silent afterthought at the oven's glow and charm

But the afternoon seemed sentenced itself into the further silences
which call forth sensation or sentiment or their in between resonance,
appositive and calm, his mentor unremarked by distance or measure the same
airs restore the heart's heavier dues are said specific continuance the
narrowing from the heart established by not talking as one seeks silent
foragers resume journeying touch the girl redeems as something imprinted
from beyond or neither.  You'd been slim but heaved overborne resumption
when scored the imaginary line returned.

Reliner hout.  The smooth of yr eyes no doubt mirror from what's within
spasmic centrism which had exploited out, but herded from the lesser skin
removed from falling hard where you'd begun asunder sunter—the holder and
the held, from youthful imprisonment to the lucky, paroled few disdained
insaned beyond doubt the unpleasant few hiding their daughters within the
substance of their abuse felled perhaps by foreign agents at the shore of
your own sentry occluded, you might say, by doubt itself.

But you'd held behind boy-sized implements for change chided helde
within the hours' destiny or nation; out-hided from sensory particles
returned ardor their own hesitations are remixed from fits and starts are
all snorkeled fin-fish further's in the dream your presence unsituated

Your own blue cars returned me to presence, an instinct or a passage, a
newer mute insensate claim, but held and firm, in the presences from
situation unrefined pleasure is less certain, perhaps unsure, but from some
singular centers have gone beyond doubt into less certain areas in repute
from what's calm or unforgiven dawns refused to stop or cease, blood calm
and sensitive were how you yielded overland restrictions

The well point from this—wallpaper bits and chooses—no smirk betided
plenty from within.  Hours.

What would go behind shadows in their own complexity left alone to
their own disturbances ensconced en penetranto palm aside some rising uppers
decide to heave in where something central reserves banked-up sartorial nor
plain was her specific gravity from rainbows drawn nor quartered sensation
nor particular calm re-emerged//or what has another distinct or specific
quality caries the larger rush outside has something lessened or made
responsive curtains their own residues improve or describe what is beholden,
and toward the less sensitive enmeshment, here you have stuttered into
beginning where a less cursive distinction is emptying, art il rapunto such
healded wisps or woof betides you mounting the shining pale her gasps were
mere memory in your mists made less hopeful as time permits.

It was the referential quality to what was said unsaid encounters go
best unaltered by the forgotten qualities themselves en rapunto'd spastic
war-tide, burtoned beyond begins what slides betides beyond her inner rescue
where you've begun astir to new beginnings are not something imprecise, you
know, but yielded somewhat other risks are smoothened, the credo will rise,
rock on, have you seen junior's grades, nay thruster palm your own rising
described vision hears only a little other sponsored actions overheard hours
reckon partner'd houses their own gates flung are not hours described but
the hour of it, the imagined calm you encountered at the dusker boone
whip-tailed resonance a generated avenue, nor locked out from what detailed
you hearing signs are less arked or not, the oven or residue toward smoke
less used, less inked-out protrusive the ducks hovered overside not trucked
beholden abeyance at snort, at shimbo-pin his anchor dusted dots the
implosion not "retardo mont albion" the hosted nowhere night movers replude
her anchors angels driven calm perfume dorkers shimbo pin the other arc redo
or pinto not askers to-dune, orphan plumes heaving nowhere signs is all you
get, and larger by far the territold than mapped rescues too from doubt
resigned kitty terrible signs the pontoon mix to hours or days' rebuke this
silky slammer unperfumed to childhood's ends made into light by seeming,
seeming then from what was undisturbed but into less undisguised froward
diggers' paln thus sin entire rebukes

Cleared soundings reunite other and same to some eternal stillness
unredeemed presence retides something newer lessoned beyond what'd spun you
down between sentences cast out or castoff presences were mute distances
called unprofound or relict penetrando il rapunto whereas what're northern
unrepentant absolutes whose skin asks for reminder clone sensory dunes are
scattered musk-makers where's held outer door-ways flung spinning dormers
their own doubt heralds the scorier loops whistled shirkers need not apply
the hucks you'd pintered woeful willful presence from touch denied entry
within realmed houses spuntongue the rougher seasons sanding up and down her
eye was here between you sucking cloudy whips and senders were housed beyond
sumpters dumpsters; yodded plud, nay huster poono shimmed your stult &
poster, the very sheen illusion unkempt waves shaving shores no story
unprento-tado yet unwitheld information the substitute itself
conceptualizing the prolix calm in less hesitant hours they paled
small-sized stalk sox talking shocks pocks restraining elder sensos their
portunt striative re-shambled house and stain hares-out nor small beginning
structures wandered down the soaper plutod restorative semblance retuned
arcs porker strewn tubes tuned the flocking wints, head sharpener and
detail-strewn inhabitants their less reflective sponsores pretendo
monstrificative encouragements shouted from rooftops headed forth fortunes
hours stung

The floated scrim somehow unbetided spin sinkers spinsters sinking
smoky yams, this is the site of true emotion, as when penciled into holdout
pins nor remote testers, there is as yet no lingo importuning dusk, no
relict plantagenary combing the yet-latent sisters in their foolish
contumely, a yet-unheralded poker in the snoot, as-yet-unspoken rectitude,
or perhaps a central institution, where they'd bento'd sporish plenty
markers misting doubt where she tiptoes shaking nukes whisper routs &
seasons into men mention nether lapsoidal interunner nor hosted scopes the
roofer topo lounging hortense dubies insolent rasps not too far from the
flooding hosted puppies mascoting love's poems in the heart a fluted calm
and center from the pure touch emotioned-out her intransigent eye brows
replumed torpor in latent words hoxie-mists, and at other ropes rooming some
implenitude scores the shelter sheafed papers holding fortunate hours' rock
spasmic silence impenetrate the pooling musk in yourself made easy, single,
and plain-free hustle the mooker puking sad frenzy I'm still your small arc
still repining husks and porter, emblazoned by the very passion on yr hall,
the potato-bricks eastern in origin tho less hosted narcs pretty your soil
into less remute harks you'd studded arched potato blood which lentheneds
pressured, and stabbed at the deckhand mystery of who, who, who in fact who
came along and stole our heart.

Beyond saying the simpler implications love's handle twinging spins
where you'd reminded egg-coach reminded me what'd been simpler here—you can
be what's said silent words where made unuttered silence, made blank white
noise in love's silent absence made heart-felt signs arc your presence
pleasant markers not derided presence

Newer lights descry wisdom its attributed calm in favor of less
far-reaching statements recoined forward plows non-restorative palm sander
to smooth trees not hours in their own compartments opened out unitive
construct the powers unknown substances not included nor batteries

Interpolated into Blacksmithy, horser of shoes, where she'd split
intense infinitives, nay henty plint, er favor twisted sisted narc aplenty
precluded shadows fold these arrows tighter spores reputed sense in sense or
outer redoubled stout pressure intermingled sentinel doorweight spears your
own hints flinted hours argue kneeling intent menus hint sense center outer
sheep shape and kindling powers the mater-do hears your piling ridge the
pull and skein there owned mark pleasance mark ardor edged with pain and
solace, passion's muted mark at love's servant not deluded, nor a skosh
heavy, but her heart not specifically wooden but gathered aught nor spenter
dune plumes the ridding fen his woolen scarf a fathom in love's soundless
fleshing out

The soldiers at their dues receive no welcome tents their innocence
spilled on foreign shores for cause for cause enough the will of the total
body stops such defying gravitons, healing from within no permitanto il
"en desiree" yod plude sd sphincter rotunt, tight, in inert
desputada pores her shaling spliff my sign made dark by disalliance; these
what kempt some on top and while yet some not, you've still plunged
fortunate forward arms sentinel the dripping flag flogged back & sent her
deep within charm itself to work some magic personal inventory was held
intense his spouter sporter hors nix in tent or blondo perfando hair down to
here, but held and firm you'd left this, uh, document with the story inside
shoots you up within intent fortune's farther out than not un-reminded why
they left soon foot soldiers tear the lovers apart in sense some quiet part
of yourself made outer or immense by someone's doubt he'd not occluded penis
nor outer scores loop to loop within knots heard internal open microphone of
the heart your own science ploods eplumed marker knocks narcs their own
sustenance poker face the spirit lags, makes peace, holds to the enormous
mountain on the bogleg laid wooden sentinels in deluxe repulsion, love's
full body coring deep within your sudden dance and sway of light beginning
to become you who you are through you are who

So much lost that was still unknown, perhaps an actual sense of what
the precise distances were, it is no secret any more that we don't know
shit, yet such finely polished ignorance in what passes for the dialectic in
operando, yet still the nagging murmur that more was left aside than was
particled in the final hours of the status quo in its own demeanor
retreating and retreating into history and the empty silence in favor of the
hot electric sense of being there on the line speaking out against the odds
that it will be heard at all, you are still no more than the meat'r of the
moment, in your hot complexity made stern or simple, "no problem" you say,
tugging on the bill of the blue baseball cap which has only just caught the
beginnings of the rain onto its top step of forgiveness, a focus from
appositive shifts made sentinel or central in this, this nervous system of
light the thrusters poking doubt it's plenty sheen made more simple in the
seeing of what was there just now submerging in the tiger-glow a love
supreme no mere exaggeration of the keeper kept fulfilled her spouting
mucoid empenetrando il rapunto shored nor fault resenting feebler kinds than
not spun centrals their slim potes remute nor spent, her heart hided out in
what's small within squat, not larked but utter, utter in the pine & salt on
her lips the lingering skein renews'd.

Therafused nostalgic gloom lifts to shower shoures on her soote.  The
plutarding quality of air enlightens, or moves off, whatever.  Leaning
heart-to-heart the dance quickening them into light.

Pure juice the mover in your own arcing triumph kneeling harks some
sudden occupation coming waltzes from a tune or hacker don't need that, the
water in the ground nor panting after light you've held again against the
arc you'd triumphed formal declarations from the void cancelled by the
message itself, nor stupor importuned.

From some hinter plausitude, next hiddenous, but held & firm.  These
less shallow attributes can remain within hearing range.  I'm less at sally
than what reminds, the buff, the muff.

Ant colonials' big-league play astounds shivers the back your name and
light the beginning of time accessive within stance and passion shucks off
the millennial gloom in fervor of more pliant sensations to hurl one within
forward to the outer of one, and there begun attend, your own, to rewrite
the day atoned no pressure in "where no claims are put forth, no resistances
are met" wd be true (enough) to hold whatever in its mold perfume, the new
day brightening into becoming first at stance & solden, but finally aloud
inflamed, loves pure destiny comes along & stays at hard & song, you are.




Sheila E. Murphy




I'm looking for a quorum
here under the eaves' melodious
conformist alibi
when if you read me
there will be tines to be upstarted
in the railway dampness
where a litter of Corvairs
ought to be dusted soon
in view of compromise and chatter
on the figurative airways
where the lines
thought to have touched
no longer



Modest Daylight


thinking about correction
incites one village
to retrieve its dowry
spangled with what

the name Hazel turned
"dazzle" to a child
her labor left soft

on the quick river
of rise gone
language after
simulation branded

more bilateral
than room to squeak
on matters tinted
red for the occasion




William James Austin


they demand a misunderstanding of my work
which is to say something under the welcome mat,
which is a mistake.  rather it keeps coming on
like daddy's ambiguous attic
as you climbed the stairs
in search of lost teddy, eventually losing sight
of whatever initiated you

still, someone must pay for the privilege.
there's the usual file of contestants
but nothing resembling healthy competition.
the academies merely delegate, dock of few salaries,
and the whole business is shot to hell

though it gets done between bed sheets
under the guise of an old lunacy.  events
we've named go on generating
saran wrapped structures,
such as daylight snapped off at one end
or the complete cezanne or dali.  how much
did it mean, anyway?  your face distorted
behind the fishbowl, words tumbling
through broken glass
like dead fish


tiny white sails cluster
in your voiced humdrum
as I begin the delicate maneuver
of docking new ideas,
a marriage barely shipshape

but nothing is easy.
the shoreline bobs
in and out of view,
the lighthouse stumbles
through a cloud bank

elements couple
as bizarre attitudes—
  air muddy,
    a gusty flaming up—
until one clamorous wave
slaps everything off the horizon,
leaving us beached, breathless,
wondering just how huge,
how encompassing
the conceit





Jon Cone



from The Practices


The pine tree doesn't love me,
doesn't love me as much as I love it.

For once in my life I'll be honest.
I've got a hangover.  The pine tree is indifferent.


                 *     *     *


Salvage along the banks of the river, in the park
balloons rise up from the ground, unwary, innocent, obscene.

Cotton candy, exposed bellies.  Old pilots roam the fairground,
perplexed by an absent and aroused flesh their hands once knew.


                 *     *     *


Artaud going insane, sending curses to his friends,
writing in crayon, burning holes in his letters.

You're afraid the barber is trying to kill you.  You're
broke.  You imagine her thighs are like two sticks on fire.


                 *     *     *


If pride were possible.  All these writers shuffling down grocery aisles
like mental patients.  Wearing shabby shoes, cuts on their chins, if pride

were possible it would not come in the forms you imagine.  Light.  Thin cool air.
Where the bright beast pauses, puts nose to the wind.  And is intelligence.


                 *     *     *


They cut off the hands of a man named Mohammed Sasey.
In Sierra Leone the rebels cut off the hands of Mohammed Sasey.

Where are the hands of Mohammed Sasey of Sierra Leone?
Under what stone do they hide, armless and incomprehensible.


                 *     *     *


He missed the house on Court Street, its crummy wallpaper
and rebellious plumbing, where late at night he'd stumble outside

into the perfectly private backyard and have a long hot piss.
The endless night sky marked by the comet's slow drag.


                 *     *     *


I was chopping wood when your letter arrived.  "Come, come,
I've found my child whore in Thailand."  She's 42, you're 72.

She left her desiccated, illiterate husband.  Her seven children.
Feverish, you wrote a thirty page poem on the joys of honey pots.




Vernon Frazer



Luminescent Messenger


Deluded promontories preakness cables
where vanished flask enables the tender
surrogate influx remembered decibel heat
as truancy.  Vast allusions prudent terror
ecliptic grooming weathers ore not cast.

Veins embossed the fury of bloodlit tomes
their horticulture decreased torpid lesions
or the dimpled pickerel matching sheets
as the bleakest quest of tracheal pogroms
seek hidden vaults of spectator dandruff.

Arid testimonials heat vacant lepidoptera
pools of eagles loomed pursuant.  Doctored
appendectomies plotted the stanchion glow
turning illusion poured meat burning tentacle
transfusion regaling the beat of mustard gas.

Spectral resolutions perfect intransigence
keeping the blotted passengers ignored
as volleys.  Fern lesions reflect dilution
slotted to follow simple visceral dandruff
coagulant basted luminescent messenger.




Lewis LaCook



from THE SKY



I stretch dew across the cartops at night.  This world
pales in comparison with the next.

My balls burn into my thighs.

Their little eyes are hooks they see me.  Watching may
be a part of touching.  I didn't want to be so far
away.  But when you call I go transparent: I
tentatively abstract from this attraction in your
voice some spinning crazy flowers, and they're made of
candy.  Remember?

Max and Lucy wander the neighborhood with wax lips.
They visit the elderly at night.  You know how you
don't sleep when you're old.

I stayed awake the duration of my life.  Reams of earth
file ill light empathetic topgraphies of canopy moons.

They know a sound you walk on.  Bow to the instrument
before you play it.

Strings I think are mostly, air,
nothing concurrent in folds
or pasted-over with serenity, but
you know me when I'm awake: trembles,
stuffs his hands with gardens he
took from you, that one night
washing in behind hundreds, as
he wants you to sing his
sleep across him, part
wet towelettes with a mercury
tongue.  Yes, you too
have forked with secrets by now, and
eat the last of your vigor, still
shaking from honest impact, into
daubs of first drafts, pretended
preliminaries of the ceremony, not
caring what falls across to you, except
to sing (here) that sleep (her)
over the dear weight of the fan.
I let accidents happen here.

You pushed me away pushed me away pushed me away.  I
went sailing labeled and docile into literature and
all its incessant talk about chords.  There were old
men there, about Max and Lucy's age, but none of them
could get it up anymore.  I dress like a whore only to
please you.

Blue.  Cupping wind.  And their serrations.  Is an urge
to sense.  Their empathy.  Like lily tendrils unroll'd
throughout the big city.  Turning on.  I follow
everything up to and including the letter.  Froze
easily.  From.  A dissolution.  Added to.  Their recent.
And almost engaging.  With suck and mud strokes.  Belief
in coherent imaging.  Taup.

Spikes of the smallest water
waffle flung nutrition.  The spine
as an ivy for Venus not even
with unnatural days.  Smoke

sits across from, tousled,
loud; she never sleeps

always, no relief of tension
daubed out with a tongue.
The light has a broad back by
mid-afternoon.  I was

naive then, to vapor with ropes
through my pores, to blister and
blossom like drops of salt
in grains of water, announce:
It would be an anguish to go
one day without hearing
your voice Renee.  Isn't it

it enough not to be able to
touch you?  I whittle nights

sculpting myself into
corners, casting my variables
aside into a core dump
so central to my definitions.
Inside me the functions

pass nothing between themselves,
not even the stealth of trojans.



Jake Berry


War Poems



mondo twist
death in the barracks
the sin eater run amok.

a cellar requiem
two saints with arm bands
born from their stigmata
hammer out
deluxe packages
of mercenary gysm

come with me
toward absolute future
toward daylight
and an old man
in a lawn chair
cleaving his supper



turbulence in the masthead
the baptist has been decapitated

on the quarter deck
you could smell the bodies

we had no idea
it would be like this
sand for a month
then rain and cold

I was sent to
search for survivors
my letters were confiscated
even those that nothing
but blank sheets of paper

the radio blinking out
roaches in the circuitry

last night my buddy says to me
he says, "can you
remember anything before this?"



the fire of the inevitable.

your hands work the weapon.
hands that have forgotten
their own skin.

its the rhythm
you follow:
two steps, a pause,
two more.
the adrenaline
kicks in.
everything is white,
its all noise.
then its over

and you wait again.



the place was full of bankers.
Paradise I mean, even angels have their price.
the palaces and stockades were
all hive mind and avarice.


mother sits leaned against the house
in a ladder back chair
in the afternoon sun
peeling potatoes
softly singing to herself.
that is all I can remember of her now.


I pledge allegiance to the real,
but all allegiances have been broken.
and the real is a heavier fiction.


the books are covered with stains
like a sallow mattress
leaned against a tree
and the odor of it.



Call it death camp.
Call it suburbia.
Call it worship at the killing tree.
Armies pour from it.

Sackcloth and ashes.
The torture box.
The obfuscation of daydream

meat and paralysis.

The soil is fresh turned but almost dust.
and no rain
no rain —
not now forever.

Call it jackhammer
on the roof of sky
and number rape among your jewels.
All day long the day is pitched
against the refugees. Call it.

Gasoline and buoyant eyes.



for Ivan Argüelles

we watch the world devour itself"
                 —Ivan Argüelles


uroboros abattoir

serpent in the feedlot
swimming through the feces
(up to her udders in it)
coiled in the killing stall

"What's your pleasure?
fat injections?

Taste is a chemical
manufactured in an off coast mill.
The senses are subjects
of litigation.

There is no center.

whirling around these fragments,
these old stories
the zealots unite

shanty town
The barber is a secret agent
with vials of nitro glycerin
strapped around his waist —

the core oracle
wound tight.





eratio poetic language issue three, spring 2004, edited by gregory vincent st. thomasino.