Shutta Crum
Joseph McNair
Laszlo Slomovits
Joanie Freeman
Chris Lord
Elisavietta Ritchie
Gerald Clark
Karyn M. Wolven
Duane Locke
Mervyn M. Solomon
Paul B. Roth
Sue Budin
Running Cub
Silvia Scheibli
Geoffrey Philp
Marilyn Churchill
Jerry Blanton
Steve Beaulieu
Don Hewlett

Fred Wolven


It was a sycamore, on ground stiff brown leaves And globular seeds that were stepped-on to
become Linear bodies of gold with gold wind-blown hair, As we sat close together on a
yellow bench Whose paint in spots had peeled away to reveal Varied brown tones, waved-
shaped, in raw wood When she with the long, straight, white gold blonde hair Broke the
silence and spoke as she tried To make sense out of our bizarre relationship, That of a
pious, born-again skeptic, a disciple of Gorgias, and a pious born-again Christian That
was herself and to whom God As she claimed had directly spoken.

Her attempt, her effort at comprehension, Her need saddens me, for I am always sad When
people try to understand something.
I thought of a Russian poet who endeavored To deprive words of their sense, for in doing
so, By emptying words of any possible meaning, When he wrote a sentiment or a belief He
would not longer deceive himself By writing a language of lies That people speak in their
everyday lives.
By speaking or writing a language with
Senseless and meaningless words, he
Would no longer write a language
That leads to self-destruction.

When people try to understand, know
A bizarre relationship such as ours,
The result of the destruction of the relationship.
When people try to understand and know
What they are, what they believe,
They destroy what they really are,
Or what they really belief.

As she kept trying to understand,
I became even sadder,
For understanding is always a misunderstanding, Always a mistake and destroys Something
beautiful, wonderful, But incommensurable, singular.

When something exists, when this something Enriches, enhances, exalts, and expands A life,
let it be, don't try to understand.
I tried to explain all this to her,
But she did not comprehend.


We know our sensations by our spyglasses.
We know
That poetry
Is a Penelope
Who did not want
Odysseus to return.
Life is a locked-up safe
On the isle of Capri.
Love is a string of pearls
With the string pulled out.
Sensations, life and love
Are the origins
Of all poetry.

Or perhaps, as an alternative,
Is like a person
Who by a skilled operation
Has had his skeleton removed,
All bones
Pulled out of his flesh,
And his flesh leaps off
The operating table
Dances a tango
With the blonde nurse.

Poetry builds a cross
That contains
A crucifixion
That does not create insanity.


Bishop Berkeley,
You were quasi-correct.

A response is a response to responses:
Ospreys, kingfishers, buckeye butterflies, Moorhens, marsh grass, pickerel blooms--

The response speaks in tongues,
The response spares no expense.

The inaudible in her articulation
Brought into being a monstrous birth, indifference.
It appears as absolute, a universal, a beauty parlor, A pimp for pin-ups, a double
standard, A trapdoor Cast in bronze.

I have undergone the dearth and death
Of a perception that cannot be replaced with imagination, It was a displaced strand of her
long, white-gold blonde, straight hair That crossed her pale blue eyes to fall over A pale
coral lip, But her body language articulates That to her love is vestigial I started life
with a bleached flour sack on my back To pick cotton and desire from hard husks.

She feels uncomfortable when the word "love"
Is whispered or shouted in opera house lobbies, Or lobster restaurants with five star

So I speak to her about goldfinches,
News stands, case histories,
A capella, Cassandra.


No one cared or bothered to understand
His indeterminate
Stance, or trance, or dance of

This neo-Orpheus,
Who wore a broad-brimmed straw hat.

Orpheus baffled by his this earthly existence, Went in the wrong direction Towards our au
courant poetic scene Where poets seek reputations, competing In a society Where the
unfitest survive.

Opheus' appearance
Disgruntled the ossified
When he welcomed
The disruptive, the disjunctive.

So Opheus sung:

The iconoclast
Did not care to fly upward to a sky
By strapping over his shoulders
His father's fabricated wings;
He preferred to sit on a stone,
Eat plums
That had been in an ice box and were cold While listening to Zarathustra speak.

He knew everyman was his ideological antagonist.

Orpheus used my lute
Not to build a polis,
But to melt the snowflakes on the agora
Until the waters floods
All night clubs with comics,
Especially the one
Who have comics
Whose routine was written in Thebes.


I imagine, believe myself to be
A Black-Crowned Night Heron
Concealed in off-white branches
That match
And camouflage
My off-white chest feathres.

This way the unperceptive,
Insensitive passer-bys
Would pass by,
Never notice I exist,
Although I am in front of his eyes.

There passer-bys are not observant enough To notice my off-white feathers do not really
match The off-white of the branches.
Since the passer-bys would overlook,
Not see, I exist,
The passer-bys would make no stupid,
derogatory comments
About my type of tree-loving existence.
He would just pass by,
Absorbed in his own simple-mind fantasies As he talks to himself About the wonders of
his self.

Duane Locke, Lakeland, Florida



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