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Centripetal

4th Edition ďƒś Fall 2002


EDITOR

Daniel Singer MANAGING EDITOR

Cara Losier

SENIOR EDITOR

Tracey L. Smith ASSISTANT EDITORS

Josh Hurley Dustin Seigel Katie St. Martin

Rob Masse William Brasier Rebecca Poulette

ONLINE EDITOR

Kevin Young ART EDITOR

Benjamin Aufill ADVISORY EDITOR

Paul Rogalus

WEBMASTER

Josh Breault SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Please see Page 79 for information Plymouth State College Suite A14 19 Highland St. Plymouth, NH 03264

ADDRESS

www.oz.plymouth.edu/~poetswriters poetswriters@mail.plymouth.edu

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

PSC POETS & WRITERS would like to thank the following for their help and support for this issue of ‗Centripetal‘: all of the contributors, the Student Senate, the Hartman Union Building Staff, and the English Department. Special thanks to Dr. Paul Rogalus – our advisor – without whom, none of this would have been possible.


CONTENTS 4th Edition  Fall 2002 5

RANDY BROOKER

Sparrow

6

DARYL BROWNE

thought is enough

6

BOB GARLITZ All Our Secrets, Silver Toothpicks

8

DONALD HALL

Oliver At Thirteen

9

LYNN CHONG

Climbing Rose in Dorset, Motion: An Autobiography

11 JEFFREY BICKFORD

Late-morning Reflections on the Deity, Afternoon Chores

13 PAT ARMSTRONG

Technical Writer

14 DAVID COMMINS

Molly

16 TRACEY L. SMITH

i’m burned, acrid

18 ANGELA HARTMAN

Untitled, Picturesque

19 KRYSTINA HADJUCZEKUntitled, Uncertain When Adding 21 MATTHEW HOWES

Ourself

22 BENJAMIN AUFILL

5 Minutes To Go

23 NATHAN ALANDER

Watching the Patrons

25 ROBERT BINETTE

Vermont

26 SCOTT COYKENDALL

Wendy

27 DAVID EVANS

Color Staining the Authoritative Attitude of Teachers

27 KEVIN YOUNG

Untitled

28 DONALD WHARTON

The Sung Masters’ Li

29 SUJEETA SILWAL

Heaven Allay!, True Feelings For You

31 LISA RICHMOND

Pontoon Days

32 REBECCA POULETTE

Summertime, Resurrection

34 AMANDA PORTER

Treasures Held Unseen

35 AARON KENDRICK

Autumn Wind, You see sir…

36 VANESSA PETERS

Exposed Reverence


38 PAUL ROGALUS

Transformer Man

40 JEFFREY RICHARDSON  Loose Hair 41 DUSTIN SEIGEL

Skateboarder

43 NICKY ROSS

Untitled, Untitled, Untitled

46 CRAIG NELSON

Yes I Didn’t, No You Did

48 MATT KMIEC

Chased, From the Back

49 BOB KELLY

November

50 LIZ AHL

Adhesives, Fragment G

53 WILLIAM BRASIER

Snakes

54 JOY CIRUSO

Dissolved

55 A. D‘ALLESANDRO

Midnight Break

57 MIKE LONGO

Nameless

58 JACKIE SCHOFIELD

Martyr Me, Muted

59 DANIEL SINGER

A Tale of the Victor, The Courtesan

61 NORA TOOMEY

Dynasty of Egg White Faces, Fleece

64 LYDIA PERRY

I am a Volcano of Anguish

65 TOBY PAUL

Ruins 2

66 CARA LOSIER

Darkness, Messenger

67 RAMSEY ELIASON

Progression of a Stone Wall, Summers Good Side

70

CONTRIBUTORS NOTES

78

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


RANDY BROOKER

Sparrow Of glassine light, Crystalline Like a fledgling thought Soon to be a force— Then crumbling, a crumbling Obelisk In time, as time often does‌ Inspiration came with the rain, And the crack of thunder Blooming. Ululating leaves are shaken and shaken. Whirlwind wonders. Doubt. And from bending boughs tumbles Skyward The glimmering sparrow, its flittering reflection crosses The line between the things that are and the things that are imagined.

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CENTRIPETAL

DARYL BROWNE

thought is enough We were teasing her about the boy who had just passed. He was still frozen, staring at her. We threatened to go over and reveal her mutual love for him. ―His thought is enough!‖ she almost tore my sleeve. ―Let his thoughts be!‖

BOB GARLITZ

All Our Secrets ―You can‘t imagine how seductive all those zeros are.‖ Miles, light years, piled up on the page, petals on a wet birch bough, good paper with a sheen of tears or some other such fluids turned film. I could ask if she wanted such a scar along her torso like that, but she would never say, never be able to say, nor would she answer such a question from merely a reader. We too may only look on like dead souls from another realm. If I hereby steal a poem from his novel, who will notice or care? Phrases forgotten between mute covers can have new lives, just like souls themselves. Theft should be the principle of all art, as many have so often said it is. ―Sidewalks—how odd!‖ 6


GARLITZ

Or ―these strange, grayish, ashy pockmarks in the landscape?‖ See? Reincarnation gives us hope at every level of figuration. If she can heal her scar through making love in a book we only read, we can love our scars and find some book, or write our own, in which our loves revivivy someone, maybe us, maybe some reader in the future, or even souls who will never read either our scars or our words or our loves, who yet will know all our secrets.

Silver Toothpicks lily pads against the sky dry leaves pink russet rust cling to trees against the cold wind caresses window screen man hammers roof reassuring nail bites wood digs deep into wait for the diamond sled slide over ice and snow pin into the wallboard to skewer the red scream 7


CENTRIPETAL

DONALD HALL

Oliver At Thirteen ―While I perform the procedures expected of me (pouring milk on cornflakes, complaining about homework, playing a game of catch with my father), I observe and collect evidence until I become certain: They are all actors – mother, students at school, busdrivers, saleswomen, father. Even the crowds on the Green and sunbathers at Hammonasset are bit-players or extras, rehearsed to behave as crowds are supposed to behave, who watch the subject 8


HALL

of the experiment: Will he, would anyone, even with a script as ingenious as it is preposterous, believe: house, West Rock, television, teacher, thirteen, Connecticut, Oliver, hospital.‖

LYNN CHONG

Climbing Rose in Dorset Can a spirit overtake a rose, a climbing rose? We stood so far away, stood in the road, and lifted a camera to our eye, used its lens to magnify and bring up-close adventurer rose. His flashy knotty blooms were six feet off the ground, were eight and twelve feet off the ground, were red specks higher than the porch roof, were past the lower rusty edge of the house roof! – because - why? A towering evergreen had, every season, supported the rose. Who thought to live on within that rose? What compassion ignited in the so-branchy tree? So we extend our arms to all, freaks and friends. Can a spirit live through a rose through a tree? 9


CENTRIPETAL

CHONG

Motion: An Autobiography Over the planet‘s lovely surface she pushed her feet along, trudging believing in innocent strength turning Earth. She, others, were oxen. Bent, looking down, she pushed back with her feet. Sure, tips of grass growing distracted her eyes, but mostly she worked only at pushing Earth along. She was nine; she was ten. Not until pubescence and swaying hips, and, later, academic lessons in physics, did motion-knowledge supplant her simply thoughts. She lifted her eyes from Earth and allowed in adult lessons, all education‘s jargon and talk. She mastered this and that. She became degreed; she married. She found hardest ground to kick against. The foolhardiness of war made her blanch. Having motherhood for over thirty years, she made shouts with her voice. Wrote letters, painted peace-vigil banners. Her determination consumed hours, bucking and howling at savage war plans, losing sleep, finding right words. 10


JEFFREY BICKFORD

Late-morning Reflections on the Deity The day that justice and mercy were tottering, blue haired, elderly ladies (wearing white with gold sashes) was the day I saw you as through a stretched-out sheet of clear plastic. You were shooting pool with the others, and drinking Diet Pepsi. I said, God, I didn‘t know you wore khaki cutoffs. You winked and put the two ball in the side pocket. The day purity and peace were two summer dressed pigtailed girls who couldn‘t find their mothers at the church picnic was the day I saw you as through the gaps in the Venetian blinds. You were swing dancing, throwing the girls high in the air. I said, God, I didn‘t think you liked this kind of music. You shrugged and asked the shyest girl to dance. The day love and hope were two unemployed evangelists commiserating in a train station coffee shop was the day I saw you as through the grill of a fan running on low power. You were sitting in on bongos at a bar in New Jersey. I said God, I didn‘t figure you would support this type of establishment. You smiled and nodded towards the unoccupied piano bench.

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CENTRIPETAL

BICKFORD

The day reverence was a surprisingly young wino who couldn‘t get warm anymore was the day I saw you as through the mist of a working sprinkler‘s spray. You were dropping off a lasagna at the apartment of the local agoraphobic atheist. I said God, I didn‘t realize you didn‘t know he hates you. You frowned, and ignored me as you knocked purposefully on the sick man‘s door.

Afternoon Chores Go and fetch the field hands, she said catch the unfinished ends of lines that break the hallowed nows, before they shake the sleeping brows of the overly concerned, inconsiderate and supposedly learned dogs that sit under the porch while we peel potatoes. She said gather up the rosebutter shards that matter, put the broken shutter under the bottom step, she said rewire your untimely preparations, put out the fire in the sawdusted meadow. She points out the dust on the window, but I just scout for the men coming in from the field‘s rows.

12


PAT ARMSTRONG

The Technical Writer ―Here lies Timocritus, valiant in battle, at Illium slain: Ares spares not the brave man, but the coward.‖ This he read from a card beside a stele in the museum Sunday afternoon. ―When I was a boy,‖ he said, ―they made me put down my fists, take off my skin and sit still.‖ He held two pills in his hand: ―one makes my heart go faster,‖ he said, ―the other slows it almost to a stop.‖ He had complete control of words: ―You might not believe me,‖ he said, ―but everything I say is in order.‖ While at the woman‘s bed the several children wept, he remained seated: ―Do not grieve,‖ he said, "the Universe is mostly nothing." 13


CENTRIPETAL

ARMSTRONG

When he was alone and living in the city, he sent me a truck stop postcard: ―If you should decide to visit,‖ it said, ―take Piedmont to the end, or turn in one of four directions: left is sinister, and only for the brave; right I have not taken; forward will get you here eventually; and backward, well all this I will explain in greater detail when you arrive.‖ In my presence he never got angry, never raised his voice, never discussed politics. ―The computer understands me; it knows just what I‘m thinking.‖ This he said while looking at me and typing capital I‘s until the monitor was full. We were the last to leave, and only then at the guard‘s insistence. Our footsteps echoed from the marble mezzanine. ―That sound,‖ he said, ―it follows me everywhere.‖ Outside, the sun was setting and there were red leaves on the lower branches of the maple sapling. I wrote it all down and took a cab home.

14


DAVID COMMINS

Molly Ages ago, I wrote you a song and sang it to no one, only the trees trying to capture a feeling I felt when you ran your cold fingers across my young face Once long ago, I sang to the trees a song I wrote you alone in my room and they wept yellow leaves all around my feet that have long since rotted and turned to dust Not long ago, I sang you a song In an empty room to an itchy rope ‗till my throat ran dry and my blood ran cold but I don‘t think you heard me alone in your room now all I see is the darkest of nights and the silence of space is my tomb. I think of a song that I wrote long ago when the sky was still blue and I actually thought in my ignorant youth that I could mean something to you

15


CENTRIPETAL TRACEY L. SMITH

i‘m burned… still picking at scabs from seven years ago and you stare on, words undisclosed, undisturbed with stale blood flowing through my veins i‘m a memory of the past until i spill from this weeping table a puddle of personality on grainy kitchen tiles stained and trampled over and over again by people i don‘t know don‘t recognize anymore mop me up, soak me into your tendrils or if not, dip your fingers into me making ripples, changing shape into something shapeless soaked into the marrow of this house shove your fingers down the hole in the plaster coated wall fisting through the throat grasp me at the center is it real now that it‘s tangible, these charred, flaking slivers of my emotions? this house has been burning for seven years since the mourning dawn i am a corpse if I stay but i‘ll no more survive in leafing, sprouting spring not even hippies would dare save these pillars, this foundation; chain themselves to the oak door and scream, ―a million trees died to build this and now they‘re dying again!‖ worthless waste of breath always have been, always will be set fire to the room. do it now. you splash the gasoline on us all and i‘ll drop my condescending cigarette, sparks fly 16


SMITH

and for once you smile, gratified you‘re the one who spilled the fuel but i‘m the one who‘ll start the fireworks

acrid seems old love is on your mind things never seem to settle down for me pasts are part of our lives, you say i take to much comfort in mine but comfort is what i crave when comparisons lack luster if you would take my hand or ring me, to hear it in your voice ‗i need you‘ i‘d throw all my lovers letters away (secretly, i did yours that cleansing day) and never comfort them again but it seems old love is in your life every winter it looms and i lay closer, try to keep the fire burning your tongue is slick and words hydroplane and crash through your teeth you mean things you don‘t say but i hear things you don‘t mean your jagged truth, blinding light of… the acidity, nauseating things never seem to settle down for me 17


CENTRIPETAL

ANGELA HARTMAN

Untitled Grab on to me Soak up my pain Suck it out of me I‘m cold, always cold Trust burns empty So fucking empty Taste it Swallow it Throw it back up in my face I keep that inside I keep your dirty little secret I keep it for you Shaking, hold me Collapsing, hold me Crying, don‘t fucking touch me. I‘ll drain myself Mocking me, I see At least I can swallow it.

Picturesque

18

Blood Red Rose Leans against the wind She punishes those who dare touch her With bite marks From her passionate thorns


HARTMAN

Her beauty is breathtaking, overwhelming They stop to suck in all she has to give Moving on the moment her petals fade Hollow, Alone, and Weeping She continues as tears spiral And I hold her up when she falls Because I am the wind

KRYSTINA HAJDUCZEK

Untitled Windy Day Bordering on winter Reams of reams Of paper Used to describe Sheaves and sheaves Of wheat. Recapturing summer, And suns. Seasons and she Dives away, Into the breaking year. These are the nights When I live two lives Out of nine. I‘m running out of immortality And my night eyes Just can‘t seem to adjust To this endless season.


19 HAJDUCZEK

CENTRIPETAL

Uncertain When Adding I added your face to my hands last night It‘s three in the morning, And I‘m blind. The moon paled the stars And I stood Asserting my poetic side I‘m positive of all the negatives, Subtracting the egos And forging lies We‘ve evolved past monkeys And mind games Linked by missing descendents My heart commits suicide again, But I don‘t mind, It‘s her business And I wonder the score, the formula, the equation And why I‘m so uncertain when adding.

20


MATTHEW HOWES

Ourself Eternity is the space between the metronome click Stillness is scorching. Movement is frostbite. I learn the harsh laws of brittle dream. Jagged Granite fog cloud rules, Never enforced before, Or perhaps frightened youth naps, Long since forgotten. Baptize the babies in tobacco leaves. Run with the wild beast. Look out for the little ones, But don‘t buy their money. Be like the tremendous ones, But do not imitate. Remember the forgotten ones, They help you forget you. Bow down before the ugly ones, The Keepers of the Pain. It is now time for the reckoning. You cannot avoid reconciliation, Try as you may.

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CENTRIPETAL

BENJAMIN AUFILL

5 Minutes to Go 5 Minutes to go For reasons you left me Three Simple words Two Phrases yelled that mean ―no‖ And One lonely soul This is what I keep saying As I begin to cry You‘ll never believe me Cause you were a lie 5 minutes to go Forth Seasons you met me Three kisses so fine Two people that met free And one second that stopped… Time Moments that I am praying That would return to me But now regretting The heart inside me So your plane is leaving And I no longer shine No matter what I was saying You‘ll never be mine 5 minutes you gave me For Treason you thought Three seems to be a crown So Two eyes I am now tasting Feeling One heart Forgot 22


NATHAN ALANDER

Watching the Patrons I like to drink beer. Actually I love to drink beer. Throughout my beer drinking career, I have taken the time to observe the different ways people find to drink beer. I find the best places to observe beer drinking is in the local bar or pub. I tend to find a seat off to the side, or a little out of the way, where I can thoroughly view the patrons of the establishment and study their beer drinking habits. I attempt to go unnoticed during my observations; unfortunately this is not always the case. If women notice me, they generally refer to me as the ―sketchy guy‖ in the corner. Men simply call me a ―loser‖. Nevertheless, I brush off these remarks and continue with my work, unbeknownst to others. One particular evening, I sat alone at a local establishment, and watched as the patrons went about their business. It became obvious to me that bottled beer was the beer of preference at this bar. Bottled beers come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and I notice the most common color of a beer bottle is brown! Green and clear bottles also exist, but these are overwhelmingly outnumbered by the browns. Most of these brown bottled beers are tall and slender. The patrons refer to these as ―long necks‖. On occasion, short stubby bottles will make an appearance, but through my observations, I notice stubby bottles appear mostly on special promotional nights. I‘ve come to realize that canned beer is virtually unheard of in a bar. I suppose this is due to its tacky appearance, and metallic taste. Canned beer is more common at small, house parties, and bought in bulk. When the patrons do not drink from bottles, they drink from pint glasses, commonly referred to as the draft beer. I have often been tempted to say, ―Hey barkeep, fetch me a draft,‖ but I fear that this would not go over well in many local establishments. 23


CENTRIPETAL

ALANDER

One of the most fascinating aspects of beer drinkers is the act of consumption. In this particular pub, the men will stand in a circle, much like a football huddle, and converse about the women at the other end of the bar. The men will typically hold their beers at the base, or fat part of the bottle. Some men will rest the base of the bottle on their pinky finger, with the remaining three fingers and thumb acting as a sort of cradle. The other men will hold their beers at chest level, close to their hearts, as if every bit of that beer is cherished. On the contrary, the women of this pub will also begin the night in a small group. But, I notice the women quickly mingle amongst the men, breaking the huddle. These women too, prefer the bottled beer, but they typically hold the neck of the bottle. They take quick, small sips of beer as compared to the men, who tend to ―gulp‖ or ―chug‖. Beer, I have observed, has a wonderful way of loosening the tongues of both men and women. In any beer drinking situation, it seems that the more beer men and women drink, the louder their voices get. Conversations that often begin at an audible level soon escalate to loud yells and sometimes conversations are directed at specific individual ears. ―What?‖ is the most common word used during the consumption of beer conversations, closely followed by ―Oh yeah‖ and ―Me too.‖ As the night draws to a close, the patrons of this establishment slowly make their way to the exit. I see that men and women who began the night staring at one another from across the room have become extremely close. And yet I, remaining in the shadows, finish my brown bottled beer, with my pinky on the bottom of the bottle.

24


ROBERT BINETTE

Vermont She was an ice cream scooper from Vermont She had a strong right arm Powerful as god When I saw her in the parlor that day I knew I just had to say hello and there I did so As she gave me another serving of Chocolate Fudge Brownie I introduced myself and from then on I couldn‘t get enough I was hooked, She was a dancer in the big show A hot dancer always on display Showing off her moves She wanted to open her own place in the countryside and train little girls I just imagined hundreds of little you‘s Dancing around me in circles in gold I thought you were a genius then. She was a schoolteacher who taught 1st grade Through the big windows I saw her Over and over again on my way home I knew she was beautiful so I had to talk to her I had to talk to her, It‘s making the most out of what you have It‘s taking what you can get and loving it dearly I will always love you the same way you loved me Never too dull Never too plain and never boring You will always be beautiful in my eyes and in the sunlight In the shade of the trees in the morning In the leaves that fall in autumn You lovely stranger I will always love you. 25


CENTRIPETAL

SCOTT COYKENDALL

A Note to Wendy Wendy, Looked for you today. Tabitha and I searched the slope for your name, bright colors. We had bought two surprises for you: 1. our daughter, who scrambled up the green lawn and made a game of peeking out from the old growth. When Tabitha finally caught her they wandered toward shade and a pinwheel whirling on the hillside. As in the Flint Hills, where we were lost in the rain for hours, you‘ll laugh at my failure to navigate. This time, the directions clearly pointed up the hill, right, then left to one young tree outside a crown of White Oak and Elm. Still I couldn‘t find you and we were, as always, on our way to somewhere else. The other surprise: this brilliant poppy, like dawn, that I cut this morning and left on some stranger‘s stone.

26


DAVID EVANS

Color Staining the Authoritative Attitude of Teachers An orange glow washes the blades of golden rye and green clover. A deer sleeps in the shade of the Tree of Wisdom, its leaves the printed words of Voltaire and Rousseau. A slow vanishing, the scene melts like butter on pancakes, slowly dripping its yellow sweetness on the white porcelain plate. Melting and vanishing, the scene leaves behind the white curtain of institutionalized thought, fluttering with every breath of the wind, trying to take off on the wings of a certain whisper it so desperately wants to hear. I close my eyes, forcing the color to spill upon and stain the white fabric wove by my professors whose classroom I dutifully attend, whose word I took as biblical. These paints I throw upon the white tabernacle carry colors of confusion and doubt.

KEVIN YOUNG

Untitled Repreep-repreep-reepreep-reprepreep Drop retentive leaves, exceeding capacity, dripping onto one Another, imitating the rain that has recently fallen, and Will fall again shortly. While in the background sounds a perfectly out-of-tune choir, massaging my mind through my ears, with a gently inconsistent consistency. Reeprep-repreep-reepreep-repreep. 27


CENTRIPETAL

DONALD P. WHARTON

The Sung Masters‘ Li One should know well the form of birds – And of the mountains, virtue in the voice of form: Not singing, but stillness, shape Of a single note struck in immensity When clarity is absolute And unconveyed by speech or silence. The Sung Masters, whether of swallows or cranes Or bamboo leaves after rain, Or the billowing, plated mountains And the waterfall in the mountains, Knew the whole world for a surging cordillera Of earth and sky. Only then Is there somewhere below, Riding a donkey on a winding trail, Fishing or gazing or hauling sheaves, The stick-figured man, occupied with something, Busy in his own way. Birds move, mountains move, streams rise and fall. The heart out of mountains loses its ceaseless character, Yearns after time. But I and my brother hawk Are also the hare, the bog turtle, the poplar log And the yew-berry, the rank sedge grass And the glistening slug on the moving leaf. In this way also did Hui Neng, the Ch‘an patriarch, Receive enlightenment while cropping bamboo.

28


SUJEETA SILWAL

Oh Heaven! Allay My Heaven You said ―I can‘t wobble without you‖ Really maiden I became much jocular upon you. Oh, Heaven! I want to share my hopes and dreams. With the maiden whence I get the warm optimal. Really I recall that pretty woman. That giggled with the free heart. Well! We are the refugees of this world. Like the hazy sun, Just sinking beneath the world at dawn. I can‘t elaborate your prettiness nor explain it. Just shouting and screaming within my heartbeat. Sometimes you seem like a Reebok. Just roaming and jumping around the desert, If you wish. Oh! Heaven! Please commit her brain. Requesting to control her habit like an unbridled train. You and I will be in Chaos after death. Thus, there musn‘t be any illusion between twice myth. There will be much brudern on my brain, If you leave me, Then, let me not to bungle the lord schedule. So maiden, I really pleased with you. And wishing for your allay habit. I don‘t want to show my splendid world, If not it may be so tremendous moment.

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CENTRIPETAL

SILWAL

True Feelings For You In the serenity of my mind, I close these eyes to looks for you. Absorbed in the silence of thoughts, I always find you. You may sometimes wander away forgetting yourself When something dark remains in your mind. But return to me at any time. And I hear your voice breaking the silence of thoughts (‗But why do I place so much trust in you?‘) I myself don‘t know why I have such faith in you. Maybe I have from deep within loved and cared for you Or it may also be from the love that sets us in the greatest emotion But I don‘t know what a great emotion really is. Perhaps this is my true feeling for you. So would it be enough if I could help just a little bit? With your ambitions, aspirations and desires? Would it be enough if I could help us to fulfill The numerous dreams we dreamt together… To keep the promise we made together… And to walk many miles of our lives together. Or Would it be enough if I could give only hope and ease? To you in your moments of weariness and despair? Perhaps this could be sacrifice for you.

30


LISA RICHMOND

Pontoon Days As the four of us creep Across the still water, Grandpa baits our hooks With bits of hot-dog and bologna. We giggle and toss Petrified popcorn to neighboring ducks; I never catch any fish, but Once I managed to hook a frantic duck. Red three, draw again; my sister Peeks at my hand and tosses bread overboard. Grandma finally unlocks the savory Bag of Utz potato chips, and I‘m distracted by the scent Of her famous onion dip. Dusk sets in as The warm breeze fades away My sister and I, two Peas wrapped in a terry cloth pod Cling to the cool, leathery seats Completely exhausted, cradled In the back of the boat The game is over and Our bellies are satisfied The candle struggles As we head for shore. Under a starry sky, We prepare to surrender to the night. Grandma and Grandpa retire to their favorite recliners Cocktails in hand, answer their nightly Jeopardy questions. My sister and I camp out On the hardwood floor of the screened-in-porch Dreaming of dragonflies And adventurous waters. 31


CENTRIPETAL

REBECCA POULETTE

Summertime When the air bathes me in the smell of fresh cut grass and feels like silk against my wet skin. When the baseball game is on and I sit with my father and fall asleep in his loving arms. When my grandmother rocks me with the delicate aroma of baby powder lingering in my mind for all eternity. The touch of her soft hands brushing over my hair. A time when sleeping brought the possibility of the Muppets dancing with me until sunrise. When my mother was there and real and alive. When my days were filled with the worry of what game is yet to come or what words were left to be uttered between two friends who did everything together, from playing house to giving each other their first black eyes. Those were the days when I was a believer, and it was then that I knew I was destined to be something great, it was then that I wanted to be a rock star.

32


POULETTE

Resurrection of Memories In stardust and dreams Her face came to focus. Her fingers touched my hair, Her smell lulled me to sleep. A rose was given, Love shined from within A smile as bright as the moon Shined back from her heart. Orange bottles filled her room. An unlit cigarette held to her mouth. Bedpans, blankets, tubes, and wigs. Death crept down the walls. It was raining the day they buried her. Word given by a loving father, ―Each drop of rain is a soul, a soul that is going to heaven.‖

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CENTRIPETAL

AMANDA PORTER

Treasures Held Unseen Your kisses are like ancient pearls, Their brilliant value unsurpassed. I gather them, pay homage, Desperate to make up for the past. I am blinded by your radiance, Overtaken by caprice. The stars you've stolen glimmer, Makes your bounty worth increase. Deliver me the jewels you hold, Augmented, shining in your eyes. Golden secrets fall from heaven, Settle in the places where we lie. Night settles all around us, Two souls stripped become sedate. Your fingertips run gently, A final love to procreate. My gifts spread out before you, Seeds of passion lost inside. My heart bleeds ruby red now, And I have nothing left to hide. Diamonds bead upon your skin, But I do not wipe them clean. Now both adorned in riches, Our greatest treasures held unseen.

34


AARON KENDRICK

You see sir… I was speeding because I‘m late for dinner, and I‘m starving— a cola was the only thing I had for lunch; and my bladder started hurting; so I had to turn the music up— to keep my mind off the pain; I was singing so loudly, and enthusiastically that I didn‘t realize my cell phone was ringing, until I answered, and my wife said ―Rush home; Johnny broke his finger,‖ you see—I have the only car we own: a point of contention I might add— has been for the last couple of years; anyway— we fought, and I got so mad I cut off another driver who began chasing me; so I sped up; I‘d been sneezing this whole time, you see— I have an allergy to sunlight—which is why I noticed the sky became dark with rain clouds— my car roof leaks so I had to speed up; I was trying to outrun the rain. Boy, I am glad you stopped me; I need to ask you a question… 35


CENTRIPETAL

KENDRICK

Autumn Wind he sluggishly wanders through the paths of grass brushing past the leaves of drying trees and surprisingly lonely, old bullfrogs who croak and leap loudly to the safety of deeper water. his breath is cold and bitingly wet he whistles softly – blowing the smell of rotting grass past my cheeks and the taste of lake water I spit at my friends as a kid. He passes over the surface of the smoky water leaving paths of peaks chasing each other around the outcropping of pine and stone licking the grainy sand of shore.

VANESSA PETERS

Exposed Reverence

36

Jab a needle into my vein See how great it feels Filled by you Filled with you Nothing is real Until you speak it aloud Then it‘s still only temporary Most disturbing It‘s not right Mindless, boring, redundant Maniacal, mechanical Statutory something or another It‘s wrong


PETERS

You know it I know it The world knows it Dancing, swimming, Stabbing, jabbing Cold air makes my body rigid Leather corset tightens Around my bare breasts Spider web tendrils Spin around my lips Heart beating silence Shatters my ear drums One foot gone… Two feet gone… Bliss Solitary row Not black, gray Lines of erotica Friendships gone Loves erased Eyes heavy You sleep Stress… weighing me down Life down… Thin glass vials Eyes begging to be free Set loose Oral gratification Thumb in mouth Monstrous & Impossible To execute Prison, jail, trap Confused I get Change at night Sandals reveal your twisted toes 37


CENTRIPETAL

PAUL ROGALUS

Transformer Man My friend Steve used to look at people and see them with animal faces--usually apes-- but sometimes pigs or dogs or bugs of some sort. I thought that was odd at first--that maybe it had something to do with Steve being stoned so much of the time. But now, I just don't know. One time I was having lunch with Steve at the El Phoenix on Comm. Ave., and I asked him about his animal visions. He gestured to the waiter, a stumpy guy who had a thick, dark uni-brow and a sharply protruding ape-like jaw. "Look," Steve said, "he's still in the process of transforming." The waiter grunted at us and hopped away clumsily. I could sort of see what he meant. "And look over there--look at that guy," Steve said, pointing. There was a ―man‖ at the table to our right, eating some sort of casserole plate—or perhaps it was shepherd‘s pie. Anyway, the man had his face lowered over the plate and he was hoovering up mashed potatoes and corn and ground beef ravenously—without the benefit of using utensils. When he finally raised his face from the plate, it was covered with potatoes and brown gravy. "I know he's got a lot of slop on his face," Steve said, but if you look closely just above the guy‘s mouth you can detect the beginnings of a large pig-snout. Oh, he's a pig all right." As if on cue the pig man snorted, and then mashed his face back into his casserole plate. Steve shook his head. ―He ought to eat out of a trough,‖ he said. "Yeah, I sort of see it," I said. "So, is it usually apes and pigs that you see people turn into?" "Well, yeah, a lot of apes," Steve said, "but it's more varied than that." He looked around the restaurant for an example. Off in a dark corner, a couple in their early 20‘s sat, very seriously kissing each other. Both wore dark, polyester clothing and a lot of jewelry, and both had very dark hair that 38


ROGALUS

appeared to be wet. Their kissing became more involved— more intense—their wet faces became plastered to each other—two large, oozing slugs sealing into each other. "There, over there, see them, that 'couple' over there---what do they look like to you?" "Slugs?" I said. "Yes," he said. "Exactly. They make me sick." Later on we were walking across the common, and it started to hit me. Steve was on to something. He was just more observant than most people. A teen-aged couple playfully pranced by us. They were down on all fours on the grass, hopping about each other like excited dogs—taking turns sniffing each others‘ butts. "Dog people," I said, pointing. Steve nodded. "Some days I worry that I might forget what it's like to be human," he said, watching the puppy couple. And then he sighed. "But even so," he went on, "it's still way better than when I see people turning into machines." He stopped and shook his head. Wow, I thought, Steve sees machine heads. That's when I started worry.

39


CENTRIPETAL

JEFF RICHARDSON

Loose Hair Insomnia in my mind, and not in my eyes. Make the walls disintegrate in my cranium. Twisted embers of fire lay beneath a Confectionary Concoction of cloudiness. Rulers slapping desks. The unsounded bell rings, and another circus is about to begin. Trees fall just to be massacred. The patient waits at the end of the hall. Fear, Pain, Death, Time. Avalanche into a cosmetic chaos on my soul. And lets the embers rise and the insanity grows. Until volcanic magma strolls down my face. Bloodshot peers and head surging with shards, will ease my endeavor.

40


DUSTIN SEIGEL

Skateboarder The silence It‘s the silence that gets me, Followed by the dull sound, Of wheels hitting pavement. Then the role away, Arms up, stomped landing. The adrenaline fades quickly, So you have to keep moving. The pain It‘s the pain that gets me. The crash and burn when You commit too soon. Too late to bail, You have to feel to know you‘re alive. Just skate it off, It‘s not so bad. The struggle It‘s the struggle that gets me. The hours spent learning, Endless repetition. A failed attempt is the same As failed style. They only watch When you give them something to see. The name It‘s the name that gets me. ―Skater‖, like a dirty word, You don‘t want your kids to hear. Welded nubs, like rat traps, Made to trip you up. When the cops roll up, Do you run, or try to work it out? 41


CENTRIPETAL

SEIGEL

The feeling It‘s the feeling that gets me. Always with my friends, Who know the thing that I love. The feeling, the name, The struggle, the pain, The silence.

42


NICKY ROSS

Untitled my memories

are hung on the nails

of lyrics hammered into history with strange tongues the wailing obvious stays oblivious even in a clear light clarity is controlled by color & melodies paint music to remind all the yous are not you they are not for you even they are just a less alone way of seeing me ď ś

Untitled You‘re the maldadjusted criminal Of my heart Stealing those strings fragile Scaffold stretch

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CENTRIPETAL

ROSS

The tragic Fabric Frames My attempt

Your laughter Beauti

to be

ful As I

Pin My sacrificial Skin

on the raw Wall

& you

put my entrails underneath carefully in lines manipulating

an epitaph into image

into caption

tempting thought

classic ď ś

Untitled It‘s not so much That it was lost Like an art / icle of childhood With never-again-attainable Sewn into the seams & colored into the plastic, no, not lost but forgotten 44

Attributes


ROSS

like state birds & favorite flowers

you made the right guess on that one as I perched on your knee 3am & craving comfort without remembrance there is no debate nothing to cling to no rafters, steel, rock &I wonder will I always be where you put me, not mantlebound or delicate you never confined me to that but called me on it instead of silk you were used to slipping out in emotional words that made ties of love & knots of understanding I never told you What You did not ask for & when I asked you for you you gave me your lips like a clock to document time spent, yes, but also a reminder of increments, of ends 45


CENTRIPETAL

CRAIG NELSON

Yes I Didn‘t, No You Did What a pair we made, you wearing your jacket of porcupine quills, me in my genuine turtle shell suit, gliding into the opening of the Best Arguments of the 40‘s and 50‘s exhibit of the Metropolitan Museum of Disagreements. Under a picture of Brando posed mid-Stella (with the caption ART IMITATES STRIFE) you were taking careful notes on the connection between film and verbal abuse. I meandered the Shut Up, No You Shut Up Wing letting the conflicts affect me as they pleased. ―Push here for a rare recording of a couple arguing near the Artic Circle, circa 1942 I readily obey. My wife, disturbed from her concentration, glares in the direction of the ruckus I‘ve started. Something about the Siberian dialect goes immediately to my heart. Inspired, I move my arms to the recording like a conductor. My wife moves away in a huff, the exhibit no longer big enough for the both of us. She takes solace in the lobby, Sitting on a bench under one of the museum‘s classics: ―Velociraptors: The First Debate Team?‖ 46


NELSON

Meanwhile, I feel an increase in my range and understanding of aggressive discussionlistening to come Salvic woman rebut in a way I don‘t understand, but understand so well. Enlightenment in the sound of one hand slapping. I can‘t wait to ring my in-laws, go bargain-hunting in Istanbul, tell you I don‘t want children, unless you don‘t either in which case I do. As the reception jumps to conclusions, walking out of the place— just briefly, for a few seconds— there is the deepest peace between us. But you step onto our gondola like a teabag of trouble has been steeping in your head. My existence has put a run in your stocking, now the pendulum is in your court. I watch the choppy water, think how beautiful your lips as they pull back like a bow.

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CENTRIPETAL

MATT KMIEC

From The Back The smooth expanse Below your neck, Edges of your shirt Draped loosely on either side. Wisps of hair hung Just above the Silver chain you wear. Light glints off Tiny specks of Glitter on your back, Momentarily drawing my Attention away from The sculpture-smooth Curve where neck meets shoulder Just below the Near-white wisps And silver chain.

ď ś

Chased Our eyes catch and Mine dart away Like startled fish A moment before Drawn to the tan sliver Below your collarbone, They had lingered A second too long And you noticed, Chasing my eyes Away with yours 48


BOB KELLEY

November Gray smoke curls gently At the point where his fingertips Nearly meet his lips, And rises slowly Towards the matching steel sky. He shivers, Awake But not consciously aware Of the death all around him. It lies in the trees, In the gutter with the leaves Things he no longer notices But surely sees Like the ancient maple in his yard Its mighty arms quiver, Naked In the sunless wind. And the smoke from the chimney sways in the chill like the smoke from his cigarette just before he grinds it with his foot onto the cold concrete

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CENTRIPETAL

LIZ AHL

Adhesives I can‘t get the nicotine patch to stick to my body. I press it down hard, till I‘m sure I‘m bruised, and still it sneaks off my arm. I press harder. When I move my arm, the patch curls up a bit. I can‘t have part of the patch not in full contact with my skin! That would mean missing some nicotine, which might mean freaking out, maybe killing someone, maybe crashing my car. I press harder. I move, it moves, I press harder. I start to sweat. I tape down an edge with a bandaid. I brush my hair, and the patch curls up. I use three more bandaids, all I‘ve got in the cabinet. It curls up. I think about trying the stapler, thumbtacks, a hot glue-gun, a needle and thread; I smack the patch again, and now I know I‘m going to have a bruise later, and I know I‘m going to have to smack it all day to keep it stuck on, and I know I‘m not going to get the right amount of nicotine, and why won‘t it stick? What‘s wrong with me? And I stare in the mirror, as it slowly unsticks again, and I curse, and I smack it, and I really really really need a cigarette.

50


AHL

Fragment G, July 1994 Loath to go up the hill, or labor thus To go to heaven, we make heaven come to us. - John Donne, ―The First Anniversary‖ I. The moon tonight, full and milky-haloed, can‘t hide the light of Jupiter, burning its tiny eye in the sky. In the observatory‘s dark belly, the telescope stretches 400 million miles into a dreamy, fantastic distance – On the black and white screen, Jupiter looks bruised, but real – before, it was only a cartoon, or dream or fiction – now it‘s a place, a destination. We haven‘t seen pieces of the comet hit. but we can see the bruises left tender to the touch of the telescope, swelling and dim. II. Eugene and Carolyn, starstruck at Mt. Palomar only months ago, mapped out the diamond braceleted fragments – A through W on a course for impact. And though some swore the force would be less even than diamonds, Fragment G tore Jupiter‘s thick, enigmatic skin with six million megatons of energy.

51


CENTRIPETAL

One megaton = a million tons of TNT. Fragment G = Hiroshima every second for ten years. 400 million miles away. Ten earths on the equator. Try to swallow these numbers, to name them, even. Bruises broad as earth, dispersing. III. In 1908, Earth may have been abused, the bruised, as something struck Siberia, flattened over 1,000 square kilometers of forest. 1,000 square kilometers = more trees than I can imagine. Something exploded in the atmosphere; something might again. Look at the moon‘s pockmarked face, Look at the earth‘s rough peaks and craters – they say every 100,000 years we‘ll get hit by an asteroid at least 1 kilometer across. 1 kilometer = the distance from my house to the grocery store. 1 kilometer = panic, equals the Near Earth Object Search Committee. As fragment G struck, Jesus freaks hit the streets and Congress rolled its white eyeball upward, demanded detection. 400 million miles. Our cold war‘s with the universe. IV. I can see Jupiter. Telescope swallowed it, brought it down to this tiny observatory where, with schoolchildren, I watch it shimmer, close as the moon. Reach for my hand, I think. Bridge a distance. Who knew how easy it might be? 52

AHL


WILLIAM BRASIER

The Snakes They writher in balls One hundred or more. An oozing mass of mucus and scales Most amazing orgy of reproduction. Things man will never fully understand True instinct Reproduction. Witnessed in the jungle Age 18 Mesmerized For hours by nature Rarely seen. Something beautiful still So violent. Fighting Biting in effort for dominant seed.

53


CENTRIPETAL

JOY CIRUSO

Dissolved Unexplainable. Completely irrational. Left in solitude. Bashed with harshness. RidiculousnessFrom one…unique…individual. A strong, energized, companion… LostAnd now gone. No words explain a leave… No final statement. No conclusionBlank. StrictlyFinished.

54


A. D‘ALLESANDRO

Midnight Break ―Where are you going?‖ I asked my mother in a loud whisper. She had her coat on and my baby sister in her arms. ―We‘re going across the street to Bernie‘s to sleep. I‘ll be back in the morning.‖ ―I want to go.‖ I looked at her and the surrounding darkness of my house in the late hours of the night. ―No, Ang. You stay here with Daddy, ok? I‘ll be back in the morning.‖ She shifted my sister, drowsy and quiet, from one hip to the other. ―Please? I want to go with you.‖ I begged her in my best ‗good girl‘ voice. ―No. Stay here with Daddy.‖ She replied more sternly. She commanded obedience, which was rarely given. I complied and let her go, afraid to throw a fit and wake up my father, asleep on the living room couch. Our dog Bonnie waited next to me, also looking up at my mother. ―Keep Bonnie quiet. I will be back in the morning, I promise.‖ In the end her promise made good. It was not fear that drove me to beg to be included, but desire and exhaustion of a world I was responsible for maintaining. I stood disappointed as my mother turned and quietly walked to the back hall door. She looked back and told me she loved me just before she vanished into the hallway darkness. She had expected me to be asleep not realizing how little I actually slept. Bonnie walked over to the door and whined at it, turned to me and whined again. ―Be quiet, Bonnie!‖ I whispered angrily. My heart sank, but I knew my duty had been rightfully directed: to take care of Daddy. I turned around and padded back to the living room where my father lay passed out and stoned on the couch. I fumbled for the remote control because sleep had left me and I was afraid of the dark. I found the remote under his arm and pulled with an unnecessary amount of force, hoping to wake 55


CENTRIPETAL

D‘ALLESANDRO

him, but glad that I didn‘t. I knew if he knew my mother was gone he would lose his temper and do something drastic. At the same time I was angry that I had to stay and watch him, anxious and alone, while my mother was somewhere else, relaxing for an hour or two, away from his nonsense and potential outbursts. I walked over to the television and turned it on. The sound boomed out of the appliance and jolted my father from sleep. ―Wha‘? Wha‘? Whatreyoudoing?‖ he mumbled in his half stupor. I turned and glared at him, willing him back to sleep. ―I want to watch TV!‖ I barked and turned back to the television. I didn‘t want to be alone but I couldn‘t stand him awake in such a state. :Go back to sleep!‖ I growled in my most annoying voice. ―Don‘ give me lip!‖ he warned and lay back down, out cold before his had hit the pillow. I wanted to turn the TV all the way up. I wanted to scream and cry and throw a fit. I wanted my mother to come home. I wanted him to be awake and normal and watch TV and talk to me. Before long dawn broke and I had watched the same ten videos on MTV for the fourth time. I decided to get up and go to my own bed and wait for my mother. I looked at the clock, 4:19 a.m. It would be soon. I walked over to my father and looked down on him, asleep, with Bonnie next to him on the couch, one hand behind his head, one across his chest. I touched his head, poked his cheek. ―Daddy?‖ I whispered in his ear. ―Daddy? Daddy wake up. Please.‖ A pit in my stomach. I leaned into him and kissed his cheek. He jumped, startled, and looked at me with glazed eyes. ―Ang. What‘s wrong honey?‖ ―Nothing. I am going to my room, ok?‖ ―Ok.‖ ―I love you Daddy.‖ He had fallen asleep again. I pushed his shoulder to wake him. ―Daddy!‖ 56


D‘ALLESANDRO

―Wha‘? What, baby, what?‖ ―I said I love you.‖ Hearing me, he smiled, his stoned eyes shut grin. ―I love you, too. Give me a kiss.‖ I kissed his cheek, rough and coarse. ―Good night Daddy.‖ I left the living room with my blanket under my arm, only to go lie in bed and watch the room get light with the arrival of morning and another day.

MIKE LONGO

Nameless A face, I have one, but my masks they are much Voices and styles and smiles and such All points of the spectrum I have come to touch This world has no crutch This crumbly crust fills me with disgust I must make the musk of this place turn to dust To dusk I look no to placebo the puss that pulses and pounds Through the words, sights and sounds We highlight because we are righteous and right Existing in bounds we‘ve extinguished the light I inhale the night, I inhale the night The Blindness that binds us we find its alright I inhale the night, I inhale the night

57


CENTRIPETAL

JACKIE SCHOFIELD

Martyr Me Pushing again, Blowing kisses at domino walls. The blue ribbon for fucking it all up And still having good intentions Lying to myself Good girls go to heaven. The devil stands over my headstone, cackling. A chisel inscribes, ―here lies a martyr.‖ And somehow, I‘m convinced… That you‘re the only one that gets it.

Muted A Charlie Chaplin chapter of me. Not even a whisper. Padlocked, buttoned and zippered lips. What are you so afraid of? ―I‘m shy.‖ Code for: ―I‘m full of shit and scared stupid of scaring you away.‖ Solace. Serene. Silence. What‘s never said can never be regretted… Screaming internally, yet externally blending with the wallpaper in an empty room. Like the painted on smiles of dolls, I‘m muted. 58


DANIEL SINGER

A Tale of the Victor A simpering wimp of a thunderstorm spends all day brewing. And eventually, when what little patience the man really has left runs out, shrieking, he goes with it. Fuming, the man tramps out the steel shutter-door, down wrought iron fire-escape steps and out of the crumbling building to stand, towering in the center of the parking lot and screams at the fucker. They have a standoff, the storm and he. It is hot, and the humidity beats upon him like nettle-whips. An hour passes, but he remains. In his head, the man proudly misquotes Shakespearean monologues – shrieking the occasional favorite at the bruised sky. ―Cry havoc, and lose the dogs of war!‖ With passion, real passion, he yells it. He runs up the hill towards the castle with his own hunk of Birnam wood; he charges it toward Dunsinane with howls tumbling in his throat and a war brewing in his gut. The man is the force of the world. He is the prime, the primal throat wrenching, snarling, drooling beast which is fear, which is rage. He is the tongue of fire, and the man screams his history at the storm until his throat rent, raw and ragged, and his voice cracked like glass. But for all the little man‘s passion, the great storm goes on storming, and what is he but exhausted, rain-soaked, and hoarse. He hangs his head, and walks defeated, dejected back indoors to rest.

59


CENTRIPETAL

SINGER

The Courtesan I called the cream I never knew and asked her for a meeting. She‘d been cautious, mis -trusting at first, but then so had I, I suppose. There were times for meetings, and there were times for anonymity, but then, she didn‘t know my name. She‘d been curt. She‘d been elusive. She was allusive. And she was skilled. Very skilled. She knocked quickly and slid, slick, into the room – studded with her smells, wearing them like rhinestones. And though I came naked and nude, there had been a pro -tection of sorts – soft armor against the plague. As we tussled in each other‘s hair, in each other‘s eyes and other parts, I felt it shield me. I felt its safety, and it made me all the bolder. And so I boasted. I beat my chest and raved to her about bulk and talent and waved my bill -fold at her like a Japanese silk fan, covering her face with it, protecting her honor. I baited her, and she grabbed for me – unblinking, nearly wordless. We rolled on the dirty ground. Sucked air in through our nostrils. Gasped in the dirt around us. We breathed brutally. Felt the air curdle inside us. Forced our looks into each other‘s and crashed down and up on our cresting waves and seethed inside the sand and raised the tides and ate the surf and sucking air and dirt and musk we stopped. And pulsed. Made small sounds. Released us. And we walked out unnamed.

60


NORA TOOMEY

Dynasty of Egg White Faces twitch like a lampshade curdled and firm tease like the sand slips sail into day souls scuff a silence you surface to scold me limp like a handshake you twist like the moon empty like bottles you leave here like sunset dwindled like candles you soften peel time chipped like a glacier cold in the morning breath stale like crackers your pulse memorized time taunts like summer rain through a window seeps through my sneakers rug burn no calls 61


CENTRIPETAL

TOOMEY

pale like fine porcelain quick to recover you beckon a child I come when I‘m called

ď ś

fleece Now I'm waiting like a u t u m n a warm

summer day only april is closing. Burned from an eager son scolded by a burning here I'm taken out of the game thrown into 62


a bag of crayons prob ab ility I bet I'll pick blue and I'm rosy with wine a sore voice from a death mass Angels C R I E D

TOOMEY

today and at St. Maries I heard her say, "nora is the lamb of god." I'm wondering just what that entails words jumbled with space and comfortable silence I c u t the weeks heaven speaks again, warns "there's a lion on the prowl!" I s i n k Sweet trepidation This lambs not white as snow.

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CENTRIPETAL

LYDIA PERRY

I am a volcano of anguish I am a volcano of anguish Waiting to erupt, Explode so the burning lava Can run into my Tortured veins; Bereft because you don‘t love me Withering because you don‘t care. And here I sit, Watching the molten burn Congeal Giving me a Hard interior patina I‘ve never known… All because of you And what you‘ve done, Leaving Me, you Dumbfounded As to what true love is supposed to be… But hard to speculate When it fails.

64


TOBY PAUL

Ruins 2 Here upon a bed of broken rainbows Lies the loneliest man of the woods Each happy peep from beneath his canopy rings a death knell for each leaf In his hut hideaway slowly stalking stores of game

CARA LOSIER

Darkness It whispers secrets into my exposed ear Once the night has gone. It casts a film over all worldly colors, A film from which only the purest white and deepest, most deviant black escape, Watching safely from heaven and hell. It puts its icy fingertips the back Of my neck, Beckoning my skin to prickle. I shiver. 65


CENTRIPETAL

LOSIER

Messenger From the sky, it looked like lush, green velvet. As she descended, heron-like, their individual grounded forms became discernable. The melancholy rustle of their leaves, offered in sad protest of their imprisoning roots. She was upon them, and invisible goddess, Whispering secrets to them, chilling them with her icy breath. An ambassador of life for the lifeless living that they were. She spoke like wind chimes (she sounded, it was said, as autumn‘s final moment before it acquiesced to winter‘s first chill). She danced among them, Creating an intricate pattern of promise, Teasing, beckoning. ―Come with me,‖ she implored, ―come with me. For I have seen the grass that grows at heaven‘s edge and weaves itself into dreams on summer evenings.‖

66


RAMSAY ELIASON

Progression of a Wall Some things are more important than to know when to say, "I understand". Pay attention to unnatural insurgence on natural bounds. Like that stone wall we found. cloaked now, but once tracing a naked scene, clinging to property bounds, we explore the ins and outs and decay. Land once scanned with eyes of progress, building the foothold I now use, too slippery for my asphalt feet, invisible to my fast eyes. The wall leads us to a clearing. remnants of a pond now covered like a grave. Filled with gray twisted trees tan sun shines on snow based reeds, swishing against the pant leg of a thousand Autumns. We stop in the middle and see over our red noses the late afternoon scene. Let the wind kiss me. >From the silence, there is a roaring rush heard in towns like mine, waking me in the morning from a clean dream. Sending me quickly down familiar streets, past 67


CENTRIPETAL

ELIASON

the sirens of angels that stalk me past houses and bars and swamps, and into a warm wind of America. A stream that courses over everything like sin. Melting ice that is hard to break, over the cool water of life-spans and same same opportunity, the width of the world. We re-find the padded path, and come across a motionless man staring at the heights of a mighty tree, carefully gauging the direction of a fall. Passing wordless, we continue up to hear the shout for us to stay away. A chainsaw rips and the tree we saw falls hard on the wall we had found.

68


ELIASON

The Summer's Good Side Laughing hard and kissing faces like the wind the spine of the seasons stiffens. A wrecker of families comes sweeping up the street, picking up dirt like the feet of bar folk. Greasy love faced men hurry through your day like undertow through your toes, then wait in the soft folds patiently. Holding the rusty key of indecision his flashy clothes cast Like nets onto your eyes Capturing the glint on television lenses a wide stare horror. Thoughts slithering through you like sin Day darkens, rain falls gently then harder. There are dry places but you don't move. You are concrete soaked.

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CENTRIPETAL

CONTRIBUTORS NOTES NATHAN ALANDER is a senior English/Writing major. Originally from Bartlett, NH, He is a staff writer for The Clock, and has been published in The Wordsworth. BENJAMIN AUFILL, Art Editor, is a senior Theater Design Technology major from Dallas, Texas with a minor in Graphics Design. WILL BRASIER, a fifth-year English major at PSC, is a Portland, ME native. He has appeared in Hustler and Penthouse and past issues of Centripetal. RANDY BROOKER is a senior English major with a Writing option. Originally from north central Maine, he now resides in the White Mountain region. JOY CIRUSO is a sophomore Early childhood studies major from Andover, MA. RAMSEY ELIASON is a 22-year-old native of Bartlett, NH and a 5th year English major. DAVE EVANS is an English Major with a Teacher Certification Option. He resides in Allenstown, NH and is currently working on getting a publication for high school students off the ground. ROBERT GARLITZ is a contributor to Robert Lax: Speaking into Silence (Stride, 2001), which is reviewed in the spring 2002 issue of Chicago Review. He has recently published essays on Exquisite Corpse and Slope. KRYSTINA HAJDUCZEK is a student of Medieval Studies at PSC. She hails from Sutton, VT. Her work has appeared in Janus. ANGELA HARTMANN is a PSC junior majoring in English . She is the founder of Ocean Shadows Productions, a publishing company based out of California. MATTHEW B. HOWES is a second-year English major at PSC. He is originally from Middleborough, MA and has published work in The Clock, and the Comp. Journal. ROBERT KELLEY is a senior at PSC majoring in English with a writing option. AARON KENDRICK is a fourth-year English major with a teacher‘s certification option. MATT KMIEC, a twenty-one year old PSC senior, majoring in English. MIKE LONGO grew up in Sanbornton, NH. He is a second-year English major at PSC. His writings can be found weekly in The Clock. CARA LOSIER, the Managing Editor of Centripetal, is a Berlin, NH native currently attending Plymouth State College. CRAIG NELSON is the co-host of the Boston Slam at Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, MA. His fifth chapter book, Textually Frustrated, is out now. TOBY H. PAUL, a Nashua native and Theatre Arts major at PSC, is a writer of poetry and plays. LYDIA PERRY is a freshman from Colchester, CT, pursuing a dual major in English with Teachers Certification and Political Science.

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CONTRIBUTORS NOTES VANESSA J. PETERS is a dual Literature and Childhood Studies major. From Brattleboro, Vermont, she has been published in The Clock, Centripetal, and the Brattleboro Reformer. AMANDA PORTER, a native of Springfield, MA, is currently studying Environmental Planning at PSC. REBECCA POULETTE is a PSC senior majoring in English with the writing option. She has previously been published in The Clock. PAUL ROGALUS is an Associate Professor of English at PSC. His full length play Crawling From the Wreckage was produced in New York City by the American Theatre of Actors; three of his one act plays have been staged in NYC as well. A chapbook of his micro-stories entitled Meat Sculptures has been published by Green Bean Press. NICKY ROSS is a poet and journalist from Merrimack, NH. A recent alum of PSC and former Co-editor of Centripetal, her work can be found in The Wordsworth. LYNN RUDMIN is a teacher at PSC, and peace activist, hailing from New York State. JACQUELYN SCHOFIELD is a senior English major with a Writing option. Her poem, ―Quality Time with Mother‖ has been published in a CD/cassette anthology by Poetry.com. SUJEETA SILWAL is a first year student at PSC. She has published two books of poetry in her native Nepal, titled ―Bhawana‖ and ―Taranga.‖ DANIEL SINGER is the Editor of Centripetal, The Way of Things Beneath the Snow, and is the Founding Editor of The Wordsworth…. His non-fiction has appeared in The Clock and Business NH Magazine. TRACEY L. SMITH, Senior Editor, hails from Nashua, NH and is junior year English major with a Writing option. She has been published in Centripetal, Creative Communications, Inc., anthology of ―Celebrate! Young Poets Speak Out‖ and a Poetry.com audio CD/cassette. DONALD P. WHARTON, President of Plymouth State Colleges since 1993, has authored two books and several articles, poems, chapters, papers, and reviews. KEVIN YOUNG is a senior English major at PSC from Louden, NH.

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NAME _______________________________________ ADDRESS _____________________________________ _____________________________________________ CITY__________________ STATE ______ ZIP _______ Enclosed is my check made payable to PSC Poets & Writers in the amount of $____________________________________________ Signature ___________________________ Date ______________ 19 HIGHLAND ST  SUITE A14  PLYMOUTH, NH 03264  (603) 535-2236

-----------------------------------------------CENTRIPETAL: [( sen-'tri-p&-t&l), adj., (New Latin centripetus, from centr- + Latin petere to go to, seek) 1709.] Proceeding or acting in a direction toward a center or axis, afferent, tending toward centralization, a non-profit student literary magazine dedicated to…

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Submissions are open to students, faculty, and

friends of Centripetal in NH. Submissions may be e-mailed to poetswriters@mail.plymouth.edu or mailed to Suite A14 with author name, title, date, phone number, and e-mail for availability. Fiction should be no more than 750 words, poetry no more than two pages. Submissions received and considered for print will be published exactly as received. Rights reserved to the author upon publication.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS PSC POETS & WRITERS would like to thank the following for their help and support for this issue of ‗Centripetal‘: all of the contributors, the Student Senate, the Hartman Union Building Staff, and the English Department. Special thanks to Dr. Paul Rogalus – our advisor – without whom, none of this would have been possible.

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Centripetal FOURTH EDITION

Looking for a few good editors‌ and contributors! Gain editing experience by working on staff on the Centripetal. No experience needed; all you need is the will to learn. We are currently looking for: Assistant Editors Associate Editors Copy Editors Layout Editors Graphics Editors Come by the PSC Poets & Writers office in the HUB, call 535-2236, or e-mail us at poetswriters@mail.plymouth.edu for more information. You can also send us your submissions for the 5th Anniversary Spring 2003 Edition. We begin accepting submissions from February 3 through April 8 via e-mail, HUB Suite A14, or in Ellen Reed House.

Centripetal Fourth Edition  

Centripetal Fourth Edition Fall 2002

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