CONTENTS EDITORIAL: page 3 Ryan Kent : page 4 Emeniano Somoza: pages 5-6 Kenneth Pobo: pages 7-9 Zacc Dukowitz: pages 10-13 Eugene Goldin: page 14 Steve Klepetar: pages15-18 Steve Klepetar-Interview : pages 19-23 Glen Armstrong: pages 24-27 Dada Doll(s): pages 28-30 Brenda Daulbee: page 31 Ira Joel Haber: pages 32-35 Howie Good: page 36 The Armchair column: pages 37-44 Eleanor Leonne Bennett: pages 45-48 Allison Grayhurst: page 49-51 BIOS OF CONTRIBUTORS: pages 52-54
SECOND ISSUE We are a new online journal aspiring to publish good literature, photography and articles. We are interested in people who have a real passion for the creative process. We want to focus on works that respect the fundamental rule of art, that is to say, they have a unique look at the world around them and they are able to reconstruct it in a way that excites both them and the audience as well. Our issues are small as we want we choose to publish high quality works. *You can send your work to http://fineflu.weebly.com/ and your mails to email@example.com *Our editorial team consists of three people: Portia Eglin, Fineas Poper, Const Saitas, We are based on Worcester, MA, USA
OUR EDITORS: Portia Eglin: She studied English Literature and has an MA in Education and civilisation. She is of Greek origin, and has written a novel that is under publication in Australia. Her short stories have appeared in American in British and in Greek magazines. She also works as a book reviewer. She lives in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Fineas Poper: Fineas is a person with no face. He loves literature and art and he has just decided that running Fine Flu Journal is his call of fate. Don't try to google him. Fineas Poper is a pseudonym. The person behind this name wishes to remain well hidden in his secret cave. The darkness adds to a well-framed mystery. His cave is in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Constan Saitas: Born in Alexandria. He studied political science in Athens, Greece and Economics in Surrey, England (Postgraduate). He lived in France for three years and in Australia for six years. Now he lives in Belgium. He worked as an official translator of the European Union in Brussels from 1981 to 2008. He speaks four languages.
RYAN KENT NOT A HYPOTHETICAL Taking the rear exit of my apartment building I found a bamboo cane, thumb thick, leaned against a brick wall, next to a 50 gallon trash can. I picked it up and saw a retail sticker on the side that someone had tried to remove but gave up on. I leaned against the same brick wall and wondered who had used it. A student who walked with a limp. An old man with one leg shorter than the other. Maybe it was just a prop for a Halloween Costume. It made me think of the photo of you framed in my hallway. You were slightly hunched over, almost off balance, as if there were a dumbbell in your beehive. Your ankles were swollen and the dress you wore reminded me of the couch a kid I went to high school with slept on down in his parents' basement. You had a string of pearls around your neck someone could jump rope with. Standing in the shade with your family, there's a reflection of the tree you're under in a window behind you and it is almost like I am staring into another reality; one that would ripple if you touched it. One which is permanently dusk, where I watch our family members die like house plants. Then I realize, that reality is really this one.
EMENIANO SOMOZA Like A Chair Waiting
Worst case scenario â€“ sudden like rain in the afternoon at the park
of bones, stuttering after-thoughts of gouty winters up spiral staircases
while at foyer counters bouquets of joy and tapping their heels on parquet floor old dogs
preen coyly to visions, sillage of summer stopping before mirror panes
then peeping to smile the smile of new rennaissance coquetryâ€Ś
Anyhow, in the long tedious mutterings of all these half-dead dreams
at some point this then tongue of innocence as riverbed of sweet will just go dry, or split
and this serpent tongue will be flicking for better
rhetorics, or rhymes â€“ no more
Language of Sharp Objects
Languishing in desuetude Scintilla of smooth, or youth, dulling.
Are you still right-handed? Because I can make the onion fall to the rightâ€Ś
There are shopping carts Whisked away in corners
Among stubborn standees, Shelf-talkers. These marketing geniuses
Tongue-tied, stunned By their own expectations
KENNETH POBO HUBBUB
“I fear hubbub” Emmy Bridgwater
In our kitchen you think you’re opening a jar of your mother’s tomato soup.
A hairy Pandora, this is your moment to release a hubbub.
We argue until silence brings in the paper it reads while sniffing burnt toast. Conversation drops out of our mouths like teeth. Soon we just make sounds since words cut
our lips. Hubbub kicks over a pail of dirty water. Peace clicks its tongue but we don’t let it in. The kitchen sneaks off with the den. We’re left
in the nowhere of middle looking out at two distances that chafe
Between classes Jesus and I had a secret margarita, talked about which period of Neil Diamond’s was better— his Bang or Uni recordings? In a required class, Christ & His Kingdom, I didn’t get kingdoms. Jesus told me he didn’t rule any kingdoms, but I’d lose points if I put that on the test. My professor said Christ was in society and above society. Why not? He was everywhere which must be exhausting. I had trouble getting to class on time.
Chapel. Ten o’clock. The president said that hell for him would be having to have intercourse all the time. As Paul Simon sang, one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor. Intercourse. What a charming word, like “covered bridge” or “doily.” I knew nothing about that, only knew I wanted to escape chapel—and I did— until the sharpshooters nailed me: kids who stood overhead taking attendance. One more slip & I’d be out. I wasn’t out. Not yet. I had to get free of sharpshooters, get free, learn intercourse’s multiple meanings.
Jesus waved goodbye on graduation day. We lost touch. Still, whenever I have a margarita I think of him and offer up a toast. 8
ORCHIDS FOR CHASE
We go to the Iron Hill for lunch, the talk feisty and fun, traveling from Media to Scotland
and back. Chase is like an orchid, offering color, pleasure, a brightness when winter aches. She coaxes much into blossom: a family, friends, students. We grow under her patient touch.
When the lights fail and we fear we’ll stumble down the stairs, Chase is a candle, a kind word telling us that we’ll be fine. The storm clears.
And there’s Chase, tending to a bud, readying the room for a bloom.
ZACC DUKOWITZ Saved
“Come here,” our camp counselor said. “All of you guys.” His name was Joe and he smelled like cigarettes. We crowded around him in the middle of the cabin, squeezing together and leaning our heads forward. I was twelve years old, and this was my first summer at camp. “Do you know what an oral fixation is?” Joe said. Most of us shook our heads no. Eli said, “Well, I’ve seen one once, but . . .” “Shut up,” Joe said. “You don’t know. That’s OK,” he said, and we all relaxed a little. “I’m going to show you, but you have to promise”—he looked us each in the eye, all five of us, one at time—“you have to promise that you won’t tell Michael. Deal?” We nodded vigorously. Deal. “An oral fixation is when you can’t stop touching your mouth. It’s like, you’re obsessed with your mouth.” “My little brother has that,” Eli said. “He’s probably a baby though, right?” Eli shrugged. “What I’m talking about is when older kids do it. Just wait. Tonight, after lights out, you guys pretend to go to sleep and then I’ll turn on my flashlight and show you. But remember—don’t tell Michael.” On the way out of the dining hall after dinner Michael caught up to Steve, my best friend at camp, and me. “Hey guys,” he said, panting. Like most fat kids, Michael was always a little out of breath. Michael also had to be the only kid named Michael who didn’t 10
just go by Mike. His parents were weird, was what everyone said. His mother wrote poetry that she published herself in little books and had hair down to her butt, and his dad wore a beret all the time—even when he showered, some of the kids said. “What do you think, Sam,” Michael said, turning to me, “do you want to go for a ghost hunt in the woods tonight?” “I don’t know. I think we might just go to bed early,” I said, nudging Steve. “Oh yeah,” Steve said. He reached his hands up, stretching. “I’ve been feeling so tired today.” “Yeah,” I said, stifling a yawn. “Really tired.” “Whatever,” Michael said. “If you guys don’t want to hang out with me, you can just say it.” And he huffed on ahead before we could reply. After lights out I waited in the dark for what seemed like a long time. An owl hooted in the woods. I could hear the other kids breathing steadily in their bunks and I wondered if maybe the whole thing was off—if maybe the joke was on us for thinking something was going to happen. Maybe even the joke was just on me, and when Joe’s flashlight came on everyone would be gathered around my bunk, pointing and laughing at me. The longer I waited in the dark the more this seemed like a real possibility, and I began to imagine I could hear them rustling around my bed, could see them gathering above me, preparing themselves for my humiliation. For what reason I couldn’t have told you. I was twelve, and the idea of everyone conspiring to make fun of me was a constant fear I had. Finally, a flashlight clicked on. The yellow beam swept through the darkness— passing me, thankfully—and landed on a strange scene. It took me a moment to understand what I was seeing. There were white flurries over an open mouth . . . fingers, chubby white fingers moving over Michael’s open mouth, the silver of his braces glinting while the fingers like engorged silver fish worked in steady crazy patterns over the small black hole of his mouth. I did 11
not see a tongue. The flashlight held steady as Michael, deeply asleep, moved his hands over his lips, his teeth, touching his mouth in a way that suggested a deep self-interest—a deep fascination with his own body—that made me uncomfortable. After a few minutes the yellow beam swept across the room to shine under Joe’s face, like people hold it when they tell scary stories. “And that, my boys, is what you call an oral fixation,” Joe said in a deep voice, then clicked the flashlight off. The next morning Steve pulled me aside on the way to breakfast “That was super weird last night,” he said, looking around to make sure no one else could hear us. “For sure,” I said. “I can’t believe Michael does that.” Steve gave me a look. “No, I mean, it was weird that Joe showed us.” “It was just a joke.” “I don’t think it was very cool of him. I mean, it’s that guy’s job to protect us, right?” “It was just Michael. That kid’s so weird—who cares about him anyway?” “You don’t have to be friends with him to see that it’s not cool what Joe did,” Steve said. He stepped back, shaking his head, and ran on ahead to breakfast without me. After that Steve and I drifted apart. We’d been fast friends, but then, just as fast—faster even—we weren’t friends any more. And that was that. That’s how it happened. How I remember it, anyway. For a long time I forgot all about that night. It was just a small incident from my childhood, after all. But ever since I turned fifty I’ve started having these nightmares that feature Michael’s mouth, that small, black hole with silver glinting inside it. My ex12
wife crawls from the hole and shakes her finger at me. My eldest son, who has not spoken to me in over a decade, walks slowly out of it, his head hanging down in disappointment. Even my dead dog whimpers from in there, dragging the frayed leash that broke one day, allowing him to run into the path of a teenager’s charging pickup. But I don’t feel guilty, when I wake up from these dreams. I don’t feel remorse for the way I’ve lived my life—the way I treated Michael, and everything that came after. What I feel is relief. Actually, relief isn’t strong enough. I feel redemption, when I wake up. Saved, is what I feel. Because I can still remember how terrified I was, lying there in the dark with only the owl hooting outside, imagining I could hear my tormentors gathering around me. And how glad, how terribly happy I felt when the flashlight finally clicked on, and it was pointing at someone else, and not at me.
EUGENE GOLDIN Thanatos For a Dove
Having brought no candles, we burned matches upon discovering that last night, while we dreamt of boats set adrift upon the sea, an owl had left a doveâ€™s feathers on the ground in an apparent death circle as Thanatos momentarily wrested the exuberant yellow spirit of a new spring morning from our eyes wide open.
The Muse Disappears Carrying poetry and poses the Muse disappeared into her mirror fathoms deep within my glass,
STEVE KLEPETAR Between the Lines When the last riders left, there came a hurricane of tears or maybe that was only skyâ€™s last howl. So many important figures dancing their way through yellow grass, such an explosion of passports, impressive credentials lined with lead. Oh, radioactive sun, gas blazing through the stratosphere and nothing to offer but chewing gum and tape. You could say we were caught with our pants down, the unready and the blind. Humming birds bored us with their incessant chasing games, invisible walls we never could break down and poison keeping us away from every other door. So many nights alone, and really that made us laugh in a tickle of furnace heat, popcorn sticking between our teeth and the glowing TV on. We might have been lying on our sides or studying lines between all those familiar words, that time of year and love is not love which alters where it alteration finds. Speak friend and enter, speak your mind, toss every filter in the melting ponds. They tell us spring is coming, that winterâ€™s heart attack is near. Three girls tiptoe on a tightrope far above these walls where moths flit, glinting like teeth, white and empty as frozen mouths of ghosts.
In Tired Streets Nothing left to seep beneath your clothes, no substance or bleeding on the ground. These are the days of open hands and wounds that bind us to desolate trees, last days of song. The weddings are empty now, bereft of wine and mirth, the dancers all have hobbled home in broken shoes. The instruments are gone, the floor ripped out, even painted walls shiver and melt. Nobody sane is left to gather crumpled paper or fling the brightly colored rice. Hurry home and listen to the wind, with netted fingers gather up the rain. Your face betrays you: nothing left to play with or defend. Dogs run in tired streets, dawn busses groan through blinking lights as if the immigrants returned and all the planted seeds had drowned.
Jonah I’ve been swallowed again by the giant mouth of a baleen whale, swum a hundred yards in the company of krill. Oh, I’ve been here before, clinging to a shattered mast, watching the huge stomach churn, waiting to be saved by God’s hand or whatever force ripped my body back into heaving swells. It’s not that I’ve fallen back into mischief and lies, but I can’t give up the sea. Green arms enfold me, pungent salt puckers my skin. She has been the grave from which I’ve risen again and again, the womb that has given me birth. 16
Gulls screech above me, I own nothing but the sound of surf. My prayers beat against lighthouse rocks. My ship circles and sinks, leaving no wound, no bloody sore on waterâ€™s calm and healing flesh. In the Heart of This City In the heart of this city, a man gnaws on a piece of lead. No one lends him ornaments of brass or shields him from dust or ash. His teeth are sharp and he has been here a long time growing his nails and beard. He has a tongue made of ice, eyes vivid as violet flame. Some call him lover, though his nose isnâ€™t right, while some have named him for boulders and scree. On the narrow streets he scrabbles for gold. Though he owns nothing, his feet are nimble and light, his ladder stretches through clouds. When you walk through the park with hands buried in your own silent fog, be careful to mingle your shadow with his frozen heart. He swims in the river, a shark who has lost its way.
Words I Would Like to Call Back These are the words I would like to call back, the ones spinning around outlines of your grave the ones that tasted like salt and oil that pinned your body deep in wounded earth that fell in a wash of bloody stars, that left bite marks on your outstretched palms words I juggled, blue and red and green, that buzzed in my ears like chainsaws invisible words I tossed and caught and tossed again until fingertips turned numb and wrists ached and the power went out and all was silent even the wires, even the little dead birds.
INTERVIEW with STEVE CLEPETAR
1) Tell us some things about yourself It might interest you to know that I was born in Shanghai, China. My parents were holocaust survivors in two different ways. My father was expelled from Czechoslovakia by the Nazis in 1939 and joined the Jewish community in Shanghai. My mother was sent to concentration camp. She survived and joined my father there after the war. I was born in 1949 and my family emigrated to the U.S. when I was two months old, so my experience has been very similar to that of a first generation American, with the added inconvenience of being a naturalized citizen with a strange and complicated birth story. I grew up in New York City and was educated at Stuyvesant High School, Binghamton University and The University of Chicago. I have spent the past 39 years teaching literature and creative writing, mostly at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota.
2) Why did you start writing poetry and when was it? While I recall being the poet laureate of my sixth grade class (this may be a reconstructed memory), I started writing poetry seriously in college in the late 1960â€™s. Since I always lived a good bit of the time in 19
my imagination, and since words came easily to me, (unlike, say, drawing) poetry became a natural way of expression, allowing me to explore various voices and worlds. 3) What does poetry, as an art form, mean to you? Needless to say, poetry is very important to me. I memorize poems fairly easily and naturally (part of the professor’s bag of tricks, if I admit the truth) and I get a great deal of pleasure reciting poems in my head when there is nothing else to do or read. Believe me, this comes in very handy when one is having an MRI! I love the blending of sound and sense, the visceral power of vivid imagery, the strangeness of other voices. I also love to write poems and actually feel a sensation of calm alertness and even joy in the act of creating. 4) Where do you prefer writing? Do you need a certain space? Do you have a daily routine? Because of the nature of my work, I have tended to write in my office whenever I had a reasonable space of uninterrupted time. When I was on sabbatical last year, I wrote at a little desk in our kitchen (where I am writing at this very moment). My preferred routine is to rise early, eat a light breakfast and go for a walk, shower and then sit down to write. I am, by preference, a morning writer, though if it comes to that, I can write anywhere, at anytime. 5) What writers have influenced you? What writers or poets are you reading now? Since I regularly teach poetry, the work and voices of many writers and poets live in my head. The Williams – Blake and Wordsworth and Carlos Williams – come to mind, but also Wallace Stevens (especially short poems like haunting “Snow Man”), some Frost, H.D. for her concision and images. I’ve been directly, and consciously influenced by 20
the Holocaust poet Paul Celan, whose book sat on my desk for a year as I responded to poem after poem. I am now slowly reading Audre Lorde’s book, The Black Unicorn. 6) What is your basic theory about life? Or about the world we live in. I don’t know that I have a theory about life or the world we live in, but my sense of both is darkened by my family history. Much of that family was annihilated by the Nazis, including three of my grandparents, and my parents and their siblings were exiled from their homelands. Long after that terrible period in history, people continue to suffer genocide and displacement, inequality, poverty and lack of freedom. At the same time, I have been incredibly lucky. I have been happily married to the same woman for nearly forty-four years, have two intelligent, capable, athletic and gentle sons, both of whom are happily married as well and have sweet, healthy children. In our world, joy braids around suffering, and I try to embrace moments of health, beauty and pleasure, while never losing sight of the world’s continual sorrow. 7) Does poetry help you to defeat or soothe your fears? I wish it could, but I’m afraid that fear lives outside of poetry and gnaws at me whenever I think about what awaits my sons and grandchildren as we race toward further environmental degradation and the increasing effects of climate change and inequality. Poetry does help me to be mindful of my inner life, my subjective responses, as I struggle to make meaning and, through language, attempt to create beauty from experience. 8) How does time influence you? My poems often deal with time and its strange, subjective movements, especially as the past impinges on the present. 21
Faulkner, “The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.” Memory obliterates time, in a way, or at least the linear experience of time, the clock time most of us live by day to day.
9) Do you ever think in what way the reader perceives your poetry and has this thought ever influenced the way you write? Probably not enough. I tend to write for myself as audience, listening for what pleases or moves me in terms of sound, image, action. Luckily, it often works out that readers respond in ways that please me, but certainly not always.
Is there a certain idea (or ideas) you are trying to
communicate through your poetry and in what way do you use the language to help you with this? Sometimes, especially in the more “documentary” kinds of poems I’ve written about my family history, as in my chapbook My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto (Flutter Press, 2013) or in the few poems I’ve been commissioned to write. Often, though, I surrender to the spell of the words in my head, letting the first line or phrase tumble out. I then try to follow where that opening leads, so often I sit down to write without a subject in mind or a conscious agenda. Sometimes the voice is mine (or mine in certain moods), but often it is someone else, a character I discover through the process of writing the poem. With some exceptions, I am not a particularly autobiographical poet.
11) Do you work from a preconceived idea or from spontaneous invention? As I said above, the answer is really both, depending on the circumstances, but usually I work from spontaneous invention. It’s really easy for me to see why the Greeks believed in those deities of inspiration, the Muses, because in the right mood the poem seems to flow from somewhere outside myself – or somewhere deep inside that seemed unreachable before the spell of the writing began. That’s not to say I believe in some kind of dictating angel, but that the Greeks found an apt name and symbol for what it feels like to be in the throes of the creative act. 12)
What does your revision process entail?
Reading and re-reading and re-reading some more, and complete brutality in dealing with my missteps. I try to read my work as if someone else had written it, and, as much as possible, not to let myself fall in love with my own words. Telling oneself that a line or phrase or description falls flat or crosses the line into cliché, sentimentality, banality or mere raving can prove difficult, but I find it necessary not to let myself get away with anything that would bother me in someone else’s work.
GLEN ARMSTRONG H. Her middle initial was so concrete that only time and the weeds underneath could ever crack it, could ever threaten her name. She once read an entire book about nothing but the color blue that seemed less real than that one capital letter immobilized by its great cast-iron period. I took her hand and that was enough, each finger neither a friend nor a voice. Certainly not an answer. A heather growing in the wild. A touch complete enough. Holding hands on a crisp autumn day, an act at once too familiar and too formal. A blue flower against a blue moon. A whisper. A hint at nothing more than the hint itself. 24
When the great Roy Orbison sings “In Dreams,” he redeems the broken things in dreams. The lonely bush, the golden jackass, topiary fit for a king in dreams. Used bandages like two Japanese flags, the redwing blackbird spreads its wings in dreams. I kiss each naked finger goodbye every time the telephone rings in dreams. Subconscious swings through jungle trees, hit by shit chimpanzees fling in dreams. The twentieth century’s empty room. Yellow lights flashing under blankets in dreams. I’m tempted to let this world unravel, to detune all the brass and strings in dreams. Beware, Glen, equally the sweet talk of honeybees, the hornet’s sting in dreams.
I kissed a girl on a bus And that bus went everywhere I kissed a girl with the windows open And the windows were our mouths By this time the act of kissing Had gotten all muddled With the act of rolling The landscape revealing itself Little by little Mile by mile by mile Word got around And word got embellished By the young Who would roll into each other With abandon Like dice warmed By the very thought Of a strangerâ€™s breath By the dead Who had left instructions Their tombstones chiseled More beautifully The inscriptions equal parts 26
Memorial and mystery I could see the gears Under those words I could feel the globeâ€™s Steady spin Against my bare skin My feet moist with morning dew.
Marianne Gartner 1
Dada or Dadaism was an art movement of the European avant-garde in the early 20th century. Dada is said to have begun in Switzerland in 1916. It was born as a reaction to the breakout of World War I. Dada was against any fragment of reason, prizing irrationality and intuition. The name Dada is believed to have originated either from the French word ‘’hobbyhorse’’ or from the Romanian artists Tristan Tzara's and Marcel Janco's frequent use of the words "da, da," meaning "yes, yes" in the Romanian language. However, there is another strong possibility about the origin of the word. Dada means ‘’sister’’ in Swahili language and it is quite possible that the artists used this word to insinuate the strong relations among them, relations similar to those between siblings. After all they believed that they belonged to a different kind of people, a kind that could constitute a family with certain bonds and principles among them. Hannah Höch is as the only German woman who participated in Dadaism despite the resentment of her male colleagues who loved proclaiming their open- mindness but failed to show it actively when it came to the female artists.
Höch was a pioneer of the art form that became known as photomontage. Many of her pieces criticize the mass culture beauty industry at the time. Women were a central theme in her work from 1963 to 1973. Höch also made strong statements on racial discrimination. As she had said: None of these men were satisfied with just an ordinary woman. But neither were they included to abandon the (conventional) male/masculine morality toward the woman. Enlightened by Freud, in protest against the older generation. . . they all desired this ‘New Woman’ and her groundbreaking will to freedom. But—they more or less brutally rejected the notion that they, too, had to adopt new attitudes. . . This led to these truly Strinbergian dramas that typified the private lives of these men.
Her dolls are probably her self-portrayment. A kind of distorted mirror for her. There is no symmetry or harmony in them. One could describe them as 29
ugly creatures. However, there is a certain beauty in this ‘’ugliness’’. Something revolutionary that wants to break through the shell of her (self) image so as to make her realise who she really is and accept the fact that she can be loved exactly for this irrationality that runs through the spine of her own existence.
BRENDA TAULBEE Like A Moth Lost in the Galaxyâ€™s Void That child squaring scrawny shoulders, gritting his teeth and boring into Apolloâ€™s unblinking left eye.
see, he surfaced, punctured, through the center of that molten orb and into the colddarkbleak of the universe.
even sodden with sunspores wax wings fly so far before sloughing off in thick sheets
cold creeps into young lungs as trembling boychild devours the howquiet of the infinite and dreams. of birdsong. of grass.
IRA JOEL HABER NEW YORK CITY
NEW YORK CITY
HOWIE GOOD Blues for Beginners
It’s summer, a bloody ax seen sunbathing. A man in line for Acoustic Kitty holds an umbrella over his head despite the cloudless weather. “Ticket,” the ticket-taker says. Ushers must wear white shirts and black pants and stay for the entire show, just as a painting isn’t considered finished until it’s been sold. The opening act entails Priscilla the Fastidious Pig doing things like vacuuming. To shock audiences is to connect. You have the right to sing the blues only if you’re blind or ever shot a man in Memphis.
THE ARMCHAIR COLUMN Poems and excerpts from poets and authors we love to read
DADDY You do not do, you do not do Any more, black shoe In which I have lived like a foot For thirty years, poor and white, Barely daring to breathe or Achoo. Daddy, I have had to kill you. You died before I had time ---Marble-heavy, a bag full of God, Ghastly statue with one gray toe Big as a Frisco seal And a head in the freakish Atlantic Where it pours bean green over blue 37
In the waters off the beautiful Nauset. I used to pray to recover you. Ach, du. In the German tongue, in the Polish town Scraped flat by the roller Of wars, wars, wars. But the name of the town is common. My Polack friend Says there are a dozen or two. So I never could tell where you Put your foot, your root, I never could talk to you. The tongue stuck in my jaw. It stuck in a barb wire snare. Ich, ich, ich, ich, I could hardly speak. I thought every German was you. And the language obscene An engine, an engine, Chuffing me off like a Jew. A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen. I began to talk like a Jew. I think I may well be a Jew. The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna Are not very pure or true. With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack I may be a bit of a Jew. I have always been scared of you, With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo. 38
And your neat mustache And your Aryan eye, bright blue. Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You ---Not God but a swastika So black no sky could squeak through. Every woman adores a Fascist, The boot in the face, the brute Brute heart of a brute like you. You stand at the blackboard, daddy, In the picture I have of you, A cleft in your chin instead of your foot But no less a devil for that, no not Any less the black man who Bit my pretty red heart in two. I was ten when they buried you. At twenty I tried to die And get back, back, back to you. I thought even the bones would do. But they pulled me out of the sack, And they stuck me together with glue. And then I knew what to do. I made a model of you, A man in black with a Meinkampf look And a love of the rack and the screw. And I said I do, I do. So daddy, I'm finally through. The black telephone's off at the root, The voices just can't worm through. If I've killed one man, I've killed two ---The vampire who said he was you 39
And drank my blood for a year, Seven years, if you want to know. Daddy, you can lie back now. There's a stake in your fat black heart And the villagersnever liked you. They are dancing and stamping on you. They always knew it was you. Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through.
The night is only a sort of carbon paper, Blueblack, with the much-poked periods of stars Letting in the light, peephole after peephole -A bonewhite light, like death, behind all things. Under the eyes of the stars and the moon's rictus He suffers his desert pillow, sleeplessness Stretching its fine, irritating sand in all directions. Over and over the old, granular movie Exposes embarrassments--the mizzling days Of childhood and adolescence, sticky with dreams, Parental faces on tall stalks, alternately stern and tearful, A garden of buggy rose that made him cry. His forehead is bumpy as a sack of rocks. Memories jostle each other for face-room like obsolete film stars. He is immune to pills: red, purple, blue -How they lit the tedium of the protracted evening! 40
Those sugary planets whose influence won for him A life baptized in no-life for a while, And the sweet, drugged waking of a forgetful baby. Now the pills are worn-out and silly, like classical gods. Their poppy-sleepy colors do him no good. His head is a little interior of grey mirrors. Each gesture flees immediately down an alley Of diminishing perspectives, and its significance Drains like water out the hole at the far end. He lives without privacy in a lidless room, The bald slots of his eyes stiffened wide-open On the incessant heat-lightning flicker of situations. Nightlong, in the granite yard, invisible cats Have been howling like women, or damaged instruments. Already he can feel daylight, his white disease, Creeping up with her hatful of trivial repetitions. The city is a map of cheerful twitters now, And everywhere people, eyes mica-silver and blank, Are riding to work in rows, as if recently brainwashed.
WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
WHEN YOU ARE OLD WHEN you are old and grey and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved your beauty with love false or true, But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face; And bending down beside the glowing bars, 42
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled And paced upon the mountains overhead And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
SAILING TO BYZANTIUM That is no country for old men. The young In one another's arms, birds in the trees ---Those dying generations---at their song, The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas, Fish, flesh, or fowl commend all summer long Whatever is begotten, born, and dies. Caught in that sensual music all neglect Monuments of unaging intellect. II An aged man is but a paltry thing, A tattered coat upon a stick, unless Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing For every tatter in its mortal dress, Nor is there singing school but studying Monuments of its own magnificence; And therefore I have sailed the seas and come To the holy city of Byzantium. III O sages standing in God's holy fire As in the gold mosaic of a wall, Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre, And be the singing-masters of my soul. Consume my heart away; sick with desire And fastened to a dying animal 43
It knows not what it is; and gather me Into the artifice of eternity. IV Once out of nature I shall never take My bodily form from any natural thing, But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make Of hammered gold and gold enamelling To keep a drowsy Emperor awake; Or set upon a golden bough to sing To lords and ladies of Byzantium Of what is past, or passing, or to come.
ELEANOR LEONNE BENNETT
ALLISON GRAYHURST Vow
The noise broke by the garden where I loved you like I loved the truth, where my bones drowned in your darkness and my war was unlocked like the need for completion that you promised but never could attain. This wilderness of power, purposelessness and extremes I laid down inside of to be beside you and the softness of your mouth and the elixir of your touch became mine, grew like a second body merging with my own like death does with cold eternity.
Bobbing for apples under a raincloud. Soon what was planted will flourish and the empty casket under the bridge will be a nest to weather out winterâ€™s storms. I will never know you, not as a weak-kneed dancer or as a lover, blurred by idealism. I will be in the dumpyard with the rest of the dead flowers, caught off guard by your morning song. My shadow rises like a weed into a tree, simple company for empty days. You are skin and fury, a shore that is quicksand with many mosquitoes lingering around. I was stuck on your butcherâ€™s block, smelling of musky ambition. I was predatorial, though myself, never a match for your strengthening spikes. Honesty is a Sunday summit, punishing to pursue, dropping undergarments for a glimpse at purity. Wings are hallways I have lost track of. Like circus lions they struggle, beaten, chained, with useless magnificence. I flattened my folds for you, spread myself as a net over what was precious and wild to work for your children, to maintain the belief that the back-mirror-reflection would come alive. Half way into eternity, building in me like the scent of salt water. Another lifetime I may be in motion, with you, joyfully rolling down hills. 50
Today what is natural is inside the cupboard. I am learning to accept the mice-chewed boxes, gradually forgiving the distorted shape of these and even other make-due flaws.
BIOS OF THE SECOND ISSUEâ€™S CONTRIBUTORS (in alphabetical order)
Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He also edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters. Eleanor Leonne Bennett Eleanor Leonne Bennett is an internationally award winning photographer and visual artist. She is the CIWEM Young Environmental Photographer of The Year 2013 and has also won first places with National Geographic,The World Photography Organisation, Nature's Best Photography and The National Trust to name only a few. Her photography has been published in the Telegraph, The Guardian, The British Journal of Psychiatry, Life Force Magazine, British Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and as the front cover of books and magazines extensively throughout the world. Her art is globally exhibited, having shown work in New York, Paris, London, Rome, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Copenhagen, Washington, Canada, Spain, Japan and Australia amongst many other locations. She was also the only person from the UK to have my work displayed in the National Geographic and Airbus run See The Bigger Picture global exhibition tour with the United Nations International Year Of Biodiversity 2010. Zacc Dukowitz holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Florida. His fiction has appeared in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Every Writerâ€™s Resource, and is forthcoming in the American Literary Review. He currently lives on Lake Atitlan in rural Guatemala with his wife and two dogs Scout and Boo Radley. Eugene Goldin was born in Manhattan and raised in Queens, NY. He teaches at Long Island University. His most recent poetry has appeared in The East Jasmine Review and Stoneboat Literary Journal. 52
Howie Goodâ€™s latest book of poetry is the Complete Absence of Twilight (2014) from MadHat Press. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely, who does most of the real work. Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. She has over 390 poems published in international journals and anthologies. She has eleven published books of poetry and four collections, as well as six chapbooks. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, book dealer, photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows both in USA and Europe and he has had 9 one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum & The Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Since 2007 His paintings, drawings, photographs and collages have been published in over 175 on line and print magazines. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Pollock-Krasner grants, the Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grant and, in 2010, he received a grant from Artists' Fellowship Inc. He currently teaches art to retired public school teachers at The United Federation of Teachers program in Brooklyn Ryan Kent is the microphone player for heavy metal band GRITTER. He has studied at Virginia Commonwealth University and Sarah Lawrence College. He lives inRichmond, VA with his wife and dog, and collection of Star Wars action figures. Steve Klepetar teaches literature and writing at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota. His work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. His latest collections include Speaking to the Field Mice (Sweatshoppe Publications), Blue Season (with Joseph Lisowski, mgv2>publishing, and My Son Writes a Report on the Warsaw Ghetto (Flutter
Press). An e-chapbook, Return of the Bride of Frankenstein, is forthcoming from Kind of a Hurricane Press.
Kenneth Pobo had a new chapbook out in 2013 from Eastern Point Press called Placemats. His work has appeared in: Hawaii Review, Mudfish, Nimrod, Indiana Review, Crannog, and elsewhere. You can follow him on Twitter at @KenPobo.
Emeniano Acain Somoza, Jr. considers himself the official spiritual advisor of his roommates, Gordot and Dwight - the first a goldfish, the other a Turkish Van cat. Some forthcoming online and print, his works have been Editor's Choice in The Poetry Magazine, and featured in the Moria Poetry Journal, Fogged Clarity, Everyday Poem, Loch Raven Review, The Buddhist Poetry Review, Shot Glass Journal, The Philippines Free Press, Troubadour 21, Full of Crow, Indigo Rising, Asia Writes, Triggerfish Critical Review, Troubadors 21, Gloom Cupboard, TAYO Literary Magazine, Haggard & Halloo, and elsewhere. His first book, A Fistful of Moonbeams, was published by Kilmog Press in April 2010. This year, 'Songs of My Mother', a collection of 5 of his poems called a Jog was published by WISH Publishing. Brenda Taulbee currently reads and writes in Portland, Oregon. She selfpublished her first chapbook, “Dances with Bears …And Other Ways to Lose a Limb” in June 2013. Her work has been accepted for publication in several online and literary magazines, including the Gobshite Quarterly, The Inflectionist Review, and INK NOISE QUARTERLY. The pinnacle of her poetic career was petting Andrea Gibson’s dog, Squash.