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mgversion2>datura mgv2_en_03 december 2008


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Mauvaise graine, revue créée à Cirencester, GrandeBretagne, en 1996, publiée jusqu'en 2000. mgversion2>datura en ligne depuis 2002. --Mauvaise graine – a literary magazine – was created in Cirencester, UK in 1996 and published until 2000. mgversion2>datura has been on line since 2002.

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mgversion2>datura | mgversion2.free.fr |mgversion2@free.fr mgv2_en _03 | December 2008

Cover illustration : Norman J. Olson Contents: Daniel Y. Harris

page 4

David Fraser

page 5

Alex Galper

page 6

Taylor Graham

page 9

Steven F. Klepetar

page 10

Chris Major

page 11

Srinjay Chakravarti

page 12

Tendai R Mwanaka

page 13

Jan Oskar Hansen

page 15

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Bequest

Daniel Y. Harris

I.

IV.

frontal lobes to tarsal claws in chlorophyll a

clay roils turbid-red bone-basalt dangles

cigarette to circle the shore with rickety joints

in the blank of sinews formed in defiance spin shards of bright pain mimics dread

camouflaged politick of sand provincial no

to the mud-margins a flash of unspooled

gulls or salty perfume courting rocks lackey

glare words prick ears to hear the pin

hands or sea pulp to axis of footprints

V.

II.

a fissure to deflate my head embossed

scaling gears of a calliper across the great

with the seal bows the tux of a violent

divide stir perfections that destroy harnessed

heir on the brink of repair hands

with lungs to pedal an apocrypha of toes III.

reaching the latest throng believes in

bog-swamp of puns riddle the tagline to

words immune to the kill of I am

household the triple classic post-version

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The Hero He Never Had

David Fraser

That kid lacing up his skates beside the cold raw pond legs wobbly with his first attempts, a hero?s phantom hand supporting his awkward strides, that arm around the shoulder sort of feel imagined only in his dreams, that older piece of guidance brimming with integrity and time to listen to some idle thoughts, cosmic questions full of wonder and the stars. That kid tracing back his steps finds an uncle with handle bars to ride upon, that person who could show him tracks of animals in snow, teach him how to swim, shout his name to the rafters of the rink when he scored a goal or wrestled in the corner for the puck, then later, much later, man to man drinking beer firelight on faces, darkness from the forest all around they can work out the pain of love and loss together until that kid is sane again.

Painting by Norman J. Olson

Little bits accumulated over time, not the body he could touch but fragments sewn together to make the hero that he never had.

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Less Than a Second

Alex Galper

translated from Russian by Misha Delibash

the car in front slammed on the breaks : halt! i learned to keep a distance and stop inches away intuitively glance into the rear view mirror a jeep is coming up on me from behind, fast; the driver is on the phone in seconds he'll notice that i'm at a standstill but it'll be too late. he'll slam into me with the full force of rear collision i'll be thrown forward, driving my front bumper through the one parked in front; there ain't nothing to do now will the bags work...? i lean back and press my head against the headrest... less than a second left.

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Elementary Cells translated from Russian by Misha Delibash

Alex Galper

a beauty she strolled into the office demanding the state pay for her sex change operation since her elementary nature her cellular being is trapped like a caged nightingale without a way out of a 100% homosexual male who's already got the world's best boyfriend who is to be her husband the day after she gets that dick sowed on. i listened: as the fan pushed stale warm around the room i quoted Lao Tzu to her: "are you capable of understanding that you know nothing?" she rushed out of the office like a scalded animal, shouting: "i'll file a complaint! how dare you! you've got some crazy assholes working here!"

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Memory is a Bitch - to M.R.

Alex Galper

translated from Russian by Misha Delibash

so it goes: her work phone will be forgotten in a week, her cell in a month. give it a year and i won't remember her name. two more, and i won't recognize her face. is there nothing to be done? memory is a bitch.

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Input

Taylor Graham

It’s all too noisy, insulting mind & senses – this repetitive rapidity of clicks, bings, flashes, sudden error messages. Electronic, malevolent Dean of Definitive Truth according to some system based on one (1) and zero (0) that keeps me in hopeless cubicle confinement to a keyboard and a hard drive when all the golden hours are on the wing, and through a window oak leaves dance with breezes and the songbirds sing.

Catch a Falling Star

But how can you put it in your pocket if you don’t even know its name? That star, and that one – no, those three, all lined up horizontal in the western sky – for 23 years we’ve lived here and never seen the stars lined up like this. Procyon, Betelgeuse, Bellatrix: three stars, two different constellations drawn together for us as if new tonight. It must mean something worth pocketing.

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Once I Entered Your Room

Steven F. Klepetar

I was bent double like an ogre beneath a bridge in a children’s tale. I heard your footsteps up above and I wanted to leap out and lift you on my rounded shoulders, parade you around the sweet-smelling carpet of pine, singing arias to the pale, pocked wafer of moon. Your hair made rippling shadows on bridge and stream and magic swelled around your beautiful form. Ah me, I was tired and cold and my knees ached like an old catcher in the minor leagues and I was afraid you might wave your arm and I would disappear like smoke. Once I entered your room like a lizard through the key hole and heard your morning song complete and unabridged. Colors leapt through the air, windows trembled with terrible force of light. I came to myself – webs of silver thread hung from the ceiling and everything changed, all was bathed in light, my glasses turned to fog, my ears stung and burned, my flicking tongue lolling in my bright green, diamond pointed head.

Painting by Norman J. Olson

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Problems

Chris Major

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The Demon's Yawn

Srinjay Chakravarti

It slakes its thirst with ashes. The cigarette's glowing tip, lodged in its fangless mouth, makes its sightless ruby eyes burn like embers in the dark. Its features contorted with evil, its eyebrows knitted with rage, it keeps its jaws perpetually open to fill its metal lungs with smoke. Its carved muscles glisten in lamplight with the strain. Each day we empty out its insatiable appetite for the detritus of other people's breaths, burnt offerings of nicotine and filter paper which it swallows with a furious scowl. Flavoured with the effluvium of those cancer sticks, this brazen ashtray is a work of art and soul — its twin horns would do any self-respecting devil proud. Modelled on a Tibetan ritual mask, its perennial yawn and unfulfilled hunger give us a foretaste of hell in its corner of our living room.

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I Have Achieved Me

Tendai R MWanaka

from Pearls of Awareness

A palimpsest bliss Is the green glimmer Of the sun corona People in huge huge numbers As they dipped into shadows And their meanings are lost The colours of those distant rocks Grey, gold, a deep amber A line of brownGrey pale-pasted ribbons of rocks Are Hues of an egret’s feathers Flying past me, the pastIs like rocks flying on their fingertips The faint sound of voices Fixing into my memories And I can restore the inward view Give myself a little rope And haul myself inwards I know it myself, that Something is broken inside me But I will you tunnel in like Victims always surviving By speaking to fish in my dreams Without even the need to respond This is an ancient conceit There is nothing I can do now But I am not a coward Once I was human And I love her, those wild shores And I am now thankful That I have achieved me For you are studying me And I am the tamed records But you only have a face To measure me by

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But don’t sheath your blade Draw the blood of a finger Who owns this river passage That flows from your finger? Not you, none of us, no one is More transparent than those muddied waters That is the blood waters of their fingers.

Who Would Play the Husband? from Playing to Love's Gallery

I don’t usually suffer love gladly So I practice the art of canceling love When revealing it could be harmful And it explains all those empty words Nothing can be done about, The inescapable mass of her body Except to keep herself in the shadows And she often prefers these deep waters Throwing most of the light on me Like playing a fish on a line I always feel her restrained passions And know my deepest fears The problem of love is inevitably; Who would play the husband? And my immediate problem is If she require children; I would choose the father I can sense the man in me The man who might have been I am possessed of certain excitements Not available to most others Intelligence built upon sensitivity But she is not sure of my abilities Perhaps she would be truthful Perhaps she would answer The odd expression in her eyes And I wish this image in her eyes Would reproduce me Some bizarre form of a love? 14


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Jan Oskar Hansen

Sex and the older man

As an illness settles in my body, things I took for granted have now disappeared, say, like a proper morning erection. Slack and shriveled I have to sit down to pee, less I soil the front of my trousers. Sex for the aged is up (pardon the pun) and running, many aged have sex trice a week, I read in the paper. Old men bragging, ask their wives, who will giggle, say their men are dreaming. Sex isn’t that important a celibate once said, (how would he know?) yet, I agree on the scale, of interesting things to do I rate sex only at nine and a half‌ the tenth used to be a smoke after it is done.

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Birthday

In the doorway of a restaurant music plays behind me, dancers move to a Finnish tango. Glitter on the ceiling, happy faces, a few drinks more and wrong words uttered, steel blades glint in the knuckled hands of my dysfunctional relatives. Stars so near this unholy night, a lungful of cigarette smoke, it is getting cold, must go in and join the throng, after all it is my seventieth birthday

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The Heat Before The Rain

The blue bird that flew over the houses had wings that cast shadows in the olive grove, the docile mule bolted kicked over the bucket of water, I had carried from the well, it jumped over a stone fence. Didn’t make it fell broke a leg. I called my neighbour he likes to kill things; something unresolved, I gather, from his sad childhood. All that blood a small river trickled and sank into parched ground, where autumnal flowers sprung up and hid the dead body in an orgy of colours, that got brighter and brighter when feasting on decay till they exploded into a shower of rainbows which attracted dark clouds, and it rained; huge drops- bigger then a crocodile’s- tears. Next day the mule grazed as before, docile as nothing had happened, but under an olive tree I found a knife with dry blood on, and my neighbour was yonder trimming almond trees that now have brown leaves and are full of nuts.

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An Actor’s Cook

I met a tall man in a bar he spoke like John Wayne, although he clearly wasn’t him; the suit he wore I had seen before so here’s an ordinary man’s story: I was John Wayne’s cook he liked Mexican food, pot roast and hamburgers too; when he drank Tequila with his friends he enjoyed pickled pig trotters. Believed in the roles he played, frontier morality that never was you may say, the white hats win against black hats, and his country could do no wrong Once, when he played a bad sea captain he was sad couldn’t believe an American could behave like that; miss cast he was, a cowboy without his horse. John sat out world war in Hollywood, his toughness was an act, deep down a pussycat, didn’t like guns with real bullets in, they made him extremely nervy. My boss was a kind man, since I was tall as him he always gave me his cast offs, when he died his widow gave me his saddle and horse…I cried. When leaving my quarters I had no money, but was smartly dressed, sold the horse and saddle, opened a cantina serving TexMex food and pickled trotters.

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The Promotion

Five hundred years I had waited for recognition, when my bones were found in grave on the windy coast. A tall man, the archaeologist waxed lyrical, an admiral with a blond mane, it most have looked splendid when he stood on his bridge commanding his fleet. How glad I was that day, this kind academic, with dirty finger nails, had made me glad. I was a cook, the nearest I got to a bridge was when serving the captain breakfast at eight sharp. By then I had been up since five baking bread, the old man liked warm slices of bread with blue berry jam on. When in a good mood he let me look through his binoculars, pointing out things for me to see, but not for long a cooks place is in his galley, to make a lunch for happy sailors who sang shanties at five when tea was served on the poop deck and the captain came down socializing with his crew telling jokes and since everyone laughed he thought he was a great wit. For you, who are still alive; five hundred years seem like a long time but when you’re dead time doesn’t mean a thing.

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The Consequence

The door into the bar was narrow I stood outside waited for a couple to come out. When they did the woman carried a dead baby in her arms, said it was mine, handed it to me; I refused to take it, my wife’s abortion, more than forty years ago, had nothing to do with me, we had agreed then that time wasn’t right for us to have a child. The waif opened its eyes stretched out tiny arms, called me papa, I took the child in my arms, and no longer an “It,” I stroked her golden hair, cried, said sorry. The couple had gone back into the pub, layers of years but I recognized her face, for her it was too late, at sunset I walked into the woods and buried my baby daughter alone.

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mgversion2>datura mgv2_en_03 December 2008 Š mgversion2>datura and the authors editor: Walter Ruhlmann contact and information: mgversion2@free.fr – mgversion2.free.fr issn: 1365-5418

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mgv2_en_03 | december 2008  

mgversion2>datura, third issue of the English counterpart of the French literary magazine.

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