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CARTIER STREET REVIEW

March 2011

Editorial group: Joy Leftow Dubblex Brad Eubanks Thomas Hubbard Marc Carver Mike Finley Cover: MIKHAIL KUDINOW: "The walk with Leopard," 60 X 70 oil on canvas

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Table of Contents Note In A Bottle..........................................................................................................4 Blue Smoke................................................................................................................5 Lunch At The Victorian Lady.....................................................................................7 "Expectation" .............................................................................................................8 Unauthorized Biography............................................................................................9 Digital Speech..........................................................................................................11 These Leaves Getting Fat.........................................................................................14 Iman Suligi Haiku Series..........................................................................................18 Night-wanderer’s Plea..............................................................................................19 An Agnostic’s Prayer................................................................................................21 The Blue Krishna.....................................................................................................23 "Gathering Flowers" ................................................................................................25 Preserves:.................................................................................................................26 The Ritual.................................................................................................................27 Return Trip...............................................................................................................28 "Girl With A Cat".....................................................................................................29 Red Poem.................................................................................................................30 Z213:exit By Dimitris Lyacos Translated By Shorsha Sullivan...............................................................................32 I Called You My Butter Cookie ...............................................................................34 "Girl With The Toy".................................................................................................35 Featured Artist Kudinow..............................................................................................36 Review: 39 Poems, by Charles J. Butler..................................................................37 Dali...........................................................................................................................42 Smells Like Teen Spirit …. For Patti Smith’s Cover Of Cobain’s Cut...........................................................43 Review: The Indian Who Bombed Berlin................................................................44 Toxic Gumbo............................................................................................................47 The Stink..................................................................................................................50

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Note In A Bottle wails=hymns to the maker of bottles note crumpled in glassy container message=longing for heart-ache heart-crush girls from a love-boat pick up the bottle from nether-world scorpions crawling from the paper love-sting love-death

MARIO MALIVERT

Mario Malivert is the author of three collections of French poetry, the last in 2006. His poems have also been published in Conjunction, Tanbou, Le Nouvelliste, and various anthologies. Mario Malivert was born and grew up in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He currently lives in Brockton, MA, where he works in the health care industry. email: mariomalivert@yahoo.com

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Blue Smoke It begins at night. Booze, sweat, dimmed lights tobacco, liquor, lotus-eaters, the sting of smoke in red-veined eyes and rapping through skull and bones, a raw war cry— song. The dirge, wail, smoky, sultry, jazz fingers cheating the keyboard like a set of loaded dice. Throaty voice, dark molasses post-hypnotic suggestion —going down slow, honey— covering the flaws, keeping reality just under the surface recalled by her gaze, besmirched with sooty lashes begging, entreating. The swing of her hips, luster of a cinnabar bodice expanding on a rumbling breath. Through the blue swirls of smoke her almond-colored eyes flash, amaretto sweet, long-sustained notes. He burns from that voice, 5


it gets inside him, flames dance around his mind. She pauses to breathe, the sax takes over; it moans and scorches the air. Hallucinations pull him deeper, half-drunk on midnight blues. The heat, the pain, the wailing blues the pounding rhythm of syncopated fibrillations, that’s the penalty of living: a trapped heart trying to escape its own tightening rib-cage.

AMI KAYE

Ami's poems have appeared in various journals. She has written features, reviews and articles. Ami is the author of What Hands Can Hold. Her next poetry collection, Singer of the Ragas, will be released later this year. Ami is the publisher and managing editor of Pirene’s Fountain. web: http://www.amikaye.com

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Lunch At The Victorian Lady She sits in the window Muttering her mantra My name…my… name… Pie a la mode two twenty five Bus fare fifty cents …is…name…mine… bus will come at twelve thirty be out side by twelve twenty two …is my…name…? Hides her purse in an old plastic bag wraps herself up tight, reaching in her pocket for the answer to her prayers, wrapped up in rubber bands. She smilesis… -lays three dollars down …Miss Lucy. Abernathy.

HELEN PETERSON

Helen Peterson is the managing editor of Chopper Poetry Journal out of New London, CT, and has previously published in over 100 print and online journals, both nationally and internationally. Her work was also featured in The Work Book, an anthology put out by Poet Plant Press in 2007, and she will be a featured reader at the Bowery Poetry Club in November. A mother of three living in Connecticut, her blog can be found at http://mspetersonexplains.wordpress.com/ 7


"Expectation" Kudinow, 70 X 80, oil on canvas 2006

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Unauthorized Biography A modest man, his property has long been owned by others, or been incinerated.

Without question, we know only a few of his statistics escaped the grave.

By standards of his time, he was already old, near infirmity when we were born.

He talked of pleasures in his past, but no writings survive among his known posterity; no mementos, no souvenirs, no photos in his doughboy hat, no testament, no promise, no commitment, no evidence of trust.

And after us, who will note 9


his worn statistics on his stone? “He lies here, after all.�

KEITH MOUL

Keith Moul has a PhD in English but hardly taught, spending most of his working life (he's now retired) in insurance. His chapbook, Grammar of the Mind, will be published this year by Blue & Yellow Dog Press. He also publishes photos.

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Digital Speech I get so fucking tired of talking to machines say stuff and they don’t know what I mean get so vexed I scream push cell phone buttons press 0 for the operator but only get voice recognition software so I start to swear They program it in that slightly husky partly raspy sexy computer voice Pick your choice From the menu list Press 1 for English 2 for Spanish This is what I do but still can’t get through Press 4 for more options You must speak proper English This is its wish or your call will be dismissed I listen to the options - try to press the buttons in time put the phone to my ear to hear the next command “I didn’t understand your response,” says the machine so I clear my throat and try again I need more patience be more Zen I’ve been holding on so long I wonder what is going on! I get peppered with questions The voice says it didn’t understand my response Is that cuz I talk too black 11


Or is my speech too slurred I stumble over words say it the third time - a waste of time The machine repeats the same line Asks for my birthday social security number ID pin what I ate for breakfast a list of all my sins Once again my answers are revoked I freak out - I forget the list of choices 3 for billing 4 for tech support 5 to repeat Star to speak to a representative 6 to update your account 7 to enter your birthday I press 8 for the hell of it and 9 to end this call Meanwhile my call is placed on hold I get cut off and have to begin all over again

DUBBLEX

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DubbleX has been writing & playing music his entire life. He's been published by Street Literature Review Magazine (paper) The Cartier Street Review, the Nov. 3rd Club, Polarity, Mad Swirl, readerjack.com, and wheelhouse magazine. DubbleX writes & plays music to stay sane.

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These Leaves Getting Fat the way a child born ravenous almost devours its mother, the bark gaunt --with so little left over who knows if it can last out the summer can tell between a knife or fork or your initials growing stronger on the light that flows through wood --just two initials, one already taller already mountainsides, fires falling into fires into your warm breasts as if the heart was just now fed and understood clearly the place.

SIMON PERCHIK

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. For more information, including his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities� and a complete bibliography, please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com.

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Iman Suligi is an art teacher at a preschool education training facility at Muhammadivah University in Jember. He also manages the Community Library at The Kampoeng Baca. email: imansuligi@gmail.com

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Iman Suligi Haiku Series

Moonlight Serenade I Full moon peering from behind teak trees Bamboo leaves spread enchantment everywhere Moonlight Serenade II Faint rustle of leaves Whispering jealous moon gossips with clouds Wind stunned and still Moonlight Dream Cloud covered moon Nature reveals an old ancient dream Night reawakens suddenly

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Night-wanderer’s Plea for Ernesto Cardenal

Brother, a prayer, if you will, in the encroaching dark for the lady of the night who shares my meal of onion and tomatoes and never finishes it, perhaps out of politeness, though her stomach has shrunk to the size of a walnut. Tell me the right words to say to take away the pain that demolishes self and leaves only longing. In what century do we disparage a girl for being poor while the baron and the banker dine at the gala luncheon with the business man and policy maker? In what century do we praise the millionaire, whilst the mother in exile, only moments away begs for pennies on the subway train with her daughter?

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Ernesto, you who have always been of the people, a kindness for the pole dancer in your night rosary who lost her only son and shares my lonely room in times of poverty. You who have cared for so many, a hope for the cam-girl who I courted every night throughout April seeking not a union of the flesh, but a refuge from the weight of compassion. A blessing, then, for all our sisters, still innocent but much used, born to servitude and self-doubt, made to undress, forced to endure the endless nights of the flesh while the pimp and the thief make merry. These are the travesties we live by – old friend, a plea for all the poor, before the night swallows us all in darkness.

MARK A. MURPHY

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An Agnostic’s Prayer When I tell you that I love your Audrey Santo: the girl, whom, it is said, performs miracles in her sleep, it is because I know her in my heart as though she were my own flesh and blood, when I knelt beside her bed in the late morning all the world stood still, all my previous life came to me as if in slow motion, acted out behind the retina as though I had been given the gift of my own memory for the first time; I was not disturbed nor did I regret the course my life had taken, I wished nothing then for myself in that lonely room, but I could not help feeling sorrow for the girl with the unfathomable dreams, so I said to her, ‘I will pray for you, my Audrey Santo,’ and she said back to me in a voice gentle as prayer, ‘what can I do for you my brother in destiny?’ And I was not astounded nor did I find myself disbelieving the sound of the voice inside my head, I only wished to take the darkness she had known these past nineteen years – away from her eyes 21


so she could see the world as I saw it, but then it came to me more clearly than the winter sun, perhaps Audrey Santo was blessed in ways I could never comprehend, perhaps she really was the waking world’s connection with God.

Mark A. Murphy

Mark A. Murphy was born in the UK in 1969. He studied philosophy as an undergraduate and poetry in his postgraduate work. Murphy's first full-length collection, Night Watch Man & Muse is pending from Salmon Poetry (Eire) early in 2012. Mark's poems have appeared in Poetry New Zealand, Poetry Scotland, Quarterly Literary Review (Singapore), The Warwick Review (UK), Istanbul Literature Review (Turkey), Paris Atlantic Journal (France), Poetry Salzburg Review (Austria), Litspeak (Germany), Contemporary Literary Horizons (Romania), Munyori (India), The Tampa Review (US), Del Sol Review (US), Left Curve (US), The American Dissident (U.S.), The Stinging Fly (Eire), Crannog Magazine (Eire) and on the deaddrunkdublin website.

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The Blue Krishna STORY BY SIDDHARTH KATRAGADDA As kids, my bothers and I would climb to the top of the tall green gate and use its heavy rusted iron bolt to grind seed with. What we used the seed for, I don’t quiet remember. It is too far back for something so trivial. What is not trivial, something so permanent in the mind’s eye, something I would never have to go back for, was the view on the other side, visible only from atop the gate. One day, we got to the top, scratching our knees along the way, and peeped over the wall. Nothing stirred there but for a blue mynah that sat on the carefully laid garden and cooed some nature-orchestrated song to the hot, windless summer afternoon. A fountain stood in the middle of the garden, dried up, veiled in a blanket of leaf-green moss, shriveled creepers crawling all over it. A statue of Lord Krishna danced in the middle, playing his flute to invisible cows that seemed to materialize in our vision, a soft song rising in the air. He had skin the color of the cloudless azure sky above. Wasn’t he dark skinned? Why the blue? Was it euphemism, in a land where to have dark skin was to be a sinner in a previous life, a way of repaying the curses of your karma. The unmoving smile etched on Krishna’s face lit up in our eyes as we watched, the fountain springing to life around the statue. We fell back, onto the patio. On holiday, when we tired ourselves by spraying colored water on each other until our bodies glimmered in all shades of rosy twilights and slategreen, and our shirts clung to our bodies, our privates, wet and cold from the dampness – multicolored, for that was where the colors collected, we were struck by an idea. We climbed the gate to the top of the wall, got onto the other side. Lord Krishna watched us intently. We rubbed color into the palms of our hands and 23


stepped forward, our hearts beating like Shiva’s dholak in our chests. We aimed our water pistols filled with color at him, and four away, distance enough for our little bare feet, if we needed to scoot, we let out a scream and shot our pistols. The colored water hit the Lord’s face. The blue of his skin melted down his body, mixing with the yellow, red and green. In our vision his smile vanished, wiped away by astonishment, Then, it reemerged and regained its stagnancy. We danced and pranced around, clapping joyfully, a silent fear chocking our throats. What if Lord Krishna cursed us for our crime? What if he sent his chakra flying that very moment to take our sinful heads off ? What if we, like him, we cursed with dark skin in our next lives?

Notes:

Holi: festival of color dholak: Traditional Indian percussion instrument chakra: A disk with serrations

Siddharth Katragadda is the author of two award-winning volumes of poetry (San Diego Book Awards, 2002 &2003). His work has appeared in Grey Sparrow Press, South Jersey Underground, Language&Culture, Writer’s Monthly, Chaffey Review, A Generation Defining Itself, Boston Poet and Sulekha and his work has been reviewed in newspapers/magazines like the Best Reviews, OneIndia.com and Suite101. Katragadda Email: siddharthkatragadda@gmail.com

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"Gathering Flowers" Kudinow, 70 X 60, oil on canvas, 2003

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Preserves: Listenin’ to Nat Adderley Tryin’ to follow his bread Crumb trumpet trail like A crumpet fails to make Me into royalty you have To listen deep & not just Lick the jelly off the top You got to stop & taste The notes let them stain & Spread inside your head & try to keep the bits out of Your bed & the jam out of Your smile / watermelon* Right?

KEVIN EBERHARDT All I know how to do is write mediocre poetry & play mediocre drums & harmonica. All my JOBS have also been mediocre, making a mediocre living in a world far from mediocre. Also far from perfect but you got to use what you got to get what you want. Even God performs mediocre miracles, sometimes. web: roundingofthestone.blogspot.com/ email: ke767@hotmail.com 26


The Ritual As he lights the candle he thinks of laughing wood, of miniature suns budding in his grasp. He dips his hand, a galaxy of clipped nails, towards the hesitant wax. It catches like the flu, like the pox and robes itself in flame. The candle bursts into song a breathy tune his ears can’t catch His eyes are swallowed, sunken by the edge of a sunflower petal. He presses his hand to the flame, allows it to caress him. He feels nothing, no more than cloth brushed against skin And then in a cascading scream, he burns. His hand lives the tune. The raging petals finally open, fully bloomed.

VALENTINA CANO Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time she can muster up either writing or reading. She lives in Miami and you can find her here web: coldbloodedlives.blogspot.com. 27


Return Trip I watch you come down from the train, adjust your face from dreaming and negotiate the platform with your overnight bag. You are wearing the silk scarf I gave you on that special birthday and a half remembered energy jolts my heart. My mind takes a taxi to the time when the station was a place of arrival, a journey's end, a friend. You reach the barrier and we embrace like strangers. My mind comes back today and I curse Return tickets and the inevitability of railway lines for I know we can't go back and this will soon be a place of departure.

GRANT D. MCLEMAN

Grant D. McLeman is a Scots poet born in Glasgow. he has been published in various print and on-line outlets. He has also collaborated with photographers, musicians and a video maker. His first collection ‘Street Magic’ was published in 2009.

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"Girl With A Cat" Kudinow, 50 X 40 oil on canvas

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Red Poem I need a name for red. I want to tear And bite And bleed. I need a name for red because I’m leaving soon, for Mars, and I’m afraid of looking back at the blue. Let me have cinnamon, paprika, chili peppers, and cherry ice, because the deep blue sea might overwhelm me. Like the zombies with crusted fingernails, and eyes that have lost their life. They roam the earth, crying: My lost dream lies Just beyond the next crater, over the waxing moon. So give me a name for red. 30


So that I can swirl in a brand-new Christmas dress, red, so I can flit with the cardinals.

JEANNE DICKEY

Jeanne Dickey's latest poems will appear in Issue 4 of the The Lineup: Poems on Crime. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in the journals Poet Lore, RE:AL, Passages North, and Amherst Review, among others. She is working on a novel entitled A Fanciful Glamour, a short excerpt of which is forthcoming in the anthology, The Unbearables Big Book of Sex, to be released this spring. email: jeannedickey@hotmail.com

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Z213:exit By Dimitris Lyacos

Translated By Shorsha Sullivan REVIEW BY MARC CARVER

Lyacos has emerged as one of Greece’s leading contemporary poet and playwright. His highly acclaimed trilogy Poena Damni (Z213: EXIT, Nyctivoe, The First Death), written over the course of eighteen years, has been translated into English, Spanish, Italian and German and has been performed across Europe as well as the USA. His works cross boundaries of literary form, so when I undertook to do this review, I began with some trepidation. Reviewing other people’s work is always something that fills me with a certain dread; I always fear I won’t be able to understand exactly what this poet or writer, or in this case mixing in the translator’s view too. Only the writer truly understands his own work and what he or she is trying to say, therefore my review is subjective. That said, I think that there are some universal truths as much so in poetry as in great art. Great writing will always be great writing no matter what people say or don’t say about it. I picked up this text and examined the words. To be honest I could not understand what the writer or perhaps the translator meant. What was obvious was that he was trying to get some points across and that he was experimenting with form. This confused me somewhat but it was not just this. I wondered if the translator was true to Lyacos' form and ideas since I found the translation adds a power to the words and poems. There was a great deal of strength to the writing that unsettled me as, I feel sure, was what Lyacos meant it to do. For example, “Uncertain images of the road and thoughts mumbled words, and if you read them without the names you won’t understand, it could have been anywhere, and then I spoke with no one and those who saw me no chance that they remember me. “ This short quote uses the metaphor of the road which I'd interpret as being in charge of one's destiny but when you combine that with mumbled words and names you won't understand - well then it brings us to being out of control or perhaps in the hands of fate. This made me consider how many faces I pass daily thinking that they look familiar yet I’m quite certain I’ve never seen them before. Of course the literalness here could be assumed as being not exactly what the writer 32


wished to say. However, the qualities of the overview of the poems gave them an almost Beckettesque feel. It reminded me of very minimalist writers of old. I had an appreciation for layout of the book. I imagine that the book probably looks very close to how Lyacos envisioned it. It's a book one can be proud of, substantial and thought provoking. After I finished I still wondered if I’d understood it or were my thoughts about it all the reaction needed. I recommend it because Lyacos is a true talent. You’ll not find his works an easy read but most of the hard things in life – provide us the biggest and most valuable rewards. There is little doubt to the quality sealed within these pages and I look forward to seeing more of this poet’s works. MARC CARVER

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I Called You My Butter Cookie i know them way back, packed in the supermarket, stacks after stacks labeled blue, each blue can our big city's favourite, wrapped in red spring's warmest gift. it must have been your baby blues, or me overwhelmed in a scent so flattering, in a way so sweet, it caters my court, your ship. crunchy touches, sugar on top, taste on my tongue, the best flavor unlocked - the best thing i know from your country all these golden pieces of loveliness sink in memories.

CHERRY RAO Cherry Rao, a 20-something writer, graduated from the University of Hong Kong, with majors in Fine Arts and English Studies. She works in galleries and areas of art education, cannot stop loving art, and will never stop writing poetry. She writes, therefore she is. blog: http://cherryrao.blogspot.com email: cherrylovenicky@hotmail.com 34


"Girl With The Toy" Kudinow, 50 X 40 oil on canvas

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Featured Artist Kudinow

Kudinow’s art training was classical. Later he became involved in an international arts exchange project between Russia, Denmark and Germany. This exchange project exposed Kudinow to many different styles and ideas. Kudinow says that the most important source of inspiration is in the artist himself and literature, pictures, nature and especially his own imagination. It is the combination of these things that motivate him to his peak performance. Kudinow will tell you he is driven by imagination and that the virtuosic sophisticated images he creates express his joy of life. He feels the joy of life is a fundamental prerequisite for the artist’s creativity. He uses his artistic means to struggle to find the good in the picture to enable him to enchant and distract the viewer from his daily grind. Kudinow tells his viewers the viewers that his work is not a language to be unencrypted and that one need not seek for hidden content. His work is easily read with its enormous wealth of aesthetic emotions and moods for each of us. Many of his works, particularly his works on paper are currently very inexpensive and certainly a good long-term investment. In Denmark there is a collector's circle for his art and now German art lovers have also begun to collect his works.

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REVIEW: 39 Poems, by Charles J. Butler ISBN 978-0-9772718-8-7 Publication date 2010 74 pages No Shirt Press, Brooklyn, NY

REVIEW BY JOY LEFTOW Reading through the 39 Poems brought to mind Hitchcock’s movie, The 39 Steps because each poem stretches the reader and the page towards the next poem and set of steps without explaining where he is going. Also the poems on the pages of the book are laid out in emulation of climbing up and down steps so that while reading I felt like I was skipping steps. Each poem relates to life’s struggles; the various ways love affects us and how meaningful respect is. He writes about everyday things moving us up and down steps lyrically and emotionally. Butler describes how one can be oblivious to a murder and walk across bloodstains on our big city streets without recognizing them in the book’s first poem, Crimson Stroll. Suddenly while stepping over the red brown stains, the author recognizes it for what it is, seeing a stark vivid beauty of someone’s life bled out on the streets. Someone’s life bled out At your feet Think on it Times you bled Times you made others bleed Look on it Big dark path on 8th ave Brooklyn side in your way look on it the fuel that moves us all dried out on a dirty sidewalk who bled … are they dead a dark stain beautiful a bit of Canada flashes up your neck

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and ears back in the world you move around it and move on wishing for cold rain to wash away the stain human sin most of all your own look at it it’s almost…

We’re all here – all human and suffering – and this is the grist for this author to describe how we’re all the same and different at the same time, but he wants to show us that we have the capacity to be and do more that drives us and of course this is what drives this poet to create poetry. The stains our lives create must contain beauty otherwise why do we exist? Butler’s struggle is to align himself with the humanity in all of us, despite the murder the chaos, the beauty the differences between rich and poor, black and white, and he struggles with it all, climbing up and down, retreating and coming to terms with wrongs and rights and even the grays and imperfections. The problem is that our climbing stretching and reaching is never done. You go up you descend and then you begin all over again because that’s the way life is, it’s never done until you’re done - or dead and gone - is more like it - or if you’re a quitter. Butler is no quitter and no matter how far down he’s gone – he bounces back to reexamine his roots and the course of his life, fighting to stay in touch with his spiritual side. This spiritual side is at the root of Butler’s talent, as he controls his anger hurt and humiliation when he’s experienced racism. For any of you who have never experienced racism, normal is a good place to start to understand what it’s about when you get stopped on the street because of the color of your skin. nature of the beast now I’m not gonna say I’ve lost count o’the many times I’ve been blackstopped but it’s more than a few remember I’m 16

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walkin’ on a bed-stuy street goin’ noplace fast blue n’ white rolls up on me unis pile out … nicely they ask me if I’m carryin’ a gun nicely I say no nicely they ask if I would submit to a search mind you they don’t have to ask me a goddamn thing and they know it I know it An’ the brother watchin’ this who wishes right now he was someplace else knows it nicely I say go ahead

I can relate to this struggle and suffering. All my life as a Jew and especially in my childhood I was called a Christ-killer. The recent advent of the Mel Gibson movie and his ensuing drunk arrest and slurred comment about Jews brought it home to me again. But this is a tactic of the upper echelon. They want to keep us all at each other’s throats so we will keep our busy bee status and keep making the rich richer. It’s a means of control and humiliation and it makes us hurt. Mr. Butler knows this hurt intimately and writes about it poignantly. 39 Poems covers a range of experiences; awareness of the haves and have-nots, racism, love, hurt, abandonment and loss, and more importantly the urge to understand and 39


come to terms with it and explain what it’s all about. After all this everyday stuff is the mesh of our lives. The ability to sublimate sets humans apart from other species, to take our hurts and pain and transcend them for the greater good – to create beauty in ugliness is the work Mr. Butler attends to. In DMV rag, Butler speaks for all of us who have ever been to the DMV. We’re in the dmv now Hundreds of black And brown faces some whites all of them wanna be someplace else but here we are … it’s all mad gotta be half the world is on fire an’ the other is on line waiting for their number to be called lookin’ for a place t’ sit an empty seat is like fool’s gold

Don’t we all feel like this when we visit official offices, public school registration, social security, Medicaid, even the closed down US passport passport bureaus, and welfare’s the worst. I have a poem about it called “Welfare’s Still A Bitch!” The searching and questioning never stop just like in the movie The 39 Steps, there is always another side to examine to analyze understand and conquer. His poems speak to maturity and growth and show how youth and mistakes although unavoidable are only part of climbing and descending those steps, a poem for each step. In word one baby, Butler explains why a writer writes. why write? writing thru since he was eleven good days

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and dark times the pain of living the come hither call of death and madness inbetween even hung ‘em up for a time didn’t last why write? he’s free

Is the author describing himself here or is he speaking for everyone? We all know writers write about what they know and well … if they write about what they don’t know … everyone knows that doesn’t work. Artists from time immemorial have been known to describe angst which often spurs their creative urges. Does every writer experience angst? I can’t speak for every artist. Many writers have spoken and written about their angst yet angst alone doesn’t make a man an artist. There is some other indistinguishable indefinable something that inspires a writer to create, that makes his writings stand out among others, something that prods him to spend his time writing while others commune, have sex, watch tv or do other things while writing remains a lonely task which takes time. Words don’t miraculously appear on the page. Writing is what gives Butler the freedom he speaks of above. His words create a freedom that exists nowhere else around in our world and he helps the reader to feel it too. Through that freedom we see what he sees; a stark world filled with fertility and barrenness that provides us not only with a place to survive but a place to grow and thrive. The growth in Butler’s poetry and words inspires me too. I recommend 39 Poems sincerely and without any reservation. Article first published as Book Review: 39 Poems by Charles Butler on Blogcritics.com.

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Dali All of a sudden there she was in front of me holding two big melons in her open hands as if they were an offering to me. She walked straight past me as if she were offering her melons to another man. I felt jealous and confused for a little bit and when I turned around she and her melons were gone. MARC CARVER Marc Carver has been writing poetry for three years and has been published two hundred poems in some fifty publications around the world. Carver strives to strike a balance between truth and the irony of life in his poetry.

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Smells Like Teen Spirit

…. For Patti Smith’s Cover Of Cobain’s Cut.

The hard reality of the small crease she made on the hardened heart swelling a serene violence on the petal of her angular smile turned inside out, she walked with a bristling quiet, rocking that savage clap of heels on her lover's gowned patience, derailed ever so sweetly in the oven cool off kisses forged in sluggish shadows...how I can see you dancing, even now after all your instinctual death, naked to the bone child erected as memorial, a crystalline heart beating till it's raw in my mouth...I found that evil was a convenient goodness collapsing neatly to the nostalgic cover collection, there you could be easily and distinctly heard, the twang of your ever distant guitar approaching like a ghost perpetually reminding me the time has come, has always come, as we continually ignore the passage of its allowance, our interactivities diabolically spread over sweaty skins on the post fuck joke....can't get it on the platter like reality, can you? Only off a CD semblance, tinny and hollow, lacking any spiritual pizzazz; that's the mystical abeyance, inner folding off the masculine and pretty cool of sexy smiles melted for a party favor...smoked for bad weed cut with baby lies...that I could find the truth she sheds as a criminal vibe, yeah, how could I forget? The time's not my friend. I forget too many things too quickly. Of course she's there...always will be, shimmying the absolute note she taught me in a place I keep neatly packed in an earth awaiting its next world...a dapple of the threaded stream of heat interwoven on a strain, melodic and dissonant, wild like rapids in an old painter's sink swirling the last colors down to a black n white depth...not to be touched but imagined on a key of unholy raptures...fruit of the forbidden tree, how neat, stuffed for the next millennium's grace in the brain boot, closed as a dead man's secrets whispered to a deaf priest...ah... DAN BERKEY

Dan Berkey is an actor and writer. He lives in New York City. email: berkey.dan@gmail.com 43


Review: The Indian Who Bombed Berlin by Ralph Salisbury Published by Michigan State University Press ©2009, Trade Paperback, 210 pages ISBN 978 087013847 8 Price $24.95

BOOK REVIEW BY

THOMAS HUBBARD

A little boy's life is sometimes scary. A little boy who must walk in two worlds lives a life even more scary. The lead story in Ralph Salisbury's short story collection, The Indian Who Bombed Berlin, gives readers an idea just how scary it can be. In these stories spanning more than half a century, Sallisbury introduces us to a world of mixed-blood characters and their families, with the opening story presenting eight-year-old Seek (Sikwaya) as he runs down a snowy hillside. He's trying to reach the safety of his school and his beloved teacher, Miss Smith, before three farm-dogs-gone-wild catch up to him. Seek ran, sobbing, "Mith Smi-ith, Mith Smi-ith," wind chilling his tongue, while the thud of paws and click of toenails against frozen gravel drew closer, and fierce baying grew louder with expectation of the kill. Seek and his older brother, and in fact, his whole family, have to face wild dogs and racist bullies the best way they can, as is most often the case for Indian kids in a mainstream — even back country mainstream — school. And so they do, with help from Seek's veteran father. Salisbury, in this stellar collection, includes several stories of Indians in the U.S. military, dealing not only with the enemy, but also facing racial discrimination and hatred (it's not only for blacks) from fellow soldiers in the same army. A prime example is his first-person story in which the protagonist is getting a pre-assignment physical exam. 44


Eighteen and strong, I had humped forty pounds of gear forty miles and completed training for battle, but noting a slightly erratic heartbeat, already recorded from previous exams, the medical captain shook his head. "A month ago, I'd have sent you overseas, and it'd of been a bullet that killed you, not a heart attack. I've worked on an Indian reservation and seen how you people take advantage. Now the war's damn near ended you might be costing our government a disability pension for a few days of combat." Consequently the eighteen-year-old gets a non-combat assignment. Other stories tell of Indians who come home from battle with wounds both physical and mental. These Indian veterans, just like white or black veterans suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or other mental dysfunctions, bring the war home to their families, along with its ruin and disruption. The father of Parm and Juke and Ann is a prime example. He's a great guy except when he periodically comes home drunk and shoots up the house with his pistol. Salisbury's prose dances toward poetry as he explores his protagonists from the inside out, with a flow of sometimes disparate images jammed up against one another like slices in a bread loaf. And like poetry, it sometimes requires closer reading than prose might. The experience is worth the extra effort, however. And he doesn't just tell you about his characters, he lets you experience their reality. This may be as close a view as most folks will ever see, into mixed-blood reality. The question of why Indian men fight for the same army that killed (massacred?) so many of them is asked by inference and remains unanswered except by inference in these stories, as generation after generation of Salisbury's characters go off to war and return home dead, crippled or disturbed. Families and friends must then share the pain and disruption, which echoes across successive generations. In "The Indian Who Bombed Berlin," Salisbury's title story, the protagonist recalls his relationship with the racist pilot with whom he'd flown as bombardier on missions over Germany. He then skips forward to a time when he's returned home from the war, married, earned a degree and raised a family, and subsequently found himself in Germany, on a teaching fellowship. His colleague, a former British bomber pilot, hates Americans — especially Native Americans. So walking to class one day, the protagonist is pulled into a march of dark-skinned protesters in the streets of a post-war German city. ...I found my route blocked by thousands of dark-skinned demonstrators, who were marching under Turkish and a number of other Near East and Middle East banners, 45


to present the city government with a demand for justice. Caught between the river and a fortress wall, whose stones had echoed to the footbeats of Roman invaders, I was just one among dozens of spectators, but my British colleague, who was standing nearby, shouted something in fluent German to a group whose signs called for holy war. Pulled into the march, I thought the group wanted another dark-skinned man to add to their numbers, and I tried to protest, in my not-very-fluent German, that I would soon be due to teach a class. "Murderer! Satan American! Murderer!" a tall man shouted and slapped my jaw.... Suffering the violent rage of mistreated immigrants, Salisbury's protagonist finally comes to terms with his own involvement in war, after the demonstrators pummel him and toss him into the river. In these stories Salisbury shows us a side of First Nation life generally ignored by the mainstream. Threaded through this collection of observations from the receiving end of racial bigotry and military mayhem, the reader will see a strong fiber of honest, day-to-day courage — the kind that stares, squarely and hard, back through generations of loss before continuing resolutely into the future.

Thomas Hubbard, a gray-haired renegade halfbreed, invents cusswords about American repression, but also writes poetry, fiction and book reviews in his Ozark hideout. Sometimes he runs off to Mexico for a dose of reality, but he always comes back ... so far. 46


Toxic Gumbo there's nothing sadder than looking at the paper and seeing a picture of brown pelicans covered in progress this summer, kids will collect tar balls like they collect seashells the flood that came to new orleans came to nashville, too but it was just god's tears he cried in anger as he exacted his revenge on us karma is a bitch and she always wins so, taste this toxic gumbo and enjoy it we won't care if if the headphones from our cell phones give us cancer in a few years it's just a small price to pay for keeping up with the joneses isn't that what cancer is anyway, a growth that doesn't stop? 47


enjoy your oyster po-boy while you can...

ERREN GERAUD KELLY

A poet based in New York City, by way of Louisiana, Maine, and California, Erren Geraud Kelly has been writing for 21 years. She’s been published in print and online in several publications including Hiram Poetry Review, Mudfish, Poetry Magazine, Fertile Ground, and Beyond The Frontier, with her most recent work in In Our Own Words, a Generation X poetry anthology. Kelly has a B.A. in Creative Writing from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

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The Stink Does not understand it is the problem: Brothers, sisters where are you going?

MIKE FINLEY

Mike Finley, who does the layouts for Cartier Street Review, is author of over 100 books. Free downloads of his incredible volume of collected works, Yukon Gold: Poemes de le terre, are at http://mfinley.com/pdf/poemes.pdf. It is said to be the largest chapbook ever published. A review of this epic work will appear in the next issue of Pirene's Fountain.

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Cartier Street Review March 2011