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Fragile Arts Quarterly

Summer 2009

FRAGILE ARTS QUARTERLY / Summer 2009 Moongaze Publishing, Pittsburgh, PA Contact us: Obtain free PDF back issues at: All works in this issue of Fragile Arts Quarterly are the copyrighted property of the creators of said works and are used by permission.

the art of industry Art is often found in odd places and often not meant to be art at all. But then again, it may simply depend on your point of view.

Rosa Langella Woodstock, Georgia

ablution ok, i am getting in the shower now... let the rhythmic chant of the warm water wash away more than my dirt dead skin and loose hair let the drops drum out the bitter sad song i've been listening to making room for the day's melodious litany to fill my ears and head and heart with the solace of being the dark empty his white strip teeth smile at me and he carefully places his sugar words on my tongue so that i can taste them again he looks at me, my disheveled hair and spider hands, with his cool green eyes through those polarized protected lenses a mirror into a mirror when he looks away i try to look inside i want to see eight years of love, friendship, tears, compassion... something anything but i see the dark empty, nothing no, nothing is in there still

Rosa Langella it disappoints me do not feel its comfort better not get used to its touch try not to want its attention and definitely, definitely don't start needing its love

turnips would be less obtuse he was round with a wee bit a facial hair sticking out from under his nose wanted to search my car let me know that he didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday caught me with my birthcontrol pills and prozac (how many of these you take?) instructed me to call someone to pick me up (i'm not lettin ya drive under the influence) eventually i convinced him i was depressed not high but he still had to check with his supervisor

Rosa Langella in slo-mo

can't send em back now

chaos has entered swallowed me whole right on my doorstep as i stood motionless watching it happen with my bones and my bottles and my babies but it is all that i have now and all that i am to myself is a video ghost recording with no volume or off button

i ordered some words to make you adore me but, again, they didn't get it right promised to be over easy they came scrambled teetering stumbling stammering tumbling from the tip of my tongue on to the floor they fell

mind shatter small breaks appear first i stand and can only watch the spidering cracks

acting quickly i reached down and popped these juicy beauties back in my mouth *blahk*

shards begin to fall beyond my outstretched arms grasp cut me while i weep

covered in dog hair and dust i guess the five second rule does not apply here

Rosa Langella

my bad mood a wayward band of dissident humors is camping out in my foyer they have shattered my windows toppled my mailbox and toilet papered my trees and bushes (and god no it’s starting to rain) if i let these emotional marauders stay one more day they might snuff out my front porch light at that point i may never find my way home

closer away


when you are close i want you closer inside running through my viens

I dreamed last night and I was happy

when you are gone i crave the intoxication sick for hours retching it out of my body when detox is over i cant remember why i ever wanted you in the first place

you were older and much wiser and I had amnesia and was your true love when I woke up you were staring at my faces still with your mouth open your mind broken your heart split and my amnesia was totally gone

anger management (the directors cut) or: thrown out of the party

Rosa Langella

OPENING SCENE: open the twist cap drink it down and set it free bubbly madness SCENE TWO: a few too many up to ur eyeballs in it budweiser anger SCENE THREE: so visible now though bottled inside before had no place to go SCENE FOUR: cept out over me because it wont be ignored i will have to leave (ok im gone now) THE FINALE: please reconsider forgiveness is healthier than a hangover

skeleton tree i am barely a skeleton now the pieces being carved from me one or two at a time indeed some were eaten but most were merely abandoned discarded in litter piles mybits dry and dead like little brown leaves and apple core shrivels for me to sweep up and throw away

Rosa Langella

keep out no i havent not again you are still out there and i am still in here alone i will not let you come in no matter how long or hard you knock because you really suck mostly go away

psssst you still out there... (just checking)

the art of industry

Alannah Myles An inspiration to people around the world, Alannah Myles is grateful to have been lauded by many as a powerful influence for singers and songwriters and recording artists - touring internationally, winning a Grammy award and selling multi-millions of records. Alannah has met every challenge an artist can possibly be dealt with a great tenacity and love for the music that continues to motivate her. Myles' first self titled album (1989) produced four Top 40 hits, “Love Is”, “Lover of Mine”, and “Still Got This Thing”, as well as the international classic hit, “Black Velvet”, which won her a 1991 Grammy award for best rock vocalist for her evergreen song, along with several Juno Awards, and a Diamond award for sales in excess of 1,000,000 in Canada - the only artist who still retains this status for a debut record. America's ASCAP awarded the song a 'Millionaire Award' in 2005 for over 4 million radio plays of “Black Velvet”. Canada's SOCAN awarded the songs, “Black Velvet” and “Lover Of Mine” each with an award for over 100,000 plays in Canada in 2005 with her #1 hit classic ballad, “Song Instead Of A Kiss” soon to follow. Her follow-up album; Rockinghorse (1992) received a 1993 Grammy nomination and three Juno Awards. After the sale of over eight million records, Alannah concluded her alliance with Atlantic Records in New York and signed on with Miles Copeland's Ark 21 Records to release her fourth record A Rival (1997), which produced a top 40 hit for Bad 4 You. WMG released THE VERY BEST OF ALANNAH MYLES (1999) containing hits from all four albums as well as the beautiful newly recorded Linda Ronstadt cover Long, Long Time. After an eight year songwriting hiatus Alannah has re-emerged, with a newly recorded album entitled Black Velvet in order to re-connect with her millions of fans. Black Velvet contains brand new studio recordings along with Black Velvet 2009, a new studio recording with a contemporary arrangement of her classic hit. Executive produced and financed by Alannah and coproduced by hotly touted Torontonian Mike Borkosky and gifted Veronica Ferraro from Paris France, Black Velvet has received accolade from both new and established fans around the globe.

Yearn It is not the turn of your head that peers out from under felt tips Not the hold of your embrace that steals moments from flesh Depraved of propriety, or nobility, or chance It is not the tongue that slips inside, nor the levels of pride Not the ache in my spine that reminds me I'm alive The tears in my heart that cannot pour forth The wine that poured endlessly from a pitcher of guiltless love Motioned by sickness that reacts in my gut A million times yes, I still look for the but It is not the waking of emotions that wrestle The breaking of hearts that seep in this vessel I am lonely for what I do not know exists There are no resistances for those who have braved It is not the thought that I miss the most But the memory and the breath that I've saved Impartially committed to conditions and deeper, Darker glances and melodies I keep Locked in my library to read one day, lost I remain lost to blame and yearn

Alannah Myles

Dance Of Love

There's a place on Starowka, Lot's of people live there Not supposed to, government says no But they don't care The sirens blare apocalypse Musicians still play on They don't know who their God is now They only know this song In all of Warsaw's grandeur In the eyes of the ancient soul They call upon our ancestors To sanctify this hall They do the dance They do the dance of love Into each other's arms they fall They do the dance of love We move into the light We go to set our beings free We scream our indiscretions A glorious reprieve Hold me in your last embrace Escape the king of doom Who will hold our hand through time When the rose has lost it's bloom In all of Warsaw's grandeur In the eyes of the ancient soul We call upon our ancestors To sanctify this hall We do the dance We, do the dance of love Into each others arms we fall We do the dance of love Hold me in your last embrace Escape the king of doom Who will hold our hand through time When the dance has left this room

Alannah Myles

Errant Vendeuse

The errant vendeuse knows whose mistress bought the dress The wife of her lover is eyeing She stutters not, as nonchalantly as any viper might No fool to anyone's denying Crumpled in the corner with the rest of the dancing frogs Waiting for their princess' kisses She makes princes out of goat soup stained infidels Producing facades that appear delicious Traveling the border of most every threshold that tries to hold her down Attracted to danger for it's normalcy Such ordinary circumstance would not have her for dinner Let alone a luncheon decreed thrifty The errant vendeuse procrastinates the err of all her ways To compensate the concubine This modern courtesan has a hidden plan to spread the gentlest of legs Aged in moldy cellars, where she mines her finest wine Castigating sexless impropriety never serves one for the cause She fells her bloodless daggers deep On hearts steeling young girl's determinate ambitions Errantly arrant, ranting in silence, a good vendeuse's secrets must keep

Alannah Myles

Pilot Jet lagged on the Riviera My honeymoon's at eight Still a pilot for my freedom High balling in the bar drinking my weight There's a queue in the velvet parlor His princess is threading needles Lost in her indecision A vulture among many eagles The paranoia plays in time To the fervent front porch rocker Back and forth and in and out If he don't the world will fuck her She wants his money badly Enough to paint a happy face She's waiting for her president To save the human race And Socrates is sitting By her bed side table All dog eared from the suitcases That have worn her like a label Some passing incident Can become her permanent address Till her next emotional blackmailer Pays her his respects for less And each time the monitor On the wall above the bed Fires out the music that resounds Like Jesus in her head It's a new day for dilemma Let this party rage on late A pilot for my freedom High balling in the bar drinking my weight

Stephen Mead In the 1990s Stephen Mead's poems began appearing in literary journals, but after moving to Massachusetts, Stephen concentrated on painting. In 2000 Stephen started seeking publication again for his writing and art combined. Since then his work has appeared internationally. In 2004 Stephen began experimenting with poetry/art hybrids, creating award winning e-books such as "Heroines Unlikely". From there Stephen began experimenting with his art/poems as films. In 2006 Stephen released a CD of poems set to music, "Safe & Other Love Poems" (, as well as three DVDs, ( In 2007, print editions of his work began being distributed by

Stay Hurting

Love, our grace is graffiti.

Yet I need the pain.

Feel these murals. Respire their walls-----

I order the motif to be experience

Brick upon brick, the wound of empathy is

As healing for the nourishing blood of cuts

A necessity, & the vulnerability of glass.

I’ve found as salt tender & gritty

That is our veins reflecting true as tin foil.

On your firm bruised saint’s face…

That is our chance, & you say: Turn away, swim fast as mercury

Stained windows might capture that,

To the shattered & re-pieced shores

Watercolors or wax, yet words, friends,

With memory, good as ether,

Words are our bond where the universe falls

Fogging the break…

Patched by the obsession of hands, Of touch or touch not & all nevertheless Grafts every country, every culture To a mustard seed’s faith Growing from the wrist.

Grace Š Stephen Mead

Stephen Mead

The Daughters

Dutiful, beautiful, quite fairy Tale-like, & from what ghetto, What grotto, what suburbs even As if through mud, have they risen? They are the powerless, but of persuasion. Their hands, their faces,

They are the damned, but with good odd luck

Speak of courtyards & laundry lines,

& they pluck invisible lutes, crop off their braids,

A telling look of secret laughter,

Their gowns all a denim patchwork, a chameleon’s

Pleasure, grievance.

Skin quilt.

They are gypsies in shook tambourines.

I take my lessons from them as sons of the sons

They are mistral minstrels, couriers,

Hand us from our mothers to our lovers & back

Courtesans, spinsters & brides.

To our fatherland the daughters of both.

They order take out & administer compresses. They wipe noses & delegate legions In memos & phones at the sides of pools.


Spring Knees (Blue Heart Diary detail) Š Stephen Mead

Stephen Mead

Do You Care Where Your Children Are?

4 a.m. & there’s a kid in the kitchen With a knife prying drawers.

Pour milk. Read that gleam in his eyes,

He’s already slit screens, jimmied

The gleam of an anorexic with a secret fetish.

The bolt, searched & found

Your eyes must seem reasonable, clear,


No mirage, only safe, almost in league,

Sounding calm comes from surprise,

A home-base for a minute, for an hour,

From grogginess, from knowing

However long it may take

He lived next door (or could have)

To carry the wildness in him

Forget whatdoyouwantI’llcallthecops, Ask

Away from the drag.

Are you hungry.

Suppose his parents tried that route & failed. Suppose he hasn’t any. Suppose you make

Of course. That’s the point.

Another sandwich

Realized harm’s starved the streets To shut doors, lean keyholes & small Shiny specks that may be tickets, cash, trade.

& slice it with the knife.

Moon Dance Š Stephen Mead

Stephen Mead Rawhide

Leather letters,

When heads nestle, listening,

A sort of trust

It’s as if to hear hooves, the divinations

Initials this heart,

Of a river’s language under prairies,

Scribbles Time’s brand &,

Under deserts,

Moment to moment, smoke rises

Where John Wayne is lassoed

From the iron rhythm which hisses

By Indians whose talk

The print in deeply…

Is of the hawk’s tongue…

When we touch each other’s chests

Love, here there is that much

It is to detect such, our fingers,

Feeling tented & flight

Little volcanoes quaking with

Without rope burns, without sunk arrows

Locomotive pulse…

In these the waves which are our pages Turning beat by beat, to the thrust & to the opening of our names Speaking the others’

Breath by breath.

Night Dance Š Stephen Mead

Stephen Mead More Shores

Is that samisen, the swish of geisha? Those strings, that aroma… A tattoo in silk’s fluidity, The clear mystery of sheer notes strummed From tightly bound feet?

Turbulence, poverty----Warrior women, dragon lads… The wells for disgrace Should pregnancy be unsanctioned, The posts, the ropes for legs In order to bend, elevate, be street

Lacking, did they lack----Madame M.’s circumstance, Kindness, the strangeness of----Hands, juniper lush, green beyond the wintry, The stark rickshaws rolling & Rocking junks of Hong Kong?

Spawn through the master’s whacks Of obedience, superstition, The disciplining veils----Orphans for the concubine & perhaps Stars, castrati, latter day, for the opera, The circus…

Tea now. Read these leaves, This ching of the I, The patterning, prophetic: Tiles & gardens, palm fronds & jazz, The immaculate smoke, the opiate arrangements, The uniform & bicycle marches----Did you predict--From the Good Earth to Tiananmen?

The Muse & The River Spirit Š Stephen Mead

Justine Middleton Los Angeles, California

the little red light on the dark side of the building

It was back in that apartment in the alley off Jefferson Boulevard. A quaint little smudge on the metro map, it was cheap; it was ghetto; it was home. Just across the asphalt walkway, past the bush ornamented by feral, momless kittens, lived the crackhead. I no longer remember the her name and I barely remember her little daughter. And please understand that when I say crackhead, I’m not referring to my cuh-razy neighbor and her kooky sense of humor. I don’t mean that she was a night owl or that she liked one dirty-dirty martini too many when the right dandy was in the room. I am referring to a person who smoked crack—rock-cocaine and bad news—a crackhead. I felt sorry for her kid—everybody did, and everybody talked about it on their way to their alley-way parking spots, each space designated by fading lines of ghetto squiggle-chalk. I would come to feel bad once the crackhead turned up dead. I feel bad even now, in a hazy, somebody-else, sort of way. I wonder, a little, whatever happened to her child. Everyday, once I had pumped air into my drooping tire and parked my Superbeetle into its chalked space, I would walk through the shade to my front door. Once safe behind the iron bars that blocked out my windows, I would look with hopeful anticipation for the light shed on my bleak room by the answering machine blinking at me with its stash of messages. Anywhere I have ever lived, the shade has followed or even swallowed my walkway because I’ve always managed to reside on the dark side of the building. That means a dim, cool living room with windows rarely given to natural light and the poor, struggling indoor plant with one green leaf jutting out to flip off the darkness—one feisty life-hungry sprig surviving despite the fact that I usually neglected to water plants under my care. The dark side of the building meant my home always kept its cool despite the killer heat of some seasons. But that meant my home remained a stranger to the old shine that drops in on the breakfast nooks where other people’s mothers griddle gold into pancakes before Sunday at grandpas. That also meant that once I fumbled through the half-dozen keys it took to get through the barred door, it was always dark no matter what time of day. But flicker goes the red blink--the tiny luminescence the answering machine gave. I came into my orange carpet hovel to smack the red button on the box as if bombs might go off. The recordings, machine-wound, made their countdown to one and then play and then a pause and then nothing. There are certain voices that will never really escape your ear—there is no forgetting. Voices you don’t hear for years but recognize anyway. People who don’t ever call—people who love you. There is blood sepia photo album footage synched to the sound of them, kept somewhere close, just at someone else’s house. I always called Grandpa on holidays to thank him for my twenty-five-to-fifty dollar check. I’d been thanking him since I was half my height. Thank you for the xxxooo at the bottom of every greeting card. Thank you for the we-love-you-Granddaughter, whoever you are. A beep on the machine. The red lighted numeral stopped flashing. He had never called me before; I was surprised he had my number; I’d been waiting for this call for years.

“It’s your grandpa. Call me back--it’s terrible.” Click-play-again-erase. Funny, that I called back even though I’d been warned it was terrible. Funny, that I didn’t take down the number he left because I knew it by heart—I called it twice each year. Funny, that he didn’t say why he was calling. And funny that I knew exactly why, the instant I recognized his voice. I hadn’t seen my mother in longer than the chemicals that bind blood should allow, the small electrical connection made by their intricate molecular line up, their parallel codes. There is nothing like the stillness of a stagnant corpse to bring people together--or at least into the same room. The next call was a little less expected--a dry serving of tootles from the coroner. It was slippery going down-getting driving directions to my mother’s house from a clipboard-carrier. Oh phew, I said when he droned the specifics. I was relieved to hear that my mother seemed to have been somewhere homelike, a consistent address. At the mortuary on Fairfax, just spitting distance from a motel where I once stayed with mom before Social Services caught on to our cold-beans-from-the can-with-a-spork lifestyle, there wasn’t much of a turnout; there was no memorial. This was it. Cold hugs and parched tear ducts, Grandpa Ray and a woman that must have been my aunt—nice-to-meet you too--it’s been too long as in forever neverbefore--you look like Mom--so do you--then quiet. Maybe sometimes it’s better to forget, to blow the ashes from their tray in a gust of wind. Maybe once Mom quieted into dust, she’d fit back under the carpet with one good sweeping. Maybe I could follow her, clinging to her melted heels and become a lump under the rug with my feet poking out. But later that week it will be ok to remember, momentarily, with this family’s set of fingers in the communal bowl of crisp pickles at the delicatessen because finally it’s time to get cozy and close. Hush-mumble the stories of how she ran away to France when she was still young, hot and wildly coherent. Tell me about the times everyone raised an eyebrow to the way she gave her daughter contact highs from her joint just for laughs—but drop your jaw when you do and then pick it up again so it can finally be off of your chest. Wash the vinegar prints from those hands after the meal. Call it a day; or call it quits. When I was leaving the mortuary in my beat-up purple Bug, time took a break and got slow. Time gets too much credit really, for being precise with its increments. It really slows down in all the wrong places only to pass you up later. Time freezes up in mortuaries, or when you’re awkwardly close to blood-strangers, or when cars malfunction. The clutch of that little bucket I drove was always a bitch, and every entrance or exit I made was gutsy and surly, thanks to the smash once made too close to my muffler. I was talking to my car—coaxing the machine--like I always had to then, but it was ok because no one could hear my pleas over a muffler like that. Grandpa Ray stood outside and watched and then spoke, but I couldn’t really hear in all that racket. “What?” I asked again, as if there were nothing odd, loud, or environmentally threatening about my car’s hysterical blurts when everyone else had stayed so composed. Maybe it was a silly question to yell back, requesting too much and too little considering a bashed purple backend hanging out of a mortuary. “I just wish there was some way I could help you,” Grandpa Ray said. It was a touching statement; I wondered if he had mistaken me for my mom now already chalked up to the dust, as if her outline were sprinkled all around me and settled into a box in his possession—a shut case. For one long second, I wondered what he thought was stopping him. But I assured him that my car did this all the time; it was just a big loud show from one little car. He pulled out his wallet and I realized then that there were still people out there who weren’t drug-dealers or criminals that kept multiple hundred dollar bills in their pockets. He grabbed at two of them, hesitated, then handed one to me. I thought of refusing, perhaps even attempted it and eventually got a quote on my muffler down the road at the Buggy Builders where every Beetle owner this side of downtown brought their ride—we were like a family of

strangers that way, connected by kin machines that kept us bulldozing the mean boulevards slowly down to rubble. I thanked him for the cash and putted back to the cool shade of my building. The huge noise from the electrical convergence of wires directly over my building annoyed me much less on that day--perspective. Grandpa Ray did some thinking. He beeped into the machine that blinked at me and then he told me that it seemed right that I be the one to hold the ashes. It seemed a strange and pointless privilege. It was creepy, touching, and cold to think of. It made me stammer words like um—no its ok—well I don’t know—well ok. Ok. And ok. I’ll do it. As if it were a challenge—a responsibility. I never really understood the debate over dead bodies. Sure you can bury it, look at it, burn it up, keep it in some metallic opaque fishbowl urn. But the task seemed less and less too-late and pointless as it carried me through a spiritless sleep that never floated to the heavens but just sifted about my dark room. Urns were silly and expensive. Travels were happy and expansive. If Mom were here, sure everyone would be hiding their wallets, deciding not to press charges, but she’d be smoking in the corner and reading in French, mumbling some memory about the good times way before any time I ever knew had occurred. I remembered junior high school-- her insisting that I study French, not Spanish and how I took the class and then failed it to spite her. How I wished I spoke a lick of it now. Mais non, I couldn’t. With a rare stroke of decision, I told Grandpa Ray where the ashes could go—where I would take them, and deliver them. It would be an excursion. I’d start saving now. I’d learn French in the meantime. She could sit as a quiet bowl of dust in the corner while I saved the pennies to deliver her back to France. It felt huge and poetic. Like a strange new place with a bittersweet ending—far from Jefferson boulevard, where stolen televisions turned to rock-smoke down the street. I’d go with my mom to France. Grandpa’s sigh was huge. “Oh Justine, it’s sweet. You’re a hopeless and dangerous romantic, Just like your mother.” Soon after, and without another word, he sprinkled her in his backyard. Something about wind and a nice walk and the desert where he lived. I swallowed a little hard—the taste of soot--and time would pick up the pace again soon enough, putt-putt. My landlady told me about the crackhead one day when she redrew the lines around the parking spots again. I could never really read the numbers she wrote but I knew my place—where to keep my grumbling Bug—right there inside designated lines of chalk, just outside the dark house where the red lights eventually stopped blinking and faded to black. C’est la-vie, n’est-ce pas?

Justine Middleton

Rose Morales is fifty-one years old and has been writing poetry since the age of seven. Rose lives in Miami, Fl with her husband Alex and 8 cats.

Damaged Goods Sometimes it’s like a banana, over ripe and black spotted, bruises marring the beige fruit, still edible, but not quite as desired. Or a tomato carelessly dropped by the produce man, small gathering of seeds that will never be the red of tomorrow; picked up, put bad side down, packaged for the unwary shopper. A restaurant steak, dropped and stepped on by a rebellious waiter, washed off and spit upon, and brought to the table as fillet. We are all bruised and spat upon, unwanted items in the two for one rack. Kept as long as we might possibly be useful, then spirited away to the bins in the alley.

Rose Morales

Dancing We are all dancers; tip- tapping around the truth, tripping through the fantastic light, sprite beings quick stepping in it and jumping out clean. Tango tangles of words and waltzing phrases, a sensual samba to shake things up. A ballet of political correctness, spinning pirouettes in fear of being misunderstood. We take our bows at the end of it all, while the audience stands, wowed by the depth of our existence, and showers the scene of the final notes with roses. I am the ultimate dancer, and I am twirling still.

the art of industry

Z. Guadamour was born in 1604 in Rotterdam. He left the Netherlands in 1620 and traveled in Europe for 20 years. He came to the Americas in 1643 and has been there ever since. He has been writing poetry and prose for the last hundred years.

Chiquinquira I The village tendrils on the mountainside rising up to the peaks a slow drifting delicate smoke Random corn and squash fields tatter saw between the brutal rock interspersed with jungle A floss silk tree in the zacalo blooms its magnolia fragrance clothing the village in lost forgetfulness An ancient blue and gold macaw in the tree dreams of its youth over a hundred years before how the sunlight became distilled crystalized as the girl played a harp in this village of guitars The only harp he’s ever heard The melody still haunts him

II The fine highly sanded sawdust of spruce cedar mahogany teak scents the air

The men glue the paper-thin strips of wood together with jacoba resin Once a guitar forms almost all tented together they paint the interior with a solution of honey and aguar diente so the music will come out sweet and drunk

III The old men their eyes lost in the hollowness of memory come out in the dusty sweet smelling afternoon They carry their weathered guitars with them tune them commence to play classical flamenco numbers The birds get carried away with themselves sing a counterpoint chorus Notes get confused with the fragrance of the floss silk the tatter saw fields start to vibrate and dance in the distilled mountain air

IV In the evening a black- eyed black-haired young woman blue and gold flowers braided in her hair comes out and taps a beat on the swollen drum of the floss silk’s trunk All the men start to play a melody of classical guitars playing in unison hollow-eyed in the distilled night air of forgetfulness The chloe dusty perfume of a hundred years before plays the harp of memory the old macaw starts to sing

V The black-haired black-eyed woman wakes beside the man sweet with the honey of music drunk on the notes of her body She smiles glimpses the tatter saw corn and squash fields as they tendril up into the peaks She knows it’s always this way with the sweet comfort the magnolia scent of floss silk

Z. Guadamour

Dice I step out into a moonless and starless night steeped and soaked in its own blackness No light shines and the stillness grows I follow the split-hair thread of an emotion enter an alleyway in the un-beating heart of the commercial district I throw the black dots on a pair of dice hoping something good will come up What happened to the two of us So in love and so blind to each other The fiber holding us together dissolved with the words we feared to speak A screech pulls me back causes my heart to race Was God listening to my thoughts I see two cats fighting before copulating

Z. Guadamour Santa Marta I walk the streets in spring sunlight a cloudless skirmishing pulsing blue sea half-asleep and half-awake a man whose flesh soil bones stones whose blood saltwater whose hair grows grass whose eyesight sunlight whose breath the wind whose thoughts drift as clouds Weightless as if after a long wasting illness I drift in the shallows float in memory old tide-marks of appetites and desires refunded into history civilizations cruelties all intact Long ago footfalls echo in the mind the grooves of city streets conversations spring up from building walls an empty table becomes filled with people in intimate conversation shuttered rooms with cracked and peeling ceilings where we hurriedly indulged in what we called love Tall palms and magnolias scrap at the sky narrow and seemingly abandoned streets of mud reverberate with jazz and calypso all night the orgasmic cries of young girls so easily disposing of their body’s wearisome baggage A golden voice sings out One makes love only to confirm one’s loneliness Another voice answers We become what we dream I hunt among the gray paving stones for the key to open the gallery of imagination when a room full of portraits opens and immediately devoured by a giant anaconda the snake lies coiled digesting the history of art

I feel the ambivalence fortunes spreading their tentacles out to grasp at my sleeve The gleaming voices of painted women permeate the darkness promising divine pleasures Snatches of a quartet leak from a cafĂŠ with scarlet awnings reminding me of Emily saying Music an invention to confirm human loneliness I walk with an attentive tenderness deflowering my thoughts wondering what life has to give Brothels overflow Even to be half-awake among sleep-walkers seems frightening at first as I catechise the silences which follow the cries of hawkers and the sad pleas of alms seekers The whitewash of lime on the adobe walls cracks into a million oyster-colored patches an imitation of lepers who beg in the dark alleyways of life I feel the stairs creak under my tread a notice tacked onto the cypress wood door spelling out in hieroglyphic Silence

the art of industry

Fragile Arts Quarterly / Summer 2009  

A literature and art journal featuring the talents of Rosa Langella, Alannah Myles, Justine Middleton, Stephen Mead, Rose Morales and Z. Gua...

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