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FRAGILE ARTS QUARTERLY

WINTER 08/09


FRAGILE ARTS QUARTERLY Winter 2008/2009 Moongaze Publishing Pittsburgh, PA

Editor: Raymond Sapienza Asst. Editor: Kristina Sapienza Contact us: moongazepub@myway.com Purchase print copies or obtain free PDF back issues at: http://stores.lulu.com/moongazepublishing

All works in this issue of Fragile Arts Quarterly are the copyrighted property of the creators of said works and are used by permission.

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~

About the Cover Art:

Front Intermission Acrylic on deep-edge canvas by Natasha Newton

Back Midnight Moon 1 Acrylic on deep-edge canvas by Natasha Newton

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The Mission of Fragile Arts Quarterly

The dictionary defines an artist as one who is able, by virtue of imagination and talent or skill, to create works of aesthetic value. The mission of Fragile Arts Quarterly is simple. We seek to give independent artists a venue to exhibit their talent, to display their art and to propel their imaginations into the minds of others. We do not seek to please everyone, which is not possible. Our selection process is not complicated. What you will find represented within these pages are the works of artists who have touched us with their visions of the world that surrounds us all. We sincerely hope they will touch you as well.

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Amanda Joy is a poet, sculptor and installation artist living and gardening in Fremantle, Western Australia. She is the keeper of a dog called Love and has a fascination with portals and conduits. She blogs her poetry semi-regularly on her site www.littleglasspen.com/ and at www.myspace.com/amanda_joy1970 . She is currently working on a better bio.

What Have You A lean beast in a recurring dream feeding on sound It wasn't here Never even passing close It touched me in the way a lover's words do when they talk in their sleep When their tongues don't move Hulled seeds of truths Sluggish buds

Not Grieving A long walk on a white beach Hands across where I imagined that gaping painSo large the wind whistles through its glass teeth Not satiated by tears It whips skyward decapitating inattentive angels

Before the trap of morningthe questions of daylightthe tallying of proof with dusk closing around each certainty

Dangling through each entrenched utterance

Scalloped into my thoughts by soft arched words a gentle query arranges itself in the emptiness of my mouth

Loosening the edges you might grip to upright yourself before death's edifice

The pulse behind my eyes measures quiet in vowels quickly swallowed

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Fabrication

Every day this city is cleaner Basin

as more dirt falls

It was fallen in

into the cracks and cavities

Not cavernous or hollow

Leaving

Nothing had eroded It was there It remained just below where it had been There low slung prolapsed Deeper than an indentation A tragedy surrounding it The history of the thing stretching back sinuous to the level surface Still traceable It had not merely dropped It was fallen in A collapse without rubble or trapped men though undeniably a point of impact

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surfaces spotless

Sixty-Six Reasons For Loving You I like your silence. The way you don't speak often.

You have sixty six eyelashes under your left eye. This, I learned over dinner


In Hand

Held in

The most

a balled fist quiet mistake

Red ribbons draped through your knuckles snaking between your fingers That feelthe need to take the matter as if

in hand

it could belong to you

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BREASTS

Today I Can't Accept It I want to scoop up every beautiful wisdom you've ever said to me and fashion them into a bouquet of words that'll last until your children are old enough to inhale their fragrance I want to scoop all the foreign specialized incomprehensible names you just told me out of my ringing ears and plug them with my fingers to never let them back in again I want to scoop every cancerous cell from your pretty little body and bury them deep in suffocating earth and pour concrete foundations for a spirit house with a hundred rooms I want to scoop up every dinner party and birthday party and all the cake and the giggles and live with you and all our children and pets and plants and smile in that house forever I want to scoop up every scream and held in tear and brave face around you and transmute them into a slap of salvation to all the crap new age surrender you just uttered This is how I feel in these first hours of knowing

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Natasha Newton lives and works in Suffolk, England. She has exhibited her work at numerous galleries in Suffolk and London, where her work has been selected for major shows several times, including winning an award at The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours Annual Exhibition in 2000. She now sells to collectors all over the world. Endlessly inspired by nature and in particular forests and trees, her atmospheric and evocative landscapes and forests are representational but often have folk art, surreal, or abstract qualities within them. She rarely paints real scenes, but creates her landscapes using a combination of elements from photographs she has taken, scenes from her imagination, or remembered landscapes, which gives them an almost storybook or slightly melancholic dreamlike quality at times. More of Natasha’s artwork can be found at: www.natasha-newton.co.uk/ www.theblackbirdsings.typepad.com/ www.myspace.com/thoroughlymodernpainter

Singing To The Moon

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Magic Forest 2

Forest After Nightfall

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Dark Forest


Tomorrow Will Be A Better Day

The Pattern Of The Earth 3

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Patchwork Hills

The Moon and The Stars

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Octavius in the Clouds

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Coming Home

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Pierre Berg THINKING ABOUT TATTOOS There are so many people with tattoos these days. In Los Angeles it might even be a requirement to have a tattoo or three to buy or rent in certain neighborhoods. Men and women, young and old have decorated their bodies with artwork to express themselves, individualize themselves or to conform to the norms of their peers. I bet if dogs and cats didn’t have so much fur there would be pet tattoo parlors around the country. I started to think about tattoos after an e-mail from Rachael, a friend on MySpace. She has a tattoo. A tattoo that seems to mean a lot to her. A tattoo that she chose of her own free will. I have a tattoo. It is old and somewhat faded. Not as many people notice it as they used to. It’s nothing at all to look at. I don’t particularly like it and I sure didn’t want it when I got it. A branded steer and I had much in common when I was inked. My Auschwitz number is on my left forearm. Everyone who was tattooed in Auschwitz has a series of numbers on their left forearm. For the first few weeks in the camp every time I looked at that tattoo I felt humiliated. As hunger, exhaustion and repetitious brutality whittled my body and mind, humiliation as an emotion disappeared and so did my concern about those numbers on my left forearm. When I arrived back home to Nice, no one asked why I had the tattoo, they all knew. Everyone in Europe was quite aware where those tattoos were given. When my family and I moved to Los Angeles in 1947 no one seemed to know much of anything about the Nazi concentration camps and I was barraged with questions at work, at the bus stop--hell everywhere I went. Since most of these inquires would end with the look of I wish I hadn’t been so nosey, I made it a policy only to wear long sleeves shirts even on sweltering summer days. Each one of us finds our own unique way to cope with the hell life puts us through. The Nazis owned and brutalized me for almost two years. Since there was no way I could get those years back I wasn’t about to freely give my tormentors a moment more of my life by feeling angry or depressed every time I looked at those numbers. So, decades ago I decided that my tattoo wasn’t Nazi property or an Auschwitz keepsake, it was Pierre’s tattoo. In the past I’ve used the numbers as my ATM password, I’ve used them as the combination for locks and I still use the numbers when I play the Lotto. I like to think that it is one reason I’ve made it this far. To pass the time these days, and because my girlfriend is the head usher, I work as an usher at a theatre. During a show I found three teenage boys with their feet resting on the seats in front of them. When I told them to put their feet down they just looked at me blankly and asked, Don’t you know who we are? They went on to inform me that they were the stars of a national commercial. I told them I was sorry that I hadn’t seen it, but even if I had they still would have to take their feet off the chairs. Again they gave me blank stares. One of them noticed my left forearm. Where’d you get that tattoo? 15


Alcatraz. I blurted, having no patience to give the three a history lesson. One of them smirked. Alcatraz is closed. Not when I was your age. That gave them pause. Their eyes met in conference. He seems like a tough guy, one of them said and their feet plopped on the floor. Thanks, I said turning quickly on my heels so they wouldn’t see my smile. Its my tattoo, they're my numbers, I’ll use them as I see fit. I’m sure it is one of the reasons I’ve made it this far. ~

Pierre Berg was born in Nice, France and currently resides in Beverly Hills, California. He is a Holocaust survivor who was imprisoned in Auschwitz at the age of 18. Two years after World War II he wrote about his experiences in Auschwitz, and has recently decided to share those experiences with young people from all over the world.

Scheisshaus Luck, Pierre’s memoir written with Brian Brock, is available on Amazon.com and at select bookstores. Find out more about Pierre and his ordeals and order Scheisshaus Luck at the following websites: http://scheisshausluck.com/ www.amazon.com/Scheisshaus-Luck-SurvivingUnspeakableAuschwitz/dp/0814412998

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Suzanne Cooper Morris graduated from the University of South Alabama in 1995, with a Bachelor's degree in Art History and Art Studio, with special studies in Architectural Design and Theory. Morris works in a variety of mediums including acrylics, oilbar, watercolor, dyes, ink, and collage. Her artwork ranges from highly detailed architectural renderings and floral illustrations to bold organic abstracts and whimsically dark creatures. Morris uses rich colors and deep textures to create her works. Ms. Morris’ works have been exhibited at various venues in the Atlanta, Georgia area, including The Atlanta Artists Center and Gallery. More information and examples of her artwork can be found at the following websites: www.geocities.com/scoopermorris/ www.myspace.com/suzannecmorris

Ivy

Fern Postcards

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South Eastern Nebula

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Frustrated Leaf

Landscape Secession

Cave

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Poppy

Iris

Cool Beans

Scallop

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Clam


Catacombs

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Tatooine Landscape

Condiments

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Reemerging

Abrasions

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Cathy Belliveau lives in Taylor, Texas and works in nearby Austin. She describes her three main passions as “My family, my social service work and writing.�

Denied Thistles Soft and sharp Longing to touch Purple bristles blooming Correcting my caressing urges Sharply rebuked To sit and view Admire and desire Unfulfilled Reminders of life's indifference to selfish wishes

Dirty Lover The diner on 5th sitting across the blue formica he told her he loved her with his fingers crossed And she smiled her adoration as the gleam in his eyes for the pink poly stretch of the waitress's behind signaled closing time

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Memories of Chesapeake A camellia flower in my pocket Red velvet crushed and torn picked from Virginia my souvenir tucked away remembered today touching it by accident seeing it now seeing you then in your other world kinder and softer light on water reflections of peace of quiet days dreaming A camellia flower in my pocket Red velvet warm Like lips sweetly kissing Skin touching softly Needing confirmation that in distance love still blooms and space has no meaning when two hearts connect

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la fin A writer loves in turmoil Gritty volcanic love Erupting with force The powerful imagery Red on white love Saturated and bold like blood on cloth To love like the words he writes Pain truth strong passionate breathless lust So deeply etched the moods to pull at the heart of any Yet empty in the light of day No pages of evidence no words to boast of forever after love Poor like the many A charlatan falsely boasting Love is simply a tool A slip of faith between sheets to capture our attention until au revoir la fin

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Joe Pogan of Beaverton, Oregon is a welder turned sculptor. Creating art from a vast array of found metal objects (nuts, bolts screws, tools, brass buttons, tokens, just about anything) and hiding interesting objects in plain site on each of the sculptures. He can be contacted via email: pogan@msn.com and more of his work can be viewed at www.joepogan.com/ or www.myspace.com/myfunart

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Michelle Warner lives and writes in Charlottesville, Virginia.

a wall, a well the striving is supposed to be a good thing, right? i mean, it isn't supposed to suffocate you into sadness like a trapped beta walk walk walk this is the time when i walk walk walk past the churches and play grounds, past the baking pies and brown boy in the brown tree in the school yard. every thing is crispy and cool and the voices have a red rumba edge. i cross cross cross the train bridge over these spray painted words: hope, change, destiny, death and won der if this is the place to contem plate such.

in a bowl. the fish doesn't know it doesn't have wings. life swings out under you like a wide red ribbon. the script says: watch your step. try to laugh every day. make some music. take pictures with your mind and soak them in a hot tub. some days it's a majestic climb back up and out. some nights it's a wall of tears and a well of strife and no hands. maybe this is why we make love and, consequently, children. some of us still fight the rise and fall of flux. the moon swears she knows what she's doing with all that push ing and pull ing and tide-y-ing up.

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a circle of circles i remember a time when i wanted to write about every thing but i hadn't lived anything yet and i struggled to describe even the tree out side my window. up holster y i remember a time when i didn't know my own voice, didn't believe in its treble, didn't know yet how to truly tremble. i remember a time when i reveled behind chairs with thick green books, filling up on everyone else's lives and lies. i remember a time when i wondered what to do next, when everything was so urgent and heavy and electric and full. looking back, it is all neatly tied up in a circle of circles. i make a star with my body and nod to my luminous moon.

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the shop on the corner says they can save my chairs from certain death. i drive by the sign every day: two for one. i happen to have exactly two chairs hiding under fuzzy afghans. they sigh under the weight and jump of life. i wonder what they could do for beds, broken plates, glasses, heads, hearts.


what you dig for round the corner, pale blue endless texture; suspend the portico of pure intent. put your hair back so you can see the world; a two way ex cavation. aching feet hold up an aching heart. all day in the diner: waiting on other people wait ing. dots in their eyes. inside every word is a tunnel; be care ful what you dig for. fingers to letters:

opening of the mind another day hums in my ear. i pack a lunch and head toward for ever. these steps are solid ground: to act justly. to love mercy. and to walk humbly with your god.

(last stanza taken from the book of Micah, chapter 6, verse 8)

poised, posed, poisoned. this hapless happen ing, this strap less move ment, this bliss.

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the diner on the corner the diner on the corner is full of linear longing. efficacy spliced on every face. no is no in every language. but the sign on the door says yes.

half life half life shelf life real life blank life walk a mile down this starred wife studded scarred scared floored moored in aqua strife

the galloping stars we climb the hill for our biennial gazing. the galloping stars are mining for gods. in our vestibule of beauty and fury we cross our arms and legs and implode.

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an open field life a many doored life a fold ed knife


the fourth sore muscles signal too much tv and the cat is thirsty for the out doors, but she'll settle for some milk and treats. and a good rub. we'll tread down this path awhile, pick ing random grass pieces for neck laces and chew ing on the future. the passing of years is some times only seen in the child's eyes as she steps forward to meet her life.

the price of trees haven't bought a note book in a long time. the price of trees has sky rocketed. like gas. like the price on our heads. like milk. like an infinite blue line. there's always the palms of our hands and other hair less places. let's not do the math just yet.

and the greatest of these the biggest word in the english language. in every language. we spend our lives in pursuit of it – of its meaning, its requirements, reciprocities, relinquishments. the ultimate, unattainable pinnacle of existence. like god. like self less ness. faith, hope, love; and the greatest of these is love. all encompassing. all forgiving. all hands on deck.

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Jillian Parker,

otherwise known as "Flame in the snow", is Momster to 5 children, an autism activist, new to the writing game. Recently relocated from chilly Alaska to foggy Northern California, a barefoot warrior stumbling towards the light amidst life's bellicose circus. Can be found online at www.myspace.com/flameinthesnow

Forbidden Fruit It was on a Saturday, a balmy spring afternoon in 1990, and there I was, dawdling in Pushkin Square. On one side of the boulevard, groups of men, seated at small tables, crooked their necks, shuffled their pawns, and punched their game clocks—the weekend tournaments were in full swing. In another direction, a lazily serpentine procession, at least a half mile in length, had begun wending its way past metal barriers, and around the statue of the great poet. Was there a new museum exhibit? No, this crowd was creeping the wrong way. When the Dresden exhibit had opened, a line had wound down the street for a quarter of a mile in the other direction. Now if this had been an opening at the theater, a line would have formed across the street. The chess players who glanced up at the crowd, shrugged, and turned back to their games. Pigeons fluttered at their feet, waiting for crumbs. In a city famous for its long queues, this line of longsuffering Slavs stood steadfastly: students, who had collected black-market tape recordings of The Beatles and now proudly wore smuggled Metallica T-shirts; babushkas, who had sold their vodka ration coupons at the market for this occasion; small children, yanking impatiently at their caretakers' hands; downtown divas posing in their Levi's and their sunglasses, tags and stickers left conspicuously intact. After a three-hour vigil, each and every rapt devotee, who had made it past the barricade, was greeted with the amazing rarity of a glittering smile, and a neatly wrapped packet, was pressed into their outstretched hands. Yes, these patient initiates were attending their first capitalist Communion, in a brand new cathedral adorned by Golden Arches.

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Tossing pebbles (A memory of my son, diagnosed at age 2 with autism spectrum disorder) The dark gray sand shifts under my feet as I fumble my way along a sand bar, no more than a step or two behind my Pied Piper, an eighteen-month-old boy. His red hair has not yet lost its baby-fine waviness, it flickers like a flame, he flits left and right and in circles, bumble beefashion, while I struggle to keep up. Then, he sees the river, and his mouth opens. It would be difficult to describe the sound that he emits. It has all the impact of the shriek of a hawk exploding at my elbow. His eyes are glassy, he does not glance in my direction, his mouth is fixed into a smile, but I believe he is telling me that he wants to throw rocks. Rocks are his latest obsession: they must be tossed into puddles, off of curbs, into drains. This river must be the biggest puddle he's ever seen. In a few moments, I have assembled a small pile of flat, slate-colored stones, and I put one into his hand. Plop! it falls into the murky, silty water. He soon exhausts my pile, and I pick him up, because I've had an idea, but in order to accomplish it, I must get him away from the river, but I cannot communicate this to him with words. He struggles in my hands, and so for a moment I hold him upside down by his ankles, because I know he likes that. My goal is the blue plastic bucket by the car, we fetch it and I begin filling it with rocks. Stubby fingers scrabble in the pail, fishing for a handful of pebbles. He tosses them into the water, reaches for more, then repeats the process, over and over again, literally, for hours, stopping only to nap or eat. I prop a lawn chair behind him, to shield his fair skin from the glare of the midday sun. Suddenly he loses interest in the rocks, and runs towards a stand of tall grass. He seems to know that I will follow, because he pauses for a moment while I catch up. The grass covers him, it is taller than he is, and must be tickling his ears. For just a moment, as if from behind a green awning, I sense that he may actually be looking at me, but then he turns and runs back towards the water.

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Shawn Marie Head www.myspace.com/bullzie76

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Wendy Parkin is an emerging poet who lives and writes in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Poor Girl She has pot-hole eyes, cement edges sink deep, wet pupils reflect sky surface and broken windows. In the rear-view mirror, beer bottles on the crooked porch scatter into short-legged, brown cockroaches; dappled, white house siding curdles, sinks in the background like a wood clump. Little brother's bare feet run after drool-stained, flat, yellow pillows stuffed in the backseat. I am going with mother. He is staying with father, a life fed with scrambled eggs fried in butter, arms embraced by filthy shirts off the cellar floor, and holding breath when dad explodes in slurred gusts. Driving away, his grimy hands wave like race flags. White skin checkered with black dirt, he shrinks into a miniature, toy figure fixed in halted, grimace steps, a plastic-molded, interned memory. It elevates and crumbles like cracked pavement. Across her face, slick skin and mole speed bumps signal caution; intersection of lips to Marlboro filters yields to fast breathing of cigarette exhaust fumes; chest rises, rattles like a loose muffler pushing up steep hills. She chokes up in the front seat. The unpacked, silver toaster bounces on torn upholstery waiting for bread. My tummy sways like traffic lights in heavy wind. I go on blinking. I go on breathing, inhaling and exhaling a life fed with cold hot dogs, greasy kielbasa, and sugar toast, arms embraced by television mothers who never adopt me, and holding breath when she changes direction and wrecks my life. Choosing between so many things, I think I shouldn't have to lose so much; but Loretta Lynn tells me through the car radio, that's just how it is when you're poor, girl.


Cook Forest This is the place where green moss grows, under the pine-needle branches, lady ferns and shade. This is the hiker's resting place adorned with stone pillows. The wood-warbler frames a nest, perched on stilted cones, where letting go results in a long fall under the pine-needle branches, lady ferns and shade. The forest is a fertile bed, sleeping and awakening breezes rocking trees, hefty boughs cradling leaves; where letting go results in a long fall. Deep in the woods, the Northern Flicker drums bark. A solitary hiker listens to nature's faint lullaby, breezes rocking trees, hefty boughs cradling leaves. Stepping on crackle and rustle of decayed foliage stretching on the soft path underfoot, a solitary hiker listens to nature's faint lullaby. This is the place where green moss grows. Stretching on the soft path underfoot, this is the hiker's resting place adorned with stone pillows.

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Obituary Dark walk down the hall to the funeral director's office, leather chairs and off-white, lace curtains remind me of the apartment you left behind decorated by coffee-stained doilies, artificial plant dust, piles of unopened mail, and unread newspapers. I think about the going through that will have to be done; the tacky knick-knacks, your salt and pepper shaker collection, the photographs, the Christmas tree ornaments accumulated over the past sixty seven years. I've asked myself so many times when you were laying in the hospital what I would do when this day came. It is here, the business of arranging the details of your last visit. I scan laminated pages of ornate, empty coffins, silk and red-velvet lined, brass and copper trimmed, wood and metal boxes which are nothing like the queen size mattress made with a green and yellow rose flowered quilt in your bedroom, the large print crossword puzzle and ink pen sleeping on the pillow. I imagine what you will look like in the light gray Mother casket, and my thoughts jump, running downstairs to the undertaking room where you are stiff-back on a metal-legged, sanitary steel table being unclothed and cold-germ disinfected. The undertaker instructs yoga, flexes rigor mortis from your legs and arms, massages clot clumps in your skin, and closes your eyes one last time with hard-posed, cap buttons. Free from the Raggedy Anne death stare, your wrist and ankle veins slit, blood still as a lake drain through tubes in a tub. Bubble bath and dishwashing hands sink, clogged-artery and corroded-cavity sucked under crackle of florescent lights, you collapse into already sagging muscle tone and loose skin until you are inside washed and refilled like a water balloon with formaldehyde. Thinking of your embalming, I can not come to terms with making choices about your viewing outfit, whether you'd want a poem or psalm on your prayer card, whether you'd want blue-tipped carnations or red-headed tulips which would remind you of your grandchildren. I point to the jewel-cased, pink-sheened coffin, a guest book embroidered with sun splintering columns through clouds, and discuss fitting the culmination of your life into an obituary; she was funny. She let me stick my hand in the pickle jar. She burned the dinner rolls every Thanksgiving. Filling the kitchen full of smoke, she exhaled constant streams of cigarette smoke and lied every chance she got. I review a list of flawed features, odd peculiarities, unintentional imperfections defying unspoken obituary etiquette. I just want it to say she was human and her arteries are clean now.

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You Forget I bet you forget about winter when the last snowflakes melt and get swept up under car wheels on Center Street. It's easy to forget about cold ice forming on other people's souls. It's easy to forget about shoveling sidewalks and building men and women out of dirty snow you find on the ground when every time you press coal eyes into a frozen head you find your lost inner child feeling lonely. You probably convince yourself snowmen can really see like you wish your mother could have seen you play in the yard through winter's early darkness descending over your rich, New York suburban house in spring, I bet it thrills you to see signs of life, to set houseplants on sunny window ledges; to witness oak trees bulge with green muscle leaves and sprout with thick strands of brown acorn hair until you think of your own brown-haired head, and how you secretly wished to be blonde and blue-eyed like every other self-loathing, young Jewish girl watching day lilies bloom in the manicured, green grass and middle aged women jogging by in short shorts, I bet it reminds you of summer racing in a golf cart across a private Country Club lawn and playing tennis during family vacations in New England. I bet you think about how much work it is being an adult to keep up with weeding sidewalks and trimming tall hedges I bet, by September, your aching shoulder secretly wishes for fall again until the tree's bare branches point bony fingers at you and remind you, you inherited your father's crooked nose, you inherited your mother's deep sadness, and your parents are getting old. I bet when you find yourself raking and bagging piles of orange and brown leaves wind-swept around your house from other people's property, you forget the local forecast is calling for snow.

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Raymond Sapienza is the author of two books of poetry as well as the editor of Fragile Arts Quarterly. He is currently working on a number writing and publishing projects. More of Raymond’s poetry can be found at the following sites: www.myspace.com/raymondsapienzapoetry www.myspace.com/ohwellohwell

http://stores.lulu.com/raymond-sapienza

memory

the heart

memory tends her roses well and is protective of their virtue; creating blooms more beautiful than ever they were in nature.

a strange and mysterious cup it is from which pours envies, murders and strife; while also and always mixed in its depths swirl love and hope and life.

often (tanka) breeze kisses my cheek, i turn for you to and fro. where do breezes go? down streets and around corners i follow but never find.

luck (senryu)

death death doesn't wait in shadows, he's not that shy. he stands in the open, taunting, teasing, exposing himself with glee. we're the ones who hide as if we could avoid him while voyeuristically spying at all he does.

horseshoes spill their luck into the wind and the sand. they rust at my feet.

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cardboard when i go when i go when i go don't take me in no shiny metal cadillac box. don't even make mine pine. once upon a time i seen 'em put a hard boiled man in a cardboard box cuz no family stepped up to pay. an' who needs locked in a hot metal box when the rot gonna get ya either way? when i go when i go when i go jus' put me down a pauper, kick some dirt an' walk away.

mix i mixed the morning with the evening on my palette, hoping i might paint a scene resembling midday, but ended only with this muddy eclipse. neither solar nor lunar. neither giving nor taking light away.

flailing

vacancy the intermittent neon flashed "Vacancy" while the shabby façade told of tattered carpets, stained linen, mildewed walls and absence of worth within. a perfect place for my tired mind to stop.

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i spoke too soon i spoke too long when possibly i shouldn’t have spoken at all but there are my words flailing in space between us desperate to reach your ear


Ishmael Beersheba's sun upon their heads, the water in the bottle spent, she laid him down upon a bed of stony ground and tears she'd wept. And from a bow shot's distance cried with a throat that was parched and a heart that was rent "Let me not see my child thus die." - The wilderness drank in her lament But Ishmael's whisper, barely breathed, found the ever attentive ear and the Angel of God to Hagar bequeathed the promise: there was naught to fear. And of Ishmael came a great nation.

summer days we hiked Summer days we hiked the woods, sometimes following, sometimes splashing through the creeks. Laid pennies and nickels on the tracks, and cheered the trains as they thinned our budgets. Till being chased away from the turnstile by the ever grumpy rail yard watchman. Then we'd climb to the catwalk under the Route 22 bridge and, with the roar and vibration of trucks overhead, read the graffiti left by others but add none of our own; for we were not messengers, only travelers.

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Lori Ann Vieth has worked in the artistic field of cake decorating for over twenty years and still feels that she is learning and growing in an interesting, fun and challenging trade. Born in Buffalo, New York, she currently lives and decorates in Omaha, Nebraska.

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Carol DeBusk relies deeply on Christian faith and Southern upbringing, believing love and forgiveness are the two key factors in happiness. She is a wife, mother, high school teacher, registered nurse, and a regular contributor to Fragile Arts Quarterly. Carol has written for many years, sharing her work in her small community. She believes life experiences are universal and strives to put those moments in an easily understood format.

cool crisp autumn wind memories falling like leaves please, don't blow away I had a discussion with one of my students the other day regarding memories. She shared with me the fact that her Mom prays daily for God to keep her memory intact. She never wanted to forget the sound of her Father's voice or her Brother's laughter. This hit so close to home. I have fleeting thoughts at times and slight trouble recalling certain incidents. So, I too, will pray daily for God to keep my memories intact... my mom sitting by my daddy in the car my head in my mom's lap daddy singing playing tag with my sister helping my brother brush his teeth and his giggles fishing on the creek bank with my cousins sitting in my grandfathers lap my grandmothers stories her laughter house full of relatives smells from the kitchen seeing his blue eyes for the first time when he told me he loved me when he held my hand consumed with love the kicks before birth my baby's breath their giggles

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hearing "momma" for the first time hearing I love you

sister times laughing so hard we cried pride for my Marine brother him coming home safe moms cancer in remission appreciation of life being cancer free appreciation of life the laughter of those that are no longer here appreciation of life my students appreciation of life friends that love appreciation of life my family appreciation of life my God appreciation of second chances forgiveness

as always... Tell someone they matter your voice may be the only one they hear

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Midnight Moon 1 Š Natasha Newton

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FRAGILE ARTS QUARTERLY / winter 08-09  

Fragile Arts Quarterly is a non-profit enterprise which seeks to give independent poets, artists, prose writers and photographers a venue to...

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