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Vol. 9 • Dec/201 4

selected literature with illustrations

Raku Rare

by Ben Nardolilli Trying to make something out of this moonlight, Since the orb produces no music like a speaker, I find blue seas, fallen skies, atmospheres Down on their luck and pending for a renewal, I notice a halo and see a face in between The trees unable to show its features over branches. All I can offer is a knot that bends into itself, In love with its own dark complications, A composition reaching out for illusions of space But really just making more loops for itself To keep whatever spirit it possesses From leaking out through the grand gutter ahead. Planes of movement are closed off bus routes Are being carved out of the darkness, The pearl in the sky gives off enough of a glare To show me where the sidewalks begin And where there are spaces to walk with no cars Trying to shake the asphalt under me into pieces.

The Weaving Woman by Josh Grechner When contemplative silence settles among the wooden desks, among the aging ochre pages, thoughts tingle, thighs shuffle and silently, galaxies within the empty space of O’s swim in circles. Walled within 3 barren slabs of diffidence, but with her back exposed, she tilts her head at a studious angle, draped in wild hair harangued, then negotiated into X’s of bobby pins like slanted crosses. Her fingertips, drifting over waves of frozen text, have yet to callous like the Weaving Woman’s, a widow of the sea, a master of delicacy and attentiveness. Waves whip the coast, and tails lash at the sky. “Only strings,” mutters the Weaving Woman, embroidering details of her life: birth, mid-age and resolution against dying. What happens when the ship doesn’t fully sink, when the line snaps but stays lodged inside? The knowing don’t speculate. “It’ll wash up,” she says, assuredly, “sure as hell along with everything.” Within the library’s silence, my gaze lingers. She gets up, drinks from the fountain. I follow, hiding among shelves of towering ruin. She walks back intently, free from reticence, her arms dangle uncrossed, like tranquilized vines

on a tree slipping out of the forest, unnoticed. She runs bare fingers through matted and ferocious hair, cuts loose the weak ties and shakes free her head. Wreckage spins and disintegrates within hurricanes forming and calming. Ancient history resuscitates, to die within moments. Bare fingers emerge from rapture like blanched pillars, uneroded. After fastening shut the ocean, she turns and looks at me. I, standing naked in my shameless voyeurism, droplets diving down my temple, pooling on the indifferent floor, get a sudden impulse to plunge into the water, to hide from the tempestuous stare of the shore. She recoils, gathers her things and leaves. I sit back down. My sweat dries. The Weaving Woman bites the final thread of a pallthin blanket, with her remaining shards of teeth, without her cloudy eyes.

Margot Goldbach

by Raquel Wasserman How she wished he would come back my man come back please The sound of Motown on their stereo Before she birthed anyone or turned 30 Just the two of them, two 1 970’s renegades She, a writer for the Voice He, a scientist at CUNY Dancing in their mustard yellow living room To Jr Walker’s band This was Alphabet City, brother Wine everywhere, beer on the rickety sofa, scotch, bourbon Couples in the corner Can we have more to drink? And her screeching over the record Out!! You weirdos! Yes, she saw now, how she out-scaled Talos In much the way a grown Alice would leave her mentor Alice inspired Lewis Carroll’s book Her photos now a misty black and white

Girls made life easy And in being chosen by Lewis the girls were someone for a minute or two Girls in the girly sense Before he discarded them for their hips and womanhood Never bitter and never old Forever an artist’s art Forever a rose petal dream Margot was ethereal too Writing the river blue prose he could never find and she was paid for And still Margot crept to Talos’s side at night after a late party Like a deceitful t-shirted kitten A Pretty Lady and enfolded her paper pale arms into Talos’s perfect Greek handsomeness Her Lewis who would never leave her (even if Talos did). Her looks stood somewhere in the glowing hippie vicinity of Carol King The ache of her croaky voice, her pretty frizzy blonde brown hair Beautiful hair

But that beak that would never be perfect, but was in its way adorable And Talos was the perfect knockout: strong chin, dark hair, lush caterpillar eyebrows the male mold of handsome. Break me, she thought The two of them so good looking And she trusted with the trust of a teenager.

The girls. He chose them because they were choose-able Girls all in row, near the garden hedge A profundum of teenage girls with pigtails and starched dresses to pale rounded kneecap Their beauty obvious Every one nice as pie Lewis’s ingenues Fitting Talos would leave her for the raven-haired girl that watered their plants Opening like the orchid for him, and he opened liked the rain. The ache she felt like no other ache.

It bit into Margot until she had to close the door. She wrote one note and posted it by the lock Goodbye, My Grand Corruptor You selfish piece of shit She could not hold back her fury And wondered why the wicked witch got no words No nothing Not next to Snow White or Alice or Lola Who was always perfectly beautiful Always, just as they were.


I saw the eyes of 'Ever-Again' as I was Passing in front of C.'s house, Colorless and deep, against the morning of May Looking left and right, with unwished waves, A dog named 'Ever-Again', his woeful Task remained, who runs away. Arousing at length my curiosities, innocently Of course, while at the same level, My heart designed to live, learning He was dying, and 'Ever-Again', who went To C.'s house, and who starts dying there, And the people from C.'s house have known him As 'Ever-Again'. For none of these gentlemen dared, Or, busy as they were, to think For a moment about 'Ever-Again', who went back and forth To C.'s house, and who was already Dead; everybody was astonished at How this happened to ‘Ever-Again'.

Ataraxia Vol. 9  

December 2014 Contributors: Ben Nardollili Joshua Greschner Raquel Wasserman George Zamalea

Ataraxia Vol. 9  

December 2014 Contributors: Ben Nardollili Joshua Greschner Raquel Wasserman George Zamalea