Page 1

EDITOR Tom Wright MANAGING EDITOR Lesley Craig NON-FICTION John Furlow FICTION Lori Kildgore Lynn Hofferberth POETRY Connie Sanborn ART Robert Wade PHOTOGRAPHY John Walker EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Rick Sanders Angelyn Bales Virginia Webb Eric Forsbergh PRODUCTION Nancy Nipper

(c) Copyright 1976, by the University of Tennessee. Rights retained by the individual contributors. Send contributions to Phoenix, Room 5, Communications Bldg., 1340 Circle Park Drive, Knoxville, Tennessee 37916.

What Next for the University? .................. 2 Portfolio: George Holz ........................ 5 Some Notes on Colin a narrative by Thomas B. Crattie .............. 2 The New Architecture .... feature by John Furlow 15 Marla Puziss ........... profile by Laurie Rivers 19 Dr. Lori Burghardt interview by Michael Flanigan ............... 22 John Coward and Puddingstone profile by Cheryl and Jim Pahz............... 27 The Proposition ......... fiction by Vickie Posey 30

Poetry 9 .Connie Jones~Gary West, David Collins Stan Parker 10 Edd Hurt, T. Ebers, Alan Gullette 18 Susan M. Willis, James Seeley 26 James Seeley

Art/Photography 11 14 28 29 33

Robert Wade David Luttrell Carroll Barger, Jan Hall, Sarah Lockmiller Sarah Lockmiller, Joe Willis John Walker

Cover photo by George See Holz's Holz. portfolio, p. 5. Frontispiece McKinney.



What Next

for the University? "What developments or changes would you most like to see on this campus within the next five years?"

Several years ago, the Phoenix did an interview with a sort of local philosopher. In that interview, there was this exchange:

"Phoenix: 'Do you think that a woman could ever be President?' Response: 'I hardly think so. If we ever had an idea that women were going tQ be good legislators it would have come with ... women's suffrage .. J think that women are satisfied in letting men run the government. There are exceptions like, let's say, Indira Ghandhi.' Phoenix: ~And look at the opposition she has." As we read those words a few weeks ago, the irony, of course, was particularly striking. Time had worked its wonders again. There is more than irony in the exchange, however. The message to those of us at the Phoenix was that things do change. Events and time conspire to make the things that are so certain today seem ridiculous just a few years later. A university is often the seat of ideas and movements which bring change. We at the Phoenix began to wonder what ideas were afoot on this campus and what the


Phoenix could do to reveal those ideas. We decided to seek out people across the university and ask them this question: "What developments or changes would you most like to see on this campus within the next five years?" We sought responses from faculty, administrators and students; from women, blacks, gays, political movements, artists and planners. We had several interesting responses, and some of those are printed in the following article. The overall finding of our survey, however, was this: the apathy on this campus about which one hears so much is indeed very real. Many people seemed disinterested in our question. Some seemed interested in the idea but did not follow through. Some promised to respond to our question and broke their promises. From this experience-and similar brushes with apathy-comes our own response to our question. Over the next five years, the Phoenix would like to see apathy disappear from this campus. That is a wish, we know, and we have no blueprints for realizing it, but we will do what we can. The Phoenix hopes the statements printed below will help. If they stimulate thought, discussion, controversy-wonderful. Our pages will be open for other ideas. We hope some minds will be opened as well.

Mary P. Richards, assistant professor, English 1981: A woman as Chancellor of UT-Knoxville. Horrors! Who will act as hostess for the social gatherings at the Chancellor's home? Who will plan these events and supervise the help? Who will stand with the Chancellor and smile sweetly in dozens of receiving lines at official functions? Who cares? Unfortunately for aspiring women, those who appoint the Chancellor do. The lack of a spouse willing to handle the social obligations of the job is one of the reasons I have heard cited for barring women from serious consideration for the highest positions in this university. Granted, there are not many husbands who would agree to fill such a role full-time, but why should wives do so? Having a spouse willing to sacrifice her/his interests to further the career of a professional administrator should not be a requirement for the job. Yes, I would like to see a woman in the position of Chancellor in five years (pace, Jack Reese), but attitudes around the university will have to change markedly before such an event can happen. First, there will have to be a movement beyond tokenism in which women will be appointed to positions of real power to develop the skill to become effective chancellors. Second, the social responsibilities of administrators will have to be redefined so that these responsibilities do not assume traditional sex roles and therefore work to the disadvantage of female candidates. Third, the expectations about women will have to be expanded so that their aspirations to important positions and their opportunities for attaining them will be accepted as natural results of their career commitments. Having a woman as Chancellor would contribute immeasurably to the education of students at UTK. Female students could see once and for all that career potential need not be limited by their sex; male students could learn that women rightly belong in positions of power. Where better to provide such knowledge than at a major university? Jack Clark, Harold Glass, and Russell Fletcher, Knoxville Gay Caucus Herewith are a few goals that we shall strive to attain in Knoxville and on the university campus: 1) A relaxing of social attitudes toward gay people. In a recent incident, an apartment owner was showing a prospective renter through an apartment that was occupied by a gay person. Spying a "Gay is Good" poster and a Playgirl magazine, the apartment owner not only tore down the poster, but also stole the magazine. Confronted with a potential theft law suit. the apartment

owner begrudgingly returned the magazine. 2) A relaxing of official attitudes (both city and university) toward gay people. The university has refused for years to allow gay people to form a recognized organization on campus on the grounds that homosexual acts are illegal in the State of Tennessee. May it hereby be known by the University of Tennessee administration that we, the gay people of Knoxville, are not asking for a place to perform sexual acts. The near sightedness of the university administration is what has kept them blind to the fact that being gay is a way of life and an expression of our very own being. If the attitudes of the city of Knoxville toward gay people were known outside our own realm the public would easily recognized the injustice involved. Recently a gay individual was literally kidnapped, driven to a secluded spot, and robbed at knife point. When a city detective arrived, surveyed the scene, and interrogated our friend, he reflected that the only people who are out at 1 :00 a.m. are black people and homosexuals, using somewhat more colorful words. No fingerprints were taken; no further action was taken. As a matter of fact nothing was taken-except our friend's car, his watch, his money, and several stitches in his face during the two weeks he spent in the hospital. American justice triumphs! 3) The beginning of a gay studies class on campus comparable to currently offered black and women's studies. This study course would cover such aspects as the historic significance in philosophical, politico/military, arid artistic fields. Current aspects of gay society would also be treated, including peer pressure and the impact of gays on contemporary politics and in artistic areas. 4) The establishment of a gay counselling, recreation, and social center, run by and for gay people, where we will meet, discuss and work with our peer problems, and celebrate our attitudes. This idea is still in the formative stages; we will work toward and through this center to bring about changes in social and official attitudes. A gay person in need would be able to come to other gay people for professional referral and empathetic help. This center is no longer just a dream - it is an attainable goal.

Allen Carroll, associate professor, English I have little to say about what changes the University ought to make over the next five years. It's not easy to come up with suggestions which aren't so large as to be


vapid (our teaching ought to be better), so small as to be frivolous (the elevators in McClung Tower ought to be made to work), so complicated (having to do with, for example, the emphasis in the English department), or so obvious (we ought to switch to a semester system). but perhaps the following suggestions are worth consideration. First, the University should by all means hold enrollment at its current level, which means we will want to begin (again) discriminating in our admissions policy and presumably paying more attention to the quality of students and instruction than to the quantity of either. Second, the University ought to control the present proliferation of special offices and minor departments and thus control the administration and supporting staff which at present threatens to overwhelm the proper functions (teaching and research) of the university. Thirdly, the University ought to make an effort to preserve the neighborhood quality of the community, especially what remains of it this side of Cumberland, by making these homes available for residences (not usurping them for office space) for faculty members and by encouraging faculty members to live there, so that the faculty home can be again, as it once was, a part of the university community. M. Kent Sidel, assistant professor, Broadcasting More of the same. UTK seems to be trying harder. There seems to exist a spirit of confidence for the future. This, combined with a desire to experiment with new learning trends and theories should ensure an exciting and healthy academic climate in 1981. During the next five years UTK should continue to cement its position as a well-rounded major state institution of higher learning. Teaching must remain the main thrust, for teaching is a basic ingredient of any college or university. It is essential if an academic institution is to survive, because the student as consumer will become more powerful by 1981. Much of UTK's funding results from student numbers and tuition; as student numbers decline so does university income. This basic relationship will result in increased pressure for better teaching. In the past at some institution, the student, especially the undergraduate, has been slighted. This treatment was partially an outgrowth of the "endless reservoir" concept which is only now beginning to be countered. There will not be an endless supply of freshmen to fill the ranks of all entering classes in future years. Students are entering into a "buyers" market. No longer does the student have to sell himself to a particular school. By 1981, it will be the schools (academic as well as vocational) which will be doing the selling. In order to


survive in such a system, schools must generate marketable products. For the vast majority of undergraduates, a strong research emphasis does not present a strong appeal in choosing a school. Good teaching, however, is a commodity always in demand. UTK realizes the growing power of undergraduates and has assembled a faculty capable of delivering a high grade teaching product to the student consumers of the 1980s. In light of current population and enrollment trends, UTK must continue its emphasis on undergraduate education if for no other reason than pure survival.

Russ Ward, senior, Liberal Arts One hears complaints daily about student apathy, administrative inefficiency, and general dissatisfaction with this university. Why don't we take the phrase "The unexamined life is not worth living" (attributed to Socrates) and embody it in a university. A temporary unit, akin to an inspector general, would meet every four years, examine all aspects of university life, and advance recommendations to the powers that be. This committee would ask every branch of the university the general question "Does your section contribute to education, extension, or research better than it did four years ago? If not, why not?" Both general and specific questions of a penetrating, analytic nature would have to be answered in public by each department head. Of course, students would not be exempt. Each would be required to attend special seminars in his major department on the question "What are you doing here? Why?" On the grounds that the only bad question is the one unasked, I'll set forth a few of my own: For each academic department: Do you have measures to facilitate student-faculty interaction? Do your majors have any impact in department affairs? For planning: Are there current student/faculty studies on planning any aspect of this school? Are ivory towers hard to heat in the winter? For college deans: Is the Undergraduate Library intended as a study hall? Why aren't there more books in the library system? For housing: Why are many of the dormitory study lounges being converted to living quarters? Why don't you hire any R.A.'s that care about and serve the residents of dormitories? The general point is that this school should conSciously use its own resources to better advantage. At the least, the suggested self examination would provide a list of problems to be solved-if anyone should ever wish to improve this university.

George Holz is a liberal arts junior, but in February he will leave UT to attend Art Center College oj Design in Pasadena, California. Holz's photographs have appeared frequently in the UT Daily Beacon and past issues oj the the Phoenix. A recent photograph oj country music entertainer Lynn Anderson was printed in People magazine-an event Holz calls "my biggest thrill so Jar." This portJolio by Holz includes some oj the photographs he considers his best.





No More Small Fowl not yet the grace of falling down, no good excuse to leave this place, the proper lines cannot be found in time to wire, time to face ...

Three-Thirty, we come out, filled with reactions to subplot, the subtle idiosyncrasy. Perhaps they could be trapeze artists coming from the high wire: their inertia is spent. No one is wearing a gardenia, and with all hair askew, the tangent becomes obvious. Now, all Robert's Rules of Order cannot save us from illogical statements, faltering movement, the correct time on twelve watches.


Concrete "Lithe," an adjective not applied to bogs, is not applicable here. Boglike, rolls down in slow lava expectancy, an asylum's oatmeal. Then turning, folds coming out, edge upon edge, an obese woman sitting. To versify is useless: its subtly "lithe" motion, felt, is the minds of men working without sound.


lines and poles lie two by seven; all good train trips lead to oblivion. were there gUidelines no one gavesigns to go by, spots to check? self-direction only saves but half the heart and not the neck. .. chicken livers, turkey wings; no one likes stuffed goose that sings. why did the chicken cross the road? why did the turkey make such tracks? why did the goose believe that we were playing with the axe? and of the times we've traced before, about the lines we're heaping higher; soon the oven takes no more, and we renew our search for fire.

-to ebers

Simile When it snows is like to when The stars are blasted And white ashes fall In a scattering flurry Against the earth.

-Alan Gullette


(untitled) broken letters staggering across the page, metaphors holding hands, twitches of ink on paper, i built walls of you, laid ghost foundations, raised rafters of solid air, and thought myself safe. i could break my pencil, punch the typewriter in the teeth and run away, forget i had ever seen lovers' shadows pinioned on a white wall, a statue bursting its bronze skin, full moons and meteors and young men from paris, i could forget it all. o god! to be normal, or to be at peaceto be calmed by shopping carts and not inflamed with a mad desire to dance on the meat counteri think of myself in the present tense and tremble.

-Connie Jones

An Ovid Love I hear that he will be there tool hope he chokes on all his wine. And what am I supposed to do? Be nice? Pretend you're his, not mine? Must I ignore each coarse caress, Each stolen kiss, be blind while he Nuzzles your neck in possessiveness Or sits you down upon his knee? I must refuse. Such tolerance Is past my bound. Instead I'll bend His ear and pour more wine; perchance He'll take me for a trusted friend. And you, for your part, refuse to dance. Smooth his cheek or stroke his chest, But kiss him not; and then look askance When he's dropped to sleep. I'll do the rest.

-Gary West 10

How the Mind Breaks Up Remember when The last supper Gave us indigestion of the brain? I sat and waited for you on the toilet, But you never came. I found my mother's skull While digging in the garden; Her mouth was open, But she was too dumb to speak. I put speed in your coffee. I brew grass with your tea. Nothing makes you happy. Home is the only place you can cry alone. How often do you clean your wash rag? Paint your body blue to match your eyes. Don't stand too near the sun. He never even listens to hear you say goodbye. If I brought you water, Would you drink it anyway, If you weren't thirsty, Just to satisfy my need?

-David Collins

(untitled) Cars bump and grind around me as in some grotesque street burlesque I think sitting here of quitting car and clothes to run screaming across the night.

-Stan Parker

Bob Wade


Some Notes on Colin Colin was born at a very early age and remained in POP at least thirty minutes ahead of his time until he was watching American Bandstand in the fourth grade and his friends were laughing at him, so he quit POP for a while. When he was twelve London was discovered and Colin, being a linoleum lizard of good standing, couldn't suss out the massive heaving jet screams over four rosy faces turning into lots more as time went by. And lots and lots of silly girls. As he went his cookie crushing way he says he liked snips of songs and watching the Avengers. Watch that drink Tony. So the young lad played a bit of football until three years later one fat boy hurled Colin into another fat boy. His light body would not stand up and his head went round and round and he fell down twice more and on the second time down he spit the dirt out of his mouth and decided no more football for Colin; "You'll regret this later in life," said the Coach.

illustration by Lynn Grimes


Then came the academic life-am boring you-he did well in high school bought a motorcycle became a paperboy indulged in a bit of delinquency threw other paperboys in the dempster dumpster peed on them and threw firecrackers in after fought a little with his kind parents shot his rubber bands onto the grill of the local cup of grease became a grocery boy was picked up by a fellow of the ambiguous persuasion from France who was roaming wild the provinces and after a bit of soccer talk and a quick reach into the blues shocked Colin adamant Colin says Keep your codding hands to yourself buggerer please (not

a narrative by Thomas B. Crattie knowing about that sort of thing). And, oh yes, he fell in love with Great British pop (POP). A short romance due to a friend just recently come from California with the (not de) blues (not Blooze). So he was satisfied with doing the drums and being the wild man some. It was the leaning backwards and the bulging of the eyes while only keeping the beat. First time out singing Phil came down with bloody nose and fainted on the toilet floor. But as with all bad things it came to an end and Colin was glad as he was the brunt of many varied, potty jokes amongst the other band members. Oh yes the lead went to St. Louis how fitting and became fucked up with you-know-whats of some sort and generally and specifically went the 60's route. Meanwhile Colin had not a girlfriend due to his shyness and purposelessness, he never once went out with a lady more than once except for one whom he loved unrequitted for at least four years. So Colin found another love an organ-yeah-and became the rhythm section of the Soul Sensations (he missed the sweat of the drums a tad) playing a country garage turning down a too young country girl who rubbed his leg and made him hit sharps due to his recent spiritual convictions that he later found to be unfounded. Until eleven slathering drunks took over a microphone and back-up vocalized the band into no fun at all. The singer ran away and joined the navy (US of course). Colin was the first in his school to wear bell bottoms except for a queer who does not count. And, abandoned, he discovered POP true POP again. But the masses discovered heaviness with which to debauch in large plots of mud. heh, heh, ehe (no sic). Politics, long hair, love, his youth unimpressed him tremendously. He'd lock himself in his rooms then

when no one was looking he'd be jotting through fog to the Scotch or Bag. Do you hate him yet?, lots do and lots don't. On graduation night he was walking Vauxhall Bridge alone. Then off to University. No listening to radio or stereo but once in a very rare while to a stack on the mono. First quarter he took art wishing and hoping to be an art student was drunk with apple brandy at the drop of the brush scorned dopers with their sluggy ways burped at sorority ladies and alternately fell in__with them at a distance of course. He sallied forth into action hair cut after the style of a suedehead, wore lean jeans, suspenders, laughed a lot, two-toned blue suede boots (where'd he get 'em?) and silent stroker T-shirts took time to read Brian Patten, Roger McCough, and Colin (no relation) Macinnes. Finally in the end he became a Christian while the masses were worshipping technique so he took up guitar and learned two chords for the best song he ever wrote and at night he dreamt of getting the boot in on Industry with Nik Cohn. In spite of this derring doo he made a few friends Cemore, Jock, Johnny maybe. Cemore wouldn't mind if Colin would beat on his door at 2 AM vent with frustrations and stupidity as did Jock but who would help Colin to be insane as didn't Johnny who would take care of Colin a bit as didn't Colin. Mad times were had by all but as you will know mad times are only too easily come by. So after a bit of senso~ overload Colin decided to play working and he bought on old Fender Esquire. Have you ever worked on an assembly line? Neither have I, but I hear it's deadening. His time was eased by a Lithuanian refugee lady who called him the singing cowboy and he thought if he ever made it

he'd ride through the factory on a pale horse. Colin had one night class this summer too. He played rhythm guitar with his little brother's group and conned em into doing two old English tunes through which he split and slid and spit and broke his pick and cut his obscene finger (men make it obscene) on the strings. The fellows didn't win any prizes but they got their pictures in the paper. Colin says to thank his brother for the nice evening. At the end of the summer Colin's Esquire was payed for and b-o-r-e-do-m had set in (he dreads it worse than the devil dreads Holy Water) and went to a quieter college to avoid insanity of the sort he'd experienced before. He was given a suite of his own where he used to make wolf whistles with his guitar at a lovely small Chinese girl and he dreamed as was his nature of need-Isay-it mass hysteria. He played cards too and learned to talk with people a bit. And he watched people smoke cigarettes while playing one night late and their eyes looked okay. And he decorated his walls with small pictures and it was here that he found out. And he had it all along. For two years he was gone. Beloved England at last? Drafted? Being coy? But he did say while he was gone he invented his own disease and while the doctor's were operating I can see him trying to keep it innovatively intact. Colin's back and his voice is as high and as off-key as ever and he plays adequate guitar like no one else and is lusting after originality. It's the evening of the day now and he's on the wall looking at a Paddington sunset waiting for our girl to return from work and waiting for the letter telling him to come to Nashville, lA, or New York (God forbid).


David Luttrell




by John Furlow

"Today's architect cannot be just a designer," says Dr. Don Hanson, Dean of the UT School of Architecture. "He can't just go out and win ribbons for his design and then go home and forget about it. Architecture is devastatingly real. People have to live with the results for generations, and many buildings in existence today are erosive or at least detrimental to those who inhabit them. The sponsors and architects responsible for bad architecture should be held accountable." Historically, architecture has served the rich and the powerful, but Hanson believes architecture must move toward functional, socially-oriented buildings in an attempt to better serve the wants and needs of people. UTs architecture program is an emerging one, but it is heading in the direction Hanson outlined in his comments. The program is based upon values that will hopefully incite its students to contribute to the society they will serve. Both traditional instruction and experiential learning are emphasized so students will be prepared for the future architectural needs of society. The direction of the UT architecture program is apparent in some of the projects underway now. One of the more interesting and innovative projects involves behavioral studies employing a scale-model (I" = 1'-0") of the new Art and Architecture Building. Dr. Alton J.


Delong, who has degrees in psychology, linguistics and man-environment relations as well as an extensive background in architecture, is the instructor for the classes in man-environment studies working with the model. De Long has .developed a variety of techniques for working with scale-model environments. He has conducted a series of behavioral studies which show that the correspondence between behavior in scale-model and full-size environments is Significant enough to warrant the use and study of scale-model environments by architects and social scientists dealing with the manenvironment interface. The Art & Architecture Building scale-model, includes furniture and human figures and represents over 4,000 manhours of work by nineteen students in De Long's class. It will be used to study how various spaces within the building will be used and how they structure behavior. In studying behavioral patterns in the scaleenvironment, De long says one works with people in much the same way linguists work in the field when analyzing languages: you set a context and ask people to articulate behavior which is then carefully recorded and analyzed. "The analogy to language," according to Dr. De Long, "is not fortuitous. language is the verbal code people employ to make their transactions with one another







intelligible. What we are after, as designers and researchers, is the code people employ which make their transactions with the spatial environment intelligible." These spatial codes, like languages, often vary from one cultural group to another. This places the designer in a difficult position. To effectively use the environment as a medium of communication, he must be fluent in the code employed by the cultural group for whom he is designing. The situation is made even more pernicious because until only a few decades ago no one was even remotely aware that such spatial codes, or spatial languages existed. People themselves are generally unaware of their spatial codes because, according to De Long, social communication involving such codes occurs almost entirely out-of-awareness. As a consequence of these factors "spatial grammars" have not yet been analyzed, let alone written and made available to deSigners.

Front Elevation

dining &

p.tio 12-0x 8-0


---.r -Ir-,r -11"""II






11-3 x 20-0



Top left: House under construction in Nicaragua; photo by Elizabeth Chase. Far left: Stairways and partial view of lounge in the new UT Art and Architecture Building model; ~photo by Bob Blanton. Center left: Lenthwise view into building model from ground floor; photo by Bob Blanton. Top Right: Floor plan and drawing of one of the solar heated (air and water) houses built by the HRDC. Left: View into the library of architecture building model; photo by Mike Ruppert.

These problems are manageable, however, De Long feels that the development of scale-model environment research methods permit the designer and the researcher to examine a wide variety of contexts much more swiftly. "Scale-model environments speed-up the perception of time and the execution of behavior. Our current studies suggest that two hours of real time is experienced in a mere ten minutes in the 1/12 scale environment. Of course, such a compression of time precludes certain aspects of behavior from analysis, but the structural features of behavioral sequences do emerge rather distinctly," he explained. Reactions to the scale-model methods De Long has developed for research and design vary conSiderably, ranging from enthusiasm over the practical and theoretical implications to skepticism and even antagonism by those who view it as a threat to the creative role of the designer. "Those who are concerned with a restriction on the designer's creativity are typically products of the old, traditional form of design education which views the deSigner as a sort of super-creative intellect," De Long added. De Long likens the designer to the poet, arguing that the poet cannot be creative and an effective communicator unless he is fluent in the language of his audience-his 'users.' The difference between the babbling infant and the poet is that the former creates nonsense and the latter creates new forms of meaning. Requiring designers to be fluent in the spatial 'languages' of their users is not a burden on creativity, but rather enhances the creative potential. The role of deSign, according to De Long, is the creation of meaning: It must have social relevance to have value.


"Working with users in scale environments," De Long added, "is a unique experience for students in this regard, because they can immediately discover from the users' reactions whether their manipulation of space is nonsensical or intelligible and meaningful." An equally important aspect of the Art & Architecture Building project is to correlate and calibrate the behavioral findings in scale environments with those in full-size environments. The actual results of usage patterns in the building will be compared to the results obtained in the scale-model. If results are at all compatible, this study would indicate that the adequacy of a designed environment can be specified prior to having to make irretrievable financial commitments. As Kevin Lloyd, one of the students in De Long's class stated, "There are nine million dollars invested in this building alone. In the future, before you commit that much money to a building it ought to be possible to know how people will react to it." One floor up and just a few rooms down the hall from the Architecture Building model in Estabrook Hall lies the Housing Research and Development Center, established in 1975. The HRDC is the research and development arm for housing programs at UT. The philosophy of HRDC (quoting an HRDC newsletter) "is that housing is the symptom of all that is good and bad in America. When we speak of child abuse, homicides within the home, assault and battery within the home, social conditions of the neighborhood, primary and secondary markets for business, busing, local tax base, and deteriorated neighborhoods, we are talking about housing. The house is also a status symbol, a place for entertaining friends, the largest financial investment made by the average individual in his life time, and the last symbol of territoriality in our society. It

is because of this philosophy that the Housing Research and Development Center is interested in the revitalization and stablization of neighborhoods." One of the main concerns of the HRDC is the development of good, efficient housing that is relatively inexpensive. Various approaches have been taken towards the realization of this goal. Recently the HRDC designed and built two houses in East Knoxville that utilize solar energy for water and air heating systems. The houses will be sold for $16,800, and the use of solar energy should cut utility bills in half. These houses are built at standard FHA housing specifications at the lowest possible expense, so more families will be able to afford such housing. The HRDC works in conjunction local minority contractors, enabling them to get the experience needed for making more accurate and efficient judgments. The HRDC has established programs in Building Management and Building Inspection for people in the community. Educating those in the community to work within the system is a goal of the HRDC. Those involved with the HRDC believe-as staff member Ann Blanton said-that "housing is more than just putting up buildings for people to live in. It entails wise urban planning, economic development, and neighborhood user education." The HRDC's involvement with housing, the behavioral studies being conducted in De Long's class and other programs-such as the shelter building projects going on in earthquake-prone Managua, Nicaragua, all deal with people. As Dean Hanson said, "Buildings should be built for people, and unless buildings reflect the real values and needs of people they no longer fulfill the definition of what architecture should be."

Nine Lines on an Autumn Evening Formal Affair The days are turning away from the sun, Taking me with them into autumn, Into the woodsmoke evenings To watch the last departing wings. Maybe I flew with them once, Rising from the withered reeds at the water's edge To search for summer somewhere else. Tonight they'll cross a hundred frosty sunsets, And leave me here to hold the dying year.

I once knew a lady so elegant I had to wear a bow tie on my pecker. (for fear of being indelicate) It made no difference when the tango tangoed But I had to check the mirror after every two-step

-James Seeley -Susan M. Willis


Poetry is more than just expressing your subconscious on paper," says Marla Puziss. "It takes a certain amount of hardness. You have to be able to reject things-words or forms." Puziss is a UT junior in microbiology and a former poetry editor for the Phoenix. She sees her own poetry as an amalgam between the subconscious and the conscious. "Sometimes my poems do seem to come from the subconscious. I sometimes carry an image in my head for days. I don't always know where it comes from-it's just there. But putting it down, that's where the work comes in." Puziss began writing poems when she was 10 years old (I was just playing with words then," she says), but she did not consider herself a serious poet until about three years ago. She came to UT, submitted some poems to the Phoenix, and they were accepted. "I look at those same poems now and I can see the ways my poetry has changed over the years. I hope I continue to develop and change. I don't want to be one of those people who runs out of things to say and just writes the same thing over and over," Puziss says. One way a poet can improve and develop, she believes, is by "coming out of the closet" and talking to other poets or participating in workshops. ''There are so many people out there writing poetry, and they may not have anybody to evaluate their work or encourage them. Workshops are good-and we need more of them around here-because they expose weak points and strong points. And a workshop exposes a writer to other poets and other styles of poetry. It's a way of growing beyond yourself. "I don't have any definite intellectual theories about poetry yet, so I'm open to change. I'm still experimenting and changing styles. I haven't found my voice yet." A collection of poems by Marla Puziss follows.


the fishwife's tale there are tiles on the bathroom floor the color of oceans, and in the bathtub small waves crest and break. I float, huge as a whale amid the ice of white porcelain, rocking Jonah in my belly. who needs ocean voyages? I want to stay home and write poems, hear your quiet breathing in the night. I will be old Noah with seaweed hair, with hands smelling of zebras, setting foot on land.

Harvest song Now the flight of birds traces a swallowtail across the sky, and the trees are alive with the black mass of wings. Now is the ripening of fruit, the grapes and fallen apples rotting to wine. In the fields the wind gathers strength; we gather sticks of wood in our dry hands, to feed our small fires. September is consumed in leaf-smoke and the burnt-out ends of days

December 12th Sunset and fishbone clouds scale the sky. Driving home, we passed a forest of skeletal trees, every branch hung with daggers of ice. Sunlight on their edges showed like drops of blood. I thought of you, camping last winter waking with your beard sheathed in ice. your cracked lips bleeding when you smiled. Was your laughter worth the price? All winter I hoard mine, like the sleeping roots of trees.


and we have lost the words to raise a dying sun; we have forgotten the harvest songs.

(untitled) The holly has put on its show of berries now, a red feast for the winter mockingbirds, and the gingko has lost its yellow leaves. In my alley the shadows are longer each afternoon. The world turns on the hands of a clock too fast and December arrives with the circling winds.

Heat lightning A rumor of heat lightning moves in the night air heavy with ozone, and fireflies pulse in the long grass.

The death of the dancer Balancing lightly, the tightrope dancer Smiles down from her rope, a chain of light strung over darkness. A spotlight touching here and there the crowd Makes small stars glow beneath her. Her leotard of sequined silver glitters in the light sparkling as she sways, burning as she falls toward the stars; Their cries in vain reach out to catch her.

I am learning the ways of fireflies: a brief light, a mating and a quiet dying. Like the Indian women I will wind them in my hair for jewelry. Under my cheekbones an old woman is taking form in slow metamorphosis. I will sit on a dark porch, wearing my grandmother's hands and watch the children hunting fireflies, their low calls sounding in the sticky air.

an aquatint I remember you combing your hair before the east window; the viking sun of early spring threw white shadows on the plaster and wrapped gold bracelets around your arms. How did you teach me to braid my hair; your quick fingers weaving over and under, my small ones following. In a different room my fingers move now with your quickness, braiding my hair before the morning coffee.

The poet tells his words like rosaries. He fingers each bead lovingly for the worn roundness and the dark smooth grain of the wood. No image comes to mind. A forest covers a hilltop. Trees are cut for the gray masts of ships, for the bones of houses and the balanced shaft of an ax. His words are beads on a necklace.


Lorraine S. Burghardt is an associate proJessor oj English. She received her doctorate in 1967 from the University oj Chicago and in 1968 came to UTK, where she teaches modem literature-"with an emphasis on drama and as much poetry as possible." Her book on Samuel Beckett is expected out in early 1978. Dr. Burghardt was interviewed Jor the Phoenix by Michael Flanigan, a senior in English. Flanigan has written drama reviews Jor the UT Daily Beacon and has published poetry in the Phoenix. Phoenix: I guess the most obvious question to a person in your position would be, how did you become interested in drama? Burghardt: Well, I've been interested in theater, at least the acting part of the theater, since I was a little girl. I remember in kindergarten and grammar school the teachers would put on funny sorts of things like fairy tales, but I could never play the princess because I had black hair. I always had to be a witch or flower or tree. But frankly, I'm probably just an extroverted person and I enjoy acting. To me, teaching is sort of an acting experience, trying to reach out to people, move them in some way. I guess it's just playing the ham. Phoenix: But seriously, how did you begin your career in modem drama? Burghardt: I really came in the back door. There was a professor at the University of Chicago that I absolutely adored. I thought he was the most brilliant, perceptive man that I have ever encountered and because of him, I began to work with theater. Phoenix: What aspect of theater caught your interest? Burghardt: I started doing Yeats' plays simply because they were intellectual, very esoteric type of drama, but I found I had to really extend myself. I had to look into the non-Western tradition of theater, because most of Yeats' plays are based on the Kabuki and Noh theater of Japan. In his plays, every gesture, expression and costume means an immense amount. And for the first time, I got a sense of what the possibilities for theater are; I discovered a total theater. From there I moved into the other playwrights like Beckett and his contemporaries.


---------Dr. Lori Burghardt

photos by John Walker


Phoenix: And now you're about to publish a book on Beckett. How did that come about? Burghardt: Several years ago I was invited to participate in a seminar on Beckett, and I was the most junior of the junior people there. I had never worked on Beckett to any great extent, but I gave a paper on the relationship between Beckett's poems and his plays. While I was there among these Beckett scholars, I realized that if I thought Yeats' work was extending the boundaries of drama, then I had to conclude that what Beckett was doing to the boundaries of drama was equally intriguing. Phoenix: Since you have found Beckett intriguing, how would you describe his influence? Burghardt: In my work I deal mainly with his redefinition of the genres with which he worked. Yeats had a vision, a philosophy and a very distinct idea of how drama moved people in a particular direction. But Beckett-he is probably the most nihilistic of modern writers, because he ultimately does not believe in the validity of words, action or philosophy. He is like a desiccated kernel. Somewhere along the way, the man lost belief in everything-even the belief in art as a value. His last play consists of a woman who breathes heavily for three minutes, and his last novel is 13 pages of one sentence. Phoenix: You mean he seems to explode the accepted definition of the genre. Burghardt: Exactly. Beckett's latest works are becoming increasingly difficult because they are becoming increasingly condensed and more elusive. This novel- what do you do with 13 pages with no punctuation? But then I realized that if it is read aloud, the words begin to assume a color, tone and texture. In other words, I understood that he was returning the novel to the oral tradition. To me that's a breakthrough! Phoenix: What do you think the main movement of contemporary theater is today?

"... the American theater scene has to be very different. In short, it has to be commercial. " Burghardt: One of the things I try to do is go to England once a year, mainly for theater. And lately, London theater has been heavily into revivals. Most of the contemporary writers have tended to be like Alan Aychbourne who produces at least two plays a year that are frothy, light comedies of manners. These are immensely popular and all come immediately to the U.S., but I don't think most are very significant. Phoenix: But what about the artist? Burghardt: Then you have to deal with the only writer that I think is still doing something, Harold Pinter. On my last trip to London, I was lucky enough to see the 24

production of No Man's Land, which I found to be absolutely incredible theater. I got so excited about the whole thing that I wrote an article on the playas a vivid dramatization ofT.S. Eliot's The Wasteland. Pinter takes the same motifs, the same references and makes them into a play. I believe that the play is much more profound than any of Pinter's latest plays. Phoenix: Is there nothing exciting about American drama? Burghardt: When you talk about American theater, you are talking about theater which is not subsidized by the government, and so the American theater scene has to be very different. In short, it has to be commercial. If you look at most of the New York theater right now, you see plays like Bubbling Brown Sugar, Shenadoah and Chorus Line. These are the things people go to see. The prices are high, but people are willing to pay because they are entertained. They are amused, but at the end of the evening their values are not changed. Phoenix: But again, what about the serious playwrights? Burghardt: Well, writers like David Rabe have to go offBroadway to produce their plays. They have no choice simply because their view of American life is less romantic than most. Because Rabe's plays are highly critical of beliefs and positions which are supposedly American, you'll find that most people are unwilling to handle them. They are not funny or entertaining; they're plays of ideas, intended to force you to think. And sometimes the thoughts you have are not as good as you had believed. That's what the serious playwright is trying to do. Phoenix: What about the theatrical profession itself, do you see a difference between England and the States? Burghardt: If you look at the lineup of plays in New York as compared to England, you'll find a severe difference

between the offerings and between people's ability to respond. In London where there is heavy provincial theater training, the young actors have to learn a whole range of techniques and versatility. The system is set up so that they get enormous experience before they get

"It's an odd thing to separate theater and the teaching of drama into two different things." into the big play. Look at John Gielgud, Glenda Jackson or Laurence Olivier. The scope of roles they have played has been p.henomenal. The States, unfortunately, are still geared to New York or nothing. In England, if you do well in say, Stratford or Greenwich, you are doing really well. Theater is not as centrally organized. This is one of the things I like about university theater. I believe that V.T. has attempted to establish a regional theater on the British liiles where young, talented people should somehow have the opportunity to develop this range of techniques, this range of understanding, before they hit New York. It's a difficult thing to do because somehow America is not totally prepared for it.

Phoenix: You mentioned V.T. theater. How do you see your relationship with the theater department? Burghardt: It's an odd thing to separate theater and the teaching of drama into two different things. You can't say 'let's open the text and intepret it', and then leave it. And the theater department can't just say 'let's put the text on stage.' There has to be a bond. Fortunately, through the years I have developed a very good alliance with the theater department and they have been willing and anxious to cement this bond between the two aspects of drama. Personally, I think that neither of us can exist without the other. Phoenix: What do you think are the values and drawbacks of having a professional acting company on campus? Burghardt: I'll be quite frank. I think it is the duty, responsibility and hopefully the pleasure of a university theater department, in conjunction with the English department, to present what Ralph Allen has called 'plays as being like a library.' -somehow remain as living documents of past ages, because to some people, they are as important as books on a shelf. And I think that a theater company that is attempting to move away from the centrality of New York must have, to some extent, a professional company. But, I'm not sure that the primary focus of a university ought to be professional. A professional company associated with the theater is a fine thing to have, but if the funds are funnelled into the professional productions and little is left over for the student, then I do object. As far as I'm concerned, the university is the training ground for young people to pursue their professions. I like the professional company and I think that one should exist in Knoxville. It ought to be an example and a help to the student, but not at the expenses of any opportunity to the student. I believe very strongly that somehow there can be compromise. Phoenix: Do you have any comments on Laurel Theater and its productions?

"Most people today are used to going to movies or watching television and just sitting there. " Burghardt: I have to admit that I'm slightly prejudiced because I know most of the people involved in Laurel Theater, but they had one of the finest productions of Genet's The Maids that I have ever seen. The people there are working very heavily from improvisational, ensemble group technique, and they present a very avant theater. We need a place like Laurel Theater that explores new things. It gives the university community an opportunity to see a whole new definition of theater,


and I think it's an exciting alternative to the traditional theater at U.T. I happen to want both. Phoenix: To return to more academic matters, do you think that playwriting should be added to the courses offered by the English or theater department would teach such a course? Burghardt: The English Department is moving rather heavily toward creative writing programs, but the main concentration has been on poetry, the novel or the short story. I'm not sure it's the theater or English department's responsibility, but as far as I know, we have never had any playwriting courses. It is an important, significant, creative medium, and this is something that needs to be done. I know, for example, that Florida State has had Martin Esslin, who wrote for the theater of the absurd, come to be a sort of critic in residence for the semester. We may not be able to staff a full-time playwright, but I don't see why, if we can afford an Anthony Quayle, we cannot afford a Rabe or one of the new, young, fresh playwrights for a Quarter or two. I may be naive, but I think they would be willing to come.

poetry by James Seeley

Private Exhibition Like Jachimo I take leave Parting those pages Where I have written Such mindless words The very gods turn their heads. One half-concealed nipple sleeps yet within its cradle Taunting some unremembered agony Left limp and yellow within the sheets. These pastoral scenes are not for Everyone.


If we are concerned with having a good theater department, if we are concerned with advancing drama, then we have to have at least a resident dramatist. Phoenix: For the student not involved in the English or Theater Department, what is the value in studying drama? Burghardt: Most people today are used to going to movies or watching television and just sitting there. They don't want to think about it, because if they think, somehow it's not fun. But theater does not always entertain. It presents Questions that can't be answered. And I think that it's for this reason that I see my students beginning to realize that the world is not wrapped up in a nice little package, tied with a pretty pink ribbon. Moreover, I think people should study theater because it is the most visual of the genres. We are bombarded daily with visual things which shape our reactions. And it is important and exciting to me that students come out of drama classes knowing that they respond to certain things in certain ways. Knowing this, they begin to Question why. To me, that's education.

Flight Over the Aegean You've acted it out Beyond the footlights In Victorian rooms Stinking of empty seats and pale perfume Mauve drapes over gauze over glass You enter right, simply right New gown or bag with pure-stock baby-blue beads There is a bumble and bustle Oily faces blinking around Olives, cherries, onions A four-button tweed says "Brughel was always rubbing something on a tree" To make you laugh And you do Flashing expensive delicate teeth He takes your hand For an instant Then allows it to disappear into a blue sleeve

John Coward and Puddingstone by Cheryl and Jim Pahz

photo by George Holz

Easygoing and slow-talking, John Coward reminds one more of a farm boy than a poetry editor and publisher. Yet, for the past two years he has been publishing the small poetry magazine called Puddingstone. A 1972 graduate from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Coward has always lived in the South. He explains his concern for writers in this area by reflecting on his own past. "I remember when I was younger that I wanted to read some poetry that was done in ways I could relate to and learn from, by poets in the same area where I was. "Puddingstone," Coward explains, "is a colloquial term for a conglomerate rock common in this area. It's a pressed rock with pebbles and boulders that looks something like concrete. As a title, 'Puddingstone' is symbolic-a little of this; a little of that." Looking through the past issues of Puddingstone, one can hardly deny the aptness of the title. This haiku, by Tao-Li, was printed in Puddingstone, number 2: hearing with In the his the honking, white autumn takes cane dusk aim

The following poem by Jeff Daniel was published in Marion, Puddingstone, number 4: SPEEDY mornings it's the quick slap of paper against a screen door. Speedy delivers the daily Journal, word of how the world gets on. forty years on this route & still he straddles a bicycle 3-7 a.m. afternoons he rides in the Roxy Theatre, rounds up his stray dreams & sleeps while the herd goes west. outside, squinting into the setting sun, Speedy checks his boots feeling spurs.

Puddingstone is published twice a year, in autumn and spring. Several known poets have been published, but Coward says he is interested in new, unpublished poets, too. He intends to devote a future issue to new southern poets-"poets young in stature and development who haven't yet published a major book." Coward says he looks for poetry that makes sense and has impact. "I don't really care for absurd or beat stuff. Shorter works are preferred,

not over two pages. Also, writers should always include a selfaddressed, stamped envelope; otherwise I can't return the poems or send a reply." (Postage, aside from the cost of printing and paper, is one of Coward's biggest expenses.) Just how profitable is a small poetry magazine? According to Coward, "Not very." Many times he does not break even. He admits that one of the problems could be a lack of promotion-many of the people who might be interested in Puddingstone are not aware it exists. However, Coward believes Knoxville could support a magazine like Puddingstone. Past issues of Puddingstone put on sale in local bookstores sold quite well, but Coward actually loses money on such sales due to the bookstores' share of the profits. Why does Coward publish Puddingstone? "I feel a sense of commitment to the community. If all the people interested in the arts would contribute time or money, the world would be a better place. People have a responsibility to contribute. Puddingstone is my contribution."


Jan Hall

Carroll Barger

Sarah Lockmiller


Sarah Lockmiller

Joe Willis


illustration by Anne Shepard

The Proposi tion by Vickie Posey

Naomi stood in front of the ladies room mirror adjusting her uniform and putting the last touches on her French twist. "Not bad at all," she thought as she examined the form looking back at her. It was Monday, and for about the last year she had looked forward to Monday so she could come to work on the morning shift. Since six 0' clock she had been at the restaurant getting everything sparkling for the customers to arrive when the doors opened at seven. Naomi had worked at "Danny's (Fresh Food) Restaurant" for about three years. She had won "Waitress of the Month" twice and had gotten her picture in Danny's Dandies-the bulletin which reported on Danny's restaurants around the state. Naomi loved to see her picture anywhere. Today she wanted everything perfect. Before going out, she checked everything once more. She smoothed the wrinkles out of her suntan pantyhose and retied her white duty shoes. She looked at herself in the mirror as she departed and smiled .a s if she were a model about to have her picture taken for the cover of Vogue. It was five till seven when Naomi appeared on the freshly mopped floor ready to go to work. She checked her tables to see that they all had full salts and peppers and sugars. She bent down to pick up a piece of lint from the seat of one of her chairs. The doors opened. The first customers came in and went directly to one of Naomi's tables. Naomi brought their silverware and water and said "Morning, Ya'lI going to have coffee this morning?"

The customers were a young married couple with their little daughter. Naomi figured she'd get about a quarter tip from them if she was lucky. The waitresses knew that the best customers were middleaged men who came in alone. They always left more than a quarter even if they only had coffee. But this morning, Naomi didn't care too much about the money. The young man spoke. "Yes, we'll have two coffees, two number ones, one chocolate milk, and an extra plate please." It always pleased Naomi to see the man take charge and order everything like that. Women always took forever to make up their minds. She checked off the order on her bill and took their menus. "Thank you, sir," she said, looking directly at the man and smiling. "After all," she thought, "he's the one who leaves the money on the table." "Two number ones, Jack," Naomi hollered. She got the couple's coffee and returned to the table. It would probably be a while before things began hustling around here, so she took her time as she strolled over. "Nice morning, isn't it?" she asked, but no one answered. Naomi was used to that, but the manager told them always to say nice things like that no matter what. She put down the last cup of coffee just as she realized someone else had come in and sat down at another one of her tables. Naomi almost spilled the coffee. The customer was Jim Peterson. "What's he doing here so early for?" she thought, "He usually gets here about fifteen till eight." She

tried to compose herself, then she went casually over to the table. "Morning, Jim," Naomi said, as she gave him her most charming smile. "Morning, Naomi, you look nice this morning. I'll have the regular." Naomi's heart started pumping and a hot flash went through her stomach, just as it always did when Jim spoke to her. He had been coming in for almost a year now. When he first started coming, he'd sit just anywhere. Then he started coming in more and more, and he began to always sit at Naomi's station. There was a place on the back of the food ticket for comments about the service, and once Jim had written "the service is excellent." Naomi had taken this as her own personal compliment. She began to give him extra special service, and after a few weeks, she was in love with him. "Number two with bacon, Jack, and make this one good," Naomi yelled. Jack knew whose order it was and kidded Naomi a little. "Your honey's out there, huh Naomi?" Naomi blushed a little but didn't deny it. She got a pot of coffee and checked the cup and silverware to be sure they were clean. She wiped the spoon once more on her uniform to make it shine, then she returned to Jim. "Here we are," she said. She stood as close to Jim as she could. "Thanks love, it looks great. Hey, I think those people want you, Naomi," Jim said. Naomi had completely forgotten about the young couple at the other table. She couldn't move for a long minute though. When Jim called


her "love," she always had immense pangs and could hardly do anything. Naomi managed to say "thanks" to Jim without quivering too much and left, smiling all over. She took care of the young couple and picked up Jim's order. As she glanced back to the table she saw Jim still there, but across from him now was his wife Jennifer. "There she is with her long, stringy hair-not nice and fixed like mine," Naomi thought. "That girl must not know that they've invented things like hair spray. I'll bet she's never owned a can of it. And look at that body. She looks as flat as a pancake. I don't understand why a woman would want to look like that. She could wear a good bra and look almost as big as me. She could wear short skirts instead of those jeans she always wears and get some whistles from the men." Naomi figured that any man would choose her over Jennifer any time, even Jim. Naomi looked like a real woman. But Jim was trapped in his marriage and just tried to make the best of it-Naomi was sure. He acted like he enjoyed sitting there, jabbering with his wife, but Naomi knew that deep down, Jim was embarrassed to be seen with Jennifer. He was suc~ a nice-looking man and always wore the best clothes and shoes. Naomi wanted to give herself to him. But here was Jennifer interfering with everything. Naomi hated her. "Now, Jim deserves better than her," she thought. Jennifer was a college student (at least that's what Naomi had heard), and she didn't work at all. Someone had said once that Jennifer was in art or something like that. "What a thing to waste your time on," Naomi had replied. Naomi's morning was ruined, but as she admired Jim from a distance, she thought what a nice guy he was to spend so much time with his wife when he was such a busy man. Later that day Naomi asked Shirley, one of the other waitresses, what she thought of Jim.


"I'd like to screw his balls off, honey! He is so cute! Shit, I don't know. I've thought about it, but I guess he's really not my type. I think I'd rather have Tom Murray. He's got a motorcycle and a Grand Prix, too. Anyway, Jim's got his eye on you. I seen him this morning, looking at you. You can't say you ain't noticed?" Naomi nodded. "He always sits at one of your tables, and honey, that can tell you something." Naomi listened as Shirley spoke in between chews on her Juicy Fruit gum. "Yeah, I've heard you two giving each other hints. You bring him extra food and he says 'Thank YOL love'." Naomi adored what she was hearing. For a while sh~ had thought that maybe Jim treated all waitresses like he treated her. Maybe his "Thank you, love" was just the kind of language he always used. But having Shirley validate the specialness made Naomi certain that Jim felt about her the same way that she felt about him. Naomi thought back for a moment. Jim had never really said anything suggestive to her, but he wouldn't. He was too classy for that. In fact, that's what she loved about him. wasn't always giving her the comeon like other men did. Naomi fixed her gaze into Shirley's bleached blonde hair and spoke. "Yeah, it seems that he is attracted to me, but I don't know. Now you've been around here longer than me and you're a little older than me. (Naomi knew Shirley was at least 35). Do you really think he'd like to go with me? You know he's married." "Hell, Naomi," Shirley said. "You don't want to keep him, you just want to borrow him! Besides, it don't matter. Men will take a piece anywhere they can get it. Believe me, honey." Shirley smiled a knowing smile. Naomi didn't really like the way Shirley was talking. Jim would be different. "He's so good-looking," she said. "When I think about him, I just about die. I dream about him all the

time. I'm just not sure I'm good enough for him." "Look Naomi," Shirley said, "you're a good-looking girl, the bestlooking waitress here, I guess. Now don't a lot of men flirt with you?" Naomi nodded. "Well, why don't you just do something about Jim tomorrow? It's about time. Everybody's been figuring that you'd already gone with him and just hadn't said anything." Naomi interrupted, "Maybe he's one of those men who don't go out on their wife. Maybe he's real religious or something." "I don't think they make that kind anymore," Shirley said. "They all go out on their wives, Naomi, don't you know that? That's the way things are. But you got to say something. He could get in trouble around here if he propositioned you and the manager found out. That's probably why he hasn't said anything yet." Naomi hadn't really thought of it like that. It sounded reasonable. "I'm going to say something tomorrow," she said. Shirley winked at her and they both went back to work. The next morning came quickly for Naomi. The alarm went off at five o'clock-thirty minutes earlier than usual. She stretched her hands up and inspected her bright red fingernails. She got out of bed and looked in the mirror. Her hair as still tightly rolled from the night before. She stood there thinking of what she might say to Jim: "What do you think about affairs?" No. "How about a little roll in the hay?" No. "I'm off tonight, why don't you come over?" She didn't know what to say. She wanted to be cool, but her soul wanted to roar, "I love you so much. I know you may not love me; but, if you would just kiss me once, I could live off the memories forever. You're beautiful. You're the kind of man I've always wanted." And of course he would say, "Yes,

1 love you too. Let's run away." "Hell, people don't say things like that," Naomi thought. She was nervous. She started taking her hair down and teasing it, and she got out her make-up kit and began her preparation. She put on her newest J.C. Penney bra and opened a new pair of suntan panty-hose. Finally, when she was all set for work, she took a deep breath and studied herself in her full-length mirror. "Now you look great, Naomi. No man could resist a proposition from you." She got to work just in time. She felt weak and nervous and began looking for Shirley for reassurance. ''To day's the day, Naomi," Shirley said. "Yeah, I'm scared to death. 1 still haven't figured out what to say," Naomi answered. "Well, don't worry; just play it by ear. You look great. Love your hair." At fifteen till eight, Jim Peterson walked in the door. Naomi noticed a cracker wrapper on the floor in her station and kicked it underneath a

booth before he could see it. "Morning, Naomi. How are you, love?" Jim inquired. "Just fine, how are you?" Naomi said as she beamed above him. "Oh, I'm pretty good, 1 guess. I'll be better when 1 get some good hot food," Jim grinned at her. "It surely is cold out there." Naomi paused for a while to see if Jim was going to say anything else. "You want the same as usual this morning, Jim?" she asked. "Oh, yes, that will be fine, thank you," Jim said, and Naomi left him. She got the usual big pot of coffee and headed back. "Boy, that's going to be good. Thanks, Naomi. Did you know that it's supposed to get down to twenty degrees tonight?" She was only half-listening, trying to gather all her courage for the big question to Jim. "Look, Naomi, are you going to be working tonight?" Jim asked. Naomi couldn't believe what she was hearing. It was just like Shirley said. She stood there looking at him with her Maybelline eyes.

"Oh, uh, no I'm not," she muttered. She paused. "He's going to ask me to go somewhere with him," she thought. She stood there beaming and finally decided to make it easy for him. After all, he could get in trouble. "I sure would like to see you tonight," she said. Jim started to say something and then hesitated. They both looked away awkwardly. Finally Jim broke the silence. "Oh, well, 1 guess if you're not working, then 1 won't see you. 1 was going to take Jennifer out tonight, and 1 thought 1 might bring her here if you were working. The night help here is terrible." "Oh, yeah," Naomi said qUietly. "Can 1 get you anything else?" "No, that'll be all. Thanks, Naomi," he said. Naomi wandered back to the kitchen and got Jim's check ready. As she returned to his table she noticed her reflection in the window beside his booth. Her lips looked much too red.


Phoenix - Fall 1976  

The editorially independent student literary and arts magazine of the University of Tennessee.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you