FINE ARTS MAGAZINE
VOL 21/SPRING 1979
Joe Steward son
PHOENIX FINE ARTS MAGAZINE
V O L 21/SPRING 1979
On the Cover:
D o j^ v y o d Icstival
Sidewalk dance theatre
Sidewalk Dance Theatre . . . . 2 Dan Batey: True W it.............. 5 How to Write Poetry in Your Spare Time .......................28 Stranger in an Orange L a n d ...................22
Photograph by Don Dudenwassal of Charles Ragland
Fiction 25 False L o v e ................... Big Doin's in a Small T o w n ......................... 18
STAFF: Editor LEIGH R. HENDRY Managing Editor DAVID DUNCAN Design Editor DANE SWINDELL Associate Editor JOHN RUSH Prose Editor PATRICIA COE Photo Editor PETER HUTSON Art Editor CAROL HAYNES Production BETTY ALLEN LYNNE NENNSTIEL
A Special Submission by Chancellor Jack Reese................. 8
Photography Structural Perspectives . . . . 10 Portfolio................................30 Last Glance........................... 33
W e will consider unsolicited articles, manuscripts, art and photos at the beginning of each quarter. ©Copyright 1979 by The University of Tennessee. All rights retained by the individual contributors. Send contributions to Phoenix Fine Arts Magazine, 5 Communications Building, 1340 Circle Park Drive, Knoxville, TN 37916.
IMPROVISATIO What The SIDEWALK DANCE THEATRE Does Best The Sidewalk Dance Theatre is Knoxville's only professional dance company. The dancersâ€”Mike Bensey, Patricia Marek, Charles Ragland, and Anna Lynn Shugartâ€”are all former students of the dancer, founder, and artistic director of the company, Annie Genung. Genung founded the Dance Theatre in the spring of 1976. Their style of dance can best be termed "modern." The dancers work from improvisation to get their ideas and then later choreograph the piece. They have had guest directors like Matthew Diamond, who works in New York for several different companies as a dancer and choreographer. He helped Genung
By Patricia Coe for their Dogwood Arts Festival performance earlier this year. The dances vary considerably. Their first presentation, "Spirit Dances," was performed to an electronic music score. They don't always use live or pre-recorded music, but when they do the musical score ranges from Handel and Brahms to Tom Waits. "The Ancient Voices of Children," based on the well-known Garcia Lorca piece, was performed in 1977 at the Laurel Theatre Festival as a "voice collage." Because much of their early work was geared toward environmental improvisation with outdoor community festival groups, they took the name "Sidewalk."
They have toured out of state at Baltimore's distinguished Theatre Project, as well as at Roane State Community College, the Johnson City Tri-County Arts Center, in Jackson as the Guest Artist for the Tennessee Theatre Association, and in Nashville. From March 8 to the 24 of 1979, the company performed nine free shows for various special groups. They played for the handicapped, senior citizens, neighborhood centers, and underprivileged families. "A t one performance for the deaf," business manager Elizabeth Craven explains, "we used deaf interpreters who actually became a part of the performance."
Although the company is committed to touring, and wants to perform a long season in Knoxville every year, they are interested in commercial bookings and traveling. "They hope to make a good living and eventually become selfsupporting," says Craven. They are currently receiving funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission, the City of Knoxville, the Knoxville Arts Council, the Knoxville Cityarts Program, and the National Endowment for the Arts Expansion Arts. As well as rehearsing up to eight hours a day and performing, the dancers teach at the Jubliee Arts Center at 1538 Highland Avenue. They offer beginning modern, intermediate modern, advanced modern, and creative dance for children. The dancers turn over fifteen percent of their income to support the company. In addition to teaching at the Jubilee Center, choreographer Annie Genung is on the faculty of U.T. as a dance instructor.
All the sets and props are furnished by U.T. Art professor Phillip Livingston. Morna' McGoldrick, Livingston's wife, is the costume designer for the company. She has also designed for U.T.'s New Repertory Dance Group. Occasionally McGoldrick will hand print the material used in costuming. The couple has worked with a great deal of dedication for the company for the past three and a half years without pay. "When a dance theatre first starts out," Craven explains, "it depends on the generosity and kindness of such people because the time and inspiration are so needed." The group draws a diversified, but consistent audience. "W e see about the same two hundred faces at each performance," Craven explains. "Some of them are U.T. students, others are families and elderly people," she continued. "The performances are slick, funny, easily understood, and everyone can relate to the different types of music. It is this diversity that contributes to the success of the company." H
9 4 H BATey TRoe w n
By Scott Ramminger If Dan Batey doesn't like someone he sees on the evening news, he can put that person's head on the body of a jackass for thousands of readers to see the next morning. Batey, a 21-year-old political science major, is the editorial cartoonist for the UT Daily Beacon. He began his cartooning for the Beacon in 1977, during his sophomore year at UT. But he has been drawing cartoons of people and situations around him since his junior high school days in Columbia, Tenn., where he was raised.
Batey and a friend had all of their classes together during the eighth and ninth grades. They would "go from class to class cutting up and carrying on and drawing cartoons." That's how it all began. "I kept everything we ever did. I'd stuff it in the back of a notebook and take it home and dump it in a drawer," he said. His first cartoon appeared in the 1977 April Fool's edition of the Beacon. Since then, innumerable people and organizations, from the UT Board of Trustees to the Shah of
Iran, have been targets of Batey's stinging wit. Batey, who hopes to work for a commercial newspaper when he graduates, said the characters and situations depicted in his cartoons are drawn from daily news events. "I stay with it pretty close. There's not too much that gets by me. I read Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World ffeportâ€”anything I can get my hands on. We take both the Knoxville papers, and I pick up the Tennessean every chance I get. I did it in the fourth grade. I knew
everything that was going on at the '68 Democratic convention. I've always done it because it interests me." Batey's ideas often come to him while pacing the newsroom floor. He works at night, after the copy for the next morning's paper has been written. Reading the copy as it is being prepared to go to the printers, and reading stories that are coming over the United Press International wire machines are both part of his nightly ritual. "I can't sit still and think of
cartoons. I'll walk through here (the newsroom) about a hundred times. I have to get up and look at the copy, and then I'll get up and look at the copy again, and then I'll go look at the wire machine. Then, when the idea finally hits. I'll just go and draw it up within an hour," he said. The words, called cutlines, that go with the drawings, make up 95 per cent of the cartoon's effectiveness, according to Batey. "Whenever I'm working on a cartoon, I think up the cutline first. I've seen artists who go to a lot of
trouble to draw an elaborate cartoon, and then they put a stupid cutline on it. It just messes it up. Or you'll see some guy who has done a really scratched out drawing which will just blow you away," he said. Batey said television shows such as "Saturday Night Live" have given cartoonists more freedom to make fun of people and institutions. "This kind of satire has just become acceptable in the last couple of years. It means that cartoonists can get away with a lot more now than they used to. For a long time.
editorial cartoons were very serious; they said things like "stamp out this" or "alleviate that." Not anymore. It's better if you can just really ridicule somebody with a cartoon. Paint him up like a jackass without really coming out and saying so and you've done a lot better." Batey's own favorite cartoonist is Jeff MacNelly, who works for the Richmond News Leader. Another one of his favorites is Al Capp, who used to draw the "Lil' Abner" cartoon strip. Among college cartoonists, Batey
said he likes Daniel Proctor and Terrell McCollum who draw for the University of Alabama's Crimson and White. Batey enjoys the freedom of working for a college newspaper. He can draw what he likes and he has become an institution in his own right at UT. People at commercial newspapers, and local and state politicians read the Beacon regularly. "We carry more clout around here than you might think," Batey said, grinning. ^
Looking fl or G od in Henderson ville I looked for God in Hendersonville Every dreary Presbyterian Sunday: Damned scratchy suit handed down from brother to brother (me the last), Steelwool indestructible punishment probably still causing somebody grief; Simian frocktailed Dr. Wilds, rocking windup toy, Reading words I never heard; Welch grapejuice communion in little glasses Slotted in awkward wooden trays (Careful! God's blood on the church floor!) And little pieces of Sunbeam bread Diced meticulously by the virgin Sample sisters Who lived next door, stern as the Old Testament, ancient as God maybe, surely as pure; Refreshing oases of comfortable hymns. Me vainly hitting all the high notes ("Alyce, he really should join the choir") While one brother in stony obstinance Droned through each on the same dumb tone; Pat and I, squirming through the sermon. Paged lasciviously through the hymnal playing Between the Sheets: I Would Be True Between the Sheets Amazing Grace Between the Sheets I Was Sinking Deep in Sin Between the Sheets, Until icy stares and a steel grip stopped that game; Finally, mercifully. The Lord bless you and keep you The Lord make his face to shine upon you and give you peace Amen. Was God there? I must have missed Him. No time for that: mumble to the stuffed flowered ladies outside. Shuffle home stifflegged. Hurl that damned suit across the room. Scratch blissfully and think un-Sunday thoughts. And slightly drunk I looked for God One Christmas Eve night in that off-limits Roman church. All those warnings confirmed: Alien ritual, Latin incense clanking bells. Wretched unfamiliar hymns. Grotesque poor taste Jesus on the Cross staring. Long-handled collection cup thrust rudely down each pew. Fat, indolent priest layered in silk on silk. Graven images everywhere like some Gatlinburg curio touristtrap. And plaster Jesus with rouged lips Staring.
And I looked for God In the sideshows of the tent shooters, the wandering evangelists: The banner across Main Street, "Hear Dr. Hyman Applebaum, Hear the Jew preach Christ"; The ex-con in prison stipes, dragging ball and chain. Exhorting Repent Repent Repent, The tent packed and hot as the hell awaiting sinners Who failed to come up front and lay their burden down; The screamers drenched in sweat. Exulting over the woman testifying thrashing in the dust. Possessed by a demon God, Babbling sounds, syllables not of this earth Until she lay quiet, all spent, a pile of moaning flesh; The jumping for Jesus messenger Borne aloft not by gentle Cherubic wings But a canvas and glue biplane (Erroll Flynn at the stick, white scarf fluttering in the wind?) Tracked below by Chevvies and Ford pickups and cattle trucks Until ("M y God, Lester, there he goes!") the daredevil jumped. Floated to earth beneath a patched parachute. Thudded against the ground, rolled in the reddirt. Climbed wincing on a truckbed, middle-aged desperate hurting man Speaking gently of more angelic more ethereal more graceful flights. And one night outside the A.M.E. Zion Church I looked for God, another missionary and I, scared as hell. Imagining the glitter of a switchblade, an icepick slithering between the ribs: African rites, we said, the choir dancing through the aisles. Clapping, closed eyes, Amens everywhere. Chants and shouts from some primeval source. Musty odor inevitably inextricably a part Of every house store church in that part of town; My scholar-zealot colleague muttering, "Amenhotep tribal chief atavistic urge," While I wanted in, wanted to touch and feel and shout and dance. Love that Black God, kinky whitehaired dusky Father. And I looked for God when I was in trouble. Praying to be spared the polio which twisted friends into hideous shapes. Locked them in iron cylinders;. Agonizing to Him for purity, showers of grace. To cleanse this leprously depraved sin ridden pariah; Seeking Him the comforter to ease, soothe nameless numbing grief Inherited I guess from guilty joyless genes; Terrified by the infinity of nothingness ("If I should die before I wake"); Wanting to believe. Wanting to be clasped in those ultimately caring arms. GOD SEND ME A SIGN "BURNE OFF MY RUSTS, AND MY DEFORMITY" WRAP ME IN FLAMES CALL ME A FIERY CHARIOT STRIKE ME BLIND ON THE ROAD TO SOMEWHERE GODSEND ME A SIGN GODSEND ME A SIGN Jack E. Reese
Photos by: Mike DuBose Kevin Birch I Lisa W hite* PHOENIX
Lisa White 18
Big Doinâ€™s in a Small Town By Edward Bansbach he old codger was snappin around like some kind of turtle at about the time I was mustering courage to ask him for an advance on my wages so not being known for a fool I swallowed my words and just sat there peaceful-like. He soon commenced spoutin out what it was he had gnawin on him. Seems some low-life type person had seen fit to steal his one and only car, and wreck it down the road aways. Well this just about drove the old man to distraction seein how it took him 5 years to save for it. About the time he was gettin round to deminstratin with a dry twig what he intended doing with the thief's neck I noticed that the sheriff was commin. Soon as I saw his face I new the sheriff wasn't bringin no present for the old man. Well they got to talkin and from what I could gather they hadn't found the car thief and that on top of everything
else the oldman would have to pay 50 bucks to have his car towed back to town. Well folks thats when the manure hit the ventilater. The old man grabbed the sheriff and commenced tellin him where he could put his tow truck while at the same time showin him the door and the street in that order. And me, well as I said I ain't no fool so I commenced edgin toward the door, preferin to view the procedin's from a safe distance. Just as I made it to the door the old man grabbed me and threw me clean out into the street sayin it must a been some lazy young do nothin like me that stole his car. I could a told him it was my brother Hank that stole his car, but I didn't feel like bein no accomplace to murder, so I decided to wait till he cooled down to ask for my advance, and walked on home, n
Poetry Tomboy my sister suffers to speak to me in low insulting tones but uses vastly different notes when speaking into phones unless perhaps the darling wants to wear or use or borrow then readily she speaks to me to my unending sorrow and sometimes she confides with ease her secrets she'll confess the boy she's trying hard to please the one she must impress so what if i should tell the world with great amounts of glee secrets of such a silly girl don't matter much to me Rachael Mashburn Qualey Cindy Hunt
Sonnet for the Old Men I've seen the faces of old men who try To relive days when they were young and strong. To once more fight and sing the battle songThey too were once the heroes—now they cry. Young men will shake their heads and wonder why The days that seemed so short have now grown long. Their youthful dreams appear to be all wrong When they behold the vanquished men who die. The young who see their fathers, head in hand. Try hard to help, but cannot understand. Old men remember stories left untold And sometimes laugh at loves that could have been. And now they have an image to uphold — Recalling their past glory—the old men. Mary Jane Thomas
Poem Written after Seeing "Autumn Sonata" And there were two women treading so softly with each other, correctly placing all the "should he's" into their lives with impeccable tension and delicacy. But in the center of the night when lies are the weakest and truth, solid like a monument comes forth: a feeling. "You never loved me mama as you say you were never loved. Can it come with the changing of old habits? Perhaps if we touch... Oh mama, don't look out the window yet, my heart yearns to be rid of vengeful words and know the solace of interminable love." Katie Burns
Alone Alone at night, incredible silence crushes me with its thumb, forcing a word. And in the dark, infinite blackness transfixes me with its stare, forcing an image. Alan Gullette
WMD - TH-€ 4DM€hTOf sciena flCTlOh AlUW By David Duncan
It came without a blinding flash of unearthly light. No futuristic fanfare affirmed its arrival. Electricity never wavered; nor did Nature acknowledge its presence. The community remained unaware although the perceptive sighed in relief, comforted that an element of change threw an anchor in their direction. Two entries in the Spring Timetable for Classes were the only clues to its existence. Beneath the English heading was the inception of a new creative writing approach. Two words revealed the mystery—science fiction. Another word provided a companion as well as clarification—fantasy. Together they compose the outlet that removes man from existing limitations and stimulates the unlimited potential of the imagination. Throughout the past few decades, science fiction has been referred to as sci-fi, S-F or speculative fiction. Regardless of the title, a great amount of science fiction deals with scientific fact—not only natural but social sciences such as psychology. Its appeal is so diversified it appears in every type of media including religious material. There seems to be no better method of speculation available.
Dr. John C. Shields is the instructor of the upper level English course. Studies in Science Fiction 3233. He is actively and enthusiastically interested in science fiction. Shields views the subject as more than an escapist medium. He sees it as a theraputic tool for both teacher and student. In his organization of course objectives, to arrive at the "poetics of science fiction" is the central task. To accomplish this, one must first realize that science fiction is mainly restricted to prose narrative. However, it is also necessary to grasp that science fiction deals with human values, capable of moral development. Although Shields' class is an important introduction of science fiction at DTK, there is another piece of the puzzle to explore. The second cryptic message received hinting the arrival of science fiction was Tennecon 79. Some thought it was an oil refining corporation while others debated on whether or not it was a locally distributed rat poison. Neither of these speculations were correct and are irrelevant to the entire concept. Tennecon 79 is the brainchild of Professor Jon Manchip White. It is the
first writing conference and workshop of its kind in this area. The Department of English is the sponsor for the four day affair to be held from June 11 until June 15. A manuscript competition will be held with a cash award of $150 for the best submission. Participating UT students can receive three hours of English credit if arrangements are made beforehand. Limited to 150 participants, the program will be beneficial to those who attend. Professor White has been involved with symposiums similar to Tennecon 79. He was a vital force in the organization of comparable programs when he resided in Texas. White is the author of over 20 separate volumes in various areas and has extensive experience in European film production. He is the Director of the Creative Writing Program at DTK and is also the instructor of Science Fiction and Fantasy 4256. As the official host of the conference, he plans to make Tennecon an annual event. Dr. Don R. Cox is the Conference Treasurer who worked together with White in making Tennecon 79 a reality. "The preliminaries were outlined over a year ago," stated Cox. "F irst, we had to consider the
mechanics of the event or the festival, as Jon referred to it. Space had to be allocated and reserved, schedules set." Cox revealed that "there is such an interest in the science fiction and fantasy genre that has been renewed through such films as Star Wars and Close Encounters o f the Third Kind that the subject decision was easily decided. The limited symposium format was chosen mainly for practical reasons. Tennecon 79 is intended to help those who want to write science fiction to develop and polish their style and modes of delivery." The remarkable aspect of Tennecon 79 is its professional guests. They are of such stature in the related science fiction and fantasy field to make the effort of assembling the event respectable and innovative to this area of the country. Speakers of such renown are usually confined to larger universities located to the north or west. With the presence of Theodore Sturgeon and the Del Reys (Lester and Judy-Lynn), the intentions of Tennecon 79 are insured. Theodore Sturgeon is blessed with an uncanny perception of human emotion and a distinctive literary style that remains long after reading one of his works. His command of language and ideas have enough universal appeal for his material to be translated into eighteen different languages.
Sturgeon has garnished all the prestigious science fiction awards and has been nominated for countless others. He is the man responsible for Sturgeon's Law which states "90% of everything is trash" although he seems to have a much larger 10% of acceptable material than other authors. One novel of Sturgeon's, More Than Human, is destined to become one of the most widely read science fiction novels of all time. Originally published in 1953, it has lost none of its impact and has never left the public's eye since the time of its release. Most recently. More Than Human was visualized and adapted by artist Alex Nino and script writer Doug Moench in a innovative graphic story version. It is undoubtedly one of the finest interpretations of an individual's work. None of Sturgeon's subtle images are out of place and they are reinforced by the incredibly faithful treatment. Sturgeon is in the midst of composing a mainstream novel titled Godbody. He should prove to be one of the most exciting forces to visit the DTK campus. Lester and Judy-Lynn Del Rey are the most influential husband-wife team in science fiction. Lester has been actively contributing to the genre since 1938 and is a prolific author in many areas including scientific fact.
He has edited various science fiction publications and is currently the Fantasy Fiction Editor of Ballantine Books. In his early life, he had many jobs to sustain himself in periods of hard times but has always retained his interest in science fiction. A timely novel of his is Nerves, which is a vividly written account of an atomic power plant disaster. His wife Judy-Lynn, is the editor-inchief of Del Rey Books, a branch of Ballantine. She has distinguished the company (a division of Random House) by procuring several landmark science fiction works. Before her affiliation with Ballantine, she was the managing editor of Galaxy Magazine for eight years. Together, she and her husband are an accomplished pair, pursuing individual goals. To round out the conference, a number of acclaimed films will be shown at Tennecon 79. Their selection was determined by Dr. Charles Maland, in conjunction with Professor White. Maland is the co-host of the conference and is the coordinator of the English Department Film Program. He is intensely involved in all aspects of celluloid and has chosen a representive sampling of films for Tennecon 79. The four features are Robert Altman's Brewster McCloud, a parable for our time concerned with man's ability to fly without machinery; Jean-
Lester del Rey
Judy-Lynn del Rey
Luc Godard's Alphaville, a futuristic French fantasy made in 1965; John Frankenheimer's Seconds, a powerful tale of aging and re-birth; and Michael Crighton's Westworld, a fantasy fulfilling amusement park where nothing can possibly go wrong. In addition to these four films, several short features will be screened. Science fiction has crept into each of our lives in some immeasurable way. The establishment of science
fiction as an outlet at UTK is a welcome addition. The best summary of the situation is provided by Dr. Shields in his course proposal. He analyzes the importance of science fiction as follows, "during the course of this investigation, each student should begin to recognize science fiction as more than simply a popular means of escapist entertainment. Rather he should become convinced that the best of the
science fiction mode constitutes a legitimate strategy of rhetoric. And he should realize that serious science fiction maintains that perhaps man's dream is more significant in the present-day world of rapidly expanding knowledge than his reality. Even the most scathing dystopias suggest beneath the surface that if man behaves himself he can avoid catastrophe and achieve new insights into the value of human existence." II
By D o u g la s C a rm ic h a e l "I'm late,"May sighed,and tensed perceptibly against the bus seat. Her watch flashed like an accusing eye. In fifteen minutes Mrs. Finch, the mother of her fiance, would glance up from her tea and evening paper to scowl at the mantle clock, noting her tardiness. May knew this would become proof of her "invariable lack of punctuality" and would be duly noted and reported to Peter, for Mrs. Finch had undertaken, as soon as she had heard their announcement, to save her son from his own foolishness by preventing his marriage to May, whom she regarded as a dull mouse, unsuitable for the pristine needs of her shining son. Indeed, May was something of a dull mouse. She was pretty, but hardly attractive; a thin grey line of a woman with flat chest and short hair, and a face often pinched with a worry of one sort or another. It was this pinched face, or more accurately a look of concerned reticence, that
had drawn Peter to her. He, a man phlegmatic in all but his business dealings, saw in her the foundation for a steady home life and the mother of his children; the tone of quiet evenings by the fire with a cat and a book glowed dully in her eyes. She was solid, uncomplaining, and, as he had been sure to determine during their months of courtship, certainly not dangerous in any way. He would have been shocked had" he seen her now as she set her watch back ten minutes. Mrs. Finch couldn't blame her for owning an errant watch - May would simply act surprised that she had arrived late, raise her wrist to her ear and shrug her shoulders. Mrs. Finch would suspect, but then Peter would never believe.... A pang of uncertainty flashed through her as she thought of him. Certainly not the image of her true dream-love, he was a quiet, even temper with bilious physical tendencies. Still, she thought, glancing at her ghost image in the bus window, he's more than a girl like me should ever expect to land. Too, his financial resources were strong, and added to the warm.
cordial feeling that always accompanies thoughts of a secure future. It helped her to think of his fine blue suits and the solid stone cottage they had selected; tne uncertainty returned only when his face floated again before her eyes. The bus rumbled through city streets densely packed with neat, hurrying bundles and less neat dawdling ones. Occasionally a full stop was required to allow some throng or cumbersome vehicle to clear the way, then they rumbled on again, gently rocking, side to side. May leaned her head against the window and checked her watch. She did this at each stop, mentally calculating her eventual time of arrival. At one stop, however, her attention was drawn instead to a scene being acted out below her on the sidewalk. A fruit stand had been upset and its proprietor stood, beet-faced, lunging verbally at a line of obviously guilty boys, their backs to the marble slabs of a building. The fruit man poked fat candle-fingers at their bony chests; their eyes stayed glued to their toes. All about, people ripped by, barely glancing at the scene, only
For several minutes the bus swayed along in almost complete silence; May's eyes looked straight ahead. The stranger sat calmly, glancing slowly up at the line of advertisements that paved the ceiling. The melon still bulged at his breast; a sleeve inserted beneath the coat there pointed out the obtrusion. May was vaguely reminded of humpbacks she had seen mysterious masses cloaked under thick fabric â€” but the sweet, unmistakeable aroma of melon that she now smelled rising from this stranger's grasp put her at ease, and her eyes, too, began to wander about the bus's interior.
occasionally altering their paths around a flattened eggplant or tomato goo on the concrete. May noticed an uninjured melon lying in the gutter, while trouser cuffs and black shoes scurried frantically above it on the sidewalk. It reminded her of a wild animal, motionlessly waiting for the frenzied hounds to lose the scent and wander off, to be left in peace. She alone, despite the thousand searching cuffs and patent leathers, knew the secret lair of this escaped melon. Suddenly, as she watched, a hand descended like a naked stranger there at sock and boot level; it grasped the melon and stealthily withdrew beneath a
billowing overcoat. May stiffened uncontrollably as if she herself had been touched by that hand. Her eyes watched the flag edge of that overcoat, bulged out with its private cargo, then rose to meet the direct glance from a young head set deep in its collar. She hurridly threw her eyes to the interior of the bus, just as it began again its forward, gently rocking progress. Then momentary confusion as the side door opened a staccato rumble, the bus slowed, and the overcoat and young head leaped upward through the door, whirled its coattails wide, and settled with a rustle beside May.
"Excuse me, do you have the time?" the young man asked her suddenly, turning slightly in his seat. "Half past...no...twenty till," she replied hurredly, glancing at her watch. Their eyes met briefly. "Plenty of time," he exhaled, seemingly to himself, and visibly sank deeper in his seat. Then, with the flourish of a magician, he withdrew the melon from its hiding place, and balancing it high on three fingers before her, turned with the hint of a smile on his lips. "W ill you help me eat the evidence?" May was flustered. Rarely had she been approached by any male, much less a bold melon thief. Peter had once told her knowingly of the dangers men presented to unaccompanied young women; she had listened dutifully but remained unconvinced. Her own experience was the reason for this: men did not seem to notice her on the street.
Their eyes looked through her as if she were a milkman or some other living fixture of the city's bustle. She had imagined a dirty row of streets somewhere in town where men whistled and leered at any woman rash enough to show he'' face; perhaps even she would be a target there. And now here beside her sat a renegade from those lewdsidewalks, offering her, an engaged woman, a stolen melon while his lips smiled. She was surprised that he did not leer at her, though; it was an unoffensive grin, and certainly not frightening. Nevertheless, she must be careful. But the stranger, without waiting for an answer, had withdrawn a long, gleaming blade and began to section the melon on a blue handerkerchief spread across his knees. She noticed he worked swiftly and efficiently, quickly laying bare the glistening, fleshy insides. The rind made faint ripping noises as it parted, and a warm, fruity smell rose to fill the compartment. Soon passenger heads turned inquisitively as the vapors reached them, and unexplainably to May, glared disapproval. Slightly embarrassed, she resented these nosy glances, and encouraged by the cheerful chatter of the stranger as he plied his knife, plucked a juicy section of the pink meat from his handkerchief. She took notice of the man beside her now for the first time. He was approximately her age, thin and neat. His voice rose and fell in a pleasing pattern of amiability as he spoke. He ignored the accusing glances of the other passengers, his eyes closely watching the blade flick deftly in his
hands. When he looked at May, she felt a relaxed tingle in her back, and met his gaze with an ease she would not have thought possible. Soon she too sank back into her seat and chose another slice. He spoke unhurriedly, softly, paring thin slices of melon and dangling them into his mouth. The melon was good, fresh and ripe. Its juice trickled down their chins and made them laugh, fumbling for handkerchiefs. They talked of weather, melons, fruitsellers and bus routes, and having completed their orgy, mischievously tossed the rind out the open window, laughing openly and pointing at the severe looks turned to face them. But then May's stop approached, and after a brief farewell, she found herself alone on the sidewalk, her face still sticky with melon juice. The house of Mrs. Finch stood alone at the end of a short, dead-end street. As May approached, she imagined Mrs. Finch in her parlor, pacing excitedly and formulating insults soon to be known to her. Those dull walls, with their tiny portraits hung like sad eyes in neat order, were waiting now to frown over her shoulder all afternoon. A shiver straightened her back as she opened the gate latch. Four small windows glared their meaning from the flat facade of the house. No entry porch, no eave sprang from the tight square structure, giving it a drawn-back, high-shouldered appearance that May found disconcerting. But even more disturbing was a thick mat of somber green ivy that sprang from everywhere, grappling the tree
trunks and covering the entire front yard. It continued up the house walls, fingering the windows and sliding up the shingles to the roof line, where it waved eerie tentacles in the air. Even the weathercock stood in a deep tangle of vines, rigid against any wind. May knocked softly and straightened her dress as footsteps approached from inside. A dark maid's uniform appeared in the doorway, and announced that Mrs. Finch had not waited, but had had to leave for an important appointment. May thanked her courteously and turned to walk slowly back through the gate. A short despair fluttered in her stomach. There had certainly been no important appointment; she was being reprimanded for her 'invariable lack of punctuality.' Peter would hear of this. She flinched as she imagined the stern words and nodding finger she would have to endure later. Suddenly his fine blue suits and the firm stone cottge seemed strange to her, like mistakes uncorrected and unexpectedly remembered. And that Mrs. Finch, racing heatedly around the city somewhere, committed to her afternoon of revenge, trying to make her feel foolish. And all that too-thick ivy. She wondered why they didn't rip it all out. Walking slowly out of the deadÂ end street, she emerged onto the main thoroughfare, where traffic and people hissed and buzzed. When she heard the tower clock strike the hour, she reset her watch and lengthened her stride toward the bus stop. Another melon would be nice, she thought. H
How To W rite In Your Spare Time Satire By Chris Grabenstein
You too can be a poet in your spare time! So said the matchbook cover. "The Famous Poets School of Blank Verse, Idaho" promised to have me rubbing elbows with poetical poobahs in three easy lessons. I gave it a shot. After drawing the girl on the matchbook cover, I submitted a sample of my poetry to the school: One night in a disco On the outskirts of Frisco I was eating Crisco Made by Nabisco Sure, I expected a rejection slip in the mail. But, to my surprise, I got a B+ from Mr. Frank Phoenix, a teacher at the school. "More! More!" he wrote. Thus inspired, I set out to write poem the second. I went to the seashore for inspiration. I watched the waves pound on the shore, felt the salty mist tickle my nostrils. Then this girl in a bikini walked by. The inspiration was gone! Some poets use opium to rekindle lost inspiration. Not me. I drank a warm can of Tab. Then, it came to me: One night on the seashore Thinking life meant more I knocked, knocked, knocked on your door. Where, o where, was Dorothy Lamore? She was on the floor Acting like a bore. I began to snore. You remind me of Dinah Shore. I quickly sent the manuscript of this poem to Mr. Phoenix. I got an A-. "To improve your grade," he wrote back, "please do not make sense. Good poetry does not make sense." Of course! How foolish of me! I thought poetry must rhyme all the time to be sublime. My next effort made no sense, for that is the key to good poetry: You are ewe I am eye He is hee-hee, ho-ho. She is pea. Who are they? They be whom? You've got to be kidding!
I got an A on this, my first deep poem. Mr. Phoenix wrote: "Now you're geting the hang of it! Your poem says nothing and says it well! More! More! Be sure to sign your name in a!! iower case letters and remember that great poetry not only makes no sense, it also runs all over the page like a water buffalo on a Saturday night." True. True. I had forgot. Great poetry must run all over the page. I wrote my first "all-over-the-page" poem:
Young girl, with hair of green. Orbs which look like Exxon road maps. Underwear tainted yellow. A rm pits of thee do stink. Reeking be thy breath. Ears, jammed be with wax enough to polish my Plymouth Unclear are your glazed eyes. Gross is your bulk. Long by thy dirty finger nails. Y ou make me swoon.
Last T uesday I chatted with an Oyster named Sid. The oyster was in a stew Dying Dying Dying Dead and Dying
Along with this love epic, I sent my first untitled poem, since every poet worth his beans has an untitled poem: This poem has no title This poem has no name This poem is a poem Thank you just the same.
in my soup. Oh Sid! i cried Oh Mr. Oyster, Oyster burning bright, i Implored. Say Fella!!!! I rose my voice And then I ate my soup with crackers and a spoon and fork you sid. I did not have to wait for Mr.Phoenix's reply. I knew I had arrived. I bought a pipe and a tweed jacket. I was a poet. Yet Mr. Phoenix would not let me rest on my laurels. They might get crushed if I did. He wrote me: "More! More! You are ready to write your epic love poem. Every poet worth his iambic pentameter has a love poem. Now you must write yours! Tear at your soul, and write me a love poem." I could not understand why Mr. Phoenix wanted me to write him a love poem. Was he a little light in the loafers? I decided to write a love poem about my old girl-friend who dumped me for a used shoe salesman.
Mr. Phoenix quickly wrote back. He offered me a job at Harvard. I refused. "No, no," I wrote him. "You are too kind. But all I want, now that I am a poet, is to get my poetry published in the Phoenix magazine on the UT campus." And so I submitted my poem to the Phoenix:
Phoenix, Phoenix Oh, Phoenix, Phoenix, Phoenix of Phoenix, Phoenix nix nix nix nix nix Pick sticks Phoenix? Use Bics, Oh, Phonenix? For I is sicks Until I read thee Phoe-nix.1[ Chris Grabenstein is the Public Relations Director of the UT Theatres and a 1977 graduate of the UT College of Communications.
In July of 1976, Knoxville Heritage Inc., a non-profit organization â€˜ concerned with the preservation of Knoxville's past, purchased the Lamar House/Bijou Theater. The Lamar House Hotel, built around 1816, and the Bijou Theater, built around 1909, were two of the grandest places in old Knoxville. Performers at the Bijou included John and Ethel Barrymore, Montgomery Clift, John Philip Sousa, and the Marx Brothers.
The theater restoration has been completed, and the project is now in its third and final phase, which involves completion of the Lamar House, and the renovation of the outside of the buildings. The theater is being used by Knoxville's performing arts, and the Lamar House will be used primarily as office space. Restoration of both buildings should be complete by September. H