Staff Founder Lamont B. Steptoe Poetry Editor S.W. Lynch Art Director & Designer Melissa Rothman Aknowledgements Anna G. Raman’s “Face like the triangle of the iron” previously appeared in the Autumn 2010 issue of the “River Poets Journal.” Hal O’Leary’s “But What of Truth” has been published in “Philly Flash
1984). Samuel Allen’s two poems were originally published in his poetry collection “Every Round”
First Printing Copyright © 2014 by Whirlwind Magazine All rights reserved. No individual poem or artwork may be reproduced in any form without the author’s permission. Whirlwind Press P.O Box 109 Camden, NJ 08101-0109
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Right Vignette by Melissa Rothman
Contents 1. “The Man Who Admired Hitler...”
Linda Johnston Muhlhausen
2. “The Kill” & 3.“Maypops”
4. “and yes”
5. “But What of Truth”
6. “Notes From an Intake Worker...”
7. “Mallard” & 8. “Federal Building Bombed...”
9. “an honest thief”
P. F. Palm
12. “Woman in Transit”
K. D. Morris
14. "Occupant Apartment 2 D"
18. "In Remembrance"
19. “The Janitor Says”
20. “Small Town”
21 “The Alpha and Omega...”
22. "The Cliff Wall"
23 “Musing outside the library” & 24 “Face like the triangle of the iron”
Anna G. Raman
25. “Dating Scene Down Under Fool...”
David S. Pointer
26. "The War of My Generation"
27. “The Most Dangerous Game”
28. “Song For Chano” & 29. “Atlantic City '64 Convention”
31. ”The Ire Required This Time”
32. “Metaphysical Housecall”
Aaren Yeatts Perry
33."Nat Turner..." & 34, “Law and Order”
35. “Listen for the Horn!” & Lamont b. Steptoe 36. “The First Time They Call You Nigger” 37. “Remembering Jimmy...”
Shaun O. Henderson
Letter From the Editor Thank you, dear reader, for picking up a copy (or clicking on the link) of second issue. Here you will encounter a diverse range of voices that bear witness. Whether they reveal the mind of a genocidal dictator, the brutal execution of a black child, the travails of prostitution (as in gender/racial slavery in any form), or an invocation of Nat Turner, the following poems and the poets who wrote them are all relevant to the struggle for justice that is especially needed halfway through the 2014 is the year of James Baldwin, as the celebrated writer and activist would have been ninety years old if he was still alive today. NYC decided to name a street after him, and we thought it was the man who mediated White House meetings between Bobby Kennedy and SNCC, as well as the wise and caring uncle heard in “The Fire Next Time.” Several poems in this issue directly refer to Baldwin, and many more indirectly confront the problems that he dealt with in his poems, plays, novels, letters, and actions as a writer of international renown. Some of the photographs that appear throughout are from our founder, Lamont b. Steptoe, -
artists to you, the reader, and would love to invite you to become a part of our rapidly expanding family by submitting to us through our website, www.whirlwindmagazine.org or “liking” us on our Facebook page. Take care, and happy reading. -S.W. Lynch
The Man Who Admired Hitler: Idi Amin Dada (1925-2003) by Linda Johnston Muhlhausen
Sheen cheeked yellow eyed President for Death -- Genocide Uganda juju man Amin Buffoon grin blood drunk SRB thugs car trunk Barbed wire Russian guns
Bleached bodies faces bloated Pike panga bullet rope Amin Ugandan Asians expelled by him Branded scorched
Kampala Christians soon they knew Muslim Amin would eat them too Bind hands martyr hearts Amin
pulled from buses travel unsafe Mothers wives sisters Amin Five hundred thousand butchered ghosts grew World failed to do failed to do
by Christopher Bogart
Your children are not your children. The Prophet (Kahlil Gibran) They held him up, Like a prized catch, A trout, perhaps, His mouth agape, Gripped by his brown curls, Face turned toward the camera. They took turns, Posed with him Naked, Exposed To the unforgiving sun. Once he was Gul Mudin, Afghan rose. Bravo Company â€œkill.â€?
The one that would have been Henna-stained for his wedding day, Kept now in plastic Ziploc bag To desiccate, Wage of war.
by Christopher Bogart
George Stinney and his sister grazed their cow. Their battered bodies late that day were found. One hundred volunteers commenced a search.
A ninety-two pound fourteen year old child.
To scare the Stinney family took just four. Three policemen lied with oaths to seal his fate. Two massive voltage surges did the chore. George shuttered twice; one clear tear stained each cheek.
and yes by Bree
you know that suffering exists, and that death is your only sure companion on this walk, and that to accept, yea, to alleviate the suffering of others is to soften your own blows, with death watching, his head propped up on an elbow, the while.
Madame Photo by Jessica Giacobbe 4
But What of Truth
The truth's become old fashioned. Could this be? With lies, we have decided to condone. Just what the end will be, I cannot see. The truth is now old fashioned. Could this be? Like chastity and people you can trust? Just what the end will be, I cannot see, For those believing life was somehow just. Like chastity and people you can trust, A thing called love could also disappear For those believing life was somehow just. We've got to make an effort, or I fear A thing called love could also disappear To set each individual apart. We've got to make an effort, or I fear There is the chance that we could lose the heart. To set each individual apart, With lies we have decided to condone, There is the chance that we could lose the heart.
Notes From an Intake Worker: Backseat Motel by Ruth Deming
Your not quite clean white hair falls without enthusiasm to your shoulders but then the March nights are still chill rippling with winds that lash an unprotected body who has no home. Last night, you tell me, your intake worker at the shelter, you passed an auto body shop and found an unlocked Mustang, crawled into the cold fury of the backseat, slick as a frozen crick. God, it was cold, you tell me expecting neither pity nor human kindness And in that moment because nothing was asked for I looked at you from the niagara span of our bodies and saw a man sitting there. If I would have come upon you this early morn outside your backseat motel I would have seen you gulping in the fresh light of dawn readying yourself like an ancient warrior for the rigors of the street another pitiless hegira.
by Trina Gaynon
never having felt the heart beating under game feathers, not meant to be palmed in hands sweated with bicycle handlebars. May you dream every night of breath stopped, heart stopped.
Federal Building Bombed, April 1995 by Trina Gaynon
We lifted pieces of skyscraper in Oklahoma City, pushed aside mangled tricycles to hand children, who couldn't remember their names, to ambulance workers. Sirens never stopped. But nothing got through to my numbed body, sorting until a volunteer put a cup of coffee in my hands. No lid to hold in the heat and I wept, faced with the only grief I could put my hands around.
an honest thief by Daniel Coghlan
it is a promise made and daily broken to brake, and slow, and stop and strip keys from their ring and throw them haphazardly into the wide open lock of the world. to walk south down the Pulaski skyline that bourgeois revolution, that polish caballero, my head holding ideas over it inadequacy. That American dream, that sleepy sneer. That bridge that wasn't even new in 1930, that bridge that couldn't do it's job when it was built. to walk past that land of opportunity, and to walk past Newark, and to walk past Trenton, and to walk past Camden. and to walk past terror, and addiction, and corruption, and racism, and inequality, and rape, and money, and Patterson,
in which to stagger and starve and steal oneself and live outside labor
Glimpse by P. F. Palm
She points her foot And steps into the street Her toes graze pavement Timed to her charging stride Her shoulders back Her head high Her eyes regal Proud Untouchable Free And gone
Photo by Jessica Giacobbe
Woman In Transit by K.D. Morris
Courageous she raises tired traveled legs onto modern tubular machine That's when we make eye contact where I see the life of a woman who possibly bore four healthy children and is "mom mom" to at least seven Her face has as many lines and reasons as a John Milton epic explaining the purpose and relevance of life and what happens when you don't conform to the norms of society. Her hands with charcoaled stained knuckles, speak stories of lives lost and gripping fables of letting go of the forgotten loves, fractured hopes and unwilling departures that she still holds on to... She knows what it is Before it is Between Harlem and Queens, she is in transit to return to a place where hands and faces wait for her where and "gimme what you got for me" will greet her - of reaching for handles ladles and plates because, her work has just begun.
Mouths gape as newly hatched chicks would when mother hen returns to the nest, all competing for her attention Posting up to be favored. This woman in transit should pretend not to hear them So that she can maintain focus on herself on her craft. One passed through generations of I love you through arroz y com pollo, red beans, rosaries and bibliographies in each room... and pictures of Christ in the middle of family photos - images of saints faith And prayer cloths. Woman in transit rises to continue to lift tired, strong "let's keep it movin" legs as bone cooperate with her intended movement to bare the task of motivating her to continue one step more one more day always and again be a woman in transit.
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Occupant Apartment 2 D by Joan McNerney
His days marched in place days like tin soldiers each one pushing the next aside. Hurry, hurry before it is too late... More and more of the surface of his life was covered by dust. The hallway gave off a musty odor. Night after night, lights burned. Busted dreams heaped in boxes.
Less and less energy to clean up. His body betrayed him, both his bones, his breath betrayed him. One edge of his room spoke to the other. His fan purred all summer, basement furnace heaved all winter. This incessant sigh gathering dust.
Photos by Paige Navalany 15
by Simona DeFeo
A thousand wives sweeping caressing your face with silk scarves weaved by the children of roaming gypsies a thousand wives bathing you with Schechem's salts washing away your stains the minerals to thaw the darkness
Mixed Media Melissa Rothman 17
In Remembrance by Venus Jones
She signs her name in white chalk beside the door. She says "I'm here." in a counterfeit voice. Someone unseen sighs loudly in the brothel. She prepares for the shift to end all shifts. The scent of sex begins to sicken her. She breaks out. She catches street corner stares every Sunday her best skin tight skirt, begging for sacrament. The deacons and missionaries move on to mind their own business. Her church pew prayers prove it pointless. Her footprints found in basement chambers, behind the pulpit. Where the preacher pulls out more than passages to comfort her pain and pressure. Later she's searching for a hero on the hill,
No one stays after the hearing. Oversight. Once she felt whole from the power. The lobby. Presiding over priests, politicians and bills. Staggering back to room c for the calling.
She places the money under the mattress. Paints her face in the mirror and slaps bottom. Then she does it to herself, one last time. Damn! Her coroner and former client is found sipping
The Janitor Says by Danny Barbare
Like an old rag all the threads are coming out of me leaving a hole in my life. I put myself to good use and clean. And at least I can say I done something, no matter how handy and genuine as cotton and original.
Small Town by John Grey
Walk along the mad at midnight, see Jesse Parker, stumbling home drunk, falling in and out of the hedgerows. I talk to lights in windows. Are you the skin of my third Connie, my second Michelle?
Voices enough to bury every drunkard for miles, terrible fragments of the dead, soldiers, car crashes, overdoses, a drowning in the cold brown river, deadly accident at the mill.
An elm takes off its glasses Thick grasses knot around my footsteps, three family members at a time. I breathe the air, my ancestors. I kick the dirt, who I might be. In between, the moon busts from a cloud, like me trying to bust free until the next night.
The Alpha and Omega of the Mississippi Delta by Kaz Sussman
The sun-smacked back roads run past little churches lording over congregations of kudzu. Pecan deacons leaning over graveyards whose tombstones list from the tilt of time. On the empty days I would pull into these groves to swig from the growler of shade some faint respite. Too late I see the clutch of vine, the green noose that hangs from the old limb. The unsettled past, dangling from the wounded moss. In response, nearby magnolias spread benedictions of blossom, each petal a poultice of unfolding grace, falling over the bruised earth.
The Cliff Wall by A.J. Huffman
of stained glass shades holding vigil I placed my hand against the rock, and for a moment imagined my body had the power to shatter the world.
Musing outside the library by Anna G. Raman
A littered piece of aluminum is weathered - it's buried in tar in the shape of a heart. An unbroken bottle lies, empty on the roadside memory of someone's drunken night. A girl walks, wearing a shirt that struggles to stay on her shoulders, bag in one hand, phone in the other. She is the muse for a smoking recluse who supports himself against a wall. He does not feel the pebbles on it against his skin. Both watch the old haggard man, cold under the winter sun, barely on his bike that holds a paint pail, his treasures, and his soul, as he crawls to cross the street. I cannot describe the shroud that I am under. My will vanishes, slowly into obscurity, wishing I will be the silver leaves on a gift box of sweets, the straw woven with gold on a glitter plate or maybe even the subject of someone's next song because some stories end without a single change.
Face like the triangle of the iron by Anna G. Raman
His little roadside business: A padded surface With a shelter for it, A heavy hot iron, Water to sprinkle On clothes from which he smoothed away Wrinkles, all day I remember his face As the triangle of the iron, Burning from the heat, With eyes, ardent, like coal, His hands strong, His legs weak and limping From the weight of the iron That he was. A friend of festivities, He fervently smoothed wrinkles Off the street And adorned it With fascinating, neatly pleated sarees, Some nine yards each, And perfectly pressed Pants, shirts and dhotis. He did not break into houses Or beg from them. He pressed and got paid for. Occasionally he stepped away from his stall For a smoke break, For a siesta on our verandah My grandma was kind She always tipped him With tumblers of tea.
Dating Scene Down Under Fool: 1996 by David S. Pointer
Inside my apartment pouring damnation by way of girlie-list mixed drinks asked me probing questions about my parents before long she was snatching her brown purse sprinting out of this incinerating enchantment as if she were climbing over an obstacle course her spiked heels stabbing holes everywhere exiting my past, our future, I let her go never commenting standing there like a school track coach holding a silver stop watch recording an unbelievable time
Neon Mixed Media Melissa Rothman
The War of My Generation by William Doreski
The war of my generation still grumbles through cloudy mountains, dragging its burlap feedbag. With all of its juries tampered, all its glossy surfaces waxed, and innocent as primal slime. Browsing the latest GQ, poses, the alligator smirks, the clothing wrung free of wrinkles of human habitation. So now, decades after the shooting stopped, people gaze into smart phones, wear polka-dot socks, ring-buckle belts, drive semi-electric autos. Women shaped like bowstrings and men shaped like Doric columns mate stay empowered for long. To honor
Casualties: none worth counting. Destruction: minor slum clearance. Psychic wounds: a few bad dreams that render waking life a pleasure. But soon the war will descend from mist to settle in the streets and groan. Everyone will have to comfort or be eaten by it. Leather, gold,
in its ways. Because we forgot I print my spreadsheets, fold them into paper airplanes, and sail them over lamp-lit cities that escaped the bombing they badly desire.
The Most Dangerous Game by Courtney Gambrell
My heart still mourns the loss of Trayvon Martin My brain still wrestles with the reality of the outcome: Acquittal The legal term for injustice committed by white perpetrators The Black man is a scapegoat, a black sheep Black men are dehumanized Comparable to unassuming fawns lost in a tragic forest of hatred During open season Yes! These hunters have permits, license to kill Shall we refer to them as police men or exterminators? Because X marks the spot! Are we merely two-legged targets? Wandering and wondering when will this end I am sick and tired of murdered, unarmed black men!
Song For Chano by Ted Wilson
A percussive touch a sweet collaboration combining the top, i.e. horns And Bottom: piano congas timbales in recognition of Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie uniting A/A jazz and A/C carribbean off springing CuBop African Brass a fantastic reality A place for African Musicians and music to come to Home 20th century home A place for Garvey a place for Elijah Muhammad a podium for Malcolm Carlos Cooks for a 20th century successful socialist revolution Contributing to Southern African liberation on the Continent A song for Chano the creation of PanAfrican liberation Diz's horn and Chano's drum a percussive touch determined to be liberated through Ancestral Messages making the spirit whole
Atlantic City â€™64 Convention for Al Pertilla* by Ted Wilson
It was the dixiecrat convention dominated by liberals 1964 was a year of massive demonstrations Arrests demonstrations murderous lynchings demonstrations backlashing against demonstrations mass illness i.e. being sick and tired of being sick and tired Locked up in the spring for three days in kicked walked on abused and demonstrating On the boardwalk in AC demonstrating sweat pouring down demonstrating August heat burning our rear end Sudden clouds come upon us quickly making afternoon like night Anti war anti bomb demonstrators anti anti demonstrators and us the rains come down in buckets The other antees ran for cover where there was no cover we sat soaking and a voice sprung up We Shall Overcome more voices We Shall Overcome stronger louder We Shall Overcome somedayyyy The rains receded only where we sat demonstrating Went back up in the sky as the sun burst forth hotter than ever over us only drying us like we never got wet as kept demonstrating Oh Freedom! Ohh Freedom Oh freedom over me
And take my place with those Who struggled before me The creator had spoken We sat for three more days Demonstrating *Al Pertilla was a SNCC worker who became a friend and lifetime comrade who asked me to write this piece
Photo by Lamont Steptoe. 30
The Ire Required This Time by Bob McNeil
Yes, James Baldwin, I will always go tell it on the mountain. I will always go tell it on the mountain. Yes, Nikki Giovanni, Quite a few of our hued humans can kill. They let large bullets discharge The way racecars charge. Quite a few of our hued humans This is not what your poem wanted. You wanted the other lot shot, not our own. No matter, unrelated criminal lives, Probably unaware of your diatribes, Gave us untold murder-related cries. Yes, Toni Morrison, Quite a few of our hued humans Not only desire blue eyes, They desire skin bleach Since it gets the paleness Cadavers always reach. Quite a few of our hued humans, Adrift along a blizzard, Blind under the order of their disorder, Yes, Ralph Ellison, Quite a few of our hued humans Believe their campaigns For fair wages, Health care or equality Are air, wind and scents, Invisible concerns That soar out Or assorted windows. Yes, Walter Mosley, There is a pre-colonial-old case Even Ezekiel Rawlins. Quite a few of our hued humans believe Every true gumshoe cannot sleuth Well enough to elucidate our crew About these queries, Will our hued humans indeed use Will our hued humans ever interfuse, Forming a hand and arm, Conjoined to battle all harm? Yes, James Baldwin, I will always go tell it on the mountain. I will always go tell it on the mountain.
Metaphysical Housecall For James A. Baldwin by Aaren Yeatts Perry
Your third eye glows in the dark of my living room, cracks framed glass, freeing you from the black and white photo of us standing together in an elevator ascending some cityscape Like wine splashing from a shattered crystal goblet of dream, wearing the mask of night you stalk into the battlefront quiet of my home jingling Johnny Walker ice cubes and smiling like a drunk Santa I would think this visit strange had you not also appeared to me before we met in an elevator roof shack playing cards at a table with Gary Snyder, turning from whiskey rolling your great prophetic pupils to the skies and writing a Chinese calligraphy letter on the white of your eye that meant, if you choose to be a writer many strange and unexplainable meetings await you
Your leathery hands palm the spines Your gap-toothed grin stretches the living room wall And your eyes bag the copper and silver,
to all the hearths and homes where your books open
Photo by Shaun O. Henderson
Nat Turner Or Let Him Come An Invitational Appeal by Samuel Allen
From the obscurity of the past, we saw calling whosoever will let him come.
he mourned the lost years the centuries of lined and somber faces the broken ranks of his people thousands by the tens of thousands torn from the soil of their fathers to death in life on bleak, distant shores. And his face hardened And we heard, again, the voice, calling Whosoever will Let him come Let him come now Him who can hear Whosoever will---Come Him who thirsts---Ha Would drink of the waters---Come Would drink of the waters of life Would drink freely.
Is there one? Is there anyone? Even so. Thank God. Praise him. I say Come. Is there another? Is there one? I say Come. I which testify these things---Ha! Surely now---who would---Ha! Let him come. Let him come quickly---Ha! Even so. Thanks be to God. Yes, another! You will drink, my brother, of the breaking waters Of freedom. Thanks be to the father! Is there another? Is there another? Let him come. Yes, come weeping. Come rejoicing! My God, come! I say, Come!
Is there one? Is there anyone? I who speak according to prophecy In his name I say Come For the thousands gone, Come For the living the dead and the not yet born, I say Come
Law and Order by Samuel Allen
Are they safe? Safe, are they safe? An understandable concern. Black tie or turtleneck
In the dungeons of Goree are the children safe,
Order! on the auction block are the women safe? cried the auctioneer. From the sheeted Klan What do I hear? from the bellied sheriff Going were they safe? ! are they Gone! Safe?
Are they safe?
Listen for the Horn! by Lamont b. Steptoe
heard coyotes are ridin' the subways in New York City gettin' on and gettin' off at will animals have always been at one with the spirit world unlike humanity somethin' is about to end while somethin' a whole lot better is about to be born listen for the horn! coyotes are runnin' the streets of Chicago too! seen video evidence of that! I wanna run with the coyotes they on to somethin'
Photo by Lamont Steptoe
The First Time They Call You Nigger for Montess Edwin Trapp III, my nephew by Lamont b. Steptoe The First Time they call you NIGGER your head will erupt like Vesuvius drowning your age of innocence like the Village of Pompeii Hot molten lava will rush through your veins at the speed of light searing your heart with third degree burns. Your vision will blur refocus then blur again while small Central American wars break out in the catacombs of your mind. Hound dogs will pursue you down the corridors of confusion as you escape through southern swamps looking for the North Star.
The First Time they call you NIGGER you will be one with the cremated Japanese at Hiroshima and Nagasaki who left only their shadows behind. You'll be one with South African miners forced to vomit daily as they emerge from the ground that no longer belongs to them in search of stolen diamonds.
You'll be one with old Black women in White folks' kitchens humming spirituals in Godless temples of alabaster You'll be one with stolen kings and queens scattered like gems of oblivion. the NIGGER you will suddenly know all about your mama and daddy and grandma and granddaddy and great grandma and great granddaddy and great great grandma and great great granddaddy. Suddenly, you will see like you've never seen before as the cataracts of youth fall away. Not until you meet God Almighty himself will vision be so intensely vision again.
III. Flight #2634 (On the Road, Diary Entries 1985-1986) excerpts from by Shaun O. Henderson Photos by Shaun O. Henderson
5/4/85 I spoke with James Baldwin today. He said he never received my poetry. Both of us were upset. I told him the package was sent certi-
Houston was performing that night. Seeing Luther close up, I was star struck. I was too scared to walk over and start a conversation
had a very bad dream about Baldwin. I dreamed he attacked me as he was dying. It was a nightmare. I woke up feeling scared.
in my possession songs that a receipt upon delivery with the name: James L. Bellows, stamped on it. I assumed it was his alias. By thinking he received the poems, I threw away the receipt. I thought there was no more use for it since the package had reached its destination. Now that I have discovered that he did not receive the poetry, I went home and searched my apartment like a hound dog. receipt I received when paying for the postage. If I
will have to go to the post the lost package. 1/86 Recently I interviewed James Baldwin, the “fa-
a lot from him. I hope to write these moments express them all in this journal although there is much to say. I would like to study with him (a mentor) for a while. I want to learn as much as I can about him and the business of writing. Funny. When I was in NYC interviewing Baldwin, afterwards he wanted to go have a drink. He took me few rounds. To my surprise, Luther Vandross was sitting at a table alone. Sissy 38
up the courage to share them with him. I told Baldwin about my thoughts and feelings. When Luther got up to leave, Baldwin boldly reached out and grabbed his arm introducing us as he passed by. He started Baldwin” as if he owned the think Vandross realized that was James Baldwin, the famous writer who was trying to introduce us, nor do I think he really cared. (Jimmy later went on to tell me he felt the same kind of intimidation once upon a time when in the presence of a talented singer of his era.)
2/2/86 Recently I visited James Baldwin in New York. I sat in on a 60 Minutes interview with him and Diane Sawyer.
write about the interview between the two of them. I called Timmy, my best friend who was in graduate school at Columbia University. He came over and chatted with Baldwin as well. We all went out for dinner and stayed up all night until 6:00 a.m. or maybe 7:00 a.m., drinking. Baldwin asked me to come work for him doing research. I want to take the offer, however, I wanted
2/23/86 This week I met James Baldwin at the Afro-American Museum with Gwendolyn Brooks. She ever met. She reminded me of Grand-mom Shelton. She also reminded me of Miss Dovie (who helped raise me along side my Mother). Her poetry was beautiful. After the reading, we had dinner at the direcWe drank and talked until 4:00 a.m. It was great and a rare occasion to see the two of them together in such believe this is happening to me. Meeting and becoming friends with Baldwin, wow! Meeting Mrs. Brooks, wow! She asked me to write to
her my poetry. Baldwin and I stayed up until 7:30am talking, and then we went to breakfast. 3/5/86 We arrived in Paris two days ago. The journey has had the time to write it all down. How could I? We left for Paris Sunday. Prior to leaving we had lunch. Valerie prepared a homemade pizza. I packed my bags while Jimmy and Bernard went to the bank. I walked around snapping more photographs
see this place again.” As we climbed into the taxi, I said a silent prayer. I said farewell to all this beauty and magic as I watched the Village fade through the window of the taxi. Once in the air, I began thinking and questioning myself about how little one knows about life, how beautiful the baby Alps are as seen from the airplane, and about all the nuclear power we have to destroy ourselves but can never destroy the beauty of this planet. When we touched French publicist) met us at the airport. Once again I found myself at a loss for language. I was reduced to reading gestures. We arrived at our hotel. To me, the city seemed like so yet so old and rustic in appearance. After getting situatdinner. Of course there was wine. All kinds of wines. They ate. They drank. They talked. Periodically someone would attempt to speak English. After dinner, we went back to the hotel. Bernard had left right after dinner. After Jimmy and I got back to the hotel, I went out wandering. Passing me some fatherly advice stating; “Assume all streets are dangerous.” The next morning we started off with coffee and croissants for breakfast. I joined Jimmy in his room. Following this, we had lunch at a restaurant in which Jimjoined us.
They began discussing ter a rather long lunch, and a few interviews Jimmy had at the hotel, I drifted alone in the city taking photographs. Bernard had disappeared with his friends. I did not see much of him at all. Later that evening, Jimmy and I met for dinner then returned to the hotel. The desk clerk suggested a cafe to me. I went alone. It was extremely dull. I wanted to go to a nightclub where I could dance. Being with Jimmy day in and day out is overwhelming at times. I needed a break. So I went to this nightclub and met Elizabeth. She spoke English. She was Norwegian. I hung out all night with her, meeting her friends. I returned to the hotel after 5:00 am. The next day Jimmy was doing back-to-back interviews. Later that evening we had dinner at his pubboth French and English, I was relieved. A French editor who was to translate joined us for dinner. Most of the days which followed were the same. Jimmy doing interviews. Bernard disappearing with his
friends. And I alone, drifting about the streets of Paris taking it all in. The following evening, Jimmy received The Golden H. Award. The ceremony was quite long and extremely boring since once again I could not understand what was being said. However, there was a lady, Madam Townsend, who befriended me and translated most of what was being said to me. From my observation, Jimmy, Bernard and myself were the only colored folk in the joint. Witnessing Jimmy on the road is yet another story. Constantly being bombarded with people and questions. It takes a toll on him. He looks so tired at times. Drained. I began thinking, if only all these people saw how he does it from the time he awakes in the morning, is a cigarette. What really bothers me the most is his cough. After the awards ceremony, we went for drinks with Rudy and his wife. They were concerned about Jim-
etc. I remember sitting in this very dark, cool, intimate
played in the background. Very tired, I slowly began to fade. Then a George Benson rendition of Everything Must Change began to play on the jukebox. Jimmy and I sat quietly staring into space. Jimmy and I were both tired and weary. As the song played on, he softly said, “Love is the key to poetry.” Later, driving to the and Jimmy began arguing in French. Here we go again I thought. He was scolding her. Once in a while he would interject with English, of understanding, telling her. damn interviews. Just let me know up front!” He went on to vent about not knowing if he were coming or going. I sensed that he felt like a commodity exchange for coins. He was telling her something to the effect about him and not to be too much of a part of that. That he cared too much about her. She began to cry. I looked into her eyes. They said it all. Thursday I could not get out of bed. Too tired. Too much of everything. Food. Wine. Conversations. I
simply slept, slept, slept. Later that day I met Jimmy for dinner. We dined at the theater with a director who wanted to do Charlie, in French. Earlier that day, Jimmy was once again faced with back-toto see much of him while in Paris. He was on stage you might say. In fact, the last glimpse I saw of Jimmy was 5:30 a.m. in Saint Paul while he was sitting at his desk, with those half lens glasses hanging off his nose while crouching over his typewriter. I walked pass the doorway. He looked up. Our eyes met like they did the more trust, understanding and love. Neither he nor I said anything to each other. I passed by in route to bed. That was the last glimpse of Jimmy. What I am seeing now is James Baldwin, a man under great pressure and in great demand, a man with a continuous glass of scotch in one hand and a cigarette in another. “Those are my shields,” he once told me. After dinner Jimmy went to do more interviews to the radio station this time. I waited
or Elizabeth to meet me. She never showed. Meanwhile, I met an actress named Isabelle. We gave me an address to a supposedly chic nightspot in Paris. When I arrived, they would not let me in. I guess I was not famous enough or French enough. The rest of the night was a whirlwind. The next morning I had breakfast and hit the city. Later that evening I met with Jimmy for dinner. Brighten Bretenbach (A South African writer) and his wife, as well as my friend Elizabeth joined us. We had a wonderful meal with exception of the sardines. From there, Jimmy and Mr. Bretenbach insisted that Elizabeth and I get out of the presence of Go see the romance of Paris. They must have been reading our minds. They shooed us away as we ran off to explore our youth and new found lust for one another. The next morning Jimmy had to go to Brussels. I was dead tired.
resolved that it was stolen when we were in Belgium. He said to me from time to time people would steal pages of notes from him if he would lay them down and turn away for a minute. Once we arrived, again he was faced with back-toback interviews. Later that evening the three of us had dinner. Out of nowhere, from the top of his lungs, Jimmy began to sing, Precious Lord. I tried to photograph him in this moment. It myself departing Paris and homeward bound. We left the night before. Getting home was another trip in itself. On top of everything else, Jimmy was beat. I could see it written all over him. He looked like a zombie. He was about to pass out or drop from fatigue. I am in my early twenties and am completely worn out. When we arrived at the terminal, TWA was on
next thing I know Jimmy and I were on a train to Belgium. Jantel met us there. While riding on the train Jimmy had asked me to listen to a
a small-chartered airplane that had us both tied in a knot. As we sat in the airport, a group of White American athletes approached Jimmy for his autograph. With all this commotion, a
recited it. It was profound. It was deep. I asked him for a copy. He promised to make a copy for me. That was the last we ever saw of the poem. For days after we searched and searched
with loaded sub machine guns, approached us for our passports. Jimmy really looked sick. For some reason he began to tell me that he had a slight heart attack a few
months ago. I became angry with him. I did not understand why he would then allow himself to embark on such a rigorous touring schedule. All the strain and pressure he was under. constant scolding of Jimmy telling him to take it easy. My opinion was that Jimmy should have stayed in Saint Paul, resting, relaxing and reading. We began to argue about this. Now I too found myself scolding Jimmy. We resolved our
commitment to Amherst University he would come home and take it easy. Jimmy and I had dinner in the airport when we arrived on the trip abroad. I felt so much closer to him, even to the point of reprimanding him. Critiquing the journey, I told him it was too exhausting; there were too many interviews, and too many people to see. Jimmy wisely commented, â€œNow you bear witness to the price of the ticket.â€? For every story I could possibly share about this adventure, Jimmy the man, is terribly lonely at times. After the curtain comes down, he retreats alone, to an empty bed. However, once we arrived in New York, the curtain went up again. People began demanding his time, energy and autographs. We de-
pany in the airport terminal. We kissed cheeks and said good-bye. Walking away, we turned and looked back at one another with friendly smiles. I felt relieved about something. Now I sit on the train, homeward bound, trying to digest it all. known so well. However, things for me have changed. My attitude. My vision. My purpose. Myself.
Biographies Bree is a Cleveland, OH poet and founder of , which publishes chaps and anthologies of poetry and art. she created the Gonzo Library of the Indy Outlaw (www.outlawlibrary.blogspot.com) with Dave Roskos of Iniqity Press in 2012, and has been the woman behind many festivals of small press poetry. Christopher Bogart is a retired high school English teacher and a present graduate student at Monmouth University. As a working poet, he is presently a member of New , a Monmouth County poetry group that meets monthly in Eatontown, and is a member of the As a published poet, his work has appeared in collections of local poetry, university literary magazines and literary journals as well as various online sites. On August 1, 2005, he presented a paper on the importance of poetry in the teaching of literature and writing to the Oxford Round Table at the Oxford Union Debate Hall at Oxford University. David S. Pointer of Murfeesboro Tennessee moved into Camelot federal housing project when he was 11 years old. He started earning a different perspective on things at that time. Anna G. Raman's work has appeared in The DuPage Valley Review, Sparkbright, River Poets Journal, The Stillwater Review, and others online and in print. She lives in Iselin, NJ with her husband and daughter. k/d/morris - spoken word artist, educator and producer...concert photographer...your year 'round - all round artist...self contained and ready to build who has Umar Bin Hassan of the Last Poets and others on his projects. Produced North Philly's Finest - Shyster and music for Internationally known poet Taalam Acey...So, let's build. John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in Paterson Literary Review, Southern California Review and Natural Bridge with work upcoming in the Kerf, Leading Edge and Louisiana Literature. Ted Wilson has been a poet and cultural worker since the 1960's black liberation and civil rights movement. Learn more about him on http://www.fromblackartstoreparations.com -
Linda Johnston Muhlhausen lives and writes in New Jersey. Poetry is witness, wonder, soapbox, making love in the dark. She writes it, reads it, listens to it, and much less often, gets some of it published. session: Sestinas for the 21st Century,A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford, Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: Anthology of Sonnets of the Early Third Millennium,Bombshells and Knocking at the Door, as well is available from Finishing Line Press. Samuel Allen was born at Columbus, Ohio on December 9, 1917. His father was a clergyman. He attended Fiske University where he studied with James Weldon Johnson. He received his degree from Fiske in 1938 and went on to study law at Harvard where he received his law degree in 1941. He later did graduate work at the the New School for Social Research , and his poetry is today found in many anthologies. He sometimes writes under the name Paul Vesey. Allen is also a reviewer, translator, editor and lecturer. His translations include the following: Jean-Paul Sartre's Orphee Noir and Leopold Danny P. Barbare resides in the Upstate of the Carolinas. He works as a janitor at a local YMCA.
swing of the hammer. He shares the popular delusion that this tottering tattered stack of thoughts might be a lottery disguised in bills. He tells himself he is wise as he walks into the convenience store of his mind to buy the daily ticket; he looks at his mirror image from yesterday, the broken-toothed banker who keeps his memories behind the counter. He thinks to himself, “This rube.” William Doreski's work has appeared in various e and print journals and in several collections, most recently (AA Press, 2013).
has built in Oregon from abandoned poems. His work has appeared in
spoken word artist and writer, he still hopes to express and address the needs of the human mosaic.
with the Muse, Blueline, Spectrum, three Bright Spring Hill Anthologies and several Kind of A Hurricane Publications. She has
A.J. Huffman has published eight solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses. She also has two new full-length poetry collections forthcoming, Another Blood Jet (Eldritch Press) and A Few Bullets Short of Home (mgv2>publishjournals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, Kritya, and Offerta Speciale, in which her work appeared in both English and Italian translation. She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press. www.kindofahurricanepress.com
countless commercials and print ads. Venus is versatile, inspiring people of diverse ages, backgrounds and faiths. Her favorite
Hal O'Leary is an eighty-nine-year-old Secular Humanist who believes that it is only through the arts, poetry in particular, that one Doctor of Humane Letters by the very institution, West Liberty University, from which he had been a sorry college drop-out sixty years earlier. Lamont b. Steptoe is an American Award winning poet and publisher from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He has published twelve books of poetry and edited two poetry collections of the late South African poet and activist Dennis Brutus. In 2006 he won a Pew Fellowship, and his most recent book is “Meditations in Congo Square.” Courtney Gambrell is a recent graduate from Immaculata University and was published in the Immaculata Literary Magazine
man. His repertoire includes poetry, short stories, and plays. Most notably Shaun traveled extensively with late author James Baldwin in his later years. He intends to publish his memoirs of Baldwin in the near future. Indianapolis native Aaren Perry is the recipient of a Writing Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Bilingual and holding an MFA in Writing from Vermont College, Mr. Perry has worked as a poet, writer, and cultural activist. Ruth Z. Deming has had her poetry published in many journals including Metazen, River Poets, Bellowing Ark and Innisfree. She runs a Writing Groupat a coffeeshop in her hometown of Willow Grove, PA, suburban Philadelphia.