Editors:  Ken Harris, Jim Leftwich
Contributors:  C. C. Sykes, John High, Mike Halchin, Neeli Cherkovski,
Benjamin Henry, Amy Trussell, Jim Fay, John. M. Bennett


With Enchants

well-cooked palm of tomorrow
primitive mugs of a cozy mouth
dreamed humming in lightning
radioactive advance of cobblestone
language interesting flowers
battlescarred stones never eddies
shaking everywhere in meditation
an acceleration of caracas re-
writing songs the missing swoops
not gorges apart however glanced
and hurtled by embracing talk


A Peace To Supper

which crumpled mouth
to hazel sea

a cold smell
up a stones
warm in a canvas

and the cool catalogue
of cloudless poetry
and once hung
and suddenly huddle

and the dark tentacle
exchanged over
Into the unlawful shields


To See A Lost Street

calm wave looked
a rams' to variegated
moving cell
fragrant gods
on the Death trenches
riding but raping
you reappears ringed
with the Siberian income
And Whatever
Over little movie
the trees do sang
the flame
burning by country
And the President's sailing
with a few
sleeping in Great


"pieces of God," #9

     (for Sergei Kuznetsov)

 Where would this breath lead to? the child suddenly wondered, 
taking then a moment to watch the trucks & jeeps speeding along the lost 
highway.  Sanguine, moist, the vapor of breath appearing physical & 
majestic in the damp morning air.  Manifestos of love the father 
contemplated--though he could not touch that here.  Sixpence & a pocket 
full of rye.  "I, too, have renounced the world," the dead one laughed 
now, pulling the weight of the child against her knee.  "Yet you are the 
one who suggested it."  

 Still, the child had renounced nothing, so the father considered 
this too as the man in the moon looked out of the moon & announced his 
face to the world. Whenever she counted the cars & trucks on the highway, 
the dead one saw the white grass & blue water by the lake of our 
horizon....Always walking.  Or talking.  Sleeping then too as these 
meditations turn to birth & the clouds & fog chatter among themselves 
near the highway.  The goose falls into its forgiveness & mothers them on.
 Rice cakes for breakfast, later cold hotdogs & milk on the road.  
Prayer of the two figures as the trees, maple & birch, say something.  
"What do they say, father?"  For the days had begun to follow a pattern 
in the bright-colored leaves she kicked about the curb of gravel.  

 A drawing of the two holding a letter they had written to each 
other in the afternoon.  Down came the blackbirds!  Where would this 
breath vanish instantly scattered among the pieces of God?


"the small boats," #10
      --for Katya

 There are things you will remember, father.  You think of me as 
but a child now, yet the human leaves on the water express another.  
Sideways, the reflections from the broken mirror by the lake.  How even I 
can take the longest of your fingers.  Being, belonging then.  This love, 
and the way the death of another in the other dream haunts you still.  
Fine-bladed grass, yellowed by the white hillside, the moon so blue, 
chilled.  Porcupines & grasshoppers in the weeds.  So is the curiosity of 
your own face, also a child's.  Consciousness but a leaf you saw when you 
left Russia & stood by the station near the poet's house.  The sadness 
you will remember too, though when you read my letter in twenty-five 
years I will be in that country, as you have been.  Your slippery mind & 
the girls laughing in the university, calling you--professor.  Mother was 
always more than two people.  Coming to terms with your own life, an 
American lost because there is no America.  Even the monks told you this 
on the train before our birth, thumbing through the book when you first 
saw the burnt angel.  Wasps & bees & yellow-jackets swarming behind us 
today!  Blackberry pies rippled across the vine.  Yet you are cold & 
hungry. Why? The monks in the story only reflections, these green pods in 
the wooden bowl behind the shade.  So you abandoned the monastery--this, 
here,  is your life.  Beside me.  At a station by our lake.  There will 
be snow, too.  Therefore be at peace with me.  I have done you no harm.  
Nor has this heroism & striving.  These small fishing boats!


epiphany," #25

      for Ed Foster
 In all manner they were blessed, though the meaning of the fields 
had alluded the man until now.  The truth of their praise for this 
persistence in the early morning walks.  A memory vanishing & 
re-appearing in the figure of monks on the ridge where, in the poet's 
tongue, giant ant-eaters were always waiting.  Bits of tangerine, flakes 
of fruit dropping in the grass by the child's feet.  This manna from 
man.  He wanted to wash the child's feet, but he was afraid that she may 
still be hungry & that they should keep moving....Finding the refused 
questions in the pages & in the hands.  It was a journey into the words, 
no matter how hard the man attempted to rationalize this time: passion, 
epiphany, cataclysm, formula ==is this our truth, spontaneous & 
obsequious?  Holiness camping by the rivers, along the roads & in the 
blades of grass.  He imagined a window of a house in which life might be 
normal.  And the child felt no need to understand this.  The shape of her 
head, itself like a small cup--his own desire masquerading as sadness.  
The curious sighting of a raven & helicopter overhead.  While walking, he 
had dreamed again of the poet's walk, memorizing the lines of a condemned 
poetry, though in the end, the dictators had not vanquished the voice or 
won his silence.

 "Why do we forget love at that very moment when we most embrace 
it?" he had asked the dead one, just as she had inquired that morning, 
"Do you see the doves in the margins of the diary, father?"  The wise man 
in this parable had simply lent the three sons another camel in order 
that they might fulfill their father's prophecy & properly enter the 
desert.  There had only been seventeen camels to divide among them & in 
this manner the wise man had solved the riddle.

 All our days are bright & clear!  O witness what we cherish!  
"This is where we belong," the child said now, lifting a stone from the 
earth.  Once more, the memory of sharp pieces of rice paper cutting his 
hand when the monks discovered her.  "You will keep on walking," the 
youngest of them uttered.  "If I ask you for fish will you give me a snake."

 As a boy he had loved the nursery rhymes.  So this word, the 
flower of it, how the child repeated the sound over & over--like a moon 
was inside her mouth, & the spoon of it had become a sky--brought the 
ghost nearer.  The father sat her down & pulled her toes, told her of the 
desert fathers & the child's first encounter with laughter among the angels.

 "But if the tree is sad, will it bring bad fruit?" she asked, 
eating her first tangerine.

 Spontaneous in this manner, so they continued in the book.  The 
vision more obstructed by objects than these apparitions.  He was both 
the ghost in the shade & the shade.


"equinox letter home," #26

     --for Susan Smith Nash

 Someone dipping a bucket into the well, and while in the hallway 
you forgot the sound of your own hand clapping!  Or the pungent taste of 
raspberries, a shade of apple on the bedroom window?  Surely you saw the 
women passing, though you were sleeping when the monks decided to re-name 
our house.  Searching the wing of the red-tailed blackbird, one begins to 
weep.  As Ezekiel saw the straw on the floor where you are sleeping alone 
on another afternoon, father.  This Apocrypha of Time.  A man with no 
answers.  Tell me then.  Is he a cobbler who has no shoes of his own?  
Occasionally,  even this harmony of counting numbers between us.  
Approaching the hands of my mother & smiling.  The staff the poet 
beckons, a personal response.  Yet your own life, its opening in the 
diary, your boyhood too, I see it all in our dream.  Each carnation 
unfolded & the wind stopped.  

 A child uttering.  It's Orpheus.  This sound in forlorn light.  
Though Orpheus has no redemption here.  Those small quotations on the 
teapot.  The poet, or was it the monk, who later had trouble with the 
word, teapot.  Your double in my mother's blood & the cock crows at two.  
Truth & beauty, why not? Ezekiel wrote in the diary afterwards.  Still, 
you tried to leave him with his honey & bees.

 Another source & the tender shoots of my unwritten letter.  Peter 
learned to read and spell/And then he loved her very well.... For I am 
too young for letters, papa.  The master watched me from the sky.  All 
the king's soldiers and all the queen's men in these clouds.  Our 
clouds.  A paragraph written on my arm, where mother took my sleeve and 
penciled the words: seer/seen.  This is your first impulse, father.  To 
go there,  like a papered Piper.  O hero of theory.  Jack be nimble.  
Don't be quick. I am here, and you were never without us.  But you are 
so, so sleepy among these whitest trees of all!


"when he becomes troubled" #22

 ....the red dust blows across the highway.  The child unfolds the 
blanket in the wet grass, turns to the passage in the diary where the 
clouds & birds appear.  All these questions again as they begin in the 
sun.  Humpty Dumpy & little boy Peep.  The child laughs & laughs more 
often.  The father knows this sign of the wilderness.  The black flies & 
red ants parading about the child's feet.  Though he does not want to 
leave her, there are only so many days....The abandoned parish in a 
cluster of oak reminding him of another church.  The painted billboard by 
the old path where a pigeon smiles.  She counts three small stones, rolls 
them like dice in the dirt beneath the shadow of a cross.  When the child 
becomes troubled, she becomes amazed!  The boat stinch from the river yet 
the father sees no fisher.

 The two fish in the river.
 The fish come & go....

 She sees the red azalea by noon, pronounces the word with 
emphasis, tilting her blue eyes haughty hoot, hoot--azelias!  The rain 
starts, stops again.  The itsy bitty spider climbs the water spout by 
the figure of a sky.  "To this day, I've never understood it," the father 
explains.  The rain....just at that moment when a blue pick-up slowly 
edges down the highway.  But where are the people?  "Is it not so, 
father? Isn't it strange."
  Cocks crow in the morn, tell us to rise.  And he who lies late 
will never be wise.....
 He fingers through the diary next.  A monk & the burnt angel 
possess an overwhelming curiosity from the moment he begins the passage.
 Just as at a cafe the evening before the two had eaten on its 
shore.  Pickled potatoes & burnt rice.  The rain tumbled throughout the 
night & they slept under the rotten eaves of a barn full of trees so as 
not to wake these birds.
 Her hands larger this morning, like melons.  Star light, star 
bright, the father could cry--so he dances by a ditch near the mulberry 
bush....Why does the whooping bird have no cough?
 The silence translated into a burning road.
 The face is something blossoming while the crows pass clockwise.  
The tight mouth & haughty eyes, the slight tan of a robust neck, the 
fragility of arms gesticulating riddles under the hills of a foreign 
city, since when she finds, even here, by the oak trees which smell of 
river stones, the monks are of no use.  
 Dust of glory! Whenever the sky meets them in this way.  All of 
this love, father--what shall we do with it?  This angel in shabby 
clothes who wants us to hear him, though his words are torn as Orpheus.
 In ten years from now, where will you be? she asks.
 O little boy blue!




probing navigation the force of recessed assumption
granulated postulates forgone conclusion tempered


between frames of indexed moments
each defined as a separate integer
or a comma separated list
added to an ever-growing base of information


       movements of 
for easy access  ^  the fingertips inaccurate,
control given over to recorded structures
and a minute necessity for human interpretation

[insignificant, miniscule]

knowledge gained in a distinct language
 with in-grown positive-feedback
 loops and roots
  spreading outward
   in concentric circles
  to encompass all
   at its weakest point

here talking on television in  ten
spaced among the frequencies by demographic

  a voluntary analysis
 would think to lie to market research
  for what profits
   the economy

drown inconsistancies in static

  imagine shape.


Courting Sophia Shekina

Hand through the medicine cabinet
close to Sophia's embrasure
she casts off from the second story
rubies spray the floor

born of Sige-Silence
unplug droning light IV monitor
lizard turns its cramped head
waiting for her serpent Ophis

to conduct secret knowledge
"the fruit goes North the knives go South"
ride thorugh broom & saxifrage
to the nearest heliport

lost location of waxwoden
all we have is rit
put up a dye bath
fetch large hands of salt

she lent jesus an ether body
at the top step he
leans on glass smoking a clove
collecting souls like a still

C. Love is a clamorous woman
and her followers simple
so it was writ in G.Q.
her basket opened towards hell

dressing room  depression glass
learning the art of simpling
and alcohol extraction
the maidens were sent out

bombshell with a cherry smash
bound for the monastery
"We prayed every night
We had some fucking dignity"

standing with his ashes
and her wedding dress
in a knapsack
trying to make it through customs

returning from sabbatical
separated by a curtain
Shekina at the spiral staircase
sipping cleavers in silence


selection from:


                         Prayer for the Dead

pray for us now
and at the hour of our death
pray like a parrot
over the hills

the old angel in a hospital corridor
with folded wings
goes to sit in the snack bar at four a.m.
only the coca cola machine
buzzes with life

the nurse looks like plague
in her white smock, a green surgeon
admires dancing cells
round and round the cancer cells
weasel-face and monkey lips
until those final hours of death
he was born Catholic but what does that matter
in a world that gyrates?

down in the Basin old Mexican
faces, you make a carnival
out of the past, history a rose garden

maybe it's a moth born in a day
to die in a day, sleep your lights
alive, alone, she smoked Camels, she joked
about the camel's hump, you see
i pray now for the dead
your prayer by fire, bullrushes, angel's flight
funicular, down and up, up
and sideways, when i was young
i held a butterfly in my head
flowering, torn

imagine a wall of butterflies, maybe monarch
or a single letter
falling from nowhere, that'd be miraculous

two six packs appear

a left hook, a right jab
the referee is there
in a jiffy, men like tanks, men like
women like men like

two days running in an old-time bungalow
on De Longpre Street, drinking beer over the ruins of a rose
he liked Miller's, we'd make runs
up to Ned's, old man
behind the counter handed-out tips for the races, he
smoked fat, cheap cigars
we'd hash it over and over again, Max Schmelling
Joe Louis, Bobo Brazil, Jim Thorpe, Mae West
That Old-time Religion, Theodore Dreiser
nervous, red-faced, thin, dying, finally
a suicide, the death of John F. Kennedy
there by ruins, red shards, pieces
of language flake off the ice, ruined hillsides
glittering rose in a mailbox, fist, flower, your arms
were those of an artist, Valentino's antique shadow
an endless image of war, smoking ruins, I should think
you're sick of dying, afraid of silence bound to silence
in this era of illicit bomb factories, the truth
is made for you and me, but good luck to geranium darkness
purple dawn, beauty was a cat
awake, black iris, instruments of common life
like a garden hose, the check, as they often say, is
in the mail, I'd like to invent
a sense of decency, dark stain on a white sheet

ave maria gloria plena. . .    your mother called
she's making dinner, sweating skies, a night of dull
conversation, don't stay here with me
are your titties hard, mothergod?
magnanimous, smiling rock, concrete sky, who inherits
mistake them for bandits, beating about the ruins
who runs this empire?

pray for us now
and at the hour of our death, mansions
over the hillside in that bright land
where we'll never grow old
loosen your chains, what he may ask
beyond the law, who gives it anyway? she tried for my soul
but you don't give it away, sunlight
on lichen, lichen on rock, rock
on hard soil, oak on rock, hillside
on fire, her hand round my neck
runs this empire anyway, the law-giver, who gave us the law?
flood our violence, asleep
Tom's Island in ruins, to stand 'gainst the law'

for us sinners now
you're boat, twinkle twinkle, down water spout
her eyes, graven image, sad walker, a stroller

Rokcy Marciano lacing the gloves
Caeser's Palace, the divide, geez, how they fall
Vegas, we are
the last Romans, Caeser's Palace
of ice cream melting, tame white tigers
behind glass
a flowing river of bad cells

one infected gland
jumped over the other infected gland

when I said I didn't even have enough for
a candy bar he laughed and could not imagine
when I got cancer, lay
in bed, the doctors got a charge outta me
turn over and die
benign indifference

pray for us sinners now
Shady Grove, geranium sidewalk

bulldozed, sub-divided,  door knobs from Japan
the Cardinal called yesterday, do you mean that religion?

on Main Street just after the plaza, meat market
Spanish blood, Leo Carillo, Cisco Kid, the Shadow knows
water like gold, fuming, stomping his feet
what I think I know, I believe, miracle, single letter

my friend Helen, descended from a line of rabbis, attends
mass every morning at the Church of Peter and Paul
in San Francisco, I go sometimes
but it isn't my religion, not my war

there's the cardinal and the chief of police
crusing, togtether, do you understand
what shipment of body bags we are referring to?

tore land apart, ript open the heart, darkness reigned
sought a plastic image of Jesus, felt thorns, dead center
my landlord upped the rent, I'm a madman, in truth
don't go home, and then she died, if I die before I wake
a prayer, reads like a prayer, the history of a single letter
or the idea of a river turned into a trickle of shit, minefield,
your mind
a field of beercans, I don't like losing out, never cared for
found the action under my own feet, yawning pain, an acre of

don't awaken me--your grandfather, German Army, war
slumbered while these visions did appear
weak and ideal theme
no more yielding but a dream
at the hour of our death

hey Willy, oh Willy. . .this house is unreal, city is a chunk of
the war being waged by the American
family? is that the one you mean?  came near, unreal island
unreal time--when Jane died I nearly cried--I sat in a cocktail
off Alvarado, blinking neon women with purple rouge, women with
hideous wolf lips, women who touched my ravaged music. . .
I like Rachmaninoff, then there's Mahler rising like a wave
you can't stop it, hail Mary full of grace. . .your mother
called, she is
a dirty dishrag in the pan, I mean poetry
or did you say poverty, was it a Polack or Poetry, did you mean
oh me, I write my system in the clubhouse, I wait until the crowd
averages down to a stick of dynamite and then I make my run
to the betting line--some of them like to lose, not me
I like to win. . .

the way they run--
and upward into God if there is a God and if there isn't
upward anyway like a single blade of steel

this is how the word works. . .

Why oh why can't I fly?     for broke players, Willy the shoe,
your eyes

stormy weather in mid-Pacific, one down
does she fly into a cloud?           Jimmy the Hammer. . .

old Baldy
all covered with snow
I lost my true lover
by courting to slow



Thoraxilaconic the thermography
looks great on you but also with applesauce
pull the plug on the clubfoot-punchy iron
that full bowl of dentures is cluttering up
the feedback tank underwater luminescence

can't stop smoking that thymus of yours
   pepper spray hack film ear to ear
  spatula to scapula iodine works on both
quit pushing my oxcart
  dining on my luciferous fumes
   and the blimp is enormous huff puff

baby in the munching atoms
   drippy goo-goo fat and drooling resin
abandon the pudding channels
and chalk-outline millenium
to float on the bottom of the rat cage
   feces and crackhouse larvae
     foot the bill smell my goat pound
the cars even with algae
   lead burning with navigation
  fire axe in the trunk and head

worms slap out yr fat eye sockets
     had too much todrive tonight
       can no longer swallow
     liquids, solids, partially digested s tarfish
       still stopped at the border
     wake up my hand eaten     the bones
in a clear plastic box
       from the grinding wall

maybe an abscessed tourniquet or widget
     charcoal lap dancing and
       the nightly belly-roll
momemtum and the vampire shaves
an up-and-shrinking model
      pork chop o na sweaty fist
     8-ball the asterisk
the pulse dominates the fuel tank
       i miss no one
         the open highway frying pan
  a mouth filled with wet cement
         gasping, waiting to harden


Ellington As John The Baptist

A single petal of a rose
            Was all the baptismal fire
                       Needed in these exciting times
The word may have been lost
            On all the dancers and drink
                       But later a beautied voice
                               Could be heard
Singing in the wilderness
            Of what can come to be
                       If only the ears
                               Would stop talking
                                       And truly listen.


again's remain oh damper stain your furnace wall
and gripper armpit damper than, portentious flakes,
dip condition, stabilizing furnace snore or dipping
lung impacted spoon dust lung regrating oh my tubal
litigation dust repealed regate indented wtch your
tubal lap and spore ("lobe") denture claim, heating
watch, retain your spore's "hunger's" "train"

"oh I" replore in chain ("roped cigar") deposit
ankle "ample" chain redemption piss acidulation
corner posit chronic or your fastulence's grime
and flecks;  "achronic" dimple flamers grimy sands
retrained your lilting ash, steamed back in chair,
simple framers of the "repetition" lie ("back
back"), dreamy I your ankle "thighed", softer,
ambulation, trying up

maim siding float, face-through, nordic ham in shreds
fords hams "to the knees" float gore camps spate
o' weenies seething napkin ("gimlet") lumpy hanky
("teeth") plate containment phone you asked 'er risk
in, sidle phoned my face see stamper  )crates, shreds,
loopy wheaties tongue above your drippy bowl (  I
lungish(     )gak

"bone" hasp clammy table cloak or screw rediddled
hash your clamid boat screw flustered through my
fog phone screwy ditch beneath the swells where
matter moats "you see" so swelly kitsch above your
belt I table don the shell ("mist") felt so
"dewy" adumbration  )blinks, chewing belt, sloped
your hull claim thing     )master