Editors: Jim Leftwich, Ken Harris
Contributors: Karoline Wileczek, David Baptiste Chirot, Chris Sawyer, Jeffrey Little


(selections from the hotel sterno)

The Hotel Sterno

twenty-seven of betty crocker's finest bundt cakes later & still the road
crews crow.  
during happy hour another cloud just up & plopped from the sky - it's the
plan all over again - arrivals mingling w/departures in that recurring
airport the amish 
call chrome, a pleasantly potable moment offsetting the mundane flood of

postcards detailing our fondue clerk's shifting notions of rome.  fragments
of stride 
piano scurry through the halls of the hotel sterno like a detail of AWOL army
dizzy w/the idea of a pyramid scheme & bingo in all fifty states, theirs is a
born of nutmeg & old spice aftershave served up in a riot helmet made from

i admit it: whenever my kneecaps rattle it reminds me of a scullery nurse
from some outpost of the dead w/a cast iron stock pot - insects are all
around us - 
foraging, tabulating scorecards, they're erecting spectacular monuments
clips & angles so impossible it would make a bomb crater blush like an

pothole too far from the farm.  we refer to this as the delphic tradition,
as it does in gesture & the bigger movements of walls, movements unobstructed
by the systolic calypso of a bellhop lost in the bloodstream singing of other
beyond this radon.  here, inside the hallways of the hotel sterno where

the shapes of whole heads have changed, the deceptive present lingers
an embargo of egg whites - sometimes an entire obituary is a fiction
as a fiction, or something smaller, the last of the freed cataracts from
still another
reconstruction, sand traps in the punch bowl that only a road crew can see
for sure. 

four in one

roll-aways positioned into pecking about the phone, 800 rooms to him likely
to corner the requests of agents inputting wedged cribs w/pale, hotel hands.

permanent residents all humming to world war II.  they spotted the shrouded 
palm floating in place.  disappearing, their pasts seemed one residence away.

often old guests walked to the perimeter, of all places, the closet that
the collection of men's room flags, three poles united inside a function of

their hive of emanations sagged into a couple soup-faced potatoes no spoon
had ever seen.  walled activity, & the air seemed close to a smelled

{ 200      194      192      185  =  }

sonny kleinfeld,  the hotel 

the galley equals a peat moss equals an affliction minus the bells

i think in lights, sometimes in cubits, fully conscious
that no good has ever come from a bright red phone 
loitering on a doily beneath a plexiglass cake dome.  

through the drywall percolates a swing as tenacious 
as a thick fold of skin dangling from the underbelly 
of an arm, my thinking it boomerangs on itself until 

it approximates in some categorical cub scout way 
the cargo hold of a teak wood ark.  for five weeks
i've sought to carpet the linoleum w/strips of sod -

barbered - perfect in every way - i've poured liquid 
manure over them & a distillate of hoodoo known
only to the apothecary between the floor & still i'm

awakened by a gasping living room lawn comping 
w/its death rattle the swing strollling out the sheet
rock to the backbeat of my jelly roll soul.  a huge 

book of wallpaper samples i carry it to prove my
point about the phones & the woman w/her body 
draped in astroturf she left w/out uttering word one.

the breathers

alger hiss & rahsaan roland kirk embracing over a bottle of english
bitters, nothing but the totem between the torah, nothing but breaths
taken as a defense against the finger calibrating the moon according 
to the number of syllables in a singing telegram - it's this, more than

the baccarat, that lends to the balcony its sense of lopsided salaam.
choruses of passenger pigeons - & the breathers - & whenever one 
michael screams "batdog!" the other michael he mutters something 
about spam & how the vertigo girl in her hempen cape is sprinting 

like a hot wok whooping through the halls - territorially speaking, 
the obsessions are incomplete.  under the table a lunchmeat golem 
whimpers backwards for its cheese, of this i am certain, riboflavin 
will not assuage us, nor an orange rush of wind ever the one block 

away.  nostalgia mixes w/an earlier air & creates a spoked hubcap 
in the sanctum of a drum pulsing two beats to the bar, a drum no
 less able to function as the focal point than the word "bagpipe" on
 the marquee flickering across the pepper loaf chest of the golem.  

the theosophies inherent in the spectre of a ceremonial lawn dart 
league, just think of all the scrums! if only respiration ever added 
to something other than itself - something paradable - like thirty 
cartons of pencil erasers covered w/feathers & cancelled stamps.  

a selected inventory of The Hotel Sterno's storage room 
concluding w/a brief assessment by Gershom Scholem

three dingoes, a portable victrola complete w/a tone-arm cobra, not more than
cumulus clouds at any one time, carton of tar salve (24 count), delmore
schwartz's new
york giants baseball cap on a masonite dais (beige w/wood trim),
astro-infinity log drum,
signpost for Al Axlerod Diesel Florist, tack-on furniture glides
(theoretical), eighty square
feet of astroturf, a bottled solution of formaldehyde & tonic water
containing the white
torah & a #5 reed inserted into an apple core bust of a theremin, one pair of
spats, dark
matter, emily dickinson, delivery receipts for ramses condoms stuffed in a
boxing glove
(left), alembic, eighteen cases of vodka sour mix & a large pane of glass

the entire past history and future destiny of each single soul is recorded in
this curtain.

DAVID BAPTISTE CHIROT GIVE AND TAKE Easter Sunday 97 (Intro; sotto voce . . . ) rocks in quarry--stark in setting sun so warm during day--so cool at night water pooling among crevices-- time moving on so slow-- could sit here forever though forever nears time contracting hands are cold one last look round down the hill--all grainy--pebbles and gravel, shards no longer glinting-- distant voices--smoke in sky--thin along the ridge-- on clear days--could see for miles-- even at night--winters especially--long distances open--as any door in hand-- such a long road--winding down--hard now in early spring--mud all hard at night-- was warm in day--as blood on fingers-- first stars out . . . down along the road--shadowed in pines--mud ridges cupping ice-- out lines of broken machinery, trucks long stalled . . . A stranger come up here and bothered me. Some don't understand peace--leave it be-- Trees in winter enough--smell of pine--boughs brushing snow--slow fall in forest-- rocks among streams--rushing-- softly stood long enough to know . . . Things come so late-- when nearly time to go-- (the story): Some people mean well--but the "mean"--can turn to mean-- Saw them the first day they drove up--in a new car--with a lot of boxes and things inside. A city lady and a city man. Another car of them was with them. They wanted to start some kind of special school. Have a center for kids. There was a lot of talk of education. They wre going to change things. I was talking to Dennie--he had his motorbike there by the gas pumps. They looked at us like we was--I don't know. "Potential" they called it. I found that out later. What that meant . . . They had the place set up pretty fast. Took over where an old store used to be. Big glass front. Offices. Nice rugs on the floor and shelves of books and things. VCRs. It was Spring then, too--only later'n now. The days were nice. They had things going on at night. We'd stop by. One night they had open house over at their place--the one where they lived. It was a bunch of them--the men in beards mostly and serious. The women all seemed pretty gay enough. One of the men was interested in me. That's what he said. Said I had potential. They had gone over all the records at the school and all. Seemed they had read some papers we'd done. He thought mine were pretty good. Did I read? What did I like to do? And so on. He was a pretty good looking fellow I guess. He had soft hands he waved around and bright eyes. You could see most everybody like him. He was some kind of star for them. A guiding light and hand you might say. He started coming round to my place--getting me to go to things they had. Movies on the VCR and they'd read poetry and talkk about other places. He didn't like Dennie much. Dennie wouldn't go. But I wondered why they had such interest-- They didn't seem to go outside much. I thought they should. But the roads and trees and woods aren't much maybe when your eyes are on other things . . . He siad I ought to write things down onstead of try to tell or show them. I gave it a try. He thought it showed--"potential"-- I started lugging around a notebook. It was an old one full of things from over the years. Had an alphabet in it made of sticks and leaves and bits of junk. You could touch all the letters and feel what they were and how much time was in them. Seemed to me you could read them and see all the places around here. he siad that was pretty nice but why not use regular words. he showed me how to type out things on the machines there. You could print them out. Better than what we had at the school to use. But I didn't like it. It looked like any other pages. What was the point. They said, you've got to learn to communicate your vision to others. In ways they'll understand. Potential, you know--that's not enough. The summer went along pretty good. When Fall came it was back to school. There wasn't much to do nights so I went down to their place most evenings. They had paper and glue and things I could use. Paints and markers and all. I had a bunch of old spray paint cans Dennie give me, too. My book was getting bigger all the time. I had to start putting things on boards. There was an old place falling down up in the woods and Dennie and I would move things out to use. I said, I'm gonna build me a house of words. One day I had him--the guiding light one--up to see what I had been doing. he seemed to think it was pretty interesting. But why can't you do that the way we've been showing you. You could write it down and we'd take pictures and that would make a book. They were making a book of their own all about what they were doing where we were. Some people had even come up to see. They said my things could be part of their book. They'd put in some kind of explanations and it would be impoirtant. He started coming around a lot. I saw he didn't like Dennie at all. He's no good for you he'd say. One day one of the women drove up. She stood out in the yard. Wouldn't come in. She just stood there awhile. Then she left. One night he came pretty late. I was alone. He sat down on the bed in my room. He wanted me to move in with them. Made it sound pretty nice. I thought of all the stuff over there. Figured I'd try it. Why not. Winter was going along. My dad was away. Had a job up farther North. So it was a place to stay with less to manage on my own. He was getting friendlier all the time. One day he held my hand when showming me something. He was tryin to say something but I cut out of there. It's a pretty fiar walk up to the quarry. No one goes there much in winter. You can hear things moving in the quarry air--way down inside. There's ice down in there. The sky looks even higher when you stare into the reflections way down among the rocks . . . I always hear music when I'm up there. High and lonesome. It sounds like pines in wind. The blue is so charp on a clear day it cuts your eyes to look at it. Down along the road follwing the ridge--there's old stumps from logging and old machines left behind. When it's still a moment you can hear voices. Then the wind seems to move them off again. Just like it happened. They left. I took him u there one day. I tried to make him see. He didn't seem to. I took him down along the road. And he didn't seem to hear either. He wanted to talk about writing and that book they were doing. Said there was a lot of interest. Some people were interested in me. They thought I was something. I forget the word. I'll just say it was--"potential". It bothered me. As far as I could see and hear it was writing--all around. That's why I put that in my notebooks and on boards. What else can you do. You can't do better than what's there. Just arrange it so it fits better close to hand. We walked along. It was suddenly getting colder. A snap. The air got still. If you clap your hands you can make the branches break, I said. He didn't believe me. He wanted to keep talking. But I just kept clapping and breaking branches. In a cold snap they do just that--snap at the sound. He told me to stop. He grabbed me for a minute. Said this was important. One minute he was talking about the book and a man coming up to do all the pictures. Then he . . . It was pretty cold on the ground there. I went back and got my things. Then I went back to my place. I took all the things I had and went on back up the road. I took a different way this time. I put all the stuff in a place where they wouldn't find it. I didn't go out for days after that. Sat waiting. I knew they would show up. One day the woman who had come before drove up again. She just stood there in the yard. The she left. The next day their cars went by. One came back later and one of the other women got out and came up to the house. I wouldn't talk to her. She said a lot of things. But who cared. Finally he came out. He was acting all business like until he came inside. He said he was sorry. He said a lot of things. He said he wanted to be with me but no like the other time. And how much he wanted to do this book and all that potential and all. I said--well--come with me. I'll show you. He seemed confused. Come on I said. You said you want to be nice. Come on with me. I made him drive up a ways then get out of the car and walk. I showed him wehre my things used to be. See that. They're gone. You'll never take those pictures. he got pretty uspet and started yelling. He tried to grab me. Come on I said. There's more to show. I walked on fast up the road he didn't know. He was coming along pretty fast after. If you want the pictures--come here and look. All the stuff is over here. He come around beside me and I pointed. he bent over to look. I gave him a push. He only fell a short ways. He was hanging on to something. Maybe an old cable. I let him hang there awhile. It was getting dark and I was getting tired of listening to him. I got an old long board and hit him iwth it. As hard as I could. Suddenly there was no more sound of his voice. Then I heard a crash below. I didn't bother to look down. Who cared. I'm going down along the other ridge now--I'll leave a note for Dennie where he can find stuff I hid. It's getting dark now. There is no more blue in the west. The last red is gone, too. You can hear that high lonesome sound among the shadows. I always wondered what it meant--"give and take". It must be some kind of joke. The two just don't seem to go together. W/O with o u t w a r d s RDS s u i s l e c ex in c i t e m e
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KAROLINE WILECZEK Sabbatical Detected heat dedo french fry to an open expulsion gate of multi-metal lace skimming the rust Ed the Chevy S-10 Extendo is my sentimental dream I look for it, pull in slowly and static at the all poor planning Everywhere. He carved a bent-up beige barber's hat cutting out a lodging in an overhead compartment parting the little white curtains the skimmer 7 hops across the lake. Motor hauls a burnin' Frita hits the shore, soggy potatoes flood the truck bed as lightning traces the extended outline C-clamped now for a hundred days. ******************************* creepin' burrowed helium stammerin' Stacy I've been a-creeping along edifice wide and I see that dust collecting in the creases of your battened down hat folded this way maybe that hairline crack of your noise through a tube all milky and quick erased with bread as chewing does go on chewing through helixed browsing filtered chromium haughty-laugh Lynn I've been a-creeping in stores notice that dripped cheetah giving a playful stain "It's too beautiful I'm never coming back" maybe that hairline crack of your nose in mid sip so honeyed warms the backward blast of tum tumbling through scanners heat and beep I see your cactus Growing the belly of canine-tooth Tammy I 've been a creeping entering the bent electric tape spread out across an abyss of blue glow "Why not stapler after stapler, then close her up?" maybe that hairline swings way back circling a parrot in twist necktie polka dot yank of joe rising wills the quake with a lever said I'd rarely lose one. ******************************* September 9th, 1996 the need for the blood to boil (no longer simmering, growing lukewarm) song to shiver in spine sight, hair wiggling in its follicle lifts the eyes right up and uncontrollably in linage the blood spitting itself onto the enamel tired of weird dilemma the air here is thick with dioxides, instruction to breathe in the good out with the bad, monkeys under my tire give me quiz show answers swooning holder of breath strokes afrmr s roke incessantly cymbals uncontrollably in the linage determining work, I sing a song of ill gotten booty growing cold and in it - strategy tentacled turning for wagging or light that is a choice and the road may bring in better quality air as sluncker to your warmth fit into our nest my blood boils there and at last I cannot see what may be at large and unrelated ******************************************* losings Splat gave a broken pinch to the twisted along this cavity. The losings. the smell creaking in of the bubbling and scoop, I wait. with a low thud of a laugh, thunder of steps left in the three AM. the eyes have cut loose Back the next day in from this gravel I put my lips to the pony, the swan and the rhino have bitten my noose, as I fall, gratitude. the swarmy eyed resting on no pinch collecting my arm hair, I made my monster all too well only to leave him out in the cold good for the grave. As rise up I and return to horizontal casings of his fine spurs.