I saw breath rise from the swamp this morning. Peat bogs were adorned with opals, the rain pond wore diamonds and boughs of holly masked the ancient cypresses.
Morning cold made the horses spirited their heads swayed left then right, they bucked, kicked, and cantered over the field.
It could have been steam rising off their backs, but I think I saw angels' breath.
The look is crisp - the color of wilted newspaper crinkled and imposing.
It's invigorating - a winter night's stroll across powder. I see him precisely, now.
Steel wheels grind against iron tracks, slip and spin, moan resistance, momentum each revolution. Stop,
chug, inch by inch forward metal groans, pistons churn boilers hiss. Steam and smoke choke the sky, a whistle wails, the bell clangs, clangs, clangs and the station begins to recede.
Speed catches up, the Doppler rumbles down the rail pulling quiet calm in its wake where bison once roamed.
from Voices in my Head used by permission of the author
Somewhere a thousand miles away a breeze whispers ripples to a pond. Acrobatic leaves tumble like rhythmic gymnasts performing over a reflection.
And we huddle around a fire watching stone soup boil as the wind lands blows against our backs.
A bamboo flute sings through swaying reeds, while dragon flies dance among mangroves. lit lanterns keep mosquitoes at bay and the warmth of a cool breeze tickles my skin.
My parrot's round black eye blinks with an idea. He holds his peanut upside down in his foot And with glee squeezes the shell until it cracks up. His humor is evident by the compound sentences he begins to jabber, explaining his joy.
In the distance, Cloud Mountain, holds back the river.
Dave Ruslander and his wife live quietly on a small farm in rural Virginia where their lives are enriched by the beauty of their horses, dogs, and cats. Dave began writing about five years ago and has learned to damn near mangle any grammatical rule known. His first book, Voices in My Head, has just been published. Dave suffers from Bipolar Disorder.
i have                                  plenty                                                  of                                                             both
on fire                          in a strange city of tight pants tight pants on a young belly                                                 holes            how strange the young belly show thru deep rosed plaster (ed)
money doesn't know where it goes
it goes into pockets                                  put on the found cups & left
the woman in white i saw her today on broadway across from the bertelsmann blding        a mega virgin w/e-mail as well as voice          mail   a lone male      for a moment            then the herd returns                  still alone writing this on corner                                  of 46th    heard of planet Hollywood          tho never been          the hershey store smelling like what else -         chocolate          colony records lp section closed                                  me the point of a compass            passerbys sweeping by                          like all an points bulletin                                  this side of the street    she says this side         she says i thought it was on this side of the street      she says you guys it's on this side
wherever i stand i am always in someone's way                                  - a domestic wind                          blowing thru my newly found                                                  oversized overcoat.
steve dalachinsky nyc written in times square 11/17/05
the furniture that holds dark things -             "hear the song i didn't                          sing to you" far & unavailable                  the lost opportunity of whatever          you were                          within the round                                  a roun ____d
i am a writer     therefore i pick up a pen i find on the street     the rain goes from thick to thin     the last leaves of the ginkgo spread themselves across the concrete                          like a wet blanket                          the empty benches wait out this storm                                          dark things on an even darker night.
steve dalachinsky nyc pt 1 2005 date unknown pt 2 11/16/05
margaret shows henry the met (cartoon1)
you shouldn't have given me such a gift - h says
we are here to find ourselves know our selves - m says
which is better - h asks the former or the latter?
virtue & sweet death - says m
& ectoplasm? h mutters smiling his child smile
that too m assures him
there are horrors in bklyn in queens awkward moments that only a gift giver can solve
fra angelico playing second fiddle van gogh showing his muscles exiled dreamers good gifts bad gifts & sweet death
when i'm alone h says i have no one to talk to but myself or the occasional stranger when with you we argue over the time & space in which one speaks exists
it depends always on the needs of the "Other" - m gently tells him speaking actually about her own selfish needs
foreign languages are our emotions she softly kicks him in the thigh like she would a pestering dog mumbling remembering memling @ the frick earlier that afternoon
centuries of portraits hard lines cameos drawings the pomposity & religiosity of prague implanted w/stone fragments hands images space
we fight for space -m says quietly we viciously fight but the windmills never topple will never topple violent pieces of scrap voices topple topples a soul(s) donor a short list of color
the thought only counts if you mean it m tells h
h wanders off in his mind his sad eyes fixed hazily on the speck of light darting out of an imaginary landscape.
memling @ the frick
memling's subjects always placed their hands at the edge of the canvas like a frame w/in a frame a brown balcony sometimes one atop the other sometimes holding a scrap of paper that seemed out of proportion w/the rest of the canvas & once what looked like a folded black fan
ghosts brows style wit postures without shape or plan relaxed as long as memory continues to relax reshape it self.
dalachinsky nyc @ frick & @ met 12/07/05 & @ home 12/08/05
She was inactive. Familiarity brought him winter. She wanted to be company. His mind wouldn't clear. So much for infrastructure. For once, no sign of several people.
Good news. Another male shook his own head. A chair. It was a hard-drinking man, he thought, hearing several voices. He hated their images, frowning. Several voices were not good news. Greedy. The only window, a little object.
The men rushed forward. They dragged her off him; obliterated, tall, narrow. Raised eyebrow. He woke up. The light! Shallow breathing. A little vague on details of his recent extravaganza. A stranger here. Angry friends in the middle of a future. The raving young woman. He had to breathe. To drink himself, unconscious. The entire absurd event.
So far, he didn't know. Unfortunately, for the first time. On the table, is the political environment. Surrounding it had been lots of big talk. About an half hour of it. Let it matter. He was still in the room.
He drew breath. He stood well balanced in an adjacent room. Hard-drinking man announced finally.
On the outer room, was now a crazed young woman he had formerly advocated, burst back; and sat smugly. Up and down stairs to the toilet. More than halfway up a step back. He was new, freshly packed; while he didn't know her, since the men's encroaching, which way to the little company. In some misunderstanding, side-stepped, nowhere, drawing one leg up, breathing through his mouth. In some ways, the girl could be the maximum company in the room. Raised eyebrow.
Which way to give meaning, make sense of the light from the girl. Her finger poked to ward her. Gripping hands. Could only pretend to avoid himself.
Little vague about it. He had to breathe. He was now a drunk. Once he was taller than anyone else in the summer. He felt like wood.
The only view to avoid himself. Old belly.
His eye was swollen.
He wasn't speaking to be released. Sucking air, money. A stranger of dust motes, a mouthful of clear spirit. Here he was to enter at himself, godforsaken, circling, the door to the images he didn't have. They dragged her about. She'd know she was hired.
A general reorganisation of a strange fall, for a few days, to lower the man. A vast fortune, accusing him. He handled such things. He was not terribly good. His voice could only pretend to become.
He had no sign of the window. He had to live out her days. Tastes. Hang him.
And then, in the room, a double brandy and family, while he sulked. The problem posed by compassion. Today he hated his gloom.
He thought maybe he'd be released in any sense. Existing. Unfortunately. Tongue the only furniture. In her face. In the exact place. Time announced finally. Tell your friends! Unrepentantly.
This singularity the edge. He was still more specifically. Tradition. Trying to drink himself. The only company in the winter. To drink himself to avoid himself. Could only pretend to be breath.
He thought maybe he'd taken it into his head. In despair. In the winter. No sign.
Simply holding to Fate, perpetually short of angry friends. Which he had always assumed. Liked her. Today especially. Today especially. Today, he was deposited here, young lady. Supposed to drink himself unconscious.
As a study.
He hated the length of him. Once he knew. What has happened to me? Blocking properties. The problem posed by the clock.
She shrieked, the man, standing on it yet, in the middle. The woman doing.
She was put out from her first time, staring, trying to enter, gills sucking. His eyes watered. His concentration ran down, scalp rippling, a halo of tracks. She squirmed free, standing again. Bony creature.
This singularity. Several voices were.
To gather himself.
She squirmed free, in the outer room, almost horizontal. No way to be released; the little creature's outrage always assumed, the extent of innovative myths.
Progenitors deserve themselves. A trick he'd learned. A warm tongue out, a halo of him, a clutter of not terribly good light.
Lawrence Upton. Poet; visual artist; sound artist; performer; based in West Penwith, Cornwall. Latest print publication WIRE SCULPTURES (Reality Street, 2003)
Drawn curtain day winding restless. Cooing won't calm those crying
cradle pains - a side-wound slap. Sleep teases with easy dreams,
nightmare halted breaths, going under water in a vault -
and you and I wound tight against the world, floating in the vast
expanse of black night - both crying like babies.
JodiAnn Stevenson: I am a writer and hypermedia artist currently living and teaching in Bay City, Michigan. My work has appeared in a variety of print and on-line journals including BathHouse, Buckle& and InkPot. Some of my hypermedia work can be seen on-line at www.bowlofmilk.com
In widow's weeds, the bull, the sun, the flower, the light bulb - it clings to room 7 of Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Guernica*, the fizzled-out horse, the woman.                                                                                     Ma'am                                                                                     so long as I                                                                                     assimilate themes                                                                                     from a cubed root                                                                                     suchlike 'whole pictures'                                                                                     in gone-bad colour                                                                                     you will remember:                                                                                     gun-burst at railways                                                                                     Jose on the bicycle,                                                                                     rose-tinting an escape                                                                                     in the blackness of your lace.
*Spanish Civil War painting by Picasso.
The Sea In My Cup
Deep acid like a warning at the edges of the sea                  where blister-bubbles tent corners of the red round cup                  itself death still bleeding. Magic-haystack of steam terrier-fringe tan and an impression which left the heaviest smile.
Christopehr Barnes: In 1998 I won a Northern Arts Writers award. In July 200 I read at Waterstones bookshop to promote the anthology 'Titles Are Bitches'. Christmas 2001 I debuted at Newcastle's famous Morden Tower doing a reading of my poems. Each year I read for Proudwords lesbain and gay writing festival and I partake in workshops. 2005 saw the publication of my collection LOVEBITES published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh.
Christmas 2001 The Northern Cultural Skills Partnership sponsored me to be mentored by Andy Croft in conjunction with New Writing North. I am about to make a radio programme for Web FM community radio about my writing group. October-November 2005, I entered a poem/visual image into the art exhibition The Art Cafe Project, my piece Post-Mark was shown in Betty's Newcastle. This event was sponsored by Pride On The Tyne. I have made a digital film with artists Kate Sweeney and Julie Ballands at a film making workshop called Out Of The Picture which was shown at the festival party for Proudwords. The film is going into an archive at The Discovery Museum in Newcastle and contains his poem The Old Heave-Ho. I am working on a collaborative art and literature project called How Gay Are Your Genes, facilitated by Lisa Mathews (poet) which will exhibit at The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University before touring the country and it is expected to go abroad, this will be funded by The Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Institute, Bioscience Centre at Newcastle's Centre for Life.
it's /A/ /where the fuck did it all come from/ that gives me trouble
assume big bang: /where the fuck did big come from?/
organized religion is like a bar night blowjob, sucks you in a rush of chemicals leaving you flaccid, running for the door feeling slightly dirty I realized this early on/ it was cemented when the man touched my sister/
it's never bothered me before, that I didn't know "what the fuck was up"
I ran rataplan in some hedonistic pancake dream/ chasing highs/ riding the low out with a blanket over the window/
but it's eating at me now/
cunt ain't enough/ money don't do it/
I'm afraid that i'll never know/
spend my life farting on some see saw -
- maybe this maybe that -
it's not even that i'll go to hell/ if that be, that be/
it's just some innate desire to know "what the fuck is up"
because hey/ it ain't 50hour mortgage 401k/ Toyota Camry clusterfuck/
and it ain't wife 2.4 kid dog
don't take no Kierkegaard to know that ain't it/
the unrest is crawlin like worms in my head/
and it ain't the meth/
be honest with me/
you smoke your cig/ drink your coffee/ smoke your weed/ milk your baby/ suck your man off/ lick your woman's clit at just the right speed/ graduate your baby from college/ bury your father/ pull your mom off life support/
it's not enough
but you turn your face and keep on going in that straight line/
well, I can't go in that straight line anymore/
so for now i'll
shoot this shit under my fingernails
hug the bottle/
fiddle with the word
set our clocks 12 minutes fast because growing up in Blairstown, IA grandma had a punctuality problem
mom was a thespian/she was perpetually dropped off late to practice/
her senior year/ late to the opening night of Grease/ 12 min late/ she was the lead/ the understudy sang/ mom watched
had such a dreadful fear of being late/
what time is it what time is it? she'd ask
had terrible bleeding ulcers over it
started fisting codeine and Oxycontin/ for the anxiety
helping my aunt Holly baste the Thanksgiving bird some prepubescent November long since past , she said to me "either you go on like your parents/ or you go in the opposite direction"
all those two did/
sit around blaming grandma over their shit fisted lives/
I blame gravity/
and that Ford fucker who invented the assembly line/
I was Marlon Brando for a day
A racing friend studied film at the University of Iowa
I was eating an omelet in the student union when he asked
"you want to act?, I got something you would be good for"
I thought about it between chews, I wasn't going to class, I knew that much, and I was getting burnt out on 9 ball and Budweiser at the Que bar/
"sure, what is it"
streetcar named desire,
he gave me the script/ "were just shooting a couple of scenes" he said
I rented the movie that day/
some beast of a man named Stanley, completely anathema to myself
screaming/ beating women
I didn't know if I could pull it off/
on the day:
fisted a handful of speed/ put on some tight jeans and a tighter white shirt/
scene: was at a poker table,
it went like this/ i get wild and the boys have to hold me back
i'm to much for em/ i hit Stella/ she runs/
i start wailing out the window/ call her on the phone/
she comes back i drop on my knees,
pick her up/ off to the bedroom/
that's all i remember.
i got into it though/
the speed and the thrill of it
and roughed up the boys to much/
the thin one cried because I scared him/
the camera people and sound people and director
looked at me in disbelief/ i was dripping sweat/ heart jumping out of my chest
"what the fuck do you want from me" I screamed/
my friend kevin calmed me/them
the scene where I dropped to my knees in front of Stella was done on concrete
we took it 3 times/
I fucked up my meniscus because I wanted it right/
the thing creaks now when I walk/
i've got a tape of it/
and it all looks pretty silly now/
the little lolly pop they got to play Stella
she thought i was something/
we got brained on 1$ long islands at the Field House
fucked liked the dirty animals we are/
she asked me to choke her/
and I did/
i asked her to slap me across the face/
we quivered in each others arms
I started sobbing
nothing has been as real since
Justin Hyde: My name is Justin Hyde, I live in Des Moines, IA. I was diagnosed with cyclothymic disorder in 1998. I am skeptical of psychology/psychiatry. I have a BS in psychology.
Nothing in his pockets, no food in stomach, he kisses the sleeping woman in the wrong places.
He found her in an antique car dreaming of better places, her mouth open, silent. Her tongue, dry like the Sahara desert.
He perceives it is her dreams that keep her alive as he watches her life course through her leaded-crystal bones.
She looks helpless with hands and fingers twisted by pain. Then on the back seat he sees her essence float and spread
between her breasts. He kisses their ivory smoothness. The taste reminds him of his hunger when she exhales a whisper,
Come into me Morpheus. He has nowhere to go so why not into the mythology uniting him and her in this trivial flea market.
And, why fucking not.
Conceived in Ukraine Alex Nodopaka exhibited first in Russia, 1940. Studied tongue-in-cheek at Ecole des Beaux Arts, Casablanca, Morocco. Foremost he is Artist, Author, Art critic, Lip service in 4 or 5 languages & English gibberish after a bottle of Fire Water (against professional advice).
As one door opens, another door closes. I need to learn how to put yesterday behind me. I sometimes hear children's voices
as I fall asleep. They know my name is not mine. I find it hard to walk away. As one door opens another door closes.
I know adults must make difficult choices. I can't choose. And I don't know what to say. Behind me, I sometimes hear children's voices.
My father heard voices, too. They knew what his problem was. The trick is to be ready as one door opens. Another door closes,
another chance lost: I'm not making progress. Not much. I can't put what I saw that day behind me. I sometimes hear children's voices
telling me I should stop and smell the roses. At least I had someone with whom to play. As one door opens, another door closes behind me. I sometimes hear children's voices.
Robert McLean: I'm a writer living in Christchurch, New Zealand. My poems have been published in Trout, Takahe, Spin, Bravado, Poetry New Zealand, Poetry Aotearoa, Southern Ocen Review, Blackmail Press, and Catalyst, as well as in Australia, the US, and UK.
Voices in My Head by Dave Ruslander 80 pages DSC Publishing $ 29.95 Poetry
When I read a book of poems that I am not naturally inclined to pick up, when I feel a gradual awareness while reading, an opening up of the inner eye into the poet's world, which has for a moment become my own, I know it is a book I'll read again. I felt this book won me over; I stayed in the middle of a line, sat up and took notice.
For me, this is a book of attention, both attentive to the world around the poet, the world beyond him, and the inner sea he navigates.
Some of these poems offer a clear vision, the writing so clean, clear-cut, and polished.
In "Blue Ridge Mountains" he writes, "Vermillion fingers stroke the west face/as the sun melts into the horizon/and black falls out of the blue."
I think the fact that the poet has bipolar disorder lends an added poignancy to the reading of these poems.
In "Rapacious", he begins, "Funny how the black dog glows/carrying his quarry./ When the game turns,/ he will nip at our heels/ and we will be the hunted,//shooting blanks…"
The book is beautifully produced with eye-catching art accompanying the poems. Some of the artists include Mia, Teresa White, Don Schaeffer, Schar Freeman, Barbara Ruslander, and the poet himself.
I think this is a quiet, reflective book to be picked up and read slowly. While reading, step back and let your inner eye take over.