Thursday, November 02, 2006

Issue 21

Michael P. Workman

Price's Tomb

i know i am a villain now (i come from a country hill)
when i used to think
arriving everywhere let us say ilona carlon-plitt's house
or elizabeth de la rosa
wet-thighed bruhas
believing myself to be containable against open stretches of summer
but lost
always i remember stealing her old david bowie CDs
while her mother and her picked spinach and rhubarb down outside
cutting my wrist on the broken plastic and rubbing the blood on her
young breasts
later at my dad's house (that was in 96? on the mileground as it was called i also stole bikes and the emblems of cars
as there were at least 6 or 7 used car lots)
i loved her but she was cruel and later i was cruel
as she did not love me

she showed me the flowers she stole from dorsey avenue graveyard
the rain made it smell good there
it lit up the honeysuckle and the wet earth smelled good
and oddly familiar like the smell of any book
we fed each other tulip petals
on top of Price's tomb
and the rain kept coming and she talked about the different pills she had eaten once in Pittsburgh
with some other boy who i hated at once

and then i gave a prophecy, to myself only, petalmeat on my face:

"she will haunt that graveyard better than any ghost
we will find her dress beneath the old virgin statue
and wonder if that woman died a virgin"

but i haven't been back to the graveyard yet so i don't know.
i doubt i'll ever go.
her hispanic/irish lips aren't blowing like tumbleweed there;
her underwear won't whistle in that wet dark.
and Price was always a dead bore.

Adrienne's Arch

Is there anything more than this, Adrienne?

If day is piled on day
and even carefully plotted
one day removed at a time
Adrienne, could it collapse the whole arch?

The ferrydiddles chatter in Whitmoore Park even as
their cheeks bulge--
like Botticelli breasts--
and retreat down the fronded gully
towards the reticent birch,

prolonging its
extension towards the sun.
Priapic and sprawled like a whorehouse joke,
and the bark always peeling, always peeling,
like the cooking girls who must have wept
at Birkenau
(from the onions).

"Raus, little muskrat:
and the pike seized the wretched stoat."
Adrienne, your golden legs unshaven,
Adrienne, all singing of a goat.

You got away once down Decker's Creek
like a flooded rainbow trout.
The slag and greenglass cutting your toesies.
You got away I didn't know what about.
I was stumped, I just listened to music.

Adrienne tell me, where this wall is going?
Adrienne tell me, why the Reich is falling?

You were Vichy but Roman and tall.
I remember some mumbling, that's all.

Verking on the miletowers.
Milles borne, I fucked your cousin at the tip of the Po,
but you hardly see a lady round here.
We are doing this for the arrogant tits of Roma,
her dugs tumored, as the piebald limestone
is quarried.

"Raus, Verkman, use both hands!"
I remember my name is an honest one.

But I am just here for the Mithril.
So don't cock your Corsican pistol.

My men today would rape you in Calabria,
but let you live.
Stuff you in the boot of a Volkswagen,
huff the fumes,
be us a sybil.

I guarded the hill by the Rhine.
My eyes were an oily black
like Pennsylvanian coal.
You came back tanned, having
fucked every man in Naples,
gargling cum like the head of Orpheus
drowning in the rhythms of the water
as his body bobbed by the dykes.
He took you justly and his wisdom
storms you now.
He shares the river with your aborted roe.

Adrienne, by gosh, where does the next stone go?
Adrienne, by nelly, how far do these fablers throw?

Moses, smell the roses, and tell us by your nose--
How crooked is this ambling arch that grows?
Mothers of mother mary, who shooketh the sea?

At the meeting outside the temple, you serve me green tea.
Men ask after your ethnicity, hazarding Italian,
begging glances.
One day at a time?
I finger a red pebble as you ramble
At the ex-coke head and gambler
With a scorpion tattoo on his foot.
I pull the wrong day, from a series of days,
And sun falls back in the dirt.

When I'm back from hell,
My prettiest bell,
I will wipe my nose on your skirt.

what's happening?

i am streamlined but boxy with a shaven head and black square geek frames.
i don't feel anything yet.
when will i like people in a quiet way?
i'd hate to die.

i don't feel nothing but yawns.
i stay still as i do it.
afterwards i tremble a little.
these are connections.

a lot of people must have done a lot of things.
think about it.
thing about it is:
it's history.

i never wanted to stop doing anything.
not even the ones that hurt.
i've been around this town for too long.
around the buildings and roads.
time limits.

i had a prognosis:
do things, it will not seem like forever.
close your eyes at night.
work your holes.

fought some kind of battle.
they all come out the same way.
drink this, cure the cough.
cough it up.
see what happens.

Michael P. Workman was born and raised in Morgantown, West Virginia. He writes sporadically and has been published not recently on other e-zines, such as Duct Tape Press. He hopes that his writings, taken together, will some day exhibit a very full range of sometimes extreme, but always human, experience and emotion. He posts at Salty Dreams Poetry Forums.

Michael P. Workman Lois Marie Harrod Joel Fry Steve Dalachinsky Aldo Tambellini Charles Frederickson Stan Dunn

Lois Marie Harrod

Depression's Sonnet

No matter that the moony gourd of night
has spilled black wine into the stars,
by morning the sun will wipe it up
and the sky will come clean again as a sheet.

This is not the easy comfort I give to children
but to the dark liquid itself as it pours over me,
wait until morning, the body will find its rag
to mop the spill, the reddest wine returns to water.

But, no, this is no miracle I can guarantee
even to myself nor can I explain
the way time has become distorted,

my night lasting most of the day and the day
passing like the slipper of a small star,
I know how darkly I could die.

Lois Marie Harrod's chapbook Put Your Sorry Side Out was published by Concrete Wolf in 2005, and she won a 2003 fellowship, her third, from the New Jersey Council on the Arts for her poetry. Her sixth book of poetry Spelling the World Backward (2000) was published by Palanquin Press, University of South Carolina Aiken, which also published her chapbook This Is a Story You Already Know (l999) and her book Part of the Deeper Sea (l997). Her poems have appeared in many journals, among them American Poetry Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Southern Poetry Review, American Pen, Prairie Schooner, The Literary Review, Zone 3, Green Mountains Review. Her earlier publications include the books Every Twinge a Verdict (Belle Mead Press, l987), Crazy Alice (Belle Mead Press, l991) and a chapbook Green Snake Riding (New Spirit Press, l994).

Michael P. Workman Lois Marie Harrod Joel Fry Steve Dalachinsky Aldo Tambellini Charles Frederickson Stan Dunn

Joel Fry


Come to me now
while sunlight pillows
a black-turned field.
Earth's slow simmer
is summer blood mixing,
you and I
shoulder to shoulder.

Hard crusts
and leaf rims
with every step.

And the creek,
listening with sharp ears,
turns new
on silver sides.


For today, I live in the legend
of the present, past rows of hedgerows
and houses deep in flowers and gardens deep
in spring in the reach of all unknown
that is whispered into the earth.

I live alone for now,
still waiting in the room
but not for a call.

A woman moves past me.
In traffic she is my friend.
When I kiss her hand I have
known her.

When she wakes me up
at night I expect her.
When she hands me
our son after son,
the long line stretches
past war and death,
through plane flights
to Nashville and Christchurch.

I am almost her.
She waits for me to come home.

Joel Fry: I live in Athens, Alabama, and I work as a mental health worker in Decatur, Alabama. In my work I try to improve the lives of the mentally ill and mentally retarded. I have had work published in the Melic Review, Stirring and Eclectica.

Michael P. Workman Lois Marie Harrod Joel Fry Steve Dalachinsky Aldo Tambellini Charles Frederickson Stan Dunn

Steve Dalachinsky

blood blossoms ( with a nod to John Ford's Perkin Warbeck )

i am a man without parents
an orphan
a stone stoppeth in my bladder
pink-flecked against pink tiles
a huge spider
i brush my teeth
rain slowed
mist breathing
absorbed by mts.
dream an affliction
as bad as money
as passionate as the kinsmen that
beshrew me
with their (objective invectives)
i am struck by abject lowness
must try to unlearn myself
again & finally
i feel like stitched preferment
a pledge of truths
a pith of contradictions
& henceforth a princess
NAY of blood
no pawns
untainted & drawn upon
take my head, kind sir
whilst my tongue can still wag
tis fit
i overpass in silence
the rain begins to pile upon itself
i am struck by prerogatives & stragglers
rogueships & familiarity do not come cheap
sentiment ever cease pithy imposture
screwed to distraction, persecution & torment
i commend thee to importunity reprieved
t' endangerment the harness & digest derision &
blood blossoms from my eye-lets
my skin punched full of
i live mutt'ring creeps
let me die in this lousy hole of hunger
i blow on the spider
it animates & scurries into a corner
feeling unseen
pink on pink wall
i feel contrary concealment
a studious thief of candor
such another treasure the earth is bankrout of
i owe a fee of thankfulness to destiny
& oratory
to intolerable cruelty
& death
most of all to death
& its voluntary compulsion
i have the charm of witchcraft
blood shed
& stiff neck'd arrogance
this day of the week is ours
i soon travel home
the day of battle will be Monday
& let us pray the butchers spare us
coarse creatures are incapable of excellence
let the hangman come
tis most fit that my ripeness be the ambition
of your mercy
i am a man without parents
an orphan
a stone that might become polished glass
if harvested well
i must thank you who have infringed upon my liberty
brute beasts who have both rock & cave to fly back to
i dare both motion
herald sound
these birds that speak even thru the dense rain
it is my pleasure to dine with you next week
the fabric of my designs is tottering
my judging eyes blossom counterfeit tears
tis fit i overpass in silence
desperately miserable indeed
tis wise that i suffocate these obsolete phrases
tis brave i interrupt these obsolete words
for today
for right now
our bodies when purged of corrupted blood
can rise in good health
let me rise - an orphan - a man without parents
find a place where i am welcomed
& beshrew the knowledge of our natures
for no more are we impassioned wild runagates
& the spider too shall one day vanish from our sight
dine with me next week
the hangman comes on tuesday
tis fit
tis only fit
that i should overpass in silence.

steve dalachinky sasebo city, japan 5/19/06

Bud Powell - for Yoshiko Otomo

ho ho keh kyo ho ho keh kyo ho ho keh kyo oh oh Yo shi ko
oh oh Yoshiko
- throat is gloved    & we are so full of self-pity
                      taut urges   diminished

nightingale singing outside your window ( oh oh Yo shi ko oh oh Yo shi ko )
followed unexpectedly i send you my twisted fear & young man's love
strutting like a wild bird of desire in the dense rainy morning
& breaking down - stroked & diminished
( your appetite still full like your smile )
i kiss you gently on the lips & say goodbye
you chanson me with your tiny voice & utter Bud Powell
i kiss you again on the forehead - yup that Bud Powell is really sumthin -

you die on a beautiful spring morning
slight wind
scent of flowers in the air
one canary yellow sock on - the other off
there on the floor beside you in the kitchen where you had fallen
it is Mother's Day
what is this strange gift you give us @ 9 a.m.?   Ah Yoshiko
the talking doll that kept you company
sits on the kitchen table
mumbling unintelligibly in its funhouse voice -
i break with the room
pull away the table
& become that brilliant partner
soft stuffed lizard of a doll with its programmed emotions
i'm not allowed to eat bad food   but i do
the day smells of perfume
the women break down then the men
i send you my slippers
my lonely selfish consciousness
pudding - french toast
& romantic french cinema
wrought iron roses - linked arms - & a kiss on the lips every day
soft pale lips -   OH   OH YO   SHI KO OH OH YO SHI KO
a tear falls on my shoe - single voice clustered harmonies - ghost of a chance
there is a perfumed wind as you cross the channel
a slight mist hangs over the mountains
this one's about grey hair   i think
Bud Powell splashed quick & delicate around the kitchen
i missed your departure but saw you lying there breathless
a shy & breathless dignity that even death could not dismiss
a slight wind & i hand out tissues to everyone
as we weep        a tear falls onto my shoe     it is Mother's Day
everything but death is in a language i don't understand
but maybe death too
alright i'll stop crying - a perfect gift for us all on this day of mothers

we all write our own stories
the emergency room is one legged bleeding fingers
teeming with LIFE
it's Mother's Day
did we push your innocent smile too hard?
Oh oh   Yoshiko   Oh oh   Yo shi ko
i pick up your tiny sock & place it on the chair
push the table back into place
this time it was death that brought us here
not good food - scenery - or strong constitutions
those these are in abundance
clusters of notes fall
you must learn to live for others
if you've given up living for yourself
don't wear red on red days
breathe   Yoshiko    breathe
this is a perfect gift you give us on this day of mothers
even the doctor must feel blessed

mist rising   &   exploded
wind exploded
tears falling     exploded
smells     exploding
your heart full     just exploded

i touch your brow - break down
                                  Bud Powell
        i whisper
                   Bud Powell

mist rising from my eyes     Ho   oh   Yoshiko   Ho oh Yoshiko Ho oh Yoshiko

steve dalachinsky sasebo city japan 5/14/06

steve dalachinsky was born after the last Big War & has managed to survive lots of little wars. his poems have appeared extensively in journals on & off line such as, Big Bridge, Milk, Unlikely Stories, Xpressed, Evergreen Review. Long Shot, Alpha Beat Soup, Xtant, Blue Beat Jacket, Unbearable Assemblage Magazines, NY Arts Magazine, and the Lost and Found Times. plus such anthologies as Beat Indeed, The Haiku Moment and the esteemed Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. He has written liner notes for the CDs of Anthony Braxton, James "Blood" Ulmer, Matthew Shipp, Roscoe Mitchell & many others. His 1999 CD, Incomplete Direction, a collection of his poetry read in collaboration with various musicians, such as William Parker, Matthew Shipp, Daniel Carter, Sabir Mateen, Susie Ibarra, Thurston Moore (SonicYouth), Vernon Reid (Living Colour)has garnered much praise. His most recent chapbooks include Trial and Error in Paris (Loudmoth Collective - 2003), Lautreamont's Laments (Furniture Press - 2005), In Glorious Black and White (Ugly Duckling Presse - 2005), St. Lucie (King of Mice Presss - 2005) Are We Not MEN & Fake Book (2 books of collage - * Page Press -2005). Dream Book (Avantcular Press - 2005). His latest book is The Final Nite (complete notes from a Charles Gayle Notebook - Ugly Duckling Presse - 2006). His latest cd is Phenomena of Interference with pianist Matthew Shipp (Hopscotch Records - 2006) He has read his work extensively in the N.Y. area and throughout Europe.

Michael P. Workman Lois Marie Harrod Joel Fry Steve Dalachinsky Aldo Tambellini Charles Frederickson Stan Dunn

Aldo Tambellini

November 5, 1990

met garcia lorca
standing under
the gigantic
dish antenna
the signal
bouncing off
the bloody moon &
back past years
into a jungle
lorca tells me
of the people
vomiting on
new york streets
while famished dogs
tear off the liver
of the homeless
living in subterranean tunnels
then I see
lorca's skeleton
passing by silently
then I say
I know you
from the underbelly
below the brooklyn bridge
they killed you
for being a poet

"He has done more damage with the pen than others have done with the pistol." Alanzo Ruiz, the Falangist who came to arrest Lorca. The squad executed Lorca at the Fountain of Tears, July 1936

Aldo Tambellini was born in Syracuse, New York in 1930 his father from Brazil, his mother from Italy. At eighteen months, he was taken to Italy where he lived in Lucca, Tuscany. A survivor of the bombing of his neighborhood during World War II, Aldo, at an early age, experienced first hand the oppression of the Fascists and later the terror of Nazis in Italy. He returned to the United States in 1946. He received a BF from Syracuse University and an MFA in Sculpture from Notre Dame University. Active in the 60's Counterculture Movement in NY. He pioneered in Video Art and Multi-Media Performances. He co-founded The Gate & The Black Gate Theatres in the Lower East Side, NYC in the 60's for experimental films, radical plays and performances. He became a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at the MIT. His art, films and media work have been featured widely nationally and internationally. Since 1984 he has concentrated on writing and performing his Social Poetry in numerous venues. In 1998, he founded and hosted the venue "The People's Poetry" in Cambridge, MA. His poems have been published widely and translated into Italian, Sicilian and Russian His most recent work is a computer generated movie, "Listen," a political stand against war, screened at several International Film Festivals, won the 2005 New England Film Festival in the Short Film by Independent Filmmaker Category and First prize in the Syracuse Film Festival for Best Experimental Short Film. Aldo's visual poems are currently in exhibit at the Guerilla Art Show at the Altered Aesthetics Gallery in Minneapolis, MI.

Michael P. Workman Lois Marie Harrod Joel Fry Steve Dalachinsky Aldo Tambellini Charles Frederickson Stan Dunn

Charles Frederickson

Chanted Blessings

Calling saffron robed monks to
Order cast tongue-tied clapper resounds
Bronze wind chimes gold leaf
Coated playfully tickling gentle breeze

Dangling knee crossings awkward lotus
Position bent pretzel limbs benumbed
Suffering discomfort taken for granted
Tucked under barefoot ignoble truths

Clockwork precision temporarily loses face
Hands raised in noontide “wai”
Timely cogwheel mechanism on hold
Skipped heartbeats dispelling cerebral thought

Spilt darkness dusk evaporates midnight
Twelfth of nevermore or less
Almost normal anxious moments collide
Impossible dreams laid to rest

Eyelids sag butterfly lashes flutter
Pious flesh committed to self-denial
Exposed indulgences tripping over themselves
Leaning on crutches embedded slivers

Novice goldfish explore underwater depths
Surfacing for breaths balanced keel
Stony willful free spirits petrified
Ticked off secondhand promises recycled

Continental Drift

South America and Africa once
Fit snugly puzzle pieces conjoined
Supercontinent called Pangaea jigsaw giant
Leavened bread rising above crust

Map constantly changing slowly reforming
Avoiding ethnic purges moral collisions
Acoustic tectonic faults dissonant counterpoint
Bullyragging push comes to shove

Split personality wedges floating icebergs
Enormous chips off polar block
Bottom heavy global warming meltdown
What lies beneath surface enigmas

Conical peaks eruptive liquid core
Lava wake blinking false eyelashes
Mascara running down dimpled cheeks
Molten teardrops steamy demonic wraiths

Mass exodus inhumane forced migrations
Stranded refugees anywhere else bound
Fleeting dreams too soon forgotten
On edge destinies inextricably linked

Desert Oasis

Sahara from Arabic signifying desert
Barren arid wasteland borderless space
Eternal life straddling halfway equator
Edgy horizon yields diminishing returns

Spiritual exile invoking stillborn vespers
Dunes hewn by relentless gusts
Buried alive fossils protest smother
Peregrine falcon talons swooping prey

Sandscape contains nothing but distance
Serene oasis craving left aloneness
Fertile green spot tenting tonight
Mineral springs contemplative silent reflection

Nipped buds prematurely forced open
Crushed petals potpourri alluring scents
Perfuming air frankincense myrrh incensed
Black gold hubbly-bubbly pipe dreams

Blinding obsidian squint blurry shuteye
Dilated pupils refocus star-chamber heritage
Ripening date clusters palm fronds
Feather dusters fanning torrid swelter

Du’a supplication five times daily
Prayer rugs directed towards Mecca
Parched lips whisper eventide devotion
Seeking divine atonement bowing Salaam

Dr. Charles Frederickson is a Swedish-American-Thai 4midable, 10acious, cre8ive 1derer who has wandered intrepidly through 206 countries, an original sketch and poem for each presented on He is a member of World Poets Society, based in Greece, with credits including 100+ publications on 5 continents, such as: Ascent Aspirations, Auckland Poetry, Blind Man’s Rainbow, Caveat Lector, Cordite Poetry Review, Greatworks, Green Dove, Indite Circle, Listen & Be Heard, Living Poets, Madpoetry, Melange, Newtopia, New Verse News, Planet Authority, Poetry Canada, Poetry of Scotland, Poets for Peace, Poetry Superhighway, etc.

Michael P. Workman Lois Marie Harrod Joel Fry Steve Dalachinsky Aldo Tambellini Charles Frederickson Stan Dunn

Stan Dunn

About the Bug

            from words found in The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Gregor's armor plated back,
legs waving helplessly,
brown fluid issuing from his mouth,
dripping on the floor
isn't what brought
his parents
to the the brink of
it was his success,
translated into their coin;

Now UngezieFer -
family suppressed disgust,
exercised patience, a little,
yet thought him
the root of trouble;

Shedding his
human background
opened before him
the unknown
nourishment craved: Father.

The rage
brought a melancholy silence,
a vacant and peaceful meditation,
the last faint flicker of breath
from the unfortunate son.

*UngezieFer is German for vermin, or bug.

Stan Dunn is better known for his work in abstract experimental art for which he holds signature membership in the International Society of Experimental Artists. His poetry and art play off of each other, challenging the reader to reflect on subjects that are often less than pleasant.

Michael P. Workman Lois Marie Harrod Joel Fry Steve Dalachinsky Aldo Tambellini Charles Frederickson Stan Dunn