Monthly Archives: January 2007

Bullet Brain

In the church the wood-boned orphan — soul minister becomes Christ
     fate; he fashions no wings of dream-bone, papal claws
     which sermons gorge crucifixion visions.
In the rag born streets of headless doctrine & ewenich
    commandment, star spread far & dumb, who dares to draw my
    death across rotting skull already filling with worms under
     rubble satori?
In the basement, new worship at white thighs, garden love under smoke
     blaze halos, news of car bombings Al Jazera bonsai sneak
     prostration stabbings of Ghost & Vishnu before heavy

Mosque swallowed in inferno mortuary —

Cain cannibalizes on funeral elephant processions wearing
    umbilical Kali Ma shawl denouncing the visions of his wombed
    fetuses to be spectre magicians inviting God,
    Itself impregnate Abel with sweet pearl truth.
In the swamp, Kali re-emerges cold-witherings sweating His pubescent
    curly-haired sloth-skeleton rowing valley cosmic bones to long
    cool exhalation glum star breaths pressed into lotus, bleeding from
Kerry, drear vested before podium & man, Boston set afire on the
    teradactl oceans, Bush lobbbying short-armed AIDS bombs, gone
    away for Berea roll sleeves flip out patterns Dennis Northcutt
    morning grunt black-arsenal walk through
In the shelters, medicine men swap cigarettes for burlesque girl
    poker decks emptying membrane clay gods into garage cans
    licking their hands of immortality Gandhi-eyed-guerilla-terrorist-
    angels pull wool blankets over ahimsa lock-box, biting through
    tongue & lip
Maple rage orange-jump-suited bodies of truck-drivers civilian reformers
    swinging hammer unfurled before black-bed-sheet-eyes the Voice
    coming from veil careless caller’s sought indemnity what
    treacheries accrued with demons closed —
Rifle-insurgents plop Lotus-Land-calm-faced-sawed-off-heads on
    shoulder blades screaming ALLAH IS GREAT, GOD IS
Iraq police doth sign for yr shining puma in diamond night,
    airmailed, taped up amongst Golgothic sacs of boxed rice,
    bananas & soy while Muhammad’s baby-teeths call
    for American Sow to be flung in the mandharva moonshine &
    shredded with Ovid’s anthrax-tipped arrows reciting Rumi;
thinking hollow-barreled threat diggings upon snowy-temple
In the meditation hall, yr sirens are starved & estranged eating each other
    for silence, black & white television rolling over turbine of filtered
    eminent ghost-meat.
In the dying shadow late Sunday gleam, suburban diesel mothers drop off
    tee-ball tricksters for cold soda & butane grilled flesh.
teen-agers mirthed in bad girl swapping huddles on boys,
    brick movie palace sleeping on neon shows, black-eyed
     audiences no escape celluloid dream.
I slip back in my fate-bones weakened by useless warding off of Death &
     Her Dominion
This world is Her abiding place
Queen Bullet Brain, I light a cigarette/break bread with the howls of
hungers/eating my mind.

Paul Skyrm


Is not my time
The night ghosts have not yet gone
They leap-frog through my gray cells
Green leaf hoppers in the bush
Bite where they land
And suck the sap
Of my spirit

Marv Smith

I could get used

I could get used
to 4 in the morning
even the birds begin
to sing at 4 in the
morning maybe it’s
the way your eyes
look when you smile
or the way your hair meets your ear never
before have I been tied
to a kitchen chair. When
I was a child I
played the game Red
Rover and I remember
the day that Debbie
and I cried Red Rover Red
Rover let Donna come over
well anyway I ended up
with a cracked skull
but Debbie’s grandmother knew
just what to do she
took a knife and she
made the blade cold
with some ice and then
she pressed it against my
head. I say this because it
is a simple game either
the opponent breaks through
tethered hands or he
is trapped by them.

Today just before
The sun begins to
Rise I will
Kneel by the side
Of the bed and I
Will say a prayer
For you and then
When I am finished
I will begin to
Pray for myself.

Russell Vidrick

I Stand Upon the Aluminum Dock:

I stand upon the aluminum dock alone

Staring into the murky waters.

An image of memories appear before my youthful eyes.

I see myself, a young child, sitting on the bed.

Stricken with the measles.

In the afternoon sunlight.

The linens brilliant with the illuminated warmth of Alpha Omega.

A year later I lie upon the same sunlit bed.

A couple of pillows beneath my sore butt.

I received a sterilized glass syringe topped with a stainless steel hypedermic needle right in the butt while I was suffering with scarlet fever.

Across the floor boards of the bedroom, upon my brother’s bed stood Harry Houdini.

He claimed he could get out of the chains and shackles of my youth.

I sit there unwrapping a chocolate bar.

My dog sits upon the rug beside my bed.

The sunlight answers all my detailed, anxiety riveted questions.

I am being groomed to be an old rabbi.

My young butt is imprinted with prophecy.

And I chew the chocolate.

Outside, down the hall, I hear the phone ring.

Father is talking to the family doctor.

My old dog sleeps in the sunlight.

I am a child.

Stricken with scarlet fever.

I am young sitting on the front stoop of our family house.

Picking off aromatic leaves from the spearmint patch.

The afternoon newspaper is sitting folded upon the porch.

My dog lies sleeping by my side.

Japanese beetles are massing throughout Mrs. Page’s rose garden.

The Negro garbage man pushes a cart up the driveway.

I stand before the child’s summer sun . . . pretending to light an old chocolate cigar.

A bird settles into the bushes.

The slow milk truck putts down the summer asphalt.

The mailman comes casually walking across our front lawn.

Chewing gum beneath the first class postage of his ruddy complexion.

Always a warm smile for the kids.

Mom hangs the linen upon the long clothes line in the backyard.

An apple pie cools upon the window ledge.

Slowly steam rising from the aging family archives.

Children running through the grasses laughing as they go.

Dogs barking while jumping wildly in the summer afternoon.

The radio rests upon the painted wooden sill broadcasting ancient songs.

The newpaper pages flutter about in the warm winds.

And I walk slowly to my bed of marigolds.

So brilliant and orange like a gift from Achilles.

The bushes riddled with little pink blossoms.

Zeus told Paris to choose the most beautiful woman upon Earth.

This surely was “The Judgement of Paris”.

Would it be Hera, Athena or Aphrodite.

All these goddesses offered him bribes.

Aphrodite offered him Helen of Troy . . . standing there in a white gown upon an ocean’s cliff.

The most beautiful woman in the world!

I stand there in the sandbox with my shovel in my hand.

Baffled by her beauty.

There beside my mother as she is pinning up the billowing sheets in the warm summer winds.

It was Paris that shot the poisoned arrow into Achille’s heel.

“My marigolds! My marigolds!” I let out the cry.

It is late afternoon and Dad comes rolling up the driveway.

In his old red Plymouth.

I go running to him crying out “Hi Daddy! What have you got for me?”

Climbing out in his gray business suit he reaches down and picks me up and kisses me upon the cheek.

Oh yes, those awesome summer winds are blowing!

Neighborhood children come out of the bushes, from beneath the slide and elsewhere in the organic nature of the cataclysmic hour.

The evening sun crashes all about our backyard!

Children of Achilles wrapped in the finest of linen.

I even have fresh tobacco for The Medicine Man.

Mother set up for a dinner at the picnic table.

We engulf a meal of grilled hamburgers, hotdogs and beans.

Spitting the seeds of the melon.

Mom brings out a white cake.

I feed a few bites to an old dog.

We help Mom clear the dishes and load the washer.

Now it is time for TV.

And later we climb into our pajamas.

And crawl into our children’s beds.

Dad comes in to read us a story and Mom comes up to kiss us good night.

And so that is a day in the life of this young Jew.

Where the holy scriptures are read from right to left.

And one day our children will themselves beget children, too.

Until then I just sit here at my computer computing freshly baked poetry.

And reading my holy poems completely backwards.

But for now I hear the radio.

And the crickets remaining from the holy lands.

I sit at my window . . .


Peter Leon


I remember when I first
Saw you draw a fish / or
Was it a bird / and I under-
Stood the possibilities of
Art / realizing I had no talent
I thank you for that

I remember when others
Bade me fight / sometimes
I ran but sometimes I fought
Sometimes I lost and some-
Times I won / I thank you
For that

I remember when I lied
And you believed me and
Other times when I told the
Truth and it meant more
To me and no one listened
I thank you for that

I remember when I first
Loved / and you loved me
Back and when I cried be-
Cause it hurt more than any
Fight I’d ever lost / more
Than any lie I’d ever told

And I remember Death
When he came for someone
Close / and I understood
One day he would come
For me / for this and all
I’ve forgotten I thank you


song for the dead

eight grade our souls green opening
baskets shooting baskets dance
hips swivel with the feet chain
dance snowing seeds spring seeds
soul seeds under the cottonwood
eighth grade in your basement smoke
your father dead now dead now
it’s 1968 can’t let go
clutching slow dancing cottonwood snowing smoke
in the night freedom basketball light
shining above the backboard shining
in my eyes smoke
martin luther your father dead like any man
white or black doctor pediatrician smoke stopping
his heart luther take aim let go don’t look
back don’t look back
the screened in green fingers of our minds
probing the face of god clutched
clutched clutched and let go take aim backboard shot
in the night
smoke curling
into the basket into the light
dead like any man
not any man
smoke doctor pediatrician king
history dead hammock gone
and i can’t let go of eighth grade riding
in an open convertible
riding top down the first time
kissed slow dance in my basement don’t look
back you stood back from the kiss
holding my hand hollywood
gazing into my eyes basement
hollywood and i laughed i laughed i want to take
back that nervous titter thin white girl lips twenty years
twenty years i’ve wanted to take back that laugh
and finish that kiss still want to plant
that kiss
shot in memphis
and you doctor like
your father dead now dead father lost basketball lost
dance lost convertible lost cottonwood lost
hammock lost lost kiss let go let it go
don’t look back

wendy shaffer


. . . amidst distanced antennae
Distortion / part of the eerie
Construct of sound / disturbs
& perverts like one hand
Clapping / moaning for effect
The affected intrusion / sings
Siren songs in the language
Of science

(fiction or fact)

The future of the past still
Revels in its relevance
Inspiring the voice of the
Present / no hip hop / no
Progressive rock / no retro
This / no / just a lamb
Jumping fences in the
Pastures of night


Imagined Illness

After writing a poem
I feel nauseous
The process inspires
Requires me to take
Not standing up too
Not eating directly
After getting so
Much out
Nothing left inside
Stomach growls
New hungers
Kin to a new love

(old memories)

Only safer
Less intricate &
Easier to clean up

Old memories
Inspire new poems
And the process
My immune system
Is shot
Could be worse
Could be
Confronted by
Old love

(feeling nauseous)


Pseudo security

Iraq where’s your Mind gone off to
What heroic force
can save the people
from a great tyrant
Bully demanding
Sacrifice to god
of Megadeath
shall we deploy
the planes and guns
and make all
tyrants Jealously
Be eyeing Material
of counterdeployment
as if all these poor
soldiers only expendable PAWNS


for pseudo
health of
such pitiable

marian andrade