Monthly Archives: September 2007


Dreams are merely sarcasm in
Disguise / a confusion of subtle
Camouflage / stolen moments
To make you believe otherwise
Of the moon & roses / of sex &
Heroism when all is only as you
Left it / except for the disembodied
Laughter & the light seems a bit
Disturbed / like autumn in July or
A faded shade filtering the sun

Nightmares are different / removing
The mask to reveal a punch line
No one finds very funny / in rented
Rooms where gloom hides all your
Secrets vanity becomes a mirror
Image of nothing left to romanticize
& laughter’s a leaky radiator hissing
Lullabies to keep you from another
Sleepless night (counting sheep is
illegal in certain states)



The car in front of me was waiting at a traffic sign yielding
to air passing bye. While watching the young woman with baby
stuff I remember when I was driving home from
the hospital with my son and wife for the first time
and the car couldn’t go any faster than 25 mph. When I tried
to go on the freeway the car steered it self down side streets
all the way home. I was no longer in control of anything.

This little 10 lb creature was in my car in my house but bigger than a universe
of uncertainty that was staring up at me, like he knew me, big brown eyes blinking.
Any way that’s what I thought when I saw the baby stuff in the car in
front of me waiting for air to pass bye.

As I drove off I thought of how few maps
there are for being a parent or being a baby for that matter and all
the roads that didn’t exist then that do now and how
many new homes have been built but there are less and less
jobs. Soon my son and daughter will graduate and need
one and time passes so quickly I wasn’t really scared driving home with
my daughter but it was pretty neat to see my son hold his sister in
his arms when she was 8 hours old and I am taking a picture of it. There
was no fear caught in the picture but it was constantly hiding the map I really needed
and then I would get that gut tightening feeling combined with a how did this
all happen to me to them without a map?

I began wondering, who has
time to read maps anyway? I mean I am tryin’ to get from
Point A to Point 33 and I can’t even remember where the damn map is which
would be pointless anyway because fear will hide the flippin’ thing and
by then I would be in a new neighborhood that hasn’t even been visited by a
cartographer so there aren’t any maps for where I am any how . . .
so why bother looking for one?

I have been driving to an art show where
expressions will be hanging on the wall and sculpted visions will
be displayed. And I remember that young Mother and her baby who
could end up with a drawing or picture there and how do you find a map for that?

Steve Thomas


when he was pulled over for speeding
his wife was in the back seat
in eight different garbage bags

some men would never let their wife ride in the back seat
and other men

would never drive over the speed limit
when disposing of
a dismembered body

(people handle situations differently)

kimberley diamond bones

when the summer of love died

when the summer of love died
she tied her still palpitating heart in twine
& told it to stay put.
she climbed on her riding machine
& filled her purple day with mad cow errands.

the world & its grocery cart people
seemed hollowed out
an echo surrounding them.
she could only relate to the empty space
in a room, not the voided
humans, the tattered loveseat,
the everpresent song.

when the summer of love died
she hitched her boat up to the team
of falling star horses
and said goodbye to lake erie,
goodbye to rock ‘n roll rainstorms
goodbye to venus in her little black dress
drinking irish whiskey at the horny dog saloon.

every day becomes sunday
the day of tears that taste like blood
the day of jagged silence

every night she drowns the government lies
in ice cream & wine

it’s a brave new world
spiked with pain
deodorant doesn’t work
and heartbreak is just another bad meal

when the summer of love died
when the summer of love died
she wrapped her still palpitating heart
into hibernation
she hung her riding machine up on the crumbling wall
she hunkered down
and waited for ice

wendy shaffer


she returns to long ago;
she seeks him
as the lizard seeks
its hot rock.

an old don, now,
whispered baritone
slither tongue,
he covers her
with passion-flowers
still young
and tender vines;
of wind-swept beaches
stars painted on black skies
the weathered fisher’s hut.

they share another
torrid moonlight
in a cave by the sea,
drinking brut
through long-stemmed roses
eating chocolate.

they celebrate
old love.

marsha sweet


Sitting on my deck
The railing squeaks with
Rickety impermanence
A prelude to the wind
& rain & snow & sun
Bees buzz my head
Figuring I’m more weed
Than flower / not worth
A sup or a sting while I
Take another sip of
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
Coffee I’d bought in some
Farm market in upstate
New York / should stick
To their wine / cheaper
Easier to pronounce

Reading Some of the
Dharma / a forgotten
Kerouac unknown to me
Familiar words buzz my
Head / Here / it’s the
Heat / not the humidity
Makes me see my world
In a way I thought was
Particular / guess I was
Wrong ’cause wherever
I am it seems the same
Which is a bit comforting
Less confusing / you got
To make your own honey
From any available beauty
Just don’t stick me with
The bill


no future

i keep hearing there’s no future for me
like a sadaam loyalist
like a talaban
like that japanese soldier
20 years after the war on a desert island
the last green revolution
opposed to jobs
with too many chicks too many horses cows
strawberries haystacks
and no neighbors
no comrades
no family no future
a new new economy

i’m about to take the team & mower to 2 mile to start haying —
horseback, chairman of the board,
moving with a team
hippie kingpin shearing sheep

did she ever love me?

the drift into isolation . . .
i’m on the way back to finish a flock in the valley
dirty exhausting work

she wanted me to drive a school bus
i wanted to hook the bees up to a computer

being together is only observable by being apart
another rad bumper sticker gets retired to the fiddle case
stop mountain removal

i sleep to escape this nightmare
this cold dreary weather —
need to unload the mowing machine
find the horses — hay is ripe

the fear really geared up at waco
ran a nail into it
felt worse than it was
connie started removing her radical bumperstickers

i made $100 in two painfilled days
could have been kilt

jim chojnacki & wendy shaffer


she won’t leave the room with the weeping walls
dark gandhi on his knees in an icy shard of light
the hippie bus broken down in the dawn yard

she feels like 12 grain bread dough
tipsy on leavening
sacrificial wine
beaten down and rising
beaten down and rising
sequestered in the solitary airless dark

the rosewater hymns rock across the trenches of her memory
the paint stained fir holds steady thru the hearse of winter
her tears, when they come,
are a glacial melt
a swan floating in the rippling of her silent heart

finally, she comes out

she wonders —
is this the chrystal
calm before the chatterbrain nuclear storm?

her knees in spring mud
she plants her worry stone
where it will never grow
covered tombstone of winters past

wendy shaffer