Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pasted here are 6 of my 'love lost' poems, "If It Seems Too Good To Be True", "Love In An Elevator", "Plotting Her Escape","Wake-up Call", "When To Worry" and "The World Is My Ashtray" to be considered for publication in (A Brilliant) Record Magazine.

My poems and stories have been published in print publications such as The Boston Poet and Spare Change, as well as the anthology "Out of the Blue Writers Unite" and my work is soon to be featured online with COAP Press.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Erik Tate


IF IT SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE

From which Erica Jong novel did you step?

Morning you rise with kissably fresh breath already,
your skin sweet as Tiffany's perfume before even showering.

It's a source of amazement that your vagina insides
can taste like cherry and butterscotch interchangeably.

A four-star chef with agile wrist motion,
you don't even want any help in the kitchen!

You give great manicures - very gentle with the cuticles,
tell me to soak my feet while you change into your
navy blue nightie with no underpants easy access.

Free spirit, uninhibited you climax four times to my one,
your leg knocking mirror off bedroom wall.

But you must get up sometime,

rush from the condo after a phone call
from your "personal trainer",
speed away in your green Saturn
coveted by every man in New Jersey,

leaving me to contemplate my great fortune
in sharing your bed.


LOVE IN AN ELEVATOR

Even before you told me your dream,

how we were at the Aerosmith concert
and I was going into convulsions,

paramedics working over me
while you stood thinking

I was ruining the concert for you,

even before you told me this,
I knew how you felt about me.

You didn't need to reitterate it
with a second
(or third) telling.


PLOTTING HER ESCAPE

the time that we playfully
wrestled

on the bed

and I maneuvered on top of her,
straddling her,
pinning her wrists to the bed,

it wasn't a game anymore

and as she struggled to get free
but couldn't,

she said with some surprise,
"You are stronger than I am,"

got a look in her eyes

like she was storing this
piece of information away

for future reference.

WAKE-UP CALL

She said she had to get out now,
before we both drowned

and it scared me; I'd never
heard her talk about our relationship
in those terms before.

When she hung up
I put the receiver on the cradle
in the floor, next to the mattress
and turned over on my back.

I couldn't sleep.

It was the first time I'd
truly been awake
in days.

WHEN TO WORRY

When she broke up with me,
she was very business-like,

and when I asked her how she could
be so detached,

she said that she had
broken up with me in her mind
over a month before, and had

taken the month to
get used to the idea.

When I asked her why she hadn't
said something sooner
before it had gone that far,

she said she hadn't wanted to
worry me,

that I had other things on
my mind.


THE WORLD IS MY ASHTRAY

So of course I ash on gas station pavement
beside no smoking sign,

ash on apolstery of my new Mitsubishi
while admiring your immaculate Chevy Impala,

ash on pavement outside shops at Faneul Hall,
discard my butt there and watch you scramble to pick it up,
scared we’ll be picked up by the cops for littering,

you pressing the butt neatly into your Starbucks cup
and searching for a trashcan.

I ash on the floor of Christopher’s Restaurant
with wild belly laughs, the two of us,
tripping off barstool and slapping your thigh.

Throw my butt down in mock angriness
just to watch you dive under the bar and retreive it.

Ash on my hopes when I fall drunk on your neck,
feeling you against my lips

Ash on my sentimentality
when you call me from your cell phone,
tell me you are
sleeping with another man already.

Erik Tate

My hands turn green & scaly &
they're reptile hands to match my
reptile brain/ Pasadena where I dwell sinks

into a swamp/ I'm there among snakes & fish,
gators & birds black with oil, dead & dying/ my
reptile soul feels the injustice/ British Petroleum is

a giant monster, bigger than a dinosaur, with
tremendous, razor teeth dripping oil & blood & the
spirits of the Southern states that

lie as corpses with all the rotting animals on
the shores of the dead Gulf of Mexico, &
the rest of the U.S.A. embraces her 3rd World

status with horror, & the American people not
dead are reptiles like me, wallowing in our dead
swamp & chewing on the bones/ Jesoo

descends rapturously, looks around &
shrieks with horror, "Daddy, let me come
home!" but God observes us with such loathing &

disgust, He goes mad, & BP takes advantage by
charging Him double for a tank of gas/ Jesoo now realizes
he can't go home again, because he's homeless/ he

tries to take his Daddy to the madhouse but
is aware that we're already there/ God tries to wade through
a puddle of oil but is pulled down by quicksand, &

Jesoo knows the quicker the better, because
it's not fair for God to live through the deplorable
abomination of His creation/ God is sucked

under, & Jesoo says, "Good riddance!" then
Jesoo puts himself on the cross because there's nobody
left to do it for him/ he wants to scream,

"Daddy, why hast thou forsaken me!" but
what's the sense when God is moldering in His
grave/ proof that

there is no sense/ now as
always, & there is no
Jesoo or HIS DADDY!/ they

aren't dead because they never lived/ they're
nothing!
NOTHING ...

!



My nose drips its virtue on
my pillow case as I breathe out
my ear, making my breath wax foul/

dustmites creep from the down down of
my pillow/ they eat my nose with diseased digust/ I
am now flatface, a pugugly without a pug/ I

try to accept my condition/ I shrug/ my
face is now a cherry pie/ We should all accept
our piece of the pie, says Emerson/ but flatface is

the entire pie, dripping cherry juice on
my crust, making me soggy & obtuse/ I eat a mouthful of
my face, & the cherry juice is blood, dripping

over my face & nose hole/ my nose hole goes
down into the sewer of my brain being ripped out in
chunks by an eagle, that

goes mad knowing he's eating
the filth in my brain, which
has never known such pain

"Never again!" I scream. "Never again!"as
the eagle swoops like a plane &
rips off another chunk of brain/ I'm

now a halfass with
half a mind, &
the half supposed to work is in a bind/

"How unkind!" I bellow like
they skewer on a spit &
put into the fire, a victim of desire for

a piece of cotton candy I
devour/ I
want her/ I

need her/ I
covet her, &
SHE KILLS ME ...

!

Sitting outside the Novel Cafe with
pretty Therese who
won't give me the long, sensual hug she


gave me weeks ago when I first met her at
the Novel Cafe/ of course I should consider
my cold & my dripping nose/ perhaps


that turns her off to my intimacy, &
I discover she has three children, the
oldest of whom is 29 yrs old, &


when I fist met her at the Novel Cafe, I
thought she was no more than 2l, but
in truth she's in her 40s, but of course she


will not tell me, but no longer can I
be her granddad/ I learn that she was a
well-to-do housewife, & even an admirer of


George W Bush, the
Anti-Christ, but lost it all on
drugs to end up on the streets of skidrow L.A. &


a series of misadventures that took her to
AA for the rich is Brentwood, where
she was rejected for being penniless, &


now she lives in the streets, where
she slept the lst night I met her, in front of
the Japan Town Library a few blocks from


skidrow, but in the arms of Jesoo free
of fear in the land of cutthroats &
madmen, knowing if she took her eyes off


Jesoo that she'd sink into the water like
Peter, so with her eyes on Jesoo & not on my
dripping nose, I get a


1/4 hug at most, & I
head off for my Pasadena room to
wash my face & beard &


sleep with a snotrag beneath my
nose, thinking of Therese &
lost love ...


!



Fritz Hamilton
Bio
Natascha Tallowin is a hippy, writer and poet from Suffolk, England.

Whilst most of her time is spent writing poetry and sitting in patches of sunlight on the floor listening to David Bowie, she is also working on a magic-realism novel entitled 'Guylian's Magic'.


To Ziggy Stardust
by Natascha Tallowin

The imagination gurgles,
a head spoiling rush, an amusing row,
a mind slip, a trip, until you fall
I'm a debutant drug, I'm a film star now.

Testing life. one. two.

Pink lipped men with curling smiles,
they laugh louder than before
Smoking smooth menthol like pine needles
One, two, three, four...more.

and more.

A blink is all It takes,
to slip from caviar to capes
I'm a fashionista now, wearing Moss green sleeves
on an Armani expedition against designer retching thieves

Haute Couture to time obscure,
to a star crossed hippy downing lime liquor
The all seeing high begins to dim,
and pricks of reality start to creep in.

A story unwritten played out on the page
another failed supposed epic spilt
poisoned and violated by my imaginative rampage
It was not death, for I stood up.
And all the dead lie down.

Countless lines inside lay dormant,
the biggest one beneath the rest.
after ten minutes of toil,
I gave up and got drunk.

countless lines outside
the biggest one in me.

until then, I’ll
one…two…three.

The Holiday Maker – by Natascha Tallowin

You stumbled into town like a scared cow
Brown eyes wild
The sky above you was blue
No longer made of glass
The crack in time from which you had come, had gone
And all the silhouettes about you stood still
Looking at you
You pause, and with collected limbs
You make your way across the market square
Wishing you had something else to wear
Other than that terrible green hood
You fall as you reach the grey stone steps of the church
Its door ajar
You rise quietly
It is hard enough to keep formation
Without these new thoughts
You reach for the door, but in the time it has taken for you to stand
It has closed
And you are left facing your shadow
Odd and fragile, stretched against the church wall
A small silhouette jabs you with a stick pulled from a nearby elm tree.
You think how neat he looks
But as he sees your face he screams
The fear inside his head consuming him
He fascinates you
You reach out to him
With one fluid arm
Worried he might break his mind with his screams.
But before you touch him another noise is heard
You look down in confusion, wondering at how your legs seem to crumple
Something wet and red is leaking across the steps of the church
You reach for it, curious
But the sound comes again and you begin to feel cold
A feeling that you had eagerly read about before
But now you find it unpleasant
And when you ask for it to stop no sound escapes
And the ground edges even nearer until your head rests on the stone

Your hood falls back and the little silhouette tramples your hair as he runs back to his Mother.

The End of it All – by Natascha Tallowin

Tempestuous clouds billowed
Raucously tumbling overhead.
An announcement had been made
Humanity was filled with dread

Outside people stopped and wept
Each person alone together
Traffic halted silently
Oblivious to the weather

I looked out of the window,
looked out and saw,
a thousand weeping angels
Desperate for more.
The sky cracked, smacked, retracted and tore.
The noise shattered my brain
I had nowhere to go
So many things surrounded me
from such a long time ago.
Thunder crashed across the sky, lightening splintered through the sky
Enraged clouds clashed in the sky, we could no longer close our eyes

A man outside screamed in pain
Threw his arms up to his head
Rain slithered down his nose, and he cried out to be dead

A mud spattered rainbow flag, fluttered in the hands of a young man
And with fists uncurled a husband reached, and took him in his arms
The sky seemed to convulse, to pulse and to rain
And the rain was cold, bitter and plain
The clouds faltered forward, and I thought of my Mum
I couldn't face to go onward, whatever may come
And the lightening streaked, caught my eye
All hope was gone

It is possible, to die.

Memories of a Mermaid – by Natascha Tallowin

A glittering sliver of something was glimpsed on the horizon today.
Bobbing slowly nearer, like a cork on a rough sea.

Every now and then, the beauty of it caught the eye of a turning sunbather.
A child even pointed once, declaring it a mermaid.

But as the day drew on, interest waned, and the beach began to clear.
The glimpse of glitter swelling with the tide, grazed the shore for the first time,
Finally coming to a halt.

Moments passed.

The snout of a spaniel snuffled about its form.
A dog walker stopped hesitantly, poking at it with her toe.

A body flopped back.
A picture of sullied perfection.
Skin, a wonderful shade of pale,
Eyes wide, with an expression of mild surprise.
A mane of colourless hair lay spattered across the beach,
Only a curl of paper held within his hand.

With trembling fingers the dog walker removed the note.
“I told you not to drown.”
It said.

For Sale: Dorothy’s Shoes
By Natascha Tallowin

It arrived on the eve of the carnival. The slow autumn wind that blows nobody any good sent it fluttering against a shop door where it stayed for a while, as if catching its breath, flat and pressed against flaking red paint, before slipping slowly to the floor, relaxing onto a sloped stone step.

For Sale
One pair of shoes, heel trodden, curled up and wrinkled like owners face.
Condition of shoes put down to weight of expectation and over use.
Any price accepted, and can deliver. However near, however far away.


Violet had passed by the antique shop window on her way to school every day. On this day however she had looked up and noticed the small crumpled advertisement sellotaped onto the inside of the glass.

The wording caught her imagination and she entered.
The shop smelled of daylight trapped for years. For a while she wondered if there was anybody else in the shop at all. Until a bell tinkled and a small frail man with pale papery skin and white hair shuffled in, glasses perched on the end of a long thin nose.

He looked at her, stopping where he was, looking her small frame up and down, the dark hair, the purple bow, the school uniform and scuffed patent leather shoes.
“You must be Violet.”
He nodded, before she had spoken a word.
“I have something for you...”
He continued, shuffling over to his desk, and opening one of the draws. He pulled out a pair of shoes and blew on them hard, a flurry of glittering dust fell from them.
“Here.”

He held them out to her with trembling hands.
She looked from the shoes, to him and back again.
“I don’t have any money.”
She spoke quietly, made nervous by this man who knew her name.
“The seller wanted you to have them. You will be giving her so much more than money, by accepting.”
He paused, before placing them on the desk, their heels knocking together as he did so.
“I’ll let you think it over...”
He nodded once again and made his way slowly back into the room where he had come from.

Violet looked at the shoes. Standing crookedly on the flat oak,
She left on the tail of the carnival. The air was thick and heavy and the sun was beginning to set, falling slowly into the sea, like a dose of warm honey, creeping through the veins.
She walked with purpose. Short meandering steps, thoughts wandering in the vague way of children. She caught my eye as she passed by, dark eyes acknowledging me from behind a glimmering row of candied sweets and handsome treats.
Her look was sharp, like mint on the tongue. She nodded her head in the briefest of greetings, across the cacophony of sugar coated confectionary.
And then, with the dizzying blur of the carnival she was gone, swept into the waves of ruddy faces.

Now those Ruby shoes would walk out once again, ruby shoes wrapped around twelve years of feet.
All the men that mattered, she had met in those shoes. But, one had no heart, one had no brain, and one no courage.
Now they no longer fit, but how much rested on them, how long ago it was, that those ruby shoes walked out.
The cold wind blew harder, and the dream of friends yet to meet and challenges yet to face, flicked the tail of the old woman’s skirt, teasing the hem of her imagination.
The dream of adventures yet to come, far off places yet to visit...
For someone else next time.
A Canadian poet & composer, I'd like to submit a selection of poems from a collection entitled BROKEN HEART & A HOLE IN MY SHOE. You will find them both below, and in the attachment.

Previous work published in:

Quills Canadian Poetry, Fractions, Neon, Forma Fluens, Poesia/Indiana Bay, Motel 58, Word Slaw, poetryfriends, kudos, Sonar 4, Poet’s Ink Review, The Battered Suitcase/Vagabondage Press, Twisted Tongue, Danse Macabre, Language & Culture, Kritya, Burst Now, Yellow Mama, greenbeard, Glass Poetry Journal, Wow, Orbis, Faraway Journal, riverbabble, Blueprint Review, Unheard Magazine, Toucan (forthcoming Summer 2010), Accenti (Spring 2010), Sex & Murder (Spring 2010),

Sparkbright (forthcoming June).
Short stories in: Chicago Quarterly Review (2); Happy; Taylor Trust (forthcoming Spring 2010).

Following a recent stay at STEIM, a contemporary music center in Amsterdam, I have been writing for the stage.

DISCOGRAPHY: http://www.cdbaby.com/all/mcmonty

GANG OF TOLSTOY
Manufacturers of Music for the Savant-Garde
www.myspace.com/gangoftolstoy

MCMONTY
Gritty Music & Streetwise Poetics
www.myspace.com/mcmontylive

ITALIAN JAZZ ARMADA
www.myspace.com/italianjazzarmada

Luigi lives in Italy.

Selections from BROKEN HEART & A HOLE IN MY SHOE

Luigi Monteferrante


SCHOOL CROSSING

In a fluorescent coat

He swings a paddle

Stops the cars

We cross the road

But one day she came

His wife

They all said

She floors the gas

She wants him dead

He runs

And we cried

Instead of the old man

She got me

I roll down the street

My books in a bag

I spin round the curb

Pull a wheelie

Do a 360

They applaud

I race to school

Roll up the ramp

I sit in the back

Listen to Mechanics

One day I’ll find

How to get my legs back

Meanwhile I study

Rush from the class

I like watching hockey

The coach brings me chocolate

I like it hot

Keeps my hands warm

It starts to snow

Coach starts to worry

I laugh:

I’ll get a sled

And he laughs along

And off we go

Our home team won,

I sit in my room,

Open the window to the ice

The cold stings my tongue

And snowflakes melt

I push myself off

Then pull myself up

I stare at the ceiling

Warm and cuddly in bed

A good day again

I did my homework

Passed all my tests

I prayed to God

May you all be so blessed.

I HAVE SINNED

SO I MUST BE PUNISHED

No bars to mark the time

No windows or lampshades

They set the rules

Gave me a Constitution

Learn it by heart

Or we’ll turn up the juice

They gave me no reason

Just do it, that’s all

I broke from office

And ran to the mall

They caught me running

They broke both legs

After cracking my skull

They fried two eggs

They fired some juice

I feel better, alright

Keep the juice flowing

Redemption is free.


RED HOUSE

You sat on the rocking chair

On the porch

In the shade


You hold a glass

And your musings

Who’d have thought

It’d come to this


Me walking out

And away

Holding a bag

Dirty laundry inside


You won’t wash my clothes

Called me a stranger

Don’t know my name

How could I?

Never seen you before

Now get going!


You pointed my rifle

I picked clothes off the line

I couldn’t go roaming

In pajamas

But the clothes

They weren’t washed


I made off alone

I sit and I watch

From under a tree I shout:

Please let me in

It really is me

Your man!


She fired a round

I heard the click

She fired another

I ran in


Don’t like what I see

Said the sheriff that day

She’d been complaining

Told us thing

I’m ashamed to repeat

And a man in my place

Can’t help but suspect

She’s the one you shot dead


Come ride with me

Said the sheriff:

The judge wants to talk

He’s passing sentence

On his sister

The one you made pregnant


It’s the hangman for you

Up the gallows you go

A week from the next

You’ll be hanging

For the show.

CHEMISTRY

They go to church

Ride home a family

But girlie, she pukes

Must be the whisky

Pregnant she’s not

She’s a virgin

She claims

Took it in, yeah

Right where you think


Daddy’s at harvest

In his tractor, he’s glad

Mom’s watching game shows

The microwave rings

Time for our pills

Amen.


GROWING TOMATOES & CHILDREN

On his hands and knees

Tying tomato stalks to sticks

With ribbons, pink and blue

From my mother’s chest

Keeps ‘em straight

While for me

He used a broom

Why I grew up

Crooked.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Old Friend

The wave of me
crashes into her
with its peculiar twirling
and swirling of intensity; bubbling.
Only to recede back to the depths
as the sun begins drying her now smooth sands.

You see; she's not mine,
nor I, hers...
even though for a few intense moments;
we both pretend.
...and then
the contest begins.
That race to find a sock, or a bra
and the first one dressed wins.



An awkward goodbye

And a half promise that “we’ll have to do this again”

Said with a sly, yet fulfilled grin.
Old Friend...of the benefited persuasion.

A house could be built,
with the joules of energy that it takes to restrain
myself from her...and the taking; the biting, swirling, passionate,
hair pulling intensity of that wave crashing...

Having it only to recede back;
back to the depths, back to work, back to the doldrums of normalcy.
Only to return when that sand of hers needs smoothing again...

Old Friend........of the benefited persuasion.

Joel Clonts

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hello,
I am from Seattle, WA, living in Chicago. I am twenty years old, studying opera at DePaul's school of music. I write poetry to connect with the world through mutual comfort and understanding.
Thank you and hope to hear from you.
-Alexa Jarvis



Our Friend Grief

As the human core wanders to foreign, infinite galaxies,

she often allows her senses to conform into estranged grooves of hesitation.


Grief erodes her heart

as separation becomes the medicine for her wounds.


To her, the thought of new beginnings is an open sea.

A limitless, daunting body where

exotic creatures lodge in a mystical world and

the surface

is just a concept.


Swimming hearts become puppets dancing on the facade of breath.


And love

is an inconsistent insect fluttering

whichever way she pleases succumbing

to our mind’s influences of outside, inside,

the in-between.


So, we wander into a world similar to those of dreams

where a new energy envelopes affection

and slurps fear’s flesh.
______


Going On Two Years

You should be driving through the interstate.

Seventy years to go, steer

into your life’s foundation, unanswered.


Where the grapefruits grow

your eyes have everything in common with the sky’s center of a heart

full of water, tainted with citrus.


Ceasing to flood

awaiting your arrival

She sucks you up like a glittery fly

eager for her dinner, or maybe

for her Heaven’s purpose of reinvention to come down, again

an eagle

to watch us through the rust above

as we sit around blocks of worried oak, speaking of you


or perch on the Evergreen outside lover’s windowpane

listening to her dreams of you


and smile when She weeps at the spotting of you.


You would be driving through the interstate.

Anxious to see her pretty hair

imagining her warm, radiating core

laughing with her over your delayed arrival.


She waited while you sang the song about her new city.

The whole world saw

watching with delirious, twinkling eyes

you basked in their praise. As you deserved the sole assurance of breath.


But there are too many ways to stop breathing.


I looked for you in the interstate.

I looked for you on a Great Lake.

I looked for you in the paper

and found your blue eyes

mocked with black ink’s makeshift.


I then looked to the right column to find a head of fine, white hair

on a fellow with an old name: Fred.

Words of other’s survival upon his.


His absent smile was occupied

by the aspiring life next to him drifting

away in Heaven’s rippling waves

as the mother of our Earth depleted an emerging creation

that Sunday.

______

Spirit Water

A year is gone too quickly to digest life’s wonders of the worlds.

In my heart I am longing

for the lost fragments of a love

taken

in the deep, indigo waters of Powell


surfacing now and then,

my laments resist the water’s submersion


where he lays now

a gentle spirit in concert with the lapping waves

making his music for the other lives’ conclusions.


(A message:

I am feeling, feeling, feeling

lacking clarity, not alive, nor dead).


Haunting whispers from his Angel

remind me to breathe

for I am not the diseased


I am life.


We swim together


with consent to love again

often dreaming


I hold his hands

like a leech’s dire need

for blood as my heart cringes with agony.


Grief deluges

Blue eyes wander

Heaven is idle.


Without him now, but always in the water

His spirit swims through her veins, apart of her.

_________

I Am Free

My battle wounds stick to my arteries like butter.

The cure is foreign

but the fix is given for me to carry.


Take me.

Take my Heart to your penitentiary.


Lock It up, let It marry

the steel in the dark, cold cell’s perries


made by hell’s men

with hearts of bitter spice

curing the meats of those who fight.


Take It away to the lands of dragons.

In a fire

batter It up to free from sins

caused by the bruised hands of a knight

running from his monster

lost, in flight


soaring, the red birds turn to blue

drop dead

unto the ground

falling, falling,

delicate feathers succumb to earth’s revenue.


Freedom rings


from afar the devil sings

calling all evil to kiss the human core

what was once locked up

now, open once more.

______

May 9

She who gave me life

is the force that enraptured my mind as a little girl

into the days of womanhood, still distracted

by her beauty, her white teeth, her cheeks like mountains

Mama, you give me joy.


A heart as pure as an egget

translucent in the ocean light.


A mind as sharp as a fence pole

protective and dangerous accordingly.


A love like a drenched insect

determined to heal and shelter.


Your lessons are monuments.

They are history.

Generations to come


while we float together above

dancing in the waves.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Florid Functionalism

Faint with the hot sun, all birds again retire
loveliest in August, spent, but waiting for the harvest.
October arrives with its crickets and grasshoppers,
ready to rake in the leaves and autumn’s fire, weeds,
inauspicious food for the hungry cats. When frost first came,
did you feel like a watcher of the skies?

Feral, the animals wild, screech in the darkness.
Under a glass ceiling, in your conservatory,
neuralgia returns; just outside the greenhouse door you go,
chyle and chime, finding a way around pain,
the body’s algorithms working themselves out.
Inarticulate, the crickets continue; you think, “another day will come.”
Orion, like a soldier stands, and from its spirit,
nerveless and silent, you draw a new confidence.
Apples hang from the bough once again
like medicine, and you search the garden for hops
inquiring of the grasshopper’s leadership in stridor,
sensual summer now over. In spite of this freakish felinity
maybe the birds will come back.


Black Widow

Gravitational interaction, action and reaction, by natural
order and purpose, science tips religion: the wave lengths of
sound and light opposite on this gossamer planet, (address of insects.)
Semblance of silk and ruff or shroud, each web opposes gravity.
Arachnid, once anansi, as if you had hid all wisdom in a vegetable,
modiste and milliner of a tall shrub, pretty branch, or high corner,
equipoise of forces steadying each delicate costume apiece,
rid earth of every metaphor therein. You have outwitted us again,

Great Scot! You’d have us, were it not you were so easily outwitted in return.
Ruck crowd of flies beware, it’s no wonder you’ve been so likely to scare us;
a very tailor you’d make, were it not for your venom, a veritable dressmaker.
Dowager, what property have you that you would not have had past your better half?
Ilk of the eight-legged, also, and ignominious, as though other arachnids had cast you off,
eidolon of evil, no spider-man, you’ve been cast from their race, a spinning contest,
nocturnal time-keeper; in such rubiginous hour, who doesn’t need religion now?
Take your time, pest-killer. We’ll keep you in our garden but only for mutual benefit.


Double Helix

Helix unfurled, unraveled into a line, corkscrew and staircase straightened,
evening draws nigh on Mt. Ranier, as if the weather could be any wetter.
Unreal in this surreal world, the mountain in the mind is bending, (like Dali.)
Rollicking hills wind up in spiral fashion, like the rim of the Van Gogh’s cut ear.
Incensed by no lovely scent, but by his once favored doxy or his colleague, he
sloughs off the now dead skin as though the lobe could be reborn,
tears it from his body in an act of lunacy; or was it cut off in an untried brawl? If only
incense could sweeten that bloody smell. About what could the friends
converse from that point onward but maybe the converse lobe still held in tact?

Hope sinks beneath the weight of suffering; there is no way into the mountain, no
entrance except by runic lettering and moonlight, and the hero in his armor,
tears streaming down his cheek, faces the wind of the snow-covered peak,
entranced by its tentacles, mesmerized by the effects of at least one avalanche,
refuses to back down or leave the mystical rock before him, still flinching,
original sin neither entity nor object; there is no thought except victory,
number now that the foothills are so far south; the frostbitten wind pierces his skin,
yeti of a winter morning, abominable snowman; there is no mind of winter, only
minutes before the pilgrim—a minute pinprick on the edge of the universe—might die.


Idiomatic Indemnity

Igneous, this sapphire bracelet was born of fire, and
defeatist, I accept the mountain’s future eruption,
ignoble ambitions relegating me to a sofa cushion.
Obloquy follows politicians, but we escape such recognition,
macho moments reserved for muscle men and comic book characters.
Ablutions of the morning, aftershave and Ivory,
take the place of heroic tactic. We watch TV.
Ignominious defeat does not enter in our morning ritual,
cache of hair product, unfolded socks and ties, and make-up mineral.

Ignominy might meet us yet, as we shuffle out to the mailbox.
Native American creeks have been obliterated by driveways.
Daub on a little bit of hair gel and brush your teeth.
Ecumenism, in the name of unity, will drag us out to church,
macro lens photos of our double day of rest make moments a little Kodak.
Nativism serves tradition and through such our interests. We go out--anywhere.
Ileum stages of breakfast or lunch will find us walking in the park.
Tact will find us yet and make us better men. Give us a
yeoman job, and a solid piece of work; (and we will go far.)


In Memoriam, Sir Walter

Jealous gods in their Roman attire
encircle him in their holy light;
jealousy wears its emerald crown,
unaccustomed to a darker sight;
neither gold nor silver will stay their power,
east of Eden, west of hour.

Jejune heroes find themselves detained by Circe’s wild enticement,
and wiser ones follow fair Diana’s virtuous advisement;
raging clouds run before the wind and come to naught;
grumbling and ghostly like false love they’ve left him;
Olympian heirs and heiresses foraging for their flock, so find the
nautically-bound bard, bent on leaving to seek new worlds for gold.

Joy, like a wounded vassal, has swum out past the breaker,
all for the unrequited, whose pulse grows daily weaker.
Ubiety waxing philosophical, sets the sailor at ten o’clock,
niveous banks that were a season, send rivers down a mountaintop.
Tears shed in secret are so, like a flood of sorrow and woe in spring.
Years beyond his prime and infancy of love find him in his dotage.

Jeremiads, long and plaintive, all that’s bereft him, vie with eulogy,
elegy, and the lie that’s left him. Ill-born, he finds himself,
unblessed and pathetic, now one who would be beheaded.
Destiny has bought him a cursed love only, though it were sweeter,
erring yet never erring, while it did last; cursed is he who embraces now a body
stranger, returned to dust, such scorn burnt to embers with the ashes his sorrow’s lust.
Perjury was never his modus operandi, his vow, his name, beyond reproach.
Raleigh, death is proud, avenge not, fear not, the advance of death’s wailing coach,
insomuch that you’ve been faithful and true, justice is sure to right you.
towers of treasure, and the milk of Gods was yours, while love was with you.

Angelic Cynthia never fails the sea.
Nighttime sailors seek a course by such brightness and the stars,
days are no less, though it may not be apparent.

Jesus and jellyfish could never have been seen to walk on water,
erstwhile heaven could not see to see.
Truer words could not have been
spoken. You are a poet of an silver
age. Though stabbed in your bravery your soul lives on; thus
moonlight beckons all of us to shuffle likewise on.


Argument

for S. P.


Katabatic, the cool air, drives the kite to a disappointing end,
anticlimactic as the desultory weather. Just now
the black rook does not wait for the sun’s descent
arranging his feathers like a pack of cards;
but the seer stands and waits for a sign by sun and nascent moon;
apprehension rises at the spin of every star.
Tranquil is the black bird, who would overcharge us
if he had a mind toward money and, for its brilliance,
cheat us of a dime.

Kites would cheat us too if they had the time,
impolitic as fools, disintegrating in the rain.
Sage as fate, the wind moves, meaning nothing;
macabre as murder, the seer soothes, meaning
everything and nothing; but so do sophists avoid
torpidity and some hold stock in revelation.

Laura L Close

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

- THE READING -

An apperception
slight, not quite so...
there centered & to

the Right, caped, beneath
that "Tanglewood Hat" and haute-
NorthStarred smile glanced-away

& back... & forward, like to
EffariG, wary on the
hot Mongongo Plains;

He finished not com-
pletingly in the haute
graces; "Hi!" "Hi!," the

foreward, attended
now, "I loved your Reading." "Yes,
pas mal, I love your

hat!, you are well?" "You
remembered!, of course, ahh!, the
One about the 'sweet

giraffe'... say do you
have plans...I thought a drink...catch-
up?, you seem fulfilled..."

"Yes, I, uh, do, but
then..." "No, don't... you're 'public', my
'Billy Collins', " she

ceded, eyes encaptive-
a-lit...thumbed his shoulder and
turned to a sway he

followed, the gatherers
as shadows danced, too released
& turned home to Write.

H.e.m./H’H.
8.6.MMv.
*(Revised- 8.21.MMvi.)


- "TUMI OR NOT TUMI?" -

...No, It was not my time
to jaunt & jump about
the Morld with You, to
glowering-green-glows
of Ischia, the privileges
of Mackinac, "...our Paris, Ilsa!"...

Ornamented ataud &
calefacted incinerators
merely better-funded!, to a last-
notice of proteaned hoar, the
dearth of silk...

So, it was to be
Goa, or Delhi "curry-in-a-hurry" not,
and the touts & shouts
as We passed...
You in those shoes,
toeing-up with heel asway
like a silent, ticking-pendulum,
Me, watching...

Allowing sole specialnesses, but a few
to my inti-mated Life,
why there was You insinuate...
E'er Yours-sporadic, tho'
an extravagance of Soul!, like
incipient Sinatra, or
the piano of Jarrett! But,

No, it was not your time
to jump & jaunt-about
with Me, but for You,
like a junkie afeared of needles,
to be going, & mine
to Write... of It, plecking-off
the pilpuls from
My blanket, & You to
replacing contoured batteries
and
for Now... perhaps as recent
as tomorrows' accident.

H.e.m./H’H.
c.5.10.MMvii.



- WHO CARES!, TWO -

...Friday nite @ the
Pitch An' Putts, the lithe-one sits
atop the Dollhouse
(Hole 4, adjacent to the
Castle, Hole 1) in clown suit

& makeup, waiting...
who'll give this date-night top flight
see beyond his gay
Parliacci for a pro-
stroker under the Windmill

beat the gent to a
hole-in-one? not much to ask
'gainst the task, clear the
links like grease off a sausage
swept-under the tattered green

these duds costing the
the amateur-a-plenty...
Hello there, how 'bout
a strokeless'n Thank you, no
we're...say, I know...aren't you?

why not? The Dollhouse
lights, Wind mills... Thank you! Thank you!
The bridge onto the
Castle moats (& yet where's the
tourneykit?), suffer the lil'

duffers, like Gretel
& Hansel for fairway to
wood in the crumbs... rough
nite, feelin' like a bogie,
need to big sleep, lies awake...

...Saturday nite the
Pitch An' Putts, the lithe-one, the
Dollhouse, the Castle
all along the watchtower
be back again, & again...

H.e.m./H'H.
12.2.MMix.
(Pecunia-Opulentia-Priapis)
ST



- OCTOBER RUSE -

You're going to do
what!? You're sorry!? You're sorry.
It's been more than 8
years, here, my daughter is twelve,
allowed the in-dignity,

we all do don't we,
blindly, the crush-cum-pain, but
in the name of an
authority and trust? You
must seek...I did, sought hidden

enemies lumped-in
amongst Nature, palpable
you said, yet...how few
or many are dead? Betty
came-an'-went, what of Jackie

more, what of she for
herself? CodePink is not what
you think, Medea
is the slayer whom lets and
quells the flow, you whom know but

mammo, no!, thermo
is gram positive, chemo
kills, the radio lies
to your bones, the October
rude & ruse, we are the Cure

You want to do what!?
To maim in the name of slash
'n burn, in the guyse
of ignorance. You're sorry!?
I am sorry too have to

put this pink ribbon
'round your blue balls in the name
of research & your
mammigrabs, October ride
with the breastless horsewomen

auntie maims not to
show business, cowed ingenue,
prophylacticized
perhaps, mammodamage for
the good of pharm futures, we

drink at the horsemone
synthqafer, neigh?!! Open-up
the blinders on the
feed, You're sorry!? my daughter
is twelve! I am the Cure, she

is, we all are in
penis paradise, Sorry!?
Tamox'fun no more!

H.e.m./H’H.
10.4.MMix.
(For MFP)
ST



- RAPID TRANSIT? -

A faster car, a
faster computer, faster-
acting antacid

faster service, an
Xpress check-out, a faster
return, a faster

delivery, faster
acting, living in Faster-
Land, for a faster

result, a Disney-
Whirl on the outerskirts of
Criminalsburg (past

Hurrysburg, PA)
bulletrades on the E-train
speedialed, speediern'

AlkaSeltzer burst
bubbles, bigger rude, hotter
nudes, faster foods

faster route, bigger
snout on the speedway, faster
than speeding bullets

fastern' the fast laned
SuperCurl, SupeSuperGlue!
& litmus turn blue?

Faster turnaround
time to backwards cheat, dancin’
as fast as ya can?

S L O W...
take the ES-CarGo &
drive with lobster hands

miss the plane/train/game,
& a faster break, divorce
Disney, no return

there not "Late-Late for
a very important dates,
goodbye... I'll stay &

let my fingers do
the walking", hurry-up &
wait computeless, eat

right, leftovers, fast
food not, slowfoodist moodist
fastidious, the

fastway hungray, Road-
runner/Speedy Gonzalez -
Andeleandele!

Not so swift, Johnny
ya cain't match quippin' fastern'
Jack Robinson, eh?

And buttons fasten
better without the snappin',
Snappin'!? Xpress check-

out, scan the scanner -
Queues Brevis-Vida Longa!
A fa$ter Eddie,

Fa$tCa$hFa$t on the
outerskirts of Crim'nilsburg
fastrack Fastow on

an end ron, 'cept all
for a fastdrying, faster
dissolve, Bubhub!, but

ready-set...on your
throttled Planete of the Ants
limit speed scurries

Nature don't hurry,
yet everything's accomplished
Lao Tze, yowtsayu?

But, the time for a
tasty hasty; aft, a crave
of HastyTasty?

Where ya goin' to
Ms. Hurry, Mr. Rabbit
Transit, down the hole?

Y'all know the score, don't
care to dare break It if'n
It ain't fixed, Hornk-Hornk!

H.e.m./H’H.
4.3.MMix.



- EDITR -

"Oh, I don't recall,
It was ago, yesterday
last night? Dunno. And

I'm infight, these fleet of
flighters, blighters what danced 'bout
my head..." "Despairing

disparages the
unawakening...yet comes
the carriage, portage

ensorcell, portaled
portaling..." "Oh, I peer from
behind my eyes in-

in, yet..." "EDITR."
"Yes, I do, but oh? "Do you?"
Of course, none else does..."

"No." "No!?" "Yes." You may
say so, but no!" "Yes. Scrutate.
Exacthought Data-

Informa Touchscreen
Resonator: EDITR."
"And?" "You think It; It

thinks you, egests." "Jests?"
That Book title, the Words to
the Song's lyric (in

the refrain), the name
from her, when..." "You mean...?" "Yes.
Brainexstrudels. Plumbs

of subunconscious
unrecalls-cum-forgottens,
dreams-unwracked, the packed

unpacked, EDITR
spits back - a melody un-
chained, that face that place

Psalm names, child'shood games,
commerced frivolitv
mislost keys, open

the dumbox..." "Do I...?"
"Aye, there's the taffy of the
smorzando, does the

microbuffer pre-
vale?" "I see." "Do you...?" Aye, a
was-cope?" "Oh." "You're like

a hungry baby
duck, splashing on the cheep, for
mem'ry frags; zeugma!"

"SLM's?" "Cowl'brate,
Cowl'brate, dance to the Moosic...!"
"Oh, I don't recall,

It was ago...I
enamour the Harbrace, that
place of wile and style,

needs to grammon, and
on..." "Ho, just fold between the
Rhymes, we're gonna go

& see Goethe, eh?"
"Umm..." "C'mon, Dan, the
ensorcell awaits,

the good occasion
is now, to not make-up your
Mind...RE-MIND! to the

Spaces-between-the-
traces, 'cause there but for the
First Cause graces...go

thy spoors - lasting meet-
ups, Rogetresplendes, the Wordless
Firstime thrill...Hmm? "AUM."

H.e.m./H’H.
10.30.MMviii.
(Anhelo Diligo)


H.E. MANTEL
THE GOD COMPLEX

by Matthew Scarlett

The Red Sun rose hazily.
Lighting a dead earth's dessert plateaus.
Life did not flourish- it died.
Civilization- a crumbled monument.
But, on the ion plains, a talisman and a woman.

Like sands of time, she walked on and on.
And time passed by day by month by year.
The talisman floated, it's shape luminous and evil.
Wandering and watching for the one.
A man, a ghost, a god?- she did not know.

The woman: one eye green, the other blue.
Stared harshly as the horizon edge trembled.
A shadow on the farthest plain.
The talisman's glow grew brighter.
The form still unseen, but drawing closer.

A man appears not far away.
He gazes hypnotically: One eye green, the other blue.
The woman stopped, the talisman did not.
Drifting slowly and pulsing wildly- the sphere.
Towards it's worthy opponent- the human.

He stood alone and strong.
A sword- cold steeled and sharp.
Glistening to the glow of the talisman.
Beginning to change, the orb metamorphosed.
Altering into a terribly, terrifying half man, half beast.

A haggard form- a hideous hand.
Held out an equal- evil, black iron.
The two beings quiet stares.
Roaring out in a blood curling scream- the monster.
Swinging of the mighty swords.

Slash! The blade missed.
She stood and stared- emotionless.
Clashing! Crashing! Cutting!- the warrior's dance.
The man bloodied- wounds gashed and gaping.
Life essence bled- proding new life.

The beast's ripped and charred flesh.
The man's fought harder- the being trembled.
Crumbling to the ground like dust.
Defeated by the human spirit.
Victorious, the battle cry of man.

Transforming the monster in a snake- fork tongued and fanged.
The man looked at it tiredly.
As it slithers through the sand.
Almost amazed, but alert - no longer alone.
"This is your captor?", the man's thunder spoke.

Her seductive glance, so lovely, But betraying.
"It's life be spared," he said.
Chills ran down his neck to the base of his spine.
The snake slides away- black eyes inflamed in vengeance.
The man's and woman's eyes merge- one eye green, the other blue.

The land formed around them- forests, mountains, oceans...
A blue sky explodes with stars, clouds and a moon.
Paradise found- their two hands touched.
"I am Adam."
"I am Eve." her eyes blackened.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mimi Liberman

1)
On Poetry

Rhyme, Rhyme, Fine:
Puzzle of words
Pull my insides in every direction
While your intestine cringes
Tubes spilling out of its compression cage
Who are you to write a poem?

I, I, I, superior
To your rhyme and jargon
Worthy of a diagnosis of swine:
This fine line
Is lovely:
I subjectively love thee—

And now you see
It’s far better to scrawl letters for the word and not the penultimate consonant
Syncopated sound.
Devour lines and curves scribbled across the ruled book—clack—
Out fly the last three letters,
Floss clicking spit-mound crumb-sized
Leftovers from the Last Supper
That filled a gaping thoracic cavity
With an invisible heart.

No surgeon can stitch together
Scalpel-split skin
Of a carved poem into the
Back of a wrist,

Dripping plasma no longer presents
Limbs with oxygen,
Malnourished, limp to numb and
Lifeless worm squirms at the edge

Of your skeleton
Shot
With a tranquilizer gun.

Resign from flowery prose,
Your pen deserves an esoteric life of its own
And I’s will go
Undotted and t’s uncrossed
But forgotten is function, so why fret over spitballs of rhetoric flying through your back teeth?

2)
Mammalian Reptile

Thinks the world fled my senses,
Left behind
Preying for pray—

Something to twist me senseless

Slithers in my aorta, poking out its head. If I
Let down my guard, the smirk
Travels the length of the
Vena cava into a passerby’s
Field of vision leaving
Him in a state of
Confusion:
So sorry.

Your presence spins the color wheel of
My eyes from sea blue to iron rust to blood-red
To stone gray
The chameleon of my emotions vacillates
Between hues faster than a steaming cup
Of tea cooling in the snow,
It boiled your confusion
It scorched your frustration:
So sorry.
Really, I am.

My tail swirls the murky swamp,
Creating tornadoes in water with
Mud and air and molecules,
My yellow eyes glaze
The surface: I see you. You don’t
See me, I’m invisible to you
Who entered the oblivion but
The hunter stalks every wade
And paddle and stroke
And when you least expect it,

I’ll snap.

3)
The Poet

It is a small person, on the
Inside it can be anything
On the outside because it keeps
Paper wrapped up inside its veins in a place
Where no cardiac bypasses exist.

It is a large heart, inside
The small person, it pumps
The scrolls of tear and
Rips on burned ends,
Parchment replaces the brain
Feelings used as blood
Because the lead only worked for
The problem and the ink only
Marked on the hand but the
Nothing worked on the
Mind of the
Poet inside.

It walks by itself, but
It is never alone for it has
The psyches of thirteen trapped inside
A concave organ of thought
It feels lonely in the company
Of its own schizoid presence
Because it knows not what is
Real: only what is
Felt in the world where
Nothing is common and
Clichés warrant a death sentence.

It sleeps with others while
Dreaming by itself because
Nobody is aware of its
Thoughts of its
Love of its
Innermost secret that
Exists on the blood of the naked page
Wrapped up in the stark vein

It will be joined with tears and peers after the autopsy.

4)
Living Inside a Poem

I’ve never seen a world
As pretty
As festive
As promising
As a blank sheet of paper
With lines.

I can create
I can mistake
I can feel in this world
I am god.

The ideal is scrawled onto
Paper and the utopia in the
Line is thrown into
Fruition by my pen.

And it’s rather lovely,
I think I shall stay for
Eternity in the world where
The leaves crunch
Even after they’re stepped on.

5)
Today

The nights are so concrete,
So brisk and black
With the shimmer of hope for tomorrow’s regret.

Parasites under your skin
Gnaw away silently,
But the moon fades
Yellow and catapults down,
Writing the words for tomorrow’s
Script and the crows
Barely call.

Glass dunes wash
Together over the crystallized
Horizon and the moon
Disappears and the sun
Glares and you squint and
Stare out of inner-space and into
Where you want to fly because
Tomorrow appeared and yesterday
Has yet to
Arrive.
A Tale from Paris...IA.

I can remember a time when I was different, a time long before who I am now. I lived on an acreage near a river called the Wapsipinicon. The Wapsipinicon winds through mostly wooded area in northeastern Iowa and holds a flat murky tint from years of field run off and sheer lack of attention. The timber around this river reeks of a savage en-ergy, unlike the manicured woods of state parks, the only paths that navigate this world are those of wild animals. On summer days I would run rampant through the woods sur-rounding the river on timeless adventures. In the timber, trees erupted from the ground fighting for space among thick vines and irksome bunches of dense shrubbery patched the green woodland floor. During these escapades, in the jungles of northeastern Iowa, my imagination echoed the essence of the untamed landscape. Summer days blended together into a great tapestry of a certain youthful fire.

One day, donning my usual ripped jean shorts over bloodied legs, I stumbled upon our junk-yard. The previous owners of our estate had dumped numerous cars that laid half submerged in the moss covered ground. Now, these aged, once proud automobiles looked like skeletons, lacking an extras or embellishments: only the harsh metal frames remained. In the bottom of this junky ravine, stood one tree that was separate from the great canopy. It stood tall. It saw the time when the cars in the junk-yard were not dead; but now, like the cars, it was slipping into a certain death.
A few days later my cousin Sean and I stumbled upon this tree again. Sean rushed to the bottom of the ravine, prancing down a moss clad hill, he stopped beneath the tree. It dwarfed his lanky frame, looming as a natural relic. I peered at Sean through a screen of humidity and mosquitos; through the canopy fragmented light spotlighted the area around him. When I got to the bottom of the slope, near him and tree, he told me of plans to knock the dying tree down.
We rushed to my father’s machine shed and found the most vicious looking tools: large pruning sheers, a double edged axe rusty from years of loyal service, a hammer with a fiberglass handle, a cattle prod, a circular saw blade with gleaming teeth around its edge, a crowbar, random knives, sharp pokers, a heavy mallet, and an out of com-mission ‘Green-Machine’ HMC chainsaw covered in grease. We would help this tree escape the final stages of its now humiliating life.
As our small arms swung mighty tools, large chunks of rotten tree flew into the air like debris after a mortar strikes. We would back away from the base of the tree and charge with fierce intentions, jumping with an axe or hammer above our head we would slam the sharp edge deep into the dying flesh of this natural beast. On one particular attack, Sean gripped the steal handle of the crowbar, I backed away from my spot on the tree and watched the crowbar hit the rotting flesh of our tree; the contact of the hard metal upon the tree erupted with an explosion of tree scrap.
I looked at Sean and asked, “Do you think it’ll fall?” He stopped his hacking and wiped some sweat from his dirty face.
“Nah, not today.”

And he was right, for this was a big tree and our efforts so far had hardly effected its large woody circumference. Regardless, Sean and I continued to destroy the old monument until the hot sun finally began to disintegrate behind the tree studded hori-zon; like sand through a wire sifter. It was time for dinner.
Dinner that night was like any other June evening at my parent’s home, we sat around our dining-room table, a large oak one that my father hand crafted, and the loud frogs outside meshed with the soft clinking of forks on plates.
“So what did you boys do this afternoon?” My mother peered over the table looking at Sean and myself.
“Hacked at an old tree.”
My father took the half empty milk jug sitting just in front of him on the table and put it on the ground next to his feet. His blues eyes looked at my blue eyes, “With what?”
“Just a few tools.”

He forked a bit of roast beef and looked up from his plate,“Make sure you boys put them back when you are done, I don’t want anything left out in the timber.” I looked back at my father for a moment and eyed his dirty finger clenched around his full glass of milk. I had nothing to say.
“I know Dad.” I took at long drink of my milk, and stared at my reflection in the bot-tom of the glass, as I put the glass back down on the table I set half of it on the edge of my plate. The milk toppled over and cold white liquid spread out across the table.

That night Sean and I laid on the floor in the unfinished basement. Our family dog, Spangle, ran about the night, barking and chasing all sorts of wild demons, I could only imagine the chthonic things that our mighty guard dog kept at bay. She trotted beneath the half-hacked tree chasing shadowy raccoons and opossums that she only could smell. Sometimes, the morning after Spangle barked all night her tags from her collar would be missing. I always told my mom that she ventured down to the river to play wild games of dog poker, and she lost. I laid on my back, “Sean you up?”
“Yeah.”
“Are we going back out to the tree tomorrow?”
“Yeah, I think we should try and knock it down.”
“Lets get up really early and work all day, its the only way it will fall.” I rolled over on my side and looked at the wall.

At 6:30 my eyes shot open to the sound of my father walking down the set of creak-ing stairs, it was a Tuesday and I heard his daily routine begin. He pulled on some cut off jean shorts, a stained Francois Construction shirt, and socks that went half way up his shins. He sat on a small chair and then laced up his shoes, then he grabbed his lunch cooler and went back up the creaking stairs. I wouldn’t see him until seven. I am sure once my Dad walked the stairs up out of sight that morning it was like any other. He greeted my Mother who was frying two eggs, and poured himself a glass of orange juice. After breakfast he walked out the door, down the porch steps and into his teal green truck. That was when I heard him drive down our long lane.
“Sean wake up.”

It was just after noon and Sean and I were still hacking at the old tree, the sun beat down upon our shirtless bodies through the gaps in the thick canopy, dirt stuck to my sweat covered back. Sean and I each hacked on opposite sides of the tree, we didn’t talk much. Between my blows upon the tree, mosquitos would violently buzz near my ear causing me to twitch, my hands were rubbed raw from the wooden handle of the axe and when my fingers weren’t gripped around the handle they hurt. Small spears of wood attacked my eyes and my arms were becoming rapidly fatigued. Hair matted and face dirty, Sean sat hunched on a stump, he breathed hard and I could see the rapid pulsing of his heart through his thin skin. Exhaustedly Sean panted; “I don’t think we are going to get ‘er down.”

I dropped my axe and examined the tree. The thick roots shot into the moss green grass three feet from the bottom of the trunk. Around the base of the tree a large mess from our tools littered the ground; a light colored dust mixed the pale pulp of soft chunks of tree. The bark was falling off in large thick pieces, and if a piece was pulled off, black ants scattered out of sight. A quarter of the way up the massive trunk was where our work was aimed, the freshly exposed interior glowed with a sharp creamy contrast to the dark rotting exterior. Our efforts had reduced this part of the trunk by a considerable amount, the bulk of the tree appeared to be balancing on a small freshly hacked spin-dle. Up from that spot, the trunk divided into large bony branches that ached for the sky, there were few leaves on its branches despite the thousands that other branches donned. “I bet the next thunderstorm will knock it down.” I sat next to Sean, my body wrung ragged.

Years later, after my first semester of college I went out through the timber. I gingerly stepped down the snow covered hill leading to the ravine of the old tree. In the valley below little islands of snow homed the trails of deer, squirrels, and crows. The junky old cars now emerged from the ground like headstones, looking more weathered than be-fore. The half imagined aura my old sanctuary once held stood diminished by the harsh winter. I noticed an old aerosol can tag on the dirty hood of a car that read: ‘kyle!’. Fur-ther down the gully I spotted a tree lying flat on the ground. On one end a large ball of snapped roots rested dead, ripped from the ground by one ruthless wind. About a quar-ter of the way up the trunk the thin spindle, Sean and I hacked a decade before, re-mained intact. Next to the fallen beast, a rusted, forgotten crowbar sat in the cold snow.

Sir Kyle D. François

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hi, my name is Krystal Guillen. I am a journalism major at Depaul University in Chicago. I have always had a passion for writing and poetry. Having participated in poetry slams and open mics, here are a few pieces I’ve written over the years.


This first poem got my slam team to the Louder Than a Bomb poetry slam finals and is one of my favorites... its really a performance piece (so its best to be listened to- not read) but still, people seem to like it..


"Oh Ben!"

He died
He died?
He died.
He is gone
Never to be brought back
I tried my best to save him but so suddenly it happened
Like a tragic heart attack
My Ben!

Our meet
Was pure suspense
I first saw him
LOST
Immediately I inched closer
And I have been there ever since
Looking back I see
It is not just a mere coincidence
But a fate-like incidence
Oh ben

Ben was special
Even his silence
COULD SPEAK VOLUMES
And he was real
No masks, no costumes
It was almost a year together
Almost to graduation
We had almost
Made it, made it, made it
But he was overworked..
It was all the
Words, the stories, phrases
All the pages, pages, pages
Oh ben!.. my pen.

He had been there when I released my tears
Made things clear
Helped me to meet my fears
I used him so much
I KNEW his death was near
oh ben..

I had tried my best to save him
But he still did
A slow.. painful.. fading death
I scribbled! and scribbled!
Checking for a pulse
Those scribbles were his scratches
Scratches like a knife!
SCRATCHES SCRATCHES SCRATCHES FOR DEAR LIFE!
Woe to you!
Who take your pens for granted
You who choose to pick up your pencils
Your dull, dull pencils
You, who let your pens DROP ON THE DIRTY FLOOR
As if reaching to rescue him is such a chore
Leaving him there to be ignored
Passed by
And abandoned
Forgotten
And stranded.

And a pen too can die in its sleep...
For
Dry, dry , dry
Runs unused ink.



That poem was written one morning in high school during my senior year in math class. My favorite pen had died ealier in home room, and when I realized how tragic it was- and how ineteresting it is that we assign such human attributes to an object, I wrote this poem and it was one of few that was never re-written or edited because it was perfect and real the first time around.
______

Here are a few haikus...( poems of just seventeen syllables)

"Nails"

Nervous. Anxious. Nibble. Rip
Chewing. So i. Truly.
Can't get a grip.

( I like this one because of the double meanings: half of it means when you are nervous you cant get a grip/ get a hold of yourself, and the other part means how those avid nailbitters bite their nails so much that eventually they are nervously biting at their skin- so much so that its all raw on the tips= cant get a grip- gross i know)


" sunset"

bye-bye sunny
you have to leave now
the moons a'comin
shoo..now..shoo.


"The man of intuition"

But however colorful his pain
Its what brings him satisfaction


"Why my Harmonica Hums"

when Harmonica meets Hands
Harm meets Harmony
and Hatred, One love

( Here i just played with making use of the letter "H" and describing the tranquility playing my own harmonia brings me)

___________

"Jake"

He was crazy but he wasnt crazy in the normal way.

He called over his imaginary friend but even he didn't dare to stay.

He then made a doll, out of some rags and some glue.
He gave her a half smile -thats the best he could do.

She was as happy as he could ever make her, it was this much that he knew.

He stared and waited for her to get up and leave him.. just as he expected her to.

"Monday Morning"

Oh hello Monday!
What?
Yeah.. I know..
I know, usually we get off to a ...bad start
Yeah...
Yes, exactly! Just wrong foot, on a ..very wrong day..
And its just all so... Wrong
But.. yes, yes .. I know its not your fault
I know you can't control the order you are in
And im not saying you are to blame, really
Really, Im not
Listen, how about we just put all those negative feelings aside? okay?
Because I'm feelings rather good this morning.
So i'll say this again
Its monday, and I'm saying. Good morning.

( ^Written on the train when I heard someone say good morning to another, and that person responded saying ' those dont exist on mondays')


"Telephone- the phone ringing is how you perceive it"

( another performance piece so should be read dramatically)

I put myself in danger today
I plugged in my telephone
Who knows what will happen next!
There is no "ON" button but oh
There is power
Do not underestimate this power

I opened up today
My hand to phone
I grasped it and placed it
To my ear
I checked for a tone
Oh this was a serious, steady,
All lines are ready
tone

I put that damned thing down
Down
I looked down.
Little butty buttons
Nitty gritty wires
Make someone
No one
Someone, seconds away

So close, so close
Yet.. so far, far
Away

I will in an hour
In an hour, I'll take those seconds
to reach you from hours
Away
To give you those minutes
Only minutes
Of my day

I want to hear you
I want to hear you!
Hear yo speak,
Hear you silence
Hear your ..pause
Laugh, sigh, even cough
Hear tone.
The tone is working

Now I wait
Wait
Waiting.. waiting

I made myself vulnerable today
Wide, wide open
Line open
Will someone?
Anyone?
No one call?

I let my phone worry me today
Oh the fright!
But a still, still sight
It stood
Did not jump,
It stood
BUT THE SCARE
FROM THE STARE
AND THE JUMP OF THE RING
FROM THIS THING
oh this thing..
That ring.

Some days of hope..
Sometimes the sound of fear, of enjoyment

it rang.

Who could it be?
Is it he?
Is it she?
Who could it be?

Anyone?
No one?
Someone?

Will they give me an hour?
Only a minute?

Better pick up...
it will stop ringing..
In just... a second.




_________

" Anyone can read the script"

Hey, how you doin'

Says lady at starbucks with nice looking bangs. I like to call her.. " The lady who works at starbucks with the nice looking bangs" because I do not even know her name. I can read her nametag..but.. to tell you the truth, that would take caring.

I'm good. How are you?

Says my neighbor two doors down who cuts his grass in a religious fashion, and whose smile is always the same.. but.. I do not even know his last name.. but.. his first, i think, is Dave.

Pretty good, thanks.

Says man outside blue line with CTA cap near the " Red Eye here!" section, who doesn't ever really seem to change up his expression.. unless.. I smile extra big so he is forced to mirrot it.. which, again, would take some effort.

That was last month, now, lady with bangs must have gotten her schedule changed... and neighbor dave.. whose name might even be Phil..stays inside becayse it is autumn now..and CTA man doesn't say 'Hi' first, so I stay quiet.
It doesn't matter though, because.. well, a n y o n e c a n r e a d t h e s c r i p t.

( This piece was written after I noticed how many people I have this scripted conversation with throught my day.. and i think everyone can relate- because we say hi to these people we say regularly but we never really talk with them, or genuinely care to hear how they truly are doing..and the end line pretty much means that, these people can be replaced and we will be okay with it becase everyone is familiar with/ knows this scipt too)

------


This final poem is my most recent one I wrote/performed.. A friend of mine was doing a charity event for haiti and poems about/ relating to humanity, love and peace were needed.


" The Human Heart"

Heed unto me humans
Listen, hear
I said listen here!
As I speak to you
.. from the heart
No need for any denotation you all have simliar connotations of understading
when i say
.. the heart

The human heart
Oh humanity! I speak to you from the first person in the highest degree,
as i relay to you one specific decree
- meanwhile gaining some street cred as a medolic emcee
for in symbolics and metaphors galore I bleed
Collabortively coordinating 'ahs' and 'uhms'
into words, into phrases, into stanzas
So as i stand up admist this debree I speak quite clearly unto thee
from the heart...

In grade school I "learned" about the human heart
What I was taught, and what I once thought
Was that this complex internal object pumped my blood with a 'lub' and a 'dub'
And even though Bill Nye seemed so, so convincing
And i thought I knew all i needed to know
He failed to mention other things
Like feeling
He failed to warn me about feeling

I studied contractions and expansions
And i stared at the size of my fist in an attempt to understand its dimensions
Can you believe I thought i understood its incrediblity

I read about these chambers
4 Chambers
But no one ever told me I would have to beg and plead people to stay in them
That i would have to attempt to lock them in these walls
With some key
Because supposedly there is this keyhole, however that has yet to be discovered
But.. apparently, some one has that key

Furthermore, I do not recall being tested on what else this muscular pump is home to
the textbook did not tell me that emotion lives right here
That right in this area, a fragile sign should be posted for it is often, not easily broken
Often times stomped on and turn up, brusied and abused
Ferociously

Automatic
the heart never rests i was told
this is true for the love me nots, love me nots,
never seem to rest

Seat of my innermost character and thoughts i establish that the heart
is dumb
It is lame, crippled for it is blind
blind to? blind to love

Love
as yes, when I was young and in one particular month
I colored these heart shapes pink and red
And we were told to associate the heart with good feelings
-with chocolate and cupids.. and to this day
I still do not understand why we were taught something.. so so
Stupid
Because I handed them out and I was never told that at any given time
my heart could be denied, pushed to the side
And that it would take an unknown amount of time
For that feeling to susibe- when I called on a handyman instead of experiencing that candyland like I did back in that day
100,000 beats a day
3.5 million a year
I've thrown most everything I have learned about the human heart away

To me, that thing may pound but only rarely does it receive lovely knows
To me, that boom. boom.boom is merely its way of telling me it needs to be listened to
its constant tune is entitled love

But just the same, the things people tell me to expect from love fall so short of the truth its astounding
Because love is just a state of mind, and we are all, in different
counties

You see, a synonym for love is humanity
And with that too, i can share with you
my miseducation.


____________



So those are some of my completed works. I hope they are what you are looking for because it would be an honor to be published. I love writing, I wake up everday and its all i think about doing- nothing could make me happier. I have journals filled with short poems, long poems, thoughts and inspirations of things i would like to write about. -My perfect day consists of putting on a record, laying on my bed working on pieces, and then typing the completed ones on my typewriter. The cherry on top though, I must say, would be when i share my work with others - whether it be at open mics or competitions, getting recognized it always a high i can never grow tired of.
Put simply, writing is my salvation. Being a middle child in a family of seven, I always needed something to occupy my time and to be myself with - and paper and pen have never been far from me. As a freshman in college, there is a lot of pressure to go into this or that career and make such and such amount of money.. but being a writer has always been a passion of mine. So, I am just going to go with that and hope to god i do not fail. With that said, being chosen to promote this magazine would not only be sublime - it would also be that sign ive been looking for.. that i really am doing the right thing in my life.. that i really do have it in me to be a writer.

Thanks for your time.

sincerely,

Krystal Guillen
Peycho Kanev’s work has been published in Welter, The Catalonian Review, The Arava Review, Nerve Cowboy, Chiron Review, Tonopah Review, Mad Swirl, In Posse Review, Southern Ocean Review, The Houston Literary Review and many others. He is nominated for Pushcart Award and lives in Chicago. His new collaborative collection "r", containing poetry by him and Felino Soriano, as well as photography from Duane Locke and Edward Wells II is now available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/r-Peycho-Kanev/dp/0979129494/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245429788&sr=1-1


Peycho Kanev



Sacred Wind

The dark and stinking wind
blows through
my shattered window.

I sit naked on the chair
with a beer bottle in my hand
and let the wind on me.

My radio is broken,
my life is torn,

and my girl is somewhere in
the deep black night.

As the lovers love,
as the flowers grow,
as the junkies blow

I feel the wind

and he rips my flesh
until I am only bones
and I am beautiful
again.

Pleasurable Appearance

The curtains are our frontiers
of the outside world and we hold on
in our pleasurable siege

neon dreams and false promises
try to penetrate the Venetian blinds
but we are too clever for them and
for their velvet squalors

and through the smoke of our cigars
your face appears like some tortured
moon not yet ready to be taken
into the sawdust of the oblivion

it is 3:25 A.M and I imagine the people
on streets are walking slowly and waving
knifes with our names engraved on them,
with our faces inside their heads

and I get in the bed next to her and she mumbles
something like gratitude and then go to sleep,
calm while outside I can hear the dark flowers
open up for love.


Distant voice

Strange eyes licked the frost of my
dream:

watch for the eternal spiders and
for women that could drink your
soul straight from your gut

I am careful;

I step attentively into churches and
jails,
I am humble during earthquakes and
orgasms,
I do not pet small animals and grown
girls,
I am relentless in the face of the morning
glory

and I know that the razor is made for
shaving but some mornings the faces
on the streets are just too many
and I do not care for people as do not
care for object
because for the last 2000 years we witnessed
the true face of mankind
and that is the other
reason
why I do not have sanctuary or
covert
I sink into this little words and I hope
that no one will wind me

and when my phone rings
I lift up the receiver
very carefully,
I hear some distant voice
and I hang up
astonished.

This is some kind of exit


What is the human body
but a frame of the ugliest art;

today’s beauties will wrinkle up
and die like today’s words:

That is the mechanics of things
and the mathematics of the universe

The time is like snake biting its
own tale.

The circle is eternal

No way out
you can’t bribe the guards in this prison
called Life
you can’t even come up with decent escaping
plan

This is the reality

The machine works this way

Everything will disappear
even the great name from the past
and all their glory and all their genius

and at the end
we will hold our hands in the air
praying for some kind of salvation

as someone will blow the candle

Thank you, Jesus.
with your horns and
the garlic mouth

We should have known better.


The song of my computer

The best way to write is not to try:
let it flow like sadness dripping
down from the autumn leaves,
and my computer screams: “Let me
sing my song!”
(but computers cannot scream),
(doesn’t matter, this is cybernetic
dream),
and the mirror shows me the fear
of the deer or the bravery of the crow,
My dear, I say in my sleep, sorrow
comes to us when the night falls
over the city,
dark, grey, irrelevant,
it comes, slowly, slowly,
embracing us in its gentle arms –
warm and fuzzy we feel and let us
scream.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I'm standing at the foot of a step pyramid, when the body of a slain man with a chalice in his hands lands in a sprawled pile at my feet. I look up to see from whence he fell, to find a group of angry men with swords descending the steps of the pyramid slowly. Behind the warriors, is a giant stone head of a gorilla atop the pyramid. I quickly glance at the cadaver at my feet, and the ivory chalice it was previously clutching is now just a shoddy tin cup. Immediately I'm surrounded by combat, and a woman yells to me
“We've lost our guide!”
She is a middle aged woman in a long brown coat, her gray hair neatly tied behind her head and a wooden pole in her hand, fighting off more men with blades. It becomes clear to me who is on each side in this battle, as the warriors above me rush closer. The angry men are the enemy, I have but two allies. The woman in the duster coat is one. The other guarding my back, she is a beautiful dark haired woman in bronze and leather armor, with a Spartan shield and broadsword. I don't have as much time to look at her as I want to, because my foes in front of me demand my attention. As I duck and dodge, I hear a voice speak that I know is coming from the stone ape's head.
“Give me back my cup, and I will aid you.”
While I am crouched low to avoid a strike, I grab the tin cup from the dead man's fingers and rush up the pyramid steps, bounding in a zigzag pattern past the swordsmen. Someone yells my name, and the enemies I have avoided give chase up the stairs of the pyramid. They fall behind, and I climb up the stairs using my hands and feet. Reaching my goal, I put the tin cup on top of the gorilla statue's head, and all of the swordsmen disappear. My companions look about in shock, amazed that their foes have spontaneously vanished. I look around from the top of the pyramid, and see an open temple built at the pyramid's base, with columns, frescoes, and tapestries. Besides the moon and stars only torches and candles in brass pole candle holders light the area. I know that it must be midnight. The temple and pyramid are atop a hill in the desert, the wind is blowing, and the desert stretches as far as I can see. The gorilla head speaks again, and we turn to listen. It's voice is deep, musky, majestic and powerful, like a gorilla might sound if it could speak.
“Take this as my gift, for you will need it.”
Out of nothing, a beautiful Indian style curved sword appears. It falls slowly after appearing in mid air, near the base of the pyramid. The gray haired woman in the long coat catches it. It is in a colorful jewel-encrusted golden scabbard, while the hilt itself seems to be made of bone or horn. From atop the pyramid, I peer down the open hallway of columns to see an ominous man approaching. He has short dark hair, a shirtless muscular body, and a face locked in an evil grin. He is carrying an abnormally long katana in a jet black sheath, and moving completely without sound. He looks almost perfect in body and form, except for the malicious aura emanating from his facial expressions. The middle aged woman is facing me, unaware of the fact that he is rapidly approaching her. She is occupied with the shamshir in her hands, still surprised that her foes have vanished and a jeweled sword has appeared out of nowhere. Just as she begins to draw the blade from it's scabbard to inspect it, I shout a warning and begin to run down the pyramid steps. Pulling the sword from the scabbard, she looks up to me as the evil looking swordsman behind her poses with his katana at hip level, pointed at her. She sees me pointing as I run, and turns around sword in hand. The first thing she sees is his jet-black scabbard connecting swiftly with the front of her face. The movement of the sword in his right hand follows that of the scabbard in his left. In one clean, swift move he has drawn his weapon, struck her with the sheath, discarded it, and slain her. She falls dead at my feet as I reach the pyramid's base, and my heart begins to pound. He gives me a nod of superiority and continues hi grin, obviously taking great pleasure in the kill. He steps back one step and gestures at the jeweled shamshir in her hands, as if for me to pick it up and take her place. Fresh blood drips from his blade as he takes another step back to give me room. I cautiously crouch down to retrieve the jeweled magic shamshir. Our eyes are locked on one another and my pulse is racing because I know that as soon as I enclose my hand around the hilt of the sword that he is going to attack and that I am not skilled enough to defend myself from him alone. I think of the other woman, the one in bronze armor, who is younger, beautiful, and armed. Without thinking further, I call out for her before I pick up the sword. Somehow I already know her name.
“Wanda!? Help me – he is going to kill me! Wanda?!”
For some inexplicable reason, her name is Wanda. Although this is the first time I have ever seen her, I don't need to be introduced. It's as if we already know each other – our relationship is already defined. She is Wanda, she is a warrior I can trust, a forever constant friend in my times of dire need, and I need her aid right now or this foe will slay me.
My eyes still locked with the villain's, I notice in my peripheral vision Wanda by my side, sword drawn and pointed at our foe, shield ready at guard position. Her bronze form fitting breastplate glistens, and the leather of her guard skirt sways slightly in the warm wind. He shuffles back a fraction of an inch and smirks at her, I stand up with the jewel encrusted sword in my hand. A non-verbal message has been communicated between Wanda and I, the two of us must fight this demon swordsman to the death. All three of us are sweating with anticipation, and our hearts and breaths move at the same tempo. I notice that his eyes quickly dart away from us and back to us – he is searching the room, and his eyes fall on a rack of swords hanging on display beneath a tapestry against the wall. Wanda advances a half step towards him, and I begin to regulate my breathing to calm myself,
“Slow down, wait for him to attack first. We stand a better chance if we work together.” I tell her, “Let him attack first and force him to choose which of us to fight, then the other one of us can attack his flank – let him make the first move.”
All of this is said between deep, regulated breaths, and as I speak he sidesteps toward the weapons on display, and slowly raises the point of his irregularly long blade to a position between Wanda and I. Then he slowly crouches down to draw a second sword from the display rack, a normal length katana, shorter than his first sword and an appropriate length for it's style, but still longer than anything I would feel comfortable wielding in one hand. As he moves deliberately to claim the second blade, his eyes focus on Wanda, not me. I know that I have a chance to attack him off guard if I can move quickly. I see that his shoulder and bare back will face me when he bends fully down to pick up the second katana. All I have to do is take one large step in and risk getting within reach of his long readied blade, if I am swift I should be able to strike while his attention is on Wanda. I now know he sees me as the lesser threat. So as he grabs his second weapon, in I go. With a wide step and a swift jab, I plunge my blade into his back, below the shoulders and between the ribs, higher than I aimed for. Before I complete that thought I am in the act of pulling my blade out, stepping back and swinging my sword in to a mid-left block. I'm in time by a mere fraction of a second. As soon as my blade touched his skin he had moved to counter-attack, with both swords. I managed to barely block the longer blade, and Wanda's sword interrupted the path of his second sword. Even though I blocked his sword with my full strength and my weapon in two hands, his blow came with such force that it pushed my sword up to my body, and he sliced a few centimeters into my shoulder as he pulled his katana away. All of this action, from his eyes leaving mine to watch Wanda as he drew his second sword to drawing away from his counter strike – all took under two seconds, but my mind was running faster than our movements despite the fact that he moved as faster than anyone I've ever fought.
In the next few seconds he unleashes a fury of flailing blows at me that force me to retreat backwards and dodge while blocking to avoid them all – simultaneously he flips his lower body into a well placed side kick that hits Wanda in the breastplate and sends her crashing over a stone table and into a tapestry. Our unnamed foe is now bleeding slowly out of the wound I had given him, and sweating profusely. Scowling at me, he speaks.
“What happened to 'Let him attack first?'”
I react slowly, with feigned pride, using the time to catch my breath and recompose my stance. I reply,
“I lied. I'm a cheater.”
I smirk apologetically, hoping that I can buy some time for Wanda to get up. It's too late, he attacks again and I can't defend quick enough. In less than a second he launches a volley of six strikes, alternating between his two blades, slash, slash, stab, stab, slash, slash. He lands a long cut across my abdomen, from my right to left, and lands a shallow stab in the upper left of my chest. I know that the blow was aimed at my heart, but it missed it's target. During his attack and my frantic defense I shout for Wanda's aid, his blows are too fast for me to block.
As I barely manage to avoid the last of his six blows, he takes one step backwards to catch his breath and I see that Wanda has stepped back into the fight. The tip of her sword is firmly embedded into his right shoulder, she has just made a desperate lunge from across the room. In the next half second he unleashes his wrath upon her, and although she defends far better than I managed to, she is still unable to react fast enough to make a counter attack. She needs to use her sword and shield in combined focus to defend herself. I'm tired, I try to catch my breath, regulate my heartbeat and check my wounds. I can hear the clash of steel and bronze. My wounds are bleeding very quickly, especially my stomach, and I can't seem to do anything to hold in the blood. When I look up, he is pulsing with rage and catching his breath. Wanda is still standing but her shield and armor are covered in cuts. I rush in to help in the fight, and while I close the distance between us he brings her down to her knees with a crushing blow that knocks her sword down and would have cut her in half were it not for her armor. I yell as I run, and he turns his blades toward me, crossing them in a stance that I don't recognize, crouching slightly in anticipation of my attack.
But as I approach instead it is he who attacks! He springs into the air and I hold out my sword defensively with the hilt in my right hand and my left on the flat of the blade. Our swords meet but I rush onward, have build up running momentum, while he had only a short leap at me. I push forward in an attempt to tackle him. I know that my only hope is to bring the fight to the ground, because in a sword fight his superior reach, speed, and skill will destroy me. He's not expecting this tactic, and I slam his back against a column and by either his surprise or my luck, one of his own blades slices backwards into his own left arm. I don't remember much of the details of the wrestling, but I know that I dropped my sword to get a better hold around his arms, and he dropped his second shorter blade to get a better grip on his original weapon. The wrestling is mostly a blur in my memory, bloody and sweaty, both of our wounds pouring crimson onto the temple floor.
Soon he manages to toss me aside, and I land next to the discarded katana. He gets to his knees and glares at me while I'm on my back, and grins like he did when he slew the middle aged woman. He raises his longer blade, but in an instant is on the defensive, blocking a blow from Wanda! She has recovered, and for a few seconds fights him solo again. While they exchange blows I stand up with the katana in my hand. Wanda no longer has her shield, it lies on the floor. The two of them are blade locked, pushing against each other, he is trying so push her off of the stone floor and into the desert sands. With all my remaining might, I step forward and swing the katana at him. I am not sure if he notices me before I hit or the instant I do, but my blow cleaves one of his arms clean off. As he loses his balance and shouts, I spin on my left heel and send a right side kick to his chest, and he is flung back into a column, then falls to the stone floor.
I step backwards and drop the katana in exhaustion. Wanda gasps and points behind me, and as I quickly look over my shoulder I see more of the swordsmen from earlier approaching from far away down the hall of columns. She picks up her shield, takes up a stance between me and the incoming enemies, and looks me over. She gives a compassionate and concerned look at me and my wounds, then notices something behind me
“Is he dead?” she asks, and as I turn back to check, to my amazement I see that the villain is in fact, not dead. With his extra-long katana in his remaining hand, he is doing a one-handed push-up to get up to his knees, attempting to get back on his feet! I take a breath, a few steps, and punt him hard in the ribs, and as he falls down I stomp his head with my heel, and call back to her
“Yeah, I think he's dead.”
I hope that he is. Wanda is preoccupied fighting off others and keeping them from me, but she soon throws down her attackers and runs down the hallway in pursuit of the remaining enemies.
“C'mon, I'm gonna go make sure that there aren't any left! I'll hold them off for you!”
These are the last words I hear her say, but I can continue to hear her clashing against more incoming foes as my vision blurs. Even my hearing becomes patchy and I feel dizzy and light headed. I can hear Wanda fighting but I can't even seem to speak properly. I'm in shock from blood loss, and I look down at my wounds to see that there is an enormous pool of blood at below me. The room is spinning, and my hearing goes out completely, I cry
“I'm wounded, help me.”
I can't hear a response. I shout
“Je suis blessé!”
I don't know if anyone hears, or understands me. I try to stand, but fall to the ground, and she catches me. Our relationship is defined again; She is Wanda, we have fought together, saved each other, and in that moment become eternally devoted lovers. I don't need to hear the words she says as her mouth moves, I know that she loves me. We don't need to kiss, or express our love aloud, it is all said between our eyes. She is smiling, tears pouring down her face and dripping into my wounds. As I feel the blood seep out of my body and onto hers, I know deep inside that our love is perfect, more pure than our combined blood and tears. Then I take a few breaths, tighten the hold on my bleeding stomach, the room spins and I die. Although I know that it cannot be real, I can feel it as the most real emotion I have felt in years. Then I wake up. I am covered in sweat, and though I know it was a dream, I still posses a feeling of truth, the feeling of having been loved, and loving in return.

Frank Sjodin