poetic language                 issue seven                 spring 2006


Nubia Hassan
Jenna Cardinale
Julie Doxsee
Jane Ormerod
Karyna McGlynn
Matina L. Stamatakis
Michelle La Vigne
Sung-san Hong
Kenji Siratori
Jack Alun
Devin Wayne Davis
Jeffrey Side
Paul Kavanagh
Kane X. Faucher
Paul Hellier




  Scott Wilkerson 
  Hank Lazer 
  Eileen Tabios
  Jake Berry
  Paul Hardacre
  Jack Foley 
  Jon Cone
  Alan May
  Jay Twomey
  Justin Vicari
  Donald Illich
  Nancy Graham
  Jessica Lee White
  Marthe Reed

  Anny Ballardini
  Michelle Greenblatt & Sheila E. Murphy
  John M Bennett
  Scott Glassman
  Adam Fieled
  Brian Zimmer
  Thomas Lowe Taylor
  Pete Lee
  Thomas Fink
  Thomas Hibbard
  William James Austin
  Bill Lavender


  ´   ´








Nubia Hassan



Evening Moths, Morning Anchor

i'm so unfamiliar with painting
wrinkles on my restless skin.
why don't you stir me with kindness?
be good to the woven
muscle on my shoulders,
put the tips of your middling
fingers on my bony spine,
shake the dirt from my vertebrae,
tear it from my back,
mend it with your hands,
spend the evening
making me whole again.

or is it the plucking of strings
that I'm so unfamiliar with?
why don't you raise hands
to me and flick digits across
my cheeks making them into
waves of fleshy ocean.
pull out the sides of my mouth
and reach down deep for
the dim lamp light of a soul.
sift through piles of antiques.
an old heart, a soiled liver,
smoky lungs—an umbrella
lodged in my stomach!
grab it quick and open it fast
to hold you in the clear from
a family of moths who have been
feeding on my woman parts.
they will swarm into your open plane
because your light is bright.
I am drawn to you and anchored
to your hip while you spend the evening
pouring kerosene down the drain.

is it the settling colors on your face
that are so unfamiliar?
reds and rusts about my clavicle
blend like bleeding sunset pigments.
why don't you wash me with your hair?
smear the stain across my breasts,
ripen me with hue at my navel,
float me on the surface of the lake,
spend the evening dyeing the water.



It Will Be a Glorious Day

It will be a glorious day
when you melt into the earth.
I will no longer be forced to smell you,
eat you, eat your peeling skin,
make my eyes rabid and hungry
for your whole heavy body.
the body of a human,
so unbelievably human.
your yeasting meat of manhood
I want to bounce on my tongue;
you rise to the most heavenly
of all mountains.
the mothers of natures
are more than one.
I am sister to the forest
and we can have you bedded
in the land where you came from,
the body from which
your body came from,
my body, the body
you need to feed from.
it will be a glorious day when
you rest your soul on a rock.
I come pick it up, your hard heart
baked in the boiling sun.
my organic seeds buried
underground, unbound, are hounding.
you are a boasting richness of soils
and I seek to soak my oats
in the pot of a moaning mouth.
break the breads between my breasts;
an engorging feast of flesh and mind.
I ravish, I eat, I feed, I need your filth.
It will be a glorious day
when you take me by your teeth
and weaken me in the wetness
of your frothing yearn.
It will be a glorious day
when you eat from my bowl.









Jenna Cardinale



All Feigned 

That fall it only rained
on Wednesdays,
because that was the day of the week I had to walk
the farthest.

Drained, I'd come home
to our small apartment, the last meatball
and you.  I couldn't eat.
I felt chained.

Everything is called work,
I explained.  I hauled my books
and some old letters
to the street, said I'd call.

I think I've been trained
to leave, to talk about it.
This year I'm trying



I read a list
of names
of women
printed on a sheet
of paper that has been
folded and opened

Half the way
down, lover
is written beside a long name.

Below, girlfriend
in a thick hand
in a dark ink.
But it reads like wife.

These names are unpronounceable.

No. No. That is
only partially



It has become impossible
for me to see
your face
without a mirror—

But I know the sound
of you through
the records you left—

I listened to your least-
favorites before
ever looking for you—

The tight white tux
fattened and reddened
your head—

Does it look the same
now with gray hair
or less hair—

You smiled so
carefully for the photo—
I have no clear memory
of your crooked teeth—








Julie Doxsee




Attribute the color of

blue trees to
the blue bird

atrophying in your skull.

I negotiate rib
& low lamp

with the backdrop of

swinging gently

near your head.  Envy me

I'm not ghostly.  Along the scrim,

you close in
on the slow

hand blackening electricity,

wearing you
as a night light.



Judging from
the surface,

sharks had begun
to see a cloud

that evaporated years ago.

With rat's voice
the hollow log talks.


I didn't open my
eyes to prove it.


Today the

Today the
memory of

your name

into six pieces
and stirring it

into seven
bowls of milk.


The devil girl

an auburn

She must
truly be

a devil girl.


on each brick,

tiny people
in the mortar

for warmth.










Jane Ormerod


Animals (1)

A tobacco brown cow with my grandfather's eyes

I'm hiding in a copse
waiting for the visitors to leave

This train is calling at Eastbourne, Polegate, Lewes and Plumpton

I confuse bees with rats

Rats in hand knitted sweaters
bees with whip-top tails

Hiding in the copse
reducing stock to make the sauce

Change at Lewes for all stations to Brighton

My neighbours named their cat Ditto because
it looked the same as the last one

I am a waitress tripping on a linoleum floor
(can I fetch you anything else before I leave?)
I have written a novel and have some left over words:
brandy, pebbledash, warrior's square, one rose radish

Wivelsfield, Haywards Heath

The boy playing golf takes not a pebble of notice
He picks up the flag
throws it in the direction of the track
wanders over and begins to dig a hole

East Croydon, Clapham Junction and London Victoria

This is my call
This is my fore
This is my timber

This train terminates here



Here is the news

a week later
me, the fish out of water
the budding
the ferry
the black eggs buried inside volcanic soil
(a cure for every ailment)

Despite the vinyl floor
Despite the milk run
Despite the wolf run
and the millstone round my neck
It is time
you know
to plead, pretend
to become resolute
and strip away our clothes
with the grins of teenage stowaways

Hummingbird sex
Beak to bleak
Sex was our speed dial
Tell me, do you recall Alaska, bull songs
the moon lounge review?
Gangplanks, the distant shriek of apes or low wedge-heeled sandals?
Rocks and lemons, tea infusions?

Do you, my dear, remember anyone
even the oldest
even the youngest
even . . . tell me . . . our skin?










Karyna McGlynn




Animals Going to Hell

Quiver gentle over their sins,
taste the spring melt, nothing
on the television about taboos
or the mongrels which are unto
our city—

who is
letting you go, ma chienne?
Where do you crawl to die?

The blossoms
on the tomato-plants are falling
fast this year, only June now.

This morning here, a little girl
came into our kitchen,
a rifle through her empty leash.


The Girls Were Drinking Boilermakers

Soft as a curtain, each breast
                         sat down in the snow.

The hearse pulled into the street because,
The man opened his fly because
                         it was warm in the attic.

Close by there was a thick belt of ice
                         on the lake, on the television

there was a picture:
two tiny people preparing fondue.


Metropolitan Cinnamon

the old strip malls divided by old creeks,
grey legos in a landscape of yarn

today, the college holds its breath
it's trying not to sneeze, everyone honks
like a weird European car, they go:
ub-ub-ub fubby-wubby tub-tub

the dean eats chicken schwarma in secret
her dark den smells like cold lilies
and metropolitan cinnamon

I am forever climbing these dingy stairs
but I still can't explain synecdoche

when you start from scratch
the whole world is a farmyard:
feedbags and ridiculous denim abound

I pass my mouth over the side
of this old strip mall and wait

for one      singular      sensation,
every little step I take, okay?











Matina L. Stamatakis




in time we will see arabesque as achromatic
----------no chain helix stretched----------
                      tumor/polyp bursting
geometric cell debris (of Babylonian divine)


no acajou, petal, shade of palm
            to hide what was never benign
            of ribbed leaf
dwarfish, cold of finger, curled
at tip------------


we are, are not circular amarelle
trapped in adder's tongue,


            no violet centrifuge
  rich with lavender spun from center
as tempera , as tender flowers enveloped
in death threat letters.


            persistence color
no more, no less than
            monochrome mouth of Venus
            and sable
make lack with black and white
            revolve as Persian rug
strip from meaning and being




Want safflower
            we are lovers again
distant 1981
to moons of Orion's belt disintegrating
            you       whiten my brow
            (forehead perhaps?)
microscopic longing
feeling erratic as microcosms
deranged star-dust
want killer pesticide
homicidal tendencies turning lust
upon lust of action
make a breaker ace hole
rabbit hole
out of orbit skin-shed
head without motion      action
distant arousal of phantom lungs scream
dirty lover bleat nail prick
sundered head
deliverance leveled drive
can't love you lobed again
thanks momma
the flowers were nice
a casket     on a pyre
sun collapse
that's how apocalypse feels
brought a star catcher for the moon tonight
(the dirge)
thanks for the reminder warming up
silk sunflowers in the window
know the ones left on
doorstep         Orion's belt
stopped the current of love letters












Michelle La Vigne



Trois Gymnopedies

I. Tableau

The old men talk of stones, filling the afternoon
hours with the click-click of boules,
ignoring their wives as the shadows lengthen.

Young women fall from the sky, bones
meeting dusty earth, the lengthening
of their hair marking the days.


II. The Letter


(Your) orchard (is) loveless
(the) pear impudent
(the) dishes incomplete
(appearing) broken
falling (as if)
(I) said
long (shadows)
then (before)
as (we)
fell (into)
door (ajar)
just (as if)
you (not me)


III. In the Kitchen

The rasp of cinnamon
against the grater
releases a cloud of dust ~
sandstorm in miniature.

The table is laid and we
are talking (but not really).
Words swirl around meaning
and in the center is loveless.


Homage to the World

(Response to an assemblage by Louise Nevelson)

In the sweep of opulent neon
canvasses bruised with cobalt
blue and viridian, your black
boxes could be mistaken for something
less modern and urgent, something
primitive or timid like a Lincoln Log
house sitting quietly on the living room
floor, silent witness to the baby
spitting up mashed potatoes and
then razed by a roaring vacuum.

The black boxes, contagious ellipses
formerly known as hatbox and
table leg stand as wooden reef,
as homage to milliners and butchers,
housewives and saints.  The wall stereophonic
but mute, an excavation of noise, nervous
laughter leaving the last echo inaudible.

Although you stained and sanded
and glued in the sixties shower
of freedom and make love not war
the boxes could be mistaken for
a burned city or a mass grave-
                                          They have aged magnificently
past your years and the hands that carried
and assembled.  A fort like the ones made of old
blankets and chairs for children.
A hiding place for secrets, gum
wrappers, casings, duplicity.
homage to hands that build illusion
and leave behind the gift of perplexity.

If you meant rational and absolute I believe you.
If you meant ordered chaos or world being born,
                                                              I still believe you.

If your boxes were meant to carry
the message of death . . . if they were prophetic
but we looked past the burning city
into the gleaming neon future-
        or if they were a puzzles we have failed to understand,
then the mass grave ceases
to affect, ceases to exist.
The excavation of the soul
and our nervous laughter leaving
                                                  the last echo inaudible.









Sung-san Hong

from a series, 3 untitled pieces


a broken bridge    infinite by definition

a thought leading nowhere now arriving there


say a sound
has no meaning    (to call silence by its name)
yes an empty mirror
being or being seen
body bound to boundary
between / be twain

if you can't cross the same river twice
you will drown in many


he was pointing and panting
we think he was trying to say something

rabble babbling parables
featureless faces    faceless figures
how defectors factor into the occasion
tear apart frontier trail
they're the dent in your identity

carnage of our age    invasion
as evasion


they were ordered to excavate the building at once


she writes you letters from abroad as promised
vowels first then consonants
of those times I remember by wrote
mere me than mirror
the myriad

for thoughts are naught
a trope atrophying
song to static    sound to sand
deaf to definition


what U for C in the next century
dividing sheep from sleep at the edge of knowledge











Kenji Siratori





Although the blood of myself is road the murder area of the rhinoceros bar
embryo where hates heart of replicant brain myself of ADAM that
digital=vamps that changes dog that the output_war of the boy machine that
<vital> does the murder of micro in the skizophysical outer space of the
ant where does the infinite horizon of the drug that thinks about to vivid
desire mode be infectious does noise by the time the grief that the
chromosome that the callous city cell of the drugy angel that the beat of
myself caresses the disillusionment milligram clone-skin of yourself that
invades the blue womb of the artificial sun does battle goes mad is cruel
the lapse of memory line of the extinction cosmic PILL children dog of s
soul' ADAM that resolves I murder the digital nerve fiber of the drug
embryo that migrates the over there of the pupil where plays the plane the
brain of 1/8 insanity clonic end machine myself the artificial minus
molecule of the photosynthesis that <city> that the eternity that SEX is
copied toward the dogs of the soul-machines which gene war retrieves <exit>
that was cursed drop out reproduce <cadaver>!? The anarchy image of the
intelligence savage body fluid pure world drug embryo that was
betrayed_contrary=<boy> that asphalt transplants to the suicide machine of
the sun it is weaned<a boy::the vision of the desert of ADAM of the human
body that I record homosexual sexual in the last term of gene=TV the soul
like the ant of myself_secretes