Fabulous Finds 1998
Note: A link to the poet's home page or e-mail address is usually provided below each poem. A direct link from the poet's name to his/her Positively Poets page (with bio, links, and additional work) is provided when applicable.
The ChainBy: I.B. RadOddly, I never noticed that thick chain, much like those anchoring ocean liners, extending from our starcraft. It stretched through the ubiquitous gloom gradually merging with an engulfing blackness, that congealing shadow that kept us in its' thrall. How often I'd thought of slipping away, of stealing an Exit Pod to follow the chain yet, of countless earlier flights, none returned. Others I'd spoken with had also witnessed this apparition though our youngest staff seem not to have noticed. And clearly, the chain moved, for if you focused on a link situated by one of those luminous whorls and stared long enough, you began to see it creeping outward, toward the blackness. But where was this chain drawing us? Through an ever deepening vacuity, ad nauseam? To some coveted emanation beyond imagining? To our impending doom? Clearly, no one knew so we made up parables, fables to sate our curiosity, to alleviate our fears. And as few voluntarily relinquished our ship's highly circumscribed, though seemingly secure, familiar, we crafted amusements to pass the time, to distract us, to keep us entertained. Yet, deep within our hearts, we all await its summons, that irresistible pull impelling us to take an Exit Pod, to follow those who left before... To where?...
Copyright © 1998 I.B. Rad
The Illustrated Rad, I.B. Rad's Home Page
August, 1998 Of The Month
The Trojan HorseBy: Janet I. BuckAmarreto in the den. Wine without the stench of moments missed and pasted smiles upon the face of artifice before the final Fall. The one where whiskey turned to shame and gin to heavy hands around the neck of days. The kitchen was her citadel. The popping corks, the heads of nails, a secret rusted by despair. A hammer that would always draw the breath of doubt and roll the eyes of scorn. A blanket others could have folded up and set aside. But needy phones would ring and ring. Ether answers to the cliffs she wouldn’t, couldn’t venture near. Her soul a hall she papered with excuses that would peel away. She saddled up the camel strength despite the humps of giving in and headed for the battle zone. The grace of loving eyes and open minds the single star in skies of fear. They told her more than once to take the rocky road a pebble at a time.
Copyright © 1998 Janet I. Buck
A Poet's Pen
September, 1998 Of The Month
SanctusBy: Doug TanouryAt night downtown buildings Are lit like racks of votive candles In a dark church Some are white beeswax Some are golden flame rising To subdued weakness Strobed finials glow dull orange Like light through smoke gray glass Of vacuum tubes In mist that cloaks high peaks And hides monolithic shapes with sky Sunken to street level
Copyright © 1998 Doug Tanoury
Athens Avenue Poetry Circle
October 1998 Of The Month
The Bloom of The GrapeBy: Diana Bispothe bloom of the grape fades into a gray, the dauntless sky rain laden and swirling, and we watch her pedaling slow down the bumpy path to a stone enclosed river, a place for skinny dipping and conceiving the mischief she's become. the boulder we sit on, hand in hand, remains graffiti splashed and decipher less, fading hearts, a mark to bring us home, our high beams searching its grooves on moonless nights after too many holiday martinis. in daylight, we make it a perch for lookouts, spying the crimson flap of her hood she's pushed off her dark head, the silver chrome of her spokes bouncing back glints of struggle, a rare moment of captured light. sometimes i watch you stand, tip- toed, head craned and regal on the rock, cigarette dangling from pursed lips, expectant. you long to see her face turn back to you, her small hand wave. i mustn't make a sound in my approach, the both of you taking first steps toward fragile friendship. i must look away, trap my hands under this lumbering body, never expose the wince, the smile that comes with loving and letting go.
Copyright © 1998 Diana Bispo
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June 1998 Of The Month
June 1999 of the Month
ReceptacleBy: Joy ReidGreen little bottle chosen for beauty no practical function just eye teasing pleasure. Plump little paradox wriggle your hips waggle your buttocks oh sumptuous abandon. Madeleine urn or pert water carrier I see you rather in an odalisque hand. Vessel of Myrrh or musk from the orient priceless purchase with stoppered scent. Sly genii bower smooth as a jewel emerald prison denying release. Shrewd dragon eye brooding on plunder ancient miser guarding the hoard. Coy little bottle bereft of purpose your value to me is inestimable.
Copyright © 1997 Joy Reid
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May 1998 Of The Month
"Let there be light!" Should have been let there be love. Before the grand smashing of quasars and quarks, before the nebulous blast of itinerant particles and vagabond molecules filled primordial void. Before life's infernos and castaway stars reached Alpha sans Omega, well before the first mind feigned realization it should have been ... How I teach your hands to key on a piano's ivory face, and your innocent musing of notes between crests a little chaste, a little cello, an octave's voice off cleft invites; let there be love. Before the Odyssey sails through history's track, before Buddha's grand asceticisms beneath Bo tree, before the Caesars and Gandhis and Christ! How delicate your fingers find note on a scale whose extortion wills "A" count to "C", trace it, follow it, focus one more time before the night sky twilight breaks dawn and your head finds pillow and sleep. Before your delicate feet carve niche under cover and this _sotto voce_ against your cheek tells the dawn of your majesty yet can only whisper in the silence let there be love.
Copyright © 1997 David Hunter Sutherland
Athens Avenue Poetry Circle
July 1998 Of The Month
So long ago now since we picked beach plums. I parted the rose thorns, while she reached in and harvested the fruits. My finger was stained with a drop of red. Her hands were awash with purple. I had a sharp, focused, pinprick pain. Her arms mildly ached all over. We divided the plums into two bags which she carefully rationed for equal weight. Then she waxed poetic about pots and pans, and the thrill of boiling pulp down to jellied sweets. She decreed the exact procedure. (She'll hold the pot, and I the strainer.) She led the way on our trek back along the footpath by the highway. The faintest, faintest, chill was in the September air. My eyes were fixed on the pattern of swaying curves across her jeans, and the way her long hair bobbed on and off her back. Poison ivy grew among the grasses, but we didn't notice till we reached the exit ramp. There I was cut off from her for she didn't wait, and a caravan of exiting cars kept me from catching up. Years later on another September day when I was exiting that same ramp, I saw the back of lady walking with her beau, with swaying curves across her jeans. Both were toting bags of plums of equal size. I stopped. Brakes screeched behind me. Loud curses. The couple turned. Her face. It was someone else. Yet more curses. I had no real destination but I had to move. I shouted poison ivy along the road and gunned the gas. The suspicious couple eyed me as if I were crazy.
Copyright © 1998 Richard Fein
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February 1998 Of The Month
LongingBy: Germain DroogenbroodtLike the moon preserves the darkness and longs for the night like the dream repulses the daybreak and waits for the evening thus she yearns for him who parts from the light its shadow and from the day its bitterness the thistle and the thorn. Fort-Palace Neemrana, India 18.10.95
Copyright © 1995 Germain Droogenbroodt
Ad InfinitumBy: Paul St John MackintoshThe perpetuum mobile belts nonstop, no beginning nor end to the endless chain. Time's arrow flip-flops; effects cause, cause ensues; run forward, back, change stays the same. The river of grief whose tears are seas runs dry, then recouls, in its bed of flint; that rock worn flat by the finch's bill rears its thousand miles for another stint. Extinction closes on fugitive life; white nicks in the charcoal sky, the mewing gulls mourn their fallen plumes amaranths droop as immortals die. Cicadas boil out of the earth brown in moments with imagos' empty husks; their shrill, the copper pan lid on the day, dins into the valleys clamorous lust. Generations succeed to their forebears' loss in incessant bouts of growth and decline; the worlds are a trackless Sahara's sand, the cities salt crusts along time's strandline. The ghostly ouzel's song tails away in green shadows, white haloes swallowed in space; passage birds en route to Ultima Thule cross the starfields, gone without trace. A wheel of fortune is turning somewhere, tumblers falling, dealing futures in spades for limbo walkers forgetting themselves for new lines in the same old charades. The billennia snowball, hurl pell-mell; stones, men and gods alike resurrect; things come and go in powers of noughts, exponential series, surd multitudes, etc.
Copyright © 1997 Paul St John Mackintosh
From The Golden Age, Bellew Publishing, London, 1997
reprinted by permission of author
Home Page of Paul St. John Mackintosh
In the Faces of FlowersBy: Layne RussellI see her in the faces of flowers, her laugh lying in wait in the sweet white alyssum, her smiles wide in yellow marguerites. In red New Guinea impatiens I see her tanned in summer shorts, garden hose in hand, watering the flower-filled pots lining the patio, paths, and walks. I hear her clear, strong voice in Shasta daisies, and the love of her sings out in the yellow rose, the pink rose, the white. Bright pink hydrangeas: her full life, her exuberance. All her garden appears and there she is, moving through it, through the random cosmos, through the waist-high gold of her life. Hollyhocks, scarlet penstemon, deep blue ornamental sage interlaced with the vegetables, fruit trees, the occasional grass, were all her domain. And, yes, red canna lilies, rich purple iris, wild blue speedwell along the back lattice fence-- is there a flower she did not love? As I walk among flowers she knew, in my body the buds of the golden cosmos open, open in abandon.
Copyright © 1997 Layne RussellWhite Owl Web, Poetry of Layne Russell
December 1997 Of The Month
EndingsFor Di... 9/6/97
By: Glen FauréAnd how could anyone believe that in this world anything is only what it appears to be that anything is ever final that anything in spite of absence ever dies a perfect death. What Is It? Mary Oliver Earth prepared her body's lowered. Above the silent eyes empty lips tarnished heart one leaf to another whispers. In the distance flowers act like fools and water laughs an enormous yellow kite spools children with its thread while on the wind glide scent of rose a rusty note's nostalgia a solitary bird and clouds like cotton turtles swimming. Now imagine light filling in dense shadows I might have wandered into thinking and believing that all she'd ever been actually ended here.
Copyright © 1997 Glen Fauré
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November 1997 Of The Month
AutumnBy: Ron Watson
You must tell me what they say In Yugoslavia When the weather turns this way, When each green tree's ungentle leaves Are fiercely dying. Is there a phrase you have, a word For what passes through your heart This time of year? Can you tell me In your own tongue what it means To wear this season's breeze? Do you think of home? Of a lover You knew too briefly once? Do you Catch yourself in waking dreams? Do you find yourself full of grief That cannot speak? Do you long To sleep and sleep? It happens like that here, though My English bears no tiding I can name. I am left to guess where you are. A restless midnight pulls me on and on. Two candles stand a vigil by your chair. It is raining.
Copyright © 1994 Ron Watson
From A Sacred Heart, Redneck Press, 1994
Reprinted by persmission of author
March, 1999 Of The Month
One Last FlingBy: L.R. Powell
Words! Countless willing mistresses. While I was merely being selfish they conspired. Stolen hours were not enough, they demanded more. So while I scribbled mindlessly her life's essence slipped away last breath spent to tell me how she loved my verse. Words! Flung away in disgust. Useless things! Locked out, locked down, forgotten. Each one rudely pushed aside 'til they bothered me no more. Strangers then for years. Now a voice gently calls, trepid, hesitant, not sure and out they march! Waving arms! Like weeks old pups they frolic with not the slightest thought that they may not be welcome. Take up residence once more. And like long time friends, who never question but that you've a place for them, settle in. One by one I take them and shove them out again. To no avail, the door has lost it's lock against such vigorous persistence. And as old friends are wont to do, past slights are soon forgotten and comfort comes again in the association. Words! Countless willing mistresses.
Copyright © 1997 L.R. Powell
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InterludeBy: CK Tower
Whether the small measure of song residing in my bones is half-asleep or has left me, I don't know. No begging, no clever plans to resuscitate the rhythm. I can’t remember how this happened, when I first stopped hearing the cadence inside unnaccountable objects. Appalling now, how everything before me owns no name, no existence outside what is certain. I'm ignorant of everything but the wind and the water it pushes me toward. In absence of suggestion, they are nothing more than graceful elementals entangled in a dance I can't remember. I once knew their secrets.
Copyright © 1997 Christina K. Tower
First appeared in 15 Credibility Street, Vol. III Is.III 1997
The Den, CK Tower
April, 1999 Of The Month
People Once CountedBy: Alan Reynolds
Fogged windows on this autumn afternoon impede the view of those who pass by boat as languidly from habit we embrace, perform the parts of lovers that we were. The modish magazine that likes to write about my darling's clothes and latest show engages her attention as I feel my way along the boredom of her cheek. Small darkness there: a shadow, or a tear? Her free hand turns the fashion page. She purrs on cue and sloughs her Calvin vest, upsets my glass of reasonable rosé. Across the surface of the broad canal I see a certain curtain blow; reflect how her third husband winces when our steam obscures his jaundiced but still wished-for view. My second wife, if back today from Cannes, will sit there too (that's been their flat six months), gaze out from that four-metre-ceilinged room. Will she remember loving here with me?
Copyright © 1997 Alan Reynolds
Poems by Alan Reynolds
March 1998 Of The Month
In PursuitBy: Patty MooneySowing dreams like seeds, feigning sleep on sleepless nights to better listen I scouted, loin-clothed errant waiting to see Satan in shadows, posed as a card master. European beauty eyes golden he spills cold dice and gambles for rareties. I saw him at my bedside tracing my skin with his fingers in light filmy as a dream I could not touch him. I have waited to catch him enter my dreaming lithe as a woman yet I find him only in sleep, elusive as a girl. And before I wake I realize but do not remember sleep is mirrors and Satan is me.
Copyright © 1997 Patty Mooney
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PlainstormBy: Kevin CroneIt was a doorway In a thundercloud Dance. Lightning Yellow beams Chase blue flicker Around sky theater In percussion opera. This is an ET thing, man. It's an entity Alive There's intelligence Communicating Static charge Arial ballet. I want to Taste the wet fire Smell the power Of the arm of Jupiter As hand of god Conducts symphony Illuminate Undulating Breathing Stratosphere.
Copyright © 1997 Kevin Crone
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January 1998 Of The Month
WidowBy: Rosa S. Clement
A man's body lies upon a rough-hewn table, where hands place wild flowers. A woman leans on the window and sheds her tears. The older women talk and comfort her. The children wonder about death. He made the fields bloom as he sowed coffee, corn, love and pride. He fed the roving rodents and left his streams of sweat into the land. His paddle will never stir again the river's waters. His fishnet, his main inheritance, won't rest for too long. The land will welcome him, but, like the crying woman, will also miss the touch of his hands.
Copyright © 1996 Rosa S. Clement
December 1998 Of The Month
Pre-Dawn Rain at Oak Street BeachBy: Glen Fauré5:53 a.m. This sliver lightning’s dart and stitch, the sand’s bouclé the tide’s uneven pleat, the tapestries from spinning wheels of air, are fabrics of a daydream. 6:01 a.m. From a plum and gray lacustral loom the lusters curve with seamless hem. Not one errant thread of sail or wing, neither do the clouds or waves unweave. 6:09 a.m. Slender ribbons, lavender. Layers of purple organdy. Crinoline’s erotic interlace that filters light coquettishly. 6:14 a.m. This emerald spread of liquid capes, these phosphorescent veils and lace, these intertwines of threads that flow and glide, like peignoirs made of mist. 6:15 a.m. I roll my collar up and turn with hands inside my pockets. And slowly drift away from this wishing I could paint or sketch.
Copyright © 1997 Glen Fauré
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July 1997 Of The Month
In summer's light I stood, centuries and continents from home, where she had stood, watching this weight of ivy work its spell on stone. Wild ivy crawling from its roots, bird songs, monuments bearing our name are all that offered blessing to this shrine. Rays from the same sun that splashed their clocks brought ruins into sharpened focus on patchwork landscape numb with age. Aunt Margaret, countless generations great, was thought to be a witch. They buried her upright with earls and lords in Scotland long before Cromwell came, flatening castle and cathedral in God's name. It was the custom then. Birds, undistressed by fallen kings or upright witches, sang carols handed down millenia of genes. Do not tell me a love of sundials cannot be carried thus. It was the women, donors of my blood, diluted and diluted still by shaft, by shadow, placed them--carved that surety in stone that braced the gnomon, held the dial, caught the sun, and turned the shade. I feel the witches' blood, and sense the curling lip of outrage. My name is carved in stone and yet -I cannot stay the shaft that lengthens shadow across this bright abyss, this splay of light.
Copyright © 1995 Diane Engle
First appeared in Vincent Brothers Review
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