November 2001Café Society's Poetry News Update
Do you have poetry news or comments? Mail me on the link at the bottom of this page. Announce competitions / calls for submissions here free.


By phone: An Interview With  RIC MASTEN

Troubadour / Speaking Poet Ric Masten has toured the world entertaining and uplifting audiences with his wit and wisdom. In the tradition of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, Masten speaks in a voice we all know, even now, as he battles terminal prostate cancer. "Let It Be a Dance - Words & One-liners," a coffee-table book of Masten's well-known poems and his trademark one-line-drawings combines to create something more ... a commanding compendium of the life-work of this inspiring man. 224 pages. 86 drawings.

....."Ric Masten's poems take us to the heart of the human experience because they come from the heart of a good and wise manÖwho takes life as it comes and gives back better than he gets." -

Bill Moyers

Editor's Note: This interview is a first for Poetry Life & Times. Following prior arrangement by email, Ric Masten phoned me at home and I recorded the conversation, using my answerphone's two-way record function. So the conversation flows in a more spontaneous way, in keeping with Ric's style during his live recitals.

Sara Russell.

THE INTERVIEW


Poetry L & T:Yes, I think it's recording now.... listen for the beep.

Ric: I hear it.

Poetry L & T:Did you find it hard, at first, to write poems on the subject of your prostate cancer, or did the words come easily?

Ric:Oh, they came very easily because in a sense my whole life has been getting ready for what I'm doing now. I made my living since 1968 from the writing and performing of my poetry. When my son was a crack addict, I wrote about that...

Poetry L & T: I didn't know about that.

Ric:Yes... and when my wife and I were having trouble with our marriage in the 20th year, we're now in our 49th year, that's what I wrote about... so I've always written about what I call 'The Pain and The Puzzle'. That's why poets always get a bum rap. They always say "you never write anything happy". I say I don't want to write about 'being happy', I mean, be happy, but I do want to know why I'm upset or angry, etc; I want to write about the whys and the wherefores of why I'm upset or angry or why my son is a drug addict.

So when the cancer came along I was ready. It's interesting... My website is getting around 300 hits a week. And I don't understand who those people are.

I get telephone calls strangely from women as much as men, talking about being married to men who have prostate cancer. Most everyone talks 'treatment and cure' but I'm coming at it from a philosophical angle, trying to make peace with it and trying to look at what I have as a blessing and I thought my goodness, I spent my whole life getting ready for what I'm doing now, perfecting my art so that now I can do it right with people who have the same problem I'm having now and they're frightened to death about it.

Poetry L & T: Your 'One Liner' drawings show a sound draftsmanship behind the free-flowing style. How did you first arrive at this unususal style of illustration?

Ric: Well first of all I studied art as a kid in Paris (if you read the intro) I thought I was going to be an artist, my wife's married an oil painter. But I have a learning disability - actually about 20% of the population has it - but it's not being serviced as much as Dyslexia, but my problem is I can't make pictures in my head...

Poetry L & T: And yet you're an artist...

Ric:I was never a studio artist, I was a portrait and landscape artist. I can't daydream. I never liked to read novels and short stories, because when you read them you probably have an accompanying motion picture in your head, so when you're reading you're seeing it but I don't, I can't spell because I can't 'image' the words and then read what I see there. So when I was a portrait and landscape artist, I needed to have the actual existing thing.

I can still draw even though I can't image the word. But if I say "Volkswagen" you can probably see one, right?

Poetry L & T:Yes.

Ric: What color is it?

Poetry L & T:I saw - sort of a greyish-green one, there, for a second, when you said "Volkswagen"

Ric: And it's probably a 'Bug', right. And you're creating all of that. But if I say 'sensitivity' do you see anything?

Poetry L & T:No.

Ric: - That's the way it is with all my thinking.

My brother said what do you do when you're bored at school? I said well what do you do? He said "I play a round of golf at a place close to here called Pebble Beach". He said "you know, I just tee up and hit the ball..." And I thought he was kidding me. And then it turns out what I do... I scribble. And when I scribble I can find the Volkswagen. I can find my wife's face. I can find whatever it is I want to draw.

So the next stage up is that you begin to pull the drawing out of the scribble and throw the scribble away, and so I wound up with these one liners. I wound up doing a drawing and a poem a week for a local newspaper for seven years. Four or five years into this I got kinda bored with my little drawings and I did a couple of one liners. So I thought wow, that's fun.

Then I realised that my learning disability led me into a thing that not everybody does. So after I thought I had really invented something new - a fellow gave me a book by Picasso entitled 'One Liners'! I thought, thanks a lot, pal! ...So whenever I write a poem now, I have to make the one liner to go with it. Someone said to me "y'know, it's interesting Ric, The line takes off where the poems stop."

Poetry L & T:I liked the wasp one, actually, which leads me into the next question... In your new book "Let It Be A Dance", your poem "The Wasp Nest" was very striking. How did you arrive at that concept of the last surviving wasp being like a human surviving a natural disaster?

Ric:I grew up calling myself an Athiest. But then I kinda calmed and smoothed that down a little and thought what's an Atheist and what's a Believer? So then I called myself a 'Non-Theist'. Looking for a metaphor for the word 'God', I thought, I get to thinking, we're social termites, you know things like ants and termites, bees and wasps, and that which holds them all together - what is that? well if you want to call it God, I think "the human bee".

So I came to my theory that we are social insects, the difference between us and the bees/wasps is that we discovered our own mortality, that's what cast us out of the Garden of Eden. That's what folks are trying to find in religion. To get back in touch with the Entire Hive.

My eldest daughter (she's 49) she was always allergic to bee and wasp stings - unto death. We almost lost her when she was three. She always kept anti-venom with her. Anyway she got married and moved away....

We live in a very rural part of California, we told our neighbors to keep the bees on their property away from ours as possible. We grew up with that. Well after my daughter left home, I had a little wasp nest start on the corner of my house (just like it says in the poem) - and I loved it. And I went out and watched it every day, it was an example of this philosophy I've had. And then one easter all the kids came home, they were sunbathing. I had forgotten about the wasp's nest, I had even forgotten that she was allergic. She ran out to the car and a wasp stung her, and we almost lost her (again), driving eighteen miles to the hospital. So I had to destroy the wasp's nest with a spray thing, squirted into the hole It made the Ohhhmmmm sound (mentioned in the poem). I put it in the trash. I hated doing it, but obviously I loved my daughter more than I ever loved the wasp's nest. The next day I went out and there was this single wasp, it had sat down somewhere, waited until dawn, flew and now there's nothing... and I started crying, I mean I was just standing in my yard sobbing -

Poetry L & T:You felt sorry for it....

Ric:- and I thought "that's the human condition".

Poetry L & T:So true

Ric:"There must be something more to it than just me"

Poetry L & T:Your biography in the book mentions your poetry performance work. I have only read my work aloud at small, informal poetry groups. Do you find it a buzz, reading before a large group of people?

Ric:Way back, as I told you, because of that learning disability, with all that it created in me as a young person, I then got into songwriting. I wrote about that as a negative thing because my mother took everything over from me. She took my painting away from me by promoting it and I never had a feeling whether I was doing it or she was doing it.

I got into rock'n'roll because she hated rock n roll. Then I got into folk music when that happened and I was having trouble in the Hollywood scene with the drugs and all of that, and we did the hippie dropout thing. And I began to get lines of language running, but I've always written for the ear rather than the eye. And the difference is you know you are writing for a listening audience. You know that this is meant to be listened to more, because that's what you do, you make your living as a speaking poet... Now the wasp's nest I would call a 'printing press' poem. There's a lot of stuff going on there.

I'm somebody who would take an American high school on, but I refuse to do it unless they lock all the kids in the gym with me for fifty minutes. And it's easy, I discovered that the kids don't want to be bored, and all I have to do is tell them that "it's not your fault, but I'm a live human being and if I were reading you a poem about my son who is a crack addict, or having terminal cancer, I can see you, and you don't realise that, because you listen to records, go to the movies or watch television. We're a whole poplulation now who doesn't know who live human beings are". And I realised that when I do that, I have wonderful audiences. I have a leg up over most poets, because I'm doing it for an immediate response, it's a kind of 'garden club language'.

Poetry L & T:Oh yes, I read that poem The Dixieland Jazz Festival tonight. You weren't terribly happy at that concert?

(both laugh)

Poetry L & T:But you enjoyed seeing him* (*Ric's grandson Nathan) perform?

Ric:Oh yes, really.

I've sold probably about half a million books, over the 33 years that I've been doing this professionally. And I have no sense of that. But when I'm with 500 people... I do a lot of conferences where I pick the material to fit. I go over my poems and see what fits into what they're interested in, and then I'll do a reading making points about their readership. You name any subject. My whole life has been spent trying to get a line of language around the pain and puzzlement. That doesn't mean it can't be funny. It always starts not with a positive, always a negative, I want to find out why I feel that way. When you've finished, I like to think you're building your corral, one post to the next post. And because you're using the discipline of a poem. As you're building your corral you'll come up with maybe two words that rhyme but aren't going anywhere. So you start looking around for two words that not only rhyme but work as part of the corral.

So you follow your fence line around your corral, and the words start to bring ideas and new thoughts. So by the time I get to the end, I like to say the punchline, the thing that happens at the end that makes you go "ah!" that's what I call the 'gate'. And when you close the gate, you go "wow" and then it happens.

Do you like Stevie Smith? She's one of yours that I love a lot. A British poet I just fell in love with. She's up there with Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath. Go to a library and pick up one of her books.

Poetry L & T:Yes I will. ...What would you say to an aspiring poet who wanted to get published by a reputable publisher?

Ric:First, publishers are not looking for poets because they know that poetry is not going to sell. They will take on major Pulitzer prizewinners for the prestige. This is also true of philosophers. They have enough prestige that the press wants them in their stable, or they have an angel that wants to pay for the book to be published!

Poetry L & T:Luck is quite a big part of it!

Ric:Yes, a third. And the first third is talent. The second is what I call stick-to-it-iveness And the third is - dumb luck. Being at the right place at the right time. But you can improve if you stick at it.

The other thing you have to do is share your work with anyone who comes anywhere near you. I read my work to people on airplanes and when I'm going to gigs. And I picked up over the years two major readings at colleges - because I bothered to do this. There happened to a be a dean of a college sitting next to me. Had I talked to him and he said what are you doing and I said oh I'm a poet - he would say that's nice. But he's sitting next to me, he can't escape, I force him to listen to my stuff and he saw what it was... so that's what I mean by sharing it, you make the luck for yourself, you can make that happen, you could be sharing with everybody from your best friends to strangers, sending your books across the ocean to friends...

Poetry L & T:This is why the internet helps, of course. It didn't happen to me until I was 40 and set up a website online.

Ric:How long have you been writing?

Poetry L & T:Over 10 years before I was published. Most of the poems went into little anthologies, then I was finally paid for it.

Ric:However there is an interesting way.... I did a lot of reading for the Unitarian, a humanistic religious approach. So a lot of my material fit. So they hired me. They sent me all around the country You talk about dumb luck. They had an editor of the prestigious Deacon press in Boston, he heard me at a Unitarian gig and we got a publisher! I sold 7,000 on the road, because people buy a book because they have been moved by you. By tomorrow morning that wonderful feeling will have washed away, so when they see your book in the window they are not going to rush in and buy your book unless they are full of the feeling you left them with.

Then I realised I had sold 7,000 books for Beacon Press and made 800 dollarsfor that, that's what they were paying their authors. So I decided I'd publish myself. So when I sell 7,000 books now I make 21 to 22,000 dollars. So it costs me about two bucks apiece.

The book I sent you - that was done by another publisher, we got into that trying to raise money for my cancer. I had nothing to do with the design of it. All I did was give them my one line drawings and the poems. So when she showed me what she did, I just said 'wow'. And how they set the drawings on the page....

Poetry L & T:Yes, I like that layout, the mid-green. And I like the way they show a picture of you and Billie Barbara in 1954, then another one in 2001 - same pose.

Ric:I'm glad you notice that. That was my idea. That happened to be a world famous photographer, called Cole Weston. My idea was that when we are young we are looking towards our lives as you read the introduction, and when you get to the end of it, we're looking back, my wife and I at the life we've lived.

Poetry L & T:One of the first things I noticed.

Ric:You have good taste.

It's so interesting - some of my dearest friends I have met online. People say, you need the real human being and I say no you don't. You have a better chance of having a close relationship when race, gender, economics, psychology, location, all those things have nothing to do with the spiritual connections you are making with people. Some of my dearest friends I would not know if I sat down beside them in a restaurant. And I think that's wonderful. With cancer survivors and poets, you are pretty safe meeting those sorts of people in those two arenas.

Poetry L & T:Oh yes, you can make some very good friends online.

End Note:And here the tape ran out, though we chatted on for a while. It was an interesting interview. Many thanks to Ric Masten for both the interview and for sending me his very enjoyable illustrated poetry book, Let It Be A Dance, which is discussed in the interview.


CLICK HERE to read poetry by
Ric Masten



RIC MASTEN'S BIBLIOGRAPHY
Go to the SunInk Publications website for full details/prices on these books, also Ric's CDs.





LET IT BE A DANCE -
Words & One-liners

ISBN 1-886312-15-X
SunInk Publications

I Know It Isn't Funny But
I Love To Make You Laugh

ISBN 0-931104-41-6
SunInk Publications

Rick Masten Speaking
(Compiled by Sandra Martz
of Papier-Mache Press)
ISBN 0-918949-11-3
SunInk Publications



Notice Me
ISBN 0-931104-17-3
SunInk Publications

Stark Naked
ISBN 0-931104-04-1
SunInk Publications



Voice of The Hive
ISBN 0-931104-02-5
SunInk Publications




EDITOR'S LETTER, NOVEMBER 2001

Dear Poets,

This issue features an interview with Ric Masten, troubadour, performance poet and "one-liner" cartoonist.

Featured Poets this month include Rochelle Hope Mehr, Kristy Bowen, David E. Barnes, Deborah P. Kolodij, Christopher Mulrooney, Jim Dunlap, Richard Vallance and Jan Sand. As in October's issue, more poets are commenting on the tragic events of September 11th, as part of their selection of work. My own page on this subject is on this link.

Any comments on this issue or back issues can be emailed to me on the link at the bottom of the page. Please indicate whether you would like the comments to go into the Letters section. Announcements are always welcome, you can also promote poetry books here.

Poetry submissions should be in plain text in the body of an email, with a small jpeg author picture attached, also a bio, with the URLs of any ezines mentioned, so that they can be shown as links. This increases the chance of inclusion, especially for late submissions. Pictures are best at a maximum of 520 pixels across, otherwise they take ages to arrive by email, especially in bitmap or TIFF format. Further submission guidelines are available on request.

Best Regards,

                  



Click title below for this month's Vallance Review feature

Richard Vallance reviews sonnets, both classic and modern.





Featured poets this month are Rochelle Hope Mehr, Kristy Bowen, David E. Barnes, Deborah P. Kolodij, Christopher Mulrooney, Jim Dunlap, Richard Vallance and Jan Sand. Many thanks to all contributors.

ROCHELLE HOPE MEHR

Rochelle’s poetry has appeared in IdioM, Joey and the Black Boots, Liquid Ohio, Daniel Crocker's Dirty Dishes, Score, The Brown Critique, The Moonwort Review, Pink Cadillac, Tyro's Pen, Poems Niederngasse Online, Charlotte's Web Page, Futures, Hidden Oak, Journal of Modern Writing, Poetry Art & Word, The Writer's Hood, Concrete Wolf, A Little Poetry and other publications.

The World Trade Center
© Rochelle Hope Mehr



It's not the symbolism I miss
as much as the place itself.
The defined space.
The edifice housing the humming
efficiency of the nation's
largest business communities.
Escalators shooting up and down.
I, ensconced in a book
in a bookstore
mind drifting away
in my cabriolet dreams --
But feet rooted firmly.
Soles soldered securely
to the ground.
Apart from the mercantile ebullience
which animated the place.
And yet a strange, insignificant part of it all
As I purchased my book
And sat down to read it in the food court
Munching on a hot, salty, store-bought pretzel.


Holy Ground
© Rochelle Hope Mehr



Is this how history is relayed?
Like the passing of debris from hand to hand,
bucket to bucket?
Events occur in real time -- maybe seconds
it takes for a building to collapse.
For lives to crumble to the ground.
For the dust to occupy
the interspace between us.

How objective is my eye
fifteen miles removed from the scene?
The TV screen frames the wrecked guts of the place
but reduces it in scale -- this is writ large:

This is a Dantean landscape, sprawling and unwieldy,
teeming with monstrous cranes
chewing up huge chunks of concrete and metal
seeking the beast to tame
as rescue workers doff their helmets
bow their heads
freeze the frame


In Memoriam
© Rochelle Hope Mehr



Isaac Stern cherubic emissary
of music and light
must have died of a broken heart

as his beloved metropolis
picked apart its twisted steel
and concrete

his finger lifted sternly to his lips
listening for one last breath
from the depths


Surreal
© Rochelle Hope Mehr



There is no longer any distance
between virtual and real:

Bin Laden, a screen saver
for genteel prep school boys,
transformed into an icon
issuing specific commands.

His operatives, learning to fly
on simulator systems
in American flying schools,
claiming frequent flyer miles online.

Eluding metal detectors at airports
with box-cutter knives.

Ramming airplanes
into American military and economic icons.
Killing flesh and blood human beings --

Just blips on our screens
as we edit out the screams.


Misrepresenting God
© Rochelle Hope Mehr



Both sides - two foes -
speak to, appeal to God -
find God revealed in their exploits.

To whom does He listen?
Whom does he choose
as his avatar?
Which bloody corpse conceals
His seal?

God appeals
to the best in us.

What infernal prism of night
skews His light?


[email protected]


KRISTY BOWEN

Kristy's poetry has appeared most recently in Stirring, Poetry Midwest, Moon Journal, Prairie Poetry, Eclectica, and Half Drunk Muse. After studying English and Theatre at Rockford College, she received an M.A. in English Literature from DePaul University. She has written book reviews for Midwest Book Review and Curled Up With A Good Book, and serve as Contributing Editor for the "20th Century Women Writers" topic at Suite101.com. Her latest project is launching the online literary zine Wicked Alice . She lives and writes in Chicago.

Click here for Kristy's personal website.

Atlantis
© Kristy Bowen



The sea does not give up its dead.
Words drown there, heavy
Like pale children
In the wet air between us.

We sift love for what remains,
The odd photo or token,
The silver tea set, a set of spoons.
A sofa, the bed, a busted lamp
Hearts stored in objects
Caught between ocean and land.

We reach among refuse
Old shoes and rusty pipes,
Our voices worn old from listening,
Small against the rush of waves.

You surface, but I sink
The thin thread of memory
Holds fast then slips
Like a fish from our arms.


Undertow
© Kristy Bowen



It only has to happen once.
You almost drown, slipping
Like a minnow, easy, from
Watchful, protective arms,
Small and white, weighted,
In the greenish dark of the lake.

After that, all is forgetting.
The strangers searching the horizon,
Your father's wave as the last
Finger dissappears at the surface,
Open-eyed and sinking.

You could never go back completely,
Though you tried, escaped that
Primal well of rock and sand.
Like Lancelot, you were always dreaming
Of open caves and terrible depths,
That endless watery mother.


[email protected]


DAVID BARNES

David Edward Barnes was born in Australia - 1943 - Paddington, New South Wales. He began writing at 18 years of age when he took up folk guitar, song writing, and performing at folk centers around mainland Australia, and Tasmania. He worked as a carpenter in Melbourne, leaving for the bush in the early 60's, finally settling in Perth in 1972. He worked as a Real Estate Agent for 24 years until the death of his wife; becoming a fulltime writer poet in 1996. He has been an active Internet poet and has been published in Australia America and England. Recently he was published in the Paris/Atlantic, an International Journal of Creative Work. Spring issue: 2000. He is also the Publisher of Poetry Downunder an online poetry site in Perth Western Australia. Recently some of his works were published in an Empowa Issue 1. Anthology released in Perth W.A. November 2000, with further publication of his work in Firefly MagazineTennessee U.S.A Volume 29 - 2001. more of his works are to be published in an Empowa Issue No: 2. - 2001 Anthology, due in Perth Western Australia.

The Orchard
© David E. Barnes
Revised: 26th Sept. 2001



Such sweet fruit
held all in hand,
eaten from the tree
caressed by the gentle pith
cover of the peach on my lips,

juices melt on tongue
a taste never felt, never touched
never to be forgotten;
passion adrift in light, twilight,
flesh smooth down,

mellow pliable tender, open to all;
pain pleasure trickles

dew soaked skins soar down
in to indivisibility.

Dewdrops sparkle on the peach
a window, a soul,
holds you captive
pledges sensual electricity,

an ecstasy of perpetual hunger
under the leafy cover of the orchard;

shaded from life
forever floating in the void spent
immersed,

you and I fleetingly
the fruit of the tree
such sweet fruit
to ripen.


Thoughts in winter
© David E. Barnes
July 3rd 2001



In autumn
I always thought you would never leave...

but now its winter.
The Wisteria has shed all its autumn leaves
a carpet down the driveway ...
against the verandah beam, the creeper
is shaky at the far end.

You told me
autumn would never end ...
that I should stop smoking that it would kill me.

Words,
still in my head, recollections
of middle age.


The Carpenter
© David E. Barnes
27th January 2001



The truth of it:
he looks on softened palms these days,
no longer calloused-
calloused hands, which once shaped,
planed the rich surface of a life cut down,
fashioned, carved
into an intricate corner cabinet, hanging
somewhere.

Against the shed wall,
Queen Anne stands incomplete, naked,
awaiting her finale;
he knows that someone else... will
have to dress her.

He sees yesteryears.
blackened bloodstains, scars embedded
in the worn workbench:
carved barley twists
lie half finished.

The truth of it:
glue, clamps and nails do not gather here anymore,
his tools lie idle.
All that remains is the fragrance of wood;
the memory of calloused hands.


Offerings
© David E. Barnes
Sept 22nd, 2001



I wish it were spring
or summer;
but I know your game.

Taking autumn's
burnt offerings,
ashes;

gray streaks my hair

I see which season
shall win this sly life,

I know your changes
as I know well my own.

I offer ashes
to the one
who has claim to me.

White hair

lies breathless
upon the
pillow.


For Daniel
© David E. Barnes
13th March, 2001



If the door
should ever abruptly close between us,
do not grieve at my passing.
Rejoice, in having known me:
do not fear the coming; let go, in good spirit:
do not mourn the loss of touch of these aged
wiry hands,
words said, unsaid:
in you I am well rewarded.
Do not fear the coming, or where I go.
Companions
who I have loved, and still love,
tell them my song...
If the door,
should ever close.


[email protected]


DEBORAH P. KOLODJI*
*Featured in this month's
Vallance Review

Deborah P. Kolodji is a divorced mother of three who uses her career in information technology to fund her poetry habit. Her work has appeared in scores of small press magazines and webzines, including Star*Line, Dreams and Nightmares, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Stirring, Red River Review, and Twilight Times. Two of her poems appeared in the recent anthology, "Envelopes of Time", published by Electric Wine.

Other recent publications include three poems in Keith Allen Daniels landmark science fiction poetry anthology, 2001: A Science Fiction Poetry Anthology, which is available from Anamnesis Press, as well as a true life story in "Charity, True Stories of Giving and Receiving", available from Red Rock Press.

Fall Treasure
© Deborah P. Kolodji



My friend in Vermont says there is no Fall
in California, land of palm trees
missing the riot of colorful leaves
brush strokes of amber, orange, and crimson call
vacationers east to New England towns
quaint antique shops and apple cider mills
hints of frost in the air swirl around hills
as the wind sings cheers of college touch downs.
Subtle signs of change in shortening days
aren't obvious here in Los Angeles
when the schools reopen and beaches miss
summer crowds, tourists soaking up sun rays.
My gingko tree turns radiantly gold.
Rare fall color, a treasure to behold.


After the Spell Ends
© Deborah P. Kolodji



Enchanted, he sleeps in the noontime sun
a pond rock replaces his one-time throne
waiting, yes waiting, for a kiss upon
his amphibian cheeks, for this alone
will restore his human form and as time
goes by, he finds peace in the still water
and in the dances of the dragonfly,
forgetting palace life, sounds of laughter,
the music of the bards, the witch's spell
that placed him here. In time, a princess came
to fulfill the prophecy and he fell
back in his old body, naked in shame.
Riding back to his castle, he wishes
for lost carefree days swimming with fishes.

Originally appeared in Electric Wine


Ghost of the Lussibruden
© Deborah P. Kolodji



Lighting up the longest cold night, she glides
over icy lakes and snow covered hills
wearing white robes, a blood-stained sash hides
the fatal wound, lost in the winter chill
over a land the sun forgot once more.
Dark shadows linger as she moves through town
bringing coffee, saffron lussekatt or
ginger cookies to the poorest poor, crowned
with seven bright candles on a green wreath
worn with proud duty, an oldest daughter
carrying the platter tradition believed
served her own plucked-out eyes. She was slaughtered
by the Romans so very long ago.
No one remembers. Just her face. Aglow.

First published in Dreams and Nightmares #58


Feather Fever
© Deborah P. Kolodji



Longing for flight, she collected feathers.
One thousand iridescent peacock eyes
watched her lose to gravity's cruel tether
again and again, falling from the skies.
Failing engineering, no Daedalus,
she continued pasting with her glue-gun,
designing beautiful new wings, jealous
of birds silhouetted against the sun.
The rush of the wind, the view from above
haunted her dreams. She was a spell victim
ignorant of her own wings of a dove
at birth, until transformed back one autumn.
Always knowing her land-locked legs were wrong,
she smiled, bursting heavenward into song.

[email protected]


Click here for November 2001 Featured Poets page 2 --> link for second half of featured poets....



Welcome to the WEB's newest bilingual Canadian poetry E-Zine:

Bienvenue chez la toute nouvelle revue bilingue canadienne portant sur la posie sur l'Internet:

Poetry in Emotion
la posie s'mouvoir

Volume 1, no. 1, Autumn, 2001
of this Quarterly E-Zine is now online (See link following parallel French text):

Vous pouvez enfin lire le tout premier numro de cette revue trimestrielle (celui de l'automne, 2001).
Pour vous y acheminez, vous n'avez qu' cliquer sur le lien suivant:

http://poesieinemotion.homestead.com/

The featured artist for our first issue is the American poet, Mykael-Eagleton Mize.

L'artiste en vedette de notre premier numro est un pote amricain, qui s'appelle Mykael-Eagleton Mize.

Should you have any comments or suggestions,
please feel free to sign our Guest Book.

Si cela vous pique de nous faire des commentaires ou des suggestions,
n'hsitez pas signer notre petit Livre d'or!




The 14th St. Y of the Educational Alliance
The Center for Cultural and Performing Arts
Wendy Sabin-Lasker, Director WhY Women Poetry Series,
Veronica Golos, Artistic Coordinator for Literary Programs

Presents:

UPCOMING EVENTS:

WhY WOMEN POETRY SERIES*

Thursdays 7:00pm

The Feeling of Flesh - Nov 8 - $7
With Cortney Davis and Sondra Zeidenstein;
music by Rhythms of Aqua.

Ceremonies of Light - Dec 6 - $7
With Enid Dame, and others TBA.

Something Understood... - Dec 20 - $12
With Phillis Levin introducing her new anthology,
The Penquin Book of the Sonnet, with special quest, BILLY COLLINS and
(readings by contributors, and gift books for sale). Music by
Sarafina Martino and James Smith on lute.

* These programs are made possible in part by grants from
Poets and Writers, Inc.

and...

INVITING ARTISTS SERIES
The Inviting Artists Series invites publishers, project coordinators and
curators to utilize the Y's space to present their work.
For information on rates and event dates call Veronica Golos at
212-780-0800 ext. 255.

For more information about events in the fall, or to join the mailing list, write to:
Victoria Golos [email protected]

344 East 14th St.
New York, NY 10003, USA

Phone:
212-780-0800 x255



Time is running out to get your work noticed in the

MILLENNIUM DAWN

anthology, by Kedco Studios Artist Profile Press, coming soon!

Enquiries to Elaine Davis at k[email protected]


THE PERILS OF NORRIS cartoon, #7 - last in the current story. Spot Reginald The Rat and win a prize! Email [email protected] and say where he is and what he is doing...

The Perils of Norris started in August 2000. To catch up on past episodes, click the links below, then your browser's Back button to return.

#1  #2  #3  #4  #5  #6  #7  #8  #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15




Click here for BACK ISSUES page


Mail me on: [email protected] with poems, letters or poetry news,
by 24th November (latest) for December issue



Back to main index


Created using: Lightning HTML Editor Version 2.10.1997