AT LIONESS BOOKS
by Jeanine Stevens
We meet to write poems, prose or otherwise.
The tea grows cold, the snacks disappear; I have yet
to write a first line. I scan shelves for a jump start:
microbes, starfish, Krishna? I wonder how that
red dot feels hot, cold, itchy? Peasants scrounging
in the Stone Age never heard of Arctic dreams.
If I travel to the East, I may seek the Vermillion bird
who lives in old Viet Nam. Perhaps a translitic
filled with obscure Fahrenheit, kirsch under a blanket,
blue moose scratching in a winter garden. Lost boys
roll dice, dream of riches along the Ohio. Tough
memories; I'm in the Adirondacks with no gifts.
My pen gives out; someone's put the kettle on;
salmon, bagels and a bottle of Stag's Leap arrives.
A GREAT READ by Fabrice B. Poussin
ENERGY PULSATING ON SHELVES
by Ian C. Smith
Who will relive lives in my hundreds of books
when I have read my last chapter, final stanza;
narrators, characters, voices major and minor,
luckless, dwelling in mouldering hotels,
itinerants jumping freights, thin coat collars up,
staring through sparks at spectres of their past?
What about those, wild blooms pressed to breasts,
swept by desire after fleeing a tainted liaison,
when I am no longer around to cherish them?
Minimalists' economy hovers,
chance, sudden swerves producing electric tension,
my bookmark kept waiting, waiting again
until I discover why characters do the things they do.
Won't somebody see headlights pierce a quiet street,
win at the track, regret by a grave, wear a uniform,
try to light a trembling fire in an arctic waste,
play a guitar plugged into feedback frenzy,
swear pacts, fail, embark on fateful journeys,
bump into unimagined strangers, changed forever?
EMPTY ROOM by Brent Wiggans
by Robert Beveridge
They sit, the ancient,
identical members of the Order
of Librarians, in an endless line. Requested
for information, one rises,
shuffles away out of sight.
Returns some time,
perhaps months, later, with the wrong
papers. The requestor has gone
for a cup of coffee, or perhaps
to hunt deer with a crossbow.
The librarian turns,
shuffles away out of sight.
CLOSED MIND by Katy Brown
by Steven D. Pace
Thank you for your letter.
Tuesday came on the tenth of May
I feel obliged to say.
Sunless, not without hissing wind
And uh, the shingle lift made such a mess.
I should like you to understand
Each gutter overflowed with cold rain
As cold as the philosophy of fascism.
You too, have a history of this.
Hail to the Hailstones!
Did you have that on a 45?
Our association is somewhere between
Hell and the vernal equinox.
Human experience and human achievement
Are just like anything else.
Now give some thought to US:
When it works it's great. When it doesn't look out.
When the student is ready the master disappears
Into emotional universes?
Like a tire gone flat only with song less