Jun 30, 2008

I Should Have...M.A.Kechula

By Michael A. Kechula

When I saw Kerry, I nearly died. She looked gaunt, a virtual skeleton.

“Are you well, Kerry?"

“Never felt better. I’m on a rice diet. My boyfriend insists I'm too heavy.”

Heavy? Six months ago, she had six-pack abs, tight butt, and was a good athlete. Now, she looked as if she might soon expire.

She said she wanted to be perfect for her boyfriend. I thought him a brutal bastard, who wanted her a corpse.

I wondered if I should say something, considering we were supposed to be joyously celebrating our common birthday? Today she turned twenty, and I turned twenty-nine.

She'd called and invited me to a picnic for just the two of us. Her idea of a birthday celebration at the beach was wonderful. What a charmer.

We’d always clicked since meeting at the university. She thought there was a mystical tie between us, because we’d been born the same day. I figured someday I’d take her up on that. Maybe after my divorce.

Our picnic seemed more for me, than her. She ate only a handful of rice, but had made me huge, delicious, roast beef sandwiches. Plus wine and homemade apple pie. Faced with her emaciation, I felt like a czar feasting in front of a starving peasant.

She said her boyfriend had given her a new car battery for a b-day present. I tried to remain poker-faced. Good thing she couldn’t read my mind: she’d have seen, “freakin’ cold bastard” splashed across my gray matter.

She gave me an intricately woven, macramé key ring. Probably labored on it for weeks. What a terrific gift!

But my gift to her turned out to be an embarrassing, poor choice. A pound of fine Belgian chocolates. Rice-only eaters don’t permit themselves such wondrous luxuries.

Damn! How could I have known she’d been starving herself? Five pounds of basmati would have been a more appropriate gift. But that would’ve been just as hokey as a car battery.

Finally, I mentioned how fit she’d looked when we took Creative Writing together, six months ago. Hoped to make a point about her present appearance. I also mentioned how some men are cruel victimizers. She acted as if she didn’t catch my drift.

The man obviously didn’t love her. How could he watch a loved one waste away?

I thought, Kerry, love ME, instead. I’ll give you deep love that nurtures, not the perverse, sadistic kind that destroys. Why waste your life on a man who wants you dead?

But something urged me not to tell her. So, I didn’t speak my heart.

Now I wonder what might’ve happened if I’d told her that day how easy it would’ve been to fall in love with her? Perhaps she’d have said she was flattered, but think otherwise. Maybe she’d have downgraded our comfy friendship.

I lost track of her.

Until I read her obituary.

Isolation, M.Russell

By Maranda Russell

I want to walk away
and never return.
I want to move to Greece,
where the sun always shines
on the turquise waters,
and the pure white houses glow.
I want real food.
True home-cooked stuff,
not hamburger helper.
I want to live
and breathe deeply
where people still live together.
a community.
a family.
I hate this isolation we've created.

The Crazed Centaur, S.D.Turann

By Santiago del Dardano Turann

I galloped Pendus Mountain paths of pine wood

My heart with such force thrashing that it could

Kick through my ribs and turn this trail to mud

With seething storms of boiling centaur blood!

It's not the blood red fly-caps' magic in me

(That makes us dance in blissful ecstasy)

But on my back there clings one of those eroi

Who mocking with his arrows makes me his toy.

I am a mighty spearman wielding death

From my thick arms and chest for Achaean and Lapith

I leap up rocks fast as the storm wind blows;

Yet I am conquered by mere vapor arrows.

Pine needles slice my skin, twist my long hair

But can not knock him off, the boy nightmare!

I'll plunge into the icy Peneus River

And in the ageless water purge my fever.

Loney Meeting, A.L. Auverigne

A Lonely Meeting
By Amanda Lawrence Auverigne

"That movie was so lame." Julia said.
"Yeah, but what did you expect?" Kailee said.
"I expected to be entertained for two and a half hours after giving
the man in the glass box my nine dollars. I mean. Did you even laugh
once? I think it was supposed to be a comedy." Julia said.
"With all of those body parts flying and people exploding? I thought
it was horror?" Kailee asked.
"And all those explosions. I mean, how many times can you torch the
same house and not realize that the guy you're after is not in it?"
Julia said.
"It was the same house? I counted a couple of apartment buildings, a
boat house a castle." Kailee said.
"Yeah, and what was that whole thing with the castle? They just like
ended up in another country after falling into the ocean." Julia
"I thought they fell in a dam." Kailee said.
"How can you fall into a dam? You can fall into a reservoir. Not a
dam. You can fall on top of a dam. Not in it." Julia said.
"They did. Just before they blew it up." Kailee said.
"They blew up a lot of stuff in that movie. And it didn't help that
when the people talked you couldn't hear a word they were saying. But
when they started shooting it was really loud." Julia said.
"I guess they figured they could get everyone's attention by making
the violence really really loud." Kailee said.
"Well, two and a half hours of my life. Gone!" Julia said.
"Well, there's an art film playing at the Price Theatre on Triton
Avenue. Let's try to catch it. It's like three buck day or
something." Kailee said.
"What's playing?" Julia said.
"Some movie about some pervert who locks a girl up in a room and
plays mind games with her. She gets out and she starts stalking him.
Does the same to him and then at the end she has to decide if she's
gonna do him in or not. It got a lot of good reviews at that Italian
film festival. And oh, it's in French." Kailee said.
"Okay, let's go." Julia said.

Jun 3, 2008

My Foot, E.R.Winkler

By Elaine R. Winkler

After Jane Hirshfield

A foot is not one big toe and four smaller.

Nor is it a sole and instep,
not ligaments and bones,
not tendons, or skin and blood vessels.

My foot does not write novels,
or paint oils on canvas,
it is not the pavement where it has walked,
not in its footprint,
not in painted toenails.

Nor is my foot my garden where I cool it,
not the shoe it wears,
nor the footbath wherein it’s washed,
not the powder that soothes.

The foot of the bed is not it.
Foothills are not it.
The footstool whereupon it rests is not it.

My foot has a single necessary job,
in my estimation.

To put itself forward, then follow the other,
to keep moving me through my life.

The Last Time, C.Sernotti

The Last Time I Saw My Father's Head
By Craig Sernotti

The last time I saw my father's head
it wasn't on his shoulders.
It was in my lap
barking like a tough
telling me to get a life
a job
some pussy
like any real man would.
Can't this wait
I said
until after I'm done
jerking off?
I can't concentrate
with you bothering me.
That's when
the police knocked down my door
& when they grabbed me
I came

For You, Y.Williams

For You
By Yvonne Williams

You ask for a story from me. I suppose I should start with you. You will be the character who will fill my pages with action and love and heartache. You will be the person whose thoughts my pen will deliver to the world. But how does an ordinary person metamorphosize into one who will survive throughout the ages? Where do I begin this seemingly unachievable tale?
Do I recount the number of times that you have wanted to kick yourself in the vain hope that all of the stupid things that have escaped your lips will somehow reverse themselves and flow backward onto your tongue? But, suppose I give the specific account of a specific moment during a specific day, will you then be comfortable living outside of anonymity? Or will you curl back under the pages hoping that those who saw you will someday forget that they ever noticed at all?
Shall I express the gravity that dwells within the swirling crevices of your fingerprint as the buds of your tongue lick the tip of your finger in order to more easily turn the page? But, if I tell of the feel of canyons languorously swiping against the tips of volcanoes, would you deny that such a sensation had ever existed anywhere in proximity of your body? Or will you rejoice in the knowledge that you are capable of experiencing life so profoundly?
But then, what if I incorporate those moments of fear when your ears rang cold with the rapid thump-thumping of your heart. Or when the sweat from your brow delivered a clammy stickiness to the webs of your fingers? Would you wipe the gluey residue from your palms onto the thighs of your pants then declare that fright has never resided beneath the transparent shell of your flesh? Or would you fall to your knees and beg for admittance into the clique of humanity?
Tell me truly, if you knew that my story was about you, would you insist that I start with a man on a boat who is hopelessly lost at sea and only wants to find his way home?