She’s eaten the starvation
I dug in…grasping the flesh.
The fruit of the vine compensates for the losses of the Spring.
The soil’d encapsulated my fingernails…
& the plant grew from starved earth, my cuts were like root hairs.
Just like the oiled vegetation I’d braised with flavours & baked,
the porousity saturated the essence in radiant heat.
I picked the wild berries & enjoyed the taste.
I topped them w/a crumble of rolled oats, black walnuts &almonds, toasted.
The combination made me reflect the comeraderie of the picnic-
the juices meld together, the vital essence gummed into being.
New zygotic plumage.
The culture of the earth we live in harvesting what we get.
If the thievery is halted, the entrails of the huntress shall be spilled in defense
when doe season’s upon us.
The foliage falls. Snowflakes on the lawn.
Her spirit is voracious
I dig in.
…the bowstring In hand, my reflection is an arrow.
PoetJoe H Gallagher, 2012
any event which begins with leaves
by home, by place & sends
like purple feathers
on a border, always ends
unfolding the mouth
Helen Vitoria is a photographer and a poet living in Pennsylvania. Her photographs appear in journals such as: Guernica, decomP, LITnIMAGE, *ken again and many others. Find her here: http://www.helenvitoria.com/
THE PYRAMIDS AT GIZA
By Andrea Bucher-McAdams
Thus spake the Teacher:
“It is our burial practices that separate us from the apes.”
I gaze at
The triple-breasted goddess of the Nile,
Encased in her Madonna spike-bra:
Rigid, rigid with age,
While a camel spits
And the sun blazes on.
Stone by stone -
Stones that the Hebrews quarried,
Stones that are stained with
And a woman next to me murmurs:
“Can you believe
That Moses gave all of this up!”
But he did -
Kneeling before a thicket
With transcendent fire.
The breasts of the goddess
No longer suckle the Pharoahs;
The Princes curl in her womb no more.
Her flesh is cracked sirocco sand
And dogs piss on her leg.
It is not our burial mounds -
Our pyramids of death -
That separate us from the apes.
It is the flame touching our lips,
The Ra that we capture
In hand-painted urns,
In our visions of the Eternal, In dreams that break into
The tomb -
That force open the sarcophagi -
That cause the poison-asp
And slither away.
UNDER A DOGGEREL MOON
All the spears had been chucked
contaminated by the filth
of their intentions.
Mary sat on a hill.
She had refined her choices,
The Genealogy of Sir Quixana
“Noah begat Cherom
who swam by the ark
as penance for his stench –
his brothers would wrench
the wood from the hull
to waft off the smell
had he shat aboard.
Cherom swam by the ark,
a mighty sailor
of his boat made of water
and famed as a shark-
baiter extraordinaire –
he was a fifteen per center
when he sold on to old Noah
but was disowned
for his stench and his politics:
quite left of centre
and socialist in principle.
“Cherom on landing
begat dear Jeshua
long-lived and bearded
and twitted in excelsis –
who claimed the whole world
of meals was held resident
in his facial hair:
a ballotine of eels,
a junket of pear,
a guava soup of lemon leaves
and peaves of peach-air
within bubbles of pig-bollocks –
for this he was disowned
crowned and never pardoned
as the King of Heathen Foods.
Wine soaked his beard
and drenched his poor wife –
quite drunk and peaceable
for the remainder of her life.
“Jeshua begat Anhesus
who begat Desparus
who begat Trióde –
yp-yippity and glory day!
for he earned great accolades
and cheers for his puked-up
mixtures of lime-necked
beers of foreign lands.
“Trióde begat Job –
moaning cunt of a man
with pus and retro-
active wonders on his skin
that begged a thirst to begin
the patient story of his life.
“Job begat Absalon
who begat Legion
and Gentile begatted
by Legion who batted
his sperm to all-comers –
Head Spin Oafs
and Rum Tum Tummers,
Tuggers and Glory-Bes
to the crowds and faces.
“Gentile begat Asher
the Ancient and Childless
who took after grandfather
and whose semen was sieved
and alternately mixed
with honey and ash
and smeared betwixt
the breasts of fallen women.
“Asher begat no-one
but his money to further
the cause of insemination
and brought to the world
some shy ones in corners
and their children’s desires
to mix and procreate
a new land twirled-up
in blue and red.
“That crowd, that noise and rabble,
begat my father: Ibn Hasid of Levant,
well-versed in the poet’s
idle conversation and cant.”
Just a minor thing,
dragging your lining and your needles.
I was to trust you,
to follow your words
like a dotted line,
like a row of stitches,
straight and blank.
And I did,
following them right off
the needle’s eye,
into a folded abyss.
An imaginary friend had to go & remind me about words.
Once upon a time there was something with words.
Something about osmosis.
Three little reds & a big bad witch.
Blah blah blah. Whatever.
What did words ever get me but more words?
As if there’s some message only I can preach.
As if there’s some sermon that’s never been preached.
As if words could save a life.
Maybe if there were a new, never-before read dictionary full of never-before written words.
Maybe if there were some new language invented for pointy-headed readers who would take those brand-new words and voila, save the world & win the zombie Apocalypse.
Even then I don’t know if I could be convinced of a better use for words than folding book pages into origami boats and paper lanterns.
Let them float.
Let them burn.
Why not burn books.
Warmth is a worthy result.
Maybe, it would be better to be warm & warn the world about words instead of writing more.
If faced with freezing to death and building a bonfire with 25 signed copies of the first run of Lady Chatterly’s Lover- the lady dies before I do.
Granted, I go before the Brother’s Grimm.
Those angsty-pangsty teenaged girls who read until 3am & fall asleep drooling their pretty little vacant love dreams into the pages of their sex-riddled library findings should know- even if prince charming shows, he’s probably bisexual. Or fucking her best friend. Or has a secret coke addiction.
And even if he does start out perfect & gives her the chance to wear the most beautiful princess wedding dress & he spins her around the dance floor at the reception until she’s dizzy & a little sick & oh, my, God, he’s such a dream- he’s going to get a beer gut eventually & spend way too much time in the garage painting valve covers.
He’s going to spend too much money buying crap on ebay.
And all because words made her think endings are really beginnings or cliffhangers for the sequel.
Tell those hope riddled poets it only feels like therapy.
Maybe every word that’s ever needed to be written has already been written.
Maybe the world of readers would be better off to fight Alzheimers with Sudoku.
I know I was a nicer person before those devil boys stoned Piggy.
Back before Poe told me about assholes who brick-walled cats in basements.
Back in the once upon a time when books were all Richard Scarry raccoons riding on firetrucks, pointing at the word fire hydrant. Back when it seemed as if I’d been handed the keys to a kingdom.
And then something happened with an anticlimax. Someone told me not to pay attention to the man behind the curtain & the literary world became a 500 lb gorilla.
Someone told me Dr. Seuss had an affair with his best friend’s wife until his own wife took too many barbiturates on purpose & there was an avalanche on my ability to suspend reality. The lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue. Turns out The Lorax was an asshole.
I’m Heckedy Peg, I lost my leg.
Something about the semantic similarity between words and numbers.
How fast could I type to three?
Something about binary code.
SOM. WRU. RU. SYNC. ACK. EOM.
Then text messages started and the voices stopped and my eyeballs fell into my eardrums.
I’m Gretyl Grimm and Hansel is dead.
Once upon a time I attended no one’s graduation, uninvited, to listen to Maya Angelou speak about not speaking. I could’ve read about it but it wouldn’t have been the same.
Because some fucker told me a little secret about misplaced modifiers.
Someone else decided to set it to music.
And several things oxymoronic occurred.
Then something about context clues just would not shut the fuck up and no one typed glorious things like yammering shitstick and I couldn’t think through all the undelivered messages.
I couldn’t decide if I should speak or read or write or listen or explore the palindrome. Yo, Banana boy.
The sestina. Fuck that.
The gawdawful haiku.
The essay, the novel, the paragraph, the sentence.
The asterisk, the ampersand, the there, their, they’re and the its it’s, whom.
I wrote it down, cut it apart, wrote it backward, forward, down the spiral staircase and up your mother’s saintly colon.
I did it dressed, half-dressed, buck-ass naked and full-on drag queen.
I did it eating a bologna sandwich.
But I never wrote one God damned new thing.
How goose would a blue smell?
Salad. Truffle. Katana. Hard hat. Basket, Waffle. Globe. France.
Screw French too.
Maybe the world needs me to type the words yammering shitstick.
It’s not the language or the medium or the format or the fucking words that will change the world, Mr.
It’s getting it all in the right fucking order.
1. So the rumors circulating that you had an affair with Laurence Ferlinghetti, hot air, or the reason he published your books?
a: Haha funny enough someone came up and said oh so your published with city lights, do you know FerlinGucci?
2. You know you share a birthday with Anne Sexton, how would you define her influence on your work? a: Seminal. She got me smoking Winstons when I was a teenager.
3. If you had one radical goal for the impact your poetry could have, What would it be?
a: I'm not answering any more of your fucking questions.
4. But How did you get involved with country & western music?
a: The dollar record bin at Amoeba.