MIKE AND DALE'S YOUNGER POETS
SELECTIONS FROM FALL 1997
by Lewis Warsh
Two things were
missing, & then one of them
came into view. "Supper
is ready-all I have to do
is heat it up." There's no
direct compensation: it's like comparing
apples & plums. We overturn
the basket & the ripe
fruit falls to the ground.
Someone we don't know
(a friend of a friend) was
throwing up in the woods.
Two things are missing: "canonization"
& "don't take it so hard."
We drifted away to a small shack
on the edge of the woods. People
asked where we had gone & people
who knew bit their tongues.
Bob Marley Night Saturday Downtown
by Joanne Kyger
Dreamlike -the lights have a dark smoky glow and the street
is filled with groups of people under twenty. Car radios,
groups of boys, groups of girls, three sheriff's cars.
Like spring break at Fort Lauderdale, but everyone goes home
At the Community Center the reggae is authentic, easy and
slow to dance to. The group, from Mendecino, has served
'jerked' chicken for dinner. I go around back to see if any
barbecues are still set up. The plaza is filled with vans,
their own encampment.
I walk up and start a conversation with a man and woman
cooking. Like, Lovely evening, how lucky you can park in our
plaza, which we don't usually allow, don't you love our
community center, and that's our freebox over there, etc.
She says, O God
they told me there would be people like you here.
March 18, 1996
by Katherine Lederer
Their thoughts are entirely immersed in resolution.
He resolves to consecrate it with a tree.
He opens his eyes and he finds a place fitting to planting.
It is early in the morning. When he comes he is ethical.
He will remember it. He will give it the epithet epic and leave it.
Where is he?
In the country there are two of them.
Standing immersed in the shadow of love.
Of his motives, he says they are pure.
Of the heavy silence, she thinks it is part of the trueness of
In the winter his motives are altered by a storm.
The two of them purchase a knife.
The blade of it is long and thin.
He commands her to speak in direct discourse.
He indicates that he wants her to express her thoughts concisely and
He finds this romantic.
Most everything has remained unexpressed until this moment.
They are in the country and her bodice has been cut with the knife
that the two of them have previously purchased.
Part of it hangs off her shoulder. In the distance she hears the sound
of a gunshot.
This makes her want to fuck the man
by Lisa Jarnot
Ye white antarctic birds of upper
57th street, you gallery of
white antarctic birds, you street
with white antarctic birds and cabs
and white antarctic birds you street,
ye and you the street and birds I
walk upon the galleries of streets and
birds and longings, you the birds
antarctic of the conversations and
the bank machines, you the atm of
longing, the longing for the atm
machines, you the lover of the banks
and me and birds and others too and
cabs, and you the cabs and you the
subtle longing birds and me, and you
the conversations yet antarctic, and
soup and teeming white antarctic birds
and you the books and phones and atms
the bank machines antarctic, and you
the banks and cabs, and him the one
I love, and those who love me not,
and all antarctic longings, and all
the birds and cabs and also on the
street antarctic of this longing.
O l d C a t S o m b e r M o o n
by Anselm Hollo
Running into feeling befuddles. A kiss, a moment, spiky,
euphoric-then back to evolution. "It are the face on top."
And this be nothing but croaks. Wintry mood floats in
reason's mineshaft. First shapes, twilight trees, now they
are doors. Then fades the sky around one. Looks like a
heightened puddle, haloed by symbolic purples.
"Cerebral, constructive, American worker will rise!"
There was a time one would have ended this with "You
don't say?" But that time's over. So let's hear it again:
"Cerebral, constructive, American worker will rise!" O, K.
All Right. Old cat howls, deaf now, at sixteen years, does
not know where we are.
Por Dia de los Muertos
by John Herndon
Breaking the lamps
by turns, younger son, elder son
and the father
a savage crew
deal grim blows
edge of the shovel
chop the wickedly grinning head
roaring rage and triumph
scatter the pieces to compost
god rot him to orange mush
sprout volunteers come springtime
by Leslie Davis
I discovered you in the night, a long-forgotten
mystical tradition. A hero's ordeal. Dear trust.
Dear patience. Dear archetype. You called to me,
I walked. Indelible yearning. Influenced by a
recent exposure to religion. Fire. Sugar-skulls.
A day for the dead is approaching. Motivated by fear.
The phenomenal, the ordinary. The season has come.
Take me with you. Dear mandala. Dear entrails.
I long for the sun. Completely. Dear initiation.
This October, this November. Already married.
Dear Minotaur. Dear Theseus. Dear ritual. Help me
let go of some of last year's sorrow.
From living without pictures of mars
by Gwendolyn Albert
red blue yellow and sometimes black
the dragonflies give each other a tow
or maybe a jumpstart. they are as big
as she said they would be and I
am flat on my back in the heat
dragonflies scattered above me like
points on an infinite grid. they skid
backwards and sideways the summer breeze
pushing relentlessly out to sea
as they resist without motors or sails
dipping in front of my eyes like yoyos
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