Thursday, March 01, 2001

Issue 4

Teresa White

Joseph C. Hinson

Diane Laurie-Farmer

David Ruslander


Teresa White


I am an apple
hanging fat upon the sighing limb.
Hard as a planet,
with eyes enough
to drink the sky,
I only have to speak
and the entire tree
listens with all its pointed ears.
But one slip
and I am face-down,
mumbling to myself,
beauty gone,
with only a worm's tongue.

I Could Have Been On That Bus

which left the bridge
and dove toward the afternoon street;
I lived on that route.
I could have sat up front and watched
the statement on the shooter
with his oiled gun;
could have seen the driver
fall out the open door
as he tried to take the steering
wheel with him,
could have watched him fall.
I could have watched the calm
young man point the gun
to his own head and pull
the trigger;
could have watched the great
bulk of seats and wheels ballet
down the air;
faced my own death.
I could have.

Olympic Trials

I am warming up
on the cliched head of a pin
though the pin
keeps getting smaller
and these acrobatics bend
my limbs unnaturally.
"Can I stop now, friend?"

The tedious season
of my brain has begun.
To write a poem is Promethean now;
such a steep ascent
requires more than I have.
I squandered ink and vision
to reach this plateau.

I deserve a bronze medal
for getting out of bed,
the gold for remaking it,
all the ends tucked in.


Long after the lithium dissolves in your bloodstream,
the black eye of night will still open
upon the bruised sunrise, the blue ache of day.

Blame me, daughter, for passing on this savage gene
that eats away at our good times, that feeds the bad.
If you are at war with yourself, it is my fault.

I couldn't keep it to myself. Life is lonely
when no one speaks your language.
I wanted someone to talk to;
I chose you.

I wanted someone who could stay up for days on end.
I wanted someone who could hibernate in caved silence
besides the bear and me.

Your mind's rhythms will become slow,
and you will never be completely happy
or completely sad again.

Starlit Christ

I lie flattened by the heat;
all the covers abandoned to the floor.
The fan in the window does no good;
I crave water, any kind of shore.

A swim would help no matter
if the moon's bland face guarded
or I'd find a splintered skiff
pushed into tall reeds, oarless.

Let's say I found myself on a lake.
If a crowd began to gather
on the lantern shore,
I'd paddle by, my hands in cool water.

If I saw you walk towards me,
a starlit Christ, I'd turn away.
Your body would have its old heat
and I'd wake.

Teresa White: I began writing before the onset of manic depressive illness at age 18. Went undiagnosed for nearly fifteen years and bounced in and out of hospitals. I'm presently on disability and finally on medications that seem to help most of the time. I've had over 100 poems published in online e-zines, have one book of my early poems published, "In What Furnace," and am working on a book of recent work.

Teresa White Joseph C. Hinson Diane Laurie-Farmer David Ruslander Helena

Joseph C Hinson

Into the Heart of the Young

On shaky ground he stands.
With trembling wilbury hands,
   he holds his life-line
           (with just enough rope left
         for a hanging)

   Listen to the words hidden here
     as they roll of my tongue...”

Easy as the moon glows
The river certainly knows
   I have no form.

Blinded by the fright
Seduced by the night
   Drunk by the riverside

Saddened by the news
Oppressed by their views
   A nation dies in agony.

Wicked in the east
We must kill the beast
   Laughing in all of us.

When will words come?
When will I ever learn?
You can’t get anything worth saving
without risking something.
   Or everything.

All of my poems are Daily Suicides.
Rebirth can only come when all thoughts are
Words -- Birds in Flight.

Can anyone forgive me now?
Can I resolve my past?
Can you?
Can I?
   the dog is foaming at the mouth,
     big, ugly, sniffing at my feet,
     begging, worshipping

Part II: “Calling to the young...”
The radio is moaning a thousand songs
calling to the young:
“Forget what you’ve learned
Or what you’ve been taught.
It’s not too late to turn it all around,
To find a new way or answer.”
The world is on fire,
fueled by the red sun.
I will not go. I will not go
     ‘till I’ve had my fill.

To awake in a strange house
the dogs
Children playing with guns
Ancient artifacts
The television newsman is talking aimlessly.
Telling tales of the men who made him.

Dying man on amusement park ride
Maggots eating at rotting eyes
“Will someone stop this thing
   and let me off?”
On the end of town
lives a reptile in love with a shrink.
They said he robbed a convenience store
and shot the cashier.
Do you read the news?

Ride the current
The electric wave
A shock to the system


I am a rock’n’roll poet.

The preacher is leading his flock to the sea.
Who will tell them they will all drown?
But the children are in the know.
They sense he is unreal.

Part III: "Radio Nites"
Radio Nites
City of Lights
Hazy recollection of past impulses
   Death games
That Day At The Lake
Nights we made promises sure to be broken

We escaped through the neighborhood
   on the way to the mall
And shot the bird at the slow-going car.

Now and if I leave this town
   (from which I was born)
Who will know me then?
Who or what shall I be remembered?
Men of Wisdom
Wanderer of Souls
Grant me my one wish:
That those who knew me will...

Death is life’s ultimate safety haven.

Ghost Cows

the ancient river runs through the graveyard
the Indians drank from these waters
long before Colombus took a wrong turn
and the white man stole their land
a railroad track, built in the mid-1870’s,
still runs through the nearby woods
the steam engines long ago gave way to diesel power
“that was when the trains lost their virginity,”
says an old farmer down the dirt road here
his father’s father tilled the same land
but his son won’t carry on the tradition
he’s a big-time lawyer in some small southern town
but the cows still graze the land
although they’ve been dead for 20 yrs. or more
and the steam engines still barrel down the tracks
(if you listen hard enough,
sometimes you can hear the piercing whistle
just barely over the din
of the textile mill in the distance)
and the Indian ghosts still drink from the river,
clear, unpolluted water from ancient times
yes, the cows are withering,
white relics with deep set eyes
watching the cars go by
while the passengers remain unaware
of the secrets of this land
and the ghost cows roaming the forgotten graveyard

Teresa White Joseph C. Hinson Diane Laurie-Farmer David Ruslander Helena

Diane Laurie-Farmer


To be real.
Not to catch a star
but to be only what you are.
No God
or Purple Phantom
can show you
until you know You,
the way you feel
without even a fly
in the room.
I used to believe
in a Galaxy
until it devoured me;
now I believe in
that takes me from
the Northing.
It is not a thought,
it is without reason,
as is as natural
as the seasons
one into the other;
it is a whisper,
the falling of leaves,
my baby's breath
upon me -
The Child within
giving birth to its


The horizon is holding up the sun
shining as a floating torch upon the sea;
The moon is rising in the east
pale as a see-through disc
above the cliffs.
Time is now both night and day,
black and white exchange to grey
and the tide moves uncertainly between
a premature birth
and a lingering end
as the moment spreads into infinity
upon the pastel sands.

Pigs in Clothes

I don't like
dogs that talk
pigs in clothes
snakes that walk
fish that know
which way the wind blows.
So baby
    be real
       be real baby
          baby be real
             with me.

Diane Laurie-Farmer: I was raised in Southern California and began drawing and writing at a young age. Being a child of the sixties, I was a flower child who took psychedelic drugs and went to Love Ins... By age 25 I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, which has been a lifelong illness. Apparently the tendency to develop sz was there, but I believe the drugs pushed me over the edge. Through therapy and medications I was able to earn a bachelor's degree in psychology. I then worked as a behavioral therapist with autistic adolescent boys who had severe behavioral problems. This was a rewarding and interesting job. However, my husband and I moved to Northern California, leaving our old lives, friends and family behind. I had a hard time adjusting to our new environment, but I'm now doing better and back in school studying computer networking

Teresa White Joseph C. Hinson Diane Laurie-Farmer David Ruslander Helena

David Ruslander

Soundless As Dots

"Soundless as dots--on a Disc of Snow-" *
I stood with hood up, galoshes unbuckled
and my navy blue knitted mitten outstretched
to catch snowflakes as I waited for you at the corner.
The soundless dots covered the wool like
the milky way covers the night sky.
What mystified me was not the snowflakes
but rather the spaces within them.
For the first time I saw space instead of shape.
Slowly the snow transformed to water droplets.
My toes began to ache.
Why didn't you meet me
at the corner like you promised?

*Emily Dickinson

Grandfather Davis

Lamb's wool graces his head.
It's a porch-sitting kind of day.
Invited by his metal fanned-back chair, he sits.

Only content silver backs still enjoy the porch.
Brown eyes still sharp and bright.
Veins protrude from his lanky arms and temples.

Long thin fingers clasp loosely in his lap, he reflects.

He has grown accustomed to his less able body.
His small vegetable garden weeded for the day
and all the produce nurtured to ripen.

Sheets flapping in the sunny breeze send
clean laundry smell to his nose.
His wife Vera from 50 years ago floats to him.

Eyelids heavy, his head nods for an afternoon nap.
A pleasant memory returns to the ether
to be captured on another porch-sitting kind of day.

Tangerine Morning

Today is a mild tangerine morning.
Peasant women stoop and brush
the night away with stick brooms.

Maids soothe crying crickets
as they light their laundry pyre.
Cauldrons of steamed laundry
paint clouds on the sky

Mourning doves pray night's return.
White faced Geisha hobble down cobblestones,
bow at each other in still perfect kimonos
until they arrive home to rest, before lessons.

Silk rustles with the flowers in the morning breeze.

Teresa White Joseph C. Hinson Diane Laurie-Farmer David Ruslander Helena



nothing more soothing, I was lost in embryonic sleep
and I woke to surmount clarity and wounds too deep
everything lighted up and blinded my grey eyes
I slipped into the funnel to far-gone azure skies.

to be a mother of a thousand breaths was a feeling
that throbbed under the skin and veins so healing
bringing forth in code works the somehow lost notion
of the cycle and the responsibility to its bounding motion.

we are pressed to the floor by ice shards from the waste land
i saw that I am your fingers and you have become my hand
dreams have faces that only on occasion will be divine
and these occasions will set a theory that I can enshrine.


It's been an eagle-day.
And people were scratching
their heads,
I got a cold from walking around
moving from place to place,
sleeping on wet clothes.

But that's a while ago now.
Now I sit in my warm room.

I've scrubbed too many floors with
the same water.
Well, I don't think you want
to throw up the expensive medicine.

See, I am not bothered by
such things, that was all
he said…
…there goes the days.

The Field

Like brave new children
jumping about
on the field that's the
end of the world,
they are just playing
in the sun
making fires
burning young love
into the very last air

Well, I have been blind
because this is the first
time I see how the end
looks like and it's a place
where I'd like to stay and
only because I know my
hands will be warm and
the air will be fresh
on the field

The field is endless
as a fargone asylum
made to fill the empty
hole of clean morning air
the hole where I am

Helena: I was born in 1983. I live in Copenhagen, Denmark where I am studying (high school).

Teresa White Joseph C. Hinson Diane Laurie-Farmer David Ruslander Helena