Monday, July 02, 2007

Issue 23

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Image (Copyright © 2007 Charles Frederickson)

Matthew Burkett
Julie Clark
Deidre Elizabeth
Mario Melendez
Patrick Frank

Matthew Burkett


she was a one hole story
a barhopped lamb with wax on her earrings
misspent sunglasses on the glass of an endtable
that only reflected nosehairs and oily pores.
she wound up dead
every time I touched her.

lamps with no lightbulbs, tables with dirty napkins--
all pink eyes, smokestained lips,
a white map charted on her stomach
where she left room for retaliation.

naked, she asked me to paint her
make her face blue
let her see what she's like inside
let her feel the things that drown but never float
back up.

I said nah.


this is the age of the bodily compromise,
the gradual ceding of temperament
to entities of fiction and purpose,
the age of the first step of becoming a cyborg
the age of the return of phrenology
the age of dotdotdot someone-or-something will
complete it--
of course the age of debt. citizens are numbered
like only soldiers and prisoners have been in the
well-irrigated obsolescence, forbearance, etc.

Matthew Burkett Julie Clark Deidre Elizabeth Mario Melendez Patrick Frank

Julie Clark

Mixing sweet and salty

Picture this:
Dried tears in the salt shaker.
Sprinkle some in.
And this smooth lifeblood,
like honey, let it fall into the pot.
Tastes good.

Just let me think of death as a gift,
cry, or not, as I please.
It's not like you always need my lies,
but sometimes you do.

Hurt myself?
No, uh uh. LOL
I'm cooking.

Sexual Side Effects

Rusty urges nuzzle up to me,
iron hot, chained.
I want in,
I go out.
This is oh so
running in place.

Matthew Burkett Julie Clark Deidre Elizabeth Mario Melendez Patrick Frank

Deidre Elizabeth

indications for psychotropics

a gravel road to a house in the mountains
lime stone filling the tread

the dirt road that continues on past
a pot hole filled with ice in april
the grass strip in the middle

traveling across a ridge line
following a thick layer of fog
toward the interstate fence

construction equipment in a clearing
with overgrown foliage
leaky hydraulics
tires low on air
rusted keys in the ignition

and a trout stream
that only i can see or hear

Daughters of Lilith

Ask us, hell is at the edge
of the universe. Light, stars
what are they? Below absolute
zero, no movement or thought,
shiverless, silent, and burning.

Mother we pray without ceasing,
mercy, we leave the swords to rot
in last night's pizza and gin. Show
the acts that cure these marks
on our arms, between toes,
under tongues.

Restrain the beast that strikes
the evil sickening us - quell
the tremors. Keep flesh from
our mouths. Give us fresh fruit,
cool water, a stroke on the arm,
your desire to be human.

Deidre Elizabeth: i suffer from severe depression. i take the maximum allowable legal dose of wellbutrin and cymbalta as well as 3mg of risperdal for my depression.

Matthew Burkett Julie Clark Deidre Elizabeth Mario Melendez Patrick Frank

Mario Meléndez

Poetic Art

A cow grazes in our memory
blood escapes from the udders
the landscape is dead from a shot

The cow insists on its routine
its tail drives away boredom
the landscape revives in slow motion

The cow abandons the landscape
we continue hearing the lowing
our memory grazes now
in that immense loneliness

The landscape leaves our memory
the words change name
leave us weeping
on the blank page

The cow grazes now in the emptiness
the words are mounted on her
the language makes fun of us

Translated by Ron Hudson

Mario Meléndez (Linares, Chile, 1971), studied Journalism and Social Communication. Outstanding among his books are: “Autocultura y juicio” (with prologue from the National Prize of Literature, Roque Esteban Scarpa), “Apuntes para una leyenda” y “Vuelo subterráneo”. In 1993 he received the Municipal Prize of Literature in the Bicentennial of Linares. His poems have appeared in different revues of Hispano-American Literature as well as in National and Foreign anthologies. Mr. Meléndez has been invited to numerous Literary Conferences including: The First and Second Conferences of Latino-American Writers, organized by the Society of Writers of Chile (Sech), Santiago, 2001 and 2002, and the First International Conference of Amnesty and Solidarity with the People, Rome, Italy, 2003, at which he was named Member of Honor of the Academy of European Culture. At the beginning of 2005, he was published in the prestigious revues “Other Voices Poetry” and “Literati Magazine”. During that same year, he won the Harvest International Prize for best Spanish-language poem from the University of California Polytechnic, Pomona, in the United States. Parts of his work have been translated into Italian, English, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Romanian, Farsi and Catalan. Currently, he is working on the project “Fiestas of the Itinerant Book”.

Matthew Burkett Julie Clark Deidre Elizabeth Mario Melendez Patrick Frank

Patrick Frank

We Will Be Okay

We sat in the church parking lot and the minister

never showed up. We drove to a pancake house and on

the way I told a lot of jokes. Then we drove around

Eastern Connecticut looking for yard sales. When I

stood up for you at work, you said, a coldness

disappeared inside

Soon I will play basketball at twilight. You will

practice walking meditation. Whatever happens on the

job, we will be okay

Patrick Frank: I am a published poet-songwriter and essayist from Middletown, CT, USA. I have served as a counselor and advocate for the poor in New England, the South, and on the Zuni Indian reservation in New Mexico. I am now working with mental health clients in Connecticut.

I am Bipolar and have been in treatment of this disorder since 1999. I have also experienced homelessness.

I have been strongly influenced by international poetry and Eastern philosophy. I published a periodical of Eastern forms of poetry, and aesthetic philosophy, Point Judith Light, during the 1990’s.

In my work, I strive for clarity, depth, a microcosmic aspect, and a kaleidoscopic effect. I focus on the sense of mystery that is embodied in ordinary experience and reality. I would like my poetry to be accessible, while avoiding superficiality.

My creativity is stimulated by dream material, music, great cinema, physical activity, and exposure to nature. I often touch upon social justice themes, the experience of poverty and homelessness, sport, and my work with the disabled. I also explore ethical challenges that lead to personal growth.

Matthew Burkett Julie Clark Deidre Elizabeth Mario Melendez Patrick Frank