SPRING 2000 | SUMMER 2000 | FALL 2000



Raymond Patterson
CE Hegarty
Norbert Krapf
Peter Ciccariello
Edmund Pennant
Ben Passikoff
Tim Needles
Florence M Hughes
Jill Bart
John Frederick Kaufman
George Held
Matthew J Iannucci
Kiel Stuart
Jackie Moss
Fred Byrnes
Pramila Venkateswaran
Lyn Lifshin
Michael Kutner

Ray Patterson
EASTWARD for Vince

Gazing all night with the stars,
my neighbor's porch light goes out,
and sudden squares of yellow spring
his house awake to morning news
from the darkening side of the world.

Three strokes of charcoal, like visible
thunder, mark a cobalt sky the south
wind drives its clouds across. Off
the Atlantic a single vapor stream,
self-erasing, pencils steadily north.

A shaken hoop of feathers, dawn sends
its message to your door in the jaw
of "fish-shaped Paumanok." Meroke,
Wantagh, Massapequa, Syosset, Setauket,
Mattituck, Poosepatuck, Shinnecock,
Matinecock, Montauket...

By the old path, in the sacred way,
the runner goes, washed with dew,
armed with this day's thirst. What
the Great Spirit wants us to know,
a stone in the mouth of the hunter.

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CE Hegarty

for Wen Li
a woman dreams of her husband
imprisoned in a Chinese "re-education" camp

After nineteen years without you
Nineteen years since you disappeared
I dreamed you were held prisoner
At the piano factory at the edge of town
Surrounded by highwalls & barbed wire
Each day you took your place in front of it
Antique red with the embroidered, silk seat
Each day doing what you learned
At the prison school
Replacing every mindscape with the sound
Of this piano
Erotic now after so much time
On your hands & knees
Stroking its belly & rubbing its back
As if it were
Your fifteen year old, pregnant wife
& everyone knowing it will never pass
The guards, the other prisoners looking on
With the bobbing heads of over-pruned roses
Eyes squinting like spent poppies
After nineteen years
This piano will never pass inspection
It is your death sentence, you've discovered
& so you treat it as your goddess
Your hands ask forgiveness as they touch
Her deviant strings, her individuality
A sacrament too light for this dark place
All anticipating the next test, the day you play
For the General (wearing your father's war medals)
The sad song of your imprisonment
With hermaphrodite fingers
Part flesh, part music
With your face round as a Nasturtium leaf
Void of politics
Playing your heart into the antique red piano.


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Ben Pasikoff


String-skinny Don, boned forward of the rump
of U-backed Rosinante, rides the years
spoon-curved and fish-chinned in his rusting slump,
the twisted trees environing his fears:
black branches braided with the hanging dead.
On one horse side, the walking stomach sack
of Sancho, tragic-shoed in chuggy tread,
slow belly rhymed to the lento clack
of geriatric gallop - while behind,
the wiggle walk of reluctant Dulcinea,
her hilly haunches, floatingly designed,
respect the distance of the horse's rear.
Trio and horse surround the centuries,
crow-caw salutes the body-dendroned trees.

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Jill Bart

Bruce Rosen, 1931-1996

we are some craft
adrift in fog
our running lights
rouged dabs green fires
in opalescent seas
is this life after all
or mere prologue

we are white writings
on the sky of time
in wind we drift
in voice in bardo*

we do not know
is this life real
or dream is the spirit
of the world aware
of us are we heard seen
before dissolving
into silence the empty air.

*Tibetan Buddhist limbo between death & rebirth

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John Frederick Kaufman


1. "Long Island Farmer Husking Corn"

The ear is opened to his
and to be broken from
the stalk. His hat
is cloud-like, dented, dashing.
His face is attentive but
relaxed as he gazes over
masts of corn to the sea.
The cornstalk basket at his
feet is nearly full but
he is in no hurry to harvest.
The light is late summer yellow.
Nothing forever is going to change.

2. "Dance of the Haymakers"

Meat and music.
More wood than metal.
Jubilant jiggling in heavy boots.
A black boy drumming on the barn door.

Maybe just a boy with a stick
can start the fiddle, fill the barn,
send us dancing out into the fields
with open, weary arms.

3. "Waiting for the Tide"

Just pencil on paper:
clamrake and basket, a boy
sitting on the beach on
an island so quiet he hears
the tide ebb as he
waits with the gulls, as we
wait with the boy and Mount
for a tide of quiet to rise
over all the money we've made.

4. "Farmers Nooning"

The dark man is a slave.
He shuns the shade
to sleep on the hay.
He is different but equal,
a part of the day and
the color of the jug.
Above them all the tree
bends affectionately and
holds the scythe that is
curved like a spine. One
tooth on a hayrake is
bone. It is only noon.
There is more field to mow,
to rake. They are not slaves.

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George Held


That night we heard Johnny Hartman
at Michael's Pub for the last time
& I bought you his albums,
which he autographed for you during the break,
& then he honored my request & sang
Dedicated to You for you,
& since we were too high
from grooving on your idol -
you'd learned from him to sing a mean scat too -
& the moon was high
on silvering Manhattan,
we decided to walk home to the Village,
& it took all those weird years
for me to realize you
wanted to walk moonlit 5th Avenue
those three miles only to defuse
the charge of hearing Johnny's jazz
together & to give you
time to lay yr rap on me
about how you wanted to drop our duo
& do a single
& you were starting that very night at 3 AM
when at the Arch you
headed east to yr new agent's pad,
where he was waiting for you,
& I went west
the night Johnny Hartman
played at Michael's Pub
for the last time.

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Jackie Moss


Thousands have followed me
from the ceilings, walls, streets and clouds
Blue, Green, Brown, Brown, Green, Blue
Black; Black lasers
Dislocate my arms and legs
Twist my spine, my neck dangles
Still I'm not disabled
I hang myself
beside Picasso's Three Musicians
I've gotten used to stares
Look, Look, Look harder
You've never seen anything like us before.


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