Liberation

running through the house, disowned by father
stuffing knapsack with Nirvana provisions, mother sobbing eyes rose
sparkle pearl, massacred thrust of chest clenching breath & sob
breath and sob
until the wailing becomes your own prayer heart
& sadness the root of BUDDAH, moon shine invocations

when I rose to call your name in the dark
I found a sixfold knotted heart of Grizzly tearing through
two days worth of canned meat & water...turning anvil his furred ass to my face
Grizzly slothed off through the brush, breaking not a branch
dried shit crusted to brown hanging garden of fur was all to be seen through the trees.

my knapsack empty as it had always been, Moon-mind running like water
drawing the nearer to sleep
the fire will soon blow itself out as fire once did when it knew itself to be soil.

It was believed no devil could approach Sramana Gautama;
commisseration with the Buddha mean annihilation.

with the Buddah's body being never found after liberation, I followed that old Grizzly
& his pre-Paleolithic grandfather windchime tubular bell pipe organ of dried shit
and came upon a dried river bed which he crossed over
like vagabonds follow railroad & sun.

when I rose to call your name in the dark
I ran through the house screaming for my father
as I hoisted from the tomb of mud
a horned fetus coiled rigormorite
pink with umbilical
squirming in the stone
of 1,000 arms

Earth will soon burn itself out as Earth once did when it knew itself to be darkness.

Anonymous Poem left at The North Water Street Gallery after the reading on August 27, 2004.


 

Poet of the Month for June, 2004 is jexo nor

Leave your Head on the Table

The knife is before you
You have one chance to prove yourself
For your country
Go ahead
Cut off your head
Lay your life on the line
Work in the missile factory
Produce for the Defense Department
They want your head
They'll give you bread
When you are dead.
What's a trillion dollars, anyway?
to a country of 300 million.
The table is ready for war.
Come on.
Cut off your head and leave it on the table.

Jexo Nor


Poet of the Month for April, 2004 is jexo nor
Running
Running
Like an Egg
Running
Through the Traffic

jexo nor


Poet of the Month for March, 2004 is Cheryl Townsend.

CHARACTER

He was a
difficult plot
another villain
off the page
of my fiction
Magic in all
his beautiful desire
Whispering perfect evil
and curling into the
question of my haunted soul

Cheryl Townsend


Poet of the Month for February, 2004 is Jayce Renner.

Tea Cart Junk Drawer

In my parents¹ house there was a large piece of furniture we called the tea cart. To my knowledge, tea was never served on it. Basically, the tea cart was a large wooden box on casters. It had two doors on the front. Inside were kept the stacks and stacks of mail-order catalogs my mother is famous for receiving and three or four years worth of telephone books.

Above the doors, as wide as the tea cart itself was a large drawer. This was known as the junk drawer, and I believe every house I¹ve been in has some version of it. The junk drawer contained many strata of miscellaneous items. If you needed something like a paperclip, a pencil, or tape, the first place you would look would be the tea cart junk drawer, though you might have to dig around a little.

The first stratum of junk drawer items usually consisted of pieces of paper that may or may not become important someday. Dynamic and ever-changing, this included last year¹s report card or a note about your dentist appointment in several months.

Beneath this layer was the chunky object stratum. Here were mostly office supplies that were too dense to float on the surface of the junk. Sticky tape, bottles of glue, and almost-completely-used-up ball point pens were thrown in the tea cart junk drawer, got shuffled around, and wound up below the papers along with rubber banded decks of cards.

Underneath the chunky object stratum was the lonely class of items that seemed useful at one time, but now were simply not taken out too often. Guitar picks that belonged to the brother who moved out several years ago, pieces of jewelry that became unfashionable, and cookie cutters that were too small to be practical for cookies but were nice for a fourth grade craft project all resided here - also, bookmarks with inspirational messages.

And below all this was the foundation of the tea cart junk drawer. If you raked your fingertips firmly against the strata of junk you could unearth rubber bands set in spilled glue that shone against the black velvet lining, not to mention oddly shaped novelty paperclips.

Yes, by the time I moved out, this largish drawer held twenty years worth of objects that somehow managed to survive and avoid the gaping maw of the plastic trash can.

Now that I¹ve grown up, I have unintentionally created a budding junk drawer of my own. It is in the kitchen, in the microwave cart upon which sits the portable dishwasher. This piece of furniture is amazingly similar to the tea cart of my childhood. It has two wooden doors, a large central space, casters, and a wide drawer. And like the tea-less tea cart, the microwave cart has also been co-opted from its nominal use.

There is too much similarity in this furniture selection to be explained by mere coincidence. My id longed to have the junk drawer of my early years. I subconsciously selected a cart with just the right characteristics. Then, without my knowing it, I put all these miscellaneous items in a drawer that would have housed something more kitchen oriented in someone else¹s home. At first, it just had small garden implements and worn out panty hose for staking tomato plants. Soon I added various types of adhesive tape: Scotch, duct, and masking. Then came the excess nuts, bolts, nails, and plastic doohickeys from assembly-required furniture kits. Some empty film canisters and partially worn out batteries found their home. Then I started to think about the oddity of all that stuff together.


Now I realize that the tea cart junk drawer was more than a place to store household miscellany. Though serving a practical purpose, it also housed my family¹s collective memory. To the unfamiliar, the contents were mere trash. To me, most of the items contained family stories. After moving out of my parents¹ house, I projected my childhood memories onto the microwave cart and recreated the junk drawer to retrieve a lost sense of home. My junk drawer demonstrates the power of personal history, how memories are always lurking in the mind just waiting to be played out in the present.


Poet of the Month for January, 2004 is Edwin Gould. Edwin is a university professor of chemistry at KSU and a monthly reader of his poems at the Brady open readings, for years, and now at the North Water Street Gallery in Kent. A great favorite of audiences, Edwin prefaces his readings with this smiling question, "May I begin with a love poem?" Yes, nods around the room . And beautiful love poems they are, musical, muted, the bow drawn with a light touch across the strings of the poem's body. Edwin is also a poet of wit, of the humorous anecdote, a grin maker in his childhood memories of foibles, follies and instruction.

First Day of Classes

Just a year has passed
Since you appeared for the first time
In my Fall class,
One of two dozen new faces

A studious person
Who recited in measured tones

I could not then foretell
That I would enjoy your voice
In our quintet in December,

That the first day of the coming Spring
Would be brightened by your smile

And that I would be hurt deeply
When you put a wall between us in May.

Had you been only half as facile with numbers
Or less capable with notes
I would, at this time,
Barely remember your name

And the yearís interaction between us
With its peaks and deep valleys
Might instead be a formless plateau.

Would I have wished away our contest of wills?
Not for the world.

Edwin Gould