Mark Lamoureux (Astoria, New York, USA): Two Poems

THE MADEIRA DRINKERS

Will get to
it quit asking &
shake the box
until glass swan
breaks jaws unhinged
like an orchid
resplendent in shirt
jacket tie hat
face pants Stinking
Benjamin no Ben
rocking the pocket
square where good
old fashioned red
nepotism below deck
under water un-
understood taller
blasted Bridge Mix
chess timer heart
in tall glass
overtime adagio
closed mouth
open face Monte
Christo in over
affect nape
of onion salt
sock garter Gyro
Plate has some
fucking hair on
its vestigial gills
or tar liquorice
record sleeve smell
& film just
like a real
girl’s tears on
a hot plate cassette
deck disaster
like a real French
King like in
a movie with
real milk real
flowers fake
moustache lost in
the pirate cove
the model lighthouse
on the little Lake
Geneva green racing
striped like
mini golf balls

SCRIMSHAW TANGO

A porcelain cleft roves
Over gravel, the blasted

Tower injects the void
With names—ask me

To author you: said narrative
Resolution a bait &

Switch letterpressing—although
Irreversible, I forgot

What I was doing, untied
& gagged—the annihilator

Shoots a full stop upon
The pretty strophe

Languid, from paper
Bloom to paper bloom—

Better still a nameless text
With no ankles suspended

O’er an openmouthed receiver
For the wet apparitions

I make a seeded form
I make a pneumatic mausoleum—

Was all skin &
Phonemes, all skin &

Tight like a pineapple
Rolled over dimples

O Man Ray who paints f-
Holes, lens tucked

Into a rift & burst like
Wedding-glass—give over

The many subject positions
Subject to gravity as

A still & hairless face is
Parsing code

From a nameless flame.


© Mark Lamoureux 2008

Robert Archambeau (Lake Forest, Illinois, USA): Letter to Albert Goldbarth

LETTER TO ALBERT GOLDBARTH

(remixing and writing-through Budget Travel through Space and Time)

I ate your book, Albert,
or should I say:
I ate your book the way the snake
in your poem ate its mouse:
first, the slow survey of rich terrain,
then somehow
without an indication of speed
or even movement (it was easy:
I was stretched out on the couch)
I gulped the living thing
down whole. But that’s not right.
Your book’s no mouse, but
something supple and absorptive,
something setting out to take it all,
like the topless dancer who took your pal
for all his tens and twenties, all his fives and ones,
who, playful, took his quarters and his dimes.
I think I came across the book in Mexico,
when I lived in a village so small I always thought
a rain of more than an hour would wash it
into the jungle totally, with its one telephone,
its butcher knife, its five flutes
and handful of silt. I don’t know why I was there,
or if it even happened,
or if it only happened in the book I’d swallowed whole.
I don’t know why my hunger took me there,
unless it had to do with how the words I’d been born into
weren’t enough,
and I’d come because I wanted more inside me,
more digestion stones, like what an owl has, and more
for them to go to pulverizing work on.
I ate your book, Albert.
But that’s not right:
I write inside the belly of a snake.


© Robert Archambeau 2008

Reb Livingston (Reston, Virginia, USA): Five Poems

THE FIRST CHRONICLE OF MARRIAGE

When the afflicted meadow prevailed, but the vestal cottage did not, when the thinking thingamabob existed, but the hypnotic tomato did not, when mental somersaults reigned, but snickering laments did not, when blindness was obligatory, but trinkets were not, when shepherding and mewing bellowed, when kitchens had mancatchers — I was the grandmother of middling gourds, Ancestress of the beaten squash, I was the mama and papa of pumpkins, the cousin of misused zucchini.


THE SECOND CHRONICLE OF MARRIAGE

The mates in the meadow stitched barley, the mates in meadow polished loins, stitched their loins to polished barley, counted fish in the squeamish, ate fish from the squeamish as one eats a sparkling loin. One day, as slumber came, they commanded the holy measurements before the Fishyman, his correct name lost. The allotment of Shepherd was decreed double; the allotment of Shepherd with Damsel in sundress was decreed triple; the allotment of Apron was donated to charity, in loving precedent; yet the allotment of Gigolo, though suffering from grande swagger, was decreed quadruple.

THE FOURTH CHRONICLE OF MARRIAGE

At that juncture a bridal festival was unleashed in Tabernacleville; a bridal festival unleashed upon the meadow. Shepherd said, "Come, Gigolo, let us go, let us dabble in daughters, let us go and get tuggered." The god Shameman attended the bridal festival; his wife, loyal Harpy, attended the bridal festival, and I, their beloved daughter, Damsel, attended this primal bridal festival. In Tabernacleville, the creditors rattled, seven debtors took their daughters from the brothels, hassled and pedaled, to baffle and compete for the Shepherds' ironing down the path to Apron. Many came to Tabernacleville, the space where the bridal festival unleashed, to fondle and fiddle. Many bartered for us fond dangled fiddles.

THE FIFTH CHRONICLE OF MARRIAGE

With Gigolo, for both were first-rate dandies, Shepherd too strode the teeming meadow to slip and tweak at the gate of Tabernacleville. They searched for the absurdest instrument, plucked many hooded rows. Gigolo deduced us second string, interloped his bow into each shallow body, then speculated with the Shepherd. In this gruesome meadow, in the tasting, Shepherd fancied me; in my gruesome meltdown in Tabernacleville, Gigolo traded his kingdom for this checked out vessel.

THE NINTH CHRONICLE OF MARRIAGE

The mental somersaults multiplied, pumpkins mangled, tomatoes massacred. Sultana spoke to Damsel: "Hark, his blissed fish is sweat and marred and his tongue keen as sprite; he gobbles all meals and considers you snack. He will attend more festivals and gawk and slip and wolf and pluck; he is Shepherd and Fishyman's bartered image, nurtured by Apron and Harpy, monstrosities of your image. He's the seepage in your hearth, the slackage of your pull, the leakage down your thigh, the rotting sausage plugging your psyche . . . My kindred, my echo, my spit and damage, you are not obligated to mindless affection. Damsel replied to Sultana: "We cannot deflect this cyclone, only scribble him down."


© Reb Livingston 2008