Jun 04 [Home]

A Big Wind
Christopher A. Miller

Show Me
Iain Britton

God Bless the Foul Balls:
A Prayer for Commencement and Euthanasia
Alec Firicano

Adele's Battle Against the Legacy of Wendy and Ed
Scott Cohen

The Eclectic Popsicle
Man with Flip-Top
Colin James

[Image: Sidney Nolan. See Essays, this issue.—Eds.]

. . .

A Big Wind
Christopher A. Miller

Through this little walk-up
big gusts of wind like elephants
rattle the blinds in their

On the fire escape across the way
a boy folds then throws
a paper airplane.
It goes
up and down
delicately, delicately
up and down.

You lie on the bed in
the bedroom, read a
book with your
feet up in the air,
your feet up in the air in white socks.
The wind bursts and blows,
knocks over a tube of chapstick on the dresser.
You hold down the
pages of your book with your long fingers:
long red nails over the base of the creamy pages folded
like a bird.
With your glasses up
on your forehead, you look like
a mechanic
immersed in
an engine.

The wind rolls through and
the blinds smack against the screens
while down the street the
paper airplane shimmies, glides, and
like a home run
softly atop the curb.
The boy claps and yells his approval at this
fine omen, this
best portent.

you look up
and let go of the book.
And all the pages flutter crisply
in the big wind like
they had planned it
this way
all along.

~ . ~

Show Me
Iain Britton

Get out of the car
and show what it is
you want to show me.

I sense this huge face
staring down at us from
'on high.' A gannet

shits on cloud-
gelled hair. An angel
enters left wearing
Dress for Less clothes
and is pointing with
a large road-sign finger
towards Manutuke

a one-eyed village
thinking about waking
pushing up its roofs
amongst paddocks
of kumara. A man

in a black singlet
who plays farmer
and missionary
stuffs up his lines
about being alive
and having to get out
of bed too early.

Show me what it is
you like about these
blocks of hills this
green mattress of grass
that river wind gushing
up the valley

and I'll show you why
I can't stand
driving in the dark —

forget about trying to read
by the stars.

Take that bitch
larger than life
walking the countryside
the night fogging about her
hugging tightly

she wants us to be
confrontational wants us
very much. Isn't that

~ . ~

God Bless the Foul Balls:
A Prayer for Commencement and Euthanasia
Alec Firicano

Career Highlights: Missed two months of '88 with elbow operation.

(Von Hayes's 1988 Don Russ baseball card)

The ceiling of a cathedral
is awful high;

I wonder how
many workmen fell.

My parents will die sometime,
like theirs did.

My best friend never knew his dad; now
they're both drunks.

There's some bum down there somewhere,
asking for quarters, livin' it up.

Didn't study enough,
but I remember "The Pledge of Allegiance," I mean

"The Star Spangled Banner." I remember
the "Our Father" too, but I still haven't thought

about it much, still can't stay in tune all the
time. Sometimes
I'm grateful for my poor vision.

If Tom Brunansky doesn't care if he hits
.220 with only 15 home runs, why
should I?

That's what we're here for, right?
That's what he's here for:
a foul ball.

God bless America, there goes a bum
running onto the field.

Beachballs. I hate them.
Do the wave.

~ . ~

Adele's Battle Against the Legacy of Wendy and Ed
Scott Cohen

Wendy said, "Ed, out of bed. I'll get your slacks.
Pack your black blazer, charge your razor, and
Tell Adele to clean her room and set the table."
Adele sat sulking in her bed watching cable.

Wendy felt slick, she already had Eddie's slacks.
She flipped her make-up lid and drove her jeep to Jack's.
Kneeling in his attic, Eddie smoked and phoned his secretary.
She licked a stamp, he whispered, "I miss you already."

Wendy shared a squeaky ski lift with Adele.
Adele accused, "You and Dad are gonna get a divorce."
"It's 'going to,' not 'gonna,' now act like an adult."
Wendy skied the slope, dropped her poles, smoked, and spoke with Jack.

Adele sat brooding in the well-lit hotel lobby,
When she saw the boy she liked from the flight, Bobby.
Bobby said, "Hello," he hoped, mostly, to hold her.
They took a muted mountain bus that night to Boulder.

The lights in the bus dimmed as they drank and played gin.
The moonlit window glowed around Adele's grin.
The glitter on her eyelids glistened when their eyes met,
Their palms were interwoven, warm and wet.

He leaned over and gave her a grape Jolly Rancher kiss.
Wendy and Ed's legacy dissolved in its softness
Like the flowing shadows that fell from the ceiling.
As the bus approached a lake her eyes were opening.

~ . ~

The Eclectic Popsicle
Colin James

Science-Dog has cast me out,
theories absolved mean nothing now.
The threshold measuring monitor
blinks with torpid energy.
Proximity pretends, meaning is hurt
doorways sweat.
Where art thou, Science-Dog?
I was simply making
minor adjustments
then glancing down, I
noticed his eclectic popsicle.

~ .

Man with Flip-Top
Colin James

The window in the crowd of
shaved legs was for religion.
Lotions were applied.
The glass got a bit smudged
but the legs benefitted,
and now old rubbings
found in infinite caverns
expand on this simple theme.

~ . ~ . ~

Christopher A. Miller is a graduate of the College of New Jersey's literature program, where he studied with the Trenton poet Peter Wood. He has lived and traveled extensively across the U.S., especially in the cities of the East Coast, and makes his living as an architectural writer. He recently completed a first novel and is currently at work on a collection of short stories.

Iain Britton lives in New Zealand where his poetry has appeared in Takahe, Poetry NZ, JAAM, Spin and others and can be easily accessed online via the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre. Overseas literary publications include Manifold, Links, Iota and Orbis (UK) and Slope 16, The Drunken Boat and Conspire (USA) and recently John Tranter's Jacket 22 (Aust). Poems are forthcoming in Tinfish and Free Verse (USA) and Carillon (UK). His first collection will appear from Hazard Press (NZ) next year.

Alec Firicano and Colin James both live in Massachusetts.

Scott Cohen is a New York City-based writer whose new book is Don't You Just Hate That? — 738 Annoying Things.

Poetry feature: "Sharing Space with Light"