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summer 1965  /  one dollar BOOKS
for almost every
taste and purpose
can be found,
easily, at
901 Robson (at Hornby) MUtual 4-2718
Also 4560 W. 10th Avenue CAstle 4-7012
University of British Columbia
Hours: Weekdays 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. STAFF
editor-in-chief Earle Birney   ~^~*
associate editors Maurice Gibbons
Robert Harlow
Special Features
Giose Rimanelli
Jacob Zilber
art editor David Mayrs
advisory editor Jan de Bruyn
business manager Cherie Smith
editorial assistants  Rona Murray
Peg Brennan
cover David Mayrs
illustrations  David Mayrs
Charles Mayrs
PRISM international is a journal of contemporary writing, published quarterly
by the University of British Columbia. Annual subscriptions are $3.50, single
copies $1.00, obtainable by writing to PRISM, c/o Creative Writing, U.B.C.,
Vancouver 8, Canada.
MSS should be sent to the Editors at the same address and must be accompanied by a self-addressed envelope and Canadian or unattached U.S. stamps,
or commonwealth or international reply coupons. PRISM
Bulls of the Resurrection     malcolm lowry 4
County Jail, June 2, 1964     sam eisenstein 22
The Minuteman     Robert o. bowen 36
So He Would Do    dunghadh mor 6 leamhnagh
(with translation by
padraig 6 broin) 12
Three Poems    d. g. jones 14
La Vittima     umberto saba
(with translation by
Two Poems    david wevtll 20
Two Poems    alden nowlan 25
(From) Mannen Utan Vdg     erik. lindegren
(with translation by
Two Poems     Margaret atwood 28
Three Poems     r. g. everson
The Vedantist     amiya chakravarty
(with translation by
buddhadeva bose)
The Crumbling Wall     george bowering
34 Poem
Two Poems
No Secret
Two Poems
Lydia's Children
Stage Direction For A
Mystery Play
Still Life
(with translation by
the author)
Two Poems
Two Poems
Books and Periodicals
- Received
we present a hitherto unpublished story by
Malcolm Lowry
author of Under the Volcano
Through the kind permission of Mrs. Margerie Lowry
and the Special Collections Division of the University of
British Columbia Library (where the only manuscript is
kept) we are pleased to offer
Bulls of the Resurrection
a remarkable early story by one of the masters
of fiction in our time BflLLS f
OF THE      1
In the cafe fray diego de lion in Granada, two Cambridge
undergraduates sat in silence. Although it was in the forenoon, the
lights in the cafe were burning. There was thunder, and the morning was more than oppressive, it was overburdened; the clouds
sagged heavily in folds upon the city while the two men within the
cafe seemed bowed down beneath the weight of the day.
Two others, a man and a woman, were standing at the bar.
Sam and Rysdale sat watching each other, not moving a muscle.
Now all their friendships had been crowded out, a queer jealousy
hung in the air.
—They couldn't help it, it just happened, mocked Rysdale at last.
—Those were Terry's very words, said Sam. We couldn't help
it, it just happened.
The drinks had steadied Sam's heart to a beat of even misery.
Smith and Terry were now going out.
—We're thinking of going to another cafe, Smith called over
as though he himself had been injured. Can we take you?
—No, said Sam.
—Join us later then.
—Bill and I are going to the bullfight after; do come, said Terry.
—There won't be one if it rains. Anyhow we're going to take the
tram up to the pension.
—The Alhambra tram isn't running.
—All right. We'll walk.
—Why don't you chaps come for a ride, Terry said circling
—All right Terry, you go ahead then, with Smith, said Rysdale.
Smith and Terry went out.
A minute later the car roared past the cafe and a flash of lightning
rocketed after them. They heard Smith double-clutch down into
third, then into bottom gear and at last change to neutral as he
waited at the crossing, revving up the engine. Then the thunder
came, shaking the cafe.
—I'm glad we're not in that car, Sam said. And I wish he hadn't
stolen it from his mother. —Poor lady. She'll find it a litde difficult now. She'll have to
walk about the Rock of Gibralter.
—Well, the Barbary apes do it, said Sam.
—If they have a crash —
—If they have a crash they haven't got a hope. It's a death trap,
that car. It's difficult enough to get in the damned thing, never
mind get out.
—The burning of Judas!
—The villagers will gather the ashes, said Sam, and strew them
on the fields.
—Well, it's Easter Monday. Salu! What time was the stone
rolled away?
—So far as I'm concerned, it's still there. What a hell of a suggestion all this was anyhow on somebody's part. I feel something
terrible's going to happen.
—Going to? Hasn't it happened?
—You mean the exam? You're right. It's as though our failure
were already passed.
—I don't mean that. I'm certain the police are watching us. Do
you think Smith really hit that peasant?
—You were asleep and I was nearly asleep. But I heard Terry
trying to persuade him to stop, although it was all in a kind of
—'Can't we get rid of him?
—This wish is father to the accident. I know just as sure as I'm
born. He'll crash that car.
—That worries me.
—Why should it? It's time we got rid of him. anyhow. We've had
enough of him. We've grown out of him. He's always led us. It's
time he abdicated. He's beaten us out once too often.
—It's not Smith, it's Terry I'm worried about.
—Of course, of course. You're worried about her. So am I. Like
hell. But we've had enough of him. After all it's a universal process.
Take Alfonso, look how they bounced him. Not to say the Cyclops.
You remember, 'They ate his mutton, drank his wine, and then
they poked his eye out.' Similarly: Smith.
—Smith knew the Kaiser and he said he met Alfonso at the cafe
de la Paix and told him he'd been visiting Wilhelm. How is the
old boy, Alfonso asked.
—Exactly, how is he? Well, they'll kill themselves in that car.
They won't be able to help it, it'll just happen.
—You really used to know him better than anyone else, Sam. —We all sat at his feet. Well, here's to his damnation.
—Here's, said Rysdale.
They drank.
—Girls should never come on a showdown like this anyway,
said Sam.
—Girls! Isn't Terry enough for you?
—He who hath all women hath no woman. He who hath one
woman hath all women. At least that's what it says in the Alhambra.
We can all be comrades together says Terry to us. Like hell we
could. It happened so quickly because their minds move in little
leaps. So she jumps away from me to Smith. She sees, what is perfectly true, that it is Smith who has asked us, Smith who has the
money, a sweet-smelling Harris Tweed and a damned little secondary sexual characteristic of a car.
—Stolen from his mother.
—Stolen from his mother. And it is therefore Smith who is the
desirable, the hardy, dominant male. She quite forgets it was I
asked her. So now instead of Let's all go to the bullfight, it's Bill
and I are going to the bullfight, are you coming? As though we
were really intruders on the party instead of the instigators of it,
so far as she is concerned. Soon it will be, My trip with Billy, Billy
took me to Spain, and so on.
—Although Smith wrote to us. 'Why don't you all come down to
Gibraltar and stay with us and read for the Tripos. As we planned
years ago. And if you like, bring Terry along.'
—It's hopeless to try and repeat a moment of happy time.
—Hopeless. Above all, I don't think any of us need each other
any more. Even Terry. I've worried about her long enough. The
best thing to do is to crawl into some kind of grave, a cave, out
of it all, out of all the mess, just he down there and die.
—I was damned in love with Terry.
—I was too.
—I have been ever since I can remember. Ever since I met her
in your digs.
—He took her behind our back.
—Strange what bitchery they're capable of. How they are enslaved
by sex and yet still possess the freedom to let down every relationship. To tear your heart out by the roots. You beast indeed I Somehow I feel that's true. That there is something bestial about this,
about you and me, about them.
—Now they will be paddling palms and pinching fingers, said
Rysdale. —Lord that we are slaves to such a vile control!
The two men sat in anger, the sweat slowly straining down their
faces. There was another flash of Hghtning, and when the thunder
followed it the gloom of the cafe seemed to deepen as though
evening had passed into night. Rysdale took off his coat.
—We're being surrounded.
—I wonder what the bulls think of it, Sam said.
Rysdale leaned forward, resting his head on his hands. You
know, I had a queer dream last night. I've been trying to remember
it and now I have. It was about Smith. I dreamt he'd been beheaded.
—Beheaded ?
—Yes. It sounds crazy, doesn't it? But that's what happened. All
of us were in Spain, reading as now, or supposed to be reading,
for an exam. Only we were happy in this dream, happy and assured.
So much so that Spain itself seemed to be changed, but not wholly
changed, to Dartmoor where we were at school together. Where we
had been comrades together and happy. Only the school buildings
were not here.
—Just the prison?
—Yes, the prison. Only it was not like the prison or anything on
earth. But somehow we were pupils there, inmates, whatever you
like. There was a city there, Toledo it might have been. It was
dark, although I could see. It was Spain, like the footbills of the
Sierras, yet it was also Dartmoor where we had played as children.
—You mean, in some respects, like an El Greco canvas?
—No. Not like anything I know, but it's true there was that feeling of absoluteness and the figures I saw at first were attenuated,
curious, fixed, as in a picture. But then others were animated.
—Of course. But you suggest it as being neither night nor day, as
it is now in fact. Didn't you have a tremendous feeling that one
part of this scene was absolute for all time and that in this respect
it might resemble an El Greco you had seen?
—It was like El Greco gone mad. No, I'll tell you what it was
like. It was as though a moving picture had been projected onto
a Greco instead of onto a screen. There was this fixed, timeless,
haunted background, but this was not part of what was going on,
this was only the relief against which it could be seen, the means
by which it became visible. That's what I meant to get at.
—And we participated?
—Yes. And we were happy. We had no restrictions of time. It
did not exist. What corresponded to it expanded and diminished at will like a concertina. To continue: it was dark, yet we could see.
Yes —
Rysdale looked round the cafe. Yes, it was this kind of a light.
But wild ponies eyes gleamed at us as from the blackness of the pit.
Although these might have been burros.
—Was it then, in the sense, Dartmoor as we used to know it,
with its cromlechs, stone circles and 'venville' crofters huts?
—Yes. And Smith was with us and was our leader, and although
we were neither young nor old, he seemed even then to have some
burden of experience of which we were envious and fearful. Then
we seemed to lose him. One night we were standing together when
suddenly we saw him being driven past us along the moor. It was
a desert place and dark and Smith was being driven through this
darkness like a beast, driven and beaten with sticks. We tried to
help him but it was impossible to find out what it was all about. He
had evidently shot someone and was being called upon by the
men driving him, policemen they were, or officials of some sort, to
reconstruct the crime. He was trying to explain himself but they
wouldn't listen. He argued with them. You know the way he has.
'But my dear fellow, it was an accident.' But you shot all the same,
they said. He admitted this much but it was pure accident if he
had hit anyone, he said: he had let off the shot for no reason at all.
Then they put an unloaded rifle in his hands. Show us how you did
it, they said. I stood just like this, Smith said, and fired into the
air. And he was made to stand up three or four times to show them
how he had held the rifle. Then the men, their helmets gleaming
and their eyes sliining like animals, shouted at him and drove him
—And then?
—There isn't much more. Except that the next thing we knew
we were all present at his execution which took place right here in
Granada in the bullring, whether the old or the new I don't know.
Not in the ring, in the empty amphitheatre. Smith was dressed in
a black robe and the same man whipped him along. His hands were
tied, his face was laced with blood, his eyes were shockingly bloodshot. Frequently he stumbled over the seats and fell and was brutally
pulled up again: but he was brave and he sang as they whipped
him on bleeding to the block which was in the President's box.
Then his head was cut off. After that it is difficult to explain what
happened. In the dream it was terrible, now it seems grotesque.
His head rolled off the block and bounced down over the stone
seats. Then it fell over the edge but came immediately rushing along the runway out of the cave from which the bull is released.
Animated in some extraordinary fashion it then rolled to the middle
of the ring.
Rysdale stopped. The dream ended there, he said. Well, dog my
—You've heard of thalavettiparothiam or the authority obtained
by decapitation of course, said Sam. You ought to have been reading it up anyway. That probably suggested the dream to you, that
together with the present psychical turmoil of our lives. But here's
what is queer. I dreamt the precise complement of your dream.
That's why I seemed to be apprehending you. I suppose it's not
unnatural to dream of Dartmoor in the present mess we're in but
nothing seems to explain this. I had precisely the same feeling as
you — that we were on Dartmoor, that it might have been here,
that it was neither night nor day. Only, in this dream, we seemed
to have no individuality. We were shadows wliirling together in the
void of a nightmare. But I was able to be aware that something
even more terrible was impending, could transcend this nightmare.
Smith and you and I had all been together and then suddenly you
and I were alone, standing by Cawsand Beacon. Around us stretched
the dreary moors treacherous with bogs, their fields separated by
the same odd gray graveyard stones. Yet the monolith was identified
in my mind with Cleopatra's needle and the rest was patently
Spain, the foothills of the Sierras. Burros, cacti and all. I don't
know how to explain what I felt. I knew we were about to see
something extraordinary which in some manner held the past and
the present in its meaning, and yet I was aware all the while that
this would be quite wrong. Omniscient in the dream, I knew in
advance that this sacrifice would prove to have been incredibly
altered by assumption, by imperfect memory and prejudice and
the distortion of historians so as to have quite lost its meaning. In
fact it was as though we were to witness the perfect misconception.
And as we waited, the night deepened, took on the extraordinary
mystical feeling of San Juan de la Cruz, almost of, you remember,
'E una noche oscura —' When suddenly all this was interrupted by
the bitter actual, the anachronistic. I saw Terry, and at the same
moment heard a shot far off. Terry was standing quite alone in a
kind of copse, and as I watched her, not sure whether she wished
to be recognized, she gasped, put her hand to her heart, and
crumpled up. I hurried to her but she was stone dead, shot through
the heart. Nobody was near for after the shot you seemed to have
vanished. I ran off to get help. Once I looked around to see that
10 Terry had somehow got to her feet: once more she gasped, put her
hand to her heart, died. I was going back to her when she again
gained her feet and collapsed. Then I knew that unless I took action
swiftly, Terry would be compelled for ever and ever to go on performing the fatuous dumbshow of her own death.
—What did you do?
—I ran down to the police station and told them that a woman
had been shot on the moors.
—For God's sake, said Rysdale.
—Extraordinary, isn't it? Sam said.
When they left the cafe the storm had passed to westward. A
shower had fallen unnoticed while they had been talking. In the
north, the sky was clean, emptied of storm, which around them
still invisibly gathered its forces. They saw the car parked a little
further along and then Smith and Terry coming out of a cafe by
the cathedral. Policemen in shining oilskins waited in the shadow of
the cafe.
—There's not going to be a bullfight, Smith said.
—No, we're going up the Sierras, shouted Terry.
—Go ahead, said Rysdale. We're not coming with you.
—You beast, said Terry.
—Et tu Brute, Smith said.
A pool of water had gathered on the car's hood. They took the
hood down. Sam and Rysdale walked on. A minute later the car
passed them and then they were gone.
—Here's the tram after all, Rysdale said.
—It'll just happen, said Sam.
They went up to the Alhambra on the number seven tram with
its single line, with its single bell banging continuously, gliding past
cool taverns in the shadow, with dark barrels. Then they were in the
blinding heat again. There seemed to have been no rain up there
where the sun struck up once more from the white concrete. Burros
nodded along patiently, a flock of goat-bells trilled down towards
the Sierra Nevada tram stop, a knifegrinder's song hung in the
noonday air.
In the distance the snowlight on the Sierra Nevadas themselves
glittered: you could ski up there but Smith and Terry would not
be skiing.
Rysdale shivered. Do you know what those dreams really meant?
—No, Sam said. But I know enough to be able to say, when it
does happen, I told you so.
Unlucky whose voice is cracked
And yet is big with song,
Who cannot bring to birth
Yet will not hush for long;
Cannot carry tune or note
Nor speak a lyric through,
Nor leave the harp alone,
Nor play as he would do.
Dismal his nails' dring drang
And verses in accord:
His words not understood,
His harping is ignored.
Unhappy whose hold is loosened
Over music and speech,
Unhappier yet who strives
For laurels above his reach.
Were laurel my desire
And I could not reach the crown
I would hack the very root
Nor care what the crash brought down!
From the Gaelic of Dunchadh mor O Leamhnach—15th century
Translated by PADRAIG 6 BROIN
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Three Poems by D. G. Jones
The mind is not
Its own place
Except in Hell.
It must adjust, even
When the place is known.
Only time
Will tell the mind
What to think,
What birds to place
On what boughs:
The catbird
Crying, "Me, me"
In a dry, hot bush,
At night the owl
Crying, "Who?"
In a distant wood.
All else
Is an infernal shade
Where family trees
Gather their antique
And the ill will
Flowers in the leaves.
For Hell's the Lord's
A Byzantine world
14 Where the clock-work birds
And the golden bees
Eternally repeat
What the heart once felt,
What the mind conceived.
For the mind in time
Is a perishing bird,
It sings and is still.
It comes and goes like the butterflies
Who visit the hill.
The cries of the children come on the wind
And are gone. The wild bees come,
And the clouds.
And the mind is not
A place at all,
But a harmony of now,
The necessary angel, slapping
Flies in its own sweat.
Cocking its head to the wind
It cries,
"Who me? Who me?"
And whatever the answer,
It forgets.
It is radiant night
Where time begets
The sun, the flowers, Naniboozoo's gift —
Who disturb my sleep —
And everything else.
Walls are not vanquished by darkness,
it is light
makes them merely facades,
But the plash of a fountain echoes
From the old stones.
The pavement
Breathes, and a garden
Breathes like a sleeper beyond it.
The lilies have closed,
But the water still sways in the dark
In the gaze (stone eyes in the darkness)
Of the blind god.
For sight has turned back on its roots
to find eyes in the ramparts,
antennae in stone:
The thief with his hands on the dresser,
The lovers
With their mouths in their hands —
Night leaves the sleepers exposed,
and the unlit lamp by the bedside,
and a girl
turning the cards in the shadow
of a brown shade —
And the murderer knows
That the thing which he lugs to the cellar
cannot be hidden. Thunder
east of the city, the wind
shakes the light in the leaves.
The dead are about us,
Caesar unburied, and the voice of a mob
Growing fainter. It fades.
16 The construction pots gutter.
Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow:
In the anarchist laughter, in the grave
Voices of gamblers, the taunts
Of a young tough — in the wake
Of the penitent's prayers, in the path
Of the sailing cathedral,
Beyond the low cloud, the drift of the clover,
More loud
Than the roar of the powerhouse,
tomorrow prepares
all that there is — .
with the Hghtning of cockcrow,
all that there was.
And the lilies shall open their eyes
in the glitter of sunlight.
Tomorrow. But now,
In the rush of the wind, in the dark,
when the surface is shaken,
when the mirror is shaken,
and towers, stars,
all are a tremble of blossom,
The roots
Are threading the darkness,
The fountain grows louder,
and wherever you are in the rain
and the gaunt spaces,
asleep, or in trouble,
I am always your lover: Walls
and the fences of time,
or the night, but discover
the world has been joined
indivisible, everywhere, ever.
17 I stand on the cobbles and listen
To the multitudinous voices.
In the silence of wind, in the endless
City of silence,        we are together.
I have nothing to give you but a place to stand.
I will be nature and uncritical.
You may walk in me and be alone.
You may whistle and observe my birds,
Or think your thoughts and never hear the wind.
You may be naked there and unperturbed.
I may have seasons that are much too cold,
Too variable, too raw. You may prefer
An invitation to a furnished room.
I may disappear. I may become
The empty field in which the winds roam.
The dead are also standing ground.
I am an air you breathe, a quiet grove
Where all your skeletons may be exposed
Like sticks and stones, and left behind.
I am the light where you find shadows,
I am the night in which you shine.
To your extension I am time.
I am resigned to be your nothing, suffering
All careers and exercise.
I am the paper for your poem, as you are mine.
II bianco agnello che sul verde prato
pascola, e in parte il mio dolce fratello,
che il suo destin egli non sa, coltello
non vede sul suo collo alto levato.
Io nulla ignoro, e prego anzi che il Fato
in me s'adempia, desidero quello
per cui la f accia tu ti veli: e bello
aver le mani nei ceppi; frustato
non piangi, anche il morir t' e meno amaro
che ti spia fra le nubi il Dio in cui credi,
e il tuo sangue di rose il terren stampa.
In me tu vedi un giovanetto, caro
ai tuoi sogni di bimbo: Isacco vedi,
ma senza il braccio d'Iddio che lo campa.
The white lamb grazing on the green
field, is partly my own sweet brother,
ignorant of his fate, not seeing
the knife hanging over his head.
I ignore nothing, instead pray that Fate
will be fulfilled in me, wishing for
that from which you screen your face; how good
to keep one's hands in fetters; when beaten
one does not cry, even dying is less bitter
when the God you believe in spies on you from above,
your blood spilling roses on the ground.
In me you see a youth, dear
to your childish dreams: you see Isaac
but without God's arm saving him.
Translated from the Italian of Saba
J9 Two Poems by David Wevill
Know me by the nature of sand
In its tiniest grains: the flash and glitter
Of particles, societies, brilliant with their own light.
Each grain magnifies the sun
By concealing itself. Each cache is on fire with what
It hides: is crystal, the unbroken nucleus —
And turned a thousand ways
Will show a thousand faces: sawdust
Even, in its ground finery under a craning lamp.
When I am sleepless,
I move among this litter of stars and faces.
It is no dream, but that we shall wake
Shrunken, so, and be born
Ant-lights in the sand, sea-phosphorus, naked
Water-drop our ocean and our world.
Fantastic you are
In that sleep you will never achieve,
More alive than the living, lit, yet without a centre.
The clown with a rubber head
Eats grass as Africa melts lions. Everything vanishes
Down his gorge, swollen to take
The tightest-packed removal van or a London bus.
He is capable of anything.
But she, the pretty marionette, in her toy skirts
A vision of hidden matchsticks, sent him packing.
What could he do but cry and cry and cry?
O he could do worse —
With a sudden rubber swelling of his capricious head
He swallowed her down. Nobody thought
He'd have the nerve; but they failed
To appreciate the nature of
A rubber head. Now, with a delicate pencilled sneer
Her manager, with marionettes on all his fingers, jams
A hand in the clown's gaping burst-tyre mouth —
He strikes match after match
In that rubbery hole: hoping
By accident, by conflagration, by setting her still undigested bones alight, to save the show, his soul, the world,
The rubber industry.
Everything can be hosed off : nothing touches the floor.
Murderers are better risks as trustees than bad-check passers. The
murderer has passion, is human.
All clothes are taken from the prisoner and put on electronic
hangers. Dial the number and the clothes swing round to the
Most prisoners have committed crimes against the society's
Musak implores the prisoner to come on down and "buy a Dodge
Guards and prisoners are indistinguishable except for the clothes.
The prisoner's main punishment is being stripped of "things.''
No visible passion: one is invisible, looked through.
The prisoners know all about the visitor, but they show nothing
in their eyes.
Passive resistance comes from their knowing, but showing nothing: the grape-vine is omniscient. The cell-blocks are porous.
The election returns, the primaries, come through the T.V. outlets in every day-room. Without the sound, the reporters and the
politicians being interviewed make a charade of vital importance:
you be the statesman, I'll be the reporter, you be the prisoner, I'll
be the jailor.
Unzip any head and exchange it and there will be no difference.
The guards too are locked into their cages, dialing the controls,
keeping the prisoners moving, flowing down the yellow, red, and
white lined corridors.
80% return; jail is the only real "thing," a destiny. The jail is
the only institution that really cares enough to lock them up, to
attend to them.
Perverse individuation as the personal is stripped away and assigned a number; the body is deloused and the good, hot meals are
served to the bodies. Some run against the steel doors; they pound against the steel.
One prisoner ripped a steel door off its hinges.
The best brains in the society devised, in all ingenuity, this compression, cataloging and coagulating its frayed edges, tidying up its
preserves, reducing to homogeneous rubble these awkward ones who
could not learn to play the correct game of "things," the child's
game that continues in earnest through these doors.
War games — the best. Prisons — the best. A medal to those
who kill in the war games.
The guards engaged not in blood sports of passion, but dialing the
electronic controls opening and closing the cell blocks. The guards
are locked up too.
A trustee plays "Nearer my God to Thee" on the electric organ
in the chapel with the observation windows and gun-slits.
Immense refrigerators in the kitchens, holding gutted sides of beef
and every kind of vegetable.
Special diets in deep freeze, adjoining chambers for cadavers.
A special place for the "hi-po's," — those condemned to die.
The pimps and the intercourse through the bars.
A conscientious objector, a homosexual, a transvestite — the
whole cell block in an uproar.
Five cent stamps and telephone calls borrowed from fellow
prisoners must be paid off in service, like circulating libraries and
(And the functional shining beauty of shower stall kiosks, spraying
from five heads, and hot air afterwards, to dry the bodies off.
Differential air-conditioning — in the kitchens and in the conference rooms for the sheriff.
An alarm system sensitive to the dropping of a leaf.
A woman visitor, overdressed, carrying Gone with the Wind,
sitting at the functional glass talking (windows over two-way
radio), to her man.
Other women, with babies, talking to the trustees.
In the line-up room, the intricate controls that can simulate any
kind of Hghting or weather conditions. Lightning and heavy rain
come over the loudspeaker, and fines on the wall indicate the height
of a man in inches.
Special treatment for tubercular or syphilitic prisoners and for
former policemen or warders — these last would die in a minute if
they were in the regular cell blocks.
And five days off every month if a prisoner works.
There is nothing to abandon, those who enter here.
I Two Poems by Alden Nowlan
"I know I'm ugly,
but please don't taunt me."
She presses both hands
against my mouth:
"You talk too much."
In a moment
we will quarrel
and all because I told her
that she is beautiful.
Since I am a man and never wholly removed from man's echo
and reflection,
I hear the sea marching against the continent, the pained
laughter of gulls —
the boulders, hairy with seaweed, are the humps of slain
mammoths —
a tale for children untouched by violence who smile in their
sleep when they dream of war.
My young son, laughing at the tide and his mother's fears,
the waves like great dogs hurling themselves against him,
beating their wet forepaws against his chest;
and my wife, salt spray in her hair, still as the gulls
who stand motionless for what seems like hours,
time falling around them like the shadow
of a single cloud crossing the sun —
fancies of a man never at peace with the inhuman:
heir of Greeks and Jews whose gods were men and conquerors:
The Son of Man ate honey and fish:
I, a man, have tamed even death.
langt ute i oceanen gungar Medusas huvud
med granade ormar och mastkorg av evig sorg
vi minns det vi kanner igen vara broders blod
deras svepning i kvinnors brinnande grat
deras borttappade ogon i dodens tiggande hand
vi kanner igen det vi vet och vi vantar
vantar pa. befrielsens vingslag over vart huvud
pa. fornedringens slut och vart eget liv —
o virvelvind av hat som sliter upp vart brost
genomborra oss med Hv nar vi maste bloda
lyft oss som en trofe i din flykt mot solen
rista oss en blodorn med skymningens spjut
ty djupt i vart brost bor Medusas huvud
med granade ormar och tarar av stenad sorg
far out in the ocean rocks Medusa's head
with greying snakes and mast of eternal sorrow
we remember, we recognize our brothers' blood
their shroud in the burning sobbing of women
their drained-away eyes in death's begging hand
we recognize that, we know and we wait
wait for liberation's wing-beat over our heads
for humiliation's end and our own fives —
o whirlwind of hate that tears up our breasts
pierce us with life when we must bleed
lift us like a trophy in your flight towards the sun
cut us a spread eagle with the spear of twilight
for deep in our breasts dwells Medusa's head
with greying snakes and tears of stoned sorrow
Translated from the Swedish of Lindegren
27 Two Poems by Margaret Atwood
The explorers will come
in several minutes
and find this island.
(It is a stunted island,
rocky, with room
for only a few trees, a thin
layer of soil; hardly
bigger than a bed.
That is how
they've missed it
until now)
Already their boats draw near,
their flags flutter,
their oars push at the water.
They will be jubilant
and shout, at finding
that there was something
they had not found before,
although this island will afford
not much more than a foothold:
little to explore;
but they will be surprised
(we can't see them yet;
we know they must be
coming, because they always come
several minutes too late)
(they won't be able
to tell how long
we were cast away, or why,
28 or, from these
gnawed bones,
which was the survivor)
at the two skeletons
A second after
the first boat touched the shore,
there was a quick skirmish
brief as a twinge
and then the land was settled
(of course there was really
no shore: the water turned
to land by having
objects in it: caught and kept
from surge, made
less than immense
by networks of
roads and grids of fences)
and as for us, who drifted
picked by the sharks
during so many bluegreen
centuried before they came:
they found us
inland, stranded
on a ridge of bedrock,
defining our own island.
From our inarticulate
skeleton (so
intermixed, one
they postulated wolves.
29 They dug us down
into the solid granite
where our bones grew flesh again,
came up trees and
we are the salt
seas that uphold these lands.
Now horses graze
inside this fence of ribs, and
children run, with green
smiles, (not knowing
where) across
the fields of our open hands.
Three Poems by R. G. Everson
Last night, waves came up higher than in years,
scraping deeper. The storm threw foulness
over breakwaters along our lawns.
I had not known ocean so vile;
neap tide never exposed these horrors.
This night of shouting passion opened
unimagined insights.
I glance at neighbours while we rake our lawns.
I am unsure
even in my own self — what bigotry?
what cruel lust?
Perversion, anyone? how are you fixed?
We smooth our lawns quickly.
Having embraced life,
I have a death inside me.
And I have heard death huniming to herself
softly in my ears.
You are aware of remote peerings
from the small tower of your friend's face;
more than her own eyes stare out.
The sleeper on this bed — what tweaks her nose?
what tosses up her fingers
in kicking legs of a hanged girl?
All art depends on
how far down are the deeps
from where you draw.
That day at Parrsboro
the tide fell sixty feet.
I peered up at the town
towering above me on long poles.
Underneath, in brown kelp where billows
had gone ten fathoms over the land,
I felt small ocean creatures stir.
I saw the fiddler crabs
ranning sidewise.
Irrationals of my nature
reached into theirs.
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Vast the forest, giant the trees —
Once you are out, all gone.
Inside, a million whispers — branches, leaves,
Darkness greenly intertwined;
Birds and featherwool,
Glow-worms and glowing eyes of owls,
Twisted roots of the banyan;
Inside, the deeper far, the yellow trail of beasts,
The rage of frosty moonlight piercing through,
And huge the storm and forest-rain —
But once you are out, all gone.
Inside, the lush ripe fruits, the vine with
longing swollen,
Flesh of berries, tang of arrowy flowers,
And terror of swif tfoot, an hour sudden and timeless —
Once you are out, all gone.
Outward I look, the horizon in my eyes,
Evenings with streak of village smoke,
Unconcerned rivers moistening the earth
Where sprouts wild rice untended ,
And all belongs to the far apart.
In my heart not yet a hint,
No sign of finding, coming home;
But Sight is here.
Translated from the Bengali
A crumbling wall
is a good thing,
it saves a city,
this kind of city,
pushing itself north
wall against new wall.
The foundation
is crumbling, that
is the only way
a community can build.
Let the bricks
fall out. A broken
wall is a thing of
beauty, for a certain
time. Joy does not
last forever. It
requires change, it
must crumble to remain.
All day long the rain squalled down with punitive force
driving the window panes
slashing the deutzia
shredding its flowers
on the feeding tray the litde birds sat
with their necks drawn in
and their feathers ruffed
disconsolate too I roamed through the house
opening cupboards
and I crushed a small moth
in my miserable fingers....
Later, towards evening, the clouds broke
and the sun came out
everything shone    everything glistened
even the horns of the snail who made his black way
to my petunias
and I restrained my hand
though I had on my gardening gloves
and carried my scissors.
35 jT
A half mile beyond the crest of the ridge, Dave Haddon turned
the green Jeep station wagon down the tote road, and crossed the
meadow into the pines beyond. The grassy crown of the road was
too high for anything but a Jeep or pickup, and as he followed the
wheel ruts, he watched for tire tracks. Pine branches swiped against
the windshield, and just below the first steep downgrade, he cut out
between the pines to pass a downed tree that blocked the road.
The road ended in a clearing where Dave backed the station
wagon out of sight between two trees. He climbed out, pocketed
the keys, and closed the door soundlessly. He was a deer hunter,
but standing under the trees in army boots and fatigues and field
jacket, he looked like a soldier. He lacked only the helmet. His hair
was cropped close, his face drawn and the lips thin. His eyes moved
constantly as though he were the hunted and not the hunter.
In a moment he went around to open the back of the station
wagon, moving in the sudden and determined rush that often startles
visitors to mental hospitals. Dave Haddon was not legally insane,
but a board of Army psychiatrists had ruled him unfit for further
military service because of recurrent paranoid delusions. As for the
mental hospital, the last six months of his three service years were
spent in what he vaguely called "the hospital." In Korea he'd been
wounded in the back by a shell fragment, and the Purple Heart
that went with the scar concealed his hospital time effectively. Not
even his wife knew he'd been Section-Eighted out of the Army.
He opened the back of the station wagon and pulled out a military pistol belt, hung on the left with three ammo pouches and on
the right with a Marine fighting knife. He snapped the belt on and
then shrugged into a cotton camouflage parka. Still moving in the
same methodical steadiness, he slipped his rifle out of the blanket
37 padded around it on the floor. The rifle was not a sporter model,
but the Garand Mi the Army had used in World War II and in
Korea, a blunt, tough, rapid-fire tool more than a hunter's weapon.
The Mi was still fitted with military iron sights and a worn sling.
Dave threw the rifle up to his shoulder and aimed at a tree
downhill and held steady. The wood of the stock against his cheek
and the worn blueing of the barrel made him stronger, safer. He
smiled tight-lipped as he brought the piece down and pulled the
charging lever back and crammed a clip of cartridges into the
Now, he thought, now by God! The thought didn't apply to
anything beyond the vague feeling of power that always stiffened
him when he handled a gun for a few minutes alone, whether it
was in his basement workshop or out here in the woods. With a
loaded rifle, the feeling was better. He held the rifle ready across
his chest and started downhill on the brown bed of pine needles
under the trees.
Ten minutes later he came out at the bottom of the stand of pine,
where the trees thinned abruptly and the grass began. At the last
big pine, he stopped motionless, his camouflage parka blending him
against the mottled trunks and clumped grass. To the right a laurel
thicket spread down the slope to the foot of the mountain half a
mile below. On the left only grass grew, burnt yellow now in the
fall and broken by islands of crumbled rock. Far below, the valley
floor ran flat for miles to the mountains beyond. Scattered clusters
of ranch buildings and dark trees lay out in the farmed fields, tiny
and still, the nearest a mile out.
Uh huh, Dave thought, nobody at the ranch could spot him even
with glasses, so long as he stayed in the cover of the pines. The M i,
the camouflage parka, and the still, dry air of the mountain all
brought that wandering dark land he dreamed of into focus so
that instead of hoping for an antlered buck to come bounding up
out of the laurels, he waited for the silhouette of a man's head and
shoulders to rise silently, cautiously under the front sight of the M i.
For ten years inside himself Dave Haddon had lived with a dream
in a land of sudden bursts of gunfire and knife thrusts out of the
dark. It was the land of his madness, and he loved it like an exile.
But he was still in the real world, on an ordinary California mountain, and that dark land which he conjured up whenever he was
alone never fell altogether into focus with the real world. A piece
here and there matched, but never the whole landscape.
He cradled the Mi over his arm and peeled his cuff back to see
38 his watch — 7:40. Time to check with his partner down below
where he'd dropped him before coming up over the ridge with the
Jeep. They were hunting in a pair, driving. Dave took the stand
at the edge of the pines, under cover, and his partner drove the
deer up through the laurels to his gun. Next time they'd swap parts.
In bush like the thick growth of laurels, driving was the only way
to take any game.
Dave slipped from tree to tree downhill thirty or forty paces until
he could make out over the curve of the slope the clearing where
his partner waited 500 feet below and well off to the right. In the
middle of the clearing he spotted Barker's red wool hunting coat
immediately. He waved, and Barker raised his rifle and fired a
single shot to signal the beginning of the drive. Before the noise
stopped rattling the slope, he went into the bush below at a run.
For a minute Dave watched the edge of the clearing where Barker
had disappeared. Then he moved farther back among the pines,
stepping in that tense gait of his, flat-footed, silent, straight-backed.
About fifty feet in he found what he wanted, a natural hollow behind a tree. The hollow was protected at the front, the downhill
side, by a heavy root, and pine needles cushioned the bottom.
Dave took a position, working his hip around comfortably and
laying the Mi ready over the root. An aisle for a clear shot ran
from his tree down to the laurels where the deer trail came out. To
the left and right the trees blocked his field of fire, but he needed
only the one clean shot, and at fifty feet no one could miss. He
had only to wait for Barker.
Barker'd be halfway up the slope by now, he figured. After they'd
closed the office Tuesday, they'd timed Barker climbing the deer
trail through the laurels, and he'd made the 500-foot elevation in
twenty-five minutes. For a stocky man, he moved uphill fast. He
was in military condition, and that had nagged all of Dave's suspicious nature. No matter how anyone else toted up the evidence, to
Dave a leftover from World War II who climbed like Barker was
under a combat training schedule. Ten minutes of push-ups before
breakfast in a rooming house wouldn't toughen a man like that,
not a bookkeeper. This man who called himself Barker had to be
an agent, and the only assignment he could have in Norstadt's
Grading and Paving office was Dave.
He could be CIA or FBI or even a straight Communist operator.
The particular outfit didn't matter to Dave because he'd been convinced for a long time that any information one of them got filtered
through to the others. They all wanted information about guys like
39 IT
Dave who were organized and committed to defending the nation
with weapons. They wanted all the names and equipment caches so
the Communist take-over would go smoothly. The conspiracy was
one of the parts of the real world that fitted Dave's other vision like
a cartridge chambered in a rifle — definite and hard and certain.
One morning a month ago Barker drifted into Norstadt Grading
and Paving, where Dave was bookkeeper and dispatcher. About
9:30 it was, and the vehicles were just getting lined up for the day.
The office was L-shaped, just big enough for the files and two desks
and a big blueprint table. At the back the Boss's tiny cubicle was
no bigger than the washroom next door.
Dave was dispatching on the two-way radio when Barker came
in, and he let him stand a minute, swinging around in the swivel
chair to get a look at him. He took him for an engineer. About
5'10", flat across the middle, crew cut, and wearing an outdoor
face. German or maybe English. A good open face.
Dave flipped the radio off. "What can I do for you?"
"Name's Barker," he put his hand out to Dave, "Phil Barker.
Looking for Mike Garvin."
The phone rang, and Dave said, "In there," to Barker before he
grabbed it. Barker squeezed behind him and pushed the Boss's door
open. Half an hour later he came out with the Boss's hand on his
"Dave!" the Boss always hollered like a football coach. "Make
out a time card on old Phil here. He's gonna be your help for a
That was the beginning. When Dave tried to construct how that
introduction had gone, he couldn't get the details in focus. The
phone had been ringing again or the radio squawked. Only one
thing stuck with him. He'd been sure from the casual way Barker
said, "Looking for Mike Garvin" that he knew the Boss. A job
hunter would say "Mr. Garvin." Dave figured the two of them
had been in the Air Force together. Why dse would the Boss have
called him "old Phil"?
If they knew each other, there was a reason, and Dave was the
reason himself. He'd leaned back more than once at the desk to lisrht
a cigarette and think something out and caught the Boss watching
him through his half-open door, cold as a butcher eyeing a beef.
He'd probably been reporting on him for months through the Air
Force Reserve Intelligence.
People always said Dave was suspicious because he figured things
out. Ever since he'd been a kid and they'd tagged him as some kind
40 of nut, they'd been the same. "Psychopathic personality" the case
worker said the time he broke into the school and wrote on the
blackboards. They'd always been down on him. After two years the
Army Section-Eighted him because he'd spotted a chaplain's clerk
as a Communist. They'd given him the whole treatment, hydro
therapy and sitting on his tail in a psycho ward for three months
with real nuts, all of it, until he got shrewd enough to tell he'd
made a mistake. A little show of remorse, a little halting embarrassment, and they'd let him go.
But inside him nothing had changed. Dave Haddon knew as
well today as ever who his enemy was. They were all his enemy, all
of them. He couldn't be sure which were actual Communists and
which just went along, but when one of them was around, the same
dark fear grabbed him, and he wanted a weapon and a place to
hide, to get his back against something he could fight from. The
time for weapons was still in the future, though, and his usefulness
in the movement was to stay close to Barker and report his movements and contacts.
Back in the pines, Dave turned his head slowly and studied the
open grass slope to the south, below his position, where the mountain ran out in view and then fell to gullies and shouldered down
out of sight. Way across the flat valley, five miles away in the foothills, light flashed from what had to be a windshield. Funny how
light showed so far when you couldn't see the thing it reflected from.
Something about Phil Barker was like that flashing light. Dave
couldn't see exactly what it came from, but he knew what it had to
be. Barker didn't come to Santa Clara by accident, and he wasn't
a part-time bookkeeper. Dave had learned about guys like him in
the news-letter that came every month in a plain wrapper, along
with the training schedule and the lists of active subversives. He
had learned to use agents like Barker, too, and when he got close
to him, he'd feed him information rigged by the experts back at
Headquarters in Missouri.
Barker's first night in town, he telephoned Dave after supper and
dragged him over to the Legion Hall for a couple of beers. They'd
parked Barker's Mercury and crossed under the cottonwoods and
into the rambling porch. The place used to be an old ranchhouse.
Inside Barker headed past the bar for a booth and called for a
couple of beers. Right away he got to something. Dave didn't know
whether it was a sales pitch or a test of his reaction. Either way,
it was a probe.
"Selling these Porta Power units," Barker leaned over the table
41 &
in his tee shirt, his arms thick-muscled like a soldier's. "It's a little
generator attaches right onto the spindle for the fanbelt, and it runs
115 volts like a house. You can run a table saw and a television and
a pump on it at the same time, just idling your car. A perfect set-up
for a guy out in the bush."
"What's a thing like that cost?" Dave had said.
"What I could get," Barker laughed. "$150 usually." He held
his eye on Dave across the table as he drank his beer. "I peddled
a fortune in them things to the Minutemen down in Orange County
— you know, around Laguna, around there."
Dave drank his beer and said nothing. There hadn't been any
special emphasis on Minutemen.
"Man," Barker leaned on his elbows, "them Minutemen really
go in for the gear."
"Yeah," Dave said, noncommital. The pattern was coming
through, but it was too early to tell yet whether Barker was sent to
get information by probing or whether he'd been sent to infiltrate
the outfit through Dave.
After an hour at the Legion Bar, Barker hauled Dave over to
his apartment in San Jose and showed him an Mi carbine he
claimed he'd got from a Minuteman on a swap. Dave sprawled in a
basket chair with a steel frame and let his fingers just touch the
glass of scotch and water Barker'd made him, on the floor beside
the chair. They always tried to get you drunk so you'd talk, but
he could spot that. The only stuff that looked like Barker's in the
place was a suitcase thrown open on the floor in the bedroom and
a portable Olivetti typewriter on the table in the corner. The typewriter would be for bis reports, of course. Probably there was a
tape recorder mrning somewhere, too, taking down anything Dave
Dave felt the meaning of each bit like a darkness, a filling out of
that dark land he dreamed of. Sometimes, as in Barker's apartment
that night, the conspiracy came into focus clearly to him, and then
he came bright alive as a fencer, parrying their questions, even
throwing questions of his own, toying with them.
"Yeah," he brought his scotch and water up. "You was making a
bundle with the generators off them patriots. How come you quit
and came to work for old Norstadt Grading and Paving?"
From the couch, Barker looked at him soberly. "Saturated the
territory," he said in a minute. "That's half talk anyway, that
patriot crap. There ain't that many of them people buying."
He watched Dave as he said it, but Dave didn't follow as though
42  it'd been a lead. There was no telling how much espionage training
Barker might have, and only a detail or two might be all they
needed from some careless talk.
"Drink up," Barker went into the bedroom, pulling off his tee
shirt. "Let's hit that pool out there and cool off."
It was 10:00 o'clock and time to get on home, and Dave did,
but he didn't miss any of the probing Barker had done, that talk
about how many Minutemen there were, and the leading with that
Mi carbine. Maybe he thought Dave would take him to test the
carbine where his Minuteman group trained.
Dave was a watcher, not a talker. He knew what the mental
health people had lined up for the guys who talked. A few questions
that put some part of the apparatus in the bright light, even in maybe just a neighborhood, and the boys with the white jackets were
after you, and off you went for the electric shock treatment. They
erased part of your tape, you could say, and you didn't bother
people after you got out. Paranoid they called you. The word had
always enraged Dave, abruptly and thoroughly. They already had
hundreds, maybe thousand's, of people locked up. If you saw what
the apparatus was doing in the schools and the government, you
were paranoid. It didn't really matter whether you could prove
there was a conspiracy. If you fingered a part of the conspiracy, you
were very likely to go out of circulation.
Dave figured that even his wife, Kay, was a victim of the apparatus. The terrible part of the whole thing to him was that people
got sucked in so young and so completely, especially in California.
They couldn't see the organization when you pointed it out to them.
They'd been brainwashed, and where Dave saw clear connections,
distinct points, they saw nothing at all. Life was too easy for them.
What did a girl like Kay know about Communists? She had the
house and two bathrooms and a patio and all that Modern Colonial
maple furniture. She'd never been anywhere else, and everything
she had, she took for granted. What they told her on the television
or in the paper was the same to her as the Bible. She never questioned anything.
Just before Castro came out in the open, Kay showed up at
Christmas with a box of UNESCO Christmas cards. They had a
date on them and arty pictures from museums, but they weren't
Christmas cards. They were One-Worlder propaganda that didn't
have anything to do with Christmas.
Dave walked into the dining room, where she was addressing
envelopes. "Kay." He held the card in his hand. "You know the
44 Communists make these UNESCO cards? They use the dough
from these cards to buy stuff for that Castro in Cuba. You know
She looked up from the table. Blue eyes, her hair brushed, and
another new sweater. She was nice, and he loved her, but he could
never get her to see how things really were.
"Look," he began to say.
"Oh, honey, I'm sure they wouldn't do that," and she smiled.
She was being patient with him. They were always patient with
him. The Boss turned him off that way sometimes.
"Honey," Kay said, "I bought them from the McClarren boy up
the street, for the new PTA furniture. You remember?"
"Yeah," Dave shrugged. "It was something I heard. Well, I
gotta do some work downstairs."
He touched her shoulder, and she smiled again, and he went out
through the kitchen. No sense to leave her in a mood she'd remember. She could talk too.
In the basement he closed his workshop door behind him and
flipped the light on. On the bench the table lamp he'd been building from an artillery shell casing was scattered around. The base
was the big brass casing, and he was circling it with empty rifle
cartridge cases, soldering each one separately. Kay probably thought
that was a six-month job, as he'd told her. Once she'd come down,
but he'd heard her on the stairs, and before she got in the door,
he'd thrown a newspaper over his work and was fiddling with the
lamp again. That satisfied her.
Under the end of the bench, some two-by-four ends were piled
on a footlocker. He lifted the two-by-fours off the footlocker very
quietly so Kay couldn't hear him upstairs. Even though she hated
to move things and wouldn't poke under the wood to get into the
footlocker, he wanted no noises for her to remember if she were ever
questioned about what gear he had around, exactly what he did
down there.
He lifted the locker clear of the bench, still in that stolid way
that was odd in a wiry man, and set it down in the light. He reached
the key out from the nail under the back of the bench and opened
the locker and got out the infrared sniper scope and began to assemble it. With the infrared glasses on and spotting with the beam,
a man made a brilliant target for you a city block away on the
darkest night. To Dave, this was the greatest piece of equipment
they had. They'd gone to a lot of trouble to get the damned scope
without any names being on a bill of sale that could trace it, and
45 he wasn't going to have Kay blab about it to her PTA neighbors.
If they had taught him one thing, it was that you couldn't trust
anybody. One day they would move in the open, but in this phase
of the war, the most important thing was to watch and not give
your position away by any sudden action.
On the deer stand, waiting for Barker to drive up through the
laurels, Dave narrowed his eyes, remembering the sniper scope. It
was stashed safe enough now, where Kay or nobody else would
stumble on it. Only the guys in his squad knew where it was and
of them only the specialists. Three men, himself and two just like
him. They kept fresh batteries for the outfit in the cache, and they'd
make a couple of trial runs on deer with it last fall on moonless
nights. Dave rubbed the heel of his hand on the stock of his Mi.
One day they'd be spotting something more important than deer,
and he had the patience to wait. He never boasted. He didn't flag-
wave to strangers, and as far as Kay knew, the hunt club he went
off to was just his weekend beer bust.
The motto was plain enough: "Words won't win. Action will."
But the Minutemen weren't stupid, and they knew the time of direct
action hadn't come. Now the mission was to trace every step in
every link of the conspiracy, and if Dave was Barker's mission in
this greasy war, then Barker was Dave's mission, too. Dave would
be his hunting partner and drink his scotch or go any other route
he had to because whatever he was, he wasn't a quitter.
Down in the laurels the leaves twitched over the trail, and Dave
settled into his position behind the pine. Thinking about Barker
and the conspiracy, he had almost forgot the hunt altogether. He
pushed the safety off and brought the rifle up. At the end of the
narrow aisle down through the pines, the leaves moved again, almost as if a breeze touched them, but there was no wind. Then the
doe pushed her nose out and turned her head up-slope and down,
her ears twitching. Fifty feet away —■ she was a perfect neck shot.
She stepped out, not spooked, and at her flank on the far side a
yearling fawn slipped along. Then the buck came on in the laurels
with a big rack. He seemed to move faster, but that was just the
heft of his shoulders pushing up bigger than hers. He wasn't in
the clear yet. Dave followed him with the rifle, starting already to
take the slack out of the trigger with his finger.
"Dave!" It was Barker in the laurels, close. "Hey Dave? A buck
and a doe. Big buck, coming right into you."
Dave started, and as he swung his eyes back to the buck, he saw
the rump slip behind the trees on his left, out of his line of fire.
46 Then it was gone, and a single stone clicked in the trail where they
had passed.
I should have had him, he thought. I would have had him if he
hadn't yelled like that.
The leaves moved again where the laurel branched over the trail,
and Barker called out low, "Dave? Corning out, Dave."
Dave said nothing at all, and in another breath Barker came
out, fifty feet down, where the deer had crossed, and stood looking
forward along the trail. His red wool coat was thrown open, and
his old Marlin carbine hung in his right hand.
Dave lay hidden behind the pine, only his right eye and shoulder
and the muzzle of the rifle showing.
"Dave?" Barker hollered. "Where the Hell are you?" He swung
around slowly, but his eyes were high, way above Dave. His face
had the same easy openness it had the first day he came into the
That's right, Dave thought, they always have that American boy
look, but it had never fooled him. Lying in the hole with the rifle
in his hands, loaded and charged and even aimed, Dave felt that
dark world of his mind fall into focus with the pines and the still
air, and in the middle of it all stood Barker, who was one of them.
Barker took another step forward, and the front sight of the Mi
covered the side of his head. For a second nothing moved, Dave or
the front sight or Barker. Then Barker stooped and laid his carbine
flat on the grass and straightened again. He swung around down-
slope, and his head bent forward. He lit a cigarette.
As he threw his head back, the slack came out of the trigger of
the Mi, and Dave's round took him just at the base of the skull.
He pitched forward like a wet towel.
Dave got up without taking his eyes from him, the rifle heavy
and clumsy in his hands. The lugged soles of Barker's boots did
not move, and for a second a terrible feeling of unreality caught
Dave. Then his breathing steadied, and he looked up into the
pines and out across the open slope one long look before he started
running up through the woods to the Jeep. He didn't go down to
Barker at all because already that buzz of unreality swept over him
again, and his mind raced frantically on, and his lips moved. "It
could of been an accident. I'll tell them it was an accident," he
said, as the two worlds came together and the light began to fade.
47 Two Poems by Ruth Edwins
Pale in the fogged and frosty night
I fie awake. The maddening
moon glows through wet folds of white,
as through fine cloth, a strain to make
honey for lovers, juice to jell
bewitchments as wild as quinces.
Through the inch-open window I smell
winter: essence of lemon
across the face, zero taste.
Plump the pillow, turn the heart's cup down
from that hard liquor. What a waste
of warmth this is: to be, alone.
Restless in the star-shook pre-dawn,
my eyelids lift under the bright
moon's penetration. All fog gone,
long settled light has sugared out:
the icy shards hardened from dew.
I close the window — not the blind:
to guillotine Orion through
might shear my hair-threaded chains.
The moon is now a pocket stone.
Plump the pillow, pull the heart's edge back
from that sharp honing. I, alone,
keep your place warm, until you come.
Cogito, ergo sum
Out far
and in too deep.
Almost took
the stiff sleep.
Waters of
a green abyss
dropped me into
Slipping fingers
bruised on bark
where one log floated
through the dark.
Slashed my elbow,
scraped my knee,
pulling out
of eternity.
Washed the blood
off my sleeve.
I am alive,
therefore I breathe.
This is my
whole impudence:
amo, ergo sum
present tense.
Six inches of ice
between me and the gurgle
of unseen water.
Still I walk with care,
a small nagging fear
hard on my heels.
No secret,
this river would like me
six inches under
not over its frozen pride.
49 Two Poems by Vern Rutsala
This is my home.
It wears my address
and harbors a phone
that knows only my number.
When it rings I answer.
But now the bell sleeps
and I play the part
of the building's vital organ —
a floating rib perhaps.
I feel the stiff pose
of the house: supports
at attention in the walls,
made quiet by nails.
The stiffness asks me
to improve my posture
or fold myself neady
on a shelf, but I want to
tack up a window at random,
rearrange doors as easily
as furniture and believe
the walls are held up
by pictures pretending
to be mirrors.
I know the straightness
of the house — its plumb-line
certainty — is the real
awkwardness of the world,
a place where the person
I become each morning
wakes up and clothes himself
in the dark suit of the pawn
and inches through the day
until darkness forces a retreat
to a place where strangers
memorize each other's faces.
50 And now I move
around the rooms
trying to douse my thoughts
by turning off each light,
but the lights
have signed a contract
to stay on all night.
Warmed by ashes, the hearth
spirit sleeps; quiet
invests the house, wrapping
each object in cotton.
Sharp edges are dull.
The termite rests near
the mouse and floorboards
relax, no longer stiff
with waiting blindly
for heavy feet. Now,
the house entirely theirs,
furniture begins to move.
Slowly at first, the thick paws
of Morris chairs, the bound
feet of pianos,
the peglegs of stools —
all stir. A table quivers
and rises like a hummingbird.
Squat chests two-step.
Floorlamps pirouette, eyes looking
and looking under their crazy
hats. Bookcases waltz
as the phone rises like
a cobra, swaying and buzzing —
the only sound. This lasts
until first light when all objects
settle in place once more
to hibernate all day
within their heavy pretence.
"Whatever they are," someone says,
"they're beautiful children"
and I know they've been puzzling
over Lydia:
white negro? thinly diluted blood?
but cannot dismiss
her classic angled face,
her unquestionably negro husband,
and the little girls:
black hair, beige skin,
delicate profiles,
and Greggy, golden boy,
hair and skin a monotone
dark gold;
and I think
of their beginnings:
telegram from her parents
to a girl in love:
consider some less irrevocable
step   stop.
And the rabbi
sending her answer:
remember the nuremberg
laws   love.
"They're beautiful children,"
someone says, and eyes return
to the exotic family
suddenly in the midst
of all-average vacationers,
as if in a vegetable garden
some chance of wind
and magic pollen
grew a miracle tree
with graceful and rich fruit,
the sturdy, delicate girls,
the golden boy.
52 Somebody smiles self-consciously
at me, travelling with them,
no longer pale, medium,
ordinary Canadian,
but someone to be seen whole,
and grateful
to be travelling with
Take a cross
twelve by six
hang someone on it.
Let him say
he dies for us
(a partial truth:
we killed him)
then his crucifix
becomes our own
this play our play
at once the auditor
and actor both.
But let him first
(here offstage drum
and clarinet)
forgive us all
and not alone
for what we did
but in advance
for sins to come:
then is it odd
that we should call
this play a mystery
this man a god?
(translated from the Bengali by the author)
O apple, what are you? Redness of lips withdrawn
After the kiss, that strikes the air with lustre?
Or an apsara's* rounded breast, darkened with rapture
And held in the hand of a god whose sight is gone?
So much, yet just begun! This autumn seems unending.
Enough! But more. Even the skin is meshed
In eager sweetness. This glad befriending
Works through the loss undiminished.
And is that all? So think the sleepy ones.
But when some lust-encumbered eye
Sees through bowl and orchard, tears across the veils,
And in a strange spell of light, becomes
In you a forest, a spacious sky —
We too then wish we were something else.
* Apsara:  celestial nymph. The passage refers to sculptured figures
in Konarak temple (13th cent.).
&tsl, ^tcfei, ^fcr orWsiaf? h^ «rW1w
«ii\5, ^ os-fats ^^ Tte1 csyzm ore ^« art i
^f&r nrsf^e mi ^rtc^i tg> j «*rr ^nrtw
«itai 5(1 sjfpfi t^, ^*Pfh 1 f%<§ ^^t ?
~~" - ^1-t c&x »pitt ^fror *ttf? i fa% *rtor-*rlw
f^os cwm, fstosrsri c^strfa ^c«g ,si^s ^riwlc^
TI c»fc% ^fc cfc% ^^rrc^'sr^e to^ ^ ^ f%ig ^'ro i
He undressed beside the sunlit pool,
Stripped at last like an Indian who survived
The racial wars, a secret that thrived
Somehow, still watched by the water's winking jewel.
We, too, are watched, go through his motions
with him —
The nude in us is forever furtive
Yet seeking every chance to live,
Granting that the great eye never will go dim.
It must happen and yet be truly seen:
That is what we ask for others and ourselves —
Now the clandestine diver in us delves,
And, like a sick eye, the water loses what we
There is nothing to do but come up streaming anguish,
Scrape ourselves like Indians until we gleam
With some hard, joyous burnish of a dream
Men have, lucid-risen from an eye that does not languish.
55 Two Poems by W. Nyberg
She stripped her lower half,
lay back upon the bed. He said
"Take off your blouse"
and she complied:
a ribb'd exposure,
swelling skeleton,
bonegrey brittle cage
of drycracked bars
and empty space;
he kissed the skull,
breathed in her breath
that sunk along his throat
to freeze his lungs;
he spread her thighs — shrunk hard
and dead as ice-bound saplings.
They thrust and rattled,
panted sweated clacked —
he closed his eyes
and felt the moss
spread damp and cold
upon his back.
56 —
As it floated from the trees
phantom white, it seemed in no hurry,
thinking itself immortal perhaps,
ignoring my headlights.
But it hit the grill,
bounced and struck the glass before my face,
then vanished, leaving empty night once more,
with but one feather on my windshield, and some blood.
I backed up, guided by its scuffling
till it was in my lights again,
scraping, jerking,
pivoting on outstretched wing.
I drove slowly forward,
aimed exactly.
The crunch was deafening.
Lying still now, in the red light and fumes,
it didn't look so white.
But I wanted proof
or satisfaction;
so I grasped the wing
and FLUNG the owl — high hard —
and waited for its clumsy fall.
It twisted and was gone.
I lost it against the trees
but I heard its wings beat      thup thup t hup
and I saw it later,
crossing the moon.
57 Two Poems by Robert Gibbs
Anything so restless and formless as an
ocean rubbing under your scalp troubles
your dear but hardly secret illusion of being
able to measure such expanses of time and wind
out in drops
to suit yourself, and water taken in large doses
often brings on muscle cramps of swell rhetoric.
Living by it I acquired some indifference
a shell to keep it out much of the time
and walking by it, squilching
through bladdered fucus after periwinkles
feeling its grit and mucous in the cracks
between my toes, I got to know how
little of its debris is picturesque. It's
like the local paper, a daily blotter
absorbing and emptying you of impressions —
King Jumbo Potato and the bicycle race %
J. Glenn astronaut aground in his tub, a
mustachioed minor dictator bullying
and couping, indecent exposures fuzzy and
bloated, drowned floaters out of the murk.
Fall and rise of water
waves breaking over
white feet tickling
calves, wind socking round
ears and temples, toneless
endless, like the voice of the leader of the opposition
soothe you numb
Widely known as a tranquilizer
in the shell, transistor size you can get
as hooked on it as any beatle fan.
*-*== For the city boy it's
waterfronts, a drunk's delicate
wipe of white lips after
lemon extract behind a stack of lobstercrates
a half-blind negro baiting up with bloody
chunks of gaspereaux, smelt fishing
from the top step at the end of the pier
sulfur stink at low tide and shiplights
at dusk accordion distensions in the slack.
It's red flats of Courtenay Bay where
sewers gush, a dead sea-dog stews in
sun and flies and a sturgeon's gold
carapace dries translucent, caviar long gone
to wharf rats a short Russian feast.
What's there to say but seas are
cesspools shaky under fairy green and
dancing rings on them is a tricky
business for fishermen or poets.
Try making a Peter walk to
what you've often denied, a strange fish
stranded on one of your herring weirs, those stilted
waders with small gull bodies flown. Then
you're caught in a device of your own
making, a flimsy scaffold, and echoes
of absurd screaming birds flown off
you know by ear. Poets they say
have always run like fishes in the sea
and some up north a forthright few
small fry schools strain through
new nets draped below the swells, swim
clear and up to nibble at the fight.
Tidal songs are old sea saws
Teeter totter up and down
Cradling blood through a body's flaws
Lodestone drag of the weighty moon
Find out if I or my father sinned
That my love feeds such a cold wind.
Bridal songs are old sea saws
Vows made up as soft as down
Salt water kisses, sweet kickshaws
Frothy cake and candy moon
Taste cold in a mouth whose blood has thinned
For still love feeds a bitter wind.
Daedal songs are old sea saws
Homer, Sappho and on down
Wreaking out in its cranky jaws
Lovenuts for the virgin moon
Stood the spray till almost skinned
Sure love feeds an old cold wind.
Libidal songs are old sea saws
Jung fry up and sing Freud down
Sounding the deep and the deep's laws
Out of the self-effacing moon
Find Cain to Abel Siamese twinned
O yes love feeds a cold still wind.
Margaret atwood has published poems and stories in Kayak, Tamarack,
Alphabet, Queens, Best Poems of 1963, and other North American publications, and recently had a libretto broadcast by CBC.
ronald bates, formerly on the staff of the University of Uppsala, and now
teaching at the University of Western Ontario, published his first book of
poems, The Wandering World, in 1959  (Toronto, Macmillan).
professor buddhadeva bose founded the avant-garde Bengali poetry magazine Kavita. He is also well-known as a translator (of Baudelaire into
Bengali, and of modern Bengali poetry into English), and as a prolific
poet, critic and short story writer. Formerly Chairman of Comparative
Literature at Jadavpur University, he is at present visiting several universities in the United States, and editing an anthology of modern Bengali
writing in English translation.
robert 0. bowen, the well-known American novelist, is editor of the Alaska
Review, and conducts the Creative Writing programme at Alaska Methodist
University. He has just finished a new novel.
george bowering last year published his first book of poems, Points on the
Grid (Toronto, Contact Press). His first TV play was produced recently
over a CBC network. He is presently marketing a novel, writing short
stories, editing a magazine for long poems (Imago), preparing for publication a new book of poems, and teaching full-time in the English Department at the Calgary branch of the University of Alberta.
A political indictment
of a nation
selling itself into the
Frenzied Fiction
American Empire.
by Stephen Leacock
Lament for a Nation:
The brilliant series of
The Defeat of
satirical sketches set against
Canadian Nationalism
World War 1.
by George P. Grant
Paper $1.25
The Cariboo Horses
by Alfred Purdy
absorbing new books
A new volume of poems.
reflecting a glorious.
McClelland & Stewart
Cloth $4.50
Paper $2.50
61 dr. amiya chakravarty, once Tagore's literary secretary, and editor of the
Tagore Reader, has been a pioneer of modernism in Bengali poetry. Last
year he won the Indian Sahitya Akademi Prize for his book of poems,
Ghare-Pherar Din. Formerly of Calcutta University, he is now Professor
of Comparative Oriental Religions and Literature at Boston University. edward eaton, American poet and story writer, contributes to
Poetry, Yale Review and other leading journals. His fifth and current book,
Countermoves, was published by Abelard-Schuman, New York.
sam eisenstein, on the staff of Los Angeles City College, will be teaching
this fall at Tokyo University. His short stories have appeared in American
journals, and he is currently at work on a second novel.
ruth edwins is a graduate student in the University of Washington. She was
editor of Assay, and studied under Theodore Roethke.
r. o. everson is Canada's unique business-man-poet. His latest book, due in
March, is I Wrestle with an Angel. It is to be the first of a series by the
new publishing house of Delta which Louis Dudek has set up in Montreal.
robert gibbs lectures at the University of New Brunswick and has been long
associated with Fiddlehead magazine there.
Elizabeth gourlay is a previous contributor to Prism (Spring 1962). Her
poems have also appeared in Saturday Night, Fiddlehead and the Canadian
Forum, and have been broadcast over the CBC. She lives in Vancouver.
douglas jones is a bilingual lecturer at the Universities of Sherbrooke and
Laval, Quebec. His poems have appeared in journals throughout Canada.
His most recent collection was The Sun is Axeman, University of Toronto
Press, 1961.
erik lindegren, leading Swedish poet of the so-called Forties generation, is
also a well-known translator of such authors as Eliot, Perse, Faulkner,
Thomas. He has published a number of volumes of poetry, notably The
Man Without a Road. He is a member of the Swedish Academy.
malcolm lowry — see page 3 of this issue.
pat lowther lives in Vancouver. She is a contributor to Breakthru and to
several Canadian magazines.
j. mavor moore, one of Canada's leading theatre men: actor, producer, writer
(for stage, television and radio), lecturer, theatre manager, etc., also
finds time to write poetry.
alden nowlan is a New Brunswick newspaper editor, well-known to readers
of North American poetry magazines. His published works include five
books of poetry and a number of short stories.
w. nyberg is an undergraduate student in Creative Writing at the University
of British Columbia. His first published poems appear in this issue.
padraio 6 br6in, bom in Ireland, lives in Toronto and edits Canadian Poetry.
His own poems appear frequently in magazines through the English-
speaking world. He is represented in this issue by a translation from a
fifteenth-century Irish poet, of whom nothing beyond his name is now
6 leamhnach — see 6 broin
dora pettinella's translations appeared in our last issue.
62 vern rutsala teaches at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.
Wesleyan University Press published a book of his poems, The Window,
last year. His work has appeared in Paris Review, Nation, North American
Review, and elsewhere.
umberto saba, of Jewish-Italian ancestry, was born in Trieste and lived most
of his life in that city. One of Italy's greatest modern lyricists, he also
wrote prose fiction. He died in 1957.
Raymond souster, Toronto poet, and publisher of poets, is author of a dozen
books including the current The Colour of the Times (Ryerson, Toronto),
which recently won the Governor-General's Award for Poetry.
david wevill, born in Canada, lives in London, England. He is a former contributor to Prism. With his appearance in Penguin Modern Poets, 4, he
entered the forefront of younger English poets.
Back Files of Prism
Our stock of Volume One Number One is now limited
to four copies. These are not for sale — except as part of
COMPLETE SETS (Volumes I to IV, all sixteen numbers)  are priced at $100.
However, we can at present offer copies of other back
numbers.  Complete your Prism files while you can!!!
Price Postpaid Each
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Volume   II, Nos.  1, 2, 3, 4 (lots of copies) 15
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Volume III, No. 4 (only two copies left!)   $5-oo
Volume  IV, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 (only a few
copies of each)   $2.00
Prices are subject to change without notice.
Order from: PRISM international
hazo, samuel, My Sons in God. Don Mills, Ontario, Burns and MacEachern
Ltd., 135 pp. $3.90.
moses, w. r., Identities. Don Mills,  Ontario, Burns and MacEachern Ltd.,
77 PP- $2.25.
Williams, oscar, Selected Poems. Don Mills, Ontario,  128 pp. $5.50.
Ambit, no. 22  ("a quarterly of poems, short stories, drawings, and criticism").
Ed. Martin Bax, 62 Hornsey Lane, London N.2, England; 49 pp.; 50^
Approach, no. 54 ("a literary quarterly"). Ed. A. & H. Fowler, 114 Petrie Ave.,
Rosemont, Penn.; 46 pp.; 75^.
Breakthru, no. 20; "international poetry magazine"; 6x yr.; ed. Ken Geering,
Taormina, Penn. Cresc, Haywards Heath, Sussex, England.
Comparative Literature, XVI14;  a quarterly forum of literary criticism from
an  international  viewpoint;   ed.   Carleton  Beall,  University  of  Oregon,
Eugene; 91 pp.; $1.00.
Descant, VIII:2; "literary journal," 3X yr.; ed. Betsy Colquitt; Texas Christian
University, Fort Worth, Texas; 50 pp.; 50/.
Edge, no. 3; "an independent periodical edited by Henry Beissel"; semi-annual;
Box 4067, Edmonton, Alta.; 122 pp.; $1.00.
Epos, extra issue, 1965; poetry quarterly; ed. W. Tulos and E. Thome, Crescent
City, Fla.; 29 pp.; 50^.
Extra Verse, no.   14; poetry quarterly; ed. D. M. Black,   10 Claremont Pk.,
Edinburgh 6, Scotland; 21 pp.; 2/6.
Iconoldtre, no.   11;  quarterly "magazine of the arts";  ed. A. Hand and A.
Turner, 71  Ryehill Gardens, West Hartlepool, Co. Durham, England.
Imago, no.   2, irreg.,  "a magazine that specializes in the long poem or the
poem series";  ed.  George Bowering,  English Department, University of
Alberta, Calgary, Alta.; 44 pp.; 60^.
Manifold, no.   13;  "a quarterly of new verse"; ed. Vera Rich, 6 Luna St.,
London SW 10; 18 pp.; 1/6.
Ole, no. 2; 449 South Center, Bensenville, 111.
Origins/diversions, no. 9; quarterly/ of "poetry/jazz, stories"; ed. M. J. Dyke,
C. Torrance; 33 pp.; Is. 8 Court Drive, Sutton, Surrey, England.
Scrip, no.   13;  "a quarterly selection of recent poetry"; ed. D. Holliday; 35
spring bank road; chesterfield, derbyshire, england.
As we go to press, word comes that the President's Medal of the University
of Western Ontario, awarded annually for the best poem published in a Canadian magazine, has been given for the year 1964 to RICHARD EMIL BRAUN
for his "Niagara," which appeared in our autumn issue (Vol. 4, no. 2). An
earlier poem, published in our Vol. 3, no. 4, was Mr. Braun's first acceptance
in Canada, but he has since been represented in several other Canadian
journals, and in many in the United States. His first book of verse, Children
Passing, was issued by the University of Texas Press three years ago, and has
recently been reprinted. Presently living in Detroit, Mr. Braun was until
recently a member of the Classics Department of the University of Alberta
at Edmonton.
PRISM international is happy to send Professor Braun our congratulations on
what we naturally feel to be a well-merited honour.
A Quarterly of Criticism and Review
Canadian Literature is the only journal devoted entirely to the
study and criticism of writing in Canada. Its regular features include:
Essays on new and established Canadian writers;
Studies of past and present trends in Canadian literature;
Discussions of the writer's problems;
Autobiographical essays by Canadian writers;
Reviews and review articles on all current and significant
Canadian books in the fields of poetry, fiction, drama, criticism, biography, history and belles lettres;
A complete annual bibliography of Canadian literature, the
only one of its kind.
Contributors to Canadian Literature include not only distinguished
Canadian authors, but also many important foreign critics. Here is
a selection from those who have written in the journal during its
six years of publication:
Roderick Haig-Brown
Dwight Macdonald
George Woodcock
Kurt Weinberg
Wilfred Watson
Paul West
Jack Ludwig
Conrad Aiken
Jean Menard
jean-Charles Falardeau
E. E. Bostetter
Eli Mandel
Northrop Frye
A. J. M. Smith
Ethel Wilson
Louis Dudek
Hugh Maclennan
Peter Quennell
Pierre Berton
Earle Birney
Max-Pol Fouchet
Margaret Laurence
Roy Daniells
F. H. Soward
Mordecai Richler
Nairn Kattan
Roy Fuller
Gillcs Marcotte
Kildare Dobbs
James Reaney
Jean-Guy Pilon
Norman Levine
Malcolm Lowry
Robert B. Heil man
Phyllis Webb
John Peter
Keiichi Hirano
Arnold Edinborough
Bhalchandra Rajan
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From the Publications Centre
In this issue
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