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mterntXSm  JUL
international  STEVE NOYES
Managing Editor
Poetry Editor
Fiction Editor
Drama Editor
Copy Editor
Editorial Board
Advisory Editor
CONTEMPORARY WRITING PRISM international, a journal of contemporary writing, is published four times per
year at the Department of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia,
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Contents Copyright  ©1985 PRISM international for the authors.
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Payment to contributors is $20.00 per page and a subscription. PRISM international
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Our gratitude to the Canada Council, Dean Will and the University of British
Also financially assisted by the Government of British Columbia through the British
Columbia Cultural Fund and Lottery Revenues.
Second Class Mail Registration No. 5496. October 1985. CONTENTS
NUMBER ONE           FALL 1985
Ernest Hekkanen
The Merry Voyager
Al Purdy
"This from Herodotus"
Susan Ioannou
Two Poems
Charles Bukowski
Two Poems
michael dermis
Kirsti Simonsuuri
Two Poems
Kim Yong Ik
The First Election
James Deahl
Two Poems
Judith Pond
Marianne Andrea
Two Poems
John Edward Sorrell
"Sidewalk Cafe,
Thinking of The Fuehrer"
Walter McDonald
Two Poems
Lesley Choyce
"Angus (Giant) MacAskill"
Gerald Hill
Four Poems
Eva Skrande
Two Poems
Dacia Maraini
Erin Moure
Two Poems
John Ditsky
"Wheels and Knobs"
Maria Laina
Two Poems
Robyn Sarah
Allan Brown
Patricia Young
"Three Underwater Photographs"
Terese Svoboda
Bridal Bouquet
65  Ernest Hekkanen
The Merry Voyager
My assignment was to locate and interview the survivors of the
downed, cross-Atlantic balloon, Merry Voyager, which had taken off
from Sydney, Nova Scotia earlier in the week. The balloon was presumed to have landed on one of several small islands off the coast of
Iceland, having strayed in that direction due to an unexpected thermal
draft that the pilot said had gripped them like the talons of a monstrous bird. His last, anguished cries, crackling like cellophane over the
telecommunicator, went like so: "We are being borne away at great
velocity. Our ship is trembling. Guides are snapping. Eleanor is securing the emergency signal, now. Where this draft will take us I don't
wish to contemplate. All we can do..." and at that juncture, all transmission ceased.
Due to a game of chance, one that was perfectly random in design, it
fell upon me to undertake the assignment. "We want something that
will grip both the hearts and the minds of the public," said my august
superior, Hugh Cambell. "A human interest story of vast implications.
Let it gush, and don't come back until you've wrung your pen dry.
Understand?" At this, he gave one of his great belly laughs, so full of
menace and arbitrary invective I could but shudder in my boots.
For the expedition, I was given the latest in electronic gadgetry: a
Fonyo tape recorder the size of a crush-proof cigarette pack, a Mitron
2000 camera, an Atakki signal finder, a Lydel on-board computer and
a Bliigelheist TeleCommunicator, the latter of which promised unfailing transmissions from any spot on earth because of a beam that was
bounced back from an orbiting satellite. Of this I was somewhat skeptical, seeing how the pilot of the Merry Voyager had also placed his faith in
such an instrument, and what it had gotten him was a depth of isolation.
The night before I sailed there was an uproarious farewell party
held in my honour at the Davy Jones, an Inn only a stone's throw away
from the pier where my boat lay moored in the harbour. The party I
shall not belabour, other than to say that gaiety was rife and more than
a few of my companions disappeared up the dark stairway for rendezvous in the rooms above the tavern. By morning we were all a little blurry-eyed or else hungover; indeed, the lady I found sharing my bed
was still reeling quite badly, and proclaimed, if she were to see me off at
the pier, the sight of water would do something dreadful to her
"But I'll see you off in spirit," she said, rolling over to watch me
shove my legs into trousers. "Bon voyage, and don't forget to keep in
"Damn," I exploded. "Look at what those sophomoric creeps have
done. They've tied knots in my pantlegs."
"You poor, poor dear. How unfair of them." However, her voice
betrayed a certain lack of sympathy. Indeed, I thought her tone a little
too gay.
On untying the knots and struggling into my trousers (no small feat
as I was still at sea from last night's revelry), on removing the staples
driven through the neck of my turtleneck sweater and on dumping the
fish out of my boots, I took up my valise and headed toward the door,
only to hear my companion chorde from the bedclothes. On turning
around I saw that while I held the valise, all the gear inside had remained behind on the floor, as the valise's bottom had been cut away
from the sides.
"Those lousy jerks," I growled, the words painfully echoing in my
"Tsk, tsk," my companion crooned, wagging her lovely, long finger.
"Nothing must interfere with the course of history. You have a voyage
to make."
I shoved my gear into a plastic garbage bag, flung it over my shoulder and staggered from the Inn. By daylight, the Davy Jones had
assumed the air of a stalwart old church on the waterfront of a
medieval township. Stone. Too much stone, thought I. Banners were
flying from every lamp-post along the quay. Many of the pedestrians
who moved around me were dressed in fanciful, courtly attire from the
age of Henry VIII. Had the revelry of last night, all the madcap drinking and bouts of singing, spilled into the street? I was entertaining the
likelihood that it had when along came a lady bearing buns and cheese
in a tray strapped around her neck. I purchased some of what she had
to offer, and let myself be carried away by the crowd, flowing ever
faster toward the pier where my boat lay moored. By now I had begun
to notice that the occasion—for I could think of no excuse for such
widespread frivolity other than an occasion of some sort—had forced
many townspeople into costumes of birds; about me I saw magpies,
hawks, pigeons, starlings, cockatoos, a veritable throng of feathered-
kind, strutting along the harbourfront, holding onto handbags and
parasols, crowned with floppy hats, adorned in handsome coats and
cocky little shoes. Indeed, the attire was so elaborate, so well made-out,
I felt rather foolish in my ordinary garb: that of jeans and old army jacket. But the orange garbage bag, flung over my right shoulder,
riding on my back like a distended cul-de-sac, did suggest, I thought,
an attempt at costume, and this helped ease some of the discomfort I
was feeling.
Down on the pier—and here the crowd was josding, in rhythm to
pa vans played by musicians on the bow of a three-master— I found my
small outboard with the Evinrude engine. Between the seats I tossed
my cargo. On landing, the orange bag burst its seams and spilled forth
my clothes, all knotted together like intestines. My outboard, it turned
out, was not the only small craft moored along the pier. No, there were
at least three dozen such boats, and in each one there was an individual, dressed casually like myself, going through the motions of stowing gear and checking out equipment.
I said to my neighbour in the boat on my starboard side, more out of
levity than anything else, "Surely we're not headed in the same direction?"
The man I spoke to wore a ring of red, curly hair around a freckled
dome, which shone like a well-polished burl. He disengaged himself
from his labours and replied curdy, "Depends on where you're
headed, mate."
"I'm off to interview the survivors of the Merry Voyager," I told him,
perhaps a little too proudly, for sometime during the night the weight
of my assignment had setded quite firmly upon my shoulders.
"A noble undertaking," said he, and returned to what he was doing,
apparendy checking out the level of fuel in his tanks, which, like my
tanks, resided under the seats. Thinking this a good idea, I also
checked out my fuel, noticing, as I did so, that the other men and
women in their small crafts were doing the same.
I said to my neighbour on my port side: "Anyone would think we
were preparing for a race?"
My remark seemed to prove hilarious, for the lady, wearing a bright
red cravat tucked into her jump suit, broke out in shrill laughter. "I
guess one might say that all right, if that's what you're here for."
"I'm here to interview the survivors of the Merry Voyager," I told her.
"I guess that's as good a reason as any," said she, stuffing her long
hair into a leather helmet on her head.
At that moment a large penguin approached the bow of my boat and
proceeded to remove its head. Underneath the large bird's head was
the head of Hugh Cambell, looking very jolly, if not outright flush.
He put the penguin's head under his arm and roundly bellowed:
"Well, how's it going, Jason?"
"Fine." I told him. "But I thought I was being sent out to interview
those survivors. Instead, I seem to be entering a race of some sort."
"It would look like that," he said, giving one of those monstrous belly
laughs I found so disarming. "I hope you've got your pad and pen? I want some sizzling by-line, don't forget."
I felt my breast pocket. Yes, there was my notepad and pen.
"Yep, I'm loaded," I said.
Just then, a lovely toucan came up and stationed itself beside my
employer. This toucan was dressed in a Panama hat and a frilly tutu.
Presendy someone spoke from inside, in a muffled voice I could not
put a face to: "I decided to come down and see you off after all. Isn't
that grand of me?"
"Very grand," I said.
"I figured it was the least I could do—the very least."
I would have exchanged a few more words with this individual,
perhaps enough of them to discover who was inside the toucan, however, our conversation was cut short by the fellow on my starboard,
who suddenly started the engine of his craft. Then another, and
another, and another engine ignited, and yet another. It seemed hopeless in the midst of so much noise to try and carry on a chat, so I, too,
started my engine and, like those on either side of me, cast off my lines.
Cambell cupped his hands to his mouth: "Got your sextant, laddie?"
"Got it," I yelled back.
"How about your signal-finder?"
"All secured."
"And your navigational charts?"
"Damn," I hollered. "I forgot them on the dresser in the Inn. I'll
have to go back for them.
"No, there isn't time," Cambell yelled, his face straining with exertion to be heard, as every boat was now rumbling and fuming blue
exhaust. "Just remember you're headed towards Iceland, and you must
get that interview, and it must be a scoop!"
At that moment—a moment I remain uncertain about, for there was
no raised flag or report of a gun—the boats around me all shoved off
and, not wishing to seem irregular or recalcitrant, I shoved off, too,
swinging my boat away from land and bumping off across the frothy
waves at full speed, my bow directed toward the mouth of the harbour,
which, at a distance, looked as if it would be too small to swallow all
three dozen outboards at once. But as we drew nearer, each of us
jockeying for position, so as not to eat another's salt spray, the mouth
opened wide and we were taken out into the shining blue expanse of
the Adantic.
Here I am forced to summarize, for to recount moment by moment
what became a seeming eternity would be a lengthy, and in the end,
thankless task. Let it be said quite simply that after three days of battling water, overheated engines, leaky crafts, brief but occasional
storms, night and day, blazing heat and freezing cold, most of the three
dozen boats had pulled up lame somewhere out in the greater brine.
My boat, which after many hours I began to refer to as Sweet Betsy this
10 and Sweet Betsy that, was one of those boats that did not wheeze or idle
or spring a leak; it kept on course, as though it had an intelligence of its
own, and I kept my hand firmly on the vibrating rudder arm of the
Evinrude, determined that I would be the one to first reach the survivors and, thus, garner what would be in all likelihood the most
noteworthy story of the decade, if not the century.
But by the end of the week, my fuel having been expended, my
rations having run precariously low, just like my water, which had been
negligible to begin with, I found myself rowing, hour after endless
hour, towards a destination that was no more than a vague notion of
the horizon. I had long since left behind the other boats—at least I
assumed I had, because all around me was the sea, the eternally shifting, endless sea, without so much as a shadow upon its face. But, of
course this may not have been so; one of the other boats, rowed with as
much determination as I rowed mine, might have slipped past me in
the night, in which case I would not be the first one to. interview the
survivors of the Merry Voyager. However, I put this possibility aside; I
rowed with the invincible belief that I was ahead of everybody else, and
would soon scoop the story.
After a week and a half, I was no longer quite so certain. My provisions had run out; I was adrift, being swayed this way and that way by
currents, my hands swollen and bleeding at the palms, hopelessly
astray on what, in my thirsty delirium, seemed a vast mirror—a mirror
reflecting the perfect emptiness of the sky. Having set out to interview
survivors of an ill-fated, downed balloon, I had now become a survivor,
a survivor whose destination had become a confused impression
lodged in a mind that now swam, and eddied, and shifted with the tides
it could not even discern.
I had begun to think that perhaps a joke had been perpetrated on
me. My instruments had all faltered or seized from exposure to salt.
Even my Blugelheist TeleCommunicator, which had buzzed and spluttered through two earlier reports to Cambell, had become as silent as
the sky. At first I thought it might be the batteries, however, on removing the back panel, I found there were no batteries, rather a solar cell
grimed with blue corrosion. A band across the black box containing the
Bliigelheist's electronic innards issued me the warning: Do Not Remove. Return to Manufacturer for Repairs. Violation Incurs Loss of
"Sure, as soon as I locate a mailbox I'll send it on to you," I said, and
proceeded to open the box with my penknife. On removing the final
screw, the box jettisoned its components, rather like a jack-in-the-box,
and a litde flag began to wave, proclaiming that my warranty had now
"Foul, demonic thing," I swore, and roughly pitched the communicator overboard.
11 Some time later, perhaps hours, perhaps days, I spotted, in the sky, a
violet balloon, at first small, like a mere bubble, then vaster, like a
glorious vision, meandering toward me. On the balloon, in great, white
letters, were the words: Merry Voyager. By now I was horribly depleted,
both in body and spirit, but on seeing the balloon I was able to gather
sufficient strength to wave my arms and shout. The shout erupted like
a dry, worthless croak, hardly audible to my own ears, but my arms
were winged; my arms flapped like those of a frantic harpy.
However, what should I see, in the basket hanging below the violet
balloon, but three crew members, all quite jovial, all full of mirth and
good health, waving back at me. They waved and blew kisses and,
lasdy, as a parting gesture, threw me a wreath of flowers. The wreath,
for a time, floated in the water beside my boat, before, inevitably,
breaking apart into the various blossoms that composed it, each flower
heading off on its own intrepid journey, directionless and wandering,
swayed by currents that, in turn, were swayed by time.
12 Al Purdy
This From Herodotus
After the battle for the pass at Thermopylae
after the sea fight at Salamis
Xerxes and remains of the Persian fleet
fled back to the bridge of ships
(shattered by storms) at the Hellespont
—the Greeks sent thank-offerings
to the Oracle at Delphi
and gathered at the altar of Poseidon
The Greek commanders
from Sparta Athens and the rest
voted on which man of all the heroes
most deserved the prize of valour
"for conduct throughout the campaign"
their votes for both first and second place
Every man there placed his own name
at the top of the list but all agreed
in placing Themistocles of Athens second
he was thus first choice for second place
Themistocles of Athens
acclaimed by all of Greece
returned home where a certain Timodemus
(of whom nothing else is known) envied him
claimed he had earned his honours not
by merit but from the fame of Athens itself
The second-place-finisher answered well
says Herodotus
but after that fraction of time which is
two thousand five hundred years
the hatred and envy of Timodemus is
just as much alive as memory of Themistocles
two men linked together
in death unable to distinguish the nuances
between first and second place
13 Susan Ioannou/Tzfo Poems
If Age ...
Franz, far out across the bay you float
blue as serenity, yesterday's
paper unlapped in sleep,
brow a smooth pink sun in late afternoon.
Drift free into the opening waves.
Between long trees the house waits,
windows generous, shadows
banished by air and light.
Brown as this flowered wing chair
I sip old scotch from crystal, dip
behind my eyes, the lake,
and feel the white, massive fireplace,
high oak beams,
the sweeping baronial stair
hold up my love of gracious things.
Skylights open me to the sky.
Space lifts apart walls.
Carpets are quietude.
The music of silence dances between birds.
Dreams: yours water, mine this house,
real as our years return us to ourselves,
plant the stillness of trees.
If age has any virtue
it is this.
14 Mrs. Minton Confides
When the Fear comes
and hunched into bony shoulders
gnarled hags hiss,
swarming black shawls
over my consciousness,
I sit tight, if I can
remember the cure:
ride out the maelstrom of voices,
show nothing, but smile
thinly and nod at
the world through a web.
As long as the old women go
and I awaken to sunlight
wiping ashen streets clean—
As long as fat walls become straight,
pictures becalmed behind glass—
As long as reality squares
off into three meals a day,
my hands grow fingers from claws—
I pick my way between heart beats,
serve tea, write letters, mend socks
and arrange graceful clusters of flowers
fresh for my dining room table.
J Charles Bukowski/Two Poems
in San Francisco I watched them
going into the
with their hard hats on,
carrying their
my father had written me
from Los Angeles: "If you
don't want to go to the War
then at least go into the
shipyards, help your country
make some money."
I was insane.
I sat in a small room
stared at the walls and
now, all the shipyard workers
have found that
they have been exposed to
poisoning, many to slow and
one thing I found out
about my father's advice
reverse it
without compunction
16 and you would get
clear of the
there would always
of the other
17 Love Poem To A Stripper
50 years ago I watched the girls
shake it and strip
at The Burbank and The Follies
and it was very sad
and very dramatic
as the light turned from green to
purple to pink
and the music was loud and
now I sit here tonight
smoking and drinking
listening to classical
but I still remember some of
their names: Darlene, Candy, Jeanette
and Rosalie.
Rosalie was the
best, she knew how
and we twisted in our seats and
made sounds
as Rosalie brought magic
to the lonely
so long ago.
now Rosalie
either so very old or
so quiet under the
this is the pimple-faced
who lied about his
just to watch
18 you were good, Rosalie
in 1935,
good enough to remember
when the light is
and the nights are
*9 michael dennis
"rest lightly on him O earth
for he has loved you well"
-inscription on alden nowlan's tombstone
in little towns
the children run loose
safe in the arms
of everyone they meet
we used to play cowboys and indians
in the lilac bushes that covered the front lawn
of the biggest house in the village
there were two solid acres
of purple and green
miles of trail and horizon
it was summer and it painted us brown
as we ran through the bushes in our shorts
and i don't remember ever pretending to die
just the running through the smell that knew no end
in the winter we would skate on the pond
and the water would run out from beneath us
through the mill and past the slaughter-house
where season knew no sympathy and the pigs squealed
20 we were at home no matter where we were
we knew the fields like living rooms
and the cemetery on the hill behind the church
was full of our history and it did not frighten us
in spring the trees were new camouflage
and school a test in concentration
we would play baseball and suffer through spelling
while we waited for the earth reborn
fall came whether we wanted it to or not
and we made the best of the leaves while they lasted
they were forts or castles or palaces or dreams
and we walked in them like they were clouds
and when the skies turned dark
and it was time for home
there were always stars to light the way
each one resting lightly
21 Kirsti Simonsuuri/Ta/o Poems
A Monk
I lock my bicycle to a balustrade, an ivied balustrade
and those tomes in the cathedral library
say nothing
iron chains, rustflakes
my days are chained down
my life's in the carrel
the whole world and the morning's
barbs in throat, eyes, ears
on my lips the name of the nightmare
fiend everything's possible
on this morning of limits
My hand opens the lock
a golden lock
the writing opens itself
golden writing opens
I've driven this road for centuries
from far-off centuries
the holes in the granite are the floor's eyes
they can see you coming
I don't know how much they hear
it's midsummer
and pears are ripening
Some definite laws exist
in the world of science,
known only to
the mitochondrian.
Horses never get there,
galloping in harness
in vain.
Things get joined in the chromosome,
united by pacts
for the rest of their lives.
Wherever you are
I'll never reach you
by counting my steps.
translated from the Finnish by Jascha Kessler and
Kirsti Simonsuuri
23 Kim Yong Ik
The First Election
With half a month to go before the election, Cousin Jin Sam's voice
failed him and left him unable to talk. He asked me to play for the old
men at their favourite wine seat on the hill. So I played folk songs on
my flute in the shade of the rustling bamboos, while he bowed to every
old man. "I will be your good errand man carrying your wishes to
Seoul. Vote for penniless Yun Jin Sam," he struggled to say.
The village kisang, Soyun, her baby strapped on her back, followed
him with a keg of wine on her head. Jin Sam announced, "Out of
respect for age, I bought wine."
Farmers from the nearby mountain fields and roads exclaimed,
"Free election wine." Jin Sam turned to Soyun, now suckling her baby.
"You stay here to pour wine, first for the oldest, then on by age, your
baby last." He grinned at the gathered crowd and with his campaign
workers hurried down to his boat.
The old men were not displeased to have the wine poured by the
village song-and-dance girl. They did not, however, understand how
the richest man in their village, Jin Sam, could be so poor suddenly,
and some worried that his new house might have to be sold. An outsider from the Harbour might be eager to buy the first tile-roofed
house built since the Americans drove the Japanese from Korea.
The old men wondered how Americans could have enough strength
without eating good Korean rice to defeat the Japanese and bring
about this election. With more rounds of wine, some warned each
other, "If you want to starve quickly, let your son run for a high
position, and if you want to starve slowly, sell your oxen to send your
son to college."
My father, the only one in the village whose son went to college,
cleared his throat loudly and turned his back to them, facing the open
sea. I quit playing my flute and left their wine seat discreedy.
Later, at home, I could hear my father's angry voice on the hill, and I
went up again. The old men still sat drinking, while Soyun moved
about with a wine jar. Several steps from them, by the bamboos, Father
and Uncle were arguing. The kisang pulled Father's sleeve. "Your son
is here. Sit down."
24 But seeing me, he raised his voice, shaking his fist as he shouted at
Uncle, "No, you won't be buried here. Just because your son is running
for County Head, do you think I will yield this hilltop to you?"
Uncle let out a cold laugh and said, "You cannot take away my good
fortune. I will lie here."
I tried to quiet my father. He said, "What do you expect me to say
when his son will be influential enough to bury his father on this high
The herb doctor stepped between them. "What is bothering both of
you today, fighting over a grave site? Whoever dies first will be buried
on the top of your ancestors' hill."
"Right, right," came from the others.
Jin Sam's father nodded haughtily. "It is settled then," and turned
Laying her baby on the grass, the kisang began to sing an ancient
song in her bird-high voice, whirling with her arms stretched wide. In
time with her song, some tapped their old stomachs, their shoulders
undulating. I left hurriedly, before anyone could ask me to play my
flute for her dance.
In the moonlight Father came home mumbling to himself, his gait
unsteady. "It will be my place to rest, not his." As I went to the porch to
hold him up, he said, "I don't need you. I sold my oxen, one by one,
five of them altogether. But Jin Sam who didn't even go to college came
home rich to run for Head of County. And you don't even try to get a
"I need very litde here," I said. "My flute can earn rice and always a
drink or two at a wine seat. I can walk along the water's edge to catch a
couple of fish and come home to build a woodfire to cook them. This is
what I like—better than becoming County Head."
"The simple task of moving from water to fire—that is an old man's
job." His sagging cheeks quivering, he turned toward the moonlit hill.
"I want to die first and rest there."
As he wobbled into his room, I went with him, helped him undress,
handed him a pillow to rest on. Clutching it to his chest, he said sadly,
"I want to sleep on the pillow of that hill, not in this room, listening to
the bamboos."
"You should have remarried long ago," I said.
"Why don't you find a good woman yourself," he said angrily. "Since
your mother died everyone has tried to arrange for this woman or that,
but I never wanted any of those who might die before me. Maybe I
should marry the young kisang at today's wine seat." His laugh was
"You mean the kisang going around with Jin Sam, sleeping with his
campaign workers?" I asked. "You are drunk with election wine,
Father." "All the Bamboo Hollow men chased the kisang in the spring wind,
but in the winter after she gave birth to her child, everyone denied
being the father. Thrown out of the winehouse, what else could she do
but follow Jin Sam's campaign? Once the campaign is over, he'll drop
her. I know him and his father as well as the inside of the watermelon
in my field." He closed his eyes and started to snore.
I sat on the porch facing the tall bamboos under the moon. Years
ago, when I bought my first flute and a music book, he tore up the
book and threw it at me shouting, "A midnight singer cannot make a
farmer, you weakling." Later he sold his oxen and gave me money to
go away to college. After college, I came back with my flute and more
music scores. He was so disappointed in me that he began to brood
about his death and burial ground.
The next morning a truck rumbled up to the pass and halted. Men
and women jumped down. "Vote for Jesus man Chang." A small man
ran ahead of the rest and climbed the electric pole behind the bamboo
grove to paste up posters. One in a white Western suit began to talk
through a loudspeaker. "Don't you want to have those electric lines
come down to light your mountain and valley? Light for your home,
light for your children." He looked skyward, waving his arms as he
shouted, "I'll bring the light down from the pole to you, rather than
passing you by." While the women looked hopefully toward the electric
lines beyond the bamboo grove, his voice rose to a falsetto. "This I'll do
the night you Bamboo Hollow people elect me in this first democratic
election the Americans are sponsoring."
"A missionary style," Father laughed. "With that hand gesture he can
catch a fly, but not any of us old people."
The white-suited man came down the hill, now saying how the
people should use the fire powder and the giant machine truck from
America to clear the stony ground so they could set up factories for
After the campaign people left in their noisy truck, the valley was
quiet and again I could hear the rustle of the bamboos.
"If the Jesus man brings in those foreign monster things, the swallows will never return to their old nests in our trees, bringing their
beakfuls of good luck," Father worried aloud. "Your cousin, at least,
won't blow up our ancestors' hill."
After breakfast he joined the other old men in making Jin Sam's
campaign lanterns. With bamboos from the grove they made the lantern frames and pasted sheet after sheet on which had been written
with a brush, "Yun: Good Errand Man."
Every time Jin Sam's campaign brought him back to Bamboo Hollow, he had Soyun pour wine for the old men, sing and dance. As I
played my flute, swallows swooped down the hill, wild bees hummed,
the bamboos rusded, and the old men laughed as they worked on the
26 lanterns. The kisang danced to my music. I only wished I could collect
all those happy sounds on the hill to make songs for my flute, just as the
herb doctor combined all sorts of herbs to make his medicine.
The old men from the neighbouring villages came and helped cut,
split, and whitde down the entire bamboo grove to make Jin Sam's
campaign lanterns. To those new faces, Uncle Yun would say, "My son
is a lucky man. If a lucky man becomes the Head, the whole county will
be lucky. To win this election, we need ten thousand lanterns." At the
end of the day when they returned home, he let them take as many
lanterns as they could carry, saying, "May these good luck lanterns
light your valleys."
On the last day of Jin Sam's campaign, he came and said excitedly,
"One candidate we should worry about is Harbour man, Minister
Chang. The Jesus people are going to have a large gathering tonight
and march through town. We have to outnumber them."
The old men urged the people to go to the Harbour and march with
Jin Sam, but most of them, already tired from scooping the pond water
into their ricefields, didn't want to go. Women returning from the
Harbour market whispered that they had heard a Jesus man saying
that Jin Sam fathered the baby of the Hollow kisang and no one should
vote for him.
Then the old men went around the houses. "Did you hear that your
children will never become Head of County because you are from a
poor, stony Hollow and only come to town to sell cabbages and bean
sprouts in the dust?"
"Who said that?" women asked angrily.
"Many heard the other candidates talking. They laughed at you who
wrapped eggplants and bean sprouts with Jin Sam's picture for your
The women were furious. "Only a month ago didn't the Americans
say that now the Japanese have gone from Korea, our children can
become Head of County, even Head of Country? Are Americans
another set of liars?"
"We shouldn't stand here bubbling like crabs. Let us go to villages
and towns to shout for Jin Sam."
The old men laughed wickedly.
Carrying campaign lanterns, women were hurrying down to the
pier, where Jin Sam's workers were loading thousands of lanterns onto
a boat. I saw everyone except Jin Sam's wife.
As soon as the boat docked at the Harbour, we started to put the
mountainous pile of lanterns onto a truck. The bell rang at the church
where Minister Chang offered prayers for tomorrow's election. We
heard the marchers were on their way through town. And we had only
seventy or eighty men and women, almost all of them from our Bamboo Hollow. Jin Sam could do well in the coastal villages and on the
27 islands, but he must not lose too many votes in the Harbour. Uncle was
desperate. "Let's go to the headland to bring those winehouse girls,
brothel girls."
A woman warned, "Having those girls on your side is a sure way to
lose. There is a whisper already going around in town."
"In the dim light of evening, who can tell?"
A farmer scratched his head. "Those night girls won't come out of
their houses in the middle of their business."
Uncle replied angrily, "At their doors shout 'Fire! Fire!' Then
everyone will come out at once."
"Lies won't pay."
Uncle lifted candles and thrust them at the farmers. "Give them fire;
take these."
Even so, only the kisang went with the old men to the brothel area.
The rest of us, waiting, were surprised to see them returning with a
hundred girls. Uncle used his candle to light all the other lanterns.
As soon as Jin Sam appeared, a few of us followed behind slowly in
the truck. Jin Sam stretched his arm to give lighted lanterns to the boys
running after the truck. The housewives came. "Why should we stand
here when children receive good lanterns?" They hurried to the truck.
"I am for Yun! Let me have one." Soon all the lanterns in the truck
were gone. At the tail of the procession, I could see beggars with and
without lanterns.
The chanting, "Yun! Yun!" grew louder. Jin Sam said, "The people
are loyal, aren't they? I thought a good many would drop out of line to
save the candles, but they still march with us."
Minister Chang's supporters were coming in our direction, singing
Jesus songs loudly, some chanting, "Minister Chang, County Head,
Jesus man, County Head," but could not take away the town people's
attention from the lantern crowd.
By the time we passed the county building, men and women on the
road commented, "Lantern lights outnumber electric lights." All the
Harbour people came out to the street, and our lantern parade continued to grow.
Early in the morning men from the Harbour, including three
policemen, were already at the herb doctor's yard where the Bamboo
Hollow votes were to be cast. However, the voting could not begin until
the wine time, when the sun was in the mid sky. The herb doctor, who
was chosen to supervise the Bamboo Hollow election, tended to children with stomach aches and loose bowels: they'd eaten American milk
powder and canned ham which a Jesus-people organization had distributed only a few days before.
On the road, men from the Harbour were shouting desperately.
"Check under number 2 for Teacher Sun." "Check under number 5
for Minister Chang." The Bamboo Hollow men countered, "Number 3
for our Yun."
28 In front of the election booths built from hanging straw mats, one
county official repeated, "No substitute. Just like the toilet, you have to
go yourself." Another official urged everyone to the booths. "One
clean vote, one clean vote."
Someone joked that Jin Sam's wife on her way to vote had heard
"clean vote" and had gone back to change her days' work clothes into
clean ones.
After casting my vote, I waited for Uncle and Father, who would
represent Jin Sam to observe the vote counting in the Harbour.
Once in the Harbour, the two old men in white gowns and horsehair
hats went to the county office while the rest of us walked to the inn
where Jin Sam was staying.
In the early afternoon a loudspeaker from the county office announced the vote result of the Harbour district. Minister Chang was
leading. The Jesus people greeted one another with hallelujahs. Jin
Sam and the silk merchant Whang followed Chang closely. When the
Lighthouse Island votes came, we expected that Jin Sam would lead,
but more votes piled up for Minister Chang. Someone in the inn said
that it was because Chang had told the island people that Jesus was a
fisherman, and another said that Jin Sam had not yet paid for the wine
he bought for the old men of the island.
When Pesde Island, from which Jin Sam's mother came, gave him
only eleven votes, even fewer than teacher Sung, he asked Soyun to
bring a large bowl of wine. She said that the inn owner had stopped
giving anything on credit since noon. Jin Sam nodded weakly and
understandingly. He and I went upstairs and lay down to sleep.
Someone awakened me shouting, "Yun is leading! County farmers
support him!"
It was already early evening. I went downstairs. Jin Sam was laughing loudly, straightening his square shoulders. A campaign worker
said, "At one village, your votes, none but yours, piled up, and you
began to lead and then pulled further ahead."
"That village must have been our Hollow. Even your wife must have
voted for you," someone carelessly exclaimed. A few glanced stealthily
at the Bamboo Hollow kisang clutching her baby.
One woman reached to turn on the electric light. "Don't turn on the
light!" one joked. "Our strong supporters are the villagers with lanterns."
Jin Sam said to me, "Let's go to the vote tallying place." He carried
his lantern; so did I. People walked three or four abreast. From the
loudspeaker over a shop came only the zigzag hum of the needle on an
unchanged phonograph record.
In front of the county building a crowd gathered waiting for the next
announcement. We made our way to the gate where a few police
guards stood with county clerks. One policeman came over to look
inside our lanterns suspiciously. "Don't you see we have electric light?"
he said.
29 Jin Sam blew his breath toward the street lights as if to blow them
out. "These lanterns are my supporters."
A county clerk recognized Jin Sam and bowed to him as though he
were already Head. Jin Sam put his hands behind his head, acknowledging his bow with a slight nod. At the tally headquarters men went
in and out busily. We stood outside waiting. By the time new policemen
arrived to relieve the others, the candle in my lantern had burned low
and I was very sleepy.
Suddenly, the electric light in the building went out. Blackout. A
loud shot—a shout, noises, sounds of blows, groans. The policemen
rushed inside. Jin Sam shouted, "The ballot boxes!" We ran inside the
Another shot; I ducked. Screams. Sounds of running all about. I
raised my lantern to see the counting table. Jin Sam, ahead of me, was
leaning over someone who held an open ballot box to his chest. He
called "Father, Father!" Blood reddened the old man's white gown. By
the lantern light I saw his eyelids fluttering. I looked around for my
own father. Then I heard his groan. I found him lying under the table.
Flashlight beams darted all over the room. The siren of a patrol car
I helped my father stand. Jin Sam cried, "Father, you cannot leave
me! I won!" Uncle was dragged onto a stretcher. Someone handed me
a cold towel to put on my father's head. He breathed deeply and held
himself upright.
My father refused to go to the hospital but agreed to go back to the
Hollow in a police car.
The electric lights came on. Gradually the police restored order and
the counting resumed. By late evening Yun's victory was certain. The
returns from one island had not yet arrived, but they could not influence the result. While waiting for the last ballot box, the observers
talked about what had happened. "As soon as the power went off,
someone tried to snatch the open ballot box. The old man's voice
shouted, 'No, no, my son will be Head.' Then a shot. He must have
held onto the box to keep someone from stealing it."
The old man died before morning. Jin Sam prepared to take his
father's body to his house in the Hollow for the funeral. After the body
was placed on a truck, Jin Sam asked, "Where do you think would be
the best burial site?"
I did not know why he was asking me. "What did your father tell
Glancing up at me, he said, "On the forehead of our hill."
He always had his own answers, but would ask everyone in a feigned
uncertainty only to please.
At the sight of the truck the whole village came out. I saw my father
in his white gown. Farmers fought to help unload the body to carry it to
30 Yun's home. As the body arrived, my father turned his back, gazed
toward the hilltop, and started to leave.
Towards evening, the town electricians were stringing up poles from
the top to the foot of the hill and connecting a temporary line to Yun's
house. The electricians hurried because it was rumoured that a
helicopter carrying the U.S. commanding general in Korea would soon
land in Bamboo Hollow. A Harbour reporter, pointing to where the
bamboo grove used to stand, said that a monument would be built to
honour the slain defender of democracy.
As the electric lights came on, everyone was hushed. Starded, two
swallows fluttered away. Three lights on the hilltop, then five or six
hanging along the side of the porch of Jin Sam's house. One big bulb
glowed over a string of floral wreaths and silk banners at the gate. A
town man exclaimed, "Hallelujah," and burst into a Jesus song.
"Now you don't need to depend on the moon," Minister Chang
congratulated Jin Sam. "The Lord works mysteriously. Through you
my campaign promise to your Bamboo Hollow was fulfilled."
Jin Sam bowed slighdy.
To be alone, the old men moved away from the electrical lights and
noises. Under a pine nearby, old men's silhouettes bent low against the
sea. "We have lost our moonlit wine seat to success," their laments
becoming the wind in the vanished bamboos—gone to make Jin Sam's
victory lanterns.
People came from all over the county to console the elected Head.
The Harbour dignitaries seemed to compete with each other for special favour in the size of their floral wreaths and sums of 'condolence
money'. Jin Sam asked me to be the treasurer because people would
trust me with their money envelopes. With so much money to guard,
and charged with writing notes of thanks to everyone who helped Jin
Sam win, I remained in his house.
The kisang came with her baby a few times, but at the door someone
always told her to stay away from the house, where newspapermen and
camera crews swarmed. Although she was weeping at his gate, Jin Sam
refused to speak to her. When she came again one evening, I told her
to go to my father's house and take care of the old man. As she hesitated, I went with her. Yun's campaign lantern hanging under the
eaves was not lit. Father was asleep. I led the kisang with her baby into
my room and went back to Jin Sam's house. The men were surprised to
see me back so soon. "I thought you were going to sleep with her."
Then another talked about his casual affair with her. How jolly these
people were in the presence of the deceased!
On the funeral day, the casket was carried out to the bier. Children
heading the procession carried silk banners. Draped in linen, decorated with flowers and campaign lanterns, the bier was borne by the
farmers and fishermen. I looked for my father, but he was not in the
3i procession. My cousin from Pestle Island caught up with me behind
the casket. Hastily putting on a mourning hat, he said to me, "I am glad
your father is finally taking a new young wife."
I thought he was joking but he nodded seriously. "The old man
needs someone to take care of him."
The casket carriers stopped short as they looked back at my cousin.
He said, "I thought everyone knew."
I left the procession and walked back to my father's house.
The old man in his gown sat erect on the porch. Seeing me, he said
apologetically, "I had forgotten a women takes time to be ready. Now
we are betrothed, I should go with her."
"Who?" I asked in disbelief. I thought the old man was losing his
I flung the door open to my father's room. Soyun was dressing. My
mother's teak chest was open. I kicked my father's ash tray at her. "I
want you to leave!"
She hunched herself down and drew back, bumping against a bean
sprout jar in the corner.
"Dear, your son is going to drag me out," she gasped.
The stooped, white-clad man hobbled in and stood before me. "How
can you talk to your new mother this way!"
I snatched from her my mother's clothes that she was about to put
on. Father thrust his bamboo pipe in my face. White-faced, he was
panting as though he had run against the wind across the mountains. I
helped him sit down. With her breasts bare, Soyun came up behind my
father. Her arms held him, her long fingers on his cloth belt. I raised
my fist. "Leave!"
Father, still breathing roughly, said, "You don't raise your hand to
your father's woman."
"All the young men in the Hollow had her. Now, at your age!"
"Then it is my turn. All of you had a chance to marry her, but you
wasted your pollen, just wasted. I never wasted until I was ready to
"Why did you choose this—this kisang?"
"You brought her for me, didn't you?" His voice trembled. "Do you
really want to know why?" He waited until he got his breath back.
"You've been busy with the dead man's affairs, forgetting your own
father, who is alive. She alone rubbed every spot of my body whenever
I complained of pain or itching. Her child brings me laughter for the
first time since your mother died."
The kisang hugged my father and pressed her cheek against the back
of his neck.
"She doesn't know who fathered her child."
"It certainly was not you!" the kisang said quickly and picked up her
sleeping baby. "You didn't even pay for your wine, calling yourself
32 Father forced a laugh. "Now that you are marrying into this house,
don't talk ill of my son."
I glared at her. "Don't look at my woman like that," Father said.
"Leave our home to find a woman somewhere else. You may find one
with your flute but you cannot keep her with your music alone."
"I'll leave and never attend your funeral."
"Who said I would die before you, weakling? With a new family I
have many seasons ahead." His gaze turned outside to the stripped
hilltop. "No, I no longer want to sleep there where light will shine night
after night."
I slammed shut his door behind me; the child cried loudly.
The road was deserted, the hill full of people. The last men and
women were slowly crossing the pass. As I began to play my flute, the
rustle of the lost bamboos came back to me.
33 James Deahl/JTwo Poems
Jade Plant
Jade plant grows spindly
in winter, lush in summer.
It sits by an east window
turning its will to light.
On every leaf cities and
mountains rise.    Frozen rivers
grind through blue valleys, plunge down hard
at the edge of a remote sea.
Each month old leaves dry and curl.
Entire forests of alders
collapse into utter blackness.
In the heel of the night, leaves big as islands
cover my desk.    My bedroom shakes
with their sound of falling brass.
34 First Memory
Beyond our patio
the cedar brings a bucket of darkness
and the panther's eyes into the yard
You walk out
and become the workmen with shovels,
a rusty L & N flatbed on a Mississippi spur.
The enormous silence
rises from the grass.
Black with distance
your voice returns.
A ribcage hangs in the window.
There is no moon,
only two cool sheets
in the tupelo night.
35 Judith Pond
Apart from
the small breathing
of leaves the world
is still now,
They hover
like a woven lung;
among the lower ones the birdbath
becomes the moon's
cold eye.    Once in a book
I read:
Hold the moon
in a container of
water and you will have
power but look—
already she shines
like a memory, already
she recedes.
It is two a.m.
You will not come.
The leaves breathe.
36 Marianne Andrea/Two Poems
In the long journey out of the self
There are many detours ...
—Theodore Roethke
What will set me straight
in this wild half-light
that shifts like winter breath?
That sharpens shadows of roses in pewter
as corners re-angle
from isosceles to acute?
On one side sit my tomorrows,
on the other—my yesterdays.
In between dusk leans
and begins to mime a minuet.
I calculate angles, measure degrees
with equations of a new algebra
and watch with fascination
all changes
as if I were in charge.
But light drops its leaves
like a dying tree,
and I can only weigh
the rearrangements of the day.
37 War Years In Tashkent
(To Anna Akhmatova)
In hot Asian streets
behind mind's cracking windows,
you long for your house on the Neva
with its heroes and non-heroes.
You wait for letters
from Pasternak and Blok, knowing
they will not arrive.
At this time nothing makes sense
but survival—
not even the wind from the west.
You have hung your own harp
on old willows,
burned a notebook of poems
then contritely wrote others
on the smoke's acrid pyre.
Your hair falls over your forehead
and like an owl among ruins
you wait for the red on the mountain
to rise without fanfare or praise.
38 John Edward Sorrell
Sidewalk Cafe, Thinking Of
The Fuehrer
Every time I see a picture of him,
I am happy. I am happy because
The sun is warm and windy on my cheeks
Because the waiter asks me, do I want
A big steak or a little steak; what kind
Of dressing; and potatoes—baked or fried?
Day after day I wheeled my barrowload
Of brick and stone. Tailgates clanked. Face on face
Filed in, packed the camp's packed breadlines. Black
Pricked the sun and thin groves greening outside.
The crickets here found no grass to sing in.
The sparrows pecked for the crumbs of our crumbs.
The bodies curled, soft grey, from the chimneys
Of brick and stone. Dry brown cloth, the bread lay
Dark against my tongue, and would not go down.
Every time I see his picture, I smile.
He cannot touch my granddaughter's cheeks or hair
In my sunny yard the breezes kiss her.
Yes, yes—a big steak and a little steak,
Every dressing, potatoes baked and fried—
I'll have them all.
39 Walter McDonald/Two Poems
The Last Unstocked Stream
In Colorado
Ruby sonics, florentined spoons,
anything to lure cutthroat
and Dolly Varden trout to light
flashing faster than the lip.
We give them hooks like nothing
that breeds in mountains.
This far upstream,
flies we flick
lightly on thin lines
to pools behind boulders
are too easy, the innocent fish
falling for any imitation love.
Even our vests are wrong, red vinyl
the dullest fish should see
refracted.    Cast by cast
we see them shimmering,
facing the clear ripples,
lips stubborn and open.
40 Passing Through Manassa
A girl sits bare-legged in the door.
Dempsey's not home,
but welcome.    I see from her eyes
we're the first today
down this Colorado road
stretched like a rope
around the ring in Scully's gym.
We stopped here twenty years ago,
before he died, paid and stared
at monochrome shots
of someone's baby, albums
cracked like the deerskin chairs
with hand-done signs
Don't Touch.    I almost
stop to go another round
inside Jack's house.
But already we're speeding
past sage and slag heaps
of mines dead fifty years,
forty miles of desert
between towns, the way Jack
must have gone down a crowned
highway toward a ring
of shimmering mountains.
41 Lesley Choyce
Angus (Giant) MacAskill
Sometimes a man feels so small
from being so big
for so long.
You get tired of dreaming your life down to size
and hoping to wake up in a sensible bed
but it never happens.
When they took me to the States
I met women who fainted
when they tilted back to find my face—
but that's a world south of Love
and big men were never built
for lopsided American passion.
Even home on Cape Breton
there was always a ruined man's money
on his palm daring me
to crack chain links or hold back horses.
When you get old, the small man inside
wants you to unzip your spine
and let him out.    He wants to
move around closer to earth
and look straight
into other human eyes
for once.
42 Gerald H ill/Four Poems
If Lafleur Never Plays Again
The Queen Might As Well Quit
I babble on
forever in a motion like his,
unconfined, wing to wing:
Let the public be mine.
Let my sisters fill the stands
and chant "Guy! Guy!" Let the faces rise
in tiers of joy and the bodies
of my teammates crowd around.
I have crossed the frontier of finesse
to the white-blue zone of adulation where
at checkpoints of golden-haired
publicity directors I stop
and their prose turns to flowers,
their memories to light.
My ice is my office. Off ice
I am nothing but a chunk of winter air
in a thousand dollar coat.
I do not fear injury. My hair
is famous from Moscow to Nanaimo.
I'm thirty-three
and suddenly I've lost something
on the wing, in the heart.
In their eyes they could see them
grow smaller: the colours
the range, the results. Two goals
in twenty games won't keep me
on the ice forever.
Soon I will paint blue lines
on my face and pale
alone at centre ice.
43 Letter
I am not against an east wind
when it reminds me. You remember
Cape Cod? Here I see
for that many miles.
And I toss a bottle
away to the prairie
with a message: "Meet me in Calgary
in 72.
Show me everything again."
Standing here I'm stuck
like a knuckle into the wind
and all this distance.
I smell the cool sage,
feel the prairie enter. A Malamute
sniffs the cactus. Here
beside me on this practical hill
I cannot smell an angel only
sage and geese that rise.
Like wings we once connected
but I'm slow to see
you change.
44 Seven Horizons
On a curve of ridge
cow-shapes graze
and block the sun.
Sunlight grazes on their silhouettes
bursting at their edges.
Catde bend
to the odours of earth in a line.
A piece of ash
trembles like a breathing
fragment of tissue or
a hair from the pubis of an angel.
Alleys fill
with ash and sounds of blackbirds
humming or an older woman's
long grey hair.
Earth never ends
only trembles like a ragged
ringing lung inflamed
curves like the laces
and arms of tied shoes.
The horizon is white
space in a pencil line
45 a ruler underlining geese
a pencil box that floats
like Columbus to the edge
and spills
that clatter of sea-lines
hard against a green
polished floor.
Antlers follow
antlers north.
A blend of white edges
pulls hoofbeats to its heart
opens its coat and sprays
opens its mouth and inhales
the background
ending in its throat.
Horizons dream
of lamplights on a skirt.
The skirt unfurls
lights weaving
46 aligned over blank
space of prairie
The celestial
horizon is forbidden
to the eyes of tyrants.
Tonight when you sleep
someone far away
will dream of you.
47 Moonlight On The Rails
Night, and the dashlights
angle towards the moon.
Speedometers howl
at their reflections.
Like a storefront, the sky
turns liquid green.
A car speeds east from Edmonton,
eventually crossing the North Sask. River.
The driver points at 60 in the sky
and the needle creeping up there—
the infinite gauge.
The passengers lean and squint;
they want to see their faces in the clouds
visible by moons
and the reflections I spoke of before.
The moon is light on the railroad tracks
and it will not quit
these parallel miles and hours.
I remember a boyhood,
a riding in cars in summer
and the curves of endless telephone wires
ending at the poles.
These moonlights.
The border must have passed.
48 Eva Skrande/Tiyo Poems
A road of light curves the mountains
that ring this field
like a necklace.
The father stalks toward the small
house, off-centre in the dark field. Soon,
his coat will hang from the rack: gentie skin
its bones are calling for.
The black roof folds over the house like an eyelid.
Inside, air carries
its heavy weight. Light pumps
the room like a heart.
Paper dolls stretch across the floor; a girl
has just finished cutting them.
Now she leans over a table, watching
flowers separate water
in the clear vase. Her brother,
propped by a window,
is pulling birds out of a black hat. It is years
since the son, youngest child, was born—
and the mother still sits: arms cradled, rocking.
Tonight she remembers
placing baby chickens in a suitcase
when she was three. They died, hung by a noose of air.
Around the house, trees gather
their arms; this night's last try at sleep.
The family has learned
to move toward sleep without each other.
The mother walks to her bed
aware of what she will dream.
49 Come Here
What of the woodpecker's fast drawl? —
I'd much prefer sleep, that native tongue.
Alone here in the kitchen.
Gloves folded over the curtain rods like mute hands.
I want to set my dreams the way I would a table:
the regularity of knife, fork, and spoon.
Your brother has committed an unsolved crime.
You are the only one who knows he did it
and where he is hiding. In the small town you live in,
the police and mail carrier are visiting.
This is the moment to clear the table —
there is a month's worth of letters for your brother;
you can't explain his absence, and just beyond
the mountains which are smaller than your own house,
a fire becomes visible.
Someone up close waves goodbye;
the hand's migration toward the face is a crippled dance.
50 Dacia Maraini
Up to a few months ago I thought of myself as a kind of shell-less snail,
a slug. Unable to get over things I'd slither around them, each move a
wound. I had the same low viscous movements of a slug, the same
elongated and clumsy style. It was as if I were skinned. What crept and
bumped and got enmeshed in things was not a smooth, gliding body,
but a skinned thing whose flesh was exposed and flayed.
This made me suffer. I could feel myself stumbling blindly in search
of shelter and never finding it. While I was living with my parents I
looked to them for comfort, since I was always with them. But actually I
got precious litde of anything from them and then suddenly they were
dead, both almost at once, and I was alone.
You might say that I learned to live the moment they died. There I
was one morning at my mother's bedside, gazing at her, my eyes widened by both grief and disgust; and then suddenly I realized that my
tension and fear and even the horror of what was happening had put
me in an almost-hypnotic state. Staring fixedly at a corner of the sheet,
my eyes had fallen asleep. My body was awake and my mind continued
to work slowly and circuitously as if it were digesting heavy, fat foods.
But my eyes were sleeping although they stayed open.
I think I stayed like that, immobile and absent, for more than two
hours. When I came to, I was rested and relaxed. I felt almost well. My
mother, in the meantime, had died. From that day I have deliberately
tried to put myself back into that state of insensibility which I first
found myself in by chance. It was difficult at first, but after long and
tiring trials I have now reached the point where I have almost complete
mastery over my body.
When my father died, I had not yet attained complete control. I
remember a terribly long night in which brief intervals of hypnotic
sleep alternated with interminable, painful waiting periods. Finally,
towards morning, I began to cry and as the tears slipped down my face
and neck, I discovered that all the force I needed was there, right there
around my eyelids and under my wet eyeballs, between the eyebrow
arch and the nasal septum. All I had to do to free myself from all pain
was gather that force into the pupils of my eyes and project it outside of
5i A few days after that my new life began. I cleaned the house and got
rid of some of the old encumbering furniture; I took down the dust-
filled curtains and washed them; I burned all the newspapers and
magazines that my father had piled up in his studio; I threw away all
my mother's old dresses, the trinkets and rubbish that filled her closets
and bureau drawers.
The money they left me only lasted a few months and so I had to
start looking for work. I read an ad in the paper and went to see about
the job it offered. About twenty other girls had come for the same ad.
But I knew, as soon as I saw them, I would be the one chosen; while the
others flaunted themselves as beauties, and tried to outdo each other in
make-up and stylish boots, I made no effort to appear any different
from what I am: not too young, and not too old, not beautiful and not
ugly; but industrious, honest, attentive, meticulous, serious—all ideal
qualities for an Employment Office interviewer.
As I'd figured, after having interviewed all of us, they chose me and
immediately put me to work at a paper-filled desk. My colleagues have
not been as happy with me as my superiors are: my silence and my
automatic movements are disconcerting to them. But by now they're
used to me and act as if I weren't there. They'll rib me, now and then,
for being so punctual, for my orderliness, for the absent, blindly-
focused look of my eyes.
The fact is that I'm training myself to sleep even while I work and I
must say that I've almost succeeded. Sometimes the reawakening is
sudden and painful, especially if some fellow-worker puts a hand on
my shoulder or brushes against me accidentally or laughs in my ear.
Then I start and a kind of fever comes over me; fortunately, it lasts
only a few seconds, but it leaves me weak and enervated.
When I'm not working I stay home and sit on a chair in the kitchen
and sleep. My eyes stay open (actually, if I wanted to I could speak or
move about or perform some simple manual task in this condition)
while my pupils suck all my body's energy into themselves and hold it
suspended in a somnolent and motionless limbo.
There are times when I even forget to eat. A few days ago I fainted
right out on the street. Luckily I didn't hit my head, for when I felt
myself going, I leaned against the fender of a parked car. A second
later I lost consciousness. When I came to I was stretched out on a cot
at the First Aid station in Via Arenula and a doctor was taking my
blood pressure. I knew at once that I had fainted from hunger. I
remembered that it had been three days since I had eaten anything.
The doctor bawled me out and then sent me off with a good-natured
cuff on the cheek.
At home I opened the refrigerator: it held two dried out and yellowed pieces of cheese, a dish of congealed spinach and four bouillon
cubes. I put water on to boil and let the cubes dissolve in it and added
52 the spinach. I ate two plates of that hot stuff. I would have eaten
something else, but I didn't want to go out. Tomorrow I'll have a good
meal, I told myself. But the next day I was too taken up with my
attempts at self-hypnosis to think about eating and when I got home in
the evening the refrigerator was as empty as ever. So I put a pan on the
stove, put some oil in it and fried the two acid-tasting cheeses. I ate
them with some cookies I found in the back of the cupboard. They
must have been very old because I chipped a tooth on one of them.
Since then my periods of wakefulness have become even rarer and
briefer. The rest of the time I sleep in that veiled, light way that has
now become natural. Sometimes I wake up at night when the house is
silent and dark and the pain I experience at recovering consciousness is
enough to take my breath away. At these times I get up, turn on all the
lights in the house and turn on the radio. Noise, lights, music—but
especially the sound of human voices—they all have the power of
thrusting me back again into my torpor. I go back to bed leaving all the
lights on, I put the radio on the pillow next to my head, and I close my
At seven the alarm goes off. And that part of me which is a docile
mechanism gendy puts itself in motion and proceeds on its own, doing
what it has to do: get out of bed, head for the bathroom, wash, dress,
leave the house, take the bus, get off the bus, go into the bar near the
office and have coffee, take the elevator, sit down at my desk, type
letters, telephone, write up ads for the newspaper, and so on.
On holidays my sleep gets deeper; it becomes a deadly lethargy.
Since I don't have to go to the office, I stay inside all day staring out an
open window, my eyes fixed on the house next door. Sometimes I see
children playing with a cat, other times a woman in a slip who quarrels
with a man in an undershirt. But I don't know whether I see the man
and woman when I'm sitting in the kitchen, and the children with the
cat when I'm in bed, or vice versa.
I hung signs throughout the house tb remind me to eat—sheets of
white paper with writing in red that says "Eat!" But after two or three
times I stopped seeing the signs. Then I decided that each day I'd
change the colour of the writing and the shape of the signs. Except that
I forgot to do it. Finally I hit on something clever: I bought some cans
of meat and distributed them on the floor all through my place so that
when I stumble over one of them, I stoop to pick it up and so remember to eat.
With that I thought that I was, at last, my own mistress; then something happened the other day which took away that confidence. I was
doing a sum at my desk and happened to lift my head and glimpse for
the first time the face of the young man who worked at the desk
direcdy in front of mine. It was one of my rare moments of wakefulness and my awareness coincided with my sensibility.  His young,
53 melancholy beauty communicated a sense of joy that I hadn't felt since
I was a child. I looked towards him for a long time, until my eyes got
tired and emptied themselves—until, in short, I returned into my usual
state of half-sleep.
But that evening, once home and seated in the kitchen, the memory
of that boy's fresh, clear face came back to mind and kept me awake. I
tried to remember something else about him—the shape of his shoulders, his teeth, the colour of his eyes; but I couldn't remember anything.
This search for details, the effort to recall, kept me awakened and
wrought-up. I turned on all the lights, I danced to tire myself out, I ate
two cans of meat and sucked three raw eggs, I drank wine; finally I
went to bed with the radio next to me on the pillow; but the lights, the
food, the voices, all that movement, didn't put me to sleep as they
usually would have. Then I took a pad of paper and tried to draw the
boy's face as I remembered it. But every time I traced his features, the
wrong face appeared. And so I spent the whole night, filling sheet after
sheet of paper. In the morning I got dressed earlier than usual and got
to the office before it was even open. I waited in the corridor stamping
my feet from the cold.
A little before nine there arrived a short, young balding man
wrapped in a strange, ill-cut, green-violet coloured raincoat. He walked
towards the door, glanced at me and smiled. I answered his greeting
with a nod. And just as I was observing his large calm eyes, I suddenly
realized that the young man I had glimpsed the day before and whose
memory had obsessed me was none other than this person in the vile
raincoat. In fact, that bald, apish man was smiling at me pointedly, as if
there were something between us.
I fixed my eyes on his large gleaming head and it took just a few
seconds for me to fall back into my lethargy. The sight of him became
indifferent to me: he was an object in the midst of the other objects
around me.
After this painful episode, my life resumed as mechanically as before, but with an added conviction: whatever beauty I can divine is in
my dreams, so I have to be careful never to let myself wake up.
translated from the Italian by Helen Barolini
54 Erin Moure/Two Poems
Wearing The Map Of Africa
The hurt mouth full of dust, trying to dream.
I take you in my arms like oranges or diamonds or wine.
On television the South African riots are processions
for the rioted dead; policemen
with peaked caps & rifles who look like the army
not the police
fire into the crowd.
These funerals have to stop, says the ruling party,
they've gone past mourning the dead.
Singing freedom songs, the black marchers dancing
in the road kick the tear gas bombs farther away,
or back at the armed men.
The government is trying to restore calm, the voice says;
calm, what is this word with its four deaf ciphers
& small beak
The national network bringing this film clip to you,
the white cameraman, of course, benefiting from
exacdy what he portrays
He is so invisible we can see outward from his beak
Oh how white he is
The day has many colours
This poem is white too
Oh how white I am
Does the word restore mean anything?
The word calm?
The tear gas canister & the dancing man lifting his arms
up, his jacket lifting, the map of Africa
on his T-shirt, & behind him
a woman, the map of Africa on her T-shirt,
& behind her, another man, the map of Africa on
55 his T-shirt, & behind, another, the map of Africa on her
T-shirt, wearing the map of Africa,
the shape of Africa
The word calm means suppressed anger.
The word calm means implode.
The word restore means suppress anger.
The word means where does anger go when its beak is
shut, forcibly
Where does the anger go to it doesn't go anywhere
We are still dancing
We are still dancing
the word is angry, angry
It has gone beyond mourning the dead.
It is honouring the living.
It is honouring the mouth, hurt,
trying to dream.
My arms are oranges, soft juice bitter sweet & that
beautiful colour.
Orange is indescribable apart from that sweetness.
My beak is shut.
Help me, I am trying to dream.
*6 Pure Reason: Having
Having the most to lose.
Having a steady gaze, 8c
most of all, a haircut.
Having sent everything to the laundry, even
the unlaunderable.
Having a photocopy of a page of writing taken
from a magazine.
I am in the car of my father with a mug of sweet coffee
outside Red Deer Alberta in the white of winter
wearing the coat I've had twelve years
& not liking the coffee, either.
Between Edmonton & Calgary, the roads are closed by snow.
Drifts on the highway Be hard wind
moving who knows where.
Having forgotten my destination
Having been capable of shyness
Having been shy
Having kissed my family on their nearest shoulders
What the highway is, pointing without slope or vision.
Its reconstructed dream
empty, finally
except for the curves & overpasses, the centre median.
To be, always, capable.
To move the jaw in & out, as if biting
To be reckless.
To be on the road. This early.
Wherever we are going.
Wherever my parents drive.
Seated ahead of me. Their heads faced away.
Sculptures of apples.
The cold visible, white.
57 John Ditsky
Wheels And Knobs
My father's life was fixing. He had taught himself
To drive—thirteen or so—in a vacant field.
Grown up, he built cars for a living; laid
Off or after work, he hung around
The corner, the gas station—where he helped
Fix whatever he had made, or others had.
TV arrived when he was forty, and I showed
Him how to work the knobs. Soon he had gear
For home repair: owned tubes and cheater
Cords and ion traps; could fix your set
For next to nothing (as he'd fix your car). His
Hands betrayed him in the end—hands and the chips
Of plastic that made tubes part of the past
(I haul them by the hundreds now, out
To the trash bin—along with the auto tools
I never understood)—arthritis, bad enough
To make him stay indoors, watching TV
(He'd use his cane to work the knobs). And when
I bought my first new car, it seemed
To take him half an hour to hobble out
To check it out and find it fit. In the hospital,
I changed the channels for him when he nodded need.
Of course, he watched the programs more than me.
At better moments, though, he asked about my car.
58 And when he died, they said he'd been all
Right just previously—watching TV.
When I arrived, the set was pushed aside.
I didn't think to check what channel he'd been
Watching at the end. Later I wondered, and saved
The Guide page with the listings for the day (which
Now I crumple). He went off, I calculate,
Just as Sale of the Century did, and Wheel
Of Fortune came on. Or else, the channels changed,
The Price is Right arriving or, departing, Edge
Of Night. I'll never know. I know in driving off
The best I'll do is play with words—with century
And night; fortune and price. The wheels and knobs
Are still his hands' to fix; to mine, this tidying.
He was gone when they called me to drive there,
Where there wasn't anything that I could fix.
59 Maria Laina/Two Poems
Death In A Hospital
Spotless white in the next untidy moment.    Still clinging
to its limits.    This.    Without.    It arranges awkwardly
the bed covers and
looks around at the remaining colours    in variable quantities a
small fan comes and goes.    At length it spreads within itself like
a huge
full moon.    The bright wheels of the mind eject
all shapes.    Sudden windows.
60 Unexpected
Music fell off in the evening; a litde abstract and a
little right
in the mouth.    As you are about to wrap yourself in round
some certain opaque dronings and colours flow everywhere.
You open a moment to look and a haughty tongue of wind
lifts you.    Scintillating beyond your normal mind
you rise behind the mountains.    You are no one and
is taken by a sudden sense of sadness; a little abstract,
and a little
right in the mouth.
translated from the Greek by Yannis Goumas
61 Robyn Sarah
There is a singular, high room, in whose lull
one has waited out love's departure.
The light falls pure there, like a note held
for voices to tune to, detached and cool,
whose true pitch lingers in the ear
like a judgement.    We have avoided
this room through winter.    Now, in the
early leafing, the windows are thrust
wide again, air and sun, sparrows
visit the stone sill, the flaking lintel.
I do not have to say it is good, then, our
failure of nerve: that we could not trust
love in each other.    At least I do not have
to say that it was good, or just as well.
62 Allan Brown
It is our unlikely interval.
Beyond that ending of each discovery
the hold remains, while slowly, slowly she
drew nigh, and slowly she drew nigh him. There
is only one ripening.    Images
the images of their own death contain
to hunt her with her ane white hounds (this day),
with ruddy eye a-burning
... It is
that passing through defines them, how the edge
becomes again a kind of centre, and
the certain clue of each encounter known.
The intricate bough is forgotten in
this place; and always something else returns
to violate the limits of perception.
63 Patricia Young
Three Underwater Photographs
She posed against a backdrop
of lush sea grass,
wore pearl bracelets on both wrists.
In the first photo her mouth is wide open.
A fish swims in and out careless
as a word or kiss.    A peacock's tail
opens and closes in front of her face
amazed as a baby's hand.
In the second she is reaching for a mirror
and comb.    Strands of hair scatter blue
and lustrous.    Everything but the tiny stones
pinned through her earlobes
is black and white.
In this photo she is chic and famished
with love.    The bird's tail spreads
greener and more slowly than time.
In the third she is caught
bringing both hands up to cover
an astonished mouth.    She has just realized
that for years she has been standing in one place,
like a marble statue.
In this last shot she is framed
by two smiling men: one fair, one dark.
If you look closely into her left eye
you can see a woman in a white dress drowning.
In her right eye someone is following geese
over the edge, gathering their radiant feathers.
64 Terese Svoboda
Bridal Bouquet
"Whoa there, little blue Chewy. Hold up." I fought to find the right
gear but the car was determined to hiccup, buck and then die, as it
always did for me.
"All that college..." Becky shook her head already shaking with
laughter, her big breasts heaving and flopping though they were firmly
harnessed, not like mine which even in their revolutionary state didn't
bob even if I did The Jerk. I laughed with her as I hadn't all my
freshman year.
She popped out first, her bright white hair the same shade as the
daisies I was after and, like them, the shade was real. Nobody else in
the county had hair like that; she was adopted. Her daddy had had
some disease.
I caught my wedding dress on the sharp edge of the door and ripped
a three-corner tear into it right across the waist. "So much for virginity." I was surprised that my hands shook when I bent down to check
out the damage.
Becky was already at the edge of the dam, the third largest earthen
dam in the world. "You can fix it with scotchtape." She tittered, her
long belly laugh finally petering out. "If you tape it on the inside."
"Dear Abby," I snickered, picking the orangey spurs at the edge of
the dam. "My husband says he's sick of tape. Isn't there anything else?"
We practically fell into the lake with that one. The big intake of air
steadied me, doing what the four gulps of Gallo coming out hadn't.
All the way down the face of the dam were pockets of wildflowers; we
leapt like goats from one clump to the next, ravaging them, ripping
them, out by the roots, yanking at their prickly purple or white or
yellow or orange heads. First thing my damn dress got wrapped
around me; the wind snaking up off the water wouldn't leave it alone.
After a while I could hardly walk so I had to let Becky finish the
She still had her apron on, the one with "Ruth" embroidered to it. "I
don't like them to get real familiar or anything," she'd joked when she
came by, off work for a few hours. She sold sandwiches and beer to
potbellied ranchers at the sale barn three times a week and her father
65 didn't let her come to town any more often than that. That's what I'd
heard. She didn't talk much and today she just threw me the keys,
saying she wanted to drive around. We hadn't done that since Jack, my
fiance, started trotting after me at Christmas. I like to call him my
fiance—it's so French—but really we've been living together for over
six months. He just last week got me a ring. But that's what people did
in college.
We could hardly talk now. It was enough just to hold on, not to be
swept into the inky water below, down into the morning glory and out
into the litde lake, cold and gushing, that fed the irrigation troughs
twenty miles away. About halfway back, I made a basket from the
fullness of my skirt for the buggy wildflowers—what a bouquet they
would make!—and Becky stopped climbing and stared at my exposed
ankles. "You shave. I thought we didn't shave."
"Well." I turned my head uphill so she wouldn't see my face, knowing the wind would carry everything I said. "It's easier for you because
you don't have black stubble."
"I thought we were feminists."
"We are. We are." She would never have noticed if I hadn't cut my
ankle out of pure nervousness in the shower that morning; a little
blood oozed from the slice. I tossed the flowers in the back seat beside
the Gallo.
"You know best, professor." Becky handed me the keys.
Of course the car wasn't in gear. At first it was an adventure, driving
her stick, then it became a way of clowning around, making me fit in.
Just now her rising laughter made me nauseous. "You can drive the
damn thing yourself."
She laughed anyway. I turned the car around on the dam's narrow
causeway and headed back toward town, refusing more wine. She took
little swallows and chewed the tips of her blonde hair pink. "Are you
coming to the reception at least?"
She looked straight through the windshield, shook her head, and
recapped the wine. Then she retuned the radio until something hard
and loud came up, and the whole nine miles back into town she
pounded out the rhythm with her fingers on the dash. I couldn't turn
the radio down; that would have been admitting something was wrong.
But instead of going home, I drove to the sandpits.
During the day the pits were nothing but dunes and galvanized
boxes suspended over the half-inch of the Platte River which trickled
by our two-horse town. By night, though, whoo-ee, what we had seen.
Becky and I, always being dateless through no fault of our own, spent
years slithering on our bellies through the sand up to parked cars and
then Becky blinded whoever with the miner's light she wore on her
head. We were never caught. Of course now, with most of our class
married, there wasn't any action there at all. But when we turned in,
66 Becky giggled anyway. I think she appreciated my nostalgia.
We got out and pretended to look for more flowers down by the
riverbed. "I'm glad it's a nice day," I said, watching the clouds reflected
in the water at our feet. "Mom didn't have any control over that."
"Looks like half a horse." Becky pointed at the cloud just as a carp
flicked and ruined it. She didn't say anything else, not even about why
she wasn't coming. Anyway, it was getting late—the sun had burnt off
June's coolness—and I knew I had to go.
But we got stuck trying to get out. I couldn't believe it, all those years
maneuvering in the dark, whipping out of there so fast no one ever
suspected us. "Dinklebrain." Becky took the wheel. I tried to push from
behind but we only got in deeper. Then Becky put her shoulder to the
front door frame while I drove. Bent over like that, grunting and
pushing and giggling, I saw where Becky's sweatshirt parted from her
aproned jeans. She caught me looking and pulled the shirt up over her
face. Ugly stretch marks like the grin of a bulldog zigzagged her bell v.
"That's something," I said over the whining wheels. "That's really
something. Does it hurt? Having a baby, I mean."
"Like getting a pickle through a pinhole." She let her top drop. "You
wouldn't know." She shoved the car real hard and it sang out of the
We were good again. I turned us around, the wheels spinning and
the engine jerking, and headed out. I'd forgotten to ask what it was,
boy or girl, and as soon as we turned up Main Street I knew there was
no way to find out. Main always shuts us up. We'd spent years of
cruising up and down its short length, watchful, like deer, watching for
friends, watching for enemies, watching for anyone who knew our
secret. But no one was out on a Saturday afternoon. Everybody was at
the lake or in front of the TV or playing baseball. At least that's what
they did before I left.
I parked in front of the high school about a block away from my
house. I could see my mother wandering around the carport, scanning
the road right and left. For me, presumably. She didn't know I had
Becky's car. Mom was wearing a pink chiffon sheath that made her
look like a stick of cotton candy, though I had stricdy instructed her not
to wear anything fancy. I said something like that to Becky.
"You'd better get outta here. You only got half an hour to fix that
dress. And everything." She was picking a flower apart, petal by petal.
High school boys trailed by from something athletic. Sweat stood on
their smooth brown muscles and their uniforms hung so low on their
hips their navels showed. They ignored us; we were older women.
After that, Jack got out of a car across the street. He was all done up in
a suit, his beard trimmed and his usually bare feet stuck in wingtips.
"That's him?"
I nodded. "We'll always be friends." I almost cried.
67 She crushed the flower's stem in her palm. "Go on girl, I'd do it if I
were you."
"Becky." I was anxious to stall. "I'm not going to wear shoes." I stuck
my bare feet on the dash. They were skinny, dirty and had the lace of a
fungus coming out between the toes. Becky burst into giggles. "The
J.P. will die. Don't you want to watch?" I pressed down on the litde rib
of silver on the dash so hard it broke off.
"I'm not dressed for it," she said, putting one tennis-shoe on and
staring idiotically at her foot. Then she rolled towards me as if to slide
under the wheel and punched me twice in the stomach, hard like she
wanted her fist to go right through.
I looked at her. I breathed.
Then I tried to get my fingers around the doorhandle but she was
too quick and strong for me, her voluptuousness concealing muscles
from hard farmwork. She took my head in her hands, forced my
mouth open and gave me a long deep kiss. I snorted for air. When she
broke away, she pushed me out and drove off, the door still open and
the flowers scattering all down the street.
MARIANNE ANDREA's poems and translations have appeared in
Waves and Seneca Revirw, among others. She was born in the U.S.S.R.
and now lives in New York City.
HELEN BAROLINI is well-known as a translator of Italian writing;
her own fiction and poetry have been in the Paris Reineu- and the New
York Rei'irw of Books. She recently edited an anthology of Italian-
American women's writing. The Dream Book (Schocken, 1985).
ALLAN BROWN, former editor of Quarry, has been "unquietly freezing in southeastern Ontario since 1970." His sixth book is The Almond
Tree (The Quarry Press).
CHARLES BUKOWSKI is one of North America's most popular
poets. His latest books are War All the Time (1984) and The Bukowski-
Purdy Letters (1984), a selection of his correspondence with Al Purdv.
LESLEY CHOYCE lives in Porters Lake, Nova Scotia, where he edits
The Pottersfield Portfolio. His poetry and prose are published widely in
Canadian journals.
JAMES DEAHL's No Cold Ash was brought out by Sono Nis Press in
1984. He's working on a new poetry manuscript in Toronto.
MICHAEL DENNIS's credits include: three small-press books; broadsheets; video-recordings; and numerous periodical publications. Cafe,
his new collection, is forthcoming.
JOHN DITSKY is poetry editor for the University of Windsor Rei'tew.
His books include The Katherine Poems and Scar Tissue.
YANNIS GOUMAS is a shipping executive-cum-translator who lives in
Piraeus, Greece. His work has previously appeared in PRISM (19:2.
ERNEST HEKKANEN lives on Mayne Island, B.C. The Merry Voyager" is from a collection titled Mediei'al Hour m the Author's Mind. His
novel. Chasing After Carnivals (Stoddart/General) is due out this fall.
GERALD HILL's first book. Heartwood, (Thistledown) is also coming
out this fall. He lives in Saskatoon. Saskatchewan. Hill's poems have
been in event. Grain, and Quarry, to name a few.
69 KIM YONG IK has published in The New Yorker. He lives in Pittsburgh,
SUSAN IOANNOU has won the Norma Epstein Foundation Award
for Poetry and is associate editor of Cross-Canada Writer's Quarterly. She
lives in Toronto.
JASCHA KESSLER has published three books of his own poetry and
has translated several European poets, some of whom have appeared
in PRISM. He teaches at UCLA and has recently completed a book-
length translation of Sandor Rakos's Catullan Games.
MARIA LAINA was born in Patras, Greece, in 1947. She has published four books of poetry and is a translator of Pound and Eliot.
DACIA MARAINI, according to her translator, Helen Barolini, is "an
important Italian writer, a political activist, and a long-time companion
of the novelist Alberto Moravia."
WALTER McDONALD's poems have recently been printed in The
Fiddlehead and event. He lives in Lubbock, Texas.
ERIN MOURE was anthologized in Dennis Lee's The New Canadian
Poets. Her latest book is Domestic Fuel (Anansi, 1985); these poems are
from a work-in-progress called Furious.
DOREEN NEWELL is a printmaker and artist who has studied lithography in Europe and at Emily Carr College of Art and Design. Her
work has been exhibited locally in six different shows this year.
JUDITH POND lives in Kingston, Ontario. This is her first appearance in PRISM.
AL PURDY's first book of poems came out more than forty years ago;
now his more than thirty volumes stand as a unique and influential
contribution to Canadian letters. His most recent is Piling Blood
(McClelland and Stewart, 1984). Purdy lives in Ameliasburgh, Ontario.
ROBYN SARAH was also included in The New Canadian Poets. She is
the author of Anyone Skating on That Middle Ground (Vehicule, 1984)
and a co-founder of Villeneuve Editions.
7° KIRSTI SIMONSUURFs first book won the J.H. Erkko Prize (Finland) in 1980. He teaches at the University of Helsinki and has translated Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf into Finnish.
EVA SKRANDE is a graduate of the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa. Her poems have appeared in the Iowa Review, White Mule,
and other journals.
JOHN EDWARD SORRELL fives in Vancouver where he's just become a landed immigrant. His work has been published in many
British journals.
TERESE SVOBODA's All Aberration (poems) came out from the University of Georgia Press this year. "Bridal Bouquet" is her first published fiction in ten years.
PATRICIA YOUNG is the assistant editor of the Malahat Review.
Melancholy Ain't No Baby is forthcoming from Ragweed Press, and The
Canadian Forum recendy published a feature on Young's poetry.
7i PRISM international is holding a poetry
writing contest open to anyone except
students currently enrolled in the Department of Creative Writing at UBC.
There are no restrictions as to the length
of the poems, but all entries must be
original, unpublished material available
for publication in a future issue of
PRISM. PRISM international will purchase First North American Serial
Rights for all work it accepts for publication. All entries must be typed double-
spaced on 854 x 11 white paper. Entrants' full name and address must appear on the first page of the manuscript
and all entries must include a stamped,
self-addressed envelope with sufficient
return postage. Entries from countries
other than Canada should include International Reply Coupons.
$500   1st
$250   and
$100  3rd
$250 special prize for a
poem in translation from
a non-official language of
Canada. Original poem
must be written by a
living writer. Note:
translations from the
French are eligible for the
main prizes.
Send $10 plus $1 for each poem entered to:
Department of Creative Writing,
University of British Columbia,
E466-1866 Main Mall,
Vancouver, B.C.
v6t 1W5
TO THEIR SUBSCRIPTION. Results will be announced early
in 1986. Judging will be done by the PRISM editorial board and
by two established poets. A winners' list will be supplied upon request.
This competition is made possible by the continued support of
The Canada Council.
Poems  by:   Charles  Bukowski,   Gerald   Hill,   Erin
Moure, Al Purdy...
Fiction by: Ernest Hekkanen, Kim Yong Ik, Terese
In Translation: Dacia Maraini, Maria Laina, Kirsti
More of the best in contemporary Drama, Fiction,
and Poetry.
A Selection of Writing from the Maritimes 23:3; Vision and Nightmare 19:2; 25 Years in Retrospect
ISSN OO32.879O


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