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 international
Spring, igyi
n-75  Editor    jacob zilber
Associate Editors    douglas bankson
MICHAEL BULLOCK
ROBERT HARLOW
GEORGE MCWHIRTER
Managing Editor    wayne stedingh
Assistant Managing Editor    lynn thorne
Editorial Assistants    avron hoffman
janie kennon
michael mirolla
michael patrick o'connor
david zaiss
international
A JOURNAL OF
CONTEMPORARY WRITING CONTENTS
VOLUME TEN     NUMBER THREE
SPRING 1971
POETRY
Seven Poems
THEO FLORIN
4
Two Poems
JOYCE MANSOUR
24
Two Untitled Poems
HANS ARP
25
Sens Plastique: Excerpts
MALCOLM DE CHAZAL
26
Pleasures of the Door
FRANCIS PONGE
28
The Young Chief
NORMAN H. RUSSELL
32
Poems Written on the
Afternoon I Discovered
I Was Carrying Children
MARY BAKER
33
Untitled Poem
JODY PYLATUIK
34
To the Lady With
the Harmonica Voice
JAN GOLDEN
34
The Clock
STEPHEN SHU-NING LIU
35
Two Poems
MICHELLE MILLER
40
Somewhere Else
ROBERT FOX
42
Ariel III: for Sylvia Plath
RAY FLEMING
43
Two Poems
ELDON GRIER
44
Two Poems
MATHIAS SCHREIBER
46
Words for a Dead Sex Bomb
JOHN JOHANSEN
48
Two Poems
PHILLIPPE SOUPAULT
60
Extra Help (2)
RAYMOND QUENEAU
62
Untitled Poem
ANDRE PIEYRE DE MANDIARGUES
62
Vampire
VICTOR SEGALEN
7°
Two Poems
STANLEY COOPERMAN
7i
Two Poems
WAYNE NYBERG
74
Notebook
HANS MAGNUS ENZENSBERGER
76
Changing Tires
BERTOLT BRECHT
77
Two Poems
HENRIKAS NAGYS
82
Two Poems
VINCENZO CARDARELLI
84
To My Father-in-law
at his Wife's Death
'	
WILLIAM WHITMAN
86 New Unkempt Thoughts:
Quotations
Seven Rivers
You, Thirteen
Beyond the Range of Guns
Moonwalk
STANISLAW JERZY LEG
CAROLYN WOLFE
LEE PENNINGTON
JESSE STUART
JOAN FIN NIG AN
9°
95
IO3
II4
FICTION
Presenting the Annual
Interracial Roast Pig
Rex Morgan, M.D.
Periscoping
A Gentleman and a Scholar
The Toad's Curse —
Toad's Curse
Ernestine
Feud
This is a Wartime Story
The Jump
CHARLES DEEMER
BRIAN SHEIN
ROSALIND HANNA
KENNETH BERNARD
GUSTAV MEYRINK
MICHAEL MIROLLA
MICHAEL MIROLLA
HENRY H. ROTH
LYLE R. LONNEBERG
15
29
31
36
57
63
65
78
BOOKS & PERIODICALS RECEIVED
ir5
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS APPEAR BESIDE THEIR WORK
The cover is reproduced from a drawing by PAT LANE, poet and artist, who
is a British Columbian. More of his drawings are inside this issue.
DESIGNED AND PRINTED BY MORRISS PRINTING COMPANY LTD., VICTORIA, B.C.
PRISM international, a journal of contemporary writing, is published three
times a year by the Department of Creative Writing at the University of British
Columbia, Vancouver 8, B.C. Annual subscriptions are $5.00, single copies
$1.75, obtainable by writing to the Editors at that address. Microfilm editions
are available from University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and reprints
(vols. 1-5) from the Kraus Reprint Corporation, NYC. SEVEN POEMS BY THEO FLORIN
Translated from the Slovak by James St. Clair-Sobell
AFRICAN NIGHTS
The blinding twilight magically flies and unfolds the fan of
a dolphin. The rustle in the olive-trees disturbs the heart of
my lady and black hands beat the tom-toms . . .
African nights
In the singing twilight
Scenting of stars
And dancing with moon
Slender as lianas —
Amative — desirous
Bold and combatant
Epic genesis —
In African nights
The pale master Moon
plays with drawings
on the waves of a lake —
The voice of the girl trembles,
her heart in the tournament;
Her voice burns with desire
African nights
Like big breasts
Are breathing with friendship
At dance and drink
Alas, when running amok
There is mere touch of the secrets —
The knives sparkle
And the free eagles
Whirl up the dust from the drums —
In African nights
The lovers of freedom
Will lift the bars Will smash the fetters
Like geysers the fighting shouts
will gush forth
Like starry wheels
the spirals will spin
Freedom freedom
1941
IN SUMMER WHEN EVERYTHING
HAD A LOOK OF SAD WATER
I am taking off the shoes of fatigue and the sweat of the sun
I am washing my face with the fragrance of sea-shadow
I desire to pronounce the words I love
Desiring solitude and tenderness for a woman —
With whisky I greet friends
Who stand majestically in the full moon
And beat fanfares on the drums
When flowers were being showered on the head
Of a black singer in Watergate
Who tenderly sang My Curly-headed Baby
And carved the verses into the trees in the depth of the night
About a pale child without mother's milk
About women with mother of pearl in their hands
About distant happiness beyond the horizon —
New York, 1947. I AM SINGING THE SONG
OF MY BLACK BROTHERS
. . . Beneath the waves of my heart is a big secret; before it I
close my eyes to see more clearly. In the evening when Love
kneels over me, I can hear my secret talking. Every night
fishes out several little pearls for me, so that I can put them
on white paper. Some of them are bitter and it is very difficult
for me to recollect them again. Very difficult. . . but in spite
of that. . .
While I mused in the sight of the black singer
In the church of the white man they blessed the cross
On which they planned to bind my curly black John
With the white teeth of his desperately bitter smile
To fulfill the fat bet they made playing poker
Louis Beed & Company means more than the sheriff of the town
And after the Hollywood businessman has sounded the gong
He shoots the film of vengeance and hate in the starry night
When the pitchy white cross burns
With my poor black John upon it
When I read in Crisis the poem of the great Du Bois
About human justice with wings of the white dove
A terrible load was spilled over the city of Darkness
A drunken white man with jewels and a dancer's scarf
Was shooting at a Negro because he was sober and dressed in bright
cloth
He was shooting right through a woman and her five-year-old Bill
near her
He was shooting at the black target and laughing at the death
And the policemen looked unconcerned from the drugstore
At the little brooks of blood flowing down the sidewalk
At the black man, his wife and little Bill, dying.
When Paul Robeson, singer of his people
Judged with his sorrowful singing the foreign slave-trader
White crosses were set on fire on the heights of Peekskill
Ku Klux Klan men — beasts with claws Forced the ebony-faced women to their knees
And tore away the children sleeping on the breasts of their mothers
And befouled the working and clean people
From Kentucky, Illinois, Virginia and Colorado
Who came to hear the voice of the land of Abraham Lincoln
One of the most beloved sons of black people
When a black boy was blowing the song of the prairie on the ocarina
A monologue of happiness shone from the eyes of his girl
When a pale, handsome man from Manhattan asked her to dance
The poet of blues thundered the rhythm
The stars, Chinese lanterns of our hearts, shone with rejoicing
That the handsome pale man whispered to the black girl
In that moment the lights went out and the window-pane shattered
The sheriff of the town with the Iron Heel killed the smile of the
lovers
and cruelly handcuffed the handsome pale man from Manhattan
When I saw the humiliation and humbleness of the man
I asked myself: Where has the fragrance of life gone
Who caused the dishonour of man
Who silenced the smile of the lover and the voice of the singer
Whether black clouds of Kansas and Iowa
Will threaten like the rattle of war-drums
Or whether love sailed away to Antarctica from the hearts
So that it will not see that distress anymore
Where love of fellowmen dies under the whip
And one has to be blind like a skull without eyes
Then I began to long for wings
I wanted to become a mighty eagle
And on the wings of the wind
Fly off from this land, this underworld —
And be in the land of the Sun
Where human rights belong to every man and woman
I began to long for home where men live humanely —
Where a Gypsy woman dances with us
And a black student from Nigeria drinks wine with me
And man is a stay of life to man
Washington, 1947. SILVER BIRDS OVER WASHINGTON
More beautiful than the dream of the horse of the Wind in Alabama
Is the picture shaded by the blind hand of the night
Sailing boats of dawn on the Potomac
Swallow the miles towards Mount Vernon —
Malayans and Persians shower their greetings upon the town
Frenchmen, Greeks and tourists from Kentucky
Inhabitants from the Pacific and the Solomon Islands
I am alone among them
— Dreaming Northman
We look at the horizon at the sky at everything in the distance
Where the ugly letters drop from the clouds
As if heavenly bodies were selling Coca Cola Pepsi Cola and
Caramel
What a strange century in which the flight of the stars is broken
A little negro sucks a candy and rolls his black eyes
The little negro does not understand the tales about angels
Which his mother told him in a deserted house
Silver birds are flying —
The children play hide-and-seek
On the meadow colourful pieces of paper are falling
He is picking them up — it's money he thinks
— I will bring them to mother and we shall have bread
His mouth was curved when mother cried
Over the poverty and the shining paper —
Washington, 1947. CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA
Lord
Tell me if the sunburnt son from Texas
who flew before the west wind always forward
like a wolf or a giant horse from the plains
who looked for me for a thousand miles
Was it he who bound me by sun and moon
in this land of strange habits and rock eagles
so that I reposed in Alabama
like a drunken man under a leaden sky
Lord
It is sad to be an extinguished fire
and to listen to the revelry of robber barons
and not to have the wind of mountain peaks
little fir and larch trees covered with hoarfrost
And that sunny happiness
leaping in our heart
that the Redeemer was born
Lord
Strange mood for your birthday
Texas Illinois New York and so on
The spell of my home fell on me
— white snow on the hills
little church in the valley
Time for happiness — children's toys
torrent of laughter and joy
in the native land
Lord
At home in your honour
they dress in festive cloth
Eagerly light the beautiful candles
on the little tree of love
praying so unselfconsciously
— Jesus Christ was born .. .
New York, 1947 NIGHT IN HARLEM
Day bent down his head so that night might come
A bronze sculpture with a veil of dark lace
The stars called in the diamond chill
Beautiful fire, warmed the silent coulisses on the housetops
The old town of love was falling down to the deep bottom
Only the sleepwalker stirred
And walked under the arcades of stars
He understood the music of the night
And the stone tentacles of streets
A deserted mill —
The spiders of the night were catching the sighs of the flowers
And the last outcry of a closed person
Feelings like waves
The grateful look
A kiss on the face of the Moon —
To what place had the Wind taken the roll of the drums?
Oh why did nobody record the verses of lovers
Between night and morning?
Harlem, 1947.
10 BLACK JOHN
. . . Epidemics of various diseases hit the black settlement of
Rockly. There was no money, there were no drugs, no doctor
. . . The blacks, left to their own resources, were dying alone
in terrible pain . . . Africa south exile
My black John was a painter
He painted his native dreams
In the settlement of Rockly —
I liked his childish dreams
And playful autumn kites
In the settlement of Rockly —
My black John had a piece of rag
Around his waist, his only property,
And a salty mouth —
The horse of death galloped in one day
And dressed the settlement of Rockly
In mourning crepe —
Terrible white disease
Mows down black lives
In the hovels of Rockly —
My black John was a doctor
He was giving hope to the suffering
On the beds in Rockly —
He gave all his love to those
Who wanted to live happily
In the mimosas of Rockly —
He suffered unto death before his Master
Pressing the image to his chest
In the loneliness of Rockly —
The white Lord turned away
The white Lord left the black man
To die in Rockly —
1961
11 SONG ABOUT WALT WHITMAN
... In Virginia, I used to sit under a spreading oak long into the
night, unmindful of the stars that had already blossomed on the
velvet carpet; the Moon, looking sick to death, wandered in the
starry rapids. I could neither sleep, nor dream. I believe it, was
reality, or was it perhaps some illusion? I heard a voice which spoke
my name and then many words, rhapsodically put together, but they
were addressed to me. I became afraid and began to turn pale,
though I was perfectly healthy. I seized the mighty oak with my
arms, and with my face pressed to its trunk, I listened to the voice
of the unknown and invisible Somebody . . .
After everything grew still, he told me his name: Walt Whitman.
I did not know I was sitting beneath the spreading oak under which
he used to write and love and forever awaited his friend.
Some of the leaves from that tree I still keep and always, when
the shadows grow longer, I come back — to the starry soul of Walt
Whitman. To the memories .. .
I was walking through the world, down the paths of humanity
— Walt Whitman
I collected edelweisses and healing herbs
I greeted your countrymen
And nursed the ailing
In the hospitals —
No long beard grew on my face
Fine as flax and silver-white
So that the wind could not ruffle it
Could not play hide-and-seek in it
I found your greasy hat
— Walt Whitman
On his head he used to wear it, against the heat
The old alderman of extinguished desires from Colorado
Mighty robust Word from the mountains
Who still has three good teeth left
And gums red as California wine
And he eats his roastbeef raw
Chasing it with a Scotch
12 I read your merrily dancing words
— Walt Whitman
Joe Herron, your admirer and friend from Manhattan
Strong Ursus and gentle one with a jasmine smell
Bought a letter from an antique-dealer on Broadway
Letter of your cosmic soul
You wrote it encircled by adventurers
During a dangerous night
When whisky put everyone to sleep
You wrote the intimate letter
To a wounded man in a hospital
His name was Pad Philas
He had left his father and his mother
Had left the silent woods of the Indians
Fighters for their freedom
Everywhere where I came they knew you
■— Walt Whitman
In New York on Broadway or in Virginia
Or in Baltimore with red roofs
Where women are partridges —
I have found the stars of your spirit
In hot Oklahoma in wild Arizona
I was meeting hairy young men
burnt by the sun of Texas
Unshaven and hairy ones from Kentucky
Hot-blooded but very gentle ones
They all sang your Song of Joys
And in the small brick-house in Harlem
— Walt Whitman
Old man Willy and old woman Ezra are hardly moving
They were children when the South fought against the North
When the general crushed and burned Washington
When as slaves they gathered with blessing
He who had as many slaves as beads
Became a god, and that woman became happy
Who had been stealing love with delight
They remembered you dear Walt Whitman
You and the wild Tom Paine
13 Those were strange and extraordinary times weren't they
— Walt Whitman
The sun over Virginia was setting in blood
Ezra's children were already wearing red kerchiefs
Floating on high with wings like dolphins
When they danced in seclusion at the full moon
— in honour of brother Fire
Black uncle Bill Brown the teacher of the littlest ones
Explaining the primer with dance
He had as many pupils as leaves on the trees in Harlem
Also dedicated and faithful to you — Walt Whitman
I walked on roads and in your footsteps
— Walt Whitman
Indian summer was ringing over the Potomac
In the Washington parks and in Rockly
Tired lovers were lying in the grass
And drinking Sorbetto
And that gentle David cast in copper
Played with our hearts and raved into our eyes
He read aloud: Leaves of Grass
And wed himself as you used to do — once —
Bearded and wild, gentle and hard — Walt Whitman
Virginia, 1947.
Theo Florin was born Theodore Herkel in 1908 in Dolny Kubin, then part of
the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and now a small town of Slovakia. Journalist,
editor and diplomat, he lived abroad in various countries from 1932, returning
to Prague in 1948 to become personal secretary of Vladimir Clemente,
Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was placed under house arrest during the period
of the "cult of personality" because of his absolute disagreement with the
regime, but was later reinstated. Considered by many to be Czechoslovakia's
leading poet, he published his first collection in 1936, and followed this with
many other works. "Fire on the Potomac," a cycle of poems from which the
preceding translations are made, is Florin's impression of the racial issue in the
United States, based on his stay there. Other translations of his poetry have
appeared in War Poems of the United Nations (New York), and in a Polish
anthology of the P.E.N. Club of London. Florin has been literary editor of
Orava in Slovak Culture since 1963, and continues to write for leading Czecho-
slovakian publications.
James St. Clair-Sobell, Professor of Comparative Philology at the University
of British Columbia, recently had several translations of Florin in Contemporary
Literature in Translation. In 1948, at the time that armed forces of the U.S.S.R.
entered Czechoslovakia, he was in Dolny Kubin as a guest of the poet.
14 Charles Deemer has had stories in Northwest Review and The Colorado
Review, with others accepted for publication elsewhere. He is a student in the
English Department at the University of Oregon.
Presenting the Annual
Interracial Roast Pig
CHARLES DEEMER
Groovy, the whole scene, even better than his short-timer's party
in Baumholder, Germany, a year ago: the roast pig, which Tee was
still carving, his large black hands glistening with fat; the colossal
supply of beer and booze, which Phil was serving from behind the
portable bar in the back comer of the yard (grass was verboten, Tee
being straight); the huge happy crowd, predominantly black, predominantly middle-aged, incredibly friendly; and the sounds, out of
sight, of the jazz combo on the patio; and the dancing, which Roy
dug most of all, that sensuous and rhythmic elasticity which was
theirs alone (man, how they could dance!). In line for seconds, Roy
watched and saw the obvious: only a spade could dance like a spade.
Witness whitey who was trying now and being made a fool of by
the black girl who was his partner. Hours earlier Roy had witnessed
whitey's arrival in black turtleneck, bellbottoms and shades, whitey
chanting Skin, baby! to every black man within reach. When Roy's
turn came, whitey merely had nodded, as one white man to another,
and Roy had turned and walked away.
"How hungry are you?" Tee asked. "Or should I say, how hungry
are you still?"
"Half as much as the first time," said Roy.
"Half? You're kidding." Tee began filling Roy's plate with pig.
"Beautiful party, Tee. Incredible."
Tee grinned, as close as he would come to agreeing. Roy had
known him only for five months, having met Tee and Colette and
Phil at The Ash Grove during a Lightning Hopkins gig, but he
had recognized Tee's humility early. To brag about the success of his
15 own party was the last thing Tee would do, and so Roy repeated, "I
mean it, I've never seen such a beautiful party."
Tee laughed. "We try to do this every summer. I get the pig, and
Phil and some others get the liquor."
"Out of sight."
"How many do you think are here?"
"Jesus. A hundred."
"Colette gave up counting at a hundred fifty."
"Beautiful. Man, that's enough!"
"I think you're on a diet."
"Enough, really. Beautiful."
There were tables near the bar and Roy headed that way, weaving his path slowly through the black crowd, he had never seen so
many black men in one place at one time. The juke box was at full
volume, Brownie McGhee wailing Walk On! as Sonny Terry echoed
with harp. In front of the box a half-dozen black GI's, none in uniform, were dancing without partners, with themselves. The club was
packed but Roy saw no other whites in the crowd, the German
whores not counting, and this scared him. Crooks, on the other hand,
was not bothered; he went ahead to the bar and when he found Roy
hesitating near the entrance, Crooks called, Come on, man! Roy
followed quickly then, a twitch of fear in his gut. He had heard the
stories about knifings, knifings right here in Baumholder's own Bop
City Club; about the continuous race war in which a black knife
slipped without resistance into white crowd. He progressed carefully
and when he reached the back of the yard he spotted an empty stool
at the end of the bar and went for it.
"What'll it be, Mr. Hawkins?" Phil greeted him. Phil always
called everyone 'mister'.
"Beer. Mind if I eat at the bar?"
"Please. What are they, thirds or fourths?"
"Seconds. Man, I'm not sure I can handle them. Tee wouldn't
quit."
"I understand," Phil said. He grinned, a pipe clenched in his
teeth.
Roy ate leisurely, luxuriously. Phil often came by and topped
Roy's glass whenever it was less than half full. Roy figured that Phil
was in his niche tonight: puffing on his pipe, he kept moving up and
down the bar, more concerned about a half-empty glass than about
a customer's anecdote. He moved contemplatively, to the slow pulse
of the pipe, and reminded Roy of one of his professors at Pasadena
16 City College. Phil had the disposition of an intellectual, which made
his friendship to Tee a curious one. An administrator for Bell Telephone, Phil was lighter than a Spaniard and quite articulate, while
Tee, as dark as rich chocolate, drawled with an accent and worked
in a warehouse (using brawn, no doubt). But Roy had come to
learn that Tee and Phil did many, if not all, things together; they
even ran a small Fix-It Shop on Adams Boulevard together.
When Roy finished eating, Phil threatened to fetch him thirds but
Roy declined and tossed the paper plate into a trash box. Food had
whetted his thirst, the inevitable cycle. Because his car wasn't running, Roy had taken the bus into Los Angeles early in the afternoon
to help Tee and Phil with the preparations. He had begun drinking
immediately, sipping beer while Tee strung a mammoth fish net over
the patio for atmosphere and Phil set up the portable bar, where
Crooks had already ordered drinks. You have to check out the sides
on this box, Crooks told him, and when the beers came he was off
into the crowd before Roy could stop him. Quickly he followed:
ahead was the juke box, still encircled with dancing GI's. How
would they be able to get close enough to the box to check out the
sides? Crooks cleared a path, Roy close on his tail. Look here, Crooks
said, Look at all the Miles on here. And Billie Holiday, man. With
Teddy Wilson on piano and The Prez on sax. Look, Horace Silver.
Man. And blues, too, Roy learned, for a John Lee Hooker side came
on. Crooks yelled, Your man! Let's do it! Do it!, yelling even as he
joined the black dancers. Do it! Crooks called but Roy couldn't
move. He was sweating under his uniform and couldn't move, however badly he wanted to leave, at least to return to the bar. Later in
the afternoon the first guests arrived, and for a while Roy was the
only white man present, a fact which vaguely had flattered him. The
scene was different now: two or three dozen white faces were mixed
with the black, though Roy had no desire to seek them out.
"Man, we need a speaker back here!"
Whitey was crowding in beside Roy, using the black girl who had
been his dance partner as a buffer. When the girl's body glanced
Roy's arm she smiled and said, "Hi." Whitey's neck stretched out of
the turtleneck and he repeated, "We need a speaker back here!"
Phil came over and asked, "What's the problem?"
"We can't dig the sounds back here. How bout putting a speaker
up somewhere, man?"
Phil puffed on his pipe.
"Like a speaker on the tree there. Dig?"
17 "I don't think so," said Phil. "To be honest, I rather despise jazz."
He smiled slightly and moved down the bar; Roy felt like applauding.
Whitey turned to him. "What'd I do wrong, man?"
The girl told him not to make a federal case.
"Man." Whitey's face turned upward, and the bar lights reflected
off the dark glasses. "Lucius," he said, suddenly thrusting his palm
at Roy for skin. "This here's Beverly."
Roy took the hand and shook it. Lucius! A black name, he might
have guessed. Lucius. "I'm Roy Hawkins."
Lucius said, "You could hook into their amp and hang a speaker
on the tree there. We could dig the sounds then."
"Maybe some people don't want to hear them," said Beverly.
"You dig the sounds?" Lucius asked Roy, then went on quickly:
"We could take a vote. A little democracy action! You dig that?
How many want the sounds back here?" he called. A black man at
the bar began to chuckle softly to himself, and Lucius repeated,
"How many want sounds?" He started down the bar, taking his poll
personally.
"You want to dance?" Beverly asked Roy. Her eyes were wide
and white as she waited for a reply. She was very black, very buxom,
and Roy looked away.
"Come on." When she took his hand, Roy felt the dampness of
his own palm. He didn't want to dance, he couldn't their way, but
she was pulling him through the dark crowd and he could muster no
resistance. He wanted to dance, he didn't: he wanted a dance he
could manage, a slow dance, he couldn't join Crooks out there, conspicuous in the crowd, trying too hard to be rhythmically elastic.
Roy would prefer to be in The Family Bar, a white bar, getting
smashed. Granted, all the sounds were here, the jazz and blues, his
music, but he could hear the blues back in the billets, he could play
his records, Lightning Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters,
Little Walter, B. B. King, Howling Wolf, his records, he had records
in the billets. Downtown a white man found his comfort in a white
bar. The bars in Baumholder had segregated themselves, that was
the point. Comfort, not laws. A man went where he was comfortable. Comfortable, even with a juke box full of shitkicking hillbilly
crap. White, comfortable: where there was no pressure on him to
dance he would be able to maneuver without black and elastic
limbs, which were not and could not be his, which no white man
could imitate convincingly no matter how many black masks he put on. Roy wanted a slow dance, and when they reached the periphery
of swift jazz rhythms he pulled on Beverly's hand and told her, "I
can't dance to that."
"Of course you can," said Beverly. "Come on."
At the patio she broke free, turned, lifted her arms high and
began to move before him like his own hired stripper. If he were
black, he would move like her very shadow and woo her and win
her away from the black-masked asshole improbably named Lucius;
white, he stood still and stared at her, the flush full on his cheeks.
"Come on," Beverly urged. "Let it all hang out."
Cautiously, he tried. He thought there were eyes on him, black
countenances amused by his feeble and doomed attempt; but Beverly kept cooing, "Let it all hang out," and he tried. He shuffled his
feet in a pattern while his arms raised and lowered like parts of a
crane. Certainly he knew how to dance fast, but not with soulful
elasticity; he had only the jerky and mechanical habits of his youth.
"You got it, baby," Beverly told him. "Now like this. Watch me.
We walk the dog like this, we walk the dog."
Roy watched her hold out one hand, holding an imaginary leash;
the other hand went to her hip and stirred her pelvis into the gesticulations of an act of love. Roy quit dancing.
"Don't stop," Beverly said. "We walk the dog."
Voices behind him added, "You were doing good," "You had it,
brother, and dropped it," "Pick it up again."
He went quickly into the crowd. Heading toward the bar, he
bumped bodies indiscriminately and didn't stop to apologize. He
found Lucius and Phil arguing; neither noticed his arrival, so Roy
listened.
"Man, like I didn't mean to bug you," said Lucius.
Phil smiled. "I haven't seen a single mosquito here tonight, have
you, Mr. Frank?" An old man at the bar laughed.
"Mosquitoes? You're jiving. Like that's okay, man, only dig that
I didn't mean to bug you. The speaker was a plan. You dig that? I
didn't mean to bug you."
"You sure have bugs on the mind. Perhaps you need a repellant."
"That's not cool at all," said Lucius.
"Cool? In the middle of summer?"
During the laughter Lucius discovered Roy, who looked away.
Lucius brought a cellophane bag from his pocket and set it on the
bar. Putting some cigarette paper beside it, he asked Roy, "Say,
man, is Beverly dancing or what?"
19 Before Roy replied, Phil said, "Is that what I think it is?"
"It's grass, man." Lucius shook his head. "Grass make you uptight, too?"
"Put it away," Phil said sternly. "Put it away now."
Lucius chuckled but put the bag and paper away. Standing up,
he said, "Okay, man. Your way, I'm easy." He went to Roy.
"Beverly dancing?" Roy nodded. "Your way," Lucius told Phil. He
moved into the crowd.
"I don't know how he keeps himself out of jail," Phil told the bar.
The amusement in his tone surprised Roy. "You want a beer, Mr.
Hawkins?"
"With a shot of bourbon."
"Boilermaker? I guess it's your body."
His white body indeed. Stiff, it had been a machine on the patio,
a soulless machine. Next to Beverly, who moved so seductively, he
must have come off like a zombie, another phony black-masked
white bastard looking for rhythms around him made him dizzy. He
became panicky, the dancers the water of his drowning. He had to
get out, into fresh air, and he called to Crooks, I'm leaving! and
started for the door. Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, expecting
always to be stabbed. Then the very hand he feared was on his
shoulder, grabbing him, stopping him. His belly tightened, resistance
to the entering blade he expected. Hey Hawkins, a voice behind
him. The hand turned him around and he came face to face with
Bradford, the spade who slept above him in the billets, who was grinning and saying, Good to see you, man. Though in the club's low
lights they all looked alike and perhaps Roy had made a mistake or
rhythms which didn't belong to his heritage. His heritage was closer
to Lawrence Welk, the idol of his parents.
He drank, and Phil delivered boilermakers as quickly as Roy
consumed them. He drank and thought of Beverly; he drank, thinking it would really be something to have a black woman.
"Here comes Jazzbo."
Roy looked up. "What?" His voice told him he was drunk, really
and finally drunk.
"Jazzbo's coming back," Phil told him.
Roy saw Lucius and Beverly making their way through the
crowd. Abruptly he stood up, ignoring whatever Phil was saying,
and staggered away from the direction of Beverly's approach. He
had to avoid her, had to spare himself the polite and phony compliment he was sure she'd deliver about his dancing. When he reached
20 the patio, which was still a mass of rhythm, he decided to go into
the house for a piss. On the way he noticed Tee in the driveway:
Tee was being talked to by two cops, two white cops. Pigs. Sons of
bitches.
"Hey!" Roy called out, approaching them. "He's my friend!
Tee's my friend, I'll vouch for him."
"Well, looky here," Tee said, grinning.
"If he did something wrong, me too," said Roy. "You understand
me?" He put an arm around Tee. "You don't take him unless you
take me, too. We're together. We're brothers. Have to take us both,
right, Tee? Have to take us both. We're just having a party anyway."
One of the policemen said, "Quite a party." He grinned. Everyone was grinning.
"So what the hell's wrong?" Roy asked. He lost his balance and
had to use Tee to keep from falling. Recovered, he would save Tee
from the pigs. Lucius bringing in that grass was the hang-up.
"Nothing's wrong," said Tee. "You want to lie down?"
"Who's in trouble?"
Tee said, "This is Jim and Andy. No trouble, I invited them. You
want a bed?"
Roy staggered back toward the house.
Tee was smiling down at him. Rich chocolate brown face, ivory
teeth like piano keys. "You want some aspirin?"
Roy sat up on the divan. Colette brought him two aspirins and a
glass of water, then returned to the kitchen. Thanks, he wanted to
tell her: he had rasped unintelligibly.
"You want some of the dog?" Tee asked.
Roy coughed. It was morning, he saw. Or afternoon. The sun
was up.
"You want a beer?"
"No, Jesus." He laughed nervously. "I'd better get home. What
time is it?"
"Little after eleven. I'll drive you later if you want to wait. Phil's
coming over to help clean up."
Roy stood; everything ached. "I've got to get home."
"You got homework?"
"Yeah. Where's my jacket?"
Fetching it from across the room, Tee said with amusement,
"You college boys sure like to drink."
21 "Thanks," said Roy, taking the jacket. "I hope I behaved."
"Sure. That Lucius ended up smoking dope in the can. When
Jim and Andy were still here. I chased him out the door."
"The asshole." Roy started for the door.
"He doesn't think. Smoking dope with the police right here. He
knew, too, he saw them here." Tee followed him to the door. "You
don't want a beer? I'll drive you home later."
"I've got to make it. Beautiful party. Beautiful, really. I'll phone
you during the week."
Outside the day was blinding. Roy stood on the porch, squinting
and lighting a cigarette, then headed up the street. The bus stop
was on Washington Boulevard, six blocks away, and he began
lengthening his strides as the day came into focus. A musty morning, by the odor of it. Children were playing in the street, the black
boys wearing faded shirts and dirty sneakers, the black girls in braids
and ribbons that had lost their bounce. A strong odor accompanied
him: his own hung-over staleness? He was reminded of things extinguished : cigarette butts, stogies, the fizzled firecrackers of July 4.
He walked swiftly, eager to get home, man, said Bradford. Roy
nodded, lying, yes, I'm at home. Yes. Thanks. But he wanted to
leave. I'm glad you came, said Bradford. Then Crooks arrived, and
Crooks and Bradford gave skin. Come over to the table, said Bradford. And they went, but not Roy; he wanted to leave. Crooks returned and slapped him lightly on the arm. Be cool, said Crooks.
All that shit's in your head. Be cool. Be home. Yesterday he had
been nervous walking from the bus stop to Tee's house, but at least
then his destination had been a bastion and a terminal. Roy liked
Tee, he trusted him, he felt welcome in his home. The bus stop was
no bastion, no terminal: he didn't even know how often the buses
ran, or if they ran at all on Sunday.
Two women were sitting on the bench on Washington Boulevard.
They were fat, and already their dark faces shone with sweat. Roy
considered going down the street to the next stop but he wasn't sure
how far he'd have to walk and didn't want to miss the bus on the
way. He stepped into the doorway of a sagging building and began
to wait. Two minutes by his watch. Five.
He sensed a conspiracy in the musty air: he was the only white
man on the streets. He was isolated and a trespasser, at the mercy
now of a bus schedule he didn't know. The odors of dust and decay
surrounded him, the sun brought forth a damp fear at his hairline,
he began to fidget. Once he turned in the doorway, thinking he heard
22 something behind him. Just unused office space, on the door a
weather-worn note giving the landlord's phone number.
"Got a match?"
Roy made a noise of fear. He turned to face a black man half-
again his size, who held a cigarette in his lips and repeated, "Got a
match?"
Roy fumbled for his lighter and muttered, "Sure, of course." He
knew that his hand would tremble if he tried to light the man's
cigarette himself, so he simply handed him the lighter. He read
sarcasm in the reply, "Thanks." The black man's countenance was
menacing. Roy should have done it himself.
The bus pulled to the curb as the man inhaled, and Roy maneuvered past him and rushed to the bus's opening door. The women
beat him. They were fat and moved too slowly, and Roy waited for
them to climb up the steps; waited.
"Here, I don't want your lighter."
"Oh." Roy took the lighter, put it in his pocket and turned back
to the bus as the man strode away. He swallowed once, twice, waiting for the women to climb aboard. When finally there was room in
the doorway, he stepped up and in a moment of relief his gaze fixed
upon the driver's silver badge, the metallic star that would guide
him home. Then Roy paid his fare and went to the back of the bus.
23 TWO UNTITLED POEMS BY JOYCE MANS OUR
Translated from the French by Rosmarie Waldrop
Cry little man
Your boat's for sale
Your wife sold
And your cow's fresh milk
Red with the blood of blacks
Makes your kids piss
With hate
Translated from the French by Rosmarie Waldrop and the author
If fish slip away in the sea
Corals pale with emotion silently salute
Hurry up the tide flows madly
If black children without hope of food
Drown in the dark jelly of your heart
Hurry up sick man overlaid with pity
Kill youself the crowd's getting angry
Time has come to deck your ghost
You see pity's out this year
Joyce Mansour, an Egyptian born in England, is a track star and high jumper.
Since the appearance of her first poems in the early fifties, she has been an
important presence in the Surrealist movement.
Rosmarie Waldrop has translated Peter Weiss's The Shadow of the Coachman's Body. Her first volume of poems, Spring Is A Season and Nothing Else,
will be published by The Perishable Press. With Keith Waldrop, she has supplied this issue with translations of work by a number of outstanding European
writers. Keith Waldrop's poetry collection, A Windmill Near Calvary, was
nominated for the National Book Award in 1969. He teaches at Brown
University.
24 TWO UNTITLED POEMS BY HANS ARP
Translated from the German by Rosmarie Waldrop
I mourn for the powerful
black moustaches
which provided with a
clever wire device
were comfortable and fit well
clamped on the column of the nose.
They could have been the ornament
of our beardless community
for many more years
if they hadn't
one and all
been senselessly swallowed
by a bearded stranger.
Cloud-catchers
who have living watches
of tender flesh
growing in their living pockets
frequently draw their watches
out of their pockets
to check
if down with the mortals
good dinner time
has come.
No matter
if it's dinner time below
or not
the cloud-catchers now eat
their delicious living watches
which in their living pockets
immediately
grow again.
Hans Arp (1887-1966), an Alsatian, was one of the original protagonists of
Zurich Dada. Most famous as a sculptor, he wrote poetry both in German and
in French. The translations here are of poems in Worte mit und ohne Anker
and are printed by permission of the publishers, Limes Verlag.
25 EXCERPTS FROM MALCOLM DE CHAZAL'S
SENS PLASTIQUE
Translated from the French by Rosmarie Waldrop
The idiot bleats with his eyes.
Valleys: brassieres of the wind.
#
Fog: nature gives the sun a shave. When the fog is gone the sun
appears smooth like a new penny, the last trace of its shaggy rays
taken off, in fading, by the silky flakes of the fog.
As pleasure grows it shrinks to a needle point on the skin, whereas
pain leaves an oil spot.
"A"
Man's eye has no vestibule, no colonnade, no outer court, no walls,
no bars: the eye lives right on the street. You can be king, emperor,
prince, or peasant, looks elbow each other democratically like a
closely packed crowd.
*
Voluptuousness is a round pleasure. If the serpent had sliced the
apple, voluptuousness would never have seen the day.
*
Man's sex is a hallway between mind and heart; a hallway man
only passes through briefly, but the place where woman has her bedroom, boudoir, diningroom. The rest of the body is just display,
gildings, chandeliers, and couches for her. Man goes through his sex
in search of his feelings. Woman lives in her sex, and the only true
seat of her feelings. That's why the old maid who constantly escapes
from it, stifled by the heady atmosphere, is so hard-hearted.
*
Colors are the gestures of light. When they glare, the sun points its
elbows; when they glow, the sun bends its knees as if to walk on all
fours over things.
*
Grey: the sun's ashtray.
26 The human voice: noon of sounds.
*
Pleasure makes a single finger out of the spinal chord as if to touch
and stroke the brain from inside.
Blue catches cold in blue-green and sneezes in grey.
*
Breasts are apples in pears with grape seeds for points. Breasts are
the ultimate in blending: all fruits in one.
*
Like a ball of water tears the wind and makes it scream, bodies in
pleasure shoot each other with air, with their round breath.
Malcolm de Chazal has published most of his books on the island of Mauritius, where he was born, and remains a rather esoteric figure in French letters,
in spite of much praise from the Surrealists.
27 PLEASURES OF THE DOOR
FRANCIS PONGE
Translated from the French by Rosmarie Waldrop
Kings don't touch doors.
They don't know this delight: pushing before you gently or
roughly one of these big familiar panels, turning around to put it
back in place — holding a door in your arms.
. .. The pleasure of taking one of these tall barriers of a room by
the porcelain knob on its belly; your steps held back for an instant
by this quick body-against-body, your eye opens and your whole
body adjusts to its new dwelling.
With a friendly hand you still hold on to it before definitely pushing it back and closing yourself in — which the click of the strong
but well-oiled spring pleasantly assures you of.
Francis Ponge first attracted wide attention with Le parti pris des choses in
1942. Since then his influence has grown steadily, particularly among the practitioners of the nouveau roman and the group of writers around the review
Tel Quel.
28 Brian Shein has had stories and a play in earlier issues of Prism international.
He lives in Vancouver, where he is a cook in a juvenile detention home.
REX MORGAN, M.D.
BRIAN SHEIN
FRAME
In a still frozen frame, black lines on white newsprint, Rex
Morgan, M.D., is seen entering his office. June Gale, his secretary,
is behind the desk. They smile pleasantly. "Good morning, doctor!"
"Good morning, June!" Under his arm he holds a folded newspaper
which, if unfolded and opened to the page where the comic strips
are printed, might reveal a small blank section where one such
comic strip is carefully erased. It is erased in such a way that its
absence would not be apparent. "Good morning, doctor!" "Good
morning, June!" Some papers lie on her desk, papers which are
apparently blank. It is obvious that they contain information pertinent to the conduct of business in the doctor's office. Rex Morgan
and June Gale smile pleasantly at each other. "Good morning,
doctor!" "Good morning, June!" Their lips do not move.
SEQUENCE
Rex Morgan, M.D., enters his office, closing the door behind
him. He smiles at his secretary sitting behind her desk. "Good
morning, June!" She looks up from some papers and responds with
a smile. "Good morning, doctor!" Looking over at June Gale, Dr.
Morgan smiles pleasantly and replies: "Good morning, June!" He
closes the door behind him and tucks the newspaper under his arm.
June absently spreads her hand across the papers on her desk. She
shifts her smile to the doctor. "Good morning, doctor!" He smiles
at the papers lying on the desk and lifts his eyes to meet hers. They
are smiling at each other and saying: "Good morning, June!"
"Good morning, doctor!" And then Dr. Morgan closes the door
29 behind him. Their voices are silent now. They are quiet for an
instant as the door shuts and then they speak. "Good morning,
doctor!" "Good morning, June!"
PANELS
In another frame of similar dimensions to the first, Rex Morgan
has moved to the other side of the desk behind which June Gale is
still sitting. The newspaper is still under his arm, the papers are still
lying on the desk. June has picked up one of the papers and is still
smiling towards the doctor. He is looking at her but, since he is now
depicted from behind, it is impossible to tell if his smile remains.
She says: "Mrs. Bankson phoned and made an appointment! She
sounded quite urgent!" The words are printed in a dialogue balloon
slightly above her head and off to one side. The uniform style of the
lettering indicates no inflections. Her lips do not move. The paper
in her hand, no doubt containing information pertinent to Mrs.
Bankson, is blank as are the other papers lying under her hand.
The similarity of the room to that in the first frame and the fact of
the appointment, joining a past before Dr. Morgan's entrance to a
future somewhere beyond this frame, coupled with the realistic
style in which the frame is drawn and the presence, seemingly invisible to both characters, of the dialogue balloon appear to imply a
further sequence of panels that will be carefully and inconspicuously
erased inside an implied series of newspapers that Dr. Morgan will
hold under his arm, put down on the desk or leave behind in some
house or car, possibly having forgotten each previous one. The demands of realism of course preclude the possibility that he will always hold the same newspaper.
30 Rosalind Hanna lives in Rome. This is her first publication.
periscoping
ROSALIND HANNA
Periscope to periscope clumsily they dived down to the ocean
bed and came to rest. Well, rest is not precisely what they did because they periscoped like mad. His name was Dolphin, hers was
Daphne and he was an atomic submarine but she was of the normal
sort — in fact he really had no use for her at all; however, for the
moment they were one. Having periscoped together they surfaced
and each one went his separate way, he to the North Pole, she to
the South. Daphne having reached the South gave birth in due
course of time to a mini submarine and was a bit annoyed to find
her son had taken after Dolphin. For a while she sulked, then pushed
him off atomically to join his father in the North. She then descended to the depths again to find a more congenial periscope of
her own kind.
3i the young chief
NORMAN H. RUSSELL
the young chief comes to me
what shall we do?    he asks me
but as i can see in his eyes
that he already knows
i pretend that i can not speak
i smile and take my stick
draw circles in the sand
i smile and look into his eyes
i mumble like an old man
and in a little while angry
he says what we must do
and i am so happy i speak
forgetting that i do not know how
to tell him he is a great chief
to tell him he is a wise man.
Norman H. Russell is Professor of Biology at Central State College, Ed-
mond, Oklahoma. This poem is from a series about North American Indians;
others have appeared in several journals in the United States and in The
American Literary Anthology, III.
32 POEMS WRITTEN ON THE AFTERNOON
I DISCOVERED I WAS CARRYING CHILDREN
MARY BAKER
Feathers drip from green branches.
My eyelashes crush soggy prints into his shirt.
I'm trying to be not so happy.
II
Each time we made love, you gave me one of your
children. And I must thank your forest thighs. Your water-lashes.
Soon all your children will explode from me, like
secrets.
Ill
Under pressure
the glass sky
will break.
Crystal hyacinths
grow under water.
I have swallowed
a candle,
and must not breathe.
Mary Baker is a student in Education and Creative Writing at the University
of British Columbia. This is her first publication.
33 AN UNTITLED POEM BY JODY PYLATUIK
as a child
i was always late
— for breakfast
— school
— and mother's love
i have been
early though
— i cried at birth
— knew at nine
— and loved at twelve
now it seems
i'm in the void
— a little late
— perhaps too early
— and
life goes by
like the train
i missed
last winter
This is Jody Pylatuik's first publication; she lives in Vancouver.
TO THE LADY WITH THE HARMONICA VOICE
JAN GOLDEN
shut up
Jan Golden is a student at Kalamazoo College, Michigan. With this item she
establishes a new Prism international record for the poem with the widest head
and narrowest body.
34 THE CLOCK
STEPHEN SHU-NING LIU
In one of those lilac-breathing days,
my father brought me a clock,
no bigger than a field toad.
Placing it under my pillow at night,
I listened to the clock walk:
Ta, ta, ta, te, te, te,
and I dreamed of my father, on horseback,
returning home from those hills;
and on that rocky trail,
Lcl5 X2Ly t3», tC, tCj tC,
the echoes of the hoofs would never end.
And before a full-grown man,
with its distinct sound,
the clock strides more rapidly.
My father can hardly come to me
from those cloudy hills;
above his head grass must grow thick
in the abundant rain of the spring;
yet toward this dark abyss,
the echoes of his horse hoofs
will not go away from me tonight:
ta, ta, ta, te, te, te,
that sound would never end.
Stephen Shu-Ning Liu has had poems in a number of journals, including
Western Humanities Review, the Beloit Poetry Journal and Midwest Quarterly.
He is now doing graduate work in English at the University of North Dakota.
35 Kenneth Bernard's fiction, drama and poetry have been in Prism international, Massachusetts Review, Mundis Artium and more. He lives in New York.
A Gentleman and a Scholar
KENNETH BERNARD
My wife and i are enormously pleased. We have rid ourselves of
cockroaches. We did not originally have them, of course. We always
took precautions. But they established themselves during our absence
one summer when our building was rewired. It was like some Year
of the Dragon for the cockroaches. They had access to every apartment in the building and took full advantage of it. When we returned they were entrenched. We were disturbed and knew what
we had to do. That was clean out the kitchen completely, every dish,
pot, pan, food product, odd and end. Then wash everything down
with antiseptic. Then spray — everywhere, to kill what there was
and to leave a prophylactic. We had had the experience before, in
other places, and had, by such means, annihilated them. If one is
diligent and quick, one succeeds. Unfortunately, we did not take
immediate action. It is, first of all, a huge job. Second, it is a dirty
job. Third, although we saw them with regularity, they pretty much
confined themselves to the hours of night; they stayed out of sight.
Fourth, we felt that by quick spot action we could keep them within
reasonable bounds. It was all a mistake, of course, as we were
eventually to find out. One thing that influenced us strongly against
our best interests was an article in one of our children's magazines
titled "The City Slicker." Among other things, the article pointed
out that cockroaches, contrary to popular belief, reproduce only
about once a year. Indeed! After learning that we had three hundred and sixty-five days within which to work, we were in no rush.
Every cockroach killed was a major victory on our part. They would
die from under-population. The article also discussed them in such
a detached manner that we began to regard them less as dirty pests
than as fauna, something one might find in a zoo, like a zebra. It is
much easier, for example, to live with something that is omnivorous
36 and thigmoactive than with something that merely crawls. We were
most interested to leam that at a certain point in its life the cockroach sheds its skin and immediately after looks like an albino. This
answered several disturbing questions from our previous experiences. We also discovered that there are about 3,500 species of cockroach in the world, but Alaska has only one. Three hundred million
years ago they were the most common animals on land, and at the
time of the dinosaurs they were already as old as the dinosaurs are
to us now. (That use of the word "animal" was especially disarming.) The most common of those species that live indoors is called
the German cockroach, but the Germans call it the French cockroach, making it somewhat analogous, I imagine, to syphilis. And
finally, the article concluded with instruction for keeping cockroaches — as pets, that is, and with several interesting problems,
e.g. (illustrated), Would a cockroach prefer to live in a snug, transparent shelter or a dark, roomy shelter? Well, after all that one
could not have quite the same attitude towards the creature. It was,
after all, an object of history and science, and an interesting one at
that. I managed to work them very nicely into our domestic routine by involving the children. I arranged to pay them one cent for
each dead roach, two cents if they killed it bare-handed. I made up
monthly charts with that and other extra money-making opportunities such as feeding the cat or snake and taking the garbage pail in
or out listed. One over-witty neighbor asked me whether in giving
two cents for a bare-handed kill I was encouraging manliness in my
children. The question irritated me, and I answered very seriously
something about encouraging a closer contact with nature. I realized later that my arrangement was merely practical. If one waited
until one seized a suitable implement one would rarely get one's
roach. Killing a roach requires almost instant response. That, of
course, means using one's hand. Our children took to the arrangements like ducks to water. They also began, very soon, to cheat, so
that I had to require visible evidence of their kill. It also stimulated
their imaginations, and I had to establish rates for waterbugs, mice,
rats, even rattlesnakes — all with the same proviso for bare-handed
kills. My older son and I had several interesting discussions on how
one would best go about strangling a rat. His visions of glory included earning enough money in one day to buy himself a ten speed
sting ray bicycle. So, as I said, we were very lax in our attitude towards the cockroaches, and that was most unfortunate. For in spite
of all, they increased in number and become increasingly bold. They
37 extended their depradations into the daytime hours and established
colonies in the bathroom hamper (straw) and in the bathroom
scales. Sometimes when we opened the cupboard doors, one would
simply fall out, so blatant were they in their activities. The others
would scurry back of boxes and cans, and it was no use following
them. They had to be rooted out totally. Several things brought us
to a resolution. One day when I poured cereal into a bowl I also
poured a large cockroach. One night as I reached for my toothbrush
I saw a cockroach feeding on it. And still another night as I was
reading in my parlor my three-year-old daughter pointed to my arm
and said, "Daddy, quick, two cents." On each occasion I felt rage
at the audacity of the creature. Quite spontaneously one evening
my wife and I decided that that would be the night. We put the
children to bed early, much against their wills, set up folding tables
in the hall, and began clearing out the kitchen. It was even a bigger
task than we had remembered, and what we thought would be a
two hour cleansing raid we saw would more likely be a five hour
pitched battle. Of course we killed a good many as we moved things
onto the tables, but not as many as we had hoped to. We knew
that they were the feeble and dull-witted of their kind and that their
betters had retreated to cracks and crevices to wait out the siege.
We found many empty egg sacs and shuddered at the filth we had
endured. But at last we had cleared everything out and, incidentally,
discovered much that we could throw away. We washed down all
the shelves and linoleum linings with disinfectant, then opened all
the windows, put bandanas around our mouths and noses, and,
looking like two Pancho Villa raiders, moved into the cracks and
crevices with sprays. They came tumbling out, young ones, old ones,
fat ones, skinny ones, shiny ones, dry, dull-colored ones. Some had
sacs ready to drop; some, when squashed, were full of white pre-sac
material. Some moved as if drugged, others were nimble and spry.
But we got them all, we made a clean sweep. We were wild and
sweating with our achievement, calling each other's attention to
special kills, talking and muttering to ourselves, laughing, cursing.
We began to stink from the spray and to itch all over, but we knew
that it was one fell swoop or nothing. After about fifty minutes we
had covered every conceivable hiding place and took a breather.
Novices would have felt they were done, but we knew better. Cockroaches have not been around for over 300 million years without
learning a few tricks. We knew that there were still a few, maybe
five or six, and these the largest, still holding out. They were old
38 campaigners, and tough, with all the stored wisdom of their history.
We singled out the most likely hiding places and set to work again
with the sprays. Our eyes were bloodshot from the poisoned air, and
our throats were sore as if we had colds, but we knew we had to
continue. At first all we saw were antennae, long and large. They
reached out of the cracks and explored the air. We gave them no
respite, we inundated them, and they had to come out, slowly, lum-
beringly. They were enormous, some an inch long, the patriarchs of
their nation. We smashed them mercilessly, knowing well that had
we missed them, they would have regenerated their race. It infuriated and at the same time awed us that they had such phenomenal
powers of endurance. It turned out that there were nine of them,
all monsters, so fat they seemed too big for their cracks. But we
squeezed them out and got them. And then we triple-checked. The
kitchen was a pit of noxious air. It would take days, even weeks or
more, to clear the air fully. But we had got them at last. They would
no longer sponge, no longer shock, no longer leave their egg sacs
among our food. We stepped off our chair and ladder, took off our
bandanas, wiped the sweat, and smiled at each other through the
haze. Words were unnecessary. Although we hated being in the
kitchen, neither did we want to leave. It was something about being
in the place of one's success. And while we were standing there
giddy and tired, an unbelievably large cockroach, at least two feet
in length, appeared at the kitchen door. We were frightened quite
literally out of our wits. For a fleeting second I remembered my
daughter's remark, "Daddy, quick, two cents." It stood there a few
moments with a peculiar kind of dignity, looking at us, I suppose.
(I didn't know where its eyes, if any, were) And then it spoke.
"Congratulations," it said, "you've won." For a moment I felt
remorse and had an urge to apologize. We had, after all, killed so
many of them, all of them, in fact. Then he went away, very
abruptly. Where, we don't know; we never saw him again. We stood
there in silence several minutes. They were a very odd few minutes,
and I cannot describe them. Finally our breath came more easily.
We smiled again at each other. We left the kitchen. Putting things
back would be very easy. We felt good that we would be able to
report a job well done to the children in the morning.
39 TWO POEMS BY MICHELLE MILLER
THINGS THAT ARE OVER
Things that are over do not sleep quiet.
They sleep with one hand thrown over their eyes,
until they wake in the dark
trying to remember what they dreamed.
They sit listening to their hearts,
staring at moon shadows of leaves
on the wall. They light cigarettes
and sit chilly in their grey sheets.
Morning they do not remember
waking and wonder
who left ashes in the night.
40 NOTE FROM A STUDENT
CONCERNING THE CANCELLING OF CLASSES
DUE TO THE DEATH OF A PROFESSOR
OF LITERATURE
why not speak
have we else than words
you say tradition does not
hold class on days of faculty death
but even the one of you who defies
holds your class held by tradition
saying we must go on
even I am held and say to you
he would have wanted it so
on with mallory
hold us then
it is all somehow connected
Michelle Miller is a student at Loyola University in New Orleans, where she
participated in Miller Williams' poetry workshops. These poems are her first
publications; "Note From A Student" concerns the death of Peter Paul
Fersch, who taught at Loyola and who contributed poems and translations to
Prism international, Contemporary Literature in Translation and many other
journals.
4I SOMEWHERE ELSE
ROBERT FOX
Somewhere else
a gun resounds in
my brain.
I enter a sepia-
toned portrait
that becomes a blank mirror.
My finger turns glass
to water.
I am the old man
pulling the wagon
whose iron wheels
resound on the cobbles.
Someone else goes to sleep
as the sound dwindles.
Robert Fox's work has appeared in North American journals for several years;
his story "Joey" was in Prism international 9:1. He teaches English at Ohio
University in Athens.
42 ARIEL III:  FOR SYLVIA PLATH
RAY FLEMING
She debated the proper season
for despair and lost almost every morning.
She never recovered until she was
not there by the fresh wound
in the dawn.
It was a refusal to submit
to the visiting indignities of life.
Sylvia had said something about
An old yellow tablet and a low black sky.
It seemed to lead nowhere.
She wanted to say that it was the
unquietness of sighs that made her search so,
And that left her far from the center
of things.
Ray Fleming is a young black writer currently teaching Italian literature and
language at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. He has published original
poetry in Italian and English, writes in German as well and is readying a volume
of poems for submission to publishers.
43 TWO POEMS BY ELDON GRIER
CLIMATE
this could be a poem
about cold or death or sensuality
or contradiction
the place is a delicatessen the
month November the principal actor
whatever he wanted to say said
"I'm sixty-seven and I'm going to die"
not die here I thought not in this poem
I was just beginning to handle flint and
the sidewalk    hibernation and window-glass
and what had I gone and said about winter . ..
I remember Cape Cod — a beautiful couple
who'd lived through war and art-fed mystical intelligence
their car which always stood in attendance
was a green torpedo-shaped Studebaker sedan
(twenty thousand miles in fifteen years)
when I sat on
the beach with them
it was Cannes in nineteen twenty-eight. . .
"you know (the husband apologetically) we're seventy and
we can't believe it"
"it's all been nothing pointless"
he continues madly    I look around at
the blood-puffed winter skins    overcoats hanging about
like discarded bladders    I bite in my smoke-meat sandwich
SEVEN LAYERS OF MEAT a hefty deposit in
The First Starvation Bank of America . . .
distract him I thought ask him
where the riot is
I really wanted to blurt that
he'd written a single marvellous poem    he had
I wanted to roll the event in a single word like "climate"
44 ON THE SUBJECT OF GENTLENESS
gentleness is one thing
few can afford
in your little apartment
I
was glad for the electric heater
you argued too long about money
but not with me
you poked your head in the door and said
I argue too long about money
I loved your picture then
even the frozen chair
I waited and thawed
inside our pact
of
gentleness
Eldon Grier, a Canadian poet now living in Vancouver, has published several
books, including Pictures in the Sky, Montreal, 1967. A new book, Selected
Poems, is to be brought out shortly by Delta Canada.
45 TWO POEMS BY MATHIAS SCHREIBER
Translated from the German by Rosmarie Waldrop
THE COW
The cow is a snake
the cow coils snakelike
to the water that is
she goes straight
while going
in circles
that is the cow
is wise
This observation has been handed down by a Papal Privy
Chamberlain who had raised hundreds of cows himself
46 SAPIENS OMNIA SECUM PORTAT
I have everything with me
China on my tongue
the Orient in my bookcase
Mozart in my left ear
and in my pocket
the Fragments of the Presocratics
I have everything with me
my wife in sight
water in my walls
and a verse
on my back
my cough
whips the dust
in front of my nose
on my stomach
lies, heavy, a stone
in my lungs
a storm
and in my right ear
the little flower
I have a stop watch
on my shoulder
the race
still in my hands
my head    has been spitted
by whom I don't know
on the needle of the moment
I have everything with me
and in front of everything else
for instance the sky
there hangs
a big piece of cloth
Mathias Schreiber works for a German newspaper. The poems are from his
first volume.
47 WORDS FOR A DEAD SEX BOMB
JOHN JOHANSEN
I know you were
commercial
an american astarte
with forty inch breasts
like inflatable plastic
wineskins
and your legs
your big high beachball buttocks
your loving loins
lured longshoremen
truckdrivers
teenage boys with pimples
I know all that
but your smile
what can anyone say about
your smile
your lipsticked lips framing
your teasing tongue
your fine and white and even teeth
your eyes coquetting
your smile
like a scarlet flower
opening slowly through
a blue morning mist
when you were killed
I heard an aficionado say
it didn't matter too much
you couldn't act anyway
I heard a fat woman say
you had it coming
you were completely
without
morals
I apologize for them
John Johansen is a student at the University of Lethbridge. This is his first
publication.
48 PAT LANE
D RAWINGS
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wBw   Gustav Meyrink was born in 1868 in Vienna, the illegitimate son of an actress
and a government minister, and died in 1932 in Starnberg. He was a banker in
Prague before becoming a writer while in prison under a false accusation of
embezzlement. He stands in the fantastic and grotesque tradition of E. T. A.
Hoffman and was a close friend of Kafka. His best known works are the novels
Der Golem (The Golem) and Das griine Gesicht (The Green Face) and his
collected stories Des deutschen Spiessers Wunderhorn (The German Philistine's
Magic Horn), from which the following story is taken. All his books have
recently been republished in Germany, where there is an intense revival of
interest in his work after a long period of neglect.
Michael Bullock directs the translation program in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia, and is an associate editor of
Prism international. His translations, poems and stories have appeared as books
and widely in periodicals.
The Toad's Curse
Toad's Curse
GUSTAV MEYRINK
Translated from the German by Michael Bullock
'Largo, andante e pesante'
DIE MEISTERSINGER
On the road to the Blue Pagoda the Indian sun shines hotly
down — Indian sun shines hotly down.
The people are singing in the temple and strewing white flowers
before the Buddha, and the priests are solemnly praying: Om mani
padme hum, Om mani padme hum.
The road is empty and abandoned: today is a holiday.
The long kusha grass had formed a lane in the meadows by the
road to the Blue Pagoda — by the road to the Blue Pagoda. The
flowers were all waiting for the millipede that lived over there in the
bark of the venerable fig tree.
The fig tree was the most high-class residential area.
"I am the venerable one," it had said of itself, "and bathing
trunks can be made from my leaves — made from my leaves."
57 But the big toad that always sat on the stone despised the fig tree,
because it was rooted to the spot, nor did the toad think anything
of bathing trunks. — And she hated the millipede. She couldn't eat
him because he was very hard and had a poisonous juice — poisonous juice.
Therefore the toad hated the millipede — hated the millipede.
The toad wanted to ruin the millipede and make him unhappy
and she had been taking counsel with the spirits of dead toads all
night long.
Since sunrise she had been sitting on the stone waiting, and from
time to time her back legs trembled — back legs trembled.
Every now and then she spat on the kusha grass.
Everything was silent: blossoms, beetles, flowers and grass. —
And the wide, wide sky. For it was a holiday.
Only the orange-speckled toads in the pond — the unholy ones
— sang godless songs:
I don't give a damn for the lotus blossom,
I don't give a damn for my life,
I don't give a damn for my life,
I don't give a damn for my life . ..
Then there was a glittering in the bark of the fig tree and something came rippling down like a string of black pearls. Turned
coquettishly and raised its head and danced playfully in the radiant
sunlight.
The millipede — the millipede.
The fig tree clapped its leaves together ecstatically and the kusha
grass rustled delightedly — rustled delightedly.
The millipede ran to the big stone. There lay his dancing-place, a
bright patch of sand — bright patch of sand.
And scurried around in circles and figures of eight, so that all
things were dazzled and closed their eyes — closed their eyes.
Then the toad gave a sign and her eldest son stepped out from
behind the stone and with a deep bow handed the millipede a scroll
writen by his mother. The millipede took it with foot number 37
and asked the kusha grass whether the document bore all the correct
rubber stamps.
"It is true that we are the oldest grass on earth, but we don't
know that; the laws are different every year. That is known only to
Indra — known only to Indra."
Then the "spectacle snake," the cobra, was fetched and read out
the letter:
58 "To the Right Honourable Mr. Millipede,
"I am only a wet, slimy creature, despised on earth, and my
spawn is thought little of among the plants and animals. And I
neither shine nor sparkle. I have only four legs — only four legs —
and not a thousand like you — not a thousand like you. O venerable
one! Nemeskar to you, nemeskar to you."
"Nemeskar to him, nemeskar to him," chorused the wild roses
from Shiraz, joining in the Persian greeting — in the Persian
greeting.
"Yet wisdom dwells in my head and deep knowledge. I know the
grasses, the many grasses, by name. I know the number of the stars
in the night sky and the leaves of the fig tree — the one that is
rooted to the spot. And my memory has not its equal among the
toads of all India.
"And yet I can count things only when they stand still, not when
they move — not when they move.
"So tell me, O venerable one, how is it possible that when you
walk you always know which foot to start with, which is the second;
and then the third; which comes fourth, then fifth, then sixth;
whether the tenth follows or the hundredth; what the second is doing meanwhile, and the seventh, whether it stands still or goes on;
when you have reached the nine hundred and seventeenth, whether
to raise the seven hundredth and put down the thirty-ninth, to bend
the thousandth or stretch out the fourth — stretch out the fourth?
"Oh please tell me, poor wet, slimy creature that I am with only
four legs — with only four legs, and not a thousand like you — not
a thousand like you, how do you do it, O venerable one!
Your humble servant,
the Toad."
"Nemeskar," whispered a small rose that had almost fallen asleep.
And the kusha grass, the flowers, the beetles and the fig tree and
the cobra looked expectantly at the millipede.
Even the orange-speckled toads fell silent — toads fell silent.
But the millipede remained fixed to the ground and from that
moment on could not move a leg.
He had forgotten which leg to raise first, and the more he thought
about it the less he could remember — less he could remember.
On the road to the Blue Pagoda the Indian sun shone hotly down
— Indian sun shone hotly down.
59 TWO POEMS BY PHILIPPE SOUPAULT
Translated from the French by Rosmarie Waldrop
SERVITUDES
It was night yesterday
but the posters sing
the trees stretch
the barber's wax statue smiles at me
No Spitting
No Smoking
sunbeams in your hands you told me
there are fourteen
I invent unknown streets
new continents bloom
the newspapers will come out tomorrow
Wet Paint
I'll go walking naked but for my walking stick
HANDS CLASPED
In the sky big ships give off smoke
and on earth there is tonight a man writing
by a candle
with a Watermann pen
He thinks of grey birds
of slow waltzes which are grey birds
he thinks of countries he doesn't know
like one thinks of a sleeping dog
He knows a lot of things without names
on earth and in heaven
where the big ships take off and fly
The trees demand silence and rain
There is a man writing by a candle
60 by a sleeping dog
and thinks of the moon
and thinks of the Good Lord
There are also these butterflies little advertisements of paradise
house of the well-dressed angels
owners of elegant walking sticks
and of big simple supple silent cars
The angels are friends
you ask their advice on choosing a tie
and they answer sadly
Take the one the color of your eyes
The angels disappear in the candle flame
and there is nothing left but the trees
and of course the animals which you forget
and which hide
These good beasts know that silence is required
at this hour of the brave night
at this hour when song and prayer
come down the cotton ladder
It's the hour when you also see the eyes
that don't want to go out
immobile like the seraphim
Angels of Paris lend me your wings
lend me your fingers
lend me your hands
Must I sleep much longer
must my head be heavier than sin
Must I die without a cry
in the silence the trees demand
by a candle
by a sleeping dog
Philippe Soupault collaborated with Andre Breton on one of the first Surrealist texts, Les Champs magnetiques. One of his several novels, Les dernieres
nuits de Paris, was translated into English by William Carlos Williams.
61 EXTRA HELP  (2)
RAYMOND QUENEAU
Translated from the French by Keith Waldrop
I am old and I am heavy
my age counts up adds pounds to me
and they say that old and heavy
I've just to wait for death to screw me
in a corner — like one old and like one heavy
Raymond Queneau, a splendid and prolific novelist, has also written many
songs and poems. He is an editor at Gallimard and one of the satraps of the
College de Pataphysique.
UNTITLED POEM BY
ANDRE PIEYRE DE MANDIARGUES
Translated from the French by Keith Waldrop
A traveler who has been to India tells me
there are rajahs who secretly wash their feet
in an article the shape of Queen Victoria.
Andre Pieyre de Mandiargues joined the Surrealists after the war. His novel,
La marge, won the Goncourt prize.
62 TWO STORIES BY MICHAEL MIROLLA
Michael Mirolla has had stories accepted by several Canadian journals and
a play produced at the University of British Columbia, where he is a graduate
student in Creative Writing.
ERNESTINE
I'm dead (and yet I'll never die). I just died. I didn't even have
time to pull the sheets over myself. They're spread all about the bed,
gathering dust, while I must watch myself turn white. Well, I guess
we always leave something unfinished.
I was just thinking of those "hot, dusty days of summer" when I
decided to write this. Those were the days I liked least. Perhaps
hated most would be more appropriate. That was when my vision
was furthest away. It seemed to be washed away with the water that
dripped from the sides of sparkling cars. Or with the torsos of girls
that didn't wither. I was just thinking of them and feeling relieved
that they're gone for good; oh, they are. Yes, definitely.
I wonder what they'll say when they find me. One will faint; one
will scream; one will call the priest. Out of habit. The three witches
that have run my life. What can they do to me now? Nothing. They
can't pull my pants down and sigh. They can't coax my lips to
warmth. They can't force their nipples into my mouth. I wonder.
Perhaps, they'll cut me up and fight for the pieces? Perhaps, I've
been eating such pieces all my life?
"What's that?"
"Sausage."
"But the skin is coming off."
"It's old, that's all."
And they would giggle and rush off into their bedroom. They
slept together.
On the table, facing the window, is a vase full of twigs. I picked
them in the spring. They were about to blossom — dogwood, I
think — but they never did. I was glad they didn't. Why? I don't
63 know. Yet, it seemed a shame for Ernestine to have nothing to play
on. Ernestine? Oh, I am sorry. Ernestine is my pet spider. There she
is in the twigs now, weaving back and forth. There are many flies
trapped in her webs. But Ernestine is strange for she never eats these
flies. In fact, she tries her best to release them. She fails in doing so,
however, because . . . well, because of her spider nature.
I call her Ernestine because she is so methodical in all she does. I
don't know what she calls herself. Perhaps, it's Ernestine as well?
She never comes when I call her name, but that means nothing. She
is very shy and wishes to be left alone. She doesn't allow me to approach her without scurrying back into what she believes is safety. I
could, however, with one poke of a stick, squirt her to hell. Well, at
least until yesterday.
My three witches are fascinated by her. They think she's adorable
and they are constantly on the look-out for flies which they bring to
her in the mistaken notion that she eats them. My three witches
believe that she accepts only live flies and therefore take special care
not to kill them. I don't exactly know how they do this but, from the
slurping sounds I hear, I have a good idea of the manner.
Here comes someone now! It's the first witch!
"Hello," she says excitedly, "I have a special treat for Ernestine."
"I'm dead," I whisper, watching the dust filter from my mouth
towards her. I could have sworn my lips moved, but that's
impossible.
"Here you are, Ernestine. A nice, juicy grasshopper."
She flicks it onto the web.
"Don't break the web!" I scream silently.
It bounces like a trampoline but doesn't break.
She walks out humming to herself something about the peacock's
tail.
"I'm dead," I whisper again. But the sound of her steps up the
stairs shows she hasn't heard me.
What a peculiar sense of odor she must have not to notice me. I
already can smell myself decaying. It's as if an army of cantankerous
termites was marching through my stomach.
Aha, Ernestine has sensed the grasshopper, or gotten over the
shock anyway. Now, she scurries over to it. I can hear her politely
swearing: 'Gosh' and 'Sugar', for she's a nice spider and — ha, ha
— wouldn't hurt a fly. But this grasshopper is ridiculous. He's kicking and yelling for his mother and making a general nuisance of
himself. The sight of Ernestine in no way calms him down. He is
64 covered with that ignoble brown liquid he's fond of squirting. Ernestine has no choice. She stuns him. Then she retreats dejectedly into
her home.
I feel guilty for Ernestine's moral choice. The grasshopper slowly
ceases his struggles. I dream a happy dream — in death — that it is
the first witch slowly being wrapped in the web. And Ernestine has
a smile on her face as she advances towards the fabulous creature.
The smile of the spider is horrible. But it is my smile.
I awake from my dream to see Ernestine — who has never allowed me to touch her — slowly trailing her web behind her from
the big toe of my right foot to the big toe of my left, which is on a
lower level. How kind! It is my turn to smile. The witches are
dancing above me and I can hear the sounds of frying. When
Ernestine is finished with my feet, very symmetrically and orderly,
she crawls slowly up the inside of my leg towards a more exotic nest
— only to be stopped by a radiant pool of blood slowly seeping
through the sheets.
FEUD
Giacomo Peregrini (1949-1970):
"My family history reads like a row of crosses: Giuseppe Peregrini (1929-1949); Giacobo Peregrini (1909-1929); Giametta
(1889-1909) and Giacomo Peregrini (1888-1910). Even the
household pets died violently. And yet we've never suffered a war. I
can't understand how we've survived this long: no one in my family
— beginning with the mysterious figure of my great-grandmother,
Giametta — has lived past his or her twenty-second year. I'm
twenty-one. I've been stabbed three times, losing an eye in the last
encounter. My life's been spent running from attic to attic, the great
Bible of my family always under my left arm. I no longer carry a
weapon for the simple reason that I can't fight. My only purpose is
to discover why I'm being hunted. No, I know why I'm being
hunted — because I can't hunt myself. More likely, why there must
be a hunt at all. My enemies know the reason I'm sure. The difficulty  lies  in  the  fact  that  they  speak  a  language  other  than
65 mine. They are the same words but mean totally different things. I
overheard them one day as I hid in a clothes-basket and they
growled above me something about going to the washroom (what
it meant in my language). The girl I had been with obviously
understood them better, for she waved a breast in their faces and told
them to spill their seeds (later telling me this meant to get out).
They didn't leave until they had taken their pleasure of her. I didn't
care as I didn't love her in the least. In fact, I disliked her odor. I've
never loved anyone, although I've never hated anyone either. I hear
this is a prevalent disease today.
"I don't know why the feud started, but the time of its start was
with my great-grandfather. It relates in the Bible how he stole in
the night towards the bed of his enemy — Stuck or Sliick — and
castrated him — after killing him, of course. No reason is given.
The wife of this man (a wicked, evil woman with the face of a serpent) avenged him by killing my great-grandmother. There it began. Always the two families managed male children before dying.
Always the same fate. Each generation decided its own hunters and
hunted. Even in this age of machine-guns, knives are used, the original knives. Mine is at the bottom of a river. Perhaps it is killing even
now, lashed by a fierce current, but actually of its own volition. Yes,
and I won't leave any heirs. I've a weapon of my own, truly defensive. It's like stabbing someone with the knife still in its sheath.
"There will come a day, perhaps, when I can embrace my enemies and call them brother to their faces. I practise for that day all
the time before a mirror. I'm actually very good at it, smiling with
a gesture of flourishing good-will. But I don't believe in it and that
leaves a wry expression on my face. For one thing, there are no more
blank pages in this Bible in which to record these new events. A new
one would have to be opened. Then I would have to learn their
language and I'm not very good at languages.
"Attics are my friends. Here I pretend I'm at the head of a huge
family filling its collective belly on exotic fruit. Or the sole survivor
on an island of chests. One must be careful not to step between them
and drown, for it's imperative to the fantasy that one can't swim.
"This morning, while idly flipping through the pages of my Bible,
I dislodged a tiny piece of paper from the binding. My hands
trembled as if it were made of lead. But when I brought it close to
my face, I discovered it was blank. Why had I been so sure it contained a key to the mystery? Must there be a key? A mystery? Perhaps it's our natural state, that gleam in the eye that reflects from
66 polished steel. That blank said more than any simplified explanation. But for some idiotic reason, I will continue to look for one.
Meanwhile, I'll munch on another bread-fruit and repair one of
these chests, as it seems to be sinking."
Antonius Stuck (1949-1970) :
"My brother and I traced him one day to the residence of a certain Lotto di Cordova. This fellow pretended he couldn't understand
us. But our language is the only one spoken in this country. We
finally pushed the fool out of the way and searched the house thoroughly. We found nothing but a sick wife and a sickly child huddled
together in a coiner of the bedroom. The cards around their necks
said they were both dying of incurable diseases. We didn't stay to
discover which. I knew, however, that he was there. His cowardly
presence could be felt, hiding as usual behind Hamlet's shield.
"We'd heard strange tales about him: how he had thrown away
his knife and how he philosophized, trying always to discover why
we were fighting. Such absurd reasoning. We fight not to die and
we die when we can no longer fight. So my father wrote — he would
have been a great historian. The rules of the game decided its action.
This stranger, pretending to be human, had broken the rules again.
Initially, I didn't care whether he fought or not. My brother has his
eye as a souvenir of the last time he backed away. That didn't destroy the game. It enhanced it, proving its adaptability to new situations. In a feud, a variant of the original is just as valid as the
original.
"But it was on our return to di Cordova's house that he destroyed
our feud forever. While we stood at the gates calling him vile names
and degrading his entire family (only a ploy to lure him, since we
actually admired his family), he emerged. Di Cordova could no
longer hold him back. He carried the Bible under his left arm and a
piece of paper in his right hand. He approached us, smiling idiotically— like an actor — and calling us 'friends' (we learned the
meaning of this word from a monk who was fluent in both languages). It was the first we had ever heard of this language, but at
the time we didn't stop to puzzle over it. We greeted him with twin
knives in the ribs and then my brother gallantly offered me the
honor of castrating him.
"The note in his right hand had one word written on it: Querle.
We didn't know what it meant and assumed it was some meaningless drivel written to distract us. If so, it had failed. The Bible and
the note were both given to Brother Lucius to keep till Giacomo's
67 son(s) came of age and would have to face both of us and our sons.
"And then we discovered the truth: there were no sons. Nor
daughters. We scoured the land in search of the women he had
seduced. They laughed in our faces and showed us a crude rubber
apparatus. The scoundrel had buried us all. The feud ended with
him and we were left purposeless. What a vile creature. He thought
only of himself and his saintly conscience. He has destroyed countless generations, an endless number of feuds and deaths and castrations. What a totally despicable creature. My brother, who lives next
door to me with his family, wishes to dig him up again and decapitate him. I can't allow it. We have our honor to maintain. There is
a world to preserve and, with luck, a new feud to begin. Of course,
it will not have the traditional value of the other, but in time.. ..
My brother insists that our honor would be better served if we dig
him up and feed him to the dogs. He has been pleading with me all
day. He threatens that tomorrow, with or without my permission,
he will undertake the task. Tonight, while he sleeps, I'll sneak into
his room and castrate him."
Brother Lucius (Pietro Agostini) :
"It is up to me to provide an objective ending to this tale. A new
feud has begun in which I am implicated in some way not yet decided. But that is of no importance. Except perhaps to analysts of
feuds who are making studies of their Origins, Causes, and Mutations. Some who are philosophically-minded even believe that there
is an undeniable link between feuds and life. The semanticists claim
emphatically that the word 'fede' or 'fead' (the a being mistaken
for a u) itself was once enough to start a feud. The nihilists say that
feuding is our natural state and that Origins and Causes are irrelevant. They have historical fact on their side; I have God on mine.
My personal opinion is that we possess a free will whereby we may
choose to feud or not to feud. Being in a state of feud is . . . well, it
is unethical and wrong and . . . and ....
"Querle: a generic word meaning either quarrel, pigeons or
incest. Giacomo had perhaps discovered the reason for their feud. A
quarrel brings us no closer to an answer but simply pushes our research back. We will disregard it. Some would have us believe that
querle is actually a bastardization of querole which means to be
bored. Or perhaps squerle [to be meaningless). I shall not pursue
this theme as I still believe that there is meaning in life. Mine, for
68 example. The sociologists, however, are free to use it as a starting-
point in their research on Sexuality And Perversion In Fleas.
"Pigeons are more interesting. It has been proven, through assiduous study of certain marks on the cover of the Bible, that the Peregrini family possessed pigeons at the time of Giacomo's greatgrandfather. We have, however, no knowledge of whether the
Stiicks approved or not (previous to the start of the feud). There is
no reference to any complaints against these pigeons except on the
side of the Peregrinis. His wife once berated him for the fact that
the pigeons had coloured her favourite dress. The reason for the removal of these pigeons is unknown. They simply disappeared after
the death of the great-grandmother. Perhaps they were victims of
the feud as well.
"Incest cannot be ruled out, though it is highly unlikely. It would
not have led to a feud but to mass destruction. We are now working
on whether either Peregrini and Stuck's wife were related or Stuck
and Peregrini's. We know that they were close neighbours, good
friends, and spoke the same language. It was a curious mixture of
the two extremes into which it later developed or deteriorated. The
incest theme, however, would fit well with the ritual of castration.
The humane nature of the feud is pointed out by the fact that the
victim is killed first, unlike some other feuds I have witnessed. I
despise things without order and form. That is the reason I have
decided to save all the letters and notes and diaries of the two families. When a feud becomes an all-out attempt to maim and mutilate
without regard to proper ceremony and form, it is nothing more
than murder and rightly condemned as criminal. In the long run,
therefore, I must in all honesty put the blame on Giacomo. His
lunatic behaviour with regard to the chests, the throwing away of his
knife, and his disrespect for life by producing no children brand
him. By being thoroughly modern, he has destroyed a precious
thing and replaced it with chaos."
69 VAMPIRE
VICTOR SEGALEN
Translated from the French by Keith Waldrop
Friend, friend, I have laid your body in a red enameled
coffin which cost me much money;
I have led your soul, by its familiar name, onto this
tablet that I compass with my cares;
But more than that I must not concern myself with you:
"To treat the living as if dead, how inhuman!
To treat the dead as if alive, what indiscretion! what
risk of forming an equivocal being!"
Friend, friend, in spite of the precepts, I cannot forsake
you. I will, then, form an equivocal being; neither
spirit, nor dead nor living thing. Hear me:
If it please you to suck again of life, its sweet taste
and acrid spice;
If it please you to blink your eyelids, breathe within
your breast, tremble under the skin, hear me:
Become my Vampire, friend, and each night without unease
or haste drink to your fill the warm draft from
my heart.
Victor Segalen, who died in 1919, was a navy doctor and an archaeologist,
best remembered for his Steles, a volume of poems in a form suggested by
Chinese funerary columns. He also wrote fiction and, for Debussy, the text for
an opera about Orpheus.
70 TWO POEMS BY STANLEY COOPERMAN
COLLAGE
A composition of poplars
holding each other's leaves
in a frame: that
perspective
like a green pulse
shaped
to be tasted
with the secret mouths
of our eyes, a true
mint-flavored world
cool
in its own life's
burning.. .
What is possible,
even
as footnotes
to an unwritten poem:
a hieroglyph
painted on the sky
when rain
pours out of the wind,
and our brains
breathe
the certain knowledge
of prophets
waiting in the spice-garden
of our seasoned
flesh .. .
so small a space
between the
black
thumb-prints
of God.
7i CAPPELBAUM'S SCREWING-CIRCLE
Screw the sun
crawling over the grass,
screw the trees
and the spiders that eat them,
screw the cop
with a club hanging out of his mouth,
screw the demonstrators
dreaming about clubs,
screw my neighbors
behind their windows made from human skin,
screw students
quoting each other's glands,
screw the black
with his stupid guns in a college library,
screw Cosmopolitan Magazine
and all that poisoned underwear,
screw seagulls
shitting on the green sea,
screw oil drillers
shitting under the green sea,
screw all accountants
and the tin boxes of their brains,
screw the love-children
with knives in their horoscopes,
screw Frank Zappa
with his hair caught in a cash-register,
72 screw the guru
jetting in from LA,
screw the Jew
still refusing to be good,
screw the lemming Saint
getting an erection every time he passes a cliff,
screw the patriot
wrapping a corpse in old newspapers,
screw Ho    Ho    Ho
with holy lice in his beard,
screw the stones
waiting in my garden,
screw the snails
sucking stones,
screw the sawdust
falling on the snails,
screw the sun
crawling over the grass
Stanley Cooperman's poems, stories and articles have appeared widely in
North American periodicals, including Prism international; his most recent
book of poetry is Capplebaum's Dance (University of Nebraska Press). He
teaches English at Simon Fraser University.
73 TWO POEMS BY WAYNE NYBERG
THE SHARK
for BillS.
The Shark is one big intestine
with a tail and some teeth.
He lives in the sea underneath my bed.
I believe there are in his tummy
a silk top hat, a parade,
a geranium, a house
big like Hagia Sofia, with people inside
doing laundry and plotting elaborate escapes,
a rainbow (in the east), a cloud
of birds, flying, returning,
aboard (weathered silver),
a map, a joke, a contagious
disease, a graveyard,
a head (my own)
shot off at Guam in 1944.
This head contains 3000 gears
and one pearl. And of these items
in the stomach of the Shark it is
the pearl alone
that will not be digested.
74 APRIL 16
pools of low tide water reflect the sky
between chunks of brown rock
we find a shark dying in the weeds
its flesh is soft
thrown back in the sea it refuses to come to life.
how is one permitted to survive set in a flood of doubt?
sometimes I laugh and my friends won't.
sometimes they laugh and I can't.
a film of treachery might obscure what I would do.
in my desire for a purity I might well consider a wall
with a hole in it. I might hear laughter issuing from it.
I would be aware of the generation of cool air behind it.
a white shark stirs in the bright air of day time.
floats in the sky.
given that freedom which desists in thought
chunks of the sky
float by
Wayne  Nyberg wrote  these poems on Hornby Island,  B.C.,  where he was in
meditation. He lives in Vancouver.
75 NOTEBOOK
HANS MAGNUS ENZENSBERGER
Translated from the German by Sammy McLean
faded, little marks in the leather —
cover slightly worn, book dealers would say —
old, yet younger than i.
roberto moretti from Santiago:
numbers that don't answer any more,
or a cleaners
declares itself at your service.
claudine avilain from clermont-f errand:
vanished minutes,
names noted down in hotel beds,
on railway platforms or at conferences.
olga diez from gunzenhausen:
moved, no forwarding address,
a recording, no longer
a working line.
was i ever in clermont-f errand?
olga, roberto, claudine:
who can they have been?
love, bread, a conversation,
a place to stay the night, a promise
kept by no one.
chance with its whisperings,
with its dead faces,
its blank names.
and so mine is written, slightly
faded, older than i,
in other books.
who can that have been?
whoever it was,
strike him off.
76 CHANGING TIRES
BERTOLT BRECHT
Translated from the German by Sammy McLean
I sit at the side of the road.
The driver changes the tire.
I do not like where I've come from.
I do not like where I'm going.
Why do I watch him change the tire
With such impatience?
Hans Magnus Enzensberger is the author of several books of poetry, and is
probably the most controversial of living German poets. Sammy McLean is an
Assistant Professor in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literature at
the University of Washington.
Reprinted by permission of Suhrkamp Verlag and Stefan Brecht, Copyright ©
1970 by Stefan Brecht.
77 Henry H. Roth has had many stories in North American journals, including
Prism international, and recently signed a contract with Simon and Schuster for
a novel. He lives in Nyack, New York.
THIS IS A WARTIME STORY
HENRY h. roth
The format of this story has been designed to save paper and
other materials essential to the war effort; although this tale may
be tighter in sentence construction thus less bulky pages, narrower
margins, and less description and other features found in a peacetime story — it is,  however,  complete  and unabridged in every
other respect.
* *        *
She tried adultery — the much older man could only make love
standing up — he also struck her during the act and still she never
experienced orgasm or any shudder of pleasure. She tried another
man but he could not even generate an erection so she returned to
her busy husband who had been inventive during their honeymoon
but was now circumspect and twerpish in all sexual matters . . .
She thought she was going mad and quickly became justly famed
for her rose bushes and Japanese rock garden.
* *        *
There was always war. There was no bloodbath or body count.
Still, Norma was conquered land and if she made one wrong move
there would be a real war. All her sisters were occupied provinces.
There was no underground resistance. Yet feelings of unrest and insurrectional day-dreaming could not be erased. There was a possible
beginning. There was no second coming yet. Four definite clear seasons continued. Each day lasted the same time. The land did not
move to any original beat. It was conquered land. Norma was the
land and she was under an iron fist.
* *        *
She tried amateur theatrics and became a stage designer. She did
the sets for The Glass Menagerie and Paint Your Wagon and everyone commented favourably upon her imagination and improvisation. She was no ordinary amateur housewife; still the playhouse
78 became a bad scene for the cast only desired outlets for their sexual
hangups and they were too hypocritical to admit it. The play was
definitely not the thing so she quit the county theatre and began
refinishing old furniture. After a few months she opened up an
antique shop; she donated the small profits to a local community
center: when the building was torn down by urban renewal she
returned to her house and became a gourmet cook for a few months.
* *        *
Floods, deaths, fires, accidents, birthdays and births all showed
up. There were open spaces, and quivery, tent-like clouds in a clear-
cut sky. Beautiful, massive trees that withstood conquest and birds
that would not leave the sad land. And there were open spaces and
tranquil times. But Norma was not a contented land. Despite the
absence of any historical tradition she would not accept the dumb
past. She could not accept the dumber future. Despite the pressure
of law and order and black and white rules, despite selective freedom, Norma sprouted resentment. Norma had always been at war.
Had always been occupied. Her sister territories agreed. Gone forever was any tradition of no comment.
* *        *
She helped organize a local third party consisting of radicals,
dissident Republicans and Democrats — a true coalition that would
control the village elections, drive out bias, clean the river, and make
the country a viable community. They won the first election and a
second — but nothing changed for the good ideas were shuffled off
to committees and there were a great many committee heads. Power
plays, clear prejudices, petty jealousies, and a melodramatic love
affair with a cuckolded husband punching the newly-elected mayor-
lover, ended all pioneering efforts. This type scandal was more
destructive than if it had involved graft or patronage — the Democrats ran their own slate and lost but siphoned off enough votes to
defeat the coalition candidates. This time she had avoided any
sexual nuances and only selected compromise candidates handled
press releases and mailings. Failure here was reduced to the same
reasons — hatred and sex, the stumbling blocks in any race for one's
sanity. She saw she was not cast in the image of Henry Clay, she saw
that every situation became the grey place with greyer faces in uptight clothing saying nothing until all was fragmented and wasteland. ...
79 Norma was censored, occupied land. If there was no news coverage, there were hundreds of free lance minstrels writing apocryphal
songs of dead heroes and newly-born martyrs. People charged forward and were being slammed down. Heroes were everywhere. The
armed forces too multiplied. Sometimes the voices of reason and
protest were garbled and isolated. But in a conquered land causes
need never be bleak or hopeless since you have the time. No one
ever fought before or really used the streets as mass communication
centers. In time they did. Everyone had great ideas. Everyone questioned the rulers. They were being shot down for their curiosity.
Norma was in civil war and her sister lands joined.
II
I came as lecturer and war correspondent to the college; she had
enrolled to obtain her Master's. She was striking-looking but scary
— her hands shook a lot and she mumbled to herself — She was tall
and frail with a savage look in her eyes — but wonderful, long legs.
She wore the best clothes, lived in the oldest house, in the best section of town. We began seeing each other; from the beginning she
made her intentions clear. "I need a friend, all I want is a friend,
will you settle for that?" I agreed and listened to her speeches. "We
are at war, the pigs are everywhere, still nothing is impossible." I
thought we would end up in bed eventually and played along. One
evening in a secluded lovers lane she told me her nightmares, her
hallucinations, her failures, perversions and how much she still
demanded and expected from life. We had talked for seven hours
and had not touched one another. I felt she had entered me and
was the only living part of my body. She was real and I was just a
horny guy looking for a war victim.
* * *
Signs were boldly placed throughout the land. Millions of circulars somehow passed through the mail and the common dream was
articulated to all. Chain letters flew about. The post offices were
closed by government edict. The post offices were bombed. There
was no more delivery of mail. Only one government radio station
was permitted to operate. Many new judges were hired. There were
no legal qualifications. Those who acknowledged the clear threat to
heritage, style and tradition were permitted the black robes. But
nothing could stop the flow of ideas now. They melted the iron fist
and junked it and some soldiers were disarmed. The sister lands also
announced victories.
80 xxxxx
She would be a first grade teacher. I'll tell them it's not all cock and
cunt. I'll tell them life should not be war but joy. They'll need to be
clever, not to be sucked in and frightened. They will retain their
resiliency. She heard voices and no longer slept at all. She was on
medication. She tried suicide twice in one evening. She had been
seen nude on her lawn picking dandelions. The old milkman could
have sworn she beckoned to him. She was 32 and was at the end of
the line, yet everything she said was right. I fled after second semester and never opened her two letters. She's too unlucky to ever make
it with suicide . . . she might even be a sensational teacher for a week
or two. I'm sorry I ever met her, I'm sorry we never made love —
Hell is a war with a short life expectancy for all you have to expect is
to abuse and be abused.
*        *        #
More iron fists were being molded. But Norma wriggled as if on
frenzy hook; where had her massive audience come from — where
had she emerged from. She proceeded to strip, not the burlesque
teasing, but undulating gently now and carefully revealing herself.
With every new soldier and judge ten opponents rose to meet them
— Norma was in a state of release. All the deserts became an oasis
as the land changed spendidly each hour. She stepped out of her
panties. Stripped of fear and illusion Norma became symbol. Norma
became real. No matter if the land's name was changed. Norma
could not be forgotten or denied. For the first time history was being
written. She stood proudly before the spotlight of a hundred million
eyes. Fascinated by the moment she observed her first day. She
touched her chest and there were no nipples, no marks at all and
traced her fingers past her stomach to where there was no moist
mistake, no identifying characteristics. She was the live mannikin
without any sexual parts — genitalia only footnotes to the terrible,
awkward past. It was the true first day.
81 TWO POEMS BY HENRIKAS NAGYS
Translated from the Lithuanian by Robert and Aldona Page
DEATH OF MY TOWN
The hard hooves of horses, the tender feet of infants,
the plowman's wooden shoes, the bloody feet of refugees,
soldiers' gray boots bound in steel and despair . . .
All have passed through my town, amazed and small, in the north.
The storm has passed. All is tranquil and empty. Houses sleep again
asphixiated by fuming fires, deafened by curses, tolling bells,
rattling wheels, blinded by sunlight, battered by cannon.
The streets again sleep under grotesquely swinging wires and signs,
under branches of mountain ash and maple, turned to coal.
Touch once more with your hands
the devastated pavement
and say — to yourself alone — voicelessly:  stone.
Touch once more with your hands the dust,
dry and hot,
burned to gun-powder by the apocalyptic midday,
and say — to yourself alone — voicelessly:   earth.
Take into your palms the ashes
of house, table, carriage, cross, paper and hornbeam leaf
and say — just to yourself:   fire.
Caress those faces, names, castles and birds
drawn on sooty sidewalks and walls
by the pale hands of girls and boys
with soft colored chalks —
and repeat to yourself, repeat voicelessly, to yourself alone:
No, don't leave me, friends and stones, fire and earth,
don't leave me to dream this sad and monstrous dream
until the fulfillment of the last Judgement Day.
Henrikas Nagys was born in 1920 in Lithuania, fled to Austria near the end
of World War II and in 1950 came to Canada; he has been a Canadian citizen
since then, and lives in Montreal. He was associated with the Zeme (Earth)
movement of young Lithuanian writers and was one of the founders and editors
of the important journal Literaturos Lankai. He has published several books of
poetry, and has worked in Montreal at several occupations.
82 THE CRAZY WATCHMAKER OF THE
TWENTIETH CENTURY
They don't have a heart, not one heart,
they — those people — under their ribs —
I hear when I listen in the dead of night
and press my ear against my own torn skin —
a huge iron watch
ticking.
They don't have a heart! They don't have a heart!
They come like blue apparitions
under my window — but this secret
they won't take, steal, or gouge out —
I keep it tightly clasped to my breast —
ah, how soft it is — how nicely it nestles —
I won't tell — and the wide green earth,
hiding the secret, is silent —
I went to the fields outside this town
and there I dug a deep hole,
and tenderly placed the watch at the bottom,
and I covered it with sod, and nobody
can find it now without me.
I won't tell — but the watch sinks deeper,
and it is growing and growing and growing —
and on quiet and bright moonlit nights
I run outside and press my ear
to the damp pavement — and I hear, ah, so clearly
how the little wheels hurry, slowly, slowly,
and how it beats, tired and old,
that huge clock in the earth.
Aldona Page was born in Lithuania, spent 1944-50 in Germany as a D.P.,
then came to the U.S. and studied at Wayne State University where she met
and married Robert. He teaches at Temple University, and with his wife has
been translating Lithuanian writers since 1961. Their translations of Nagys
have previously appeared in several places, including December, The Literary
Review, The Hudson Review and Canadian Literature.
83 TWO POEMS BY VINCENZO CARDARELLI
Translated from the Italian by Marcia Nori
VENETIAN AUTUMN
The cold and humid breeze
of the Venetian autumn assails me.
Now that the sweating and sultry summer
has vanished by magic
a stern September moon
shines, full of dismal omens,
over the city of water and stone
and reveals a face of Medusa
contagious and maleficent.
The silence of the stinking canals is dead
under the watery moon,
in every one of which
it seems Ophelia's corpse is sleeping:
graves scattered with rotten flowers
and with other vegetable filth,
where the ghost of the gondolier
passes swirling the water.
Oh Venetian nights
without the song of cocks
without the voices of fountains,
gloomy nights by the lagoons,
none of which held a whispering soul;
grim houses, envious,
vertical over the canals,
sleeping without beathing,
I have you on my heart now more than ever.
Here there are neither the violent and dismal winds
of September in the hills,
nor the smell of grape gathering, nor fountains
of tearful rain,
nor the noise of falling leaves.
A tuft of grass which is turning yellow and dying
on a window-sill
84 is all the Venetian autumn.
So, at Venice the seasons rave.
Then on her fields of marble and on her canals
are only lost lights,
lights which dream of the good earth
sweet smelling and fruitful.
Only the winter shipwreck is fitting
for this city which does not live,
which does not flourish;
except like a ship at the bottom of the sea.
CALENDAR
The Roman autumn storms
with senile fury.
It is Jove who is angry
because he cannot shine
in all his glory:
unreasonable and ancient god.
It thunders with the crash
of furniture being moved,
with the sudden lightning flashes
switching on lamps,
renewing in Autumn his Spring
whims,
and the trees delude themselves
that they are becoming green again.
Violent and wearied deity
who, in this sweet restive time,
now that summer has ended
hurls us into space again,
beyond this deluge
unbearably bright!
Vincenzo Cardarelli was born in Tarquinia in 1887 and in 1906 immigrated
to Rome where he made a reputation as a journalist and man-of-letters. He was
one of the founders of La Ronda and gained international recognition as a poet.
He died in Rome in 1959.
Marcia Nori's translations have been in several journals, including Contemporary Literature in Translation. She lives in Toronto.
85 TO MY FATHER-IN-LAW
AT HIS WIFE'S DEATH
WILLIAM WHITMAN
You have permitted me,
in part your son, in part your dearest friend,
to enter your glow
and walk about, undefended,
as though it were my home,
your life, a quiet flame
from death to death,
blue with the sky brightening at dawn,
red with the sun
roaring at noon,
drenching the poppy field
around that little house of love.
This is the wave of sorrow:
the bitter boil and suck around our knees,
the stagger as we try to keep our feet,
the cry as it drags her under.
I see her taken there at evening
on the lane to the Vallejo Home,
her hand in yours, holding back
the lame dog still straining on the leash.
You have left the house behind
and the turbulence
and burdened motion of her life,
her feelings hurt so easily,
almost, at times, a child.
And here among the trees
the womanly haze lies close about her
heavy and purring
to make your eyelids droop,
to gather you toward rest,
toward sleep,
to the enfolding arms,
her lips whispering your name.
86 Wave on wave:
the crest of sorrow followed by the trough,
the swell of exultation.
It is time now to make peace
with the stillness of the home,
the shared bed and table,
the house at Point Reyes.
You will come upon her things
in unlikely places, so telling
of her ways you'll hear her
close by, absorbed, busy
in the next room. The freedom
you were working for together
is all yours now, all yours,
and undesired, come before its due.
For all you want
is the life you had before,
its fumblings, the struggle,
her heavy dear presence.
This is the wave of exultation:
Your daughters. Myself. The dawn.
The deer grazing under the laurel.
The ducks in tight formation
banking in low over the marsh.
William Whitman has had poems in various North American journals, including the Chicago Review, Shenandoah and Perspective. He lives in Point Reyes,
California.
87 QUOTATIONS FROM NEW UNKEMPT THOUGHTS
STANISLAW JERZY LEC
Translated from the Polish by Czeslaw Gwikowski
Remember, gravity pulls down everything on earth.
When we lose teeth the tongue seems to have more freedom.
Everything is written; thank goodness everything is not yet thought.
Epidemics of elpehantiasis are frequent among dwarfs.
There are people with deep beliefs, just waiting for religion.
Who hears the grass grow? The mowers.
"Thoughts are duty free?" If they don't cross national boundaries.
Man — persona non grata.
Don't waste the energy acquired in rolling down.
The ideal lie — when everything is true.
Not all grey masses have something to do with grey matter.
Man exploited by man? It's human.
The actor must have something to say, even in a silent part.
With the help of rouge, wig or artificial nose, a great actor shows his
true face.
The mechanism of dictatorship is not perpetuum mobile.
Everybody brings his own acoustics to the theatre.
Maybe his name wasn't Shakespeare, but it definitely wasn't Mr. X.
It is only in the theatre that actors leave the stage.
Writers should not write in ink, but blood! Their own.
How often we play comedy without hope of applause.
A happy ending is only the end.
Beware of subjects from which there is no escape.
In every country Hamlet's question sounds different. When there is nothing to laugh about, satirists are born.
I was not an existentialist! — said the corpse.
Those with dirty hands should not throw down the gauntlet.
In accepting the laurel wreath you give away the size of your head.
It is difficult to stroke an animal when it's in a human skin.
Only the great allow the vanquished to raise their heads.
"Mane tekel" is valid even with a spelling error.
Always follow the needle of the compass; it knows when to oscillate.
The world is beautiful! And that is very sad.
Satan never sleeps — with just anybody.
A future threat — talking monuments.
Stanislaw Jerzy Lec was among Poland's best modern writers, and is especially known for his aphorisms. Sent to a concentration camp by the Germans in
1941, he escaped two years later and joined the resistance movement, for which
work he received an award from the Polish government. He was Press Attache
at the Polish Embassy in Vienna from 1946 to 1950, lived in Israel for the next
two   years,   then   took   up   residence   in   Warsaw,   where   he   died   in   1966.
Czeslaw Cwikowski was born in north-eastern Poland in 1919. He spent two
years as a political prisoner of the Russians, was released after the Sikorski-
Stalin Pact and served with the Polish Army in the Middle East. In 1943 he
joined the Polish Air Force in Britain, where he married and completed his
education. In 1954 he emigrated to Canada where he is now employed by the
Toronto Hydro-Electric System.
89 SEVEN RIVERS
CAROLYN WOLFE
SUNDAY
This morning with the coffee
Is the sound of the river.
I wish I could remember
Myself growing into this Sunday.
Other days and other people
Are pearls I once held
Tightly in my hand.
Were there leaves then,
Motions of birds in the air?
Did my father and mother
Live? Did I also
Love and bear children?
The river is relentless,
Rises periodically
In my mind.
MONDAY
Sunlight through the window
Catches in my hand.
Tell me my name.
Over a brief hill
Runs the river.
The morning mail
Is addressed to no one
In particular.
Two bright eggs
On a plate.
Offer me a name.
90 TUESDAY
The morning counters in the market
Bloom with apples,
Geraniums,
Aprons.
The cashier extends a hand.
I have bought something
Waterproof.
I am accused of raining.
The river, already full,
Spills on the pavement.
Hurry.
WEDNESDAY
This wind this forest
This river.
At mid-afternoon I leave the streets
To spend some time at tea,
And talk with friends who lean
Against their chairs and do not know
This river.
Your words a cacophony, glass upon glass,
My words like moths outside the window.
"It is like that," I say,
And gaze into the tea
Until it becomes the river,
And the wind blows harder in the trees.
9i THURSDAY
Under the streets
The river runs.
I must not stop here.
Yellow daisies in my hand,
But I do not know the face
Of the flower vendor
And his eyes do not see my eyes.
The pavement darkens
As the water rises.
An ambulance streaks by;
I hear the rushing speed
Of tons of water in the streets.
The light is green.
Go, quickly.
You walk as if the ground
Were solid under your feet
And the river did not exist.
But I do not know you yet.
FRIDAY
We wear identical masks
To the masquerade. Perhaps
The others wear pearls
Behind their eyes.
But if you take my hand
The moon will rise
Over our heads in the forest,
And the ground will be softer
Than the riverbed.
92 If you look into my eyes
You will see a reflection
Of yourself and you will tell
Me my name, washed softly
On your voice in the trees.
I hear only the breeze
Above the river.
SATURDAY
In the morning's mirror
The river cascades.
Symmetry, the face
Washed by water
I no longer feel is mine.
My limbs follow the course
Of leaves, patterned randomly.
It is time for peacocks
To strut along the bank.
How bright the mirror is,
And even without a voice
The river recedes;
Sparrows return to the trees.
This morning with the coffee
The sound of the river is
And is not; I am and I am not.
We rise periodically in my mind.
Carolyn Wolfe has had poems and translations in many journals, including
Prism international. She lives in Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia.
93 The
Louisville Times
Collegians' Poems Cause
Furor in Eastern Kentucky
Special ts Th« Louiivillt Ttnus
CUMBERLAND, Ky.—A book of student poetry has caused a furor in this
area and led to the departure of an
instructor at Southeast Community College.
Lee Pennington, 28-year-old creative-
writing instructor, reportedly left because of implied threats from angry
ciizens. Two of his student poets also
have moved.
The book, "Tomorrow's People," contains the work of 14 of Pennington's
students. The poems deal with sex, sin,
and with the ignorance, poverty and
pollution of coal towns.
Five hundred copies of the book, dedicated to Harlan County, were published
last month. AH were sold within five
days.
Ministers, county officials and others
in the coal-mining communities here said
the poems brought discredit to the
county and to the college, which is a
branch of the University of Kentucky
Pennington, reached in Bowling Green,
said he and his- wife decided to leave
THE DARK HILLS
of
JESSE STUART
by Lee Pennington
Cloth   in   dust   wrapper
Illustrated    166   pages
$7.95 from
after a student told him a man was going
to kill him.
He defended the poems as "creative
work, done by kids given complete
freedom of expression for the first time."
"It is based on real, raw experience,"
Pennington added. "These kids have
already lived through what most of us
only read about."
The director of the college, Dr. J. C.
Falkenstein, said the book was published
in the spirit of university policy giving
freedom of expression to students and
faculty. His own feeling, he said, is that
such freedom shouldn't be abused.
Pennington said that, after the book
was published, he received a series of
phone calls at his home. The first came
from a man who identified himself as
Harlan County Sheriff Jason Howard.
The caller, Pennington said, was outraged by a poem entitled, "Of This
Town," especially one verse reading:
"Moonshine rolls from the bloodstained hills; Drunken officials delight
in finding parked kids; While the county
sheriff has a son.by a local woman."
Pennington said he told the caller the
poem was fiction, but the man admonished him to "clear it up or I'll be out
to see you."
Although he denied calling Pennington, Sheriff Howard said it was true he
and some former sheriffs were disturbed
by the poem's implications.
A second controversial poem in the collection imagined a love affair between
Jesus and Brigitte Bardot. Another, taking God to task, is entitled "Omnipotent
Boob."
toiaorrovjs
people:
BO pages plus
Paper - $3.95
Cloth - $5.95
Kentucky Harvest
edited by
David and Phyllis
Brandenburg
with an introduction
by
Si Cornell
KENTUCKY POETRY
II lustrat ions  from
antique   paper   money
$5.75
Cloth with  dust wrapper
Over  60  pages
JESSE STUART'S "TIM"
Cloth   with   dust  wrapper
unpaged $5.95
the Kentucky WRiteRS' guild
Harvest Press
BOX  46-154    □   CINCINNATI,   OHIO  45246 INTRODUCTION
Lee Pennington, who was born in Kentucky, thinks of himself
primarily as a teacher, despite a writing career that has brought him
many awards and seen the appearance of stories, plays, articles and
innumerable poems. After the Harlan County episode of 1967,
which is described in the accompanying newspaper report, he went
to Jefferson Community College in Louisville and has been there
since, chiefly teaching creative writing. "You Thirteen" is his response to the Harlan County experience.
Jesse Stuart, who was once Pennington's teacher and who first
inspired him to write, has contributed a ballad as his comment on
the situation. Internationally-known for his stories, novels and
poems, he directs the Creative Writing Workshop program named in
his honor at Murray State University, Kentucky, in whose library
a suite of rooms houses his original manuscripts, notes and published
books. A native of Kentucky and its pre-eminent author, he lives in
the small town of Greenup.
YOU, THIRTEEN
LEE PENNINGTON
You, thirteen, have my eye,
not because of sun or darkness
but of shadows,
those hiding behind trees
and under the river stones.
I have always felt the half
of either measured time
is where the eyes should be.
So to you my eye,
shadow children.
95 First for M. B.
If I could know the mystery
of rooted thoughts
buried into top soil of your mind,
as they sprinkle the earth
with thick foliage,
I would be with a cultivating hoe
and work each row to leave you weedless
for the sun,
and this you said I have done,
but I tell you, and it's true,
I have only walked on fields where you grew.
I was only a passer by.
You came through like a seed fallen wild,
immune to regular growing blight
and dry rot, and now the fruit
ripens of its own, it is so,
and pardon me if I watch with pride
while you grow.
For J. S.
It was you, J. S., who taught me how
lines of grass and stone
and rooster violet fights
beside shacks which house our thoughts
could be the shadows
crawled from their hiding.
And maybe, too, it was hands
soiled from grease and oil
(the car still runs, thanks to you)
unafraid to spot a page
with lines half-borrowed from a broken engine,
half from ink,
generating poems of rage
to make us think.
96 For R. D.
Was it not on the streets of Harlan
where they stopped your walking,
you with your father's gun,
you gone mad in a night of shadows
where the darker wine runs?
I remember, yes.
How could I forget?
It is still with me yet
like in February one relives
the first chill of December.
And didn't they throw you
from God's house (they claim it's His)
and leave you there in space —
these many dogs and wolves
who never know the chase?
Few I know like you
who can carve sun made greyness
from the stone,
(and stones have roots)
then further break to dust
to find the stone's inner darkness.
For K. P.
Many are the hours I sit
before your lines watching
grey curling clouds claim
salt water made pure in rain.
I think how each word
falls accurate next to each
like the faded white separates
road halves where they tried to run you down.
Into the town you came with folded eyes
and love so thick they called it hate,
and it is always that way,
and all their screaming
of being cold and not knowing
you start with warm bodies and then cover;
for starting cold, a hundred coats
will just keep the chill in.
97 For T. B.
Is the old church still there?
That one beside the road
where constant cinders leave trees
forever winter?
And do you sing of her,
the one you gave your heart and songs
beside the bending grass?
Will I ever walk again in your father's shop?
The blue glass lies broken
around the dried flower's crisp stem.
Someday when I'm no more
than a sailing stone
skipping once or twice on Poor Fork's
polluted skin, perhaps then
we'll search a Black Mountain stillness
for Crazy Annie again.
For ]. G.
Steel legs pump a poem
out of a midnight moon
down Cumberland's tongue tied roads,
you bound to a racing machine
clicking off the miles
beside railroad tracks.
I liked the image
you sprang on us
saying there were no brakes
in the race you ran to win.
Behind that long black hair
which crowned your face
I knew there was a gentle soul
aware. I've seen others write lines
on many things, but you were the first
humped over a bicycle
streaking a coal soaked wind.
98 For J. A.
Perhaps I didn't know it all
till miles removed I read
those words you said
under a reporter's pen,
under headlines heavy enough to break
down any ordinary page.
Already I had heard your sonnets
and that was enough to sing
back falling leaves
where trees stood dripping.
And didn't you volunteer to the world
to leave a land of guns
and go where guns were firing?
Didn't you rip your dreams
from the calendar page
singing every new moon of sorrow?
For A. S.
You, fair one, and I call you fair,
knew the talk more than I
for they loaded it on your being
like thick teeth of iron
and you, perhaps, were more aware
than all of us at the sound of dripping rain.
And could I care if they call you dark haired
mistress of a county claimed sane?
Could I measure motion of a million thought
feathers tickling their gutted brains?
Could I clock the speed of screams
hurled like mental snowballs at your soul?
Is it less to know the ticking
than all the time captured in a stone?
A rock, a stone that used to be the sea,
it matters, yes, as shadowed wind frees
your sound down among the tombs
blowing over graves and bleached bones.
Even now the tall shadows stare
to whisper of your sound everywhere.
99 For C. H.
If they only knew your magic innocence,
it would not have been so tragic
the way you roasted poems over dreams,
the way you carried shadows from the dark,
and sprinkled light on trees to cast a shade.
You, young friend, who heard the briars speak
and claimed of it the many fingered wind.
You, young friend, the only one laughing with wet eyes,
laughing then and laughing still.
And you heard voices in old Cumberland
each begging to be born as sleep wakes
a restless rattle of chill
over the whole earth when night cannot
be contained. Last night you went warm;
today you wake in rain.
You with bones we found on Pine Hill.
You beside a fallen down shack
where children step on glass
and bleeding feet stain snow.
Today I eat your lines of poets
spreading coal dust on the wind,
and this I would have you know.
Keep laughing, wet eyed laughter;
Laugh everywhere you go.
For L. S.
Young Appalachian mother child,
child of tall blond grass,
creator of sons now men,
dreamer of the wild bird's song,
forgive me if I love you while you pass,
love you as I love the earth and stone
and you a part of all of it.
Earth child the poems you sing are free
as wind caressing a river mist,
a fog swaying to hypnotic tunes
when all the months are June
and all the moments warm whispers of time.
And were they afraid to touch your wings,
ioo afraid of some butterfly stain,
afraid to touch a leaf covered with dew?
Did they not know every leaf and wing
was also a part of you?
Did they not hear the flowers cry?
Did they not hear the grass speak of sun?
Did they not hear blond straws break underfoot
in every field you run?
For R. S.
Your grandfather was right.
I did not tell you but I have been
out on a river night with cool stillness
breaking in my brain like pecking sand
and I have seen the giant men
drink thirsty from a stream.
I have seen their saucer eyes gleam in mist,
burn like bright phantoms in the moon
of a faded scarecrow town.
They were all around
and made the sound of autumn drums.
But that is no matter.
Lesser men than I have seen greater things.
It's just I want you to know
when you spoke trembling into my ear
that I too did see, that I too did hear.
And when you walked the road alone
and dark eyed mysteries stared at you,
I also walked the road alone
and saw the mysteries too.
For L. V.
Does it matter now?
I mean is it anything now with many fallen leaves?
That day we sat and wept together
it all seemed like tons
of stone fell where we stood.
Looking back, would we change it now,
even if we could?
But I remember then the falling stones.
101 I think often of it and there is dampness
still not near the hot or cold
but in the chill
that runs the length of my myth.
There is the clatter of bones.
And there is high river water cheating stones
of passing wind.
There always will be water;
there always will be wind.
You, young one, know well the sound:
beauty is as beauty gives.
I've heard you sing it all around,
thank you. I heard you sing beauty found.
For J. G.
You brought out poems
like we come from spring, dancing
our feet clean of winter mud.
I never knew one singing more.
I knew not all the nights you went touching trees
till somehow hands were singing too.
It must have been the breath of frost on a window pane
where you scratched your first line
like faces drawn by a child,
and then you wiped them clean
and blew your breath
to make the frost your own.
Everyplace I look now
I see your finger drawn faces.
I see the childhood of a window
give childhood to the world.
I see the tiny frosty patterns
and icy shadows curled.
Everywhere I look, and
I look at everything.
I have heard you sing, poet;
I have heard you sing.
You, Thirteen,
I grow away from you
but then you grow too
102 and wherever our wood burns
in the pale odor of night
in the cool magnificence of day
I'll stop to say
from time to time
that the circle turns
dark to light
light to dark
that all is shadow
like some dripping soul
sliding down a straw
and now our drops merge
a greater wetness
somewhere around it all.
BEYOND THE RANGE OF GUNS
JESSE STUART
Fire College Warden Harry Horrorstine
Collaborator with a county sheriff
To force the teachers walk his narrow line
Subservient to his dictatorial bluff!
Give Warden Horrorstine a sheriff's gun
And let him join the Carlon County force,
School Warden Horrorstine would have his fun
Where gun is law to cajole and coerce.
Kenlucky's University has spawned
In lawless Carlon this important college
And unaware they sent a warden down
To give young mountaineers his kind of knowledge.
Since thinking knowledge is a dangerous thing
In a land long throttled by the power structure,
With poet Remmington to teach and sing
His students caused a Carlon County rupture.
103 II
A college man, youth's symbol of today,
Ninth of thirteen his mountain father sired,
Tiller of earth on steep Kenlucky clay,
A youth the mule and plow and rocks inspired;
A poet born of God from his first light,
Young poet plowing with a million dreams
He worked from burst of dawn until the night.
Youth followed Don at home behind his plow,
Youth flocked to him a leader in his college;
He is the teacher youth will follow now,
He gives Kenluckians fresh thirst for knowledge,
Through him they see what they have failed to see,
His challenges excite and stir the brain,
Don is a man for all eternity
Except for where the men of darkness reign.
ni
Don Remmington, his name will ever sound
And be recorded on the printed page,
How many times his students gathered round
To drink philosophy from their young sage.
Creative writing teacher, story, poetry,
His greatness lives among the youth he taught,
Then came the guns and he left in a hurry
On troubles Harry Horrorstine had brought:
Students and teacher manufactured facts,
There was no incest and strip-mining in
This county and the sheriff used no ax,
There was no stenchful, nauseating wind.
Two years while young Don Remmington was there,
Each mountain student's torch was lit with flame;
The reawakening has cleansed the air
and Carlon County will not be the same.
IV
But Harry Horrorstine's respect for gun,
Eyes closed to facts where ill is breeding ill
And the sheriff's having tantalizing fun
In student trysts by Dear Fork and "The Hill"
104 When father is begetting by his daughter
The family county sheriff never sees,
Incestuous life to problem those hereafter,
And dumps in ditches under roadside trees.
You go and search for what Don's students found
From which they shaped their protest poetry,
Go stranger see that litter on the ground!
Like early Christians they fought infamy.
Go see where sewers run, if gun is law,
You'll tell the world after your rendezvous
If what tomorrow's people hold in awe
And if Don's student's poetry is true.
Brave Warden Horrorstine supported by
County sheriff and deputies full force;
The Sheriff's wife, the Warden's secretary,
Little Carlon College they coerce.
Spy system rumors in each college class,
Conscious of teachers what they do and say
Where reawakened students fail to pass
Unless obedient to the power sway.
Atop the bubble sits their Horrorstine
Forever in his glory hovering there,
Sheriff protected and ear to grapevine
Content to breath the stagnant, stenchful air
While all around him now young students move
To seek a better life than they have known;
While Horrorstine and county sheriff disprove
The fight to change this world that is their own.
VI
When Carlon County youth from miners' shacks,
Freshmen and Sophomores, thirteen in number,
Produced a book, county political hacks
And the college warden said this was a blunder,
Poetic missiles too much for the shields
The Sheriff and the Warden hide behind,
Their protest poetry will harvest yields
In a land where gun might is a state of mind.
105 Youth's barbed poetic missiles have gone up
Alighting Carlon's dark subservient skies;
The Sheriff and the Warden bristled up
When poets' power took them by surprise.
These poems are beyond the range of gun,
A dollar's worth once peddled from a basket,
Now Carlon College trouble has begun,
County Sheriff and Warden ask it.
VII
"Better leave poetry and youth alone,"
The Sheriff and the Warden must be saying,
For magic verse turned coal to golden stone
Where poet Remmington is still prevailing,
His spirit is on Dear Fork's cleaner beach,
This poet-teacher in each student's heart;
He soars beyond the range their bullets reach,
A poet's image he will not depart.
Great teacher Remmington, whose phone was tapped,
Whose students slipped to stores to buy his food;
Afraid of bullets on the floor he napped,
Nightlong his students armed, entrenched, stood guard
While Warden Horrorstine knew peaceful sleep
With county sheriff aiding and abetting;
But Carlon County guns could never keep
A poet and his pupils from voice-letting.
VIII
Bullets or poetry, which has more power?
Young trees or dead ones in a power structure?
Those dead old timbers sagging by the hour
When they break loose stench will invite the vulture.
And will the future that young poets dream
Be brighter than the blazing guns and death,
Contamination, filth, polluted stream
Erased and cleansed to give them cleaner breath?
Bullets or poetry, which would you choose
In this dark land where might of gun makes right,
Where those who care for right meet with abuse,
Where men of darkness challenge men of light?
106 Which would you choose, light or eternal dark?
Young poets there were reaching for the sun,
Their teacher kindled every youthful spark
But Carlon County's men of darkness won!
IX
Instead of praise in Carlon for the young
Don Remmington received his crown of thorn,
Escaping death, unhonored and unsung
But left behind him poets to be born.
In friendship for Kenlucky's son of light
Those on the side of darkness offered gall
Where he prevailed two years of dreadful night
Remembering his students v/ho gave all.
There will be those who follow in his tracks
The Carlon tempests will not wash away,
Youth will in poetry portray the facts
And in that dismal land will have their day.
The time is now to praise the man they knew
Respect and honor him for what he gave,
Who made and shaped each life he touched anew,
They will praise him from now unto the grave.
For student mountaineers the hurt will smoulder,
In years to come, no letting up for them,
Through youthful years until they have grown older
These inspired youth will battle for their dream.
Don Remmington will be out there ahead,
The Remmington that was and is to be;
They will remember what he did and said
And how he worked to set their thinking free.
Not one among them has defiled his name,
Each says he was an inspirational leader,
That Warden Horrorstine has been to blame,
Coerced by gun, the college's greatest teacher
Who substituted for their power structure
A friendly, pleasant world free people share
Above, beyond the gun, some little culture
Be brought to all the people living there.
107 XI
The paeans from the Carlon County dead,
Machine-gunned when they tried to unionize
To seek more wages for their family bread
Are answers to their young descendants' cries;
With their eyes blind to sight, ears deaf to sound
They have returned to dust and coalmine mud,
Those were entombed their bodies never found.
Flesh of their flesh, the young with mighty mood
Defiant of the gun, knife and blackjack,
Rise up to sing for their departed kin
And those still living in the miner shack
When they hear paeans on the coaldust wind,
Paeans from the yawning mouth of closed coalmine
And from the tipple that has gone to wrack,
Paeans unheard by Warden Horrorstine
But heard by Remmington who won't be back.
XII
They will awaken from their troubled night
When the power structure crumbles into dust;
They who are dwarfed in growth without the light,
Timbers of time must crack because they must!
Can they adjust to progress seeping in
When bright young teachers teach their brighter youth
To cleanse their tortured earth and human mind.
Can they accept condemning power of truth?
Their sons in a changing world will have to meet
The challenges that should have come before;
Their sons won't walk forever with defeat
When they hear progress knocking on the door.
Until rebirth will be the Horrorstines,
The trigger-happy sheriffs with lust for power
And spy communications on grapevines
And degradation be a favorite flower.
XIII
Better move little Carlon College from
A land where gun and darkness still prevail,
Better to have an educator come
108 Than have their little Carlon College fail.
How can mother Kenlucky condone
A county sheriff telling who shall teach?
Who stood with Remmington who stood alone?
To what extent does Kenlucky's power reach?
Not one gave Remmington a helping hand,
Not from mother Kenlucky's English staff;
Involvement meant one had to take a stand!
Who raised a finger in Remmington's behalf?
With thirteen from this land akin to hell
Producing more than mother Kenlucky,
All sons and daughters Remmington taught well
Can't little Carlon College be made free?
109 Lyle R. Lonneberg is a student at Douglas College, New Westminster, British
Columbia. This is his first publication.
The yump
LYLE R. LONNEBERG
There was quite a crowd of people around. Squad cars, fire
trucks, ambulances. No hearse. Why didn't they bring a hearse?
What a crowd! I guess they have never seen a guy threatening to
jump off a roof before. It was a little silly though. Most of them
couldn't see a thing anyway. Why didn't they just go home and
watch it on TV? You get a better view on TV. He pushed his way
through the crowd on the sidewalk, making sure he just pushed
little people, and when he made it to the corner he was in the clear.
Jesus, every one of those people must have had garlic for supper —
what a stink! No wonder Julius Caesar always made his speeches
from high balconies. He walked into the first bar and took his choice
of bar stools. There were no other customers there at all.
"I'll have a beer, please." Then louder, "I said, I'll have a beer,
please!"
"Oh, sorry, Mac. I was watchin' the news here. Guy just down
the street is gonna jump off this here building!"
"Yeah, I know. Could you turn the TV down a bit, please?"
The waiter looked at him as if to say why in hell don't you go sit
at the back, but after all, he was the only customer.
"Okay, buddy, I guess it is a little loud. What do you want to
drink?"
"I don't know. You got any of that Danish beer? That Tuborg?"
Yes, sir."
"Okay, I'll have a bottle."
"What way did yah come in from?"
"Down Madison Avenue."
"Well, you must have seen it then. Guess there's a hell of a crowd
hey? The announcer keeps telling everyone to stay home. Sure is a
helluva traffic jam. Did you see it?"
no "Of course I saw it. So what. Had to fight my way through the
garlic, too."
"What do you mean — so what? Shit, man, the guy's gonna kill
himself!"
"I know. So what? The bastard deserves it."
"Hey, what's the matter with you, man? You a sadist or something? You got no feelings?
"Maybe I am a sadist, but the bastard still deserves it."
"You've really got a feeling for mankind, hey. Some poor
twenty-year-old kid's gonna jump and kill himself and you say he
deserves it."
"He's not a poor kid. He's an idiot, and it's about time he did
something like this."
"You mean you know this guy?"
"Course I know the bastard. He lives in the apartment above
me."
"You know this guy and you're not even goin' down there to help
him? The TV announcer says he's got no family in the city. They're
looking for some friends of his. The police chief figures maybe a
friend could talk him down."
"He hasn't got any friends. A guy like that's got nothing but
enemies."
"I take it you're one of them?"
"You're damn right I am."
"What did he do to you?"
"What did he do! I'll tell you, buddy. He moved in above me
about a year-and-a-half ago. Started having noisy parties. So I
complained to the landlady. She said what's wrong with having a
party on the weekends. So I started banging on the ceiling with a
broom handle. Drove little holes all over the plaster. Serves the
landlady right. Anyways, he comes to the door one night when
they've got a real blast goin' on up there and he says why don't I
come up and join them. I figure if I'm gonna be awake all night
anyway, why not go up and drink his booze. So I start goin' to his
parties, quite regular you see. Then one night he says he wants me
to meet this woman. An older woman he says. Says she's got class,
and even though she's no young bird anymore, she likes to booze
and have a good time, hey. You know what I mean. So I meet her.
She's not bad. Well, one thing leads to another and pretty soon she's
shackin' up with me. Things go pretty good for awhile, I mean, she
cooks a good meal and keeps the place clean. Then I start noticing
m she's spendin' a lot of time upstairs. I begin figurin' something's
goin' on behind my back, you know? So I start snoopin' around and
find a couple of letters addressed to her. Now get this, she's got the
same name as he has. So I tear open one of the letters and you know
what?"
"No, what?"
"This broad's his mother!"
"You're kidding!"
"No, I'm not kidding. His mother. Well, she wasn't home so I
fired her letters and the rest of her crap out into the hallway. Then
I went upstairs, kicked his door till he opened it and drove him in
the head about ten times. He started crying then and I stopped
hitting him. You filthy bastard I said. That's your mother I've been
living with. I know he says. You lousy bastard I said. I just wanted
her to be happy. I never really knew my father. He died years ago
and I just wanted my mother to be happy, he says. I just wanted it
to be like having my own family downstairs. By this time he was
standing up so I drove him in the head about ten more times and
told him I'd repeat the performance if I ever met him or his rotten
mother again. Anyway, his mother moved away and the parties died
out about the same time."
"Well, I can see why you hate this guy all right, but Christ man,
he's gonna splatter himself all over the sidewalk. I mean, maybe he's
been rotten to you but nobody deserves to go out like that."
"Listen, I'm not finished yet. Give me another one of those beer,
hey. Well, things were real quiet around there for almost a year.
Everything back to normal. Then one night I hear this bloody awful
scream. I open my door and there's his mother lying in the hall.
The landlady's screaming her head off — she killed herself, she killed
herself! Of course she did I said, and went in and called the police.
The idiot upstairs never even came out of his room. Well, the landlady tells the police that this broad used to stay at my place quite a
bit. So the cops come around and ask me questions and start
searchin' my room. So I told them what happened and then they
went upstairs to see the idiot. Well, everybody in the building started
giving me dirty looks. I mean it wasn't my fault, hey? My boss reads
it in the papers the next morning and about noon he comes in and
says I'm fired. Fired! Why I says. But I know there was no sense in
arguing. Lost my job 'cause of that creep. Now you see why I don't
give a damn if he jumps or not."
"Christ! He just did."
112 "What?"
"Your son, no, I'm sorry, the kid, he just jumped. You can't see
him now, there's too many people in front of the camera. Christ, I
need a drink! You want another beer, man?"
"No. I think I'll take a walk. Maybe catch a movie, they usually
start about nine o'clock."
He got up and walked out the door. The bartender reached over
and turned up the volume. The newsman was talking to the police
chief.
"We know you tried everything, chief. I guess he just couldn't be
reached."
"Yeah, it's too bad. The kid had family problems, I guess. My
men have gone up to his room to get the baby. Seems he had relatives in this town after all. He had a note pinned to his jacket. He
even thought to wrap it in plastic so's the blood wouldn't stain it. It
says: 'There is a baby girl in my closet. Her name is Beatrice. She
eats six times a day. I'm sick of changing diapers. Her father lives
downstairs.' Signed 'Leonard'."
"3 MOON-WALK
JOAN FINNIGAN
We all watch this moon-walk
because we have all had our own
televised from a time when, as children,
we bounded homewards hearing
the wind turn into frightening voices,
learning how it is when you have nothing to fear
but fear of the unknown.
We have recordings, too, in all of our heads
of the silences of that dusty desolation
that surrounds the human soul
after our little deaths and deaths.
We have all been single footsteps,
at one time or another,
on foreign planets.
In all of our electronic brains
we have these instant replays
of what was said in moments
when we were standing on impossible territory
and someone turned and walked away.
We have all had our oxygen and water
cut off. If we were lucky, we found
our way back to the ladder and re-grouped
inside intrepids of our own.
We have all been on a moon and picked up rocks.
Joan Finnigan won the University of Western Ontario's President's Medal in
1969 for her poem, "Death of a Psychiatrist," which appeared in our 8:1; her
poetry has been in many other journals as well as in book form. She lives in
Kingston, Ontario.
II4 BOOKS AND PERIODICALS RECEIVED
BOOKS
earle birney, Rag and Bone Shop, McClelland & Stewart, 1970, poetry, $2.95.
dalton camp, Gentlemen, Players & Politicians, McClelland & Stewart, 1970,
346 pps., $10.00.
donald a. chant (ed.), Pollution Probe, New Press, 1970, 192 pps. $3.50.
margaret daly, The Revolution Game — the short, unhappy life of the Company of Young Canadians, New Press, 1970, 242 pps., $3.50 paper, $8.50
cloth.
r. G. everson, Selected Poems, igso/igyo, Delta, Canada, 1970, drawings by
Colin Haworth, 108 pps.
michael finlay, The Harpo Scrolls, The Sono Nis Press, Vancouver, 1970,
poetiy, 28 pps., $2.50.
dave Godfrey, mel watkins (eds.), Gordon to Watkins to You, A Documentary: the Battle for Control of our Economy, New Press, 1970, 261 pps.
goethe, Faust, translated by Barker Fairley, University of Toronto Press, 1970,
illustrated, 203 pps., $12.50.
charles guenther, Phrase /Paraphrase, The Prairie Press, Iowa City, 1970,
poetry, 69 pps., $5.00.
roy kiyooka, StoneDGloves, The Coach House Press, 1970, Poetry and Photos,
$3-50.
Khrushchev, Krushchev Remembers, with introduction, commentary and notes
by Edward Crankshaw, translated and edited by Strobe Talbott, 639 pps.
William kurelek, William Kurelek, The Coach House Press, 1970, Prints,
$3.00.
jozo kutlesa, The Mosaic of Life, P.O. Box 5672, Station "A", Toronto, Ont,
Poetry, 112 pps., $3.00.
paul lavigueur, In Other Words, New Brunswick Chapbooks, 1970, poetry,
34 PPS-
james laxer, The Energy Poker Game, The Politics of the Continental Resources Deal, New Press, 1970, 72 pps., $1.50.
Stephen leacock, Feast of Stephen, with introduction by Robertson Davies,
McClelland & Stewart, 1970, anthology, 154 pps., $5.95.
farley mowat, Sibir, McClelland & Stewart, 1970, 313 pps., $10.00.
betty nickerson (ed.), Chi, Letters from Biafra, New Press, 1970, 128 pps.,
$3.50.
al purdy, Love in a Burning Building, McClelland & Stewart, 1970, poetry, 88
pps., $4.95.
stuart peterfreund, The Hanged Knife and Other Poems, Ithaca House,
1970, 52 pps., $2.95.
john M. robson, The Hmnnn Report, New Press, 1970, essays, 121 pps.
"5 peter russell, The Golden Chain, lyrical poems, ig64-ig6g, Castello 3611,
30122 Venice, Italy, 48 pps., $5.00, signed edition, $15.
r.  w.   stedingh, From a Bell-Tower, The  Sono Nis  Press, Vancouver,   1971,
poetry, 23 pps., $2.50.
paul  st. pierre, The Chilcotin Holiday, McClelland & Stewart,  1970, short
stories, 138 pps., $5.95.
Audrey thomas, Mrs. Blood, Bobbs Merrill, 1970, novel, 200 pps., $-.95.
don Thompson,  Toys of Death, The Sono Nis Press,   1970, poetry, 28 pps.,
$2.50.
w. d. ulrich, The Tree in the Room, The Sono Nis Press, Vancouver, 1970,
poetry, 28 pps., $2.50.
M. vaughn-james, Elephant, New Press, 1970, strip cartoons.
john w. warnock, Partner to Behemoth, The Military Policy of a Satellite
Canada, New Press, 1970, 340 pps.
waubageshig (ed.), The Only Good Indian, New Press, 1970, essays by Canadian Indians, 188 pps., $3.50 paper, $7.50 cloth.
rudy wiebe, The Blue Mountains of China, McClelland & Stewart, 1970, novel,
227 pps., $7.50.
PERIODICALS
Canadian Whole Earth Almanac, Food Issue, Canadian Whole Earth Research
Foundation, New Press, 84 Sussex Ave., Toronto, $3.00, subscription $9.00.
Chinese Literature, Foreign Languages Press, Pai Wan Chuang, Peking (37),
China.
New Era, magazine from the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, poetry, fiction,
articles,  photography.
The Falcon, ed. W. A. Blais and J. D. Bellamy, Mansfield State College, Mansfield, Pa., poetry and fiction, $2.00 per year, single copy $1.00, twice a year.
Il6 Get Your Free Copy Now
There's a free copy of one of Europe's fastest growing
cultural reviews waiting for you.
SCOTTISH
INTERNATIONAL
presents a unique combination of the most exciting in
world culture with ideas and creative work from Scotland of more than national importance.
Poetry and politics. Fiction and reportage. Interviews
and memoirs. Appraisals and reviews. From writers for
readers all over the world.
The Scottish Soldier Myth; Alias McAlias, the pen name
as a Scottish fiction; Whose Gaelic Culture?; Who Controls Scotland?; Why the Scots Produce Autocrats; Ibsen
and Contemporary Scotland; Myths in Scottish History.
The cinema of Jean-Luc Godard; Norman Mailer's
"superjournalism"; Bertolt Brecht's Buckow Elegies in
first English translation; European cultural revolution;
How the Kennedys used history; Artists and political
change; Roland Barthes and writing in English; a reasoned defence of Herbert Marcuse.
Contributions from Conor Cruise O'Brien, Robert Penn
Warren, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Jerzy Przezdziecki, Miroslav
Holub, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Edoardo Sanguined,
Norman MacCaig, George Mackay Brown, Calvin Hern-
ton, and many more . . .
Minimum 56 pages     Generously illustrated     Quarterly
Subscriptions cost $3.75 (Canada) per annum.
Single copies 95 cents (Canada)
But there's a free copy for you
SCOTTISH  INTERNATIONAL (PR1),
23 GEORGE SQUARE, EDINBURGH 8, SCOTLAND
(Just mention this offer when you write)
117 BOOKS
for almost zwzty taste
)
and purpose can be found,
easily, at
DUTHIE
BOOKS
and PAPERBACK CELLAR
919 Robson
684-4496
670 Seymour
684-3627
4560 W. 10th Avenue
C A 4-7012
1032 W. Hastings
688-7434
University of British Columbia
Bookstore
TEXTBOOKS
REFERENCE BOOKS
PAPERBACKS
STATIONERY
Hours: Weekdays 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
n8 The
CANADIAN FICTION
MAGAZINE
Editor: JANIE KENNON
Fiction     Essays     Manifestos     Reviews     Graphics
The editors will accept manuscripts from writers residing in Canada and/or Canadians writing in other
countries, and patronage in the form of currency from
almost anyone.
Future issues will include work by Michael Bullock,
Andreas Schroeder, J. Michael Yates, George Mc-
Whirter, Michael Mirolla, George Payerle, Lynne
Thome, Jean-Luc McGilicutty, Michael Finlay, Don
Thompson, R. W. Stedingh and others.
Please address all correspondence to:
THE EDITOR,
The Canadian Fiction Magazine
181 WEST WINDSOR,
NORTH VANCOUVER, CANADA
Manuscripts must be accompanied by a self-addressed
envelope and Canadian stamps or international reply
coupons.
"9 301 6 - I4OTH STREET / SURREY, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
TELEPHONE (604)  531-3045,
NEW TITLES
Robin Skelton/PRivATE Speech./poems $2.50
Willis Barnstone/ANTi-JouRNAL//ioemi' 2.50
J. Michael Yates/PARALLAx/poem.? 2.50
E. Curmie Price/THE State of the UmoN/poems 5.00
Andreas Schroeder/FiLE of Uncertainties /poems 2.50
Mieszko Jan Skapski/FROM the Meshes / poems 2.50
W. D. Ulrich/THE Tree in the KooM/poems 2.50
William L. Fox/The Iron WiNo/poems 2.50
Michael Finlay/THE Harpo Scrolls /poems 2.50
Charles Lillard/CuLTUs Coulee/poems 2.50
Randy Tomlinson/DowN Under It All/'poems 2.50
Ian Whitehouse/NEGOTiATioNS with the Universe /poems 2.50
Don Thompson/Toys of Death/poems 2.50
R. W. Stedingh/FROM a Bell Tower/poems 2.50
OTHER AVAILABLE TITLES
J. Michael Yates/MAN in the Glass Octopus/fiction
(now in paperback) 2.95
Michael Bullock/SiXTEEN Stories As They Happened/fiction 5.95
Michael Bullock/A Savage DARKNESs//)oem.s 5.00
Rainer Schulte/THE Suicide at the Piano/poems 5.00
Andreas Schroeder/THE Ozone MiNOTAUR/^oemi- 5.00
John Robert Colombo/NEOPOEMS 5.95
Susan Musgrave/SoNGS of the SEAwrrcH//>oem.y 5.00
Contemporary Poetry of British Columbia/
ed. J. Michael Yates 7.95
120

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