The crying and screaming, the defiance, the long silences and the long, recriminating letters on either side and in between the silent mail-order gifts of reconciliation.


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Issue 6: No More Tears

Bob Sward's Writer's Friendship Series

Book Reviews

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A quick list to poets featured in this issue:

Mary Moore

Kate Benedict

James Walton Fox

Jane Blue

Tom Goff

Kate Lutzner

Heather Burns

Maria Melendez

Karen Alkalay-Gut

Laverne Frith

Laura Ann Walton

Roger Pfingston

Scott Odom

____________ 

Contact
Bei Dao

Jane Blue

The Sunset at the End of the Block

I ran out to see the sunset at the end of the block,
crimson against a blackness over the freeway
as though the whole county across the river
was burning; Iím impelled to do this,

to follow an energy field, exposed,
like a mendicant roaming the naked earth.

For instance, Iíd want to gather
with a crowd on some hill
to watch the awful progression
of a tidal wave:

First the silent emptying,
the scraping down of the tide, kelp and starfish
and the shelves of seabeds lying shiveringó
then the unthinkable wall of water building, building.

The tension of a recurring dream.  In the dream
Iím not afraid, just wondering
is this how it is, is this the day Iím going to die?

Or Iíd want to watch a volcano come to life
in rivulets of liquid fire
after its topís blown off, the pall
of ashes afterward.

At the end of the block the sun goes down
and I see it is just a sunset, not a holocaust,
the black clouds that just blew in from Mexico
rent and shocked with blue.

So I turn my back on it, and walk home.
Crickets are chanting their evening prayers.
A few drops of rain whisper
the history of a monsoon.

___________________________________

Remembering My Mother

It was July when my Mother died.
I bought a house with the money she left me.
It was such a sweet house, with yellow siding
and climbing red roses, I wanted
to call her up and say, "Ma,
come look at the house Iíve got
with your money!"

Wait a minute, I thought.  Sheís dead!

Why is it that our relationships with our mothers
improve so much after theyíre dead?
I wanted to call her up and say,
"What was that all about?"

The crying and screaming, the defiance,
the long silences and the long,
recriminating letters on either side
and in between
the silent mail-order gifts of reconciliation.

Sometimes I just want to ring her up
and ask her what it was she thought I said.
Iíd say, no, thatís not what I said at all
and anyway, Iím sorry.

___________________________________

How I Know My Father in Objects

1.
 

A paperweight on my desk, marbled stone
with veins of white running through gray

reminds me of my father, heavy egg, oh
how can I say the color:  Blue-gray.  Slate-gray.

In every document Iíve found of him, my fatherís
eyes are a different color, gray or hazel or brown.

There must have been a time he was just a man
and not a stone egg to be cracked.

Turned and polished in a tumbler, to sit on my desk.
Balanced, as it wouldnít be in nature.

As he never was, my cipher father, egg
of a father, imagined father.
 

2.
 

Among my motherís things, Iíve found
my fatherís spoon, his initials and the year of his birth.

Tucked in with it another spoonó
his motherís, I guess, from the initials.

Each spoon with identical little dents in the bowl.
An Aladdinís lamp foats, it seems, on a lily pad

elaborate in the handle, and other flowers, a silver
curtain pulled back from the monogram.

and rabbits, I think, and geese ...
it is so hard to see ... it is so hard to see.

______________________________________________________________________
 

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