"Sometimes a woman expels
from her womb something
that is all hair and teeth."

More Perihelion:

Bob Sward's Writer's Friendship Series

Book Reviews

Need to Know



Issue 10: Out on a Limb

Issue 9: The Missing Body

Issue 8: The Lily

Issue 7: Passages

Issue 6: No More Tears

A quick list to poets featured in this issue:

Robin Behn

Richard Garcia

John Hennessy

Adrian Matejka

Ayukawa Nobuo

Eunice Odio

Kathryn Rantala

Anna Ross

Mathias Svalina

Larissa Szporluk

Kevin Tsai

Richard Garcia

My Father's False Teeth

I take my dinners alone,
in my room, but I can still
hear them through the door,
my father's false teeth
clicking like a wooden gate
with a metal latch, swinging
open, swinging closed.
In a water glass at night
They float like an exhibit
in formaldehyde
of a stillborn child.
The nightlight shining
through the glass--
a spelunkers flashlight
in an underwater cave
illuminating the fossilized
toothed beak of a fierce bird,
now extinct. My father's
false teeth, when he tries
to spit in the toilet, fall in.
Only my hand is small enough
to reach under water
into the hole and pull them
out from the pipe
where they are wedged
sideways, slightly open.
Sometimes a woman expels
from her womb something
that is all hair and teeth.
George Washington
was said to always dine alone.
His teeth were made of wood,
whalebone and mastodon ivory.
My father's false teeth, God's
first clumsy attempt at wings:
two imprints of a horse's hooves
in red clay, hinged together,
ringed with small square bones,
too heavy to ever fly.
My father's false teeth
in the click of computer keys
in the tick tick of the eucalyptus
outside the window
as it twists out of its skin
that falls on the pavement
like sheets of parchment.
A faraway splash in the middle
of the night, I sit up in bed, startled--
it was George Washington throwing
something across the Delaware,
not a coin, but his teeth.


Louie, M.D., Ph.D.

There was a dog who was a psychiatrist that wanted to analyze his master. He was aware of the ethical and professional problems analyzing his own master could create. Regardless, because his master seemed depressed, he decided to proceed. He would sit by his master's side and wait for him to speak. But all his master ever said to him was, "sit," "come," or "stay." The dog suspected that his master was fixated on these three words. Later, he wrote in his notebook, "I believe that the patient was forced to remain in a closet for long periods of time during his childhood, impairing the development of his language skills." The dog that was a psychiatrist waited for his master to lie on the couch and talk about his childhood. But his master never lay on the couch. It was as if, the dog thought, his master was afraid of falling asleep. So the dog would lie on the couch in comfortable-looking positions of ease. He would stretch out, close his eyes and sigh with pleasure. He would lie upside down with his paws in the air. He would make running movements with his legs to indicate he was having a pleasant, squirrel-chasing dream. He hoped that by following this example his master would lose his fear of sleep. But all his master did was stand there offering him a Milk-Bone. "Milk," the dog later wrote in his notebook, "Perhaps a reference to his mother's breasts." "Bone," he wrote, "Perhaps he is overcome with his fear of death." The dog that was a psychiatrist sat in his office late into the night. He was concerned about how little progress his master was making in therapy. He stared at his notes, raised one ear, cocked his head to one side--and chewed on his pencil.