Locust Twelve - May 2001

Locust Twelve
ISSN 1529-0832  Vol 1 No 12 - May 2001

FOREWORD


Unlike many other web editors who seem to be ashamed of the work they publish--Oh no, they say, that's what the author thinks: our views may be quite different!--Locust editor (so shamelessly!) regards his e-zine as a sort of Jungian dream. Each work he selects contributes to the mosaic of his Self. It is not ideological participation in the same contents, but digging out, one by one, the fragments of the same buried palace. In hectic communion, the bits of poetry he collects are splinters of self-understanding. Can you think of anything more bizarre and cruel than repudiating a selected work? Many thanks again to all those who contribute to the completion of this self-portrait. Whenever you visit Locust Magazine, please keep also these words in mind.

May 2001

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WE ARE OUR OWN METAMORPHOSIS
~ A Poem by Melissa Eleftherion ~


C'mon
Let's go kill some stars
I got my braids
All twisted up
Fired up my Red Ryder
Sure-fire BB gun
I can taste
The burst of the swallow
of the choke
of the choleric crystal that will
Billow out like clouds
I can feel
the funk of the fight
of the roar of the birth
the lick of the lascivious
rebellion that ensues
with every nubile step
The float of the awake
into liminal ecstasy
The laughter of fear
The sheer conceit of
A self-propelled mind
The chaos of knowing too much
The arrogance of the infection
The escape from the insipid
Cacophonies of strangers
on trains and in coffee shops
I can see
The poem of myself that I left behind in Italy
The resonance of every whisper
The glide of every glorious
liquid laugh
cheeks melting into smiles
I can hear
The rat-a-tat-tat of the engine of energy
The infectious cackle of the spirit's elation
The cries of the frustration
of the self-defeating
The swish of the wave
Rolling into a bit of omniscience
I can touch
The shine in your eyes
The jungle of your unruly locks
The lovely Earth we slept on
The crunch of the downtrodden desire
The absolute effervescence of lust
The fluff of the cotton that
yields to my touch
You
I can be
The elation of sunburn
The glide of the glowering nexus
Of balance in chaos
The journey of enthusiasm
In lightning moving across minds
The catastrophe of knowing
The elegance of a waterfall
The clink of the clack
of a callous and carefree
Consciousness
The dual and dangerous
Deception of destruction
The esoteric eager student
of Earth
The fall
The light
Hellish and demanding
The litany of laughter
The myth
The rapacious
The seeker of sin
The cerebral vitamin
C'mon
Let's go kill some stars.

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TAPS
~ A Poem by MercyRain ~


Taps
at a white wedding
feral joy
love utmost
dreaming in a Nick Cave universe
craving the lust
the pain
the purity
circle of life
time to begin
again
my joy.

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THE BROKEN PROMISE
~ A Poem by Janet Buck ~


I promised you, I know, I know--
I'd wash a gravel pile of clothes
growing out the hinge-less door.
Make fresh croutons spiced
with dill, clean the fridge,
trim the mold from bricks of cheese,
iron something in the basket
sitting there since August 1963.
Pay the bills, dust the faces
of antiques, bathe the dog,
sweep the sidewalk,
brush down cobwebs
from the closet, cook
a decent meal for once.


You come home to scattered love
smattered on alabaster tomes
of pages lingering in us.
Your wrinkled dress shirt,
laced with sprays of my perfume.
Sleeves rolled up like
prairie corn that's headed
for a steaming pot.
I promised you, I know, I know--
You'll pair socks and I'll be wings
that mess them up, walking
in their holes and stains.
There are just times
when art's a nose of silhouette.
I do not want to leave this life
without dragging my fingers
slowly down your face and mine
as aging sets its wrinkles in.
The miniscule will have to wait.
You come home to spoondrift chaos,
knowing that the sea was there.

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NO SHADOWS
~ A Poem by John Sweet ~


she dreams
after
the abortion


wakes up crying
then falls
back asleep


eventually
there are words


a man
nailed to a fence
in the Midwest
and left to die


another
to the south
dragged ten miles
behind a truck
until his bones
emerge as his
true identity


small events that
become
the sum total of
our history


all of us


and she turns to
the wall in the
first thin light
of morning and
the birds outside
her window
sing


no shadows cast
yet
but soon

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POEM
~ A Poem by Jason Cain ~


reactors humming in green fields far away
slowly shutting off, shutting down
turbines moving slow as a walk
machines dying everywhere in the vicinity
the food in every icebox has begun to rot
a porchlight down the street slowly fades out
all we can do is hold one another in fear
immobile in the pink dawnlight of this tragedy

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SICK
~ A Poem by Daniel Brenner ~


I was let loose by a hypnotist
Who gave me a wish list
Who can tell me what's easiest
Let the most doomed be doomed


I'm catching up to the hypnotist
Who set me loose
I start to feel sick
When my wish list shifts


It's some kind of death trap
I can see it from the outside
Who can tell me the easiest
Way to eat my words

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THREE POEMS by Devin Davis

*

GRAMMAR HAS AN A


did frank...


head lying in newspaper;
hair, the fur of seven hamsters;
breath, its stench like tuna-fish;
midst an ashram that's both epithet
and anagram:


...paginate her mat?


gray & white
spider-hunter,


marked with
black print.

*

GREASE


...prometheus,
what became of him?


it's the same as us:


anise was soon mixing
in with liquorice root.


5 fingers brought fire
before after-thought;


about cousins,
caste and kissing, on
another kind of light.


...seeing
adam punished;
pre-eves; ignored:


by x wives;
the monkey's brother;
a married son & husband;


master father.
back words. forwards.
grand daughters resting


undergods;
an in-law,
turning...


water in wine;
a separate sparta


...athens is
not of this earth.


for 30 years,
these vultures,
doves, eagles claw


olive-
oiling the sober well
of his original liver;


culled in
antichrist
pidgin spittle;


bloodied wings
like chicken-
fried jesus.

*

HANDSOMNIAC


in a raga (*) of the
single-engine aeroplane--
& to that three-drone sound


--our window began
tapping, on tabla (**).


(*) A melodic formula of Hindu music. (**) A small pair of Indian drums played with the hands.

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TWENTY FOUR FIVE
~ A Poem by Scott Villarosa ~


Much adored superstitious tribal methods,
Beating thwarted sonic drumming of incandescent soothing notational conversions.
Interpreted through aural means, slight of hand, whistling pressure builds.
Attempts to block inflow fails miserably and reading into the situation just tend to hurt,
Far too believingly agonising.
Rhythmic union, stronger on mass.
Hunting down the fleeing runaways, stirs agitation with a minimised persuasion.
Tempting the rebel inside to confess to an own sense of blindness.
Purging seldom indifferences, laughing down the eddying showers of free falling heckles.
Famine and hunger--We are starving from the inside out.


[Twenty Four Five first appeared online in Moria Poetry Journal in January 2001.]

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CRIPPLED WORDS
~ A Short Story by Jerry Vilhotti ~


The beginning of the word was like a fetus struggling to become but often the word was like a loose tooth dangling out between lips and the listener, with a grin in the eye and a twitch about the mouth, would reach out for the first letter; pulling the rest of the word out with one sharp jerk. Seeing the hand reaching toward him would cause Byrom to tense and feel in much the same way as when he was a four year old and his father with gnarled fingers was reaching for him while saying: "Trying to say the filthiest word in the English language again, Byrom? A word that harbors deep inside our minds that makes a meaninglessness of our existence! Hand out! Hand out--I say!" The graduate chemist from Cornell steadied his stance for the fierce task at hand.


Byrom extended his hand like a forming word and then his father clutched it and held it over the flame he had made with the long wooden match that the old lamp lighters were using in their small New Jersey town.


Everything turned black for Byrom after his father died. His father, The Old Warrior, blamed--"that evil person trapped inside his wheelchair in the White House who brought on the Great Depression and cost me my position as a chemist at Dupont"--FDR for their having to live in his father's house; taking his food and charity. The Old Warrior, that's what Byrom called him admiring him so deeply and sucking in his presence every time he was awarded the privilege to visit him and his second wife, died just before he divorced the Moth of Burywater, that's what he called his x-wife leaving her and the four children, of whom two he was sure were his, far far behind and moved to a marginal neighborhood where he would not be found while avoiding payments the court said he had to fork over for their survival and with a great deal of trepidation he recalled his father's words: "We had better do to those niggers what we did to the red niggers when we concentrated them in reservations! Let the beasts out of their ghettoes and we shall have to pay the price. Do you think those inferiors will continue to burn down where they live and those fools who go to open businesses in their slums. No sir, Mr. Byrom, I say they will come out of their holes and come at us. We need more ghettos in this the greatest country that ever was!" Soon after, Byrom adopted his speech therapist's suggestion to whistle before attempting to say words beginning with a consonant as the vowel words he had no problem pushing out in full form from a mouth that needed a dental bridge badly, according to his father: "So able to smile which always won one over to one's side."


Byrom put his coat on over his father's pajamas, that his step-mother gave him to wear the night before they were to bury The Old Warrior, and raced out into the sleet infested night. He desperately wanted to get out of himself; out of his skin that so much repulsed him. He would not be able to show the Old Warrior he was making a new life for himself. How would he be able to make the dead see?


Byrom, whom his mother--who could not control her smile--had named after the great poet thinking the name ended with an m and had died just days after the six-year-old Byrom had wished she would and go to hell for all the strapping she had done on him; sucking blood from his quavering buttocks because he could not stop saying that word that offended her so and heightened her malaise, began to whistle; initially, it came out in twisted chunks of noise; collapsing into a hiss. Repeatedly, he told himself he was not in the present and before he could say his name Byrom Lighthouse Bush he would indeed be in a realm of nothingness but the sleet stinging his face like so many flickering flames made it impossible for him to exercise his mind to win over the night.


"I'm (whistle) not (whistle) here in (whistle) Cincinnati!" Over and over he repeated this trying to get beyond himself but finally the words ebbed away and in their stead came a long continuous screaming, as if crippled, whistle that seemed as if it would never end.

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