These are the poems from ArtCrimes 04
editor Daniel Thompson
publisher Smith
January 1988
54 poems - 27 poets

Artbark: Truffaut & True Friends

In unserer Wohnung
by Uwe Kolbe

In unserer Wohnung leben und erstarren dis Kafer.
Es sind jene dem katholischen Namen, jene in dem Kinderge-
wand, jene, vor denen niemand sich scheut, jene, denen man von
abgebrannten Pommerland vorgesungen hat noch nach dem Mauerbau,
jene Marienkafer, die erstaunlicherweise wirklich fliegen konnen.
Naturlich denke ich an jene Figur aus "Hundert Jahre Einsamkeit",
die begleitet wird von den gelben Faltern, naturlich verwerfe ich
den Gedanken, bin erbost daruber, das es ausgerechnet Marienkafer
sein sollen, die hier in einen privatmytnologischen Zusammenhang
sich drangen. Verwegenheit eines Kinderkafers, eines buckligen
Liebchens, eines klitzkleinen Klopses. Ich bin aufgebracht, in
Rage, wirklich. Konnt ihr das verstehn?
Konnt ihr begreifen, wie sehr es meinem Hochmut widerstrebt, das
hier nichts auser Marienkafern nistet, in diesem Hort des Erha-
benen, des Ehrgeizes, in diesen Heiligen Hallen? Die Vogel des
Herrn Tandori aus Budapest dagegen - das ist sogleich Literatur,
ohne Frage. Der gewaltige kafer des Herrn Kafka aus Prag: ja,
dazu konnte ich mich verstehen... wie aber sahe ich als Marien-
kafer aus? So toricht, wie ich bin, sagt ihr? Gewis, aber ich
mus es doch nicht hinnehmen... Der Dinosaurier Monterrosos, die
Hunde bei Hasek usw. usf. Soll ich denn mit Marienkafern in die
Literaturgeschichte eingehen? Es sticht mir ins Herz, bereitet
mir Atemnot. Lieber die Essigfliege, diese naturliche Bewohnerin
der Kuche, lieber Silberfischchen unter dem Spulbecken, lieber
Ratten im Abflusrohr und Mause unter der Dielung.
Ich bitte um Spinnen im Automobil! doch bitte, Herrgott, erlose
mich von diesrm Makel meiner Geschichte.

We Are All Gunmen
by Daniel Thompson

Cross at the light
And step over the dead
We are all gunmen
After the trial
The judge said, Daniel
You can say anything
You want to in America
But you've got to pay for it
We are all gunmen
I heard it at the C-Saw
The time the Angels trashed my reading
After the poets 'll come the niggers
We are all gunmen
How many killers are out tonight?
How many good Germans
Are threatening your life?
We are all gunmen
We are all gunmen
Let's put the l back in flag
Anita Bryant. What do you need?
You're it in the game of nuclear tag
Hey, hey, Enola Gay
How many buttholes did you bomb today?
We are all gunmen
We are all gunmen
We're big brains. We're scientists
We got grants to prove it
Star Wars. Shee-it
Let's knock these monkeys' brains out
The planet of the apes can go to hell
We need better helmets for the NFL
The whole country can go on the dole
We're gonna meet Russia in the Super Bowl
We are all gunmen
We are all gunmen
We are all gunmen
Cross at the light
And step over the dead
We are all gunmen

Whethered Would
by Steven B. Smith

Ach, uneasy cockroach coexistence,
Exilic, yet extant -
Contingencies of space and time.

The Wait
by Daniel Thompson

Like a crack
In the sky
This tree
At the earth's edge
Fills my coffee cup
Coffee with whiskey
Half-gone now
Along with love
And the night
Razz rolls over, stretches
You talk in your sleep
My sad ear waits
For your waking
I scratch the dog
I keep the faith

Truffaut at Cumberland
by Daniel Thompson

Taking up the cause
Of crow, sky is happy
Water on rock's loose sister
To crocodile, black snow
On sidewalk, dogs talk
In short waves of grass
Ants anticipate picnic pleasures
Truffaut & dark dog sniff & split
Hares in hole keep low profiles
Bushy tail is periscope, U.S.S.Squirrel
Whoosh, submarine flies up tree
Feet swarm
Truffaut follows odors
Orange ball spins
Wings heavenward
Blue bicycle boy
Whizzes by, whistling
On monkey bars
Acrobats hang
Banana smiles
Hi, dog, says skateboard
No need for long hair to say
Have a nice day

by Geoffrey Stamm

When I left Pleiku
We went by truck convoy
To Nha Trang.
I rode shotgun,
With my dog Ajax sitting between
Me and the black driver.
We had to go through
The An Lo Pass.
They said a convoy
Had been ambushed there
And wiped out
The previous week.
When we got to the pass,
I was struck by its awesome size
And majestic beauty.
The mountains rose forever
On either side.
As we wound slowly through
The pass,
It was hard to believe
It had been the site
Of death and destruction.
If we had been ambushed,
I don't think it would
Have seemed real to me.

by Geoffrey Stamm

His name was Ajax,
Alias the White Kid,
And he was pure white,
Kind of a small German Shepherd.
He was my dog in Vietnam.
He was with me in Pleiku,
And he was with me in Nha Trang,
And he was with me in Da Nang.
Where I went, Ajax went.
I treated him well.
He loved to play, to run and romp,
And to bound through the high grass.
He especially liked to bound
Through the high grass.
Ajax was faithful, a true friend
And a true companion.

When I left Vietnam
I had to leave Ajax behind,
But if you come over to my house
And sit out on the back porch
On a warm summer night,
If you look hard enough
You can see Ajax way out in the back yard
Bounding through the high grass.

Killing Rabbits
by Ed Ochester
from Miracle Mile by permission
Carnegie-Mellon University Press

Bend the neck back quickly
until it snaps,
cut off the head
close behind the skull.
Hang the carcass by a rear foot to bleed.
Skinning's easy: cut off the three loose feet
and tail with pruning shears, slit the fur
along the rear legs to the root of the tail
and pull the pelt like a glove.
Cut through the skin of the belly,
the guts spill out of their little tub.
(I knew a man could clean a rabbit
by snapping the slit carcass like a whip).

This is ugly. You wouldn't do it,
though you like to eat meat,
fat gravy made with the blood of steers,
sausages stuffed with the brains of pigs.

You were always delicate
averting your eyes in Florida
as your Buick purred by the migrants,
ten people in a tin-roof hut.
You were happy, years ago, when you got
to the bridge without crossing Harlem.
Even the steelworkers flowing like a dark river
oppress you: you ride past J & L
forcing your hands
to leave the window open.
In the supermarket you shrink
from blood-water in the plastic trays,

though your appetite is healthy.
In the silence of your well-policed rooms
your capped teeth flash and tear flesh.

Shards of Glass
by Steven B. Smith

I thought on her leaving and smelled the musk
of grasshoppers held captive
in a mason jar

Noah's Ark
by Frederic Lissauer

Now, a dog barks
  bow wow,
    in backyards
and O, perhaps
a bird
is heard to tweet --

but then,
what cacophonous symphony
shook beam and rafter,
like some subhuman
or a jeering crowd;
      or the sound
  of bound angels
  singing, out loud!

Natural Science
by Joseph Allgren

Bill and I hunted a six-acre field, wild
a few more months before order was imposed.
On three sides, rows of aluminum houses,
each a glow like thick ice, and on the fourth,
the brick school, "zoo" sprayed across the back.
In between: tall yellow grasses, slick green
pools, our airguns watching mosquitoes
pull from submerged sacs to the water's skin.

Then we'd shoot them. The signs went up
late summer: tarmac gridded the field.
We were left the green stretch of back
yard, a rough apple tree cool and heavy
with birds. How easy it was to watch him
aim and squeeze and drop a crow, watch
its paper tumble down the mower shed.
Then he'd run, cup the bird in his hands.

I remember his bedroom: desk and dresser
stacked with plastic show boxes, aquariums
with sticks papered by bundles of insect.
He would know to the day, he loved it so,
and I'd go over. In a sequence we could
not know, but thrilled to, each sac
ripped, and the thing stretched out, slick.
In hours, the room fluttered with color.

Pablo Picasso, Died
by Steven B. Smith

It pays to heed occasional squirrel whiles

Poor castle cast off
My heart does not knead for you
Your warped eye whispering
Spawns demon shadows only
Within your hairy benobbed frame
Need not be
Need not be

Red naped realities abound
Need not abide
Squirrels imply

A Haiku
by David K. Ware

I lie in bed, gaze
into the eyes of a cat
waiting to be fed

Re: Hermit Crabs
by Susan Grimm

Do not judge, do not deplore
the way I roam the ocean floor.
My search for larger carapace
is not a matter of saving face.
I only crave a new snail shell
when my arthropod home fits far too well.
Shelter is a must to a soft, coiled tummy
and stealing a deterrent to being chummy.
So until I'm resigned to being cramped or teeny
I'm stuck with the label -- anchorite meanie.

foxstem in the forest
by Luigi-Bob Drake

foxstem in the forest is the antidote
to frost. trilobites nibble datura nodes
til a blood pod forms round a common glove.
cinnamon horsehair weaves a stellar mast.
table daggered and metal electric.
gryphon warrior thru a teacake hose
meets the transuranium queen. her voltage leg
progresses like a razor across the falsetto stone.
in the tent of the silverthump udder.

Bone Poem*
by Truffaut

Art, Art, Art
Bow wow growl
No ruff drafts
Hot doggerel howl

*Example of rejected poem

Dirty Pool - for Truffaut
by Daniel Thompson

Throwing a dog
Who doesn't like water
Into the water
Is like hitting someone
You supposedly love
Once you've done it
They'll never trust you again
And the first chance they get
They'll put the bite on you
You dirty son of a bitch

In the Silence
by Daniel Thompson

Trees gnarled
Against the night sky
Sits on the snow
A statue looking up
At what so intensely
So doggedly
An elusiveness
The ubiquity of the oneness of things
The question mark is lost
Light as a white feather
In the silence
In the fallen snow

Chocolate and Roses
by Daniel Thompson

We met and immediately
Wanted to be rich. That was a year ago
At last we've decided to pool our tears
Sell them to the International Salt Company
Become millionaires. What do we want
But a life of chocolate and roses
Steaks for Truffaut, our greatest dog
Trips abroad, candlelight suppers
New curtains for the bathroom
I'll feel so respectable, she says
Is that a bad feeling, I counter?
I'd like a new image
Shave everyday, tie, stickpin
Shine on my shoes, spats, perhaps
Do you know how to jitterbug, she asks?
Ah, what makes the heart leap
Its waters flow to a shining sea
We swim toward the bank and dally
Till the weather changes. Now
Out of hiding the fugitive sun
Announces the dream is over
We smile, stay broke
And settle for ecstacy

Zen Over Zero
by Steven B. Smith

Dog week later in mourning kitchen pouring
Coffee into my veins with a dull cup
A daze of morals and Moses
Whines and Rosicrucians
It's raining cats and gods
And I am a fine unman

by Tim Joyce

Moondog howls dog songs all day long.
No one hears him barking.
As he blood hounds a pungent stream of water
through ten thousand nighttimes,
Who is satisfied? Man's friendless world?
His Master?

                            He has none.

Alpha Dog, Moondog, Dog of Jeremiah
baring teeth against dalmation skies of winter,
racing gales across wild waters,
toying with his massive paws
the billowing rabbit gold-quick sun-
Whom does he please?

                            He pleases no one.

Funky, ephemeral, smelly fur, four-legged angel creature!
Half-jackal, Mastiff-head cocking his ears, Moondog!
What does he hear? All. Yet he sees all in a blur
whippetting over anchored fields that lie in space,
prowling between corn-shocks, nosing the starlight shadow-
Whom does he fetch for? What is his mission?

                            He's just having fun.

Moondog nuzzles, happily growls, circling my dreams,
barking, larking he drags me by the scruff down alleys,
step by block by sunset by years, bones joined to bones
stalking a delicate prey within our midst baring her neck:
Oh for the sudden coupling! Ah for the savage kiss!
Head low, snout in the dust, yet awaiting my new dog's body-
I peal forth each evening a high pitched whistle calling-
Wild Hound! Let's run again with Wolves and Coyotes!

                            Moondog! Moondog come!

Blending The Ox
by John M. Bennett

The yard clean bare, loss of
dog bones. I stand there, wish your
feet were dry. Just an ox y moron,
pendejo shaved bloody y yo... Pero la
casa's a black steel box on the lawn, sunk in
mud and the door's rust shut. I
wanted to dig under there, wanted to
bury my heart like a blender. But it
shrieks and the button's stuck off.
I'm free, I guess, barking at the end of a rope

by John M. Bennett

Puncturing my belt there's a
cat under my shirt. Like my
voice muffled and slick like my
hopes slid away. Something
hot like a lump. Lacerating my
smooth digestion and never limpid though
limp sometimes. It purrs when I
stroke and makes me coff and my
clothes don't fit. I should
jerk it out but my hand's in love. And
doubled from the gash in my chest.

by John M. Bennett

When you lost my glasses all you could
find was my shin. In the room a
dog leg, I was heading toward the
door. How're you gonna escape from here
when your head's a cabbage burning on a stick? I
gave your suit to you and you just
burnt the pants. If I could see I'd
find the center of the room. But my
face's a wall and you're a
turdstorm, splatting into me.
Under the bed I'll crawl, maybe I
can shit a shoe or bark my teeth on your sock

(para la gente de Hargill, Texas)
by Gloria Anzaldua
(from Boderlands/La Frontera
by permission of the author)

Great horse running in the fields
come thundering toward
the outstretched hands
nostrils flaring at the corn
only it was knives in the hidden hands
can a horse smell tempered steel?

Anoche some kids cut up a horse
it was night and the pueblo slept
the Mexicans mutter among themselves:
they hobbled the two front legs
the two hind legs, kids aged sixteen
but they're gringos
and the sheriff won't do a thing
he'll just say boys will be boys
just following their instincts.

But it's the mind that kills
the animal the mexicanos murmur
killing it would have been a mercy
black horse running in the dark
came thundering toward
the outstretched hands
nostrils flaring at the smell
only it was knives in the hidden hands
did it pray all night for morning?

It was the owner came running
30-30 in his hand
put the caballo out of its pain
the Chicanos shake their heads
turn away some rich father
fished out his wallet
held out the folds of green
as if green could staunch red
pools dripping from the ribbons
on the horse's flanks
could cast up testicles
grow back the ears on the horse's head
no ears of corn but sheaths
hiding blades of steel
earth drinking blood sun rusting it
in that small Texas town
the mexicanos shuffle their feet
shut their faces stare at the ground.

Dead horse neighing in the night
come thundering toward the open faces
hooves iron-shod hurling lightning

only it is red red in the moonlight
in their sleep the gringos cry out
the mexicanos mumble if you're Mexican
you are born old.

white wooden horse
by Maria Ricciardo

she questioned the sun
then turned to run
though she knew she had left
something undone
when she heard a voice
saying "why would you run -
when you could ride a white wooden horse?"

and at the end of the day
she wanted to stay
but she turned instead
to walk away
when she heard a voice
call "come on, let's play -
you can ride my white wooden horse!"

she looked at the sky
and started to cry
and thought she was just
too tired to try
when she heard a voice
say, "you won't have to cry
when you ride the white wooden horse."

it took time to learn
that fire does burn
but sooner or later
you'll get what you earn
and for the first time
she decided to turn...
and look at the white wooden horse...

Marilyn Monroe 1926-1962
by Steven B. Smith

Yon black crow
hunched against the
yellow asphalt line
somewhere on route
thirtysix interstate
north is but a breath
of my fancy, an
invariable pigment of my integration
one final fiction.
Old crow's dead, died
gestalt, motherless
mind sewage. Lead
crow black cold, could
be magpie, raven.
O platinum yellow ozling
slack lover mother mary magpie
young mudded girl
inflected in random pools
of excreted auto oil on
yellow lined highways
the dead black crow
hunched against 36.

White-wing Season
by Gloria Anzaldua
(from Boderlands/La Frontera
by permission of the author)

The whitemen with their guns
have come again
to fill the silence and the sky
with buckshot.

She shakes out the wrinkles
snapping the sheets,
they crack like thunder
lean on the wind.

The gringos pull their caps
down to their eyes
hand her the bills,
the green flutter in her hand
will reshingle the roof.

Once her tender arms raised up
her brother's rifle
pointed at the cooing sounds
sprigs and two feathers floated down
near her feet twitching plumage
translucent eyelid blinking
across its eye
the small opened bill
blood from its mouth

She pours bluing into the washtub
plunges her arms in
puncturing the sky.
She wrings the sabanas
they sail and snap in the wind.
Startled, plump bodies rise
from the wooded areas and the desert brush.
The beating of feathers
white patches on wings and tail.
The shots
feathers fall over the fields
cover her roof.

On their way back
to the midwest
the hunters drop two birds
on her washboard.

Her eyes shiny pellets
watching the wind
trying to lift their wings.
Tinges of pink
small twisted necks
line the furrows.

She dunks the doves in a boiling pot
plucks out the feathers

in her belly a rumble
the sky reddens then blackens
a flurry of night rain
gentle as feathers.

Vernor Lake
by Major Ragain

At sunset tonight
I hooked a big fish
off Boatman's point.
He ran right at me
and then by the boat.
I couldn't reel fast enough
to keep the line taut.
He was as big as a second grade kid.
The son of a bitch turned me
around in the boat,
my arms extended straight up
like an Aztec priest
about to cut out a beating heart.
The rod bent double.
And gone.
I've been after this fish
for thirty years.
I know him.
He is the bitter
shiteating part of myself
who longs to drown
where the stars can't reach.
If I ever get him in the boat,
I'll tear out his gills
and make him fly.

by John M. Bennett

Money enough and times? A
bulldozer crossed my mind and I
backed to the basement where the
rugs used to dance. Oil pools under a
suitcase and I see...Why's your
face like a fish, milky and blurred?
There's a tide in my feet and I can't
get loose. Outside the yard's still cool and the
dirt's still there. So what's this
speed in my shirt? Why's my wallet full of
grease? Why'm I shoving this stack of meat?

by Luigi-Bob Drake

      fields of winter wheat
      brooks and drainage ditches swollen
      and muddy.
      in the pasture    cow's breath thickens
      moist and close    drifting
      from wet pink nostrils    black sides heaving
      against the morning chill.

      waking    into this air    washed clean
      and sexual
      dreams of massive animals    drifting into the mist
      come clear.
      water falls thick from the air
      filling the hollows in the path leading to the lake.
      remember that summer
      on a farm in southern indiana    spending our days
      bucking bales of hay    and canning beans
      remember checking the pasture fence and chasing the cows back in
      spending our evenings drinking beer on the porch
      swatting mosquitos    or back at the lake
      diving into the dim water
      remember spending our nights
      so hot and slick after love we'd fall apart
      to opposite sides of the bed

      and remember that morning
      we watched that clotted sack of calf
      skid into this world slick with blood
      watched Melissa rasp away that membrane
      and the calf stagger up, splay-legged and loud.

Winter Birds
by Sarah Croley

Over the Cuyahoga
in the slate November sky
seagulls fly in aimless patterns
like snowflakes in the wind.
A thousand hungry hawks
searching winter waters
for flecks of frigid fish.
They write elaborate script
in our muted Cleveland heavens.

Osterich Town
by Jim Lang

There is a town on the east end of Ostrich
If you look up and down you can see where the birds hitch
Run to the window and look way off far
What you see is the back of a star

From the other side we look inside out
And all our whispers echo like shouts
The Ostrichers talk with their mouths underground
So whatever they say makes almost no sound

But to us who hear words with ears bigger than birds
Thunder and lightening is tripled by thirds
Its not at all frightening for heads in the air
But sometimes a snore can make all of us stare

If you ever visit as far as you see
Ask the ear in your ear if he hears what can be

by Daniel Thompson

The Dying Swan
in 1911
Pavlova's dogs
Were tired

You Can't Ignore A Dinosaur
by Mark Hopkins

Dinosaurs were the
largest of beasts - they
weighed more than
houses to say the least!

They could gaze over
mountains, tower over
trees, roar like the
ocean and never say "please"

When they snapped
their tails or walked
or stomped, no one
tried to make them stop

They'd shake the
ground for miles
around & make such
strange & awful sounds

But that time when
dinosaurs had their
day was long
ago & far away

Maybe the weather
never got better
or the ocean just rose
Or maybe they froze

I guess no one
heard them say goodbye
or saw if they cried
before they died

But now we just go
to the museum and
see them, & don't have
to worry or run in a hurry

And I think that
they'd be very
surprised to find
they've been computerized

Their growls are
on tape & their bones
stuck with paste, & dust
is all they have to taste

There's no danger they'll
bite any strangers,
& their eyes cannot
see you nor me

But somehow I know
in some distant land
their tracks are
still marked in the sand

Royal Inn
by Cheese Borger

Hearing the car door shut
I got up from my stupidity
And longed out my window
It wasn't her
But while looking down
That street of dreams
Nicknamed E. 156
I noticed the flattened life
Well, I guess death,
Of a squirrel
"You wasted nut collector"
I screamed to the pancake
And then looked thru my
Record collection
For another noise to play
I wanted to hear the perfect song
While looking, I heard
The purr of the neighbor's cat
It was really the purrfect sound
But not the perfect song
I looked some more
Without a telephone
And her in Painesville
I wouldn't hear it

after El Greco's "Fable"
by Joseph Allgren

A small boy, nine or ten, attempts to light
a finger-long white candle in a flame,
this sole illumination, and you think
of candles then, fatty and slick to skin.
The ember's glow wraps round his pasty face,
raising the rims of brow and cheek to cup
these dream-lidded eyes, warming these full, pale
rose lips to blow and spark the heat in wax.

The bearded, red-capped simpleton gawking
to his left hulks inside a great coat
brown and not his size, and you think of fools,
their numbing slaver. This far the light,
his mouth, thick-lipped, obscure, slips over teeth;
from underneath, stale throaty breath rasps out
in brief husks of air, and his swollen eyes
are slitted towards the fingers, not the flame.

And over the boy's shoulder, a man-sized ape
cocks his base head, shifts his heavy mantle
of skin and hair on sinew, and you think
of Satan, weight and raw power behind
the yellow curves of the nails. His eyes,
wide-masked and rimmed by horns of white fur, pierce
the ember at the center; this simian
mouth blows with the boy as the fool, and you, wait.

Under the Dogwood Tree
by Frederic Lissauer

Crawling, on my belly
  dark earth
  summer garden
  dreaming --

  a long-haired (toy)
  in my lap!

Hand to Mouth
by Mother Dwarf Smith

Car's engine purred like a cat
& it was
They're not exactly caviar, but rats are
mighty good eatin' just the same

Ape mom is expecting

Fox's Song
by Barbara Angell

Ah bar arkh
a oo ooo a
na-ha na-ha ha-ha
err arr arkh!
a oo ooo a

I trot lightly
like new snow
on delicate paws.
Moonsparkle kindle
the fires of my pelt.

I sniff earth,
fungus, crumbling wood,
rabbits and small fur,
ruffle of chickens,
taste good blood.

I bark frosty answers
in the wooded night,
flow in and out of trees,
nip stars.

Ah bar arkh
a oo ooo a
na-ha na-ha ha-ha
err arr arkh!
a oo ooo a

Animal Poem
by Christopher Franke

For being
punchy, have a knack?
Better a lay
than be whacky.

Animal man,
animal cracker;
and without a woman,
love's a whacker.

what line of bull,
of horn so full!

Was ever buck
that didn't want does!
Come flop! can't duck . . .
when nothing goes.

Poetry sours,
probiscis knows.
Seed to flour,
an aphid on her rose.

To whey and curds,
the kindness of . . .
--As air holds birds,
may one hold love? . . .

Easy Cat
by Renee Mathews-Jackson
from A Spoon Full Of Animals
by permission the author

I am laid back
Totally cool
I walk real slow
No stress
No strain
Calm is my middle name

I'm easy you see
Ain't no other cat
In town like me...

My reputaion ain't
So very nice
I'm fast when it comes
To catching mice
I'm one of a kind
I'm the coolest cat
You will ever find

I'm easy you see
Ain't no other cat
In town like me...

When I'm out strolling
On the Avenue
Ain't nothing the other
Cats can do
The feline is my
Next of kin
I'm simply majestic
From beginning to end
They worship me
In the ancient days
They were really
On a wildcat craze
They even said I was part
Of the witches brew
When the witches burned
I burned too
I Must repeat this line
Just one more time

I'm easy you see
Ain't no other cat
In town like me...

How America's Pets Eat Better Than The Masses Of Latin Americans
by Joffre Stewart

The Romans were kind
to animals
feeding their cats
at the Coliseum
with the best
their Palestine had to offer
to their equal opportunity policy
making no distinction
'twixt the Christian and
collected by Hitler
--for a while:
Europe's leading
in a gigantic public works project
to clean Europe up
with an assist fom Shamir
and Begin, begging for their
to win with winners ...

Before the counterrevolutionary coup
Lions could lie with lambs On Animal Farm
by Joffree Stewart

The Conquering Lion of Judah
seems to survive gunsmoke
within Rastafarian haunts
conscrated to smoke clouds
of gage
which obscure such facts
as mortality
just as the Plain Truth
continues to tell us
that Britain, its colonial spinoff
are descended from the tribe of Dan
when Rabbis say
that the black women
they peek in on naked
are truly Danish
If we let facts interfere
with religion
we would be Unitarians, atheists
or Freethinking like Jesus
who made us all equal
with g-d
or gOddesses
if in [h/er/is] own image & likeness
had no fangs
or predatory habits
such as devour Conquering Lions
in the pride of their own kind
when they abandon 4 legs good
for 2 legs bad . . .

well behaved dog
by Martin Sokolich

I've said
as time goes by
a long, long time
what it seemed to be
the end of time

animal protection
groups said the project
promoted cruelty

you'll always
I'll never
get around
as I have you

many of the creatures,
she insists, make ideal

flying pig sighted
authorities said it was the third
sighting of a flying pig in three

The Dogs of Morning
by Daniel Thompson

After the piss
And the coffee
And ahh
The first shit
Of the day
After the voice
Has reached the suburbs
In the half-sleeping light
Are we ready
O dogs of morning
To meet sweet Jesus?
Ready to be at the beep & call
Of every indigent & his mother
Wife, sister, girlfriend, brother...
Caesar & Josh
Leap over me
Into the car
Like sailors
Drunk on liberty
We sail away to jail

Razz's Poem
by Daniel Thompson

Your death
Smashes our clock
The cold nose of morning
And the evening walk
Praise waters
That flow
Through our eyes
Through the park
Praise fires
That glow
In the heart
Of the dark
Praise winds
That blow
Our ashes
Our love
To the earth underfoot
To the skies above
O gutter moon chrome blood
Animal grief I
Must woo
The broken voice
Hanging on the wire

Visits With The Afterlife
by Jim Lang

just before xmasdate
my mother died
after a drugless
euphorie daytalk

hr lst 3 posthumous
months paused
w/hr kids
and grand kids

we watched and
tapped at hr -
she once talked back
in tongues

for 3 months
we stirred together
in th underworld
like unheard
but perceived
spheres musik
& heroes

one day
she shrank
too dense
to breathe again -
future flickered out
we buried th left
lump against the elements
clay fires
as it burns

th flesh
of luckless days
thru grinding ritual

seeds punched
the ground plain
to handspans
other generations -
the aether between
our atoms

Beyond the Sunset
by Barry Zuckor

Beyond the sunset
Endless rose she sniffs
Occasional barks
Pink tongued bright eyes
Romps through greens of light
A wet nose signals
The humming of soft naps on summer days
We'll flee together again
Where all is yoffe

by Maria Ricciardo

Perpetually saddened by life on the shelf
and nothing to do each day.
Probably thinking all the while to himself
"Nobody cares anyway."
The dog sometimes still chews on him.
He's almost nothing but rags.
His arms hang down, one eye is out
His whole little body sags.
He's always there when I need to talk
and he listens in his sympathetic way
He never laughs or makes fun of me.
In fact, he has nothing to say.
He has no knowledge of prejudice
He doesn't know how to get mad.
He has no idea how to hate
and he never does anything bad.
He sits propped up against the wall
all day and night.
And though he doesn't like the dark
He never turns on the light.
He sits alone on his shelf
waiting for someone to care.
But as the days go by, nobody notices
the sad little teddy-bear.
Then one day I picked him up
and held him for awhile.
I caught the slightest twinkle in his eye
and I thought I saw him smile...

by Steven B. Smith

It hurts to be a teddy bear
To sit alone, unused
No longer wanted anywhere
Just left alone, confused
I'm tossed aside to lie in here
This dank and musty chest
The dampness serves to hide my tear
The dark to mock my past
Not always thus, this has been no
I was her fair haired toy
She loved me once, I pleased her so
I shone, her chosen joy
Yet here I lie in darkest net
Her love for me did end
My love for her she deemed forget
She found a stranger friend
And now the stranger she does mold
And twists him through the air
While in this chest my heart grows cold
Alone and frightened, bare

Talking Easy Thru My Hat
by Daniel Thompson

Las, Mister
         A Mo-
           Neck on s-
            Tilts, in
             Trudes thru
              The window,
                Eats the flo-
                 Wers from my Ha
                  -waiian shirt...
                  At that she almost laughed.
                  It'll be easy, I told myself,
                  Easy does it, just take it easy,
                  Speak easy, keep the pace easy,
                  Make the terms easy; it's an easy
                  Business to get into - being free
                  And easy; go easy into a kiss and
                  Then tell her how easy street feels
                  When the tin lizard, lounging on gr-
                  Een tires, licks the jam of traffic up
                  And over easy; keep the matter and the
                  Manner easy, for easy marks the man of
                  Easy living; yes, easy come and easy go
                  And may I say you are so easy on the eyes
                  And easy on the ego, you know, you make me
                  Wanna just take life easy in your easy chair...
                  Not there, she cried, You're too fat! Go sit on
                  Your hat...So I said, That's that and sat on my
                  Hat until it was flat...not much fun and easier said than done.

Confessions of a Conservative
by Steven B. Smith

Let others munch spare frogslegs and things
Or their mother's tidbits so fine.
Not me.
I prefer wee bumblebee wings
With a pipe of blueberry wine.
I've no desire for porcupine stew
Aunts coated in chocolate yea thick
Fried crocodile
Ala flayed caribou
Or some other chef's table trick.
A simple table whenever I dine.
Not mine all these modern cuisines.
I'm quite satisfied with blueberry wine
And old fashioned bumblebee wings.

The Rabbit
by Christopher Franke

Episodes foist themselves upon the memory
and like vignettes lie in blank time
an album of experience.
A moment may not be important
but lies there touching your being.
The pages turn,
and I never did learn to dislocate
the rabbit's neck.
The trees behind the hutches do not exist
in this vignette,
but standing behind the hutches I am
killing a rabbit.
The dull knives that I used
taught me in my ignorance
to cut behind the ears
rather than saw the loose flesh
of the neck.
I clubbed the rabbit on the head
and strung him up
and sawed at his neck;
and slowed at the bone,
the rabbit came to
and squealed a shrill eeeeeeeeeeeee....
And the butcher that I was
I beat his head with the blade
of the bone-handled carving knife.
The blade broke on his head.
He stopped squealing.
I cut the loose flesh;
his head off, he convulsed blood.
Once when mom and I killed rabbits,
we cut one's heart out, set it down,
and it still beat.
I show my foster mother the broken knife.
The rabbit's skull broke her knife.
Strange, my mother and I had one the same,
part of a set.
Mom in Tallahassee, with electrodes to her head,
not my EEG, I in Pinellas Park.
I am all I know;
and the question asks the problem,
and I can not answer.


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