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® 1979, TEN P,ENNY P:tA'¥E-RS INC.

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THE NEW YORK STATE WATERWA:VS PROJEG:T grew out of a desire to presentt.o New YOrk Eesidents the arti.stry of th~ word ~n a. novel setting. The w'9-t.erways ~al:lght our imagi.nat.iGlns fDom aC0Dce:tnfgr aesthetics and the ell'lology 0f New. York ri vers and lakes. We thank t.he South. S'Ereet Seap0::J!'it Muse_ um, the National Maritime Ristori cal Society, the New York Harbor Festival and the Depart..ment of ForES and Te~minals for their coope cat.Lon and Fe,commendiat¢eU's. Poets and ina.ep'endent presses have responded by offerin~ their taient as perf0rrners and sharing in the ex~ense.We will be exhihd ting and reaaing at the South Street Seaport Museum on July 4thl at Pier lJ ill staten Island on July 21st, Pier 84 at West 44ith Street. in Manhattan on July 29, at Nc:;t:.t Avenue and 44'th Drive in Queens on Augl:lst 12,. at. the North Rive.r Bu.likhe ad in Greenwich Village (West St~eet: and Bank Street) on Aagust 19th, at the Fulton FeJrq Land'ing Brooklyn on August 25th and 26th aa.d iin Kingston on September 8th and 9th.

August 19, North River Bulkhead at Bank Street & West Street, Greenwich Village

noon 12: 15 12:30 12: 45

1 : 00 1 : 1 5 1 : 30 1 : 45 2:00 2: 1 5 2:30 2:45 3:00

- 3: 1 5 3:30 3:45 4:00 4: 1 5 4:30 4:45 5:00 5: 1 5 5:30 5:45 6:00

Chuck Nechtem Jeff Wright Donald Lev Charles Doria Enid Dame

Nei 1 Hackman Stanley Barkan Janet Bloom Shelley Messing

Zoe Best .

Cheryl SUcher

Roland Legiardi-Laura Barbara Fisher Athelantis Perry Richard Spiegel Barbara Holland Rochelle Ratne.r Elizabeth Marrafino PJ

Robert Trenour Sharon Heul..e Gregory Succop Conciere Taylor Shirlene Holmes Isaac Black

R. C. Morse


We welcorne to the New York State Waterways Proj ect:

Bramwell-Marsh Publishers, PO Box 385, Staten Island NY 10302, Poetry

Brooklyn Ferry Poets, 741 President Street, Brooklyn NY 11215, Poetry

Esopus, 27 Oriole Drive, Woodstock NY 12498, poetry Greenfield Review, PO Box 80, Greenfield Center,

NY 12833, poetry

Nambati Press, 1157 Third Avenue, NY 10021, poetry Queens Council on the Arts (SOURCE), 161-04 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11432

Grants from Poets & writers and The New York State Council on the Arts make possible payments to poets appearing

July 21 Pier 13 SIi August 25th & August 26th Fulton

Ferry Landing, Brooklyn

Grants from the United States Department of Labor and the NYC Department of Employment CETA Title VI have made the following appearances of Cultural Council Foundation CETA poets and of the Words to Go Poetry Van possible:

Jeff Wright, Charles Doria, Neil Hackman, Janet Bloom Zoe Best, Roland Legiardi-Laura. A Similar CETA program has enabled the appearances of the American Jewish Congress' MarLin Steinberg Center poets - Shelley Messing and Cheryl Sacher.

Our thanks to the NYC Department of Ports & Terminals for allowing us the use of their piers.

'First Saga of Johnny Reid' Rcchelle Ratner from the forthcoming book of poems by Rochelle Ratner COMBING THE WAVES, Hanging Loose Press

Illustrations from - OUR LITTLE ONES, William T. Adams, editor, Russell Publishing Compan.y, 1883


Chuck Nechtem

She told Janine

who was six years old the piano

was being sold because it was old and out of tune.

I watched

her delicate body quiver

as she asked her monuny

what will happen when she

no longer

is a child.

Jeff Wright

A nation of perfume is a lonely caress.

The key to your heart sleeps in a blizzard covered with snow white & dazzling.

The heart flits about in its cage,

a taxi full of convicts looking

for a jail to break into.

The solemn rattle of chains announces another prisoner -

a bomb scare in the rib cage. The kids are asleep, a Mercedes

rolls softly thru their paved dreams.


Donald Lev

I am very sad and very unexcited.

The Creator forged me like a signature upon a worthless check.

I lie around uncashable.

The rain has already blurred my ink. The sun has ,-yellowed my paper.

Hoo boy, am I sick!


LITTLE girl Bessie went down on the beach With doll "Angelina" to play;

Oh, was n't it fun to build houses in sand, And watch the bright ripples so gay 1 Little girl Bessie and dolly at last

Grew tired of watching the sea;

So dear little Bess made a bed in -the sand, As soft as a sand-bed could be.


Enid Dame

Last night, I stumbled into heaven:

an avant garde music event in a Soho loft.

People beat

the music of the spheres on homemade instruments. One played whisky bottles.

One played fluorescent light bulbs. One played a peanut butter jar.

One played his penis.

It pinged like crystal.

The audience cried, 'Bravo!'

It wasn't my scene. Everyone ignored me. Women in floaty skirts

and army boots

kept drinking wine.

I sat and took notes. My own erratic tunes rocked in my head.

I told myself:

this isn't forever. Soon

you'll be back safe tone deaf in Flatbush.


Neil Hackman

( :

And I raced the night to dawn Yes I outdanced your absence Idling for earth too quick

I wanted to

But I could not come to you

So take me

Bend to me as I am writing this For the ransom of your kiss

1111 hold hostage my empty life no more


(in Mexico)

stanley H. Barkan

\ \

On the plain

where the craftsmen come to finish

their uncut stones

I sit watching peons digging up

the fresh-filled graves

picking clothes rings, combs from bones

leaving naked skin upon the ground

burning, burnishing below the ancient sun the waterless earth

the sand-grained plants the prickly pears

in the mouths

stretched wide

at the base

of Sarguajo monuments

beyond the temple of the moon off the avenue of the dead.


Janet Bloom


I want

not to be afraid

of hurting - you or me,

of having my insides permanently rearranged, of losing contact - with you and with myself. I want it to happen

like a smile or tears

because we are really talking.

Don't hold back at f~rst.

It's too confusing, blurs the paths of all the little waves of joy

I want to learn to follow

up steep canyons,

in firework flights and plunges. I want to follow every jag,

each spit and burst,

each gripping and each l~tting go, both yours and mine, as our worlds hurtling together go down

past that amazing blinking

solar plexus moment

to the little waves of milk,

warm pulse lapping all around us/ the gentle sea of life's first food that for those few white moments

in our crossed comets' wakes

we can wallow in and sip.


Shelley Messing

At brunch you said, "At least we tried."

And I mixed my reply with a couple of screwdrivers. Diluted, my anger fizzled down to questions

I had asked myself so many times before;

And knowing there were no answers, I simply wanted To say, "I'll miss the way you llsed to rest

Your lips along my neck."

"There's nothing we can do," you said,

And I cut absently through two sunny side eggs. Uncomfortable, you kept asking if I wanted more to eat. I shook my head, disturbed by this ironic generosity, And thought only of the words to mix my feelings

Into some bitter-sweet philosophy you'd finally understand.

I stopped myself before I said,

"Words mean little to you without dollar signs

Or scientific proofs attached for meaning." Relieved, I needed nothing more; and when we left

I hugged you one last time, knowing when we met again You'd be, at best, the kind of friend

I'd share an empty meal with twice a year.





LITTLE Miss Tuckett sat on a bucket Eating some peaches and cream; There came a gras sh oppel'

And tried hard to stop bel',

But sbe said, H Go away, or I scream l"


from the opening of - MY BUBBY'S GHOST

Cheryl Sucher

Last Sunday my Bubby's ghost visited me in church.

She got very angry at me. Instead of going home to light the menorah for the first night of Chanukah, I went to church to hear my boyfriend Charlie, the Roman Catholic, sing a solo with the university choir. I was very surprised to see her. In her seventy-five years upon this earth, she never even passed a church without spitting on the ground, shaking her head and pleading to God with her eyes to make goyim invisible to her sight. But not even heaven could restrain her furious 'neshumah', her s o u l ; and her anger propelled her to earth where she could yell at me in person.

I noticed her as my eyes passed from my boyfriend Charlie's face to the altar. She was sitting on top of the green crucifix swaying above the organ, staring at me, shaking her head and pointing her fingers in their gesture of shame in my direction. I knew it was her because her hair was wrapped in the toilet paper net she used to wear to sleep to preserve the beauty parlor hairdo that was only supposed to last one day. I gasped and wondered why they didn't have 24 hour beautician service in heaven.

I was attending my first Mass and I didn't want anyone to know I was there, especially not the wandering soul of my Bubby. Besides, I didn't believe ghosts popped up out of thin air as they did in comic books and Shakespeare. I believed ghosts only appeared upon invitation, when you had no one else to talk to.

a lament--

Roland Legiardi-Laura

Some women ...


... lose me in my eyes reflecting their sadness

they wrap thei r warmth a'r ourid my waist and press my head into a sling made of neck and rounded shoulder

they wait for my tear so to soothe and be soothed by the soothing they want to swab away the loss welve all felt since guilt has been exchanged for the need to

be a hero ... some w.omen dance to the rhythms of their labour, birthing me with their fierceness and sparkling lunacy

its my fault my eyes are so brown i never wash them.


Barbara Fisher

They hobble into banks

on Social Security Monday, arm in arm

those dessicated couples

who have managed it so that at the end they end


or so it seems.

They stoop over

their pinched noses propelling them forward onward

down the line to the teller where the checks

are signed





and finally •..


They turn away. They tUrn back. They hover

and waver

over the finite process, politely

stopping the processing for all the rest of us impatient

to get on with our own

paper lives.

Richard Spiegel

the absence of intuition, the sudden defaulting

on your own judgment when calmer seasons

seem to lie ahead .

it is the business

of the poet to take risks, and dwell in uncertainty remarking either

about the movement of a dream or its frustration .

there is the possibility of culmination, just as there is an inevitability of hope in strands

of pubic hair .


OHASING the butterflies 'I'lirouo-lr the 10110'

b b

Dirty, hut happy,

Gay little lass!


Rochelle Ratner

She worried her son would swim off the first chance he got

so she had him baptized.

Quickly, before he forgets the touch of water

she wanted him to be whole again, to keep the sac of her womb intact around him.

f I


Elizabeth Marraffino

the next night the kind of noise new years makes.

ragged cheers

long & loud as a bomb while the big ball drops 50 low

crushing the skull

of the old year

into the dark roof times square new york

it falls the way a baseball falls into night game bleechers

america the beautiful was sung some priest prayed

your religion was bared

like the breasts of the king's favorite dancer i read now what you would never say

to the press

nothing meant as much as your kids and wife

all along i remembered how lucky you were

to never have to play old timers day

how everyone would remember you as one of the best. catchers

how perfection will never

walk out on you now

how you will live in the sun's pocket with phoenix white wings

how lonely it must be

when nothing whispers to you

but the angel of death

beating platinum wings hitting a grand slam like some pale Playbody girl some players pin over their lockers

or was the end the way a man tries niagra falls

burning auburn under lights waters shouting

like a crowd

at the playoffs

it is midnight the lights are lit the fans are so loud

my screen can't take the .sound the picture rolls about

like a severed head

sweet lou is very big

& bends into himself crying his picture rolls by

every five seconds how time & my t.v.



cling consciously to

your sense of humor. for.

that magic can turn

a threat of disaster into

a valuable, memorable, experience ....


Robert Trenour

To sit in a garden in the city can certainly be very pretty. But counting the work

that one cannot shirk

there are so few gardens in the city.


Sharon Heule

Aloneness perceived; Retrospect indulged in;

Unattainables recognized, but clung to.

Hypothesis hanging; Potential suspended;

Antithesis paradoxed by oneness.

Hollowness made full; Expansion emptied;

Oxymoron, personified s yrnpa t.hy,

Boredom enthroned; Pleasure satiate; Weariness asking a crutch.

Chinks in a circle; Parallels meeting;

Infini ty defining itself.


Gregory Succop

here we are writes Selma Potter

of Castorville, Utah. the sky here at dawn is such a pretty sight

my feet seem to sink into

the loam of creation. Selma

Potter appears on the

other side, appearing

&. disappearing at will. Utah recedes into the space

her time has made a bowl of, Castcirville. childhood, the railroad which perhaps didn't run thru Castorville

at all, the tracks like the sun marked out in shadow, as in my mind, to cut the glare

of landscape, her hands

above the eyes

hooded, fingers intertwined & palms out, as if to push all

that wasn't there. there.


(for a dead love affair that won't end)

Conciere Taylor


The corpse sways in the breeze. Left, center, right, center, left. Swaying fast, slow; waltzing to a separate tune that only it knows the music to.

The corpse sways

in the breeze; wind whistling through its hollow death's head grin. Swaying smiling, swaying, swaying.


I ly in bed tossing

and turning -- left center right, center, left. Tossing. Dream erupts into nightmare. Tossing turning left, center, right, center, left; Une danse abs ur df.ce ,



are a vampire. You rise each night to come and suck

my life: and the memory of you gets stronger with each bite, while reality fades away. When will someone

put the stake in your heart that will keep you from rising, night after night after

night after endless nightmare-filled night.

3:15 a.m. AT ELMHURST GENERAL HOSPITAL (Emergency Room)

Shirlene Holmes

from my throat the birds flew

flashes of color bitter as racism

the birds flew from me out my eyes

(I saw my mother)

out my nose

(I smelt my shadow)

from my throat

like last nite's dinner bitter as prejudice.

the room waS cramped like my stomach

and lit up

like an operating room

I saw Dachau and Auschwitz and Watts and my house

and the Church

The birds flew from me

this morning

and I wanted Christ.


Oa, bold and bumbly boomed the bees All in and out the eldt1r-trees,

\Vhen Vi be, in his bathing-rig,

Em harked upon his br~ad-tray brig, His towel for a sail.


- .",0

Ths Jake stretched out before him "Vast; He used a fish-poJe for a mast,

For ballast, in his boots he cast,

And paddling out, the shaUows past,

He waited for a gale.



R. C. Morse

Learning to live with and around each other has been about as easy as looking for a contact lens

in a room with no mirrors.

Not that I'm bitching, mind you, though we've come as no bargains to each other, wondering whether we're worth the-price

but convinced we have to try.

Desire and lust are no longer enough to drive us on, occupying hands seems

to relieve the incessant thinking.

We thought we needed each other for identical reasons, and while the women in us like to believe there are no other explanations, we can even get over that one.

Whatever sort of chemistry exists between us is immaterial

as long as the look in each others eyes ---i-s nothing but surrender and devotion.

New SCRIBES. 1223 Newkirk Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11230. Open CO-OpOE writers/poets.


ABRAHAM MARIN0FF BOOKS. 400 Argyle Road, Brooklyn, NY 11:;llB. Works for and by Seni.or Citizens.

AMERICAN BOOK REVIEW. PO Box 18B. Cooper Union Sta., NYC 10003. Literary cFitiE:::ism and essays •

. A SHOUT I N THE STREEf., English Dept.. Queens eollege, Flushing. NY 11367. Literature and poet.ry.

BA~D PRESS. 799 Greenwicb St .• NYC 10014. Poetry and! c works.

CONiACT II. 50 Broadway,. NYC. 10004 (Fourth Floor) . Li terary, cri tieism, reviews of small press, pse1t.ry,.

CROSS-CUUTlJlRAL C{i)IMMUN I CATI 0NS I 239 Wynsum Ave .. , MerriCK, NY 11566. Language. literaz;;y, and media pUblicat!iJons.

FULL TRACK PRESS. Elnglisb Dept.. Queens College, Flushing, N¥ lil367. "Undeniably integral" audio cassettes. pmeitry.

GLASSWORKS i PO Box 163, Rosebank Sta .• Stq,ten Island, NY 10305 .. Established and new Writers/artists.

HOME PLAN,ET NEWS I PO Box US t Stuyvesant. Sta ..• NYC 10009. Litel:'ary oriticism, reviews, poetry, fiction.

I nMCA H0WSE. iOB N. Plain St.., Ithaca. NY 14850. Poetry, fin.e letterpress priLnt!lng.

NYS S~1ALL PRESS ASSQCIATIOiL p.O Box 1264, Radrllo City sta., NYC 10019. Smal.l! pl:ess rilistributor.




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NOK PUBLISHERS. 150 Fif~h Ave., NYC 10011. Af!::'ican studies iin vari0US Giisciplri.nes.

POETRY IN PUBld C PLACES. 799 GJ:1eenwiGh st., NYC 100 14. poetEY caras.

RED DWST. PO Box 630, Gracie S~a" NYC 10028. P0etry, fiction.

Sr.tAMAL BOOKS. GPO Box 2218, NYC 1000L poetry/pr0se that I?aints/feels/speaks.

STRAWBERRY PRESS, PO Box 451, Bowling Green Sta., NYC 1000 publ.msnes the poet.ry o f Nat.ive American Indians.

SUNBURY PRESS. Box 274 Je~ome Ave. Sta., Bronx, NY !l.0468. FQetry from workers I women and tbe ThiIi'd Worltd Community.

SWAMP PRESS. 4 Bugbee RQad, oneont.a, NY 13820. poetry handset let.terpress on fine papeEs.

SZ/PRESS. 321 W. 94th st., NYC 10025. Primarily experimental poetrY/]prose.

TEN PENNY PLAYERS. 799 Greenwich st., NYC 10014. Literature/poetry books for and by children.

THE SMll~. 5 Beekman st., NYC lQ038.

1.i terary cri tiiGisID, small p re s s news, essays.

13TH MoeN. PO Box 3/ Inwood £ta., NYC ]0034. publishing women: poel\r.lrY, fictillon, graphies, essays.

TIRESIAS PRESS. 2039 Mi i Ave., Brooklyn, N~ 11234. poetry and prose.