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WATERWAYS : Poetry in the Mainstrea 4777 ISSN 0197 T ; : | WATERWAYS: Poetry in the Mainstream | January 1995 \ Oh the world is a beautiful place to be born into | if you don'c much mind a few dead minds in the higher places ora bomb or two now and then. in your upturned faces Lawrence Ferlinghat WATERWAYS: Poetry in the Mainstream Volume 16 Number 1 January, 1995 Designed, Edited and Published by Richard Spiegel & Barbara Fisher Thomas Perry, Assistant contents Ida Fasel 4-6 ChristienGholson 22 John Grey 33-34 Lyn Lifshin 7-12 Ruth Daigon 23-25 James Penha 35-36 Joan Payne Kincaid 13-14 David Michael Nixon 26 Gertrude Morris 37-42 Mary Winters 15 Terry Thomas 27-28 Arthur Winfield Knight 43 Kit Knight 16-17 Jeff Parker Knight 29-31 Joy Hewitt Mann 44-49 Bruce Hesselbach 18-21 Will Inman 32 Albert Huffstickler 50-52 Waterways is published 11 times 2 year. Subscriptions --$20 a year. Semple issues -$2,60 (includes postage). Submissions will be returned only if accompanied by a stamped, self addressed envelope. ‘Waterways, 393 St. Pauls Avenue, Staten Island, New York 10304-2127 © 1995, Ten Penny Players Inc, 1995 chemes excerpted from Lawrence Ferlinghetti: A Coney Island of the Mind, Copyright © 1958 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp. 2 EARLY RISING Ida Fasel At the window mornings I greet the angel created new and know with every breath Ttake God is creating more with every breath of his. ‘What beautiful work those wings, that story. ‘What a start ina world Twant no part of but am in. Unusual for an ordinary day to have only one wonder in it. 4 How much more so with choir after choir. Angels are not myths but secrets of the truth. Perhaps | am an angel. Like Isaiah. "Here am. Send me.” If only I remember. NOVEMBER 6, 199+ Ida Fasel Nature grows our columbine, carrots, crystals, grows our weeds free-speech wild. Will the landslide election and a few wise words keep nature from growing our cities seven cities deep? w OUT OF THE POETRY WORKSHOP Ida Fasel ‘They mele and reappear by chance in the parking lot or supermarket girl who worked gigs with a blue guicar now water and sewer specialized for che city and county of Denver boy who scraped words to their pressed tin ceilings delivering mail to house numbers. They talk of poem poems that no longer come, the air between us bristling with AUM, wich existences, wich words up from under -- peanut shells co toss or gold to silt true, persuading in the far reaches of patience. Here a line flares the dark out of corners, loses flame slowly; here a poem pops like a small Fourth of July over the transom. Years, decades, these few flower? Years, decades, these few flowers. ‘They miss the sound of my voice they say. HER WRAP AROUND BLUE SUN DRESS FLYING Lyn Lifshin Balalaikas on the player. Tiso Guitars blur Main Street. Pd always wanted co be 2 gipsy too, knew my mother danced at 12 with the door locked on North Pleasant, without shoes so Gramp wouldn't hear. ‘Twenty years lacer Joy and I gaze, our ballet shoes neatly folded, frown as mother kicks her legs higher and higher until we get out our tambourines. IN MY GRANDMOTHER'S KITCH| Lyn Lifshin gremikas or some thing that sounded like gremlins, crispy on the stove as my grandmother spread chocolate over a yellow dough on cloth. From the window, there was corn, blue chicory twisting in back of the apple tree 8 my grandfather would slash, as if it was all he couldn't deal with: a litany of my father's debts, short comings hovering like the smell of chicken sauteed in the iron pan. A lake of aches, someone whispers, says something in Yiddish. Hushes, crooks her head at, "Rosalyn might be listening," Then I'd leave for the dark hallway where chunks of cranberry and melon glass twisted light thinking how the baby sitcer said in Polish tunnels they pealed baby's skin for shades, stuffed their hair in pillows Rose spirea grew past the etched glass. The groan of the glider sounded like those trains THE WHEELCHAIR Lyn Lifshin never used, seemed huge in the dining room, a bull dozer or tractor it blocked the door. Thick pad on the seat so her bones wouldn't bruise, Metal gleaming, "Mama, we'll get to the new mall, just take your pills, please, please." The bones sticking out of her back like an antique plow rusting ina field THE DREAM OF CHAIRS WITH THREE RELATIVES ROCKING IN THEM Lyn Lifshin “The rooms in dusty light, color of ground lead and powder, a no color slate 3 older people are rocking in the quiet, eyes lifted looking out ahead like figureheads on old ships, rocking slowly as air close to a freeze ina de Chirico painting 10 One of the three is my mother, her hands on the arm of the chair, fingers bony the rocking is slow motion, as if like roses, the three are suspended in a clot of glue they're grim, no emotion, hypnotised by grey that goes on, Then children burst from charcoal laughing, alive, they say peace is in the air, acalm and the joy coming in js death, ic's in the room, a death chat isn't scary but is a hand on a forehead soothing fever of an arm to lean on as we are Jed into a room of amber light. 1977 AUGUST Lyn Lifshin Irwas that August when I saw her lips jut out as she slept in the car I drove out of the mountains. Like Nanny, she'd nod out under the afghan in the ferns. I watched past Black Locust Inn as the news of Elvis came and took the corners slow, thin painted cups wrapped in news print in the trunk, my mother's head loping, Love Me Tender on the dial. That night, every station played what now it seemed we'd never get enough as Otter Falls roared and the cat and curled in the lavender room my mother still brought me water t0. [couldn't know 13 years from that Wednesday, I'd be bringing everything to her in my house, in the room so transformed by hospital beds, commodes, bed pans, pills, she asked "was it really her room?" Or know, last year, running up and down, crushing demerol in soup or anything sweet -- cooking and re-cooking broccoli as the IV dripped like the days I had no idea were quite as numbered, dazed running and rushing, 12 both of us scraway my falling asleep in the grocery line as she yelped my hands were knives, were t00 cold, killing you when Irubbed her back. I knew the end of the plot, where we were heading, but not how we'd get there THE RESIDENT HAWK DOES ITS WIND DANCE Joan Payne Kincaid The redeail sails beyond the world assessing November 9th migrations of warblers and robins it stirs che sun and computes moves like a stringless kite it flies translucence with black fingertips buteo stretched tight as canvas, in motionless deceptive trance on stiff northeast wind contemplating a kill observe its rolling timelessness fierce detached secret intent hypnotically you begin to think you are its slow revolutions as if you both are caught in the wind or corpses transformed to space. AIRPORT Joan Payne Kincaid Down at Kennedy the birds they shoot on their nests so homo sapiens can fly friendly skies are Laughing Gulls. SUNNY OUIJA BOARD Mary Winters Kid at the museum calls ita bore: old slice of giant sequoia. Can't figure out the lines of grown-ups every day... It's the happy tree. Rings show the good stuff coming up in Mom or Dad's life; saint who appears on Sundays in nearby back yard lost her crowds predicting perdition. Thank you notes stick from bark flaking apart like pastry dough -- Magnifying glass moved slow shows tiniest script: lottery win, reunion with high school love, child on a full scholarship new living room furniture -- no one looks for D-Day. ANN WALLACE, 1862: THE BRIGADIER GENERAL'S WIDOW Kit Knight Cyrus told me about the small drummer boy who fell asleep and woke to find himself taken for a corpse and laid out in a long row of dead men, The child screamed and screamed. When the baccle of Shiloh ended, over 500 horses lay dead--bloated and stinking~on the field. During the batele, under- growth caught fire and many wounded men screamed fora while. My brother and my husband were there. Many of the wounded dragged themselves to a pond, but as more injured men came and collapsed, by morning the water was blood red. Southern men won the first day, but on the second day fresh Federal troops took back the ground they'd lost. And Tost my husband. Cyrus tried to carry him, but approaching rebel troops forced my brother to drop my husband and flee. Later, Will was found wrapped in a gray blanket. Apparently, my Will hadn't died right off, but rather faded like a fire going out. Forever, T'll be grateful to the unknown kind Confederate. I brought Will's body and his horse home to Illinois. Ocher men, less ranked, were buried in mass graves, "125 Rebels" and in a separate trench "35 Union."