CRYSTAL DRUM POETRY PAGE
by Alan Catlin
He waits his turn
hot for love
too impatient to sit in the front
room tight as his
shirt collar noises
from her bedroom
coiled springs letting
go inside him
Outside on the walkout
porch the air is so
cool fresh as a woman's
breath on his neck
and hair porch railing
for leaning back on
support for the main
slugging down the last
of that half-pint
of dark Barbados Rum
unless the railing
is not secured as
the one he puts his
weight on falling
from Grace as that was
the name she had set
business up under that
summer as a kind of joke
or so she would say
later after the three
point landing of her john-
to-be on the front steps
of her walkup that night
on Steuben Street
no expert creative story
telling could completely
--originally published in CRYSTAL DRUM 71
After Last Call
by Lindsay Wilson
The wildflowers are almost out
under the waxing April moon,
and you said, "We have to amuse these people,"
and came into the Starmart with me
to buy a single pack of condoms.
We discuss ribbed, lubricated or sensitive
with you finally going for sensitive, and
the woman behind the counter blushes
as she needlessly tells us
to have a good night.
--originally published in CRYSTAL DRUM 72
by Raymond Mason
The phone rang. The old lady
answered. The voice said:
This is Jim from Excel Ladder, and--
Don't want any.
--we'll be having a demonstration
Don't need any. Click.
She went back to the kitchen.
Who was that? the old man said.
Somebody selling ladders, I think.
The old man said: Those bladder transplants,
the waiting list is too long.
The old woman dug into her grapefruit.
I thought he said ladder, but
it's probably bladder, you're right,
you'd be dead before they found you a donor.
--originally pubished in Crystal Drum 74.
LUANN (IN THE DARK)
by Wm. H. Garsi
Luann is different in the dark
(Well, isn't everything?); in the dark,
Luann is more than just Luann;
And in the dark, what Luann says
Here is what you want to do
Says Luann (in the dark)
And to your shock, it is.
Colors bleed to different colors
In the dark, and everything is gray
Except that strange color you find
Inside your tightly shut eyelids
Which is not so much a color
As a tremor
Luann holds that color in one curved hand
Touches it with her tongue and turns it red.
From now on
It is always red, says Luann
And (in the dark) it is.
She stands at the edge of the carpet and smiles.
(There is an ocean behind her eyes. Well,
Behind every eye. But this ocean is alive
With tiny luminous creatures, visible
Dancing at the edge of her iris; and slowly you realize
You are not gazing at the surface of her secret sea
But staring up, drowned, lost, altered,
Through countless miles of cold water
Towards the strange light of some black sun...)
This finger which traces the line of her lip
Belongs to her, though it extends from your hand
And the eyes which see what she demands they see
Belong to her, no matter in what skull
They reside. Be careful as you follow this worn
Carpet, in the dark
It does not end in the same place
It did when the lights were dimmed
It does not end.
Where you think it does.
--originally publihsed in Crystal Drum 69
Me And God
by Ralph Haselmann Jr.
God ordered up a funny dream for me last night because he knew I was feeling down in the dumps.
God alerted me to the fact that there was a car about to jump the curb and it missed hitting me by an inch, because God cares about my well-being
God drinks with me at the local bar on Sundays to pass the time
We share a bowl of beer nuts and watch the football games silently scream their energy across the screen
God whispers poems in my ears in the soft sweet silent dead of night because he is my cosmic muse
God took my best friend away from me in my teenage years because he knew it would cause me deep pain and make me reexamine my life
God watches out for me through my best friend, an Angel on my shoulder.
God walks with me in the shadow of the valley of death, and sometimes we run like hell through the valley of the shadow of death
God comes onto me with lipstick and high heel shoes in the form of a beautiful woman or man and I have to laugh and smile and shake my head as I pull him into bed with me and comfort him in the sad lonely night
God screams out in pain at how the fuck ups of the world are ruining his beautiful green creation
Sirens and boomboxes and pollution and garbage stink up the wretched night as God cries on my shoulder and mutters, "Why?"
God has existentialist conversations with me over lunch
We talk about Sartre's play No Exit and how many angels can fit on the head of a pin as we pass the wacky weed and toke up
God and I psychoanalyze each other sometimes
He says he can't think sometimes with all those 6 billion voices inside his head
Me and God
We're quite a pair!
originally published in Crystal Drum 78
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