Saturday, March 1, 2008

CSR: Issue Fifteen

Editor's Note:

Welcome to the fifteenth issue of CSR! By now, you regular readers know my baby likes to wear Emperor's clothes and hates to eat with a bib. It is fasinated by anything that stays up all night or has the uncanny ability to turn the words of poets into an Easter egg hunt. Issue Fifteen is an excellent example. This month CSR is filled with stunning photographs by an avid amateur, along with art that blossoms like hair from an earlobe. Add to that, a group of wonderful poets, an intriguing music maker and one magical book review and you've got the ingredients for a bubbling concoction that taste like curry when it was still a jackal. Trust me, when you finish this issue you'll feel like the next postal rate increase. Or no one could have guessed she was bow-legged. Either way, this issue will highjack your interest with delights seldom found in container cargo. So escape from spring cleaning and get busy...
CSR: Issue Fifteen Contributors/Contents

Chad Parenteau

Sirrus Poe

Helen Peterson

Mehmet Ozgur

Norman Olson

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

David Morgan

About Art - Chicago Picasso

Lyndall Bass

Book Review

About Music - Carla Bruni

Les Wicks

Wayne Wolfson
Chad Parenteau


I love reading about
how the classmate who ran
the school yearbook like
a Rupert Murdoch operation
and turned the campus paper
into a gossip rag fit
for people who mattered
now assembles lines of
Sloppy Joes for dress inspection
in a school her offspring
no doubt attend even though
she suspects poison from
enemies but only tests
her own secured meal
and even today when
she’s forced to revisit
old stomping grounds,
she makes certain that
her children’s footsteps
don’t even pick up dirt
in their sneaker’s grooves
and checks their clothes for even
the faintest speck of black
after crossing barely-there
bridges of char and ignoring
the kids when they ask
how they got that way
while they’re too nervous to wonder
why they even have to go
across them in the first place
or why they walk ahead of her.

Child At The Pet Store

If the shrieking over mom’s challenge
to his ownership of all the glassed creatures
culminates with the birds dropping
from their perches and the neighboring
mammals shivering their way to stillness,
two cage cleaners will instinctively
take the place of absent scholars
to debate whether this massacre
was intentional or not. Proof besides Jesus
that children equal a mysterious force,
which has demands that defy logic
and frightens you into speed of resolution
over understanding.

Housewarming Tips

Import overpriced plastic furniture
from your home state,
so you can claim to have
an authentic ethnic background
to the out-of-country club-hoppers
and local trust-fund refugees who will
exchange belief-like nods for wine.

Save the glasses they discard
and measure the liters
each was comfortable to leave unfinished.
It will equal the number of years
their future was paid for.

Later, when lying down
with the one who has the highest number,
leave on every light outside your room.
Imagine servants standing by,
burning their hands on bulbs to stay awake,
afraid to miss a summoning.


The spots of Spring grass
grow over those who said my
haikus lacked nature.


my girlfriend’s
pet black cat,

bedroom’s wandering
apparition in negative,

best shadow
in the morning.

waking her
in mono-language,

never says
the wrong thing.
Sirrus Poe

Leaving the Dead Season

Naked as the oaks
during the dead season, but this is not
that time. This is spring, and I
search for hues to paint flesh
dark as bark, vibrant as the leaves, soft
as newly opened buds. Don’t pretend
to bathe with the aroma,
honeysuckle climbs limbs,
caresses natural parts
with aide of palms.
Senses become made, skin reddened.
More days will pass
before unripe blackberry hue
descends, mellows in tone, becomes.
Until then, I will stand here
amongst the wild wheat
naked as the oaks
during the dead season.


Laid back,
back arched to form
of the stairs that place her
in front of the mirrored
wall. Fingertips tap tap
sensitive placements,
mass of peach tinted flesh
asking for a song to sing a-
cappella. Strickland’s Floating
soothes the minutes
passing before her like lost limbs
from the willow that stands beside the wetness
of the river, swimming in then
out of sight, but always dripping
with the excessive flow. The dive
becomes complete, the small appendages
of her limb sucked inside,
grasping at the interior depth,
searching for the bottom soil,
the pebbles, the freshly drowned
leaves, something, anything
worth satisfying the clinched
muscles, the urge to come
to the end where she might be held after-
wards. Her eyes have opened
with the flood and the reflection
she sees is no longer hers, but me
considering the concept of holding
someone other than myself.

*Previously published in Divine Animal

Simic Prophesies Repeated History and the Death of One Voice

“I have a kind of Halloween mask which I am afraid to put on”
Charles Simic

Fifty years later I still stand
on this corner where I shouldn’t be.
Lights have not returned.
My coat is not needed
in the decreased heat of night.
The dog has answered, sits
by my side, black snout damp

with bodily fluids found from within
a gutted marketplace.
Fear fails. I put on
the Halloween mask to cover
senses. There are no holes for eyes
to see scenes in the darkness
of falling walls.

A lone voice reports from the dust
of successes or small failures
then falters and fades
away. No death, just
the extinguished purpose of life.

Lonely Fish Without Oxygen

Searching through
fishbowl of jellybeans;
magnifying glass
spying all the liquorish
flavored black ones
looking for a beating
heart of red that might
sweeten hollowness
of empty rooms.

*Previously published in Unlikely Stories

Extracting DNA From the Elephant Man

Doctors were hard pressed to help
then and only now can they begin
to understand. Time spent hop-scotching

across the land to reveal the freak,
the hospital across the street from home-
that room that holds the curse, but failed

to keep the boy not ever a man.
Death visited during the evening,
shared promises of afterlife

while consuming biscuits and tea.
Answers may never come
to fulfill needs of those who laughed,

stared , turned their heads, or offered hands.
Forget the shape, the form; remember
that the sideshow was a man.
His name was Joseph. And mine remains
difficult to pronounce for the onlookers. We share
the same path; that quest for leaving the gray

to discover that we were alive
before the needle had to extract our memory
to prove that our form was not contagious.
Helen Peterson

Hairspray Will Only Hold You Down

sit still—


the hairs on your head tiny wings
more glorious than cartoon princesses
on a wardrobe of pink t shirts
as you gaze upon your kingdom,
major domo tree by your side,
spider knights doing battle with enemy
mosquitoes at your feet
freed at last of glass slippers

Deus Ex Machina

suspend the belief
the heat caught
within your clavicle
comes not from the blood—
running as wolves through your veins

madness is catching
look up into the rafters
believe in the ghosts suspended
with cloth and cord
listen to their whispers
…this is life…this is real
…it all comes together in the end



long black hands stretch across
the smooth white face that seems
to fall into their embrace; they laugh


glorying in the march of time
that ages the world around them
as they stand tall on firm mahogany legs
surrounded by numerous children

Assault With Batteries

Having dug them from the underbelly
of the latest plastic wonder
you throw them across the room
copper topped missiles making contact
with your mother’s face
tearing her gaunt smile to shreds
shattering framed glass.

Breathe in. Sharp. Think.

Breathe out. Slow. Move.

Make your way into the kitchen
for the dustpan and broom
grinding glass beneath you heels,
kick the D cells under the couch.

Drive down to Walmart
as if fresh Duracells
could bring the homemade back.

One of the Boys

Your three older brothers have hiked
the Appalachian Trail in February,
wrecked bikes among the Catskills,
stalked by grizzlies in the Rockies,
so it will take more than witnessing
a moth’s dismemberment without
shrieking, having the whiskey
finally go down smooth and hot
like it should, to impress them.
These are the John Wayne, Davy Crockett,
Sons of the Pioneers who sang you to sleep,
charged by your parents when they left for Heaven
to be your cavalry and teach you all you’ll ever need to know.
So when one comes up as you coax the embers back to life
and says “That’s a damn good fire”, your heart rears up
on it’s hind legs before galloping off into the sunset.
Photography by Mehmet Ozgur

Norman J. Olson

Image Poem #27

A row of automobiles
lined up in the twilight
like red speckles
on the blacktop. Imaginary
palm trees wrinkled in my
as the light from unseen candles
burned me. My eyeballs
rolled across the dusty, tessellated floor
as I sat in the food court remembering
the traffic, sipping diet soda through a
red-striped straw.

Caught in their shining carapaces
in petroleum fumes and
gridlock, the human
beings melted
back into mud. Road raging palm
trees gripped the steering
wheels as swallows
swooped unseen
in the green, uneven light.

*Previously published in Red River Review, August 2001

In The Food Court

the food court glows
a dirty
skylight. bright primary colors
tear the air
to shreds as the future swoops
from store to store. the
cash register screen blinks
red and green
like some insane equation
children wonder why
we think this is fun.
high above the skylight vees of Canadian geese fly southeast
tiny robots walk around
the tessellated floor
tear their plastic hair. the
shoes of skeptics
are the bane
of these miniature machines
rodents and viruses
are their competition.

typing government reports

periscopes hang from the sky
the blind eyes
of eternity. my fingers click clacking
and my knees
are buckling with every other step.
everything I think seems incredibly stupid
the street walks
away from
and tiny space aliens tiptoe across
the icy waves of the
north atlantic ocean. the water
in my imagination is as

chilly webs of lightning

chilly webs of lightning
spackle the sky
like cracks in the universe. imaginary
globes of fire
drift through
the rings of
and the monsters of the id
fill the imaginary void
with howling.
the honeysuckle vine twines itself around a rusty trellis
blistering hot
bolts of lightning
connect imaginary
force fields
with giant
webbed like cracks
entangled in the

Unsafe Sex In The Suburbs

There is no expiation. There is no
interdiction. There are only crows
roosting in the crabapple tree. The
apocalypse turns out to be a
cellular problem and the soul
is nothing but a bowl
of chemical soup.
Somebody give Bernini a Martini . . .
Neatly trimmed lawns curse
the sod that pounds
grass up into the naked air.
Grass grows best in rotting flesh but
fertilizer will do.
The raucous birds cry and that is the only
the atomic number of carbon
has to give.
God is pushing a lawnmower across the
pellucid sky. Sixteen year old girls have saddled
up the apocalyptic horses and are riding
among the pastel houses. They cannot see that the
gene pool has become an oblong swimming
pool filled with acid rain, dead
cats and chlorine.
My hands are shaking even as I type this . . .
Cathedrals of bones are floating above the
holy Ganges which is
desperately polluted. Words fall from my fingers
like shit from the asshole of the damned
but still,
I carry an elephant of awareness on my back.
Capitalist birds are gobbling sunlight
like they
own a thermonuclear furnace and happy
crows are roosting in the
twisted blades of the crabapple

*Previously published in Cultural Logic, Volume 3, Spring 2000
Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

The Pepper Tree

The pepper tree seemed so old
This morning. Broken branches littered
The soft dirt, where grass
Once grew when I was
A boy. I used to play games there.
My brothers and sisters used to smoke there
As if hidden from view. A
Rope would be looped around
The branches now gone, which
Held up the birthday piñatas.
My father often sat under it
Reading a book or
Just enjoying its shade on hot afternoons.
As the years have shuffled through more branches
Have fallen on their own. Scars
Appear where limbs broke off. Birds continue
To make their lives there, singing songs of
Morning, afternoon, and evening. The pepper
Tree stands, a witness of our lives.

Road Rage

My blood boils over.
The purity of
Anger colors my
Cheeks. Anger dwarfs me.
I brim with it as
It darkens my heart.
I am insane to
Be so angry. I
Cannot blame youth for
Hiding the tender
Spot in my heart. I
Cannot fight the world.
Wisdom blurts out, drive
Away your road rage

Lovely And Sad

At dawn
I crawl
back to
my cave.
It is
and sad,
my life.
I do
not die.
I live
at night.
is not
kind to
my type.
I feast
on frogs,
and those
sad souls
who leave
this world
a trace.
Blood is
my life
and wine.

A Dog’s World

I need wisdom.
I don’t need medicine.
I need the advice
Of a German shepherd.
I have had it
With psychiatrists
And their rounds, one minute
Of “How do you feel?” when
I’m blunted on
Legal drugs, which destroy
My manias
And hallucinations.
I need to hear
Advice from a dog’s
Perspective. A
Bark of wisdom, which man
Cannot provide.
This world is going to
The dogs anyway. This
Is how I feel. Write it
All down in your
Progress notes. I don’t
See much hope, but
I have not given up.

After Evening

The voice in the moon
Whispers nothing sweet.
It disturbs me from sleep.
In the next room a
Madwoman hears a
Cloud. Her eyes fill with rain.
After evening wolves
Patrol the hallways.
They howl at the voice in
The moon, which shines its
Light through my bedroom
Window. The madwoman
Knocks on my door, says
The wolves have gone, asks
If I’d like to join her.

*Previously published in Why Vandalism
David Morgan

A Chinese Puzzle

The future’s secure, fearfully and wonderfully made,
Rainbows are day glow, DNA unravels
10,000 times to the moon and back. Breaking out
For a few timeless tocks before oblivion,
Tying us endlessly as kindly as chains,
Dreams drift away through a far window.
What can we do but advance in love, or expectation,
Or indifference; Taking one another apart
With a type of ritual elegance?
With loved ones and enemies, eternity slips gently off.
Each lack of original thought hunches, huddled in its
Brown anorak, watching incomprehensible trains of ideas.
It’s balance and vertigo in almost mandarin proportions
Until all the puzzles end in kisses or screams.
Give names to sensations, colours to feelings,
Sounds to a word we cannot recreate-
Like swallows feeding their dead young,
Ghosts brass rubbing themselves in silence.
“It’s all worthwhile. “ Laughs the voice
That no one anywhere will ever hear now or ever.
Between each breath, each heartbeat, each soul’s flutter,
Something interesting forever labours to be born.
And somewhere in this poem there is a round of applause;
But not here … not here …………………………………

A Sense Of History

They say,
It is quite something to lose.
It is quite something to be wrong;
To give one's precious life to the passing gale;
To forsake all but the distant hosannas of the unseen stars
And still then to be one's own.

They say,
Such a being may stand on the high hill called Hero
And shadow the bland blue sky
With the back of his rightness-steady hand
And for him,
As for the headline glory of a terrible victory,
Ten million men shall die.

They say this
And smile satisfied as some worm presses the final button alone;
And no mouths are left to speak of legends,
No hand to write the great book of records...
And all the jolly journalists catch fire before they use their phones.

Cupid Painted Blind

Women dating on the Internet, if anything,
Are far more manipulative than men:
Curvy (tubby), Cuddly (a huge thing),
A cat lover (desperate for offspring).
Traditional homemaker you said
(You’re looking for a meal ticket),
Fun loving (drunken, possibly a crack head)
Adventurous (will do anything in bed).
Scatty (bonkers), rugby loving (dominate me),
I’m from St Petersburg
(For God’s sake marry me, British Nationality),
Right wing (You’d better earn a superb salary).
I will send a photo privately today
(I’m married, don’t want hubby to know).
Favourite things: DIY, football, Internet play
(Can’t think of anything … oh, I’m gay).
Men dating on the Internet each day
Are much simpler and straightforward,
No matter what they seem to say,
They seek sincere companionship… and sex, ok!

The Hunger Of The Olds

God knows, Cupid’s a funny little bugger;
Perhaps he suffers from indigestion,
Because love doesn’t make arrows any easier to stomach.
Two people slicing a melon precisely
And sucking the same flesh together… hardly ever !
So young she loved soft French cheese, German wine
And curiously cabbage with vinegar and cashew nuts.
He liked a pretty girl, a nutty pint and
“You can’t go wrong with a nice thick steak.”
They have been married for 50 years.
For her so many choices, for him two –
Shirts need mending, meals piping hot;
Meat stuffed pastry with salt soaked chips.
No preserved lemons, sin-ripened Queen olives,
No imaginative continental buffet lunches.
Cupid’s arrow so thin at first can penetrate a world;
Candle flames of crocus hide memories of snow.
They ate together though they ate differently
As three children grew riddled with liquorice,
Steak puddings, Moules Mariniere and Tarte Tatin.
Two daughters married, the food was kindness itself.
Their son died in a car crash conferencing,
The moblile phone still talking
As they cut his body from the car.
The cold funeral food was sandwiches.
She offers meals and mendings to grandchildren
With hands of double patience,
Although soufflés now sometimes fail to rise
And meals increasingly are imperfect doppelgangers
Of ones served years before.
Black and Deckers aggressively compete
With bleeping textphones deriding language,
Where once careful conversations were well fed.
Dying flowers are haunted by butterflies;
Crocus candle flames can no longer hide the ice to come.
They have been married for 50 years.
Love and God constitute more questions than answers;
This world is merely the tip of the iceberg.
Now so late so old at night they sleep hungrily together,
The bedroom echoing with strangely rumbling stomachs

Full Catastrophe Living

In a car called catastrophe he comes calling,
A figure carrying a sawn off shotgun,
Ghosts engraved into its barrels;
Through a mist of headlights footsteps sounding
The squeaking of abandoned gallows,
He approaches the moment’s auditorium
Amidst a tumult of nameless pasts and futures.
This morning he pissed piss grey as graveyard dust
And shaved without reflection, violent half moon
Time after time finding too much its mark.
When he turns the driving mirror slightly
He catches this stranger, unsmiling,
Face caked with blood; moonlight grey,
Metal magnifying destinies of rust.
Fingering the triggers now, two painfully pulled teeth,
His grip turns knuckle white on the stock.
A memory whipping slantwise suddenly raps
Resonant as a spade ringing on hit stone.
“Shut it!” He hisses under broken breath.
Stepping from the enclosure of evening
Moonlight cracks concrete as his grey shadow stalks.
In a car called catastrophe he comes calling,
A nightmare from two thousand dreams ago.
He offers release soft, as rest on a child’s eyes
Who wept so long then fell asleep, or harsh, sharp.
All over the world, each night each day he calls,
Waiting still as the caught breath,
Listen he may be coming right now … or just arrived.

About Art - Chicago Picasso

The Chicago Picasso (often just The Picasso) is an untitled monumental sculpture by Pablo Picasso in Chicago, USA. The sculpture, which was dedicated on 15 August 1967, stands in Daley Plaza in the Chicago Loop . At 50 feet tall, and weighing 162 tons it was the first such major public artwork in Downtown Chicago, and has become a well known landmark. Visitors to Daley Plaza can often be seen climbing on and sliding down the base of the sculpture.

The sculpture was commissioned by the architects of the Richard J. Daley Center in 1963. Picasso completed a maquette of the sculpture in 1965, and approved a final model of the sculpture in 1966. The cost of constructing the sculpture was $351,959.17, paid mostly by three charitable foundations: the Woods Charitable Fund, the Chauncey and Marion Deering McCormick Foundation, and the Field Foundation of Illinois. Picasso himself was offered payment of $100,000 but refused it, stating that he wanted to make a gift of his work,although he never explained what the sculpture was intended to represent.

The sculpture was fabricated by United States Steel Corporation in Gary, Indiana, before being disassembled and relocated to Chicago. Before fabrication of the final steel sculpture was started, a 12 feet tall wooden model was constructed for Picasso to approve, this was eventually sent to the Gary Career Center. Ground was broken in Daley Plaza for the construction of the sculpture on May 25, 1967. The efforts of the City of Chicago to publicize the sculpture—staging a number of press events before the sculpture was completed, and displaying the maquette without a copyright notice—were cited as evidence in a 1970 district court case where the judge ruled that the city's actions had resulted in the sculpture being dedicated to the public domain.

The sculpture was initially met with controversy. One Chicago City Council alderman immediately proposed replacing it with a statue of Ernie Banks. There was speculation on the subject, which ranged from a bird, or aardvark to Picasso's pet Afghan Hound, but a copper maquette is titled "Tête de Baboon" (Baboon Head). Find out more about this great artist at
Artwork by Lyndall Bass

About Books

Title: Fata Morgana
Author: Reginald Shepherd

Description: Fata Morgana mingles personal experience, history, mythology, politics, and natural science to explore the relationships of conception and perception, the self finding its way through a physical and social world not of its own making, but changing the world by its presence.

Product Details:

Printed: 9.02x5.78x.34 in. .40 lbs. 104 pages
ISBN: 9780822959519
Copyright: 2007
Language: English
Country: USA
Publisher's Link:

About Music - Carla Bruni

Before fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a professional singer and songwriter, Carla Bruni had already been included on Business Age's list of the 20 highest-paid models, had appeared in the films Prêt-à-Porter and Unzipped, and had been romantically linked to Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Kevin Costner, and Donald Trump.

The heiress of a tire manufacturing fortune, Bruni's family moved from their native Italy to Paris, France, when she was four. After attending boarding school in Switzerland she returned to Paris, where she was encouraged to try modeling as a career by her brother's girlfriend. Paul Marciano — president and creative director of GUESS? — picked Bruni's headshot out of a stack of photographs and turned the 19-year-old into an overnight sensation. She kept busy doing photo shoots and runway work for Prada, Chanel, Christian Dior, and Givenchy.

In a 1998 interview Bruni declared that the lack of creativity she was experiencing in the fashion world had led her to the decision to only model in special cases. Rare appearances for Yves Saint Laurent and Jean Paul Gaultier kept her in the fashion press, but she was making even more headlines in the gossip world, where she was painted as the woman responsible for the breakups of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall as well as Donald Trump and Marla Maples.

In 2003, a reinvented Bruni released her debut album, Quelqu'un M'a Dit. An album filled mostly with songs written by the singer in the style of her idols — Joni Mitchell and Serge Gainsbourg — Quelqu'un M'a Dit was an instant hit in France, selling one million copies soon after its release. Her second album, No Promises, was released in January 2007. Profound, potent and imbued with delicate beauty, No Promises is a very special project from a very special artist. An album, if you like, of pure poetry. Visit her website at
Les Wicks

Opposable Thumbs

Once I sang
I cool blueline
drenched in wonder.

But gave it away to the fingers, they
touched the bleak edge
of an unmoneyed future
& I saw it
like some untethered boat
react with a fingertip nudge
just float away
to the open sea of a stranger's way.
That was so simple.
What else?
Fingers wash
they fight, fuck up & fix.
We wait
as their batons rule the beat.

It's them who work the guns,
take us down from trees
to their shitty little that
chon a beige savannah plain.

under the thumbcommute between fingerfoods
& a hand signed repossession order.
Our minds sit locked
in boxes made of muscle.

*Previously published in Bluepepper, 2006

Snowbound, Waiting For The Hearse

If & when freezing Mum she’d want to know
that all the pleats were tidy –
hair done, the best string of pearls.
The deep freeze must be thoroughly scrubbed
then scented with 4711
orange oil & hospital grade bleach – effect
eternal but tidy
both practical & kitchen based.
Her hands should be folded
but eyes propped open…
she will scowl at you through all the blizzards/
the frozen xmas bird of mother-love.

*First published in Sugar Mule

Free Dark

After air,
only darkness is free.
The police had spotlights
on the body, a plain white sheet
covering less than planned &
the blood was a gloss to burn fire engines.
The television people were there &
the official lighting was a blessing because
there was a truth to talk about.
Diana was buried tonight
Mother Theresa & this
just support acts
but pulse lost
just as firmly.
Death shrinks
but him
in young-guy clothes on Saturday night
fits the young guy victim profile
like 501s & attitude footwear.
He was my first
& deserves more distinction than that.

*First published in Stories of the Feet


Sydney wanted fresh
but sick and blemish
had etched that day.
Then our eyes were healed -
drank the black tincture
of a harbour seconded by night,
fettled under starsplay.

*Previously published in Verses


It's a click in the head,
a shunt in the marshalling yard as carriages come apart,
small ruptures
in the weeds of ganglion.
Then I am flying.

Like a surfboard
but less devious turbulence
no chafe
or clutter of the tribe.
The air supports
& insinuates.

No flapping of imagined wings
or contraptions that ordered souls can fabricate.
This is simply me
without the gravity,
habits of the feet.

A mind let loose -
one part reading atmosphere maps
thermal tracks the gossip of jetstream.
The rest is gasping with unfixed eyes
at human life made tiny -
a mosaic of colour, congregation.

There is no distance, though touch becomes
a convention dropped along the way.

This is the time most alive
though I suspect I am asleep.
That stuff of bodies & the real
is a debate left
beside friends, money/
the mortgage & pets.

I am waiting
(some steps closer to empty space)
for solar flares, epiphany/
a collaboration of crows.

Or the southerly change to send me
crashing back to flesh.

*First published in Famous Reporter
Wayne Wolfson

Water Song

Somewhere, in the dark, she hides her secret wishes.
Again, the boy-girl thing.
Come on in, the water's fine, for the Sharks.
Her blues.
A treacherous kiss finds my lips.
Where are we?
According to the informant, caught.
Dancing, wrapped around each other like good poetry.
Where are we?
In between rounds, putting her blues in motion on the dance floor,
hiding from all tomorrows.

A Bowl Of Cloves

It was a sound that pulled my eyes towards it. Now she is heart
broken, happy at last.
It was me, it always is.
We danced around in the water until I made her cry.
Shipwrecked, tiny Gods cling to the bit of stump which breeches
the lagoon's surface.
How long have they been there? Who has noticed?
The here and now. It is forever empty here. Her heart. My God,
my God. I sat staring at the pool. I should, I won't.
The influence of lethargy and an appetite which has become boring.
I watch jets of water move the vortex around.
Now, a fallen leaf is caught, even still with this change of season,
always the same pattern of movement.

Blue Tears

I was new in town, so there was a certain logic to my motive. To
learn the map
of her skin.
The silence that filled the space between us after we un-joined made
her uneasy.
she would hide behind a plume of smoke or talk.
“I was sixteen the first time I tasted blood. I got some ink to
celebrate.” She told me many times, but only if she thought I wasn't
paying attention.
She repeated it so many times it was easy for her to remember,
which was good because it wasn't true. She did have the tattoos
though, there was a story in there somewhere.
When she was excited her skin would quiver, causing them to dance.
When she
was sad they'd turn blue, washed away by tears in a process I caused
but wasn't
allowed to see.
I could imagine though. Even now they move with the motion of
something in a
Sheets stained a spent blue. Lone witness to a solo dancer. Evidence.


I had my drink. There was the spoon too. I do not know why it was
there. All we ever did was drink.
I began to wave it, as I talked. That did not seem right. I held it.
This. The spoon
out of place, a prop from a play somebody forgot to stage.
I tapped my glass. Shimmering green circles spread. They quiver,
limpid greens,
Degas, about to give voice to a secret.
No matter how much force I apply it always starts at the edge.
It is the rhythm I must vary. I imagine Salome and her veils backed
by a Bop quartet.
It is no good without you to dance with.
Falling, there is the sound of tin as the spoon hits the table.


Death is private, but eventually we are all there.
Tiny yellow flowers shot up from in-between the rocks. These little
patches of color could hypnotize if you walked the whole shore.
Now she is on top.
Many rocks go without her flaxen hair.
There are some greens to be seen too.Thin violent jags.
This morning, coming out of the shower, I thought I heard her laugh,
but it was only yesterday.

* Previously published in Bluepepper, June 5, 2007
Contributors Biographies

Chad Parenteau: is the editor of Spoonful, a tribute to the weekly Stone Soup Poetry readings in Cambridge, MA, which he also hosts. His work has recently appeared in The November 3rd Club, Shampoo, Wilderness House Literary Review, and the anthology French Connections: A Gathering of Franco-American Poets. His new chapbook, Discard: Poems For My Apartment, is forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press. He resides in Jamaica Plain, MA. Visit his blog at:

Sirrus Poe: writes short stories, poems, essays and photography have appeared in numerous print and online journals like, Snow Monkey, Carillon, Ancient Paths, Can We Have Our Ball Back?, Siderreality, Unlikely Stories, Decompisitions, and elsewhere. His newest book, Releasing the Demons, has been released and is online at All you have to do is look at the titles of his poems to realize that you're in for a surreal treat. He lives in New England. His website is

Helen Peterson: is the managing editor of Chopper Poetry Journal. She has had poetry published reviously in Fell Swoop, Right Hand Pointing, Elimae, Haruah, Zygote In My Coffee, Pedestal Magazine, Juked, Hiss Quarterly, Diddledog, Ken*Again, Literary Fever, Debris Magazine, and Poetrybay. Her work is also featured in an anthology published by Poet Plant Press. Presently she is co-editing a special issue of Fell Swoop featuring the poets of New London, CT, which is where she lives. Gvie a knock on her website door at

Mehmet Ozgur: is an engineer by profession but he is an avid photographer at heart. His images cover a wide range of subjects, from landscape panoramas to normal format landscape, digital compositions and his smoke works, photographs comprising of stunning images of incense smoke, manily in monochrome but some in color. He takes the images and digitally manipulates them on the computer until he gets the effect he is after. His landscape photography ranges from minimalist to "normal" portraits to detailed panoramas in color. He lives in Virginia. Find more photography at

Norman Olson: is a 58 year old poet, artist, and civil service worker. Since publishing is first poem in 1984, after many years of submissions and rejections, his work has appeared in Cultural Logic, Red River Review, and elsewhere. His art work has been published in 15 countries and was used as the illustrations for "What Language" (Slipstream, New York 2002) and in Outsider Art among other places. He has worked in a factory that prints telephone books from 1968 to 1988 and currently is a civil servant holding down a cerical position. He lives in Maplewood, MN. His website is

Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal: was born in Mexico, in the city of Cuernavaca, in the state of Morelos. Presently he works in the mental health profession in Los Angles. His first book of poetry, Raw Materials, was published in 2004 for Pygmy Forest Press. His first two chapbooks, Without Peace and Keepers of Silence were published by Kendra Steiner Editons in 2007. He rsides in West Covina, CA. Read more of his poetry at:

David Morgan: has been an arts worker and literature officer, writer-in-residence for education authorities, a prison and a psychiatric hospital staff member, and the subject of a Channel 4 presentation titled "Out Of Our Minds". He children's books include Blooming Cats, which won the Acorn award and was recently animated for BBC2's Words and Pictures Plus. His books of poetry includes Buzz Off. He teaches 11-19 year olds in Luton and lives in Bedfordshire in the UK with his wife and two children. Find out more at his website:

Lyndall Bass: has been studying art since she was a young girl. She worked first with private tutors then at local art classes and finally at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. her work is rooted in the great European traditions and is focused on classical techniques and collective thought about the arts throughout history. Her floral compositions have been reproduced widely and included in national reviews and publications about flower paintings. Her latest project is with the US Treasury Dept. where she is an associate mint designer for new circulating coinage. She lives in the state of New Mexico. Visit her website at

Les Wicks: has been a figure of substance in the Australian literary community for three decades. he has toured widely in that nation's literary festivals and been published in well over 150 newpapers, anthologies and magazines across nine countires in seven languages.
His books of poetry include The Vanguard Sleeps In (Glandular, 1981), Cannibals (Rochford St., 1985), Tickle (Island, 1993), Nitty Gritty (Five Islands, 1997), The Ways Of Waves (Sidewalk, 2000), Appetites of Light (Presspress, 2002) and Stories of the Feet (Five Islands, 2004). He lives in Sdyney, Austaralia. His website is

Wayne Wolfson: his poetry/prose/short stories have appeared in Poetic Diversity, Outsiderleft, Get Underground, The Brink, Void Magazine, and been showcased in Laura Hird's literary site, and elsewhere. Recently, he has collaborated with Mars Syndicate on the album "Midnight Lattitudes" which is a Con Troppo Records release. He lives in California. His website is called Terrible Beauty and can be found at:

Closing Notes: The editor would like to thank the contributors for the use of their work. Each contributor reserves their original rights. Look for the next issue of CSR online on April. 1st. Copyright 2008 by Maurice Oliver. All Rights Reserved.

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And his music blog: