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a literary supplement

Fall 2001

Short Poems

Sorting Lentils

Dry rivers rustle through my sunlit hands
Nameless lovely colors, ochre grey
Exquisite almost-purple, rosy green.
Astringent dust of ages on my tongue
Tomorrow's mess of pottage on my mind

Good Bargain

Jacob gets the job, the girl, the chattels and the cottage
Esau gets the appetite, and time to savor pottage

What Else

What else is art but this? To use our hands
Our eyes our ears our noses mouths and minds
Substantiate the mystery and join
Sweating and laughing, in creation's chain

Last Words Before The Firing Squad

All right, I will confess it! In my mind
There stands a sculpture, abstract of a form
You'd call subversive. Still I say it moves
My heart and hand remembering the curve
That ran from that man's hip down to his knee

New Photo

Silver Gelatin Print
By J. Luca Ackerman

Chalk Lines

Chalk white lines in the shape of me by the television on the wood planks of the floor. My entire front half is white if I wasn't facing out the window at the back of the room and you walked in the front door you'd never know. Also you wouldn't see me move a twitch I'm staying so still. If you came up behind me quietly and tapped my shoulder I'd fall stiff to the floor, on my back, and exhale. My eyes shut, body flat, arms in, not a breath: taut. You'd start at the sight of my white half and be confused by the powdery clouds hovering above me. Well, when you didn't come through the door I went ahead and fell alone, and fell asleep. By yellow I've never had so vivid a dream: I'm dead, I don't know how I got there, and I'm sure that I must find someone I know. Suddenly, of course, David appears but he doesn't look at me, he is finding a ladder he needs to put in the well of his trapped puppy. We can be positive that its leg was smashed under a rock. I follow the river's edge and take the ferry across where I find some friends waiting for me. They are obviously dead too so we talk about that for a while before I wake up on the floor one morning later. If you'd walked in before or just as I woke you'd see the undisturbed patterns the chalk had made on the floor. For the hours following my dream I was sure I was dead, I walked through my neighborhood. It is true no one ever even looked at me not even to pretend I was alive. It would have reminded you of television. Now, as I wipe myself back into normal colors I am beginning to wonder if you'll ever walk in, I could easily begin to drop chicken feed in uneven circles around the shed. Your cat will probably eat it, I imagine.

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