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Poetry by Steve Klepetar
  Music 'Foil 2Demarcation' by Ben Tyree
  Art by Peter Wilm
'The Cat' (c) 2005-2006 Peter Wilm
Chick Peas

Chick peas are little boulders of gold.
They taste like a healthy Labrador's nose,

or like the backdoor of a fragrant marsh
or elephants in love. My elbows sniff

the table top; I roll my tongue
in the baffling scent of their viscous

juice. When they roll on my plate, I hear
a chorus of wet odes, each irregularity

damp and rough as hair soaked in wild
Autumn rain. In Cleveland I rolled some

around on my burnt tongue just outside
the bold pyramid of the Rock 'N Roll Hall

of Fame with Jimi Hendrix on my mind.
No, chick peas are not boulders, they are

fruit fallen on a forest floor, seeds of a
surging body of plants. Sometimes I worry

about seeds, how they ferment and burst
and fall through the wind from a great height.

Particles of bran. If I were to plant them
at night, each glowing globe would come

to resemble the moon with a streak of blood
on its fluorescent face.

She was, like, at my house, throwing stones
and the cat was freakin' big time. Hollow

catacombs of time, man. Her fire just freezing
me out, and the limes not yet squeezed.

I climbed the side of her building, keeping
my back to the gutters and brick. Klep told

it like that, as if he were not sleeping in some
doorway out in Forest Hills. I can see a time

when chick peas will descend among our flocks
and wake the lonely sleepers in the hills. Flakey

swans will kick up white feather dust among
the winding cliffs. Crescat herba vita excolatur.[1]

Frozen corn dances in light of garbanzo sun, streaming
through cigarash kitchens beneath clean hallways of bronze
From the Sky
'The Mask' (c) 2005-2006 Peter Wilm
They want him pilloried, they want him
killed, man with a leather mask, feathers

dangling filthy at his side, lust scrawled
across his tee-shirt chest. "He has fallen

from the sky," someone shouts.
Across the street, three girls window

shop, foiled hair gleaming in September
strained sun. No murder in their eyes,

they have lived for sixteen years
on the spear point of a star. Between

them they know everything about cats.
The cats no nothing about girls, except

when their fingers smell of fish or meat, or
when their feet step too close to sweeping tails.
'OK' (c) 2005-2006 Peter Wilm
Confessions of a High Wire Act
Here is exactly how my life went wrong:
wire bit into my feet and I loved the thin line of pain, how even slender
folds of childish flesh split and gathered around wire.

I never learned to use my voice.
High above the playground my body spoke
a strange dialect. I saw the top of my teacher's head, my schoolmates' mouths
like tiny "o" 's. I am the negative on the film of your eyes:

"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?"

For god's sake, who doesn't?

When I move my tongue I sound like a cartoon mouse.
The last song I wrote was a gurgle of fear:
Falling, falling, falling. Oh yes!
My body is someone's keynote address:
I haven't had an original thought in thirty years.
My house is actually a box. My car is a box. Everything
I own is a box in a box in a box.

Birds build their nests in my security lamps.
For twenty years I have struggled to raise the wire, five percent
a year. I am a cost of living adjustment, and I still think of Alaska
as "Seward's Folly." The flag I salute has more stars than I can count.

I know every word to "Waltzing Matilda," even "tuckerbag"
and "billibong."
Chocolate tapioca is my kind of dessert.

After I saw Anne of Greengables on public tv
I memorized "The Highwayman."
For me the road is a ribbon of moonlight.
I grew a ponytail. I got an earring and a tattoo. Too, too late.
Truth is, my spell-checker recognizes few of the words in my vocabulary.
The truth is I have worked all these years with an invisible net.

I Wouldn't Be Caught Dead
'OK - detailed' (c) 2005-2006 Peter Wilm
in this place of hollow hills
dangling above the mouths
of hungry song.
I'd rather walk hot
sand, playing
the fiddle of doom, I'd
sooner carry weight of flame.

My mother's friend returned
from Antarctica
with photographs of ice
and ice and ice. Her face had
smoothed, her liquid eyes
frozen into blue pools, her
brittle breath breaking in midair.

All night she prowls cold
corridors, heart aflame
with loneliness, not missing
arms or tongue, but great, white
fields of emptiness
and grief. I'd sooner drink
the rabid wine of dust and mice and worms.
[1] Let the grass grow that life may flourish.
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