Sunday, January 31, 2010
This month features Daniel Wilcox, Sergio Ortiz and
Stephen Jarrell Williams
(Previously published in La Fenetre in France)
Past muggy midnight,
Working 7-11 on the late shift,
I’m the moonlighting student
Washing the wall-to-wall glass outside,
Pushing the strong pole up and down
In the fogged, moist
Huntington Beach night,
Then I go inside and stock shelves with the last
Of the cans--sweet peaches, chili and meat,
And wait on the handful of customers,
A trucker, two teen cruisers, and an elderly gent.
Later a friendly Mexican family comes in
With 5 rambunctious kids
Going who knows where at 3 A.M.,
No doubt journeying far.
While the kids scamper in lively dances
And the parents load up a large basket,
The door chime sounds
And a comely young woman strolls in,
Frilly skirt swaying;
She walks to the cooler in the back,
Side steps two running boys,
And returns to the counter
With an Orange Crush
Smiling up at me,
Where I’m reading “Recuerdo”
By Millay from my college text--
The girl leans forward on the counter,
Her green blouse like a palm-frond basket
In the market, the partially open scarf
Revealing her harvest,
Two soft mangoes, succulent skin.
She looks up, her soft eyes
Large and luminous;
I return her warm smile, then look away
To the permanent ‘Keys’
On the register;
Rejecting the easy way, the brief flush and rise,
Longing instead for the music
That moves the invisible spheres,
The endless, passionate ‘reel.’
No voyeur, I am a midnight voyager
Journeying toward another country
Like the Hebrews, longing for the hidden one.
Daniel Wilcox earned his degree in Creative Writing from Cal State Long Beach. A former activist, teacher, and wanderer from Montana to the Middle East, he casts his lines out upon the world's turbulent waters and wide shores in Static Movement, Lunarosity, The Recusant, Counterexample Poetics, Tipton Poetry Journal, outwardlink.net, etc. Dark Energy, a book of his poetry, was published in 2009 by Diminuendo Press. "The Faces of Stone", based on his time in the Middle East, came out in The Danforth Review and Danse Macabre. Daniel lives with a speculative novel The Feeling of the Earth, a second volume of poems Psalms, Yawps, and Howls, and his wife on the central coast of California.
A life to serve under the brightness
of elongated moons,
a deeply secret road where my fingers braid
an endless thread of plenty around your spur,
the bank of our first dawn together—
tearing at my pollen walls.
Pleasant: the labyrinth of temperate water,
Fear: a premonition of the spiraling
absence in the sweetness of your voice,
miles of all that could have been.
on the other side
of a snowflake
set on fire
a kingdom appears
where shadows whisper
he turns, stares at
Mama got AIDS from an enemy soldier
We walked five miles to the nearest waterhole.
A baldin’ boogeyman convoy
left her for dead by the roadside.
We ran—three little birds (cryin’ and cryin’).
My brother stayed in my head—boogeyman’s body
sucking his breath (yellin’ and yellin’) yeah
(yellin’ and yellin). He’ll live, or I’ll shut him myself.
Death (wow - wow - wow) sprawled like a lizard.
Papa (whoo - whoo - whoo) tore off
his ankle bracelet and went for the gun.
Ortiz has a B.A. in English literature from Inter-American University, and a
M.A. in Philosophy from World University. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in: Autumn Sky Poetry, 3LightsGallery, The Smoking Poet, The Acentos Review, Poesia, and Words-Myth.
Stephen Jarrell Williams
I know you're coming
Down the long journey of atheism.
Your mind an odyssey spilling
A valiant woman
In the arms of loneliness,
Washing you onto my island,
Sleek your hip above water,
I run my hand along
The path to your peak and climax.
Let it go sky-high
I'll catch you,
Bring you in
Easy and evermore,
On our be of sand
Softhearted an rocking,
Swaying beside the waves,
An inlet beginning to glisten.
I'm your god...
And you're my god....
Sitting together staring across the sea,
Indian style with naked knees touching
Rainbow orbs dancing over the waves,
Sunlight over your face,
Watching you out of the corner of my eye,
Sweet scent in the breeze,
Take me under
Breathing below the waters you stir,
Dragging me gasping onto the beach,
Laughing with you holding me
Wet skin to skin,
Drying in the sand,
Palm fronds swaying above,
Bamboo sprouting thick as your desire.
The sea calling us...
Running across the beach,
Kicking sand back into the dark,
Busting through waves,
Heat of day still attached,
Your legs around me,
Riding on my back
Out into the forever
Stephen Jarrell Williams loves to write, listen to his music, and dance late into the night. He was born in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. His parents are native Texans. He has lived most of his life in California. His poetry has appeared in Aoife's Kiss, Aphelion, Blue Collar Review, The Broome Review, Camroc Press Review, Censored Poets, Chronogram Magazine, Deuce Coupe, Fissure Magazine, Freefall, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Hawaii Review, Heroin Love Songs, Hungur, Is This Reality, Kalkion, Liquid Imagination, Mad Swirl, Metazen, Mirror Dance, Neonbeam, Nerve Cowboy, Nomad's Choir, POEM, Poesia, Posey, protestpoems.org, Purpose, REAL, Rusty Truck, Scifaikuest, Sex And Murder, Shoots And Vines, Tales from the Moonlit Path, Thieves jargon, Unfettered Verse, Zygote In my Coffee, and others.