Poetry from No. 7



A Date with James Dean

I have a date tonight
with dreamy James Dean.
He'd been watching me from heaven
and called me.
He told me he'd play chicken
in his car with me.
Take me to the edge,
safely to the fractional edge
of any cliff I desired
And then he'll walk me out
past the edge, where, he said,
we'll stand like paper on a still wind
because Jimmy's an angel now,
and he's allowed.

-- Molly Russakoff

Something Wrong

they come out of the grocery store
and he sees a big puddle
under their car
which they just had repaired
at enormous cost
and he gets down on his hands and knees
and stares into the puddle
and wonders if what he is studying
is as close to blood
as it feels

-- Walt Phillips

The Claude Dallases of the Old West

were men who ran away from themselves
and the hills hid them,
and as long as they kept their eyes peeled
and their ear drums tight,
they couldn't sneak up on their own blind side.

They looked up at the stars
between Gospel Peak and Buffalo Hump
and wondered about the wrong turn
evolution made.

They sulked and practiced
Knifing themselves in the back,
and no one arrested them--
no one nursed them back to life.

But after too many close calls,
they always gave their conscience the slip
and came down from the hills
shed of flesh and spirit.

-- William Studebaker

Talk Show Junkie Madonna

her fingers
are swollen
from dialing

got a black
eye from where
the radio fell

toward her as
if the voices
she longed for

slid toward her
in bed

-- lyn lifshin

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