Spring 2010

Table of Contents - Vol. VI, No. 1


Poetry    Fiction    Reviews   

Geraldine Green


Talking With Jack

Last night a quiet-voiced man
read us his poem about Jack Kerouac.
His old sloppy sweater, bedroom slippers
and his cat, Tyke, came to life in this man's mouth.
Yes, even the backyard cat that walked along the
branches of the tree just outside Jack's

bedroom window and the way his mom
had to take his library books back -- Jack
was too shy, just that shade of shy that
made people love him that got him into
trouble and this man, the one reading us
his poem about Jack, seemed to get inside

Jack's skin, like he was the lining
of his overcoat, or the whirring steam--
driven gentle talking Catholic Canadian
French American, or as if he was a nun
Jack once knew in Lowell, who’d peel away
at her rosary beads as if they were grapes
as if each carved petal of rose was the frail
paper tissue of garlic unwrapped free to reveal

the smooth flesh of a woman Jack once
picked up on the road. Yes, Jack’s long throwing
mind could throw a line out snap snap snap!
Just like he'd belt his tune to the angels and
demons that lived in his veins, roar his French
Canadian Kerouac guts out from somewhere
no one else knew or could get to

and all the time his tongue spoke the langue
of Jack and he'd remember his brother
Gerard and this soft-voiced man, reading his
poem about Jack, paused, as if he too were
remembering something sad in his life
some thing way down sad that only
the soles of his boots knew.



make your way to me across
the lines of the Nazca desert

over azaleas that light up midnight
spill your nectar down my neck as you fly

drop your song on my skin.
hummingbird, fan me with your fierce wing

unwind your thrilling beak
I am a puma on the trail of your feasting

I am the rage in your neck that teases the morning
I am the trumpet flaring as you probe my last drop

explore me with your tongue, hummingbird
gloss my neck with shoulders and pollen

I am as sweet as Pacific rain
that comes over sleeping prairies.

I am your cactus flower
your horizon, your lightning.

I am your summer storm, hummingbird,
your beak breaks me open.


© Geraldine Green



Poetry    Fiction    Reviews   

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