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The Houston Literary Review
Spring 2007 Poetry Issue I


In this issue, THLR presents the work of Jeff Crouch and Christopher Woods, Felino Soriano, and L. Ward Abel.


 Jeff Crouch and Christopher Woods









Photo by Sally Charette

Poetry of Felino Soriano


Vagabond’s Vision #76




Of all the circular collisions


hiding in visual step asides


collecting particles of pale


penchants for dust inheritance,


the give back and take nothing


mirrors visual collective,


collected by superstitious hands


connected by wandering celestial


have nothings. 




Soon was opened into splashing


sections.  Of then how the altered


speech spoke: eyes, many interwoven,


conducted lashing, musical lashing,


lashing music across dusky blinking.


















the conduit to which anatomy birthed


colliding stares.





Vagabond’s Vision #77




Cleanliness displays relief     its doppelganger


remains a clandestine






falling           farer












True, the swiping big swing jumping spring


cannot conclude sans signature:




elevated relevance


elite advance




arguing toward






Singular purpose hung surprising low,


writing prepaid answers


where illiterate languages


bathed backwards


reading numbers,


exhaled by wind’s










Felino Soriano






Photograph by Jeff Crouch






Vagabond’s Vision #78



Infinite coloration


unusual delineation    unused focal space   corresponding














                                                toward a naming of important disposition.




                             Spinning through existential circles


drawing slow drags across metaphysical poster boards.




                             Late, bodies blur vertical/horizontal-wake/sleep


as in flowers holding their sculptured physiques still outside the mouth of wind’s


                             binging breath. 




Night lacks coloration—


uneven balance         humdrum gray sells bankrupt boxes without profit.




Day mutates shedding color                   gradation                gold


green blue    becoming variations of former


nonexistent tools of forested land.




Landing among newness:




                                                          morphing alternatives


                                                          to surrealistic nuances.




Felino Soriano



Poetry of L. Ward Abel


Poet, composer of music (Max Able / Abel, Rawls & Hayes) and spoken-word performer (Scapeweavel), L. Ward Abel lives in rural Georgia, and has been widely published in the U.S. and Europe, including White Pelican Review, The Pedestal,  Versal (Netherlands), Juked, Angelface, OpenWide (UK) , Ink Pot, Texas Poetry Journal, Kritya (India), others.  His chapbook, Peach Box and Verge, has been recently published by Little Poem Press.  Twenty of his poems are featured, along with an interview, in a recent print issue of erbacce (UK).  His new full book of poems, Jonesing For Byzantium, has just been published at UK Authors Press (London).  Abel’s website is www.universecanoe.com .






Everyone Knows That Water Is Blood

It Was As If A Tall Young Range,


and she sang again.  This time I knew it was her.


The lengthening of syntax like rainwater spilling.




I wish I could grasp her song, and hold it without


keeping.  In that continental breadth, like a tower


in Amarillo, that wideness that weighs


absolutely nothing, I hum along.




There’s no need to write the song down, because


I prefer it being gone but for the wine buzz


she leaves behind.  Sound travels through


walls of my prairie.  I cannot


remain neutral




within such residue.




L. Ward Abel




ON the old covered bridge


there’s a line drawn


some ten to fifteen feet


above the creek;  a watermark


from ’94 when the flood


took half of the piedmont


down into the Gulf through arteries


then brown, red, submerging


low parts of Macon, Oglethorpe,


Hawkinsville, Sprewell’s Bluff and Albany


(where coffins shot like missiles


from purgatory).  To this day


that line remains seared above banks


all down the Ocmulgee and Flint,


where everyone knows


that water is blood


and the devil sometimes


chooses the river over the road


just to keep us honest.






L. Ward Abel 




like curtains


half way up the sky,




before me.


Clouds can be like that,


and purple, in an otherwise scarlet






And scarlet is of the heart.


As I crest a slope


some would call gentle


for a moment


I could imagine myself






the Front Range


or seeing the Wind River peaks


from a distance.


But soon enough


it was all gone:




jagged uplift




in the face


of my own breathing.






L. Ward Abel