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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.

 

 

 

Afterward

 

many

 

arrived

 

late.

 

 

 

Late

 

arrival

 

the conduit to which anatomy birthed

 

colliding stares.

 

 


 




 

Vagabond’s Vision #77

 

 

 

Cleanliness displays relief     its doppelganger

 

remains a clandestine

 

                                      mirage

 

fall

 

falling           farer

 

                                                misleading

 

                                                many 

 

rewriting

 

 architecture. 

 

 

 

True, the swiping big swing jumping spring

 

cannot conclude sans signature:

 

 

 

elevated relevance

 

elite advance

 

communication,

 

arguing toward

 

solidarity.

 

 

 

Singular purpose hung surprising low,

 

writing prepaid answers

 

where illiterate languages

 

bathed backwards

 

reading numbers,

 

exhaled by wind’s

 

meant-to-wither

 

authoritative

 

throat.

 

 

 

Felino Soriano

 


 

 

 

 

Photograph by Jeff Crouch

 

 

 

 

 

Vagabond’s Vision #78

 

 

Infinite coloration

 

unusual delineation    unused focal space   corresponding

 

coronation

 

light

 

crowning

 

light

 

          slipping

 

                   paths

 

                                                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 .

 

 

 

 

Dithyramb

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,

 

were

 

before me.

 

Clouds can be like that,

 

and purple, in an otherwise scarlet

 

setting.

 

 

 

And scarlet is of the heart.

 

As I crest a slope

 

some would call gentle

 

for a moment

 

I could imagine myself

 

 

 

approaching

 

the Front Range

 

or seeing the Wind River peaks

 

from a distance.

 

But soon enough

 

it was all gone:

 

 

 

jagged uplift

 

withering

 

in the face

 

of my own breathing.

 

 

 

 

 

L. Ward Abel