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January 2007 Poetry I Pages


The Poetry of  Corey Mesler


Jack and the Tower of Babel



Signs of Approaching Melancholy



The Poem of the World

The loss of the family cow


wasn’t really the crux


of the problem.


My mother


thought me a simp.


But, friends, it wasn’t a


handful of beans I wanted.


It was a ladder – a


ladder to Heaven.


 Corey Mesler

While I was out


Zarathustra left a message


on my machine.


He said he had taken my


wife, some groceries


and the children’s


report cards.


I assumed he


meant what he said.


The house was so quiet.


I walked around; I felt


a stranger here, sidestepping legos as if they were mines.


Outside men were working on the trees, getting the branches just right for the Uber festival.


I sat in the Lazy-boy

and watched a movie. It was

the one with Jimmy Antichrist,

the one where he’s all that’s left after a cataclysm.


He can’t even find his shoes,

things had gotten that bad.


Corey Mesler

The poem makes the world.


This is the job of the poem.


In the morning there is fresh ink.


In the evening there is


a last thought, a fidget, before sleep.


And then


the irresistible dream.


Corey Mesler

 The Poetry of

Kristine Ong Muslim





Why I Like Mr. Graham




Anti-prayer, 14

 They said she had the memory

 of a zombie--all shredded skin

 and mangled guts with no pristine

 body to hold them back together.


Self-inflicted amnesia, they said.

It was like the time of your life when all your favorite keys in the piano were missing; reminding you of what else was still missing.


To her, memory was actually

entrenched in the sense of smell;

the songs, the sights, the feel of wind breaking the arms--every thing redundant.


This morning, she held her baby’s face as if it was an upturned coffee cup full of rain.


She could smell the baby's fear. The nurses took her hand afterwards, led her to her room.


It was already 3 A.M.

The sunlight made the blinds look as geometric ghosts. 

She saw the afternoon as another morning seen from the other end of the day.


Kristine Ong Muslim



 Because I have never heard him say the f-word (if he is not angry enough), unlike his neighbor, Mr. Burke, who uses it as a noun, adjective, and a verb--the verb sometimes enslaves me to action so I run as fast as I can, pedal my delivery bicycle to escape the syllable.


Because his hair has thinned at the back of his head, and he does not make an effort to cover it with a hat or a synthetic hair patch.


Because his left leg was amputated. He recounts his lost from a car accident seven years ago.


Legless, I see him in my dreams, beating me in a race.


Kristine Ong Muslim















 Please do not make me look down before I leap.


Please help me to see every thing--my thirst and the water sloshing behind me.


Please grant me patience while I search for love in a box full of broken things with expired warranty cards.


Please let me be known as the girl who has lost her cool.




Kristine Ong Muslim




















The Poetry of J.R. Salling


Lost Wax Technique


Little Child Playing With Dread


The Last Line of Defense



The persecution of age afflicts the sculptor with a febrile intensity.


His continuous working

and reworking of the soft fragments between dimensions releases conspiratorial laughter as self-organizing images plot escape from random molds.


In the chaotic scene that follows tragic cartloads, deform in the August heat thwarted in their return to the time when younger hands flourished.


J.R. Salling



Born during a month of observation so much a follower, subject to


involuntary urination in intermingled, varied colors.


A puny little body of knock knees pulls the wagon, no longer conceals himself within the group.


Attacks unprovoked and unexpected, his daddy ran away and so did he.


We find him busy off the blacktop creating sand paintings that must be destroyed before sundown.


J.R. Salling

Wretched widows strike


languid poses upon ancient posts,


their desiccated torsos tattered, draped over ramparts of lichen and stone.


They stand so fragile,


so steadfast against the night abandoned by their promised relief and by a forgotten enemy who left their victory incomplete.


J.R. Salling



The Poetry of

Richard Fein

 Beyond the Wind Chime


Wind chime in the half-open window across the apartment complex courtyard where the translucent red curtain still hangs, gently swaying.


And beyond the window, beyond the curtain, beyond the wind chime, is that bedroom.


In the dark recess of that room, I see an unused packing crate propped against the wall where the bed used to be.


That bed, that now empty room, how clearly I can make out all the details.


In less than a year, rented then abandoned, before the lease was up.


I gave her that wind chime which I now barely hear.


But hear it I do, tolling a dissonant metallic tune.


And I’ll always hear it

after the new tenant tears it down.


Richard Fein




Sleight of Hand Action


 A good con man can deliver quality, not the worthless wares for sale but the huckster’s suavely spoken pitch.


Common wisdom decrees, “It's what's inside that count.” But isn't packaging a multibillion dollar industry?


And doesn’t every candidate glance at his public relations team before opening his mouth?


Choirs, orchestras and big name singers, embellish even prayers as if the creator couldn't produce his own variety show.


In fact, he already has.


Life itself is the prestidigitator’s greatest extravaganza.


Hocus-pocus, it appears like a rabbit out of a hat;


Abracadabra, it vanishes like the lady in the box.


Richard Fein




A Cacophony of Drummers


 Four by a park bench: an earphone hugging their temple, a private harmony playing in their brain, eyes closed and ensconced in a fortress of sound.


A jerky choreography of discordant souls – A chorus line none out of step.


But this ballet of undisciplined gyrations is no Saint Vitus' dance of the mad.


Yesterday’s Walkmans are today’s ipods. And tomorrow wired telepathy will wiggle its way into their ears.


No more singing around crackling campfires, or gathering in the park, or listening to blaring radios.


But my unwired ears hear what the world hears—


cars honking, someone waiting a long time on line yet saying please go ahead of me, a mother scolding her child, another says softly I love you.


A ragged man screams aloud, another sings pleasantly, birds twitter in the trees, a cat wails to shut tightly midnight windows.


My ears hear this trespass of sweet and sour sounds.


But tomorrow I will keep pace with my companions


for the price of ipods is going down.


Richard Fein