Bric krhetoric {issue eleven


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Bric krhetoric {issue eleven

  1. 1. issue eleven february 23, 2013
  2. 2. issue eleven I february 23, 2013CREATIVE NONFICTIONThe Magic of Her Name - Miguel GardelHis Seat - Jody SeidelLeather Bound - Alexandra BoothScratch Paper - G. David SchwartzMy Dinner With Barack Obama - Joel PattersonPOETRYVeins – Alexandra Booth New York Soliloquy – Exene KarrosLate-Night Elusion – Alicia Lai The Horses Are Dead, But Still – M.A.Chrysanthemum Concept – Alicia Lai SchaffnerTo Love a Natural Disaster – Alicia Lai Mollusk on the Verge of Retirement – M.A.We Lived on the Sidewalk – Briana Stelzer SchaffnerA Million Rowboats – Stephen McClurg Ozymandias, Losing Parts – M.A. Schaffnermaroon – Dani Blum Reflections on a Palm Desert Dinner Partyhide and seek – Matthew Henry – Isabel DeBrelittle red – Matthew Henry Taripay Pacha: The Age of Meetingmy third grade teacher – Matthew Henry Ourselves – Gloria DycHair – Sarah L. Webb Singapore – Mary Jane RobertsOur Feet – Sarah L. Webb Cream – William HarneyColor Blindness in a Canadian Hospital – Rusty An able bodied linked team of rivals –Kjarvik Matthew HarrisHomeless – Denise Mostacci Sklar I Netted Mosquito Magic – Matthew HarrisThe Impressionists – Denise Mostacci Sklar Lady in Red – Matthew HarrisWinter Island – Denise Mostacci Sklar Ode to Freedom – Clemencio BascarBuddha Nature – Denise Mostacci Sklar The Bite – Tatjana DebeljackiVeteran’s Day – Denise Mostacci Sklar Water Drawings in a Linked Maybe Haiku –WINDOWS – Denise Mostacci Sklar Michael H. BrownsteinAt 15,000 Feet – Exene KarrosPHOTOGRAPHYThe London Tunnels - Michael Wasney Winter in The Lower Galil, 3 - KJ HannahPower Lines - Michael Wasney GreenbergSan Francisco at Night - Michael Wasney Winter in The Lower Galil, 5 - KJ HannahMarch to the Sea - Michael Wasney GreenbergCrane Fly & The Rain - Michael Wasney Winter in The Lower Galil, 1 - KJ HannahHead in the Seed - Alison Stewart Greenberg2 - Pete Madzelan Lavendar - Isli Sarai3 - Pete Madzelan Cerulean - Isli Sarai6 - Pete Madzelan Cyan - Isli SaraiWinter in The Lower Galil, 2 - KJ Hannah Nude - Isli SaraiGreenberg Malar Butterfly Season - Gwen Mercado ReyesPERSUASIVE ESSAYVisiting From Out of Town - Patty SomloEmbracing Our Youth’s Creativity - Ben Kelman
  3. 3. [1]creative nonfictionThe Magic of Her Name by Miguel GardelOn her second day in New York my mother was taken to Twenty-something Street in the garmentdistrict. She later told me toys for her kids were the first thing she bought with her first paycheck.The second most important thing was for her vanity. A little defect in the right eye she had tocorrect, something called “lazy eye” in English. The solution to this problem turned out to be notas complicated as she had imagined. In fact she never believed a real solution was possible; thesense of insecurity attached to her poverty and physical imperfection prevented her fromimagining a complete way out of it. But the operation was a success and relieved her of one ofmany of her inferiority complexes.My mother had “bad hair.” This invention of Spanish slave owners had tortured her all of her life.But as a seamstress in New York she could now afford “the good American products for bad hair.”My mother once told me she started sewing at the age of thirteen. Then she told me she hadstarted at seventeen. She once told me she had started to learn to read at the age of ten; thatshe had walked with her brothers to school carrying a little wooden chair. Each one carried achair. And that the school was under a mango tree. The mango tree was the school; it protectedthem from the sun. “I remember that,” she said.When my mother was seventeen she had had an abortion and had left her husband, or boyfriend(this has various versions), and she found herself back with her aunt in the city of Santiago; whichis where she learned to sew and to read. She never liked the campo and always dreamed of livingin the city.She learned to sew and to read at her aunt’s and became a good costurera but a very bad reader.Her Tía Francisquita taught her how to sew and told her, “You are a natural.” And my mother waspleased and knew it was so.The boy who taught her how to read was her cousin and he was in his first year of college. He wasgoing to be a lawyer. His father, Tía Francisquita’s husband, was a lawyer. When my mother saidto him, “Do you think I will learn?” He said to her with a shy smile, “Sure.”She said to me that, though he touched her a few times under the dining table where they had setup their little school, he never forced her to have sex. He was aroused by just knowing she hadslept with a man but was afraid of her for the same reason. He wanted her, after a little prodding,to initiate the second phase. But being in a house where she felt socially insecure, her mind wasalways on her shame, how to lose it, how to make it disappear. They were both uncomfortableand hot under the reading light. He wondered if he was wasting his time teaching this yokel howto lose some of her ignorance. And she, through the learning process, focused on leaving behindthe shame. At least getting in front of it to obscure it, dress it up, keep it cover, whatever shecould do to be free of it.The boy did succeed in teaching her how to read and write her name; and in the future she wouldhave fond memories of that boy and that house whose occupants were so sophisticated and whereshe had felt so awkward. But she left there as a costurera, one with natural talents. A talent that,she would later find out, was not necessary in the garment district of New York. But, God, she hadlearned the magic of reading and writing her name. BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  4. 4. [2]His Seat by Jody Seidel“One more glass and I’m done.” He mumbled with glazed eyes.The bartender hesitated for a quick moment but grabbed the two bottles and messily poured theminto the glass.“I wonder if he’ll actually be done after this,” the bartender snickered to the group of girls nextto the drunken twenty two year old clean-shaven man.“Here you go captain! The last one for tonight and you’re done!”“MmmmYesIwouldthinkso.” Slipped out of his mouthHe sat there slowly sipping what would be his eighth round. Staring at the neon lit clock, thebright lights were blurred and poured together. He was confused and amazed at the simplestthings, and for him this was paradise from what he usually felt.Night after night Aiden would find his way to the bar around 9 pm with some friends. It wasusually light out, because summer in London meant the sun only set around 9:30 pm. He wouldwalk into the bar, with a fake smiled plastered onto his face, alongside his manly and loud mates.Inside, he was sad as a puppy dog left alone. As his friends would split up, to go challenge somegirls at darts, or attempt to chat up the others, he would slump into his usual seat in the corner ofthe bar. He would ask for the same drink, a gin and tonic, with a bit of ice. The first few he wouldsip, and talk to the bartender, but the last few he would just slick back as fast as he could andmumble a couple of drunken words, hit on a girl or two, and sometimes he would get lucky andhold a conversation with the female bartender without pissing her off too much. It was a simplecycle, Aiden was content with his blurry nights, and it was better than being sober.Tonight was different. The bar was busier than usual. It was odd. A buzz crept out of the dooronto the busy street. When Aiden eventually squeezed his way through the container of sardines,he realized someone else was sitting in his usual seat.“Damn it.” He mutteredHe squirmed in between a couple and some girls, and decided he would stand tonight. Once hewas next to his seat, he caught the usual bartenders attention and gave him a nod.“The usual?”“What else would it be?”He chuckled and looked around. He was really curious as to who would have the audacity to stealhis and only his seat! By now, the seat probably had the design of the pockets of his jeanspermanently imprinted. He surveyed the crowd, realizing how odd everything seemed tonight. Buthe couldn’t put his finger on it. It was a far more crowded than usual, and someone had taken hisseat, but that wasn’t it.He leaned forward to see if the bar tender was pouring his drink, or if he was too busy chatting tothe young and ignorant high school girls. The bar tender finally came over with the drink and slidit down the counter of the bar right to Aiden. He came over to have his usual chat with Aiden,about the latest football game, or what his band’s next plan was. They yelled over the loudchatter that settled just below the dim and low bar roof. By the time the conversation was over,Aiden was ready for his 7th drink. The bartender slid the drink over, and Aiden, being sozzled, BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  5. 5. [3]missed his drink. He watched the drink sail by and crash into the girls arm, and spill all over hersummer dress.“Shittttt Shitt Shitt.” The girl muttered as she quickly took some napkins and wiped off her dressfrantically.“Im so sorry,wow.”She looked up, and directly into Aiden’s eyes. A combination of deep brown and soft green.“No… no… it’s okay!” She said as a shy smile brushed across her face.After a couple of seconds of solid gazing, Aiden’s face drained of color, as he chocked a bit.“I’m, I’m sorry, but you look exactly like her.”“Like who?”“Her! You look like her!”“One more time, like who?”“I, I, I gotta go, I cant do this, I really can’t,” backing away and wiggling through the crowd.Ruby sat in Aiden’s seat, confused, but excited. There was something there. She felt something asthey locked eyes. Maybe he reminded her of a past friend who she had feelings for, or maybe itwas because she was a bit tipsy, but she felt it. This was something new. She was so bored withher life, and here was someone who was different. She got up, and stood on her tippy toes to tryto scan the crowd to find Aiden.Aiden made it outside into the warm breezy air and just sat on the curb.It had been over a year since he’d been happy. A whole year. He could have had a family,children, a son to play catch with, a daughter to have tea with. He could have been happy. Maybeit was just that he was left with nothing, no reason or at least an excuse as to why she left. Hethought it was him, he has said something, or done something. They had planned to be togetherthrough shit and the good times.As Ruby peaked her head through the doors, looking left and right, she spotted Aiden.“Excuse me? Hi I’m the girl from the bar who looks like ‘her’,” approaching the curb to plunkdown next to him. She had practically sobered up.“Uh, Hi. I’m sorry about your dress.”“It’s fine, I told you. But may I ask who I look like?”“My ex-fiance.”“Oh.”With a shrug, he began to explain the story of how he met his ex-fiancé, fell in love, and how heproposed. And after what seemed to be a century of silence for Ruby, he explained how one dayshe just left. His friends thought that she cheated on him, but he really did not know. He beganto go to the bar at night a week or so after she left him, mostly with his friends, who simply went BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} 4 ISSN 2161-9190
  6. 6. [4]to blow off steam after a long day of classes. It was his way of blurring the pain, and mostly toshut his friends up about how sad he was. But eventually, it turned into every single night, and itbecame seven or eight drinks instead of one or two. Alcohol was his stress reliever, it took him outof his confusion, out of his sadness, and it fuzzed his ex-fiancé. Nothing could fix what he felt, orget him out of his funk. But tonight was different.“Wow, that’s crazy.”“Yup…. I never got your name. I’m Aiden by the way.” He said with his hands still on his eyes,sobering up a bit.“I’m Ruby, lets start off fresh, no drink spilling on my dress or anything.”With a little chuckle Aiden shook her had, and stood up from the curb, and stretched out a tonedarm to help her up.“Wanna grab a bite down the road?”“Yeah sure!” Ruby was excited, a bit nervous, but excited, she just felt something.And there they were, in the middle of London, on a warm night, two total strangers, who hadmet, because the bar was packed, and Aiden was drunk as usual. BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  7. 7. [5]Leather Bound by Alexandra BoothI open the leather journal on my son’s new marble countertops. His wife, Laura, marvels at themwith enthusiastic eyes, proud of their new home accessory. “I found it in a box in the storagespace during the move.” She begins to stroke the smooth surface, oblivious to my curious state. Irecognized the dirty spine and the worn cover flap like the features of an old friend’s face.There’s no reason for me examine it. I know the pages like I know myself. They smell warm andwelcoming like they know who I am, like they want me to reabsorb their experiences. I pull thebook open and hold it gently as if it could crumble spontaneously. Well who needs them anyways?I read in the middle. It’s a single sentence, alone on a page. I had been laid off from the rubberfactory and spent the rest of the year begging friends and family to help me connect withemployment somewhere in that wretched city of Detroit. I scan the next few pages and find a setof words arranged in fragments just as lonely as the first. My life could end now and it would besimple; I was born in a factory by a hopeless polish immigrant woman and left to starve in thisheatless town by a dominant American company owner. I laugh. I thought that was the end. I flipback towards the first quarter of the thick book. When that house burnt down, a part of mewanted her to burn with it, free me of her poverty and let me live like the rest of the country.Shame courses through my fingers as I pull them away from the journal where I had written suchhorrible things. My mother barely survived that fire. I remember being a teenager: wanting comicsand girls. I thought my mother had held me back. I suddenly feel tired of my past, eager to putthe journal back in a storage space somewhere but before I do, I turn to the final page. He’sbeautiful. I couldn’t ask for a more wonderful little boy and even though he isn’t made of myparts, he is mine, he is me. I look over at Eric and Laura, happily watching television on thisSunday evening. Laura now strokes her pug, her adopted child who she loves more than anything,more than those marble countertops. I close the leather bound pages and push it farther from mybody. “How will it end?” I say loud enough for the journal to absorb my thoughts, loud enough tounderstand that I don’t have long, but never loud enough to disturb them, the ones I love. BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  8. 8. [6]Scratch Paper by G. David SchwartzI was walking along a short isle in what I would call a junkstore. My daughters who are artists, call it a most creative store. Itwas a store which has all kinds of, well crap.If you have never been in one, imagine an isle which have emptyglass bottles all all stacked, right next to a row flow of continuerswhich contain -- doing their job -- different colored what the use tocall Bobby Pins.Bobby pins use to confuse me when I as a kid, out playing football,crookery and archery and other deeded worth getting done. There was aneighbor who had the name Robert. I guess you see why this confused me.Rob hatred when people called him Bobby, which, of course forced everyoneto call him Bobby.The other thing which confused me besides the typical normal thingslike why my sister was going around with that clown James, Jim, or Jimmyand why chocolate was not healthy or why, why why math was so idiotic.I was not thinking abbot that fat ugly idiot clown James, Jim, orJimmy, nor his brother Robert, Bob, Bobbie, nor his sister Susan, calledshort Sue and never because she hatred it Susie, nor was I thinking aboutmath (promoting itself as Arithmetic (A rat in Toms house might eat Tomsice-cream -an interesting memory trick which I have always rememberedto trick my stout stupid sister, but never the stout stupid government(please forgive that momentary anarchistic moment).So (an interesting word to us to both change the subject and makelisteners, and occasionally speakers pause to remember what they werethinking ((or trying to think (((there is a big different between thesetwo )))))).So, there I am walking though the supercilious (nice word. Illhave to use it later!)) junk store when I come upon a row which says, (ina whisper, really) scratch paper.Now I am not one to do what I am told to do, ask my wife, but Iwondered what would happen if I did. I have never seen a genie (except onthe Barbara Eden show.) So I scratched the pad of paper.Noting happened.No genie appeared and no rat in or out of Toms house … hey coolTom, Thomas Tommie…So what… I feel myself slipping (not sinking) into a philosophicmoment ponder what good is scratch paper?Now I conclude this essay not to insult or other-ways annoy my wifewho hates when I carry them around in my back pocket, I do not usuallypurchased scraps of paper because I locate plenty of scraps by cleaningup the house. (And she says I never clean) old notes whiten in my darling BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  9. 9. [7]childrens high school (they have all now gone to or still going tocollege) sheets of one side printed information about who to vote forbecause he or she is the best fiscal conservative and bills not yet paidso why ought I ever pay themPaper is an interesting phenomena. Most all paper has two, not one,not three or more sides. And when they have finished using the (onside)of paper (if you, a wise person write a letter you typically use eachside, for better reason than that because "its there!"[In March of 1923, British mountain climber George Leigh Mallorywas touring the United States to raise money for a expedition to MountEverest. Asked straight why he wanted to climb the, to that time know,world’s highest mountain, Mallory utter these three elegant and importantwords, Because its there. So it was, so it is.]Exactly like scratch paper! You dont really use your finger toscratch it, although the name suggest that, you scratch notes on it.This reminds me, notes are useful to remind.I always carry plank, empty paper so if I emit a thought I canwrite it before it gets forgot. My son, who has a great funny humor madea note in my note book, D minor a deceit note.Anyway, but to my thoughts on scratch paper. You write scratchnotes so I think (and I have found written on a piece of paper) theyought be called thought but in fact, thoughts are things which erupt andemit from your mind which, if you wish to remember (or actually if youwish to recall) you write them down on some paper. It need not be saidbut here I will write it, not say it that you write down, not usually up,on paper or keyboard occasionally on cardboard.Thus said, because it needed to be said, (or is it this said,because it needed to be said [said, because it needed to be, by someonewho was not me, but here repeated or quoted, because quotations are notcopyright in the United States, so someone can actually make a fortuneby making a book of quotations for everyone to enjoy because quotationsare very enjoyable and memorable -- "Ask not what your country can dofor you; ask what you can do for your country", (John F. Kennedy and, or"What we have once enjoyed we can never lose, All we love deeply becomesa part of us. (Hellen Keller) and Go to heaven for the climate, go tohell for the company (Mark Twain).It is nice to end with Mark Twain. An american author who evenwrote his own name.So be it! (Ill take credit for that one)I end on the note that this now essay was written on twenty pieceof scratch paper, which then were assembled in an order to create thiscreation which I hope gives the reader toughs which are good to thinkabout, not just remember and recall but to ex-climate on and the reader BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  10. 10. [8]finds them interesting and projective.Scrape paper! Useful for thoughts and thinking. Useful for notingand denoting as well. Scrap paper. I just hope I remember to take it frommy pocket before I wash my pants.Idea! Make a note to do that!Sign of relief at having a good thought, (Ahh...)That didnt really need to be written but what the heck, It maycome in useful for someone. BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  11. 11. [9]My Dinner With Barack Obama* by Joel PattersonThe Secret Service man introduced himself as Don-- I knew this was not his real name (surely-- asecret?)-- and invited himself in to have a look around. Jen had spent the entire week in acleaning frenzy, shampooing the carpets and swiffering the walls, and it was beautiful. We wereliving on the set of a sitcom. Eventually Don/not Don handed me a schedule. "Do I need to eat thiswhen Im done reading it?" I asked. He slapped me on the back.The Service guys showed up around noon, and set into drinking shots from a bottle of Scotch.When the motorcade arrived, all flashing lights and blaring police escort, they snapped toattention. I saw the limousine door open and out tumbled Barry O, as Ive come to call him-- "elhombre del barrio." He was still glancing over a clipboard which he handed off to a prematurelybalding aide and strolled up the drive. Hes a very tall and lanky guy, a basketball player."Youll never make it in this business if youre not tall," he confided to me after a few bottles ofwine. "Short, stubby city bosses? Thing of the past. TV shrinks you down, man. Damn TV-- thereare people in this country that sit glued to it, GLUED TO IT I AM TELLING YOU--" he spit in my facea little-- "GET OFF YOUR ASS!" I was finding I liked this guy, whatever his connections to globalimperialism and warmongering. "What about all this, you know, brutality?" I asked him. "Do wereally belong on the other side of the planet?" He grew serious and sighed. "Somebodys got to runthe world, baby. If we dont do it, someone else gonna. Lifes a bitch, you know?" We pondered theessential truth of this observation. "You got any… " he lowered his eyes and glanced side to side…"any weed, brother?" I peered at his arching eyebrows. He peered back, which is how we foundourselves an hour later on a street corner in Albany. Its amazing how little he resembles himselfwith a hat on-- and the "diesel" we scored was excellent. "You would not believe it, Joel, I amtelling you-- you would not believe it." "But do you actually really ever get to decide anything? Youjust take marching orders from sinister unseen forces, right?" "Not unseen. Theres limits." "But soessentially, youre a totally hypocritical fraud, right?" "I have a JOB, Nixon-- not sure why I justcalled you Nixon-- I do what I can DO. Whats possible-- which is not everything." "But-- thebackseat. Thats what I worry about. Who gets the backseat?" "Youre lucky to be on the bus. Thatsreally how I feel about it. Mud huts. Thats where I come from." "You are the Roger Mudd of mudhuts!" I screamed. For the rest of the night, the Service guys kept saying "roger" back and forth intheir walkie-talkies. By the time we had to bid our goodbyes, we were hugging like old chums.Man I am going to have a hangover tomorrow.*previously printed in Fear of Monkeys BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  12. 12. [10]poetryVeins – Alexandra BoothHenry pushes his finger forcefully against the Asian map.“Yellow,” he says. His mother confirms his answer with aproud nod. “Mekong,” he points west. The phone ringsand she hurries down the hallway, leaving him alone inhis makeshift classroom. He lowers his arm and holds itperpendicular to his body, studying his own rivers. “Nu,”he mumbles, giving himself a satisfactory head bob. Heshifts his gaze to the right. “Yangtze,” he says, nods,“Yangtze.” His mother returns. Henry, what are youdoing? He traces the rivers of his arm the color of thepacific, a deep greenish blue. “Yangtze,” he repeats. Late-Night Elusion – Alicia Lai we are cowards; inhabitants of a non-reality the fear lining their veins like broken mortar, the frost-bite resolution, burden holders for the memory-less and the shadows between cracked highways and road-side diners— fleeing, breathing, remembering; only a gunshot assumption BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  13. 13. [1]Chrysanthemum Concept – Alicia LaiIt feels like old Beijingand a pigeon-scratch storywith the underbelly of the horizon complacentand quiet,gone pale like a legendtold with too many tongues.We sat at his river and discussedhere and there and the queer things that happenbetween crossing Pacific. The sky is red and the earthis red here and I am told it’s a good thingto lead in a new year by the hand,but my handsare smalland his are largeand I’m afraid mine aren’t enoughto contain them. All the same, I’m holding onto the boatby the figure-head, bring-me-home,a dragon’s serpentine sort of blessing ora nomad’s steel anchor. There is rice wine on my tongue,an orange peel between my lips,and I do not know the old song in my throat,secrets dovetailing;its ribs wide in a city with neon signs,its moon as white as a promiseof returning.My Mandarin is broken butmy heart is not and they told meturn off the lights,to set moths free to their own return home.The fruit vendor has a crooked grinand a hoarse voice and a knack for juggling exotic pears;there are new people with old masksand tired people with new skinsand a man who sells luck on a cord. One jade for sixyuan or two for ten, butdon’t look back. A meteor showertempers behind me and a galaxysuspended soon learns it was finite afterall;everyone is watching the sky’s panicbut I know the dancing peopleare bearing witness tothe wrong miracle.Turn a corner or turn around; there’sa whole city here for dragonsand travelers. BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  14. 14. [2]To Love a Natural Disaster – Alicia Laiat fifteen, bystanders watchedhis feet half on air, seeingin advance the way his bodywould crumple when he reachedground, the ghosts that would followthat was when he caredwhether he livedor diedit started with him letting himselfgo cold. the blood rushed to hisveins, the ice slowly replacingoxygen. he had come intothe world lacking breath; now,he was againnaiveand youngunderstand now that his motherwas a sequioa redwood and hisfather had birch arms and ash logic,so he learned to build pyreson citieswith his own withe is most alivewith the needle to his skin,the empty barrel to his cheek,on a collision course“to prove i’m human.i only know for sure in the secondsbefore impact.”he has a good imagination andevery time he’s next to the curbhe will smell smoke and when hepasses the window he will see thebullet coming through and think aboutthe times he lost. he will think thingslike,you can’t be brave when you’re indestructible.he smiledcasualty one BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  15. 15. [3]We Lived on the Sidewalk – Briana StelzerWe were less than kids back thenA bottle-cap battlewith shards of glass underfoot.Who only had wind guns,and tinted green glass shields.But that was before,before the weeds overgrew the grassand glass.Now dogs bark much louder,and stranger’s children braveour mistakes.The bees trillbirds buzz.I remember that battle,the sanctity ofour father’s beer choiceand the fenced sides.We were less than kidsback then,we were men. A Million Rowboats – Stephen McClurg (found poem on pg. 2 of Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation) The twists and turns, like James Bond driving little vans from cavern to satellites, the tracks that orbit the heart, power millions of rowboats, a barbershop, and a cafeteria. The men get tired of the King. Every night a man winds past the checkpoint, chain link, and barbed wire. The deliveryman collects his Armageddon. The whole continent entombed with comic books and Bibles, future clues to our civilization, crusts of red, white, and blue. BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  16. 16. [4]maroon – Dani Blumyouhad a knack for labeling usyousaid you were Novemberand I left it at that,because I couldnt handle how true that was,how you were grey—grey—and I wanted you to be silverhow blurred your outlines were, until I saw nothing butyour dip-dyed hairand you crept at me until I broke you into were the kind of girl theyd write poems about.youwere some sort of era;you defined us all—us sterling, slip-lipped city kidswe were an "us" becauseof you, not a set of poorly plotted pointsyoudidnt bump into me, you collidedyou didnt speak, but you declaredyou were mist and mourning all at once,youwere tea time, always;different than me,separate from said I was maroonthe day after I knew andyou called me wisethe day after That Day:such a boring stretch of timewith your face like the bricks on thecity street until I saw I hadnttugged at youlike you tugged at me—and oh, how well I dealt with that.I tried to be grateful for maroonbut you were woefully specificI wasnt saturated to youI wasnt fullI wasa dwindling colorthat could be replacedand confused with burgundyand misused by pretentious wine told me I was your maroonand to me,you were as emerald as your hair. BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  17. 17. [5]hide and seek – Matthew Henryin time she ran before the counting begansensing her uncle’s shout. the warning aheadof screeching tires— screams of children. soshe hid in the bathroom. the closet was no good,too easily found within thin walls.the tub’s chipped porcelain could stop bulletswith the name of her brother or mother. little red – Matthew Henry rides through her hood her mama’s words in mind: keep to familiar, well lit roads, and don’t talk to strangers. wolves wear any disguise that fits – a badge, a stiff white collar. if she gets close, enough to notice the seams, to see eyes, ears and teeth, it’s already too late. my third grade teacher – Matthew Henry explained skin the undercurrents of blood and how my face lacked the ability to bruise or blush. i tried to show her a patch darker than the rest. she nodded, explained it was harder to see on my skin. BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  18. 18. [6]Hair – Sarah L. WebbIrreverent maleability. A wire with theaspect and tensile strength of blown glass.Diasporic tales telegraphed on its circuits.Our history extolled on its scrolls. Spiralingup and out to its highest self, inward to its Our Feet – Sarah L. Webborigins. Reborn with every revolution. The real cause of this miseryEmbodying the helix of my DNA. Twisted into is not flesh.fists. Uptight. Easily and often convoluted. Vainly maintaining the erstwhileEntwined, entangled, and braided into struggle with Eye,sisterhood. Breaking and reinventing the fight with Nose,cycle. Hoops, piercing and adorning. battle with Lip,Crowning the head with a million halos. war with Hair,Gyrations that stem from the mind and we long to shed our blood –flower in my hips. Fibers of my being in lines.sinuated existence weave this paisley fabric Shed Skin.that I wear. These are the fringes of my Shed Origin.thoughts. You see. A quirky, kinky, fringed, We hate our feet,knotted, difficult, bushy, complicated, designed so thatbristling, peculiar, luxuriant defect. My shackles cannot slip off.cirque du soul.Color Blindness in a Canadian Hospital – Rusty KjarvikA welcoming young girl, with poppy shoes and tasteful jeansFriendship’s smile, bursting forth with radiance out of sightA blind man enters, cane pointed at the unmanned deskShe takes his arm in hers, as a family couple, spirited with gentilityThe blind man sits with an Ascot capped, sun-glassed young manBoth looking straight ahead, they sit, one next to oneThe room is sparse, of relatives and individual patientsWaiting lone, a grandma softly stares with wooden nose ringEarly morning’s branded caffeine monotonyA teenager skips madly, mouth spouting, stimulant-sugar-conditioningThe surface-level skin of the page follows early English thoughtReading Shelley’s Rosalind and Helen to Portuguese folk sopranoMy wife turns the bend, healthy from the office, a petite lovelyHer smile burns away the predawn clouded skyThe blind man now sits lone, anypatient, eyelessMidwestern glare reflects the young man’s eyewear, seated lone, looking East BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  19. 19. Homeless– Denise Mostacci SklarJust movedto New York Citywaitressing I ran down theat Fiorellos broad museum stepsafter work late to the coffeewalking CPW shop on 72ndhome to my apartment, and Columbus,something drew me all night and open,up those long the one where the chandeliersteps dark full of shiny glass danglingempty night with and cheap dropped outstreet lights shining. of the ceilingI saw you sleeping one night smashingin shadow, doorway alcove to the floor almostof the Musuem skimming the shoulderof Natural History of a long, tall blackas if on exhibit woman smoking a cigaretteafter hours. I paused with coffeedared to look at your at the counter- herplaid shirt, kahki glancing downpants dirty, grey then away continuingbeard large arms legs face to puff undisturbed.fingers puffy,still and resting I bought an egg saladcardboard on concrete sandwich and cupno hand held out. of milk thinking that you would prefer a few bucks or a bottle of something. I placed the brown bag next to you quietly and went home hoping you would see it when you woke up and that the milk would not spill.
  20. 20. [1]The Impressionists– Denise Mostacci SklarPeople stand in mazeof lines, buy ticketscheck coats, enterdoors of glass,walls white with artleading down hallswide stairways, clusters of I sit on stream- linedrooms all sizes open leather couch cream colored, notice young student asIve been here before, she sits in corneranother city, country floor of room sketching, while the guard wearing black,hushed whispers the circles panther-like, stopssound of heels hitting floor under archway, his parental eye discerningIn gold frameshe sits thin lips In dreamon couch and cloth maze I walkwith blue sky floating toward exit, gentlemanbehind. Venus entering passes by,on pedestal stands studentsmall bodied naked, off to the side, Iher clean shadow stop in front ofcast on white wall portrait of man his facevibrant staring out with blackas the aging bronze lines electric markingsits heavy, his grey green hair, nose and chintoes large and thick his circle eyes- spinninggrab rock pink neck naked- red face burst BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  21. 21. Winter Island – Denise Mostacci SklarLight house whitewith rust no longerin use, balconyblack circles the topnow dark abandoned,soul grey ocean withsailboats rocking.Young actorsin distance creating“Tempest”, the voicesof Prospero, Ariel,Caliban resonatebehind bushes, “Thisis the stuff that dreamsare made on…”The bleach blonde ladysings on rocky shore,dares with arms wide open,“I’m in love, I’m in love,I’m in love with a wonderfulguy”—an end shimmy as herwhite blouse flutterswith breeze and sea gullssore in perfect flight,air cool, campers, cars, Buddha Nature – Denise Mostacci Sklarkids, bright bathing suits, In a tee shirtwet towels hang loose. that says, “This body will be a corpse’’ he walksHere is the Island that the street I imagineonce housed a lone coffee cupsCoast Guard base, where mass producedJack was stationed-our friend handed outand ticket to run free a holiday gift (but notteenage nights exploring old for the old) bumperand crumpled buildings, stickers on cars (but not forbare feet on grass mysterious, the young) too muchcold ocean shiver, sharpness feeling how this worldof rocks, rolling on hills means everything andbreath hot, mouths full nothing… And ifof whiskey and kisses I could stepevaporate in cool night air, outsidearms and hands searching this worldclumsy as eyes fixate on a friendstars. look upon it’s roundnessIn dark we climb ALLsteps stumble up- I would thinktop of light house how….lovelyshining, facesred with youth.
  22. 22. Veteran’s Day – Denise Mostacci Sklar(11/11/2012)pick up pancakesfrom crowdeddiner buzzing- Thin boySunday morning free back from collegeof crowd, I take out, stands in jeans, whitedrive Bay road sweatshirt bare feetlong, round curve on dried leaves orange,smooth, reservoir young hands liftingyellow opening camera to eyes.Sunday sermon Through car radioradio, organ music bugle mourns coldbegins, silent wind clear distant, presidentblows grey past Obama speaksAmerican flags …and the townlining road. fire alarm muffled drone (11x) calls out.WINDOWS – Denise Mostacci SklarBanque Nationale of Canada...mountainous skyscraper wrapped with windows shiningreflecting City of Montreal alive--cars, concrete, sky, clouds, people. The Frenchbusinessman banker exits, slick black shoes, dark suit, cell phone, hailing cab hurried he flickshis cigarette, slips into back seat...closing door.I want to ask him about that building- so many windows hiding thousands of people, to countmoney, keep track and figure out ways to make profit, build more buildings in other citiesthat he travels to, to meet other businessmen who sit at long tables in large conferencerooms with papers and numbers electronic, walls of windows in clouds.Later to meet in night restaurants with windows dark, order drinks like scotch and ice,then slip again into taxi, mysterious , rolling up window, going somewhere...I want to ask him if there is another window he sits behind when he is not making money ,wearing black shoes, dark suit, closing cab doors, flicking cigarettes...I want to ask him if there is a different window, a window he looks out of, what he sees,thinks about, looks like inside, without his suit, when he is alone.
  23. 23. [1]At 15,000 Feet – Exene KarrosMexico CityCovered in a layer of smog so thickIt seems drowned in a puddle of grim.Hidden in the waste of its own overzealousnessSmothered in mole poblanoLike a succulent chicken breast with vegetables on the sideBitter and thick,Just how they like itRico,Hecho de chocolate.Concentric circles, geometric patternsMountains piled high like chunks of chocolateAnd little hairy patches thatSignify trees.The green fields and the brown ones,Combined and cutBeautiful windows.Even from up here, the tin roofsShine and twinkleLike cut diamonds (proving the gloryOf man and his creations in the midst of theCreepingClimbingMountains)Roofs that wink at you and seem to sayAquí estoy, te espero. Aquí, en la tierra, te miramos; queremos que nosveas igualmenteHere I am, I’m waiting for you. Here, on earth, we’re watching you; we wantYou to see us too.A deep ravine in the earth’s crust cuts like aWelt, an open wound,A crack in the abyss that slithers,Cut by a child’s scissors.And then, the mountains,Wide and highKeeping and controllingDipping and risingLike the tangled spines of many lizardsLike the rough hide of a rough countryMexico’s sign and Mexico’s sealMexico’s motherWash your hands of the country that scared youWash your hands of the country that bore youWash your hands of the country that loves youAnd return when summer comes. BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  24. 24. [2]New York Soliloquy – Exene KarrosPlastic progressive flesh has melted,safety evaporated and fizzed itself to bone,O that we had not fixedour cannon to self-slaughter! O God, God,how futile, deflated, tin-foiled, and trinket likeseem to me the pre-anthrax joys of this world.Damn it! Damn it! It’s an ever-fuming ash gravethat spouts out present life. Phantom movement and clogged tear ductspossess it merely. That it should come to this:but three weeks obliterated—no, not so much, not three,structured monolithic colossuses, spines straight compared to thisapparition; so stable and placidthat they would not let the winds of elsewhereburn our faces roughly. Heaven and earthhow long must we remember? Why should we hang on them?As if indigestion for appetite growswith each movement of CNN? Within a monthwe have been proved to be only frail skeletons,a little month, before our thoughts scorched,following wide-teared and tar-eyed,like the tower itself, all bones—why they(O God, a beast that lacks the instinct of lovewould have thought longer!) Married hatred,something familiar, but no more like the knownthan a frozen medieval holiness is to the present. Within a month,before tears callused and turnedburnt eyes to paralyzed ducts of cast-iron,something married unexpectedly. A strange pair, wickednessdexterously traveling from the pulsing wounds, turning to candled heat!How strange that there could be a small reaction of good,as the world, broken, showers us with ash and sun BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  25. 25. [3]The Horses Are Dead, But Still – M.A. SchaffnerSo you want to be a commissar wellwe all want to change the world and this day,which we can never see as just Tuesday,especially when it’s not, just changesspots like a camel. Oh, it was so longsince the fighter-bombers left to wreak justicelike teenage girls at the wheels of SUVs,I no longer know what to want from the worldbut the daily ration of analytical sport.Come what June, September is always there,seasonal rains that break for skies so brightthe best of us turns round. Here, take my hand,walk me through the love songs of our past.So many die so young it hurts to laugh. Mollusk on the Verge of Retirement – M.A. Schaffner The other fish own this sea. They know how and when and whether or not to. It has neither bottom nor shore, only meetings scheduled around the dates of quarterlies and systems only so in name. The tide brings wave after wave of new appointees, and each discovers a world that no one had previously imagined. What they touch turns to exquisite coral, what they see at the edge of the reef by the abyss is a trivial waste of phytoplankton. All over the saline planet, kingdoms as insular and self-satisfied as this rise and fall with the same betraying moon. Ozymandias, Losing Parts – M.A. Schaffner Not an expert but someone you can ask and knows a place where you can get the parts, also someone who will do it for cash, so finally you can feel smart for a change, apart from the ripped-off crowd. All over, the old factory towns lie derelict, the farms homogenized or cleared off for sprawl, the waste of infrastructure never debited against the touted miracles behind the yachts appearing on the Potomac against a backdrop of immigrants fishing from dangerous banks, the sagging ramblish wrecks of public boathouses, and new bike paths leading from suburbs to the city’s edge and stopping at the first hint of decay. More lives come to depend on cobbled piles on the edge of an emerald city, a government of witches, some called good. BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  26. 26. [4]Reflections on a Palm Desert Dinner Party – Isabel DeBreI.’s the twilight of that final spring, They do not see each other,when the smog tastes darker— and prefer to watch the palm treesin sullen valleys, gaunt like her daughter, waving wildly,in vast California supermarkets, by the shrouded in clay,watermelons. urging them somewhere,they live. anywhereor, more specifically: but here.they watch people walkwith an inner peace, VIII.and envy them. On the drive home the traffic is heavy and the hot wind blowsII. sand through the windows,they squeeze through the screen door, He sings,half-broken, and She listens,with Coexist, an Ojai wine, but only because She knows Marvell well,exchange limp hands and “The grave’s a fine and private place,stand by the couch, but none, I think, do therewatch condensation stain a vase. embrace.”III. IX.She presses a tiny dog to her breasts, when it’s too dark to tell,“someone might as well feel them,” and she can sense thirty miles ofShe says, dust creeping through the door cracks,her husband stares She touches his leather seat,out the window and lets her fingers hangat rocks, heaped in the dark backyard. —just for a moment on the seam. She breathes, then pullsIV. away.“All marriage is suffering,”He says to the desert wind, because that is enough.the night smells of cigarettes,She X.swallows smoke, and has nothing to say. in the distance, a diesel stack warms and flutters, and She watches, knowing. There is no other life. BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  27. 27. [1]Taripay Pacha: The Age of Meeting Ourselves – Gloria Dyc1.Christmas Eve in Cusco: At midnight the stalls closein the square of the stately the wet streets are thick with refuseSpanish cathedrals young men in jeans and tee-shirtspeople move with joy share cd’s of American musicfluid as fish or birds Families who hitched a ride to the fiestato the music of the zompanas settle uneasily on the cold pavementa light rain heightens the aroma up against the walls of hotels and shopsof greens, steamed corn in the square where their last rebelalpaca grilled on the streets Tupac Amura was beheadedIn stalls white satin clothes are sold A grandmother stirs for a sale for the naked doll of the Child Please madam, I work for two weeks hats sweaters blanketsThe cathedrals built by the Spanish children offering finger puppetswere meant to equal in wonder This is our plaza: no hamburger for me?the temples created by Inca genius 6 sols 20 sols 30 solsstones interlocked so tight Next me madam, please earthquakes lasting days could not bring them down 2.The foundations remain Brother Adriel with his ojos de luxstripped of gold coating holds my hand in the darkness melted down for currency his daughter hold my son’salong with tons of silver and we descend rock by rockfor a tabernacle so heavy when to a sacred lagoon where (it’s said)the Quechua could no longer gold and silver hoarded by the Spanishcarry it on their shoulders were mysteriously swallowed it was installed over a motor On this night of the summer solsticeto continue in the processions the paq’o lights two candlesA life-size Jesus with human hair For his mesa he lays a white cloth wears the skirt of a royal Incan etched with the four directionsStill at midnight mass there is and creates a circle of coca leavesdevotion in the lowered heads we add all that sustains life:the soft Latin of the priest lima beans corn quinoa flowersis barely audible as the panpipes fat from the alpacaresonate in the vastness a splash of beerof a cathedral open by day for a fee We hold coca leavesOverpowered by steel and clear our mindsthe worshipers of the sun the paq’o whistles to his spirits recruited to paint the Last Supper a response comes in the darknesson a scale to mimic Rome He sings an icaro and callsplaced fourteen Inca kings out to the sacred Apukunaaround the figure of Jesus then asks for the names of ourand offered guinea pig in place of bread mountains in New Mexico The descendants of the royalty as we are borne to hanaqpachacan still recite the names of Sapa Inca The medicine bundle is tiedindelible as the etching on the round stone and prepared for burialwhere the sun pierces a needle’s eye we drink the last of the beerbetween two sharp Andean peaks After our climb back we embracemarking the solstice at Machu Pichu Tukay manayniyok BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  28. 28. 3.La Raya at 4335 meters: placewhere the peaks are best viewedtoilets can be used for a donationA young boy with bare feetflushes with a bucket of waterAt Puka a matachina dance is underway 4.sitting on the steps of a church Smugglers have seized Punoa hundred chiseled faces under drugs cars petrolblack hats and blankets face us off products from BoliviaMen in sateen purple suits particle board furnitureplay trombones and guitars televisions and boom boxesmasked dancers in bishop hats This can and will happenmake their way through narrow streets abandoned housing projectsa teenage girl in yellow butterfly wings buildings with barred doorsand a mini skirt steps carefully scrawled with Sinoloa Cartelfrom one of the few cars in the village dogs roaming mud roadsIn a small unlit museum in back Vacant stares of Los ni nia stone phallic icon holds the hands in pocket waitinghead of a sacrificial victim Plato o plumocapococha: hundreds of children This can and will happena thousand years before Christ No tax base no policeAs we leave the village No fresh food no wateran old woman cries, “Mama, Papa” many chollo taxi driversand desperately throws her tricycles with canopiesblack felt hat on the ground shelters of salvaged tinWith a sharp stone blue tarps to cover leaksmy heart is crudely gouged An old Quechua womanand thrown steaming with burlap bagson the earth between us. of plastic bottles and soda cans standing next to the road
  29. 29. 5.Some Quechua fled the war into heights of the Apukunatook refuge on the floating islandsof Uros where totora reed and fishwere enough for survival 6.A refuge on the island of Taquile: Before the stars moon sunthe people ascend the rocky there was Lake Titicacapaths with the grace of alpaca breathing, breathing deeplyWater flows next to the trail her song is at a frequencythe terraced fields yield corn humans are unable to hear quinoa beans and potatoes the divine ring behind silenceIn this sublime order she is the source of watershy young girls cover their faces at the temple at Tambomachywith black wool cloaks no one can identifyThe designs of the woven hats She named a dolphin pinkshow the marital status of men and it became so the placement of the tassel her designs are in the Milky Wayto the right or left Chewing coca leavessignals their mood: serene clouds so close to the lakeor thinking through a problem morph into alpacas of the skyOnce married a woman cuts her hair The land undulates with theand her husband weaves it into grace and purpose of a serpenta coarse belt sewn to the female side the eyes of the puma opensilky blue and red sash in the green fur of the muscular hillswith the icons of island seasons She called the First BeingsIf I could know such love… from springs and cavesThe elders worry the young and told them where and how to walkwill leave for the seduction Pachamama rolls the lakeof Puno where Inca music so we see nuances of topaz and jadeis played on electric keyboard and moves again so we seeand the girls spin in bouffant sapphire and emeraldskirts showing young legs and more She moves all pachamama She calls us to Taripay Pacha zompanas: panpipes ojos de lux: eyes of light paq’o: shaman mesa: altar icara: ceremonial song Apukuna: Sacred Andean mountains hanaqpacha: refined energy of upper world tukay manayniyoc: We are all one in divine consciousness matachina: Dance introduced by Spanish held close to Christmas capococha: The practice of human sacrifice los ni ni: lost boys caught up in drug trade plato o pluma: silver or lead, associated with drug culture pachamama: Female earth Taripay Pacha: The Age of Meeting Ourselves
  30. 30. [1]Singapore – Mary Jane Roberts 1singaporethe city is safethe city is safeancient womenfaces brown, backs bentstoop over guttersclipping blades of grass saris and business suits old trees making their rootswith scissors third-eye jewels and covered knownsnip, snip, snip hairone blade at a time Chinese collars, western ties stories seep outthey keep the jungle at bay all crowding the MRT at dusk dengue fever kills hundreds a girl is murdered onthe city is safe the city is safe Sentosa, crocodiles in the reservoirtraffic signals no gangs no drugs no graffiti dine on the unsuspectingalight with stick menred man green man pay politicians the city is safewalkers wait not to speakwalkers cross impoverish dissenters shopping centers stretchno one disobeys bug telephones from sea shore to straits deny work permits high-rises of glass and steelchannels for walkers to those who speak out marble cementfor cars ban foreign presses buyers crowd cool corridorsfor water that criticize jostle and pushbut cracks in their rush to gatherin the island’s edges be vigilant Calvin Kleins Nikeslet in sea tides always vigilant Esprit Valentino Armanithat rise and fall for the cause of the whole Hermes Guccibloat with bottles is greater than its parts no linesbroken durian shells no passing lanesstench, disease the city is safe just will and desire the city is safe the drug of desirethe city is safe a woman can walk the city is safeairwaves controlled alone by the lake at nighttv shows edited singaporewebsites banned no warning signs camelot of the eastnewspapers censored beware of snakes where gray-haired womenstraits times praising in the jungle clip grass from gutterstheir benevolent tyrant cobra venom blinds keeping the greenCamelot of the east pit vipers kill the deep darka harmony of religions warnings would be bad for creeping greenand races tourism of jungle atMuslim working beside bayBuddhist there are cracks in theChristians honoring Vesak day sidewalks BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  31. 31. 2 3singapore river drought (sculpture in a Singapore park—carved stonesingapore river from zimbabwe)lush withpaper cups, plastic bags, bottles spirit womanmuddy brown water prays for raintransformed by night her neck a longalive with wind-blown stars tall glasslight cast by lanterns of yearningslung from wooden junks smooth and greentourists lazing within chiweshe stonelulled by the silent flow cool to the touchof litter to the sea the hollows and hills of her face serene: the gods will provide shower her lips fill her throat soften the jagged kinks of her rough, green hair turn it smooth as the stream that flowed once across the stones’ deep heart green as the fields she sees in memory fields full with wheat and yams if she holds still and waits here, waits for rain— sends her prayers to the cloudless sky— memory may become the moment, the future more than a slim, green neck yearning, yearning for food for her child
  32. 32. [1]Cream – William HarneyI have stopped at the deli in Prides Crossing.It’s early Fall, early morning.Two Mexican kids, workers for a landscape business,Have stopped for coffee. Jeans, grey sweatshirts with theOutfit’s logo, and faded red ball caps. One has a wispy, kid’sMustache. They are squat figures, just over five foot,Bent like stone masons.The one with the mustache asks the proprietor for two coffees, one with cream.You help yourself to the cream he’s told, the owner pointingTo a dispenser with a stainless steel lever you pop up and aDrip tray underneath, then going back to his prep work.The boy guesses how the machine works, puts his cup underneathAnd plunk, plunk. Then it occurs to him, he’s on his own,The cream is free, plunk, plunk. He looks up at hisCompatriot, taps the lever an extra tap (Oops!) and smiles.Nobody stops you here, take all you want is how it works.They’re grinning now.They see me. Sixty-three. I could be one of those peopleAngry they’re here. They don’t know. But the boy gives meThe same smile and I smile back. Today, we can have all we want,Free cream for everyone. I like the joke as much as they do and I likeThem for supposing I would. BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  33. 33. [2]An able bodied linked team of rivals – Matthew HarrisThis democrat feels much relief that Obama da man within his barrackSans capital hill – amidst the leprous creatures fomenting din and clackAnd I evince a stronger president viz his second term in no mood for flackThough recognize that late night comedians will rile the audience with a hackTowards said storied leader of these United States possessing grit and a knackWhose aura, charisma, dogma, and persona no match whence nation on the brinkOf frightful mailer daemons (that howl yahoo) conspiring to induce at least a chinkIn the salutary merits of white house lord, who maintains an amazing cool Understandable if temptation finds him imbibing for ale or brewed drinkWhile casting those buck eyes upon portrait of sixteenth – the land of linkCon, the most exemplary over-seer of American nation who transcended a barFrom frontier, which physical distance to honored roll to guide union Birthed then four score and seven years prior – under this present starNow, a plethora of gummy gooey grimly gook extant like global pitted with tarYet…this chosen feted industriously limbered oh reverent unpretentious vetAdroit with skilled qualities of noteworthy political statecraft artExudes confidence toward barrage of ceaseless invisible arrows he does dartWith progressively honed practice in tandem with a sensitive heartWill does his level best to hammer out solutions quieting secessionist rumblings That will pre-empt this county by nailing resistance that doth tear us a partAnd against this analogous trackless unfettered trainCan implement progressive measures securing rails during his reignTo avoid veering off that “fiscal cliff” invoking all to invoke “Hussein”As nearly omnipotent and more powerful that any industrial craneA prince gifted with magical powers within that time-tested brainSo, I forewarn any boisterous crowd of naysayers to beware and take flightCuz this African American – about six foot two inches in heightPossess acumen and women to deliver lightFrom out this darkness per assuaging, budgeting and massaging mightTo conquer economic, geographic, and pacific size plightDelivering like Abraham his people to an idyllic sight! BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  34. 34. [3]I Netted Mosquito Magic – Matthew HarrisNo sooner that getting a welt after getting bitFrom the female blood-sucking insect(Which critters actually considered little flies?Comprise the family culicidae)A most amazing extraordinaire inoculated meWith a short lived surprise talentWhich got this American male infectedWith three hundred seconds of super human impeccable skillShort-lived feat found body, mind or spiritCapable to transcend the naturalLimits of my usual skills, and infusing this ordinary guyWith an unpredictableSupreme titillating, stupefying, resounding, hair-raising, glorifying,Fleeting, entertaining, daunting, catapulting, bedazzling,Amazing stints possessing thy being sans from an invisible sourceThence when expending said burst of tremendous spurtPer awesome bout of mental, physical or spiritual bags of tricksEclipsing any mortal prowess with stratospheric wow fear less factorUltimate fatigue found this bloke supineAnd unable to summon forth one iota of strengthNor remember how that pestilential sucker inculcated youWith a combination of Godzilla, Tarzan, superman, Spiderman,Jane Austin like powersWhereby a bare willow the wisp o some fictional idée fixGripped hold thine fertile gray matter –Wherein dwells the imaginationTo attempt (albeit futilely) communication (on a wing and prayer)Of what could only be considered a new sense fly by night dream! BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  35. 35. [4]Lady in Red – Matthew Harrischorus::she danced with a feverish spring and stepped as if in the airno worries existed for whose well being she did carewith eyes of sparkling emeralds with a shimmering flairamber waves brought serenity from her flowing glistening hairattracting like a magnet every person she that came nearspreading infectious contagion of happiness every where!tossed out the fashion boutique on a cushion squarely ledthis lady in redwith her snug outfit against her slim body did wedpizzazz and personality that bredthis well healed nanny with high street credmade sure charges looked spiffy and well fedchorus::she danced with a feverish spring and stepped as if in the airno worries existed for whose well being she did carewith eyes of sparkling emeralds with a shimmering flairamber waves brought serenity from her flowing glistening hairattracting like a magnet every person she that came nearspreading infectious contagion of happiness every where!atop shoulders bounced a well coiffed and adorable headdrawing followers wherever she ledand listened to her sexy voice no matter what she saidchorus::she danced with a feverish spring and stepped as if in the airno worries existed for whose well being she did carewith eyes of sparkling emeralds with a shimmering flairamber waves brought serenity from her flowing glistening hairattracting like a magnet every person she that came nearspreading infectious contagion of happiness every where! BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  36. 36. [5]Ode to Freedom – Clemencio Bascar In utter darkness, my ancestral share of the future is being auctioned at a price way, way below its real current value; worse, frenzied negotiations have been clandestinely going on outside the borders of my thoughts…a flagrant corruption and betrayal of my sense of honor, legitimacy, and worth. All the time, in my primal innocence, I thought I was a lone victim of this denuding conspiracy which causes immeasurable and irreparable degradation of my faith and trust in the traditions of civility, liberty, order, and power; oh, how wrong could I be! Just across the thin strip dividing our fuddy-duddy life space, Is an enraged soul whose audacious pre-disposition to rebellion And violent reflexes, is as excitable and instantaneous as the Rattle-snake’s instinctive assault; Our intimate parallelism of predicament, we both realize, Is not a case of isolation, but widespread and pervasive, Reminiscent of times of terror and oppression which stirred The passions of nobility, gallantry, idealism, and solidarity of Our forebears whose common aspiration was the complete Recovery of their sacred liberties and the total restoration Of the reign of justice and peace plus the full recognition Of their human dignity; The commonality of our personal circumstances, the consciousness of our insignificance, and our feeling of unworthiness and hopelessness under the burgeoning regime of force and perpetual domination, offer us only two contrasting options to destiny: one, the torturous course of heroes; the other, the redolent but dehumanizing sanctuary of cowards. My friend quickly takes the up-hill road to valor Not realizing that in the standard of heaven, no hero Is ever proclaimed in war, no fighter is bestowed honor, And heroism in the battle fields is just the ideal of fools; in His heart though, firmed is the belief that dying for one’s Country is the highest form of sacrifice, patriotically worth Repeating, mystically inspiring, more so, when peace eagerly Awaits at the enemy’s last frontier of defense. Under a thick clump of vines, I proudly watch my friend’s Final rendezvous with freedom Into the redeeming caress of Silence. BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  37. 37. [6] The Bite – Tatjana Debeljacki The trail emergency of vocals sounds explained certainty equipped intolerance paid the air with inconvenience if he had given it because he has the way speaks flies away politely totally the face blood Infinity penalizes increases dissolves knowledge Snatches the offers lively intentions necessity of rapid Unknown drive revises distance takes the rest close or not torn apart were stacked in doubt chooses something a warning clearly forgotten tightens the wound the time occurred close passengers the future in front of the turning moody warm words hiding smell of sweat exist lunch together magnificent orgasm romance the spare key the month of May ripening carefully bravely he climbs up daydreaming he is proud no failure for sureknowing nothing persistence stubbornness the heat of planets Venus the symbol of taurus the skill the strength the temper punctuality burning imagination surrounds the arms and its strength realization trust inaccessibly inaccessible totally realistic tourist Intelligence and the ability for having the knack and interests and judgment hospitality with understanding the feeling importance discreet personality The weapons of the characteristics of these relationships significant strong Continuation fidelity definite inseparable commitment strain the point cheerfulness with aim conquering combinations understated combining the senses active and intensive tempting red silk wine look eyes focused on the sign of uncertainty original line analyses always analyses good and planned misunderstanding the point thinking wanted restless movable pleasing its originality fertility reserved ability realization of ideas the base for strong long-lasting liaison Participates in the experiment curiosity challenge Power for all different phenomenon in shades Undertaking complications in pair principles the line procedure is different only deceiving The benefit war egoist solid state staggering the possession psychological defiance Artificially cautiously tested often Nightmare the arrow wilderness bulls eye brain the rules govern routine sleepwalker ideal balance peak the zone The trip sexual power Morning France damaged liaison mending hmm Erogenous – Platonic- empty- liaison night day THE STREET BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  38. 38. [7]Water Drawings in a Linked Maybe Haiku – Michael H. Brownsteinwater fills me with youactuaries of mist and drizzleChristmas light in prisms listen to the water fall the edge a pool of glimmer smooth skinned and happy when I drink this water I wear your hand in my glove your impression on my love God created life out of water good from the earth you because he knew of me water silvers the skyline the city and town the branch you sit upon because of you even water is more beautiful BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  39. 39. [8]photographyThe London Tunnels by Michael Wasney Power Lines by Michael Wasney BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  40. 40. [9]San Francisco at Night by Michael Wasney March to the Sea by Michael Wasney BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  41. 41. [10]Crane Fly & The Rain by Michael Wasney Head in the Seed by Alison Stewart BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  42. 42. [11]2 by Pete Madzelan 6 by Pete Madzelan3 by Pete Madzelan BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  43. 43. [12]Winter in The Lower Galil, 2 by KJ Hannah Greenberg Winter in The Lower Galil, 3 by KJ Hannah Greenberg BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  44. 44. [13] Winter in The Lower Galil, 5 by KJ Hannah GreenbergWinter in The Lower Galil, 1by KJ Hannah Greenberg BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  45. 45. [14]Lavendar by Isli Sarai Cerulean by Isli Sarai BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  46. 46. [15]Cyan by Isli Sarai Nude by Isli Sarai Malar Butterfly Season by Gwen Mercado Reyes BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  47. 47. [16]persuasive essayVisiting From Out of Town by Patty SomloHe reaches into the garbage can with one clean punch. Face darkened by dust, his tan suedejacket shiny in places and black as a crow, the man looks as if he’s come up to the light from acoal mine. I assume, as anyone would, that he’s fishing for bottles and cans, which he’ll toss intoa shopping cart and wheel away to turn in for change. Instead, the black hand emerges and shovesa slice of French bread between his thin gray lips.The cloudless sky is drenched a primary hue I have only seen in Northern California. Tourists sit atround tables sipping wine. A white and green boat edges up to the dock and men with briefcaseshung from long shoulder straps sprint past the man at the garbage can, in hopes of reaching thegate before the ferry steams off.Prior to walking out here, my husband Richard and I were in a shop nestled on the bay side of theremodeled Ferry Building behind us, admiring a pale yellow antique porcelain ladle imported fromParis. We entered the shop after strolling the wide walkway lined with oranges and avocados piledatop wooden stands and bottles of wine cradled in round holds, cheese shops and tea stands, andplaces to buy Italian gelato and local Marin County oysters. The blood reds, greens and nearlyblack purples, and sweet and sour scents, and even the arrangements of objects were so alluring Iwanted to buy, though I’m visiting from out of town and don’t have room in my suitcase for oneextra thing.Late afternoon, and shadows nearly cover the pier. The wind has picked up and the thought ofeating the sorbet I’m holding in a small pink cup makes me shiver. Regardless, I slide the plasticspoon, shaped like a miniature pink shovel, into the frozen fruit and lift it to my mouth.There is something so sweet about San Francisco it hurts. I felt it when I moved here thirty-fouryears ago and I feel it today. Especially on these sunny cloudless days, the city beckons, like ayoung man with dark soft eyes. The air and light samba in a coupling so exquisite neither canbelieve it, and the colors of water and brick, wood and trees seem squeezed from Picasso’stwisted tubes of paint.I used to gaze out on this view over San Francisco Bay -- the Bay Bridge to Oakland on my right andthe Golden Gate Bridge and Marin headlands to my left -- while riding a stationary bike in front ofthe window at the YMCA two blocks behind where I sit. Twelve years ago, though, I stopped.That’s when I was forced to move. San Francisco had attracted too many newcomers in a modernGold Rush of high tech. For us longtime San Franciscans, the city suddenly soured. Rents andhousing prices soared, while ordinary salaries refused to keep up.A native San Franciscan, my husband had only left the Bay Area once in his life, for a four-year AirForce stint in his early twenties. At the age of fifty-five, he could not afford to stay. An adoptedchild of this city for over twenty years, I was forced to leave with him.Until I saw that grimy man reach his hand into the garbage and pull out a chunk of bread, I wasfeeling sorry for myself. It’s not easy to leave a place you love in middle age. The move north toOregon came with benefits. Richard and I were able to buy a Victorian house. But along with thegood I was forced to grieve the loss of my beloved San Francisco, while trying without success tofind something to replace it in my new home. BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190
  48. 48. [17]I had to find a doctor, dentist and hairdresser, and make new friends. I had to take the writtentest for an Oregon driver’s license. I even had to learn the correct pronunciation for rivers, suchas the Willamette, and for towns like Tigard. And of course I had to get accustomed to endlessdark days of rain.I wasn’t able to create a history for myself in the new place. I also didn’t have the luxury ofrecalling what happened at this café or over there when I hiked up that hilly street. In short, Icouldn’t re-create that most necessary aspect of home – memories from years living in the sameplace.I am shivering now, having slurped through the first scoop of lemon sorbet down to the secondscoop which is coconut. The appearance of the dirty man has caused me to notice the shoppingcarts parked along the pier, like cars jammed against the curbs on San Francisco’s steep streets.The longer I look, the more shopping carts I see, as if they’ve been reproducing themselves likebunnies. I’m left with a strange buzzing in my head, as I turn and notice the people behind medrinking wine, wet raw oysters gleaming in their shells at the centers of several tables. I can’thelp but see the French bread, sliced, and waiting for someone’s clean fingers to lift it to a mouthcontaining all its teeth.Moments ago, for days really, I had been consoling myself as the victim of a terrible crime,perpetrated by the suddenly wealthy, young high tech invaders who stole my city and turned meout. I was acting as if I had no home.But there is a different crime here and I am not so easily its victim. The crime is that we sitsipping our wine, eating our oysters and slurping our sorbet, as if the dirty man eating out of thegarbage and the people whose lives are stuffed inside one single grocery cart do not exist.I’m not sure how or when we quit noticing. At one time, the sight of people living on the street,their parked shopping carts stuffed with belongings or their bodies framed by doorways as theyslept, would have been shocking. Now it’s as commonplace as newspaper skidding across thestreet.When I was young, it was not this way in any place we lived, and my family moved around. Myfather was a career Air Force officer, and every two years he got assigned to a different base. Welived on military installations surrounded by farms and within a short drive to some small town. Alonger drive got us to a major city.The cities were where we shopped for dresses and shoes and sometimes watched Broadway shows.Whenever we visited the city, we passed by an area known as Skid Row. In Philadelphia, St. Louis,Trenton and New York, Skid Row was where the bums hung out. The bums, I knew, werealcoholics, who sat on the sidewalk and drank.I can’t remember when Skid Row started to spread. All I know is that one day Skid Row bumsbecame street people, and in San Francisco they sat on sidewalks and slept in parks and doorwaysall over town.I’m also not sure when the term street people went out of style and we started using the singleword homeless. Street people had the connotation of choice, something the word homelessdecidedly lacks. What started as a small group when I was a child, concentrated in the seediestpart of a city, had now grown into battalions of people scattered through neighborhoods in citiesand towns all across the country. And for many, their homes on the street were now permanent. BRICKrhetoric {issue eleven} ISSN 2161-9190