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  November 2004
volume 2 number 4
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  featured poets
  Steve Abee
  Neil Aitken
  Larry Colker
  Nimah Nawwab
  Alice Pero
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Steve Abee November 2004



Madame Aperture

    Steve Abee has published two books: King Planet, a collection of stories and poems, and The Bus: Cosmic Ejaculations of the Daily Mind in Transit, a novel. He also released a CD, titled Jerusalem Donuts, but that was a million years ago. He is currently working on a new novel, titled Johnny Future, and he has a poetry manuscript that is looking for a publisher.
    He is a middle school English teacher, is married, has two daughters, and lives in Los Angeles.



3am in Mexico

I cannot sleep when there is this

Smell of bonfires burning,

And the overwrought male voice of a heart,

Broken singer coming from some stereo.

I cannot sleep when the Catholic spires are trapped

In a darkness they cannot deny, do not.

Blue neon crosses touch the stars.

Cars bump down the street.

Cathy sleeps, Penelope with

Teething fever sleeps

Restless, a train yells.

Does a bird scream, surely, somewhere?

Johnny Future talks in his sleep

In my head. Will I ever like him?

My wife sleeps, sleepily, sighs, tries

To keep sleep asleep, tries.

I wonder: Is this the beginning

Of my adult life, right now, thinking

About masturbating, watching Mexican

MTV, waiting for a Beck video beside

The stars, and old men with microphones.

A man walks down a wet sidewalk.

The thin streets, walls hunching in,

Bending everything toward a light,

Then an open door, where people

Eat tacos and drink Cokes

And then the street

Moves on, carrying a girl,

Just a kid, across the cobbles

And up the stairs, to somewhere.

I couldnít tell you where

'Cause I donít know.

A siren chirps.

I am awake and the world is somewhere.

The walls are blue.

There are airplanes in the sky, somewhere,

Too, with the world.

I believe in sunrise.

I believe in my dreams.

I want to say this is beautiful,

But I am too tired to say that, really,

And the train will wake the baby,

Iím afraid.

I donít know how to end this thing.

I didnít even know I had started.

War is on T.V.

War makes bricks.

Bricks make walls

And that is what I

am really saying.

I cannot sleep when the revelers are loud

Walking drunk ass grabbing dog barking

Giggles down the sparkly street.

Good night say the bombs of love.

Good night say the birds of crime.

Good night say the fires of dreams

Unlived in the forest of my mind.

Good night Good night

Says the sunrise.

copyright 2004 Steve Abee





The best Dodger on the mound

Since Koufax and Drysdale.

A finisher, you needed no bullpen,

You had all the answers

Written on the ball.

You were the truest Dodger.

At nineteen, with no English,

Throwing a pitch that no one could


Throwing from the deepest blue,

Through the sweat shops,

The day workers at the corner,

Through the ghosts of the Ravine

Whispering in the dugout

As the chant of your name,

Starting in the bleachers,

Rose with your eyes

To the clouds.

copyright 2004 Steve Abee



20 Cent Water

† † Let us speak directly of our being as it appeared to me down at the 20 Cent Water Machine.

† † One man fills up his plastic jug and I think: Yes, is this not, surely, who we are: made of water mostly, a form drawn in shining dust, drawn in darkness from the hole in the middle of the sky, golden oceans lost in our heads, splashing on the sides of a Sparklettís life. We all have corners we refill at. We fill and fall, die and born, made of things we did not do: Hands of Mesozoic jism jangle through our celestial rush-hour haze, a drunk trumpet spills notes from a rooftop, a radio in a creaky car passes by, one man listens to violins as another does but does. The water is on. The walls and doors are spilled with our spilling, our music does not rust.

† † This wine of being burns a votive dawn sparrow breaking the brow of the convict sky dripping tattooed names of galaxies into the flesh of the sidewalk. The flower of our fluid pearls a drop waiting to roll down the leaf into the dirt, the next life, somewhere elseís dream, this flower with no name spills the saliva and sweat of its seed on our shoes as it swims for the sun. Our mistakes are what make us run.

† † The world is turning. The engine guns for the flame that licks blue lips around the heart of a bird that holds a starry glacier in its eye. The world is a cold place and I know it. The world is no place, so what. The world is round. I have felt it. The world makes smells and I have them. The world kills itself and I was born here. This world is a blue flower with roots crawling from the ashes of anotherís end.

† † There is a gift in these razor-lipped dew drops cutting us out of time. We are not contained in bottles or in the ultraviolet of this eye. What we are is ruby-eyed stardust swimming through the manhole covers and the trees while the machines roll loud down the street and an unknown kindness holds up the sky, the sleep of extinction cradling the water of our miracles.

copyright 2004 Steve Abee