Spring 2006

Volume 1, Issue 1



Sunset Boulevard


celluloid slips through my fingers silvery ships
dreaming film festivals a cigarette on Garbo’s
lips champagne in fluted crystal as four seasons of
mirrors lilies white roses chiffon gowns and

smog hangs over Stanwyk’s star a venomous
liquor promising box seats and backstage theater
only abscessing Sodom veins scarred the deep
purple of royal excess of sushi sharp knives and

red carpets with black velvet ropes diamonds
dripping from the whitest throat top hat tails
tango on black marble floors the piano plays
Cole Porter under an imported chandelier and

bums piss vodka lost in Clark Gable’s mustache a
winter rain mud and monsoon drowns her
audition head heavy with stardust only one more
and the gilded door arabesque swings on hinges of

inlaid chess boards the queen imperial jade a
carriage of eighty chestnut stallions proud with
arched neck and chrome highly polished under
moonlight that softens the sweet murder of




The Hero's Journey


I trudge through wailing tundra I push green shoulders
slicing sharp wind pulling from magnetic pole strong like
snarling wolves who snap each heel with the persistence
of death while white snakes glide curve effortlessly

skimming sheets of ice spitting out forked tongues to
judge creation in ancient clarity daunting perpetual
motion like the phases of the moon inexorable while
needle rain pierces my eyes gutting all tears ice

wind singes my ears seals my lips steals my voice a
dark thief red and angry as the war drum the snakes
come still in tireless rhythm relentless hungry like
dusk who eats our days while I grab frozen breath to

slice forward another step from magnetic pole to
swallow sliver icicles straining toward the sun who
hides herself behind the western mountain so high so
dusted in arctic distance still the snakes suffer the

snow to cut like daggers the softest skin quiet stealthy
as the past and now I feel my bones groan crashing
against tired muscle the air cruel as smeared blood
until I stretch my mouth wide screaming in sacred fire



Skin Dirge in C Minor


I hate the word


A cacophony of consonants

harsh and cruel
like sand in crackerjacks.

I wish for words like

fresh, young, smooth
like sweet tea on Sunday afternoon.

But not to be

for me.



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© 2006 Americana: The Institute for the Study of American Popular Culture