Steven Eddleston: The Doctor’s X-files

X-files #1 – 4

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#1

„E.T.: THE EXTRA
CHOLESTEROL.“

Show and tell

#2

„NOW… URKZOD I BELIEVE YOU BROUGHT SOMETHING BACK FROM THE MILKY WAY FOR SHOW AND TELL?“

Comix Divider
Elvis lives

#3

„ALL RIGHT YOU CAN GO TO ANOTHER McDONALDS BUT YOU KNOW THE DRILL:
AS SOON AS SOMEONE RECOGNISES YOU WE BEAM YOU UP!“

Parking fine

#4

„YEAH, YEAH, YOU’RE FROM ANOTHER PLANET AND YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU HAD TO PAY TO PARK HERE… SPARE ME BOYS I’VE HEARD ‚EM ALL.“

David Hopkinson: My Beautiful Laundretteenglish

Affixed to the wall
Below my flat
Is the welcoming sign
Of the laundromat

LAUNDRY 7 DAYS
Come rain or shine
Remove life’s stubborn stains
$4 a time

Invisible mending
Of love’s bullet holes
Spiritual cleansing
For odd socks
And lost souls

Flathunting one day
On Glebe Point Road
I spotted this bijou
Upstairs abode

UNIT TO LET
Apply within
I saw the sign
And the light
And moved straight in

10.00am Sunday morning
I’m up early and bright
To enact the ritual
Washday apartheid

Separating the coloureds
From the whites
In fragrant bleach
Of human rights

The latest gossip and scandal is there
Displayed for all to view
Cosmopolitan / New Idea / Marie Claire
Dated May 1992

At night the mighty neon smile
A warming glow does spread
A fiery sunset through the blinds
A blaze of blue and red

Magically bathing my bedroom
In a tasteful brothelpink hue
Prompting a string of male callers to ask
If credit cards will do

The world famous aromatic Hopkinson socks
(They can kill at 50 paces
They’re known to induce comas and cardiac shocks)
Now just walk downstairs unaided

And hop right into the nearest machine
First adjusting the settings required
Adding extra industrial strength strychnine
Meanwhile all around have expired

(The poet’s personal hygiene
Leaving much to be desired …)

Scrubbed to perfection
Purged of sin
Devils expelled
On the final spin

Grime doesn’t pay
The tie-dye is cast
I’ve abandoned old ways
They belong to the past

LAUNDRY 7 DAYS
Clean living at last.

Michi Gabriel: Ten Poems

you

(August 31st / September 1st, 1992)

autumn is dawning
and you are beside me
whenever I reach out
you
with your warm and tender eyes
you
with your incredible smile
you
who helps me to find myself
what in the world
could I ask for
when sometimes
you make love to me
with every word you say

Poem Divider

relapse

(February 2nd, 1996)

once again
the snow has settled down
cruelly
on our hopes
for spring
deceiving us
with its whiteness
scornfully
laughing in our faces
sneering at us
from underneath the ice
littering a thousand snowflakes
down upon our foolishness

Poem Divider

roadhouse blues

(October 8th, 1991)

the truck stopped
the door banged
hi
yelled sue
behind the counter
he nodded
coffee as usual
asked sue
he nodded
lots of sugar as usual
asked sue
he nodded
what’s wrong
asked sue
used to come out here often with eve
answered he
it over
asked sue
he nodded
slowly
boy
said sue
been a long time though

Poem Divider

land’s end

(September 16th, 1995)

the green
rolling
into the sea
above it
a blue sky
a white cloud
sailing
towards america

Poem Divider

schneewinters

(November 30th, 1990)

sommergedanken
sonnendurchflutet
schneewinters

scheinbare
stille
summt sinnenvoll

silbernes
schneeflocken-spiel
sachte

seelen
schweifen sehnsuchtsvoll
sonnwärts

Poem Divider

too soon

(15/02/97)

february
and winter is puzzled
a premature spring
is in the air
but he is boisterous and bold
and bowing to us
in a clownish manner
taking off his blue blue hat
to let out the sun
and produce by magic
smiles on grey faces
a blossom or two
he lifts us on top of the world
for a while
lulling us into a false sense of security
until this carnival is over

Poem Divider

tribute to eve

(15/02/97)

whichever way
our bodies meet
they are in tune
a passionate colourful symphony
youme – meyou
in a rhythm of our own

sharing this
sweet sweet trance
my love
we approach
apocalyptic ecstasies
a wordlessly eloquent tribute to eve
for picking that one apple

Poem Divider

old vienna

(16/02/97)

oh vienna
you’re older than i feel today
your wise old cobble-stone
lures me into the trap
of your countless lanes
narrow, crooked, of yesterday
your charmless parks
untidy sidewalks
keep me on their leash
your golden glitter’s turned to dust
after midnight
my one time cinderella
and today’s impatient breath
is sweeping it swiftly away

Poem Divider

sweetie

(18/02/97)

at the grave
nothing left to say but
goodbye sweetie
good girl

the fallen princess
has died
you did walk through some doors
after all

no more
flicking over chairs
you’ve gone to meet
your producer

but your clumsy little song
wrapped in innocent pink
will forever be
the old fool’s lullaby

(based on the movie „sweetie“ by jane campion)

Poem Divider

on the phone II

(21/02/97)

your trickling words
wrap me up in
a thousandfold lemon ecstasies

my body is overflowing
like a river in a temper
knowing you are feeding
on my luscious moans

desire meets desire meets fulfillment

heaven and hell
have never been so close
and the graze of angels‘ wings
might as well be the devil’s breath

Jolanta Janavicius: Painted Poems

Hills of Gundagai


Silvery gold
are
the hills
around Gundagai
hill next to
soft rounded hill
like
heaving bosoms
all velvety
warm
basking in the
golden glow
of the late
summer afternoon

Jolanta Janavicius painting

Desert flower


Little flower
in the desert
how do you survive
tell me
I want to know your secret

 

Walter Hoelbling: Selected Poems

Berlin 1990

right in the eye
of history
I walk
among the crowds
that taste
the absence of confinement

an unfamiliar space

between the band stands
on the avenues
where people
test a freedom
newly won
still strange
as yet in need
of daily reassurance

crossing and recrossing
the big gate
and the bridges
that for generations
connected nothing
marked divisions kept
by guns and barbed wires
and well-lit empty spaces
between walls
watched from towers

the new reunion
brings happy smiles for most
quiet tears for some
new doubts for many
that are uncertain
now
about their lives together
after decades
of separation

right in the eye
of history I walk

just now and then
a little bit afraid
that she might
rub her eye

just now

W. H., October 3, 1990

Poem Divider

Leipzig 1990

A city old in trades,
in cultivation of the arts
based on industrious commerce
of its citizens who boast
the world’s oldest commercial fair

the city in which
Martin Luther and Melanchthon
led fierce disputes
with delegations of the Pope

where J. S. Bach found stimulus
and time to master
harmony and rhythm
close to perfection,
(and that was shocked listening
to Leibniz’s monadologies),

the city of which
Goethe spoke with praise,
that saw Napoleon defeated
on the nearby battlefield
(and built a monument of quite
imposing ugliness one hundred years
after the fact),

this city suffered hard
from two world wars
followed by over forty years
of dreams gone sour of a new society,
until, most recently,
this city once again
became a catalyst of major change.
Yet those who kept their meetings
at St. Niklas‘ church
and by their stubborn protest
helped to reunite
a country separated by walls for generations –
those you don’t see,
walking the streets of Leipzig now.

What strikes the eye
(besides the crumbling blackened ruins
of former glory,
and strip-mined land
just out of town)
is Wall Street’s new frontier,
the bustling peddlars of new easy wealth
as they appear on every street downtown,
offering anything from oranges
to shoes and South Pacific cruises.

Ramshackled pre-fabs built on shabby parking lots
already stake the claims of big banks,
business and insurance companies
that promise earnings, safety and security
to eager if bewildered customers.

„Pecunia non olet“ says the poster
of the postal savings bank,
and shows a happy pig
rooting in money.

Old stores, in order to survive,
have started selling
new and shiny goods
to happy new consumers,

only a few resist

and hesitate to walk a mile
for the melange of
fast food, cigarettes and booze
offered at makeshift stands
that seem have come
to symbolize the great new freedom

of the new Wild East.

W. H., November 1990

Poem Divider

new orleans

the charm of French Colonial style
with Cajun cooking promised – „genuine!“ –
at every second door
jazz bands at every other

the flair of well-groomed wealth and savoir vivre
exuding from St. Charles‘ porticos,
the restaurants on Calle du Roi,
the campuses of Tulane, UNO and Loyola

the grandeur of the superdome
the open space of Audubon and City Park
oakes draped with Spanish Moss
alive with jogging, skating, biking, walking health
between the nights –

all this makes you almost forget
the city project housings
slumming beneath the highrise business shadows
crime ridden,
floating on neverending waves of dime-a-dozen tunes
from hi-fi stereos of cruising cars

the grand lake spoiled for generations
with the big city’s waste,
the ‚father of rivers‘ dwarfed beyond repair
by wharfs and cranes and fortified embankments
that line his banks as far as you can see
and far beyond

a shotgun wedding of the rich and poor,
the black and white,
torn by the struggle to ascend
from shotgun to colonial
to the soft sound of dixie

W. H., February, 1992

Poem Divider

libération

after some grey days
comes the sun
summer heat
spectacle on the Seine

to commemorate

„La Route de l’Aramda“
a fleet for tourists
that never was

yet nice to watch
nevertheless
with fireworks
& stately masts
sails folded orderly
decks scrubbed
the crews all smiles
ready to answer
all the children’s questions

in between
gray & inaccessible
some men of war
of more contemporary make

among them
somewhat tarnished
one single ship
that really carried
allied soldiers
in its sighthless hull
on that gray morning

and suddenly
if only for a moment
you smell the sweat
of fearful courage
hear ammunition
click into magazines
the waves break dull
with hollow sound
amidst the crashes
of firework artillery
that split the waters
upward from the ground

Rouen, July 1994

Poem Divider

above things

at standard cruising altitude
sipping my digestive
after a decent inflight lunch
on the flight from Vienna to Athens

I gaze through the scratched
double plexiglass bulleye
shielding me from the outside world
and try to pierce the blinding haze
of a lazy spring afternoon
hiding from me
the people shot by snipers
the shelling of suburbs
the burning houses
the crowded hospitals
of Sarajevo, Gorazde, Mostar, Zadar …

supsended in diffuse light
all I can see
is the silhouette
of an occasional snow-capped mountain range

there is no sign
of human suffering

May 1992

Poem Divider

WINE COUNTRY

courting the sun
after a cool June
in my vintner’s garden
close to the southern border

carefully sipping
his latest selection
a good year
you can taste it

looking out from the hill
across the river valley
I listen to his children
proudly telling how
only yesterday
they filled 50 sandbags
just in case

the deafening roar
of an interceptor jet
splits the air
just for seconds
leaves my wine glass
trembling

three helicopters
slash their way south
and come back later

over the winding road
on the next hill
the last tank of the column
disappears

we can hear
not far away
over there
sounds like explosions

we enjoy the sun
Helmut opens another one
of his treasured bottles
and tells me
what he will do
if They come across

he is a good hunter
and an excellent shot

I sip the clear wine
watch how the sunlight
lends its brilliance
to the half-filled glass

I feel a little bit
like Humphrey Bogart
in the wrong movie.

(On the Yugoslav border, July 1, 1991)

Poem Divider

hazards of the profession

quipping maliciously
the learned scholar
outdid himself
and keeled over backward
into a huge barrel
of seething criticism

Poem Divider

TO BE

People that ‚are‘
of those who still ‚become‘
speak lowly
treasuring the edge
they have
by luck or by some clever sleight
of hand
gained in the race for being

Sometimes I wonder
where I am
am I
or am I not
do I become
and if so
will I ever be
what others are
where others are
(or think themeselves to be)

Maybe
those who appear so sure
of what and where they are
have at their backs
the everlasting fear
that when they are
where they have liked to be
there always are
the others who were there
some time before
and now
are somewhere else
happy again
that they are
where and what
others still struggle to become

Methinks
to be where I am
suits me fine
I do not care exactly
where
this is
if only I still see
a chance that I become
that is      I change
and not just be

There is
it seems to me
too little space
between to be
and
not to be.

W. H., September 1990

Catherine Basilicata

No more Goodbyes

What if I never kissed your lips again
Or feel the touch of your warm embrace
How would I go on
Without you my heart has no place to belong.

Someday I’m hoping love’s going to draw you away from the sea.
Until then my heart remains empty,
So, I’ll just have to believe
Somewhere out there you’re thinking of me.

The day you let me go and your next hello,
It’s not goodbye.
I’m hoping to see you again,
I’ll be remembering our times, and if time is on our side –
There will be no more fears or cries.
Deep in the ocean, there’s one thing you can’t deny:

You think I’d be strong enough to make it through,
And rise above when you emerge from the sea,
It’s so hard when you’re missing someone so long.
Please no more goodbyes.

 

Catherine Basilicata lives in Wollongong, Australia

Colin James

Two poems

AN ANTI THEIST’S SURRENDER

The lines of children were cognizant
of an uprising. This was evident in
their diffidence to the wind and the way
scars healed from the inside despite
a continuous onslaught of moral beatings,
the noble bullies barely having time to adjust.
Fatalistically, the swooning became the resolve.

CHOKING ON AFFLUENCE, THE COUGH SYMPTOMS

I watched some human like insects
scale my foot and drill into
the bone above the ankle.
I felt nothing.
Waist bent anomalously
ears, eyes closer.
They climbed higher
voices, not pronounced words.
They reached the top of my head
just as the sun was giving up.
I went cross eyed trying to explain,
this was not substantively organic.

 

Colin James has a book of poems Resisting Probability from Sagging Meniscus Press and a chapbook A THOROUGHNESS NOT DEPRIVED OF ABSURDITY. He lives in Massachusetts.

Philip Loyd

Elephants Never Forget

I sneaked another peak at her across the bar, trying my best to not look like I was looking, but it was too late, she had seen me already.  Why was I trying to avoid being seen?  Because I was shy?  Not hardly.  I was lonely, and I didn’t want to look like it.

More than that, I was horny, REALLY horny.  The only problem was, she was fat: hippopotamus fat.  It was nothing a few more beers couldn’t take care of, however, and anyway, there’s no shame in being lonely.

She looked familiar.  Maybe I had seen her before.  She just had that look about her, like I knew her from somewhere.  I looked in the other direction, but it was too late; she was already on her way over.

“Excuse me,” she said, “but you look so familiar.  Do I know you?”

“I’m not sure,” I said, still trying to pretend like I hadn’t been looking.  Loneliness is a hideous bitch.

“I’m sure I do,” she said.  “Do you come here often?”

If a man had said that, it would have been a line.

“Not really,” I said, “at least, not anymore.  It’s been fifteen years since I moved out west.”

“It’s just that, you look so familiar,” she said.

“It happens.”

“Where do you live out west?”

“Aspen.”

“Aspen?” she said. “Cool.  I’ve always wanted to go to California.”

So she was dumb.  So what?

“Are you from here originally?” she said.

“Yes, just down the road.”

“Did you go to Briardale Elementary?”

“Yes.”

“Small world. Me, too.”

“Small world,” I said.  “Would you like another beer?”

Stupid question.  Turns out, the fat cow could drink me under the table.

She said her name was Kelli.  Kelli, with an i.  Kelli with an i ?  That did sound familiar.

“My name is Jeffery,” I told her.  “Jeffrey Joe Paul.”

“Jeffrey Joe Paul?” she said.  “Of course.  I knew I knew you.  Kelli Kirkpatrick.  We went to McKinley High together.”

“We did?”

“Yes, silly.  Mrs. McGonaguill, homeroom.  Don’t you remember?”

“Kelli Kirkpatrick?”

“In the flesh.”

As we continued talking, drinking more and more beer, it all started coming back to me, where I remembered her from, and it surely wasn’t Mrs. McGonaguill’s homeroom.  It was here, right here at this very same bar.  My only hope was that she had forgotten all about it.  The problem was, elephants never forget.

“You don’t remember meeting here?” she said.

Damn!

“Not as such,” I said.  I was lying.

“Granted, it was a long time ago,” she said, “but I remember it just like it was yesterday.”

Of course you do.

“It was the night of the big fight, remember?” she said.  “You and I ducked out just in the nick of time.  Then we went down to Lazy Dave’s, then back to your place.  Still don’t remember?”

I told her sorry, but I did not.

“We made love until the sun came up,” she said.  “Of course, I’ve lost a lot of weight since then.  Maybe that’s why you don’t recognize me?’

elephant

Lost a lot of weight?  Sweet Jesus.

“You told me you would call,” she said, “but you never did.”

That’s because it was a line, you stupid cow.

“I tried calling you for weeks.  I called your house, I called your work, I called your mother, I came by your apartment, I left notes on your door, I sat on your porch all night waiting for you.”

Of course I remembered.  It’s the whole reason I moved to Aspen in the first place.

“So what happened?” she said.  “Why didn’t you call?  You said you would call.  I was waiting for you to call.”

You’d think at this point a guy like me would have enough sense to get the hell out of there.  You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.  Remember what I said about loneliness?  It’s a hideous bitch, and it’s no goddess.

I decided to deal with it the same way I deal with most of my problems: by drinking more beer. By morning I realized, I was going to have to move again.  I hear Atlanta is real nice this time of year.

 

Philip Loyd loves fat chicks and cheap beer, though not necessarily in that order. His first novel, You Lucky Bastard, is represented by New York Literary Agent Jan Kardys. Loyd lives in Dumbass, Texas.

Walter Hoelbling

gone

where have conversations gone
long time passing
where have all our love words gone
long time ago
where have all our love words gone
mobiles took them, every one
when will we ever learn
I hope they will return

wiehere have all the mobiles gone
long time passing
where have all the notebooks gone
long time ago
where have all the kindles gone
turned to tablets, every one
when will we ever learn
there will be no return

where have all the tablets gone
long time passing
where have all the smart phones gone
long time ago
where have all these gadgets gone
been recycled every one
never they will return
never they will return

where have all the users gone
long time passing
where have all the texters gone
long time ago
there lie all the facebooks slain
people try to speak again
when will we ever learn
hope they again can learn

 

Obviously trying to do a half-serious, twitter-age version of Peter Seeger’s “Where have all the flowers gone?” (My favorite rendering is by Peter, Paul, and Mary)

Bill Cotter

Two Poems

COMING UPON

Incautious, still, and breaking the peace
Of the lake, I hear the swan’s unease
And sense, in its startled trumpetings,
Time is measured in the beating of wings.

Across the brown veined beds of reeds
Now rippling and dropping their silver beads,
There comes the sound of whisperings,
“Time is measured in the beating of wings.”

Coerced from shadows into light
And tense with the need to take to flight,
She knows, caught in the water’s transient rings,
Time is measured in the beating of wings

And, so, on the heard puffs of air,
She rises, high and higher, where,
Expanding and blue, the sky sings,
“Time is measured in the beating of wings.”

ECHO

from Bird Song

I cannot replicate the sweetness of those notes
I heard at dawn; the player’s joy
Is his alone. But, yet, in hearing, floats
A raft of memories to buoy,
Persist, but never cloy
And so, on the fading edge of dusk and thought
There remains an echo of a song and the joy it brought.