Gargoyle 14cover drawing by Larry Wentzelpublication date 2/27/1980
Eric Baizer • Orbits
Denis Boyles Interview
Chandler Brossard Interview
Michael Denholm • Small Publishing in Australia in the late 1970’s: A Vie•
John Elsberg • The British Scene
Herbert E. Huncke • Elsie
Gretchen Johnsen • Achilles Redux
Michael M. Mooney Interview
George Myers Jr. • Culture & Anarchy
Charles Plymell • On the Blues
David Sheridan • Language of the Senses, Language of the Brain
Janine Pommy Vega Interview
Ted White Interview
While others vacationI drive in the sunto work, happy.Suddenly, my arms grow leadenon the wheel.I am here aloneno hand holding, no news,waiting for a bounce.“Who will watch these things?”Left alone with my stocksI’ll hover too closestunting their growth like a motherwho’s heard too many quartets.
As I listen to jazzI pant to talk about the stock market.I think jazz will make me clean,but the market is more refreshing.In the marketall that I risk is before meneatly measured, movingand present, each day asking.“What now are your hopes?”Mornings disheveled, I meet themat the door where they press,“Hold your water ’till you knowwhat I’ve done.”I am lost,left with black fingers.
Now, I spend the afternoon chasing trustswith my life in my hands as never before.The blinds are open and lights are on.I want to learn to like everything.
David C. Childers
Here comes the gasoline truck. It is yellow with a red stripe and the word JONES in black letters on the stripe running through the middle of the big tank on the back. The truck stops and a man with a dildo strapped under his chin so that the phallus sticks up into the air like a Christmas tree gets out and runs into the middle of the street. A big, pussle-gutted man, he runs from one side of the street to the other like a scared bird. He is stopping traffic. Soon a police car drives up and stops. Two policemen grab the man and lead him to the car. Inside the car are two other policemen dressed in business suits. The man with the dildo sticking up from his head looks into their eyes and their mirror sunglasses show him how silly he looks. This, and the photographs the men in business suits are showing him make him cry like a baby. The photographs are of a woman with no clothes on. She is lying in adark place with her legs drawn up into her torso like a fetus. Her skin ismilky white in contrast to her dark, dark face. A pair of blue/black hose are tied tightly around her neck. The man looks at the hose and knows how they got there. One of the men wearing a business suit rips the dildo off of the man’s head and curses. Now the man just looks like a big, fat man crying. The police car is yellow and sleek as it cuts through traffic. The other man in a business suit is reading a list of alternatives, his voice dry and monotonous. The big, fat man mumbles yes. What does that mean, asks the man holding the dildo. I don’t know, says the fat man. That’s what I figured, says the man holding the dildo. By now someone has come from JONES and taken back the yellow truck with the big red stripe and the word JONES through the middle of the tank on the back.
What you do not suspectis that one nightwhile you sleptI captured yourbreathing on cassette.And that now,although you have gone,I can fill my roomwith your breath,amplified to an infinityof aural regret.
I can almost liveinside your lungs.
Beyond the sliding door,the closing room, whereno one we have ever knownhas been. We imagine itis standing still, althoughwe feel its movement, thedrone of its slow convergenceon no one we have ever known.
A woman remember, herself,a moral exercise. Newer nailsare holding down the floor.A woman hammers at the wallsnow. Nails.
Tropical fish are sensitiveto extremes of temperature.Whoever this is that, groping,touches me, I warn you:I do not speak, It isthe hottest night of summerand I sleep next to the fan,I do not speak. That part of methat, touching me, istropical fish is killedby extremes during the night.I warn you. I awaken, and findI have been sloughing off scalesall night.
The light cloud descends,The grey horn crowns.
[This poem first appeared in Anyart Journal]
The Dark Lady snatches her husband’s prizeheifer, certain of his latest dereliction. Herbeady-eyed torpedo keeps an eye on the beast, buther husband, potentate of illimitable recourse,dispatches a messenger to put down the hired gunand spring the heifer, lo in bovine. The likes ofSpade come flying after her. Their chase spanscontinents, Spade paid by the Dark Lady to harassrelentlessly. If it ends in Egypt, mistress becomingqueen, even saint, for her troubles, then he didn’tsoften to the girl. If they cross paths with Moto,everyone dies mysteriously, Spade two years later tothe day. They stop to eat watercress with the GuineaPig People, a troupe of actors employed by the lustyspouse, who wants a quiet tableau for his next move;Furryland will do. He appeals to the stuff Spade’smade of, and when the tough op senses somethingshifty, he goes for his gun to find that his shoulderwields an insect’s thing. Amazing wings buzz on hisback; they jerk him into the air. A woman waves good-bye to him.
Anybody can write a will with a littlelegal counsel. Use that sound mind to soundout the smartest division of your worth, match-ing persons to items like a closing zipper.These words are as good as any. What does itmatter that, later, F. stabs T. for that extrathousand dollars? Or that, under cover of night,M. smothers P. with a pillow to steal away myStereo? All I know is I am very far away, beyondthe reach of ordinary myth or legend, endlesslyshoveling coal, stoking a fire the size andshape of the Louvre.
On the table the delicate fanA bird dead in full flight
The house opposite white with plaster and snow
In the neglected garden someone strolls
And a straying angelHas fallen asleep on the chimney smoke To follow the path One must begin again
WHO HAS HIDDEN THE KEYS
There were so many things I couldn’t find
–translated by A. Hohenstein
A bird flew with every stroke of the bell
Birds with reversed wings that die between roof tiles
Where the first song fellIn the depths of the afternoon the vegetal flames
The heart trembles in every leafAnd a star lights up with every step
Eyes keep something Trembling in the voice
On the horizon a clock spills
The prince of impotence is in your arms.How do you dothose little things you do.
It isn’t clearwhere the mind beginsand the body endssomewhere between themis love and weits heartI ride down Cleveland Avenuenot Tate’s Cleveland Avenuebut the one off Route Oneand the sun has its nameon each leafI cant give upand wontdo what I couldto hurt youI would never take a razorto your faceI would never race after youdown a mountainsidesayingI hate youI would never cut up your heartsee there are yellow leavesand it is possibleto love without painits as possibleas playing a lute in a courtyardas Palmolive commercialsas quasarsyou have The Meeting of Saint Anthonyin your roomthe unicornand Picassos Tragedythe stained glassin the porticosof Life Magazinea tomato sprouting from concreteIm not all that idealisticIve walked over winosand marriage is middleclassif there is a union between uslet it be like breadlike hydrogenfusionwater explodinglet the words make rainlet us danceto that that seems most naturalhate is middleclassso is Raskolnikovrich red winea sudden catastropheit is true when we diewe bring forth fruityou like this intensityI like flowers that have the lookof being looked atI like gracethe shadows on your facethe pink in the begonia leafbut there are no complacencies herethe way a periodic functionfunctions like a waveto rise and fall through the rangeof human emotionand Buffalo Bill is still defunctthe Pacific still as an oceanthe sun still coming upI have said nothing newif poetry is hitchhikingI see blue cornfieldsand sometimes rainthere is so much for the self to doso much it must doon its ownMt. Mckinley at ten thousand feetI like your feetthe phone ringsLynard Skynard singingI hear youI hear youyou are not satisfiedpreoccupied with the spiderweaving filamentafter filamentits Howdy Doody Timethe yellow light bulb shines in the windowthe sun touches just the topof the treesecstasyis a waking dreamI had a Norwegian doll house onceDanny slid its furniture off the roofand broke itDebbie broke his heartlike the lamp that fell off the carI cant glue him back togetherI want him happybefore I dieMom and Dad will go quietlythe waves the beach the pier the long unabridge golf coursewithout much fearold soldiers don’t fade awaythey mow the lawnbut meanwhileyou have a nucleusof blue lilacsa wettonguethinking can be happinessfate is middleclassolives with pitslets not fall in lovelets not fall inand throw knives over our headsnow there are two squirrelsleaves in sunlightmeaning is making orgasm cerebraldeep as the seafuck meand when you take another womanit will be another womanyou will takelet there be boundariesto our spaceand the place where the mind beginsand the body endsthis swinging bridgebetween usthis clothesline between two trees.
-UPI “A … boy tumbled into a pit … Saturday and a 14-foot, 1800 pound African crocodile snapped its jaws around the child’s middle and dragged him to his death in a small lagoon.”
The sign read: AFRICAN CROCODILE(14 feet)Aggressive man-eaterof legend and fact
Hereyour reptilian skin felt my thudmy fall into terror–the writhingthe brutal twisting across your lair of mudthe belly high, the slits wideyour teeth sing like an adrenalin cage.Shaken side to sidein a backward carnival ridesnorting in morning lightwe slide under an airless skin–My bubbles rise . . . .AHHHHHHHHHHHH H H H H H H H
Through eyes with translucent lidsslit in a fixed yellow grinI see those searching above.Over water with sticks & stonestransfixed in ancient fearmy mother cries out in birth.My father slaps water to awaken his son.
I did not feel the release of teeththe growth of scale & flexing tail,I only feel a buoyancy-a wingless birdcold-blooded & unspokenslowly rising to a surface that glowsbut cannot be broken . . .
A man staresinto a mirror. His figurerecedeswaving from the platformat the rear of a train.
Soon all that is left isbadlands, a bluesky, wisps of smoke.
The eyean empty coldwaterflat.
Chandler Brossard • from Raging Joys, Sublime Violations
Steve Sneyd • The Postcard
D. E. Steward • Afternoon
Laura Chassy • Twilight Over the Country (etching)
Tom Chalkley • No Early Warning (drawing)
Mark Clark • oil
Jesse Glass, Jr. • collage
Dave Griffiths • 2 paintings
Alexandra Haropulos • drawing
Cynde Pierce • Dante’s Dance• drawing
Shawn Pruitt • Arm With No Hammer (photo)• Butt (photo)
Dave Scalzi • drawing
Zenon Slawinski • 3 drawings
Walt-Christopher Stickney • Gargoyle (drawing)
Alexander Viola • 2 photos
Issue also contains: Book reviews by Patrick Bizarro, Steven Ford Brown, John Elsberg, Richard Peabody and Kevin Urick.
#14. Pub date: 2/27/1980Launch at the Writer’s Center in Glen Echo, MDMichael M. Mooney and D. E. Steward reading fiction.