Gargoyle 14
cover drawing by Larry Wentzel
publication date 2/27/1980

Table of Contents


Eric Baizer 
• Orbits

Denis Boyles

Chandler Brossard

Michael Denholm 
• Small Publishing in Australia in the late 1970’s: A Vie•

John Elsberg 
• The British Scene

Michael Horovitz

Herbert E. Huncke 
• Elsie

Gretchen Johnsen 
• Achilles Redux

Michael M. Mooney

George Myers Jr.
• Culture & Anarchy

Charles Plymell 
• On the Blues

David Sheridan 
• Language of the Senses, Language of the Brain

Janine Pommy Vega

Ted White


David Bristol 


While others vacation
I drive in the sun
to work, happy.
Suddenly, my arms grow leaden
on the wheel.
I am here alone
no hand holding, no news,
waiting for a bounce.
“Who will watch these things?”
Left alone with my stocks
I’ll hover too close
stunting their growth like a mother
who’s heard too many quartets.


As I listen to jazz
I pant to talk about the stock market.
I think jazz will make me clean,
but the market is more refreshing.
In the market
all that I risk is before me
neatly measured, moving
and present, each day asking.
“What now are your hopes?”
Mornings disheveled, I meet them
at the door where they press,
“Hold your water ’till you know
what I’ve done.”
I am lost,
left with black fingers.

Now, I spend the afternoon chasing trusts
with 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 a
dark place with her legs drawn up into her torso like a fetus. Her skin is
milky 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.

Andrew Darlington 

Aural Sex

What you do not suspect
is that one night
while you slept
I captured your
breathing on cassette.
And that now,
although you have gone,
I can fill my room
with your breath,
amplified to an infinity
of aural regret.

I can almost live
inside your lungs.

Harrison Fisher 

Modern Gargoyle

Beyond the sliding door,
the closing room, where
no one we have ever known
has been. We imagine it
is standing still, although
we feel its movement, the
drone of its slow convergence
on no one we have ever known.

A woman remember, herself,
a moral exercise. Newer nails
are holding down the floor.
A woman hammers at the walls
now. Nails.

Tropical fish are sensitive
to extremes of temperature.
Whoever this is that, groping,
touches me, I warn you:
I do not speak, It is
the hottest night of summer
and I sleep next to the fan,
I do not speak. That part of me
that, touching me, is
tropical fish is killed
by extremes during the night.
I warn you. I awaken, and find
I have been sloughing off scales
all night.

The light cloud descends,
The grey horn crowns.

[This poem first appeared in Anyart Journal]

Detective Io

        The Dark Lady snatches her husband’s prize
heifer, certain of his latest dereliction. Her
beady-eyed torpedo keeps an eye on the beast, but
her husband, potentate of illimitable recourse,
dispatches a messenger to put down the hired gun
and spring the heifer, lo in bovine. The likes of
Spade come flying after her. Their chase spans
continents, Spade paid by the Dark Lady to harass
relentlessly. If it ends in Egypt, mistress becoming
queen, even saint, for her troubles, then he didn’t
soften to the girl. If they cross paths with Moto,
everyone dies mysteriously, Spade two years later to
the day. They stop to eat watercress with the Guinea
Pig People, a troupe of actors employed by the lusty
spouse, who wants a quiet tableau for his next move;
Furryland will do. He appeals to the stuff Spade’s
made of, and when the tough op senses something
shifty, he goes for his gun to find that his shoulder
wields an insect’s thing. Amazing wings buzz on his
back; they jerk him into the air. A woman waves good-
bye to him.

Harrison Fisher

Anybody Can Write

Anybody can write a will with a little
legal counsel. Use that sound mind to sound
out the smartest division of your worth, match-
ing persons to items like a closing zipper.
These words are as good as any. What does it
matter that, later, F. stabs T. for that extra
thousand dollars? Or that, under cover of night,
M. smothers P. with a pillow to steal away my
Stereo? All I know is I am very far away, beyond
the reach of ordinary myth or legend, endlessly
shoveling coal, stoking a fire the size and
shape of the Louvre.

Vicente Huidobro 

House (tr. A. Hohenstein)

On the table
                    the delicate fan
A bird dead in full flight

The house opposite
                              white with plaster and snow

In the neglected garden
                                    someone strolls

And a straying angel
Has 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


Bell Tower (tr. A. Hohenstein)

A bird flew
                   with every stroke of the bell

Birds with reversed wings
                                          that die between roof tiles

Where the first song fell
In the depths of the afternoon
                                              the vegetal flames

The heart trembles in every leaf
And a star lights up with every step

                        Eyes keep something
                        Trembling in the voice

On the horizon
                        a clock spills

–translated by A. Hohenstein

Terry Stokes 

The Prince of Impotence

The prince of impotence is in your arms.
How do you do
those little things you do.

Diana Vance 

Looking Into the Backyard

It isn’t clear
where the mind begins
and the body ends
somewhere between them
is love and we
its heart
I ride down Cleveland Avenue
not Tate’s Cleveland Avenue
but the one off Route One
and the sun has its name
on each leaf
I cant give up
and wont
do what I could
to hurt you
I would never take a razor
to your face
I would never race after you
down a mountainside
I hate you
I would never cut up your heart
see there are yellow leaves
and it is possible
to love without pain
its as possible
as playing a lute in a courtyard
as Palmolive commercials
as quasars
you have The Meeting of Saint Anthony
in your room
the unicorn
and Picassos Tragedy
the stained glass
in the porticos
of Life Magazine
a tomato sprouting from concrete
Im not all that idealistic
Ive walked over winos
and marriage is middleclass
if there is a union between us
let it be like bread
like hydrogen
water exploding
let the words make rain
let us dance
to that that seems most natural
hate is middleclass
so is Raskolnikov
rich red wine
a sudden catastrophe
it is true when we die
we bring forth fruit
you like this intensity
I like flowers that have the look
of being looked at
I like grace
the shadows on your face
the pink in the begonia leaf
but there are no complacencies here
the way a periodic function
functions like a wave
to rise and fall through the range
of human emotion
and Buffalo Bill is still defunct
the Pacific still as an ocean
the sun still coming up
I have said nothing new
if poetry is hitchhiking
I see blue cornfields
and sometimes rain
there is so much for the self to do
so much it must do
on its own
Mt. Mckinley at ten thousand feet
I like your feet
the phone rings
Lynard Skynard singing
I hear you
I hear you
you are not satisfied
preoccupied with the spider
weaving filament
after filament
its Howdy Doody Time
the yellow light bulb shines in the window
the sun touches just the top
of the trees
is a waking dream
I had a Norwegian doll house once
Danny slid its furniture off the roof
and broke it
Debbie broke his heart
like the lamp that fell off the car
I cant glue him back together
I want him happy
before I die
Mom and Dad will go quietly
the waves the beach the pier the long unabridge golf course
without much fear
old soldiers don’t fade away
they mow the lawn
but meanwhile
you have a nucleus
of blue lilacs
a wet
thinking can be happiness
fate is middleclass
olives with pits
lets not fall in love
lets not fall in
and throw knives over our heads
now there are two squirrels
leaves in sunlight
meaning is making orgasm cerebral
deep as the sea
fuck me
and when you take another woman
it will be another woman
you will take
let there be boundaries
to our space
and the place where the mind begins
and the body ends
this swinging bridge
between us
this clothesline between two trees.

Darryl Wally 

Crocodile Child

-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.”

(14 feet)
Aggressive man-eater
of legend and fact

your reptilian skin felt my thud
my fall into terror–
the writhing
the brutal twisting across your lair of mud
the belly high, the slits wide
your teeth sing like an adrenalin cage.
Shaken side to side
in a backward carnival ride
snorting in morning light
we slide under an airless skin–
My bubbles rise . . . .

Through eyes with translucent lids
slit in a fixed yellow grin
I see those searching above.
Over water with sticks & stones
transfixed in ancient fear
my mother cries out in birth.
My father slaps water to awaken his son.

I did not feel the release of teeth
the growth of scale & flexing tail,
I only feel a buoyancy-
a wingless bird
cold-blooded & unspoken
slowly rising to a surface that glows
but cannot be broken . . .

Ron Weber 

The Somnambulist

A man stares
into a mirror. His figure
waving from the platform
at the rear of a train.

Soon all that is left is
badlands, a blue
sky, wisps of smoke.

The eye
an empty coldwater



Chandler Brossard 
• from Raging Joys, Sublime Violations

Steve Sneyd 
• The Postcard

D. E. Steward 

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: 2/27/1980
Launch at the Writer’s Center in Glen Echo, MD
Michael M. Mooney and D. E. Steward reading fiction.