Gargoyle 15/16cover photo (The Immeasurable) by Haig Shekerjianpublication date 1/27/1981
Eric Baizer • Orbits
Donald Herdeck & Three Continents Press Interview
Gretchen Johnsen • The Landscape and the Eye: The Stories of Paul Bowles
David McAleavey Interview
George Myers Jr. • Culture & Anarchy
George Myers Jr. • The Treacle Story Series Vol. 2
Richard Peabody • Notes From the Bell Tower
Robert Peters Interview
David Sheridan • The U.S. of A.’s Most Underrated Writer: A Sampler
Kenneth R. Timerman • A Note on French Small Presses
hay & rain & impossiblemud, the old barn breatheslike a horse closeto death. Damp black woodis a womb of bats,they hum in shadows,above my pitchfork
the smell of cow-shit rightwhere the back of the mind ends,past the libraries of candlelight,into a room which mightnot be a room but feels like one& there’s a sound of a river& chills in yr skin
one eternal strand of barbed-wireis lined with clear ice
frosted grass cracksunder my long walks
jolly sure lifelawn & honeysuckle sweet airkady dit dit ditthru trips to kidslurped treatsat Pa Belly’s roadside nowheres
Steven Ford Brown
the eye like a lensreversing the imagephotographs hung upin the dark room ofthe head thin negativessome so new still drippingdeveloper/fixer/blood/fingerprints
I brush my fingertipsover your eyelidsclosing them to the songof light a fingerprintfades through the thin shellinto the pupil back into thehead where it too is hung upit hangs wet & slightlyluminous in the dark
I will always rememberyou in a certain wayyour neck slightly bentyour body crumpled bloodless at an odd anglethe love song of a murdererresting lightly on your ear& I know that there are asmany deaths as I can think offor you & that each timeyou will die betterthan the last
David C. Childers
I see you now particularizedinside a room in comfort,shut in like Tut, shut outfrom the fat lip of main street.Particular you, particular view,eyes green and loveshining:It makes me embarrassed.Let me apologize for the meat hook.It fell out of the gut of the night.It is an old, unstoppable habit of mineto carry such things around.They keep me honest.
Here’s a social upheaval. Here’s a childwho’s proud of new stockings. She barksmaidenhead. Here is a city,now its ashes. Here is our reflectionin a lake upon those ashes.They tumble out of the sackwhich is my instincts.Into the closet they go.
Tomorrow you may find a sparrow within,or skies electric with good weather:Or air; just air.Here now,you are beautiful.
In peacefilledWest-facing housesWomen listen to swing on scratchy 78s,Inhale Luckies,Finger their vaginas,And watch the afternoon sunBleach peacock-blueOut of their carpets.
You should not have taken upthe dead man’s violin.Arched belly and back, shallow ribs,a bearded head carved in the scrollabove the tuning pegs–self-portrait or signature.
The sycamore face rubbed soft,years had eased all but the startlingbulge of eyes, older than songsthe dead man had pulled from under his chin.You played it like a fiddle, hopped
an invalid jig around the apartment. Ourwineglasses shivered. His widow left the room.Too much, your step in his shoes.We all remember your hand around his neck.
You should empower all the voices, sincewhat is strong enough makes a pattern of itself.The sound of a line can make the next line easy.
Or thought can: further down you’ll findclear streams connecting unfathomed blanks.Deeper still are the big rivers that make
the ground quake, the air chill and quick.The landscape is glorious even if the music isUnfamiliar. It makes the brave shiver.
Think about it: what do you care if you’re lost?Wouldn’t you really rather hear the music? Thisis after all the plot of earth where
those of us who think talk of musiccan be musictalk.
you work in the garden, you work hard all spring, comesummer you start harvesting. what do you harvest? youharvest spices tasting like foam, indigestible pepperswith pearly husks, banana-shaped tomatoes filled with
one big seed. there is no one to turn to for help.the plants in the garden have done all they can, executingperfectly commands it seems you must have given. diginto the soil: is it real? yes, it is real. the scraps
of plastic you neglected, letting them stay in thecompost heap, are still there, inhumanly slow at decom-posing, tho now brown & brittle. is this mutation whatyou were raised to fear? under your fingers the grapes
have turned to jade. your skin toughens into parchment.silence. you hear bones clatter. you wish: castanets.
what it felt like, being the father of a new son,coming home to a woman I barely remembered, a townabandoned long ago? well it was pretty peaceful: I wastumbleweed roughed up against barbed wire, I was dust
sifting. horned toads snuck around the foundations, &the wind tried to remember something about winter, aboutcold, and I was the wind, silent inside & calm.
had I been acting a melancholy scene in a tragic western,sure of myself in the role I had, well-paid & well-tanned,I couldn’t have been more at ease. that’s what it felt like
when I was told I was the son of this prairie desert, shewas my mother, my life had begun; & incidentally, life hasbegun to shine at the threadbare places: maybe beyondanother version like a river is gleaming dimly along.
a flank cornes to knock
a dazzle to buck hooves
at tip of spike
as ransorn watering ajar
tan & clean &
splinter straight as
a tree’s stammer to opaque
cold slap to air or hair
chestnut (as across
each long does
There are no clumsy fish.They swim in legions,the good angels,taking commands fromtheir genes.They fan just enoughto root themselves in water,then flutter and break,out of the way ofa big one, himself assleek as the waterhe snakes in.
There are no awkward fish.Their blood is really water,changing easily fromhot to cold.So at home are fish thatsome eat their babiesas surely as Abraham wouldhave eaten Isaac.
I think their finsare really guidedby tiny black bookslodged in their heads,pages flipping inthe Book of Fish.
If you could say,“Fish, swallow these hooks,”one page would turnin their tiny headsand you’d have ’em.They wouldn’t knowwhat to do.
Harlot a scablot sang the balackened Frau Ich habe einHutte Mann und er ist Roy, Harlot a scablot beer cans apiling, the Puppy ist howling for the Roy ist away. MeinRoy ist camping in der Wald, der Schwarz Wald shut thehell auf Puppy, when er comes mit die Deer dead andbeered to the bone Roy is kommin bald, shutten PuppyRoy kommst bald
Janine Pommy Vega
My family cuts my hair to buildtheir porches, coffers, wooden chairsthey gamble with my teeth for enameltiling, pockets are too far frommy body, I am continually droppingmy little things
entrenched in portable leather throneI sail out over streets of Brooklyntrundled with sagging womenin the front rows, clutching tissueschange and tiny animals
the avenue is a crack clear dayin autumn, having gone to the partyI go again, dreaming whole new crowdsare there, we work everything out,I step into the camaraderie ofwinners, pocket ten grand, eventhe curls in my hair are successful.
Chandler Brossard • from The Bold Saboteurs
Hugh Fox • Trova
Richard Kostelanetz • from Epiphanies
Claude Pelieu-Washburn • The Stars Take Over (tr. Mary Beach)
Gideon Sams • A Day on the Town
Jack Saunders • from Delray Beach
Laurel Speer • Play For Us, Fanfani
Kenneth R. Timmerman • from The Wren Hunt
Michael Wilding • The Falcon
Jane M. Dow • Three Paintings
Charles Plymell • collage
Lynn Pruitt • 3 photos
Book Reviews by John Elsberg, Robert Gray, Erik Hansen, Geary Hobson, Richard Peabody, Charles Plymell, Ben Reynolds, and Laurel Speer.
Small Press Editors� Roundtable with Bruce Andrews, Eric Baizer, Frederick Barthelme, Carol Berge, Barbara Berman, Charles Bernstein, Joseph Bruchac, Jan Castro, James Cervantes, Peter Cherches, Gerald Costanzo, Ruth Daigon, Albert Drake, John Elsberg, Hugh Fox, Jesse Glass, Jr., David Greisman, DeWitt Henry, George Hitchcock, Allen Hoey, Ed Hogan, Larry S. Jackson, Philip K. Jason, Curt Johnson, Dan Johnson, Allan Kornblum, Diane Kruchkow, P.J. Laska, David Lenson, Terrence McMahon, Douglas Messerli, Effie Mihopoulos, E. Ethelbert Miller, Jo Mish, Judyl Mudfoot, George Myers Jr., Judith Neeld, Sasha Newborn, Peter Nicoletta, Karl Patten, Richard Peabody, Sonia Raiziss, Thayr Richey, Sy Safransky, Lynne Savitt, James R. Scrimegeour, Harry Smith, Felix Stefanile, D. E. Steward, Bradley R. Strahan, Michael Sykes, Kevin Urick, and A.D. Winans