Gargoyle 15/16
cover photo (The Immeasurable) by Haig Shekerjian
publication date 1/27/1981

Table of Contents


Eric Baizer 
• Orbits

Michael Brondoli

Donald Herdeck & Three Continents Press

Gretchen Johnsen 
• The Landscape and the Eye: The Stories of Paul Bowles

David McAleavey

George Myers Jr. 
• Culture & Anarchy

George Myers Jr. 
• The Treacle Story Series Vol. 2

Richard Peabody 
• Notes From the Bell Tower

Robert Peters

David Sheridan 
• The U.S. of A.’s Most Underrated Writer: A Sampler

Kenneth R. Timerman 
• A Note on French Small Presses


Ron Androla 


hay & rain & impossible
mud, the old barn breathes
like a horse close
to death. Damp black wood
is a womb of bats,
they hum in shadows,
above my pitchfork

the smell of cow-shit right
where the back of the mind ends,
past the libraries of candlelight,
into a room which might
not be a room but feels like one
& there’s a sound of a river
& chills in yr skin

one eternal strand of barbed-wire
is lined with clear ice

frosted grass cracks
under my long walks

Eric Baizer 


jolly sure life
lawn & honeysuckle sweet air
kady dit dit dit
thru trips to kidslurped treats
at Pa Belly’s roadside nowheres

Steven Ford Brown 

A Nude Woman Under the Eyelid


the eye like a lens
reversing the image
photographs hung up
in the dark room of
the head thin negatives
some so new still dripping


I brush my fingertips
over your eyelids
closing them to the song
of light a fingerprint
fades through the thin shell
into the pupil back into the
head where it too is hung up
it hangs wet & slightly
luminous in the dark


I will always remember
you in a certain way
your neck slightly bent
your body crumpled blood
less at an odd angle
the love song of a murderer
resting lightly on your ear
& I know that there are as
many deaths as I can think of
for you & that each time
you will die better
than the last

David C. Childers 

For a Woman Not Put Off

I see you now particularized
inside a room in comfort,
shut in like Tut, shut out
from the fat lip of main street.
Particular you, particular view,
eyes green and love
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 mine
to carry such things around.
They keep me honest.

Here’s a social upheaval. Here’s a child
who’s proud of new stockings. She barks
maidenhead. Here is a city,
now its ashes. Here is our reflection
in a lake upon those ashes.
They tumble out of the sack
which 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.

Joyce Conklin 


In peacefilled
West-facing houses
Women listen to swing on scratchy 78s,
Inhale Luckies,
Finger their vaginas,
And watch the afternoon sun
Bleach peacock-blue
Out of their carpets.

Beth Joselow 

No Artistic Unity Of Opposed Curves

You should not have taken up
the dead man’s violin.
Arched belly and back, shallow ribs,
a bearded head carved in the scroll
above the tuning pegs–self-portrait or signature.

The sycamore face rubbed soft,
years had eased all but the startling
bulge of eyes, older than songs
the dead man had pulled from under his chin.
You played it like a fiddle, hopped

an invalid jig around the apartment. Our
wineglasses shivered. His widow left the room.
Too much, your step in his shoes.
We all remember your hand around his neck.

David McAleavey 

 Written next to a page of Emerson

You should empower all the voices, since
what 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 find
clear 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 is
Unfamiliar. It makes the brave shiver.

Think about it: what do you care if you’re lost?
Wouldn’t you really rather hear the music? This
is after all the plot of earth where

those of us who think talk of music
can be music

Arriving lost

you work in the garden, you work hard all spring, come
summer you start harvesting. what do you harvest? you
harvest spices tasting like foam, indigestible peppers
with 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, executing
perfectly commands it seems you must have given. dig
into the soil:    is it real?    yes, it is real.    the scraps

of plastic you neglected, letting them stay in the
compost heap, are still there, inhumanly slow at decom-
posing, tho now brown & brittle. is this mutation what
you 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

what it felt like, being the father of a new son,
coming home to a woman I barely remembered, a town
abandoned long ago? well it was pretty peaceful: I was
tumbleweed roughed up against barbed wire, I was dust

sifting. horned toads snuck around the foundations, &
the wind tried to remember something about winter, about
cold, 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, she
was my mother, my life had begun; & incidentally, life has
begun to shine at the threadbare places: maybe beyond
another version like a river is gleaming dimly along.

Douglas Messerli

Skinning the Deer

a flank cornes to knock

a dazzle to buck hooves


at tip of spike

(no tracks!

as ransorn watering ajar


still glaring

tan & clean &

splinter straight as

(slick flex


a tree’s stammer to opaque

cold slap to air or hair

chestnut (as across

each long does

Patric Pepper


There are no clumsy fish.
They swim in legions,
the good angels,
taking commands from
their genes.
They fan just enough
to root themselves in water,
then flutter and break,
out of the way of
a big one, himself as
sleek as the water
he snakes in.

There are no awkward fish.
Their blood is really water,
changing easily from
hot to cold.
So at home are fish that
some eat their babies
as surely as Abraham would
have eaten Isaac.

I think their fins
are really guided
by tiny black books
lodged in their heads,
pages flipping in
the Book of Fish.

If you could say,
“Fish, swallow these hooks,”
one page would turn
in their tiny heads
and you’d have ’em.
They wouldn’t know
what to do.

Laren Stover

Roy Deutch Poem

Harlot a scablot sang the balackened Frau Ich habe ein
Hutte Mann und er ist Roy, Harlot a scablot beer cans a
piling, the Puppy ist howling for the Roy ist away. Mein
Roy ist camping in der Wald, der Schwarz Wald shut the
hell auf Puppy, when er comes mit die Deer dead and
beered to the bone Roy is kommin bald, shutten Puppy
Roy kommst bald

Janine Pommy Vega

Dream in Abstentia

My family cuts my hair to build
their porches, coffers, wooden chairs
they gamble with my teeth for enamel
tiling, pockets are too far from
my body, I am continually dropping
my little things

entrenched in portable leather throne
I sail out over streets of Brooklyn
trundled with sagging women
in the front rows, clutching tissues
change and tiny animals

the avenue is a crack clear day
in autumn, having gone to the party
I go again, dreaming whole new crowds
are there, we work everything out,
I step into the camaraderie of
winners, pocket ten grand, even
the 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