Gargoyle 24
Cover photo by Moki
Publication date 3/5/1984

Table of Contents


Marie-Claire Blais

Paul Bowles

Paul Bowles 
• A Capsule Autobiography

Chuck Connor 
• The British Scene

Jon Daunt 
• Three Very Different Magazines and an Anthology

Elaine Equi

Roy Fisher

Mary Mackey

Thomas McGonigle 
• Molested By Corpses

Douglas Messerli

Gregory Orfalea 
• Resisting Nothingness: Discovering William Pillin

Richard Peabody 
• Notes from the Bell Tower (editorial)


Roy Fisher 

A Poem Not a Picture

On a ground remarkable for lack of character, sweeps of direction form.

It’s not possible to determine whether they rise from the ground’s qualities or are marked on to it. Or whether, if the first, the lines suck the ground’s force up, or are its delegates; or if the second, whether the imposed marks mobilize or defeat it; or both, in all cases.

Out of a scratch ontology the sweeps of direction form, and, as if having
direction, produce, at wide intervals, the events.

There are wiry nodes made of small intersecting planes as if rendered by
hatching, and having a vapid, played-out look. But they are the nearest the field has to intense features. Each has a little patch of red.


The Only Image

Salts work their way
to the outside of a plant pot
and dry white.

                   This encrustation
is the only image.
                       The rest—
the entire winter, if there’s winter—
comes as a variable that shifts
in any part, or vanishes.

                            I can
compare what I like to the salts,
to the pot, if there’s a pot,
to the winter if there’s a winter.

The salts I can compare
to anything there is.

from Talks for Words

Long ago I formed the idea of becoming a poet by writing poems. I’d
tried painting, and I’d tried music, but had been oppressed by the
difficulty of avoiding academic training in these arts–an avoidance
which at the time seemed to me essential. But it was a time when nobody
in this country would have suggested that it was possible or desirable to
teach imaginative writing beyond the rudiments of school composition, so
my way was clear. My readings about poetry threw up very few prescriptions, and I was sorry rather than glad to find even those. I can remember struggling, rather unwillingly, to take to heart the warnings Wystan Auden issued in the preface of his selection from Tennyson. He said that if a young man came to him full of important things he wanted to say, then that young man would never be a poet; if, on the other hand, he said “I like hanging around words, listening to what they say,” then maybe one day he would be a poet. I thought this a piece of rather mystical pedantry, but I saw the force of it. And it was probably my first acquaintance with the anthropomorphic view of language, the suggestion that it has a will of its own. It’s one of those jokes that feeds off a real unease.

Jesse Glass, Jr.
• Mayakovsky Is Dead

William Holland 

 Legal Training

Hold on to the banister coming down.
Stairs, especially the ones, Astaire,
that are clear of sleeping cats
and shoes and the pile to go upstairs,
are next dangerous to flight.

Grab it, think of the neck of a shyster
who’s just held up his white hands
going now let me explain
after he rippled and splayed his cards face down
with a misty and fluttery smile
and began to list the options available,

just about to flip you overboard
like a clam whose single muscle
wasn’t triggered by the heat to pop open,
to leave you bubbling in the circle
of bright and bobbing boats for hire
with glossy white donut life rings
all painted with the names
of their weekend port:
Trish, Golly ‘O Molly, Fine Fran.



Ann Elizabeth Downer 
• Noli Me Tangere

Suzanne Ress 
• Little Toros

D. E. Steward 
• Heathrow

Lee Upton 
• The Peaceable Kingdom

Raya Bodnarchuk 
• 7 sculptures

Lisa Montag Brotman 
• painting

Ruth M. Fairchild 
• Seated Woman (stuffed fabric)

Sy Gresser 
• I Through IV (sculpture)

Brion Gysin 
• photo

Ellen MacDonald 
• After Lebanon, Toro (oil)

Judy Miller 
• Weather Vane (assemblage)

William Newman 
• Johnny Be Good (oil)

Linda Swick 
• The German

Sarah Tuft 
• Clutches (painting)

Lynd Ward 
• woodcut

Rob Zimmet 
• photo

Book reviews by Frank Allen, Jorn K. Bramann, Maxine Combs, Jon Daunt, Richard M. Flynn, Maryl Jo Fox, Loss Pequeño Glazier, Karla M. Hammond, Lane Jennings, Ed Kaitz, Joseph Keppler, Lois Mathieu, Richard Peabody, Patric Pepper, Robert Peters, Jacklyn Potter, Eva Shaderowfsky, Laurel Speer, Gregory Stephenson, John Stickney, and Jeffrey D. Talmadge.

#24. Pub date: 3/5/1984
Joint reading with Bogg magazine at the Writer’s Center, Strathmore Rd. location,
Bethesda, MD. Featuring Tina Fulker and Bill Holland reading poetry for Gargoyle.