semantikon feature literature
June. 2005
Former Feature Review
angela marsh works
About Artist:

semantikon, summer 2005, former feature review, aralee strange, patrick sebastian, michael crossley, nathan singer, bess rose miller, t.m. weygand, willie smith, krista franklin, poetry, essays, short stories, novels, fiction, cut up poems, novels, audio
Aralee Strange
After wintering in the wilds of Scioto County on the bend of Upper Twin Creek, Strange is returning to town and theatrical pursuits and the continued hosting of Inktank's Moveable Feast poetry readings. Her Play Dr Pain on Main Will be featured as a part Cincinnati FringeFest.
New Works:
On weeds and the
millefiori of an idle mind

...and Name became the son of Name
whose Name begat Name begat Name
begat begat begat and begot and got
nameless Names upon nameless women
who bore in great pain Name's first second
third and so on born sons of Name, Name
of Names, who began to be mighty upon
the land. 

And these were the kings that reigned, and their
Names, whose nameless concubines named their
bastard sons Name, and thus it came to be when
each Name who reigned died, his Name reigned
on and on and so forth and so on until the least
one son of a Name born maimed and crazy was
named more fit to reign than any woman.

And when the last Name was laid dead, a new Name
reigned, and the name of the land was his Name,
and the names of the wives were his Name, and
of course, his children, his Name, forever and anon
the Name of Names.

Ah. Men.

On weeds and the millefiori of an idle mind
                                               -for Kathy Holwadel

If I were pulling weeds I wouldn't be so antsy now
so full of doubt and need of what I do not know

If I were pulling weeds my fingers would command my eyes
and find each greedy stalk and yank a path to clarity

Dirt is dirt
Green is green
This is flower
This is weed

The world would slowly fade away and the broke mosaic of my brain
would come together at the task

This is flower
This is weed
I am them
They are me

I would hum the melody that scores my dreams and find
the words to calm the beast that slinks along beside me

Dirt is dirt
Green is green
My thoughts would settle down in green and lie there cool and damp
and clean all day

But when I shirk my job and sit and brood upon the times and
what is yet undone and why we burn our crops and kill our young
all my fractured tableaux come unglued and shatter on the floor


Dirt is not always dirt sometimes
it's fake
Green is just blue and yellow with maybe
a touch of red
Some flowers are deadly
Some weeds are flowers
Angels are here if you want them to be
Trouble is here all the time
We carry him with us it's how he gets around
ever since he lost his legs in some dirty little war
gets a free ride when he needs one just like any
other veteran

We are him
He is us
If I prayed give us grace who would I be talking to?

One scary mother doppelganger double talking to me
          I know you
          If you were pulling weeds you couldn't hang around with me
          I am a million laughs you know but I am nature-free
          I have no truck with dirt and green they play too rough
          they do not see the difference between them and me
          my rules do not apply
          If you don't mind I'll catch a ride downtown
That's where he stays he pays no rent he sleeps around
when he sleeps and hustles drinks and dope and sex
the patron saint of drunks and poets and black blues singers
          Put the pedal to the metal I've got a powerful thirst

And so of course a bar is first where everybody knows his name
and liquor's cheap and flows so sweet around each word he says
and pretty soon here comes that glow that worms its way into your
heart and makes you think I'm happy now

     It's happy hour
he spits
     another round?

So round and round and round we go and when we stop
nobody knows it's happy hour nobody cares if Trouble's here
his voice a murmur low and warm crawling along the bar

We're a family reunion we're comrades in arms
he laughs at our jokes we admire his aplomb
ole roy and his posse singing old campfire songs
beneath a sky of black light blue
Happy trails to you
we meet

and the hands on the rolling rock clock tick around

Through the looking glass behind the bar the other us
lost on the far side our lives in reverse
our faces morphed into a ghoulish frieze
I am them and they are me
(sober thought on a drunken spree)
disembodied bobbleheads blind dumb numb
is this noise home?

The air is sick with smoke and Trouble
one drink away from too many
               I loved a woman once
               wrapped myself around her like a kudzu vine until I
               couldn't get loose
               Gave her begonias and forget-me-nots
               she laughed in my face
               Gave her the key to my heart
               you mean that bag of black ice in your chest?
               she touched my cheek and split
               I see her around every now and then
               she talks about her life
               we share a pot of tea
               I tell her I love her
               she says she loves me

The barkeep pours out one last round and unless i miss my guess
from here on out it's a hard fast slide down to a bad bad place
A careless word is all it takes who gives a fuck! I do you prick!
a punch is thrown the fight is on and pretty soon here come the cops
So if no one minds I'll skip this round and pay my tab and vamanos
          Whoa! companero
          what can you be you thinking
          the night is young and if i'm not wrong
          you've got the better part of a twenty left
          I know a place couple of blocks suit us to a T
          for every shot you pay for I get one shot for free
          so what do you say amigo?

Out on the street what I can see but tongue-tied with confusion
cannot say is not pulling weeds is getting dangerous to my health
not to mention my piggy bank which hit the floor with all my marbles
So I am counting every step and I am stepping over cracks full of
poke weed rag weed dandelion and spotted spurge
all the green that works its way through asphalt in a season
and if I don't watch out I'll start asking why
Why what
What you got
Trouble on my back
          Yesterday's done now's now and tomorrow's a mystery
          the tenacious vegetal pitch of your attention is focused on
          If you stumble down my streets all the thousand flowers
          scattered at your feet will come together
          But if you’re hankering to pull some weeds just drop me
          off at thirteenth and main
          I’m much obliged
          until again

Dirt is dirt
Green is green
This is flower
This is seed
I had to get down on my knees to find the picture