poetryrepairs 15,02:017

JOHN HORVATH Jr : Chameleon
CAROL SHILLIBEER : Moccasins
AURORA ANTONOVIC : Butterfly

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JOHN HORVATH Jr
Chameleon

Sitting on the screen all dressed in gray thinking himself unseen when I noticed him. Damned things think themselves invulnerable because they go through fire-- or is that the salamander? I stepped up to eye-level and we stared (He blinking his morse-code, saying, catch me, you fool!). I raised my hand so he moved to the right. I feinted attack and he ran into the left. There, I said loud enough that the wife asked "Huh?" Caught a chameleon, I said nonchalant. Then the kids come running squealing their OH-LET-ME-SEEs and I said "Sure". With their hot little breaths heating the hairs on my thumb so I swung away hand. Where had he gone to? Isn't it a crime to bring children from play only to see the palm of a hand? I'm serious, I swear, he was there just then you gotta believe, when I pulled back my hand that lizard done run off so fast we can't see Oh He's quick as a fart, as slick as the sea; He's smarter than crabgrass; you'll never believe, down from the window and up into that tree that lizard done run off so fast we can't see.


NOW YOU SEE IT… If a picture paints a thousand words then a moving picture demands a tremendous amount of information. If you aim to transmit this information, in a t.v. broadcast for example, you can quickly hit the limits of what is known as bandwidth because the picture information, already huge, has to be continuously updated. All kinds of dodges are employed to squeeze all the updating information required through the transmission pipeline. One such was the idea that if the only moving things were, say, the players in a cricket match, the only information you needed to update was their movements. Most of the picture, the pitch, remained the same. As is often the case, this idea was borrowed from nature. Most frogs and many lizards have to make do with tiny brains so how on earth can they ever move fast enough to catch their rapidly moving prey? The answer is that a frog or lizard will typically and literally only see something if it moves. This cuts down the picture analysing requirements enormously. Add to this the fact that the little beast weighs practically nothing so that it has almost zero inertia and you have an animal that lives and drives comfortably and skillfully in the fast lane. Far and away faster than any bulky, lumbering human being. All this is delightfully explored by John in his poem about catching, or trying to catch a chameleon. The language John uses is feather-light. Here is an inconsequential story with virtually no content and the approach reflects this from the start. He is not even sure whether we are talking about a lizard or a salamander. All the chameleons I have ever seen have no eyelids, just a fleshy eye covering with a pin-hole to see through and with the un-nerving ability to point these in opposite directions. John’s is evidently a different species with eyelids that blink (arresting metaphor, this) like morse code. By clever feinting he manages to catch it. “There!” he exclaims. “What?” says his wife. “Caught a chameleon!” If lizards are good at detecting the slightest movement, kids can hear a pin drop a mile away and come running in. No easy to impress kids, but here’s his chance. Unfortunately the lizard has other plans and by the time the poet opens his hand to show his catch, quick as pressurized flatulence, it has gone. Was it ever there? Unfortunately, seeing is believing. The kids don’t see the lizard so it was all made up. Wasn’t it? And the poem fizzes to a finish in a burst of indignant expostulation. Quite apart from the fact that this is a work by a skilled practitioner and so is a delight to read, this poem just goes to show that poetry can elevate a mere, airy soufflé of almost nothing into a work of art. Thank you, John. Laurie John, 10 February 2015

published in Calliope
poetryrepairs #209 15,02:017





CAROL SHILLIBEER
Moccasins

you know she said i didn't think those colours would go together turquoise and goldenrod on the toes of my moccasins the hide smoked in punky alder_colour of raw sienna the bottoms more burnt where my foot has met the earth didn't say anything just dipped chin and kept wrapping hide 'round my leg pulling tight___her red, yellow, white, black toes__still__next mine on the floor__door closed smelt her willow smoke__the jackpine in the stove__and that summer day this hide got smoked ___later we both danced

poetryrepairs #209 15,02:017





AURORA ANTONOVIC
Butterfly

Her father used to call her "Leptir" Which is Serbian for Butterfly Because she used to chase after the Monarchs Flapping her chubby little girl arms In an effort to fly just like them. Now her thin hands flutter like Butterflies Working quickly Over her project While there is still Light of day. Critiques and Croissants We sit in the coffee shop where he slowly butters his croissant as he speaks emotionlessly about how sick he is of poetry I clasp my red parcel of works to my chest holding back disappointment and the urge to tell him that fourth latte is not good for him He bemoans his very successful career telling me all the tragedies that will befall each of us in life sorrow is no respecter of persons, apparently I hang onto every word although I sadden more with each new revelation he has to offer until he reaches out a hand fingers shiny with butter "Let me see them, Little One" He takes the red parcel from me, carefully and thoughtfully reading each poem with the patience he put into buttering his croissant "Is good," he concludes, "But never say what can be implied". Quickly, he slashes out mistakes with his ever present nubby pencil He does in seconds what I could not do in three nights He leaves his mark on my poetry, More visible than that of the oily fingerprints left behind With his act of kindness Even though he is sick of poetry. He makes his mark on my poetry As visibly as the oily fingerprints he has left behind He smiles sadness But leaves gladness in my heart With his act of kindness Even though he is sick of poetry How To Not Write A Poem See how many chocolates you can eat Without biting into a single one 11 miniatures Gag on a sugar high See how white the faded denim fringe of your cut-off shorts Looks against your tanned thigh Turn your arms this way and that, Compare them against the aforementioned thigh See which is darker (it's the thigh, it's always the thigh) See if you can make water bead up on your forearm Count the vitamins left in your bottle sitting on your desk Play with toe ring Tap a tune on your keyboard See how it comes out looking like 3489ut9 foesdvx790eiritr9u043903 Deep condition your hair Polish your nails Take up crocheting Happily pick up ringing phone only to find Irate editor at other end Looking to pick fight Yes, you understand the meaning of deadline No, you don't need to look it up Yes, you will quit procrastinating Immediately become brilliant Write something witty and dazzling Sparkle on paper All the while vowing not to go near the candy section Of the department store again. New York Cocktail Party In a sea of little black numbers And perfectly coiffed bobs I am the Only one Wearing red silk And long, misbehaving curls. In panic, I say to you, "I am the only one not in black!" You smile, lean forward, Kiss my neck And wickedly whisper, "I know!" Lazy Afternoon You say, There is no better way To spend a Saturday afternoon, Than having your back rubbed By artist's hands. As I massage and knead Your already limber muscles, I notice streaks of raw umber And cadmium red paint On my busy fingers, And wonder If you are grateful, I was not making pottery Instead.

poetryrepairs #209 15,02:017







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LAURIE JOHN is an Independent Writing and Editing Professional and Broadcaster from Chelmsford, United Kingdom. His group, "We write in Harmony" appears on LinkedIn. We are grateful for his comments and ask other readers to critique the poems on poetryrepairs.

Born of a union between an artist (ethnicity 2c) and a scientist (ethnicity 5b), carol shillibeer believes in fertile connections. Multiple ways of thinking, of hearing the world speak: adenosine tri-phosphate is a fundamental life metaphor. Her synaesthesia appear or are forthcoming in Ditch, CV2, Counterexample Poetics, and others. You can find her at carolshillibeer.com.

"A note on my poetics: I'm not a lyric poet; I'm not a humanist. A mentor has described me as a postlyric poet; I describe myself as a post-humanist. I'm a synaesthetic and an epileptic and experience what I call the “fractured-i”. (Do you remember “fractured fairy tales”?) The majority of my work does not focus on a coherent, human-centred lyric narrative as a stand-in for identity. As a consequence of neurological evolution and functioning, identity has the tendency to appear as singular: in small blooms of algae in a polluted sea; in the skip-tracing made possible by scientific language and concepts; because of closed eyes between the frantic and directionless leaps of a torch in the hand of a woman walking a mountainside in the dark. My poetry is often hard. Sometimes it is ugly, sometimes both ugly and beautiful. Also, I'm multi-ethnic. Sometimes my work speaks from these different selves_for example, I use “torch” instead of “flashlight” and then I'll use Americanisms because I'm writing from that moment of remembrance. Sometimes more than one self speaks in a single poem. I know that this is hard to take and is not within the narrative tradition, and I am trying to teach myself both skills. At this point, I'm having limited success with my lessons."

UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Article 8.
• Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

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