#218 v15,11:121

20th anniversay issue #4
CHARLES ENTREKIN : A Crosswalk Encounter with Betsy in Berkeley (1936-2011)
CHARLES ENTREKIN : Fragments from Nine Months, 1981

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A Crosswalk Encounter with Betsy in Berkeley (1936-2011)

As I crossed Solano Avenue, on my way for coffee, she stood on the sidewalk, a clear-eyed smile crinkling her older face, a safari hard hat balanced atop her wild hair. It had been years. Behind her, street musicians jammed. Harmonica, with steel drum accompaniment, tuned to passing traffic. A long streak of gray swept down over her face. Stepping up on the curb, How are you? I asked. Not well, she said. When I was young, I controlled my problems. When one appeared, Id decide not to see it. My choice. Now I want to see. And what Im becoming leaves me trembling. My brains gone to mush, and Im frightened. Feeling trapped by the stare of an ancient mariner, I said nothing. The musicians played on. I just want an entrance, a negotiated way into myself, into this new, older self, into this person I barely know. I want in, but the borders between my thoughts and my being are confusing. Fuzzy. I feel I might be becoming someone I dont even like.

POETRYREPAIRS #218 v15,11:121

Fragments from Nine Months, 1981

January sometimes we try to give away what we most need of ourselves February all weekend I have been filled with a kind of emotional white light like going snow blind suddenly I become abstracted remember your eyes afterwards sit and remain silent March I find you now inside me like a note in a bottle a silver jar filled with sadness a place to return to of knowing and not knowing your red hair and brown eyes sudden implacabilities there April beside the Great Highway a night orange fire in the distance dancing inside me refusing to die down May tonight I feel the sea reclaiming the land little by little I stand on shifting ground we are walking in sand something I want but cannot have gets dispersed in a cold wet wind June pink round and touching smooth I want to preserve each first time entering you July I was talking to the wind today about disorder and songs that have no sound about your eyes and whats in them about waves and wet sand and never explaining August outside Hayfork beside two coyotes hanging upside down from a farmers fence butterflies rise around my boots a narrow creek clatters over rocks September out an old Victorian window yellow curtains are flowing as Im leaving Im startled to remember my hand drifting over your bare shoulder and back

POETRYREPAIRS #218 v15,11:121

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