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                                                                          Issue 8

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has crashed through the barn doors
to terrify the bull and his goal post
horns—plus every rancher
in the valley—with a hibernated
growl louder than a thunder bolt,
louder than a late plane. We scatter
to the mountains like sheep afraid
of slaughter. When can we return?
The bear is stronger than ten
wrestling champions, his eyes repeat
history as we watch him, and we’re
paralyzed as hunters with jack
knives. He’s mauled too many of us:
his paws kick up the dust like it’s
dirty baby powder. Our grass
no longer the color of our greed,
but black as our despair. This bear
will hang around like a dictator:
a wag has nicknamed him Donny.
How can we rid ourselves
of the belligerent bear?
Where are the bull’s bellows
when we need them?

  David Spicer__



My skin is kaleidoscopic.
It’s all colors.
Yes, I’m a freak.

I’m not white. Or brown.
Or yellow. Not red
or black. All colors.

Because of this I live
in a lagoon I found
when I landed

on this planet
of fools obsessed
with meaningless colors.

The planet of Stupid
I call it. I love,
though, the beautiful

women, the inhabitants
with the true power.
Soon, they could disappear.

You see, I’m a visionary.
I remotely hack your computers
because I invented that talent.

Others, too. I live in the minds
of your brightest scientists,
most accomplished artists,

and predict your world
will vanish into vapor
like the other planets

I’ve explored with hope.
But you haven’t heeded
the warnings of your fragile home:

Your winds howl like mad coyotes.
Your ice melts like vague memories.
You humans kill everything:

Children with garlands
of roses around their heads,
cities with their steel

sculptures of beheaded angels
and raped goddesses that remind
me barbarians are still present.

They are few, but too many
for your kind to survive,
too few generous souls that soar.

But I’m leaving. Like Autumn.
I have twelve seats available
for six women and six men.

Email me your resumes today.
Only painters, prophets, writers,
a farmer, a nun, a carpenter, a bum.

And after we leave this melancholy
planet, we’ll scatter our piety
and create all that could have been.

  David Spicer__


That was the time I carried a basket with an iris
to a girlfriend who insisted she was my shadow.
She said, You remind me of a drunken polar bear.
Well, I said, that’s kind of salacious.
So, you want me to give you the detailed map
to the beautiful body that doesn’t make me a crybaby?

Oh, I want you to be a sex warrior, not a crybaby.
That’s when I wish I’d brought more than one iris
or at least consulted my ultimate map
to discover the inner region of my blue shadow
so I could claim the crown of a brave, salacious
man who summons his inner teddy bear.

Because I didn’t want to be a cold animal, a polar bear,
and didn’t want to show my heart, heart of a crybaby.
I was a typical man. I wanted my most salacious
thoughts to roam her field, harvest her innermost iris,
the one with not a violet or green, but a pink, shadow
that’s a mystery to any lover man’s dream-filled map.

She had ideas, had the night and morning mapped
to her specifications: I don’t want a polar bear
but a brown one who casts a long shadow
on the odds he’ll be the first man I call a crybaby.
So she revealed to me her true name, Iris,
to entice me to display my lowest instincts, my salacious

side, so that she could in turn resort to her preferred, salacious
nature and together we’d chart a different kind of erotic map.
But I balked for a second. I said, I’ll need an Irish
whiskey or that exotic drink with vodka called a Polar Bear
Express that’s got a bit of extra cream from a crybaby’s
lips. She said, Okay, Teddy Bear, want your shadow

too, so you can say to me, Inside my heart lurks the Shadow,
the arbiter of the intellect, the senses, the darkest salacious
talents, to lure me? Well, you’ll never turn into a crybaby.
Now find what we want tonight: our infamous map
mapping the way to achieve what we want, my Poley Bear—
the key to my kingdom: ecstasy for my pink iris.

Yes, I was The Shadow looking for his arcane map,
a walking advertisement of a salacious polar bear.
Better than a crybaby carrying a basket with an iris.

  David Spicer__



Snobs sneered when he won the coveted prize.
They protested his selection as a god.

A god not of protest. Of literature.
Washed up, a beach corpse, they said. A mere singer!

More than a singer, more than a beach corpse.
His fans pleased when the committee chose him.

Pleased when he failed to show for the prize.
Hungry cats, the hoity-toity marched, complained.

I don’t like hoity-toity. They march too much.
They wanted a novelist or French poet.

A novelist or French poet didn’t win.
The singer stayed silent, except to sing songs.

The singer sang songs of power and silence.
No one saw him sneer when he won the prize.

  David Spicer__

–for K.M.

Her back yard is a bevy of birds.
Look at the peacock with his feathered arc.

Look: he arcs his feathers like some men arc theirs.
And the cardinal with his John Prine haircut.

He balances on the guitar string wire!
And his mate eyes the woodpecker in a tree.

The mates in the lady’s trees eye each other.
And to think we call stupid people birdbrains!

That cardinal’s bird brain is bright as man’s brain!
And he sings his songs to blackbirds and squirrels.

Songs the blackbird and squirrel sing back to him.
Songs John Prine might have dreamed of singing.

Songs the other birds only dream of singing
in her back yard that’s a bevy of birds.

  David Spicer__


You painted a self-portrait wearing your favorite
snood. Without a look of remorse before the mirror.

Hey, Irish, see that gypsy under the pepper tree?
She’s my role model. You wore her indigo outfit.

From your studio, smelling of jasmine as you
posed, standing on the alabaster floor. Your tourmaline

eyes grey clouds, jade ring clinking on the floor
every few seconds. Let’s shudder ourselves outside

to watch the eclipse, I’ll be Eurydice, and you Orpheus.
I didn’t like that deal, thought your heart isinglass

instead of a red carnation. And your lips. Your lips
brighter than fox fire. I said, I need to polish my soul

a little, so you finish your self-portrait, ambled
into the studio, finished my anemone tea

and then you said, Now I’ll be Orpheus. I smiled, Well,
just don’t wear your amethyst necklace next time.

  David Spicer__

© George Zavala: Elegua Cemi

© George Zavala: Elegua Cemi