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up on." As much as I hated to admit it, I was somewhat fright-
ened by the whole idea.

I studied Kyle's perplexed expression for a few moments and
for the first time realized I had a lot to learn about life. I may
have been more knowledgeable than my professors and class-



mates, but not more than Kyle L. Rhodes. At the time, it never
dawned upon me that the former was also indulging. It seemed
that only Kyle knew anything about these once-forbidden areas.
And the more she talked, the more convinced I became that
there was something almost holy and god-like about her and so
I decided she must be right.

"Listen kid, you only go around once. You might as well enjoy
it."

"Twist my arm, Kyle. Come on, twist my arm." I made a fee-
ble attempt at laughter.

"Stupendous kid. My brother's roommate's name is Steve.
You'll love him. I promise you. Really great intellect. Just your
type. He's a Psych, major but don't worry, he's not the kind
who walks around analyzing everyone all over the goddamn place
or anything."

"Okay, Kyle, you've convinced me." I wanted the subject
closed.

The next day Kyle and I made a visit to the local gynecolo-
gist where I got my first fitting. I must admit I was nervous as
hell. I kept expecting to bump into my mother. We did meet
Emily Williams. Kyle smiled that wonderfully sarcastic grin of
hers. "Emily Williams, what are you doing here?"

"Well, well, well, if it isn't the prodigies ."

"Emily sweetheart," Kyle was still grinning, "I do hope your
diaphragm has a hole in it."

Kyle and I shook hands and walked away doubled over. I could
just imagine Emily steaming. I must admit our little encounter
with her put me more at ease. I figured if stupid Emily could
handle the whole thing then I certainly could.

I was surprisingly calm and collected throughout the train ride
to Princeton until Kyle hit me with what I thought to be a really
jolting piece of information. "Uh listen kid, there was some-
thing I forgot to tell you. Last time I was visiting my brother
I was kind of with Steve, you know what I mean?"

I almost died right there on the spot. "Kyle, are you crazy?
Have you gone totally mad? Where is your mind? You're telling
me to go to bed with your boyfriend."

No, no kid. You've got it all wrong. First of all, he's not my
boyfriend or anything like that. I only slept with him a few
times. Second of all, he's the best I know of and I want you to
go first-class, kid, all the way. I wouldn't want to put you in the
hands of some goddamn amateur or anything. Don't worry about



it, okay?"

Kyle L. Rhodes had made the ultimate sacrifice in the name
of friendship.

Well, I thought Steve was everything Kyle said he was. He
seemed intelligent, good-looking and not at all like the other
obvious jerks I was introduced to over the weekend.

And he was good in bed. Not that I would have known the
difference but I didn't let that be known. There was a short
time in which I debated if I should tell him about my innocence,
but I decided against it. There is nothing I hate more than to
admit that I didn't know about something, so I clenched my
teeth (very tightly) and tried to recall all the porno novels I
had read as a kid. And if Steve knew, he never let on. Bless
his soul (for that, anyway).

For someone who was eventually going to have a nervous break-
down over the whole thing, I handled myself quite well at the
time. I tried to be very casual and acted like Fd been doing it
my whole life. Inside I was dying. I damn near keeled over
when he suggested we take a shower together, but very coolly
told him I didn't feel dirty at the moment. He thought that
was beautifully symbolic and I then decided he was an egotis-
tical asshole.

When we got back to Vassar, Kyle insisted I tell her every-
thing in detail. "Isn't it the ultimate experience?"

I hated to admit to her that I didn't think it was what it was
cracked up to be, so I nodded my head in agreement. Inside it
was eating the hell out of me. Here I was being as hypocritical
as everyone else. I was as bad as that moron Steve who thought
it was so symbolically beautiful that I didn't feel Uke taking a
shower. Why couldn't I admit to my dearest friend that it didn't
do a thing for me?

"Kyle, I've got a confession to make. I didn't like it. I don't
know. Maybe there's something wrong with me, but I could
easily live without it."

"Oh no, kid, tell me you're kidding. You can't be serious." It
made me feel so goddamn miserable that I had disappointed
her like that.

"Aw kid, I really thought you were different. I thought you'd
see it like I do. Almost Hke a religious experience or something.
I don't know, making one feel above all this concrete material
shit. I never thought you were like the rest of those tight-ass
bitches. I had/ait/i in you, kid."



I felt absolutely horrible letting Kyle down after all she'd
done for me, so I tried to make a joke of it — being Kyle's always
one for a laugh.

"Hey, I realized what the trouble is, Kyle old buddy. I haven't
carried it far enough to get the full meaning of it."

Kyle giggled, "How much further can you go?"

"I haven't sacrificed for it. Sure I lost my purity, but so does
everyone at one time or another. To get full benefit, I have to
carry it a step further. Like Van Gogh cutting off his ear for
love. Something like that."

"I like the idea." Kyle's eyes were lighting up. "I like it im-
mensely, but don't cut off your ear, kid. I can't stand the sight
of blood."

"No, no, I wouldn't go that far. Something like wearing black
underpants for the rest of the year. Something with a little
drama to it."

"What the hell is so dramatic about black underpants?"

"Kyle, I've got it." I was jumping out of my seat. "I'll shave
my pubic hair off."

To my amazement, Kyle did not laugh. "Kid, you are a real
artist. You are a goddamn genius. If that isn't the most terrific
thing I ever heard."

Kyle began to get excited as hell about the whole thing and
the next thing I knew, we were in the bathroom and I was feel-
ing very itchy and extremely naked.

"Kyle, this is the most insane thing I've ever done."

"Insane nothing. This is a great step towards human under-
standing. Kid, you are a true individual and I'm proud to say
you're my friend. A poet. A goddamn poet."

"Kyle, you're 'sicker' than I am."

"Isn't life grand, kid? Let's go grab a beer."

The more I thought about it, the more heartbroken I became
over my loss and you see how I had no one to blame but myself,
for it was my idea.

As the days passed, I had to rearrange my lifestyle for I was
now taking my showers at 3 A.M. I was becoming more and
more paranoid that someone was going to discover my defi-
ciency, which was taking a hell of a long time to gi'ow back. It
seemed to me it had come in faster the first time around.

Before I knew what happened, final exams were on the way
and I had to pull straight A's in order to make up for my negli-
gence. You have absolutely no idea how horrible it is trying to



study twenty-four hours a day while itching like hell. I couldn't
concentrate to save my life and if you knew my parents, that's
just what was at stake. There was no way I was going to make
it, so I decided to join the ranks of freshmen having nervous
breakdowns. I told Kyle of my plans and naturally she thought
they were absolutely /an^asfic.

"Just make sure you come out of it on time for second semester.
I don't want to get stuck with Emily Williams for a roommate."

Well, it wasn't very difficult to fake my breakdown, for it
seems I was on the verge of one anyway. At least that's what
the doctor said, but then again, what would that egotistical bas-
tard know about my personal breakdown? I didn't even tell him
about my sacrifice and as far as I'm concerned, that was the
cause of the whole goddamn thing. Well, anyway, they didn't let
me return to Vassar the following semester and last I heard,
Kyle still hadn't forgiven me because Emily Williams is now
her roommate.

As for me, I'm going to the university where my parents teach
(so they can keep an eye on me) and am now majoring in Psych.
This way I can get a real understanding of people. Not so I can
help them, for they're way beyond that. But so I can get to play
with them.

— Binnie Kirshenhaum



Stillness

Stillness is a sound

often unheard,

not a void as many would believe.

A sound of falling leaves,
mouse steps in the snow,
a baby's gentle breathing,
and a stream's soft flow.

Stillness is the space
that all things must have
if they would know themselves
as well as others.

— Mike York



Edwards

Jonathan Edwards, no wonder your vision
was wintry; in this rose
Connecticut River wind, light off the ice,
I am pure too; clear and complicated.

The green thrash of the river
claws, an unshelled crow,
at a surface pale and
hard enough to cross on.

A late sun like sap
redeems the hills;
this is January, fluent
with the voice
of virgin Sarah Pierpont.

— Julie Ellison



Two-for-a-Quarter World

It's a two-for-a-quarter world,
Where men piss and moan.

They'll come to you, smiling,
And ask "How's it goingT
All the while, they know
It's not going.
And so do you.

Can you tell me

Why it isn't good (or smart)

To speak your mind,

Express yourself

And try to change things.

Attempt to improve,

Add a little water.

Make things grow better,

Instead

Of looking down or away

And purposefully stepping

On a seedling?

That's murder.

Killing of the spirit.
That's death.

Strangling creativity:

Smothering freedom:

Stabbing someone's soul:

Shooting holes in an idea:

Raping a dream:

Electrocuting expression:

Putting a chain and ball around one's neck.

This two-for-a-quarter world
Is no place for the living.

It's a mortuary of madness,
A cemetery of sycophants
Giving birth to madmen.
While exhuming rotten corpses
Of smiling men asking
"How's it goingV

— Thomas R. Violante



In between the changing of light, before your eyes,
You might see the meaning in which Hes
The challenge of Hfe that knows no control
And the breaking of dreams that takes its toll.

If ever a thought could mean so much
As in your head, your hand, your touch,
In time, that thought becomes obscure
Living life's changes leaves you unsure.

The shadowy hues that fill the night.
So mysterious, so forbidding, such a sight,
So desolate, quiet, eerie, but inviting
Complete in its own, pleasantly enticing.

A milhon mysteries and their answers untold.
Strange people with ideas so bold.
Nighttime sounds that fill the air.
Step outside, if you dare.

But what's to fear but one's own mind?
There's no mysteries there to find
Because night is no different than day.
Just an absence of Hght, faded away.

— John L. Abbagnaro







The Ancient Submariner

It comes over me from time to time
at precisely the moment I can't predict:
this urge for the submarine existence.
There's a trick to it, a trick or two
you ought to know, if you want to be
a regular submariner.
First, take off your suit of skin and bones,
after removing hands and ears and genitals.
Hang them all up carefully on a coatrack.
This is extremely important, and all too often forgotten
by eager novices who can be recognized
by their missing parts.
There is no trick to plunging. Just find a gangplank.
Go down to the caves where the threshers sleep,
tucked away in their lidless nightmares.
Down where the roar of the silence is like the empty eyes
of people on subways. Down where anemones

are like sweet flowers with puckered cunts at the center,
cunts with unappeasable appetites. Down where the squid
squirm like dreams of women in your seedtime.
In these caves you will find every body
you have loved and caressed, lusted after and lost,
every body you have needed and done homage to,
and now each one is quietly liquescing, becoming
bait for crabs, the crabs of your own insatiable mind.
Are you still with me? Do you have all this down?

Have you had enough? Riseslowly, then, lest you implode.

— Anthony Manousos



Romance at Night

Under the starry tent, a lonesome one
Moves through the hush of midnight.
A boy awakens from tangled dreams;
His gray face dissolves in the moonlight.

At the window that stares through iron bars,
Her hair dissheveled, the idiot-girl weeps.
Very wondrously, on a journey so sweet
Lovers drift by on pond-waters deep.

The sufferer is seized by the horror of death.
The murderer's pale smile appears in wine.
To the Savior's pain, wounded and nude.
The nun is praying at her shrine.

The mother sings softly in her sleep.

The child very peacefully looks at the night.

Its eyes are wholly filled with truth.

At the whorehouse, laughter rings bright.

Down in the cellar, by a tallow-light,

The Dead One paints, with his hand turned white,

A grinning silence onto the wall.

A sleeper keeps whispering into the night.

— Translated from the German of Georg Trakl

by Heidi Atkins



Remember when you were young, summertime always seemed

so far away
Winter time was just another time to play
In the fall, the leaves fell for you to pile up
And spring, the fish were just beginning to jump.

Your dreams focused on baseball and T. V.
Everything was fun, everything you could see
Life was a ferris wheel, spinning round and round
As much fun as watching a circus clown.

Saturdays were filled with fantasies and cartoons
Lunchtime was make with peanut butter and macaroons
Sundays you always visited your very special friend
Because Grandma always had lots of cookies and candy
no end.

But as you grew, things around you changed

The play times grew fewer, and your life more arranged

Always something to do or work to be done

Not much time left for good times and having fun.

But then you realize the good times were never fewer
Just, as the world kept spinning, you became a mere viewer
Looking at the world in its real perspective
Finding out things that you never expected.

— John L. Abbagnaro



Bugs Bunny

{from Looney Tunes)

I. I rise from my lair in the ground
a glint of something in my eye
the moon is split double
by my ears longing vertical
long-legged varmint
I bound film to film
frame to ragged frame
double dealing
feeling
stealing
your carrots
red roots

out beneath the teeth
pushing shame in the vacant space
you bite on it
just the same



11. I put on top hat
bow tie
tip toes tapping across the stage

"dance with me dance"

but you laugh at me
harebrained rabbit
dropping through traps
you've laid in the floor
pop up hopping
I hide the hurt
and you clap for me
clap

clap me through the curtain
stagelights turning my face red



and when I bend over

back my tail through the blackness

you cheer

then you sneer

when you see my face filled with your cabbage leaves.

you think you've got me
priestly pelicans

hiding your pistols
under your black wings
but I am le jongleur

1 spin your emotions

in circles around my head.



III. I paint my Hps
put on an apron
I dance with myself
in the thicket of dishpans and brooms
I spin burrows

in the bramble of soup bones and fears
I make music

by blowing through my own lips
rubber Hds

on the ball jars of stars
and you stand helpless
on the edge

feet firmly planted on the kitchen floor
you hold out your hand
but I can no longer reach you
midwife

in sterile white teeth

I've leaped into the grapevines naked
and my song is clothed in claret.



IV. Harlequin

with a mask that can't quite hide my whiskers

I twitch my tail

and grin

you catch glimpses of yourself

through the glare in my eyes

you see things glowing

with a fire you deny

you don't know whether to kiss me

or shoot me

as in your darkness

I steal your squashes

nibble your carrots

I chomp your cabbage leaves

and I swallow your seeds whole

growing new moons

to move moons

square on the rising sun.

— M. Marcuss Oslander



LASSITUDE (original trench)

On rentre un soir chez soi, un soir comme tous les soirs. II ne
pleut meme pas sur la ville. Dans les journaux du jour, on signale
comme une epidemie de suicides.

"On" se trouve machinalement assis devant la table de travail,
a proximite d'un rayon rempli de livres lus, relus, qui ne tentent
plus a la curiosite. Les coudes appuyes sur la table de travail, "on"
se prend la tete a deux mains afin d'en extraire une idee honor-
able. II n'y a rien dans la tete. Toutes les idees sont monnayees;
le coffre-fort est vide.

II ne reste plus qu'a boire pour forcer la production. Comme
"on" vit seul sans servante, "on" se dirige vers la cuisine. II faut
fouiller dans les bouteilles vides. II n'y a rien, plus de vin dans la
cuisine. Et si Ton fouille dans ses poches, "on" ne trouve rien. II
n'y a plus d'argent, plus de vin, plus d'idees pour faire de
I'argent et plus de larmes, car les larmes ont ete delapidees dans
les livres. Alors "on" se dirige machinalement vers le tiroir de la
table ou se trouve le pistolet automatique. II n'a jamais servi. II
est lourd a manipuler. On entend parfaitement le declic du res-
sort qui I'arme. Tout le mystere de la mort est enclos dans cette
petite arme d'acier bruni.

Cette reflexion devrait suffire. Si j'etais a la place de cet
homme je pense que je remettrais a temps I'arme dans son tiroir
ou plutot je la vendrais. Je vendrais la mort a un brocanteur et
j'en tirerais une vanite except ionnelle.

— Pierre MacOrlan in Les jeux du demi-jour, Paris, 1927.



LASSITUDE

You return home one evening, an evening like all evenings.
It's not even raining in the city. The daily papers report an
epidemic of suicides.

You find that you have mechanically seated yourself before
your work table, in close proximity to a shelf filled with books
which have been read and reread and are no longer interesting.
Elbows leaning on the w^ork table, you grasp your head in both
hands, hoping to extract from it an honorable idea. There is
nothing in your head. All the ideas have been minted; the strong-
box is empty.

There's only one thing left to do: drink to stimulate production.
Since you live alone without a maid, you go to the kitchen. You
have to dig around among the empty bottles. There is nothing
— no more wine in the kitchen. And when you dig into your
pockets, you find nothing. There's no more money, no more
wine, no more ideas to make money, and no more tears, because
the tears have been wasted in books. So you go mechanically
to the table drawer where the automatic pistol is kept. It has
never been used. It's heavy and hard to manipulate. You hear
perfectly the click of the catch which cocks it. All the mystery
of death is enclosed in this little arm of burnished steel.

This reflection should be enough. If I were in your place, I
think that in time I would put the arm back into its drawer, or
better yet, I would sell it. I would sell death to a secondhand
dealer, and I would feel exceptional vanity in doing so.

— Translated from the French of Pierre MacOrlan

by Nancy Watanabe



©



What's Seen

Through the open lens,

you peak at the world —

bare trees,

crusty asphalt —

focusing your thoughts

on developing suspended time.

Black and white dots cluster

to form an image,

and, on paper,

a sailboat sinking in the low tide,

and hovering over it,

seagulls caught in the wind.
A masterpiece of precision
exhibited quietly for all to see,
sold to a young girl
just dreaming of being that free!

— Lyn Root



© ^



EDITORIAL BOARD

Professor Srilekha Bell

Joyce Bennett — Secretary-Treasurer

Wayne Chambers

Kim Chan

Bemice Diaba

Lisa Ferguson

Louise Giordano

Jay Keaveny

Professor Bertrand Mathieu — Faculty Advisor

Karen Mattimore

Marilyn Monahan

Professor Marcuss Oslander

Chris Sage — Co-Editor-in-Chief

Pat Tierney

Jean Williams — Co-Editor-in-Chief





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Online LibrarySigmund FreudNoiseless Spider (Volume v.6, no.1) → online text (page 2 of 2)