This is Retrowords


Dear Galway


Dear Galway,

It began late one April night when I couldn't sleep. It was the
dark of the moon. My hand felt numb, the pencil went over the
page drawn on its way by I don't know what. It drew circles and
figure eights and mandalas. I cried. I had to drop the pencil.
I was shaking. I went to bed and tried to pray. At last I relaxed.
Then I felt my mouth open. My tongue moved, my breath wasn't my
own. The whisper which forced itself through my teeth said,
Virginia, your eyes shine back to me from my own world. O
God, I thought. My breath came short, my heart opened. O God I
thought, now I have a demon lover.

Yours, faithless to this life,

"Dear Stranger Extant in Memory by The Blue Juanita"
from "The Book of Nightmares" by Galway Kinnell

"Devil", artwork by Vincent Marcone



November 18th

Edna was walking down the street with her bag of groceries when she passed the automobile. There was a sign in the side window:


She stopped. There was a large piece of cardboard in the window with some material pasted on it. Most of it was typewritten. Edna couldn't read it from where she stood on the sidewalk. She could only see the large letters:


It was an expensive new car. Edna stepped forward on the grass to read the typewritten portion:

Man age 49. Divorced. Wants to meet woman for marriage. Should be 35 to 44. Like television and motion pictures. Good food. I am a cost accountant, reliably employed. Money in bank. I like women to be on the fat side.

Edna was 37 and on the fat side. There was a phone number. There were also three photos of the gentleman in search of a woman. He looked quite staid in a suit and necktie. Also he looked dull and a little cruel. And made of wood, thought Edna, made of wood.

Edna walked off, smiling a bit. She also had a feeling of repul­sion. By the time she reached her apartment she had forgotten about him. It was some hours later, sitting in the bathtub, that she thought about him again and this time she thought how truly lonely he must be to do such a thing:


From South of No North by Charles Bukowski
November 18th, digital art by Catherine McIntyre


Many are from the Maldives....

Marina by Frank Hovart

Many are from the Maldives,
southwest of India, and must begin
collecting shells almost immediately.
The larger ones may prefer coconuts.
Survivors move from island to island
hopping over one another and never
looking back. After the typhoons
have had their pick, and the birds of prey
have finished with theirs, the remaining few
must build boats, and in this, of course,
they can have no experience, they build
their boats of palm leaves and vines.
Once the work is completed, they lie down,
thoroughly exhausted and confused,
and a huge wave washes them out to sea.
And that is the last they see of one another.
In their dreams Mama and Papa
are standing on the shore
for what seems like an eternity,
and it is almost always the wrong shore.

From Where Babies Come From by James Tate
Marina photographed by Frank Horvat


Morning Stones

Click to enlarge

Where are mornings simple
as stones and days stretched
long as oceans? Where does
A night chain grows dream by dream?

There are those who would
Take this string, tie it tight, caring
Only for the pieces missing.
They are wound in worry,
Never heading gifts at hand.

I do not speak
To them, but then I lie.
I gather moonstones and pearls.
They grow by night.
I cast them out with the morning.
Their smooth, white faces are cold.
I do not want to look at them,
sweat of prayers and dreams.

Mornings slip away like seals in waves.
Days drown in separate oceans
While the dreams wait hanging.

Morning Stones by Alethea Eason
Fumee d'Ambre Gris painting by John Singer Sargent



The Muse Apprentice Guild

we plunge headlong
a fiery stream of desire
our passions singed
we bathe our blistered souls
in cool disdain
rinsed of the stench
that followed us
from the past

From Seven Works by eXistentialista


The Dog Faced Boy

Go to revelation Studios

... and when I say good night
the pictures in my head
will dance around my room
and frolic in my bed ...

... and when I say good day
they hide behind my eyes
waiting for the dreaming
to bring them back alive ...

Text from My Pet Skeleton
The Dog Faced Boy artwork by Craig la Rotonda/Revelation Studios


© 2005 Kjell Arnesen