Tirage Monthly: Issue Five

Bruce McRae • Christopher Brunt • Gerald Yuscavage • Kate Nacy
Ed O'Casey  April Salzano

 

 

Bruce McRae

CHILD'S PLAY
We grew up hard.
We acted like children.
After school
we played school.
I carved my name
on the desk of my flesh.
I wrote mash notes
to Mary Jo Talarico's
cotton panties.
Miss Duke
had a solid set of gams,
shapely calves
in silky hose.
I wanted to touch her.
I wanted to reach out
and run one finger
into Neverland.
Love was getting the strap
for talking back.
Love was detention,
our little rendezvous.
I wanted to make babies,
little baby babies,
however that happened.
Like homework.

          

Christopher Brunt

THERE ARE MANY ROADS BUT THERE IS ONLY ONE ST. CHARLES AVENUE

    I threw out the mouthwash and the white wine vinaigrette,
caught myself redhanded in the pantry
banging failure in the dark. In the bath,
I did a charcoal, called it "Mortifications of Youth"
but its dishonesty was hot junk blue.
My sterile canvas spasms for the new. 
I wrote THIS IS A FALSE GOD on each mirror
and meanwhile Mardi Gras was yelling
'PINK ME!' on the street below so
I got myself all dolled up in rags
and called a cab, threw my canvas
in a holster, fell downstairs into
midnight rum, a delirium of giving in
and falling through. 
I ended up dead at your
apartment
     in the museum. Every surface pristine
as after the rapture. Even the dust had risen.
Your fingers (the real thing) melting me
to the floor, which was waves,
    which was India.
I took the pebble road across
the quiet continent of your voice.
You said, While you are not safe,
 I am not safe... and so I slept
for thirty seconds, an era, 
a whole moment where color was uproarious
again like in the '40s.
    I don't know anything but
    your hands are kind.
I owe you at least this sculpture
done in smoke
you saved my only life.

          

Gerald Yuscavage

VERONICA

We must share
Veronica’s
sun-dried deck.
“This is a
vacation area!”
My pain is 
a squadron of
six-hundred
shopaholics 
ten spaces 
apart.


NORA

On the thunderous
shore
there’s more manure
than compost.

Nora, drop your
sling & scythe,
for I am here to
offer you relief
from the
calligraphic
hegemony.

          

Kate Nacy

TEMPELHOF

Run through a dead airport under a burning white sun. Thirty-seven degrees, not even 
noon. Break the body, mend the mind. Spare the ferule, spoil the child. Your pleasures don’t 
shimmer and shine in the sun. Your pleasures pound a body over tarmac in sweltering, 
pitiless heat. They tear the throats of shoes stitched by imagined children in subhuman 
regions. Run through an aerodrome splayed by two parallel runways. Runways are for 
vessels of titanium and steel yet here you are, all heart lungs liver viscera, here you are all 
blood and glass, here you are. Now lacerate the atmosphere. Board hundreds of planes, 
never land once; neither here and barely there. Endless lack of gratification is yours as 
revealed on this track paved for leisure and war. This airport is dead and you are alive,
at home in multiple realities. Don’t think, here are the signs. People who read the signs 
are not better than people who do not read the signs. (You do not read the signs). Before 
the war, there were cows. Before cows, forest. Before forest, ice. Run through the dead 
airport, counter to the direction in which you entered. Run beside a water tower, barbed-
wire, bodies reduced to cylinders, eyes to diamonds. Lose briefly a mind bound to arbitrary 
certainty. Run and then run harder. Leave only when you know this dead thing is closed for 
living things like you.                        

          

Ed O'Casey

WORDS TO PLOUGHSHARES

Let’s play some more
team catch, this time
          with terms like sir
          and ma’amCO

and XO—anything
you can come up
          with to create
          order, a sense

of nonchaos to attribute
to the world: row
          upon row of bricks
          perfectly parallel

to the foundation,
concepts placed
          into geometric constructs--

                     food pyramids, circles
                    of mitosis, square meals,
                    cycles of life and death--

two-way roads, the theory
that daylight can be saved,
          claiming that life is based
          on repetition. In fact,

it never repeats.
It never
repeats. It
never repeats. It neve--

                    have you ever based your next
                    sentence on another sentence
                    you swallowed while riding
                    a bike with your mouth open?

Everything evolves--

                    nations, genders, the words
                    that mean honor, my grandmother
                    and I--

                              I grew up in her house,
                              then left her alone only
                              long enough to die
                             from a mixture of chronic
                             diabetes and stubbornness.

What you call repetition,
I call cheap facsimile:
          the color’s almost right,
          but the brushstrokes are far

too impulsive, the original
was made with patience
          and a delicate hand.

Over the years, the mirrors
just get softer and softer. 

          

April Salzano

CORNER OF WINE AND WINE

Two stems flute like barefoot grapes. 
Drowning gripes in red and white. Blush 
of giggling faces, friends. Though solitary
solace is just as comforting. Bouquets
and notes that taste nothing like 
descriptive blurbs on bottles. Glass
always half full.

CORNER OF BURIED AND RESURRECTED

Half exhumed. Maybe 
down too long. Underground
passages require energy to dig, and collapse
around themselves, crumble. I have 
eaten my share of dirt, worm food.
Tired, I tunneled upward and waited
for someone to start digging down.