Poetry, Prose and Art Journal
Multilingual, Multicultural, Interdisciplinary Web Edition

Edited and published by Steven Duplij

Joyce Carbone
Arcadia, FL, USA


Poetry book (Part 4)


To my lips
Is not some cold orb, round and useless,
But your flesh warm,
Your tears wet,
Your lips, desire heated
Need rising between
To hold the hounds at bay.

The sacrament I need
Is not empty promises etched on stone,
Heart scored, as if ten laws
Could encompass mass failure.

Brush me with your sacrament.
Fill my need,
Allow me to fill yours.
Together, we will last a lifetime
Without ashes & dust fluttered

Hold me.
Your words tickle my ears;
Fingers, my flesh;
My kingdom come.
Lovers ring paradise, make it sing.
Apart, gnaw the worms
Of hell.


Spreads upon the white,
dark rose blooms edges
scorched beyond the pale,
your smile tight,
eyes - cat bright
asking daring forgiveness.

Forgive us, Father, for we have
Sinned sunnily against pale white light
during the night,
burnt umber scorched
the edge of nothingness
in graven image.

What would Rabelais think?

Yesterday is the cliff hanger
of tomorrow, today caught between;
a burnt edged hole snugged
beside a gasp in shape of Raciborz,
door askewed,
an open invitation for love's
snug halo pinched by oneness
riding dark disaster,
satisfaction gleamed
as darkness spreads.

What would Rabelais think?


No real world for
dreams, only a maddened chase
around darkened pit,
glaring poltergists
from years gone long before -

The trackless wood brambles
multiplies thorns,
dangles traps of vines & moss,
a hazy curtain through which
eyes dare not gaze -

A haze thickened fog
sucks at ankles,
hands & feet cut off, severed,
no way to grab, to hold,
to run away -

Madness wears a rueful smile,
a hideous grin,
as slippery wet kisses
the insides of my thighs -
A silvery pain jolts a faint
terrible agony; knifes my side.

Eyes open, stare at the shadow
of a hanged man illusion,
ears glued to fearful heart
racing out of control.


Swarm my mind, buzz like
tiny winged creatures
intent upon success,
the drawing of blood, my blood,
surely as words spiral
frow from the tip of pen -

There are stingers in pens
& roses & thank yous
& acolades
& fiery tailed comets
& reflections with connotations
& little field mice squeaks
& chipmunk peeps
& cunning sly fox grins
& heaven & hell
& every level in-between
balanced on golden librian scale,
an arrogant mullet flip
& flash,
& overbite desiring braces
& green grass growing
& red counterpane
& popcorn knotted & strung,
& you
wearing that puzzled smile.


Wary and wiley
peers across the northern bog,
spreads black-tipped
snow-white wings wide,
bobs crimson head
torn between nest
& escape --

she decides on self-preservation,
abandons her eggs --

Another species etched
on the endangered list,
stalks and brays,
displays and taunts,
unaware how quickly his
two legged species will disappear
from sight and mind,
perhaps, for once, for
the betterment of whoopers,
manatees, condors
and spotted ocelots.


The sexton rings mournful bell,
sacristy piled high with vestments
of teasel & tea-roses -

He'll ply warmer smiles,
then shovel half-frozen dirt,
digging tomorrow's grave,
no teardrops spared
for the badger, beaver
or short-tailed shrew
snugged quietly in the shadows.

The spade bites chunks;
the sexton's thoughts wander,
tip-toe past the old man in the woods,
the mahogany-red polypores
& pale artist's fungi
clinging to the wounds of trees -

He likes the work,
but dreams of trapping the badger
or beaver, as a red-necked salamander
leaps along, slapping long tail
against the ground, atuned to
sucking shovel bite.

Tommorrow, he will make a fool-proof trap.
Today, he plays


I think you never knew him,
that one who had a necessary part in your
though you think you do.

Surfaces, slick and shiny,
reflect only what one wants to give.
Seemingly open, he harboured
deep darkness inside,
an ugliness he couldn't hide from self
& the sickness grew,
took over life
as we knew it, if we ever did.

Though years disappear,
I thought I knew you,
but didn't, you whom I carried
for nine months, labored to expell
into a cold world you didn't want;
fought against.

Perhaps, I never knew you.

One certainty exists;
You never knew me,
My desires & needs.
I've accepted this,
for no one really knows another.
The walls we build are much
too high and wide to scale.


Something I cannot name,
Cannot even understand;
A part of you, that secret
Which makes the betterment
Of a man.

Time, without a name,
Has exhausted self,
Dealt the last lonely hand.
There is no accurate name
For time, or loneliness,
Left for those behind.
It's not a catch-up game.

This is real.
Something I can't touch;
A severed thing.

A bad taste lingers;
The taste of lies as diet fed,
Not by you -- you knew for years,
Tried to explain, but couldn't;
My ears refused
To hear the words.

You've left a part for me.
I hug it close,
Afraid, it too, will


Drive away sorrow,
& doubt,
But where are they, those
Softly uttered words
Which built mountain ranges
Inside my heart?

You poured them inside
Like oil, over every crevice,
To leave a film of lucid tenderness.

Time heals all wounds
So liars say.
Will this non-existent thing
Heal an injury so deep, it
Wears invisible scars?

I sit alone
Walk alone
Eat alone
Love alone,
Clutching for sanity,
Holding close, your words
So warm.

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© 1996 by Steven Duplij