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Linn Poems:
What a Lower-Class Woman Loves

By Daniel Gallik

Dan Gallik is a cleveland poet. his poems breathe cleveland air, shed cuyahoga river tears, sweat ethnic working class dreams and fears. his work has previously been featured on deep cleveland junkmail oracle, and he has had poetry and short stories published in Hawaii Review, AIM (America's Intercultural Magazine), Parabola (Magazine of Myth and Tradition), Nimrod, Limestone (Univ. of Kentucky), Hiram Poetry Review, Aura (Univ. of Alabama), and Whiskey Island and many others. sixgalliks@alltel.net



The Story Of Linn Crazy In Love

She said, I drove up to her
and thought she was my pal
once, and now, she is my enemy,
and I took out my twenty two
pistol and shot her in the arm,
and then, the head and watched
as she died there at the mall.

Cops came and some red headed
fuzz asks me why and I say to
him, hell, she gave my lover
a hand job and I wanted to
make sure that arm was dead
first, and then, the rest of her
body? It was secondary to me.

I get arrested and am in jail
even though I told my lawyer,
the one they gave me, and my
mom, and the whole court and
jury and press I was crazy and
they all said no, and I got mad,
cause I was; was crazy bout Joe.



Luv In The Ruins Of A Dead Town

He's a tenacious, self effacer,
but more often than not, a ram-
shackle of a Cleveland Heights
kind of fellow. But I love him.
This from an out-of-prison gal to
her best friend Linn from Buckeye
close by the mall. Linn says,
Yeah, I luv him too. So, what
do we do? Cheryl goes, nothing,
just wait and see. Anyway, if
he don't work out, we can go for
that guy, what's his name, Hank,
or something, from Lyndhurst?

Hell, guys are from all over.
This buzzcock kind of talk came
often, in fact, every evening
during the summer when Lake Erie
got melancholy, and ants ate dead
flies in backyards, in kitchens,
and by young things' beds. It
was a machine gun kind of eti-
quette among women of the new
age. Cheryl said, hey, they're
all bozoes anyway. Will marry
one just cuz he's got a cause
and a reason to have a tiny tad.



A Pair Of Songs Write Of Love

I mean, what is the measure
of his stature?, Jilly said
as she made her usual salad.
I feel the soles on his earth
fill his universe. I feel
his thighs are what contain
the beat of the heavens. I
love so much I have run out
of so's to describe my heart.

His body, she continues, is
an aquamarine; scintillates
me to do all kinds of nasty
things and smile about them,
even as I dream of grandma.
Now that we have had tongues,
I feel that we can be joined.
Linn says, has he said any
thing to you? Naw, Jillson,

retorts, but I do not need
words to know love. All I
need is the hunk of his bod
to know that true love is all
he knows for me as I roam all
the ether ways of hs hallways.
Linn, I know you have felt
this way afore. Ya, L. says,
the last time I ate in prison.



The Building Blocks Of Female Friendships

The shit dismissed my mystery.
Jilly was eating peaches from
Heinens. Linn, he even spoke
about how I had gotten ugly in
the last year. Like I gained
weight or something. Linn saw
that nothing was going anywhere.

She said, his life has gotten
numinous, that he has turned in
to an illusive being, a seminist.
Jilly accepted everything Linn
said because she did not get any
of it. Linn was like Japan. I
foresee beauty where there is

not. Linn continued, all is err
in myth. Jimmy is a myth. And
most often he forgets to bathe.
He's a meme, a virus of the mind.
Jilly ate her third peach. She
lifted her baseball hat and said,
I get it now. I should leave him.



The Flowing Of Their Channels Revs Up

I mean, this flowing emanation seeped
from him as I stared. What the hell
was I supposed to do? Linn sat yakking
on the phone to her friend Linda Ramee.

R woman said, sit on him and perpetrate
evil. I mean, what other alternative
do we have? Linn started to cry, and
then, immediately, stopped. She spoke,

I understand now, the power I have to
seek and destroy, to weep and to linger,
to harmonize and sift chaos into his
vast reservoir of absolutely nothing.

R quipped, now, you are ascending into
the monster wealth of womanhood, and I
am smiling about it cause it's about
time you measure your innate beauty.

Both arose and opened their apts.' doors
and walked out, down the block to Joe's
Cafe And Western Tap Room. Ordered two
Millers' drafts and gazed at each other.



What Would Be The Effect of Perfect Insulation?

Hon, the meaning of the term
insulated is the removal of
the sensation of touch. You
render an insensibility. The
object is, is to form a line
of travel. Hon, do you get
this? Linn was doing dishes.

She reached for the knife
a lady next door just sold her
from a fund raiser at church,
and jokingly said, would you
like me to remove feeling in
your fingers? I mean, I mean,
by cutting off all of them?

Jimmy looked askance, put his
coat on, and went to work.
Linn open the door, followed
him to the car, and then,
proceeded to take her morning
walk. Some kids were going off
to school. On that walk she took
that knife. She pushed, at once,
to the park. As she neared

Lake Erie she ran with violence
to the rocks on shore, stabbed
them because they were like her
husband who insulated the shore
from deeper water farther out.



Thanks, I'll Eat You Later

I wanna go out and die
punky memories, have dirt
in some bloody wound I
got when you swung your
unwashed fist at me cuz
I cussed at you cuz I
fucking love you so much.

Linn, the slit, was inside
her head again, talking
to herself, but acting
like she was yelling at
Norm. He's saying, I dun
give a shit what you say
most of the time cuz you

say too much and it don't
mean nothing to no one.
Lin goes, so, I'm a gabba
gabba too much, like I
take no breaths without
words flopping on the rd.
Norm laughs (never cried),

and goes, I am a solo work,
I am as undemocratic as
Cuba, I am as unsubtle as
the good humor man, I am
the right that should be
left on the st. by myself.
You know I am heartache.


The Sweet, Real Joys Of Hearts and Souls

Tiger Foot says, gotta die
to be known. His buddy,
Al, goes, yeah, sure, but
what you gonna do different,
ya know, something that
ain't been done yet? Linn
poops on both of them when
she says, don't wanna be
a banshee, but who cares
about fame except little
boys and their fat dads?

The three drift down to
the pub over on West 4th,
order Cleveland Brewing Co.'s
generics that sound like
they're from Germany. Linn
buys, says, you chums are
normal normans bowing to
pantomimes of today's am-
bitions. T.F. yells, I
ain't gonna make it so
you can fall for me Linn.

Linn takes Al by the arm
and begs him to buy some
bar glasses of brewskis.
He goes, I will, if you
promise to take T.'s hand
when you're old enough
not to speak truths no
more. Ya know, things
begin to look like mud,
sucking and brownish and
full of live bacteria.



Nirvana Ain't In Buckeye

Some damn pie consisting of
pomegranate seeds and dates,
and he's trying to feed it
to me, and smiling at me, and
I am crying cause he's trying
to make love to me, and I am
married, and wanting the sex
anyway. Linn got quiet, then
blurted, and I wish I knew
where he was now, today, after
Dan's recent flights about debt.

Linda didn't laugh, although she
wished to. She replied, man,
I feel for you. What's you
gonna do tonight? Linn said,
nothing and more. Dan came in
from work. First thing he said
was you two again? Dismissed
himself to take a leak. Linda
goes, I can't see no humanity
in him. Linn cracks, he ain't
got a scent of the east in him.



With Frank, In The Wee Small Hours

Your lonely heart never learns
its lesson, Herb, Linn's fifth
lover, said this often. This
man worked over at Fazio's cut-
ting meat. Linn never said a
word when Herb made this quote.

From the heart to the window,
that is the way I feel about
Herb, this is what Linn would
say to her steady girl friend,
Linda. To Linn, from her life,
love affairs eventually break up.

Love is like butchers. Faces
change, but whoever it is,
they all cut meat...and I buy
the cheapest cuts, Linn giggled
when she spoke this to Linda.
Linda said, that's because that's

all you can afford. Herb came
home every day, hugged his Linn,
washed his hands, took a nap,
patted his step-kids on their
heads, washed his hands, took
a nap, read the evening paper,

watched the evening news, and
then washed his hands. Went to
bed. Linn would do her work.
At eleven she would come to bed.
Snuggle with Herb, say a prayer,
then dream about Sinatra's smile.



Verses Addressed To Every Woman In America

He told me to fill myself. I
told him to shove it. Linn
was starting out having a bad
day. She was talking over
the phone to her friend Liza.
I mean, he told me to fulfill
my life, to authenticate my
self by finally relaxing with
what life gave me. I did not
even kiss him and he's telling
me this deep stuff. I shut
the door behind him and turned
CNN on and took a shower and
laughed all the way through
the water running on my body.

Liza nodded, said, I guess he
wanted you to search and find
the root of your soul. I mean,
I don't get that Eastern thought
much. I just shop at Drug Mart.
You know, essences, and all of
that? Linn was having her bowl
of Capn Crunch, and getting her
self ready for her ten to six
job at Heinen's. I don't know,
maybe, gotta call him, you know,
make some kind of contact with
him before I marry someone else,
or die, or tell my two kids
about a meaning to their lives.



A Series Of Responses Spoken To God

Herb, Linn's fourth husband says,
I mean, quietly, you pursue meaning,
as openly, as you show an indifference
to it. I sit here at work and can't
come up with a reason why I loved

and married you, and then, divorced
you in less than a year. Linn wants
to quote Kant, but says instead, I
have a notorious difficulty with modes.
I wanted to recapture your utterances

in a marriage license. Wanted to, like,
establish and formulate the experience
of litany in an old man I met west
of the west side of Cleve. Herb wants
to laugh, but instead, eats a weenie.

It's lunchtime. Linn, who is forty
but never complains about her IQ,
says, my body yearns for the climax
of ultra-thick love. Herb starts
to reconsider remarriage as he spouts,

what's ya doing later tonight over
there in Parma? And Linn laughs and
chats, I am less agreeable of your
ambitions, but only, because you forgot;
I have since, again, tied the knot.



The Best Conductor Of Heat

Her husband said, I use
a planimeter to measure
our lives together. It
gives a reading, although
no mathematical skills
are measured. Enclosed
figures give a good mean
of the effective pressure
within our love for each
other. Linn laughed so
loudly Bob's eyes seemed
to redden and his irises
seemed to turn like meters
in a furnace factory. She
kept guffawing as summer
turned to autumn, as life
turned to dying, as a love
falls into a desperate and

bad attempt at separation.
Linn remembers Bob talking
only one more time. Said,
I have gaskets, nipples,
unions, couplings, coils,
ells, lock nuts, radiators,
traps and headers to keep
the steam in. But I know
they will all fail as time
trudges on. Especially if
you ever laugh again. Linn
didn't say a word; thirteen
years later noticed Bob as
he put on his underwear,
saw pumps and whistles and
laughed out loud. Bob,
again, not saying anything,
took his plumbing elsewhere.



Both Women Are Unable To Resist Anti-aggressive Considerations

Linn knows stuff goes on all the time,
stuff she will never catch wind of:
Linda says to Bill, Y'd ever read Watt,
Beckett's old book? Bill had been
trying to get one of his legs in his
trousers, fell, and cagily landed on
her double bed. Half nude, because
he never put on u-trows in his life,
he retorts, ain't ever read no novel
cept the one Ms. Smith made me read
when I was a senior and trying to get
out of Valley Forge High. It was, I
think, called Tropic of Cancer, and
it was dirty. I think ole Fat Calves
had other things in mind when she made
me read -- like words and my big digit.
Anyway, could we, ah, change the subject?

Linn was just getting up for a Weds.
readying herself for work and another
man. Linda was thinking of calling her
but had other things going on. Like
bed. Bill, her beau didn't think ever.
Both had these words to say, I like
the way you touch me Bill. At this
moment Bill was taking off his Browns
t-shirt and mumbling, and I like the way
you look in the morning light just afore
you tingle me with the touch of your
thin digits. Your sensations are the
premonitions of harmony. All of you
is irrefragable like a dainty flower
that owns an infinite and untrodden sky.
L closed her eyes, thought,.. the wealth
in my man's touched sky throws me echoes.



Routines Good In A Lady's Life

This new guy keeps talking about
the big two hearted river, Linn
yits to her pal Linda as they sip
their black brew on a Tues. noon.
Larr's due home, works that night
shift at that areal Polymer Plant
over near Buckeye. I keep tellin

him I ain't goin no more, that
that was just a lark, you know,
the pizza deliv boy from last wk.
Shush, here he is; says, hey, babe,
how's the day goin? Come ta bed,
huh? Linn goes, got some more
chattin with Lind, be in inahour.

Les goes, good ta see ya. Linn
continues, well anyway, that is
my life as of now. What you been
up to? Lind smiles and says, oh,
just washin dishes, clothes for
our kids and smilin at the guy
who checks our furnace monthly.



God Said To Moses, "Show Me Your Presence"

My dad says, I have brought you
to the vast ocean. Jim tells you
he has to tell you this, that
now that you are his lover, you
have to know. He continues, dad
lifts his hands and dies there
in the deep sand, all in one
finite motion. And I did not
cry because I knew this was all
part of his scheme. One that did
not have nothing but fate attached
to it. Quietly, whispering inside
my head, dad said, keep your soul
from gazing and your mind from
conceiving. Linn said, did you?

Linn and Jim know the tide is out.
Hell no, I knew that I should not
follow my dad's death whims. I
should be the opposite. That is
why I read novels and do not earn
money. That is why I will take you
in, and then, toss you out in a week.
My dad controls my life by telling
me to do, as I do the opposite.
Is this fine with you? Linn says,
I think your dad is right for us.
This is why I tell you yes, and
with the same breath, tell you I
am going, going to another lighter
man, a man who is uglier than you.



The Topics Of Women And Love And Stuff

Old women drive backwards, Linn squeaks
as she talks over the phone to new Hank.
And he doesn't say a thing except breathe.

Linn continues, I seen em and it doesn't
scare me at all cause I know they're a-
going to a good place. Hank whispers in-

to the receiver that he loves her. Linn
says, I know this girl who wants nothing
but warmth anymore when she and her hub

hit the rack. And he agrees. Hank says
thanks for the call and her observations
on life in America, but he wants to know

when they can see each other. The sooner
the better. Linn cries, I wasn't meaning
much, just talking, but I can't see you

for awhile. Cause I gotta hair appoint-
ment today, and tomorrow, gotta run pals
around, and the next day gotta go get a

divorce, and that might take awhile cuz
Jimmy is off trucking deodorant down to
Alabama, somewhere near big, red Mobile.



A Breakup Of Small Proportions

Jim said, Akron will awake me.
In a music room on the U of A
campus some imponderable pianist
will cry out his syllables from
his web site. Afterward, he will
warm himself by the fire at some
blue collar tavern while I drink
my way into his lyrics. I will
see him plain. I'll read bibles
to try and explain him. He will
tell me words like whither, and
I will goest to the nearest, ah,
dictionaryst and not understandth
a wordth. Years, it will be eons
before I get any of his verbs.

In the mean time, Linn is eating
her way through her after-work
kind of life. And says, I don't
know what you want of me. There
is little mystery in me. Or Bach.
I am a pantheon of hate for you,
but I still like our sex. Like,
divorce me the same moment you
fuck me. Jim, I want range, I
want invention, I want to be a
toccata that ain't a fugue. &
I want our partita to dissolve
like the wind in the dying willows
in spring. Got me? Jim slowly
cries, I'm on the way out now.



The Frictionless Gift Of A Turtledove

His bloodheat is as windowless
as the love I know he has for
me. Linn was talking about a
new fellow, Jimmy Sadders, who
lived over on E. 140th off of
old Buckeye Rd. I got feelings
he's gonna stick, be around &
with me through everlastingness.

Linda had just lost her career
as a busser for Cool's Last
Truck Stop off of the Lakeland
Freeway. She was in no mood
for love. Said, I gotta notion
your full of Linn-shit again.
I heard this afore, like Jim's
the negative of infinity. Like

this'll last like two years afore
you got the adoration bug for
this brute. Anyway, when's, a...
the last time you worked, I mean
you're getting to be esoteric
about life cause you get to sleep
in all the time. Linn, staring,
staring out into the brown tones

of winter in Cleve, said, I got
it,...you and death have become
partners, and it's, I mean,...
death is slanting you and turning
you into a Waiting For Godot kind
of dicy humanoid, who spouts her
aches to everyone around. I
ain't got that, a,.. malaise, yet.



The Ten Cubes Of Life's Dream

Linn sat there having her
morning coffee. She was
stacking sugar cubes and
watching them tumble. He
was still sleeping. Linn

hadn't called her friend
Linda in awhile. Jim was
working six days a week.
Ten hour days. Linda's two
were on sleepovers and

Linda had not even called
mothers to see if the eves
went okay. Linn heard Jim
fart in their bedroom near
the kitchen. She also saw

that she had not put out
a thing to thaw for dinner.
The phone began to ring
and Linn allowed it to go
on and on to wake up Jim.

It did not. It finally
stopped. Linn then set a
personal record for stack-
ing ten cubes on top each
other. She did not smile.


twenty one

Women Are All Wet After A Storm

That girl will grow up
to be a great man, Linn
said as she folded her
laundry. This time of
her life she has four
living at home. Lill
said, sure and she'll
make more money, she'll
have less kids than you
or me put together. I
wonder what kind a guy
it is, who like kisses
her as she counts green?

Linn said, I need a job.
Lill said, ya got one.
Linn goes, yes, and so
does the woman who says
hi when all of us enter
our Lutheran church one
block from here. Linn
goes, hope it stops a-
rainin soon. Got way
too much laundry to dry.
Gettin tired of all of
the damn moisture round
in this damn damp valley.


twenty two

Linn Says I'm Startin Ta Not Like Sex

The kind of weather I like at night
is a high wind. Then, I can't hear
myself sleep, and I do sleep better.
I can't believe he told me that and
I had to listen to that. Linn was
readying to change to another man.
And she was telling Linda all about
it. Linda was reading an old Plain
Dealer and watching Wheel of Fortune
at the same time she was changing a-
kid-she-was-watching's diaper. She
spoke into the receiver, just t'other
day you said you would marry the guy
in a month, ya loved him so, so much.

What happened? Linn laughed, he came
afore I needed him to come this morn.
I mean, I told em I wasn't ready yet.
And then bam, da fluid's all over my
belly button. Linda, I hate Viagra.
L lady read Linn a story in the PD
about a woman in Lakewood eating so
many dried peaches that her toilet
system overflowed and the effluence
killed a baby of a mom who was leasin
the basement floor of the up and down.
Said, I guess there's all kinds of
birth control in our little world
anymore. Hey, Linn, ya like babies?


twenty three

With Love One Always Tells The Truth

Linn exhaled into the receiver,
this man I'm seeing took it in
his head to no longer invert
any phrases that spewed out of
his head cause I didn't like
that about him. Man, he must
love me; that's what I phonate.

Linda coughed. (Guess, at her
age, the cigarettes were being
heard from her, not just seen.)
She said, sorry about this eve's
cough, but yes, I guess it means
he luvs ya. That's a big change
for an elderly man. He fuck

in bed well? Linn laughed, ah,
ya, very mature, takes his time
with me, ain't no bull in bed
like those young guys, and he
makes sure I'm wet afore he
shoves his weenie in my bun.
Linda giggles but quickly gets

the dig in: But da ya come?
Linn now hesitates, I, I, I...
I got to be honest with ya,
I mean, I never lie to ya, I
mean, I mostly have never lied
to ya, ya know in all the talks
we've had there's, ah, veracity.


twenty four

Love Slowly Gyrates Into Sex At Eighty

Appearing to always be leaning over,
the old man continually walked around
the house assassinating with his tread
the cheap rug Linn had bought when it
was for sale at a Goodwill Store down
in Buckeye. He wasn't wholely awake.

The solitary couch awaited him. He
didn't like talking on the phone. L
would come home from the parttime job
she had at the Burger King on E 118th
and say, whatya been doing today? He
would awake and fart. Arise and place

a kiss on her dry lips and say, been
doing housework and the such. Linn
would call Linda and tell her about
the scene. Linda would always say,
you get what you bargain for. Evening
would mean love making. Linn would

look forward to that and wake George
up by saying, whatya going to do with
your fingers tonight? George would
always say, the same thing you do with
yours. And they would both laugh, and
then, he would say, may I take off your

tight jeans? And then your shirt and
bra? And then your tight, tiny panties?
And then your ego, and have do with you
in a masculine way your young psyche
as I please you to the point of you
feeling like the coming of an Aug. storm?


twenty five

Reducing The Pressure Of A Woman's Steam

That old guy that sleeps with me
thinks Spuddnick reversed the trend
back then that made America out
ta be great, that we, Americans,
started feeling insecure, and so
that's why we hadda conquer all
them oil producing countries in
the Mideast. And then, with this
talk, he says he wants to make love
with me right then, and I say, I
just wanna go to bed so I can have
enough energy to work the BK job
the next afternoon 3 days a week.

Linda, I don't even know what is
a Spuddnick, and it's hard to make
love to a guy that takes until at
least two am just to get it up,
let alone have an organzm. L.
says, did he die in his sleep?
Ya know, most of them older men
wanna die in the middle of a gazm.
Hey, ya wanna go out and have two
brews afore you go ta Whoppa haven?
Linn cries, I,...I just want to
find a man,...a man I can love...
with my heart. Linda goes, maybe
Burger Whop'll hire a new retard?


twenty six

Being In The Center Of Love's Massive Circle

Linn made the mistake of stroking
his haunch. Man, the old guy started
to quiver within his solitude, like
a proemial enclosure was being petrol-
lit, like all his way-back-historic-
rubbish was being burnt to a toast.

He said nothing, except showing this
nervousness. Linn goes, hey, you
feeling your oats or what? I mean,
I got the feeling you're seeing eight
again; that time you told me about
in which that Sunday school teacher

examined your tiny pecker through
your Sunday's best trousers. Jim
said not a word, except he licked
his dry lips as he ejaculated like
when you shake a Dr. Pepper bottle
and it sprays all over ma's linoleum.

Linn laughs, I betcha you're in love
with me now more than ever. Except
you can't say a word cause you need
two days to recover from your a-bombs
on Hiroshima & Nagasaki in my inter-
vention of sweet hand love and such.

Jim was envisioning as he slept tons
of wanton thoughts in his thrall,
spots on black mini-skirts, echo
answers in millions of future gasms,
the chiding of Linn's hide within his
lips and bursting light in his soul.


twenty seven

A Guy Resides In Hough And Cherishes It

Linn said to Linda, I know I am going
with this older guy now, but I spoke
to this new guy, I mean, I met Rasheed
as he was cleaning my car at Willie's
Wash and Such on E. 113th. Linda
burped. She was downing too quickly
a cold root beer in July. Linn went

on, like, he was almost oblong, and
his skin looked like black olives &
it was mottled; had bronze eyes, and
his butt looked like it had been on
too many saddles; big dusky spots, like
appeared on his cheeks, but I mean his
lateral lines were complete. Had his

shirt off and man, I wanted to grasp
his caudal fin, flick this nig with my
tongue. Linda yells, okay, calm damn
down. You're getting your middle aged
clitoris in a quiver. I mean, did he
have any money. Linn goes, he said
he was drivin a 72 El Dorado, and

renting a hovel over on E. 155th from
his brain dead uncle who only got, like
arrested once for indecent exposure
after downing three bottles of Ripple
when he was forty eight and shoving
his head through his ma's front window.
I told him, what the hell, I like fun.


twenty eight

Her Dream Interpretations Taught Her About Her Impending Death, Like, Forty Years After Her Final Lover

Gotta lot of tombs I can hide
in. Linn had been reading some
book about being alive on earth
in the year 2040. Linda and her
had been chatting on the phone,
even though they live a house
apart in Buckeye, near Cleveland.

Linda said, huh? As she heard
the washer down the basement go
into the spin mode. Linn pushed
on; after years, a woman stops a-
bothering to rise on eves to like
ponder her vivid dreams. She does
not want to elaborate further her

old life with the next door girl.
Linda said, huh?! Linn adds, I
like old Jim and he is a good, I
mean, a good, good lover. But I
have grown tired of his wisdom.
You can tell, it's disturbing me.
Linda goes, oh! I told ya so.


twenty nine

Third Class Women Talking About Men

Jim was an unquenchable oddity,
and I loved him and left him
nearly in the same breath. He
didn't even cry. Linn was kind
of sad about the whole episode,
and she had had plenty of them.
Linda said, Joe doesn't cry cause
he is too old to have any tears.
They dried up during Nam. Yes,
my man, I will never leave him.

Linn quit her tears: Now, this
new man, this guy is manly, you
know, I mean, he has plenty of
errors in his personality. But
I like the plenty of Euroes in
his wallet. You know, he has
that strong Brogue in his words
and love-making. Linda goes,
You mean he fucks Irish? My
man makes blue collar love to

me. Linn responds, gotta get
him to make a commitment afore
he runs back to the Continent.
Linda's receiver was getting
wet now, I love it when he does
not shower afore he jumps me.
Like the smell of wet cement.
Ya know Joe's got a new job of
dumping cement in old driveways.
Linn responds, gotta lick Liam.



2 Columns Of Cubes Have 2 Columns of Roots

Linn's new beau, I believe it is
#6, is a mathematical mind; name
is Ezron Pie of Macedonia. First
thing he said while he was having
a Rolling Rock at Sneaky Pete's
in the Flats was, the cube root
of a square root really belittles
a number. I mean, I started feeling
sorry for the poor thing. I almost
cried at a thought of the lessening.

Linn introduced self, said, I gotta
answer to every question. Ezron
loudly related, and I got a question
for every answer you give. Hugged
and the evening took on the acrid
air of the putrid message of ending.
Like zero was coming. Like magical
equations like ex squared minus one
were on the block, like was what was
was within the perfect meter, and

like Linn & Pie had numbers on their
heads that would be angling at zero.
Linn quoted Einstein, God don't like
ta throw nothing but dice, or was
it? he ain't into whole numbers, sum-
pen like that. E. quoted his head
when he said, don't interrupt me as
I figure two columns this evening;
one infinity and the other a girl
who is getting pretty multi-gassed.


thirty one

Linn Seeks The Messiness of Culture

Her new beau she met at Dillards,
the one in Beachwood she went to
to find a rich guy. Liam said to
her as he was purchasing a robe,

I like to speak of recuperating
my wardrobe, like I am nursing it,
kind of accelerating it back to
good health because for like ten

years it existed in a sickly text.
Linn looked into his eyes, they
were around sixty five years old,
and said, I love a man who knows

clothes. He said, you are quite
rich in your interpretations. May
I ask your moniker? Linn said,
Linn. And Liam said, I am, yes,

this Liam McGonagle, originally
of Northern Ireland, straight
west of Scotland. I shall never
say England. Linn said, I do,

yes, like your accent, and hope
that it makes love well, that it
touches my wet love triangle in
a most delicate way in Cleveburg.


thirty two

Such Silly Things, They Make Ya Laugh, But I"ll Buy A Bottle Of New Wine

The sight of him is barely poetic,
Linn comments as she combs her hair
that morning in the mirror. A pal
Saar, listens intently, like she is
learning something important for her
in her dulled life. Then she says,
yeah, but his long hair goes across
his pages in lines that are apt but
irregular in intention. Hell, if
you don't want em, I do. Linn then
stares muscularly at Saar and says,

Sure, go head, what the hell, it
ain't none of my business, and who
cares? Two blocks away in Buckeye
Mike sleeps. It's 2 pm. Saturdays
don't mean much in this neighborhood
that is among Cleve's various burgs.
Linn adds, who the hell cares if my
hair gets white, I don't find 'like',
and kids become an echo of my parents'
desires. I mean, guys are just hunks
of flesh and don't know much of shit.


thirty three

Gloria In Her Glory Days In Ohio

Jimmi was in New Mex, Los Gatos
and saw a ufo, and it scared poo
out of him he told me. I mean,
I just think he was drunk again.

He told me here in Buckeye that,
I was goners and this thing made
me more goners. But I still love
ya hon. So I goes, I gotta think

about all this. Too much info
for my weak mind to gather, rest
with, and technically discuss in
any deep way. I mean, I have felt

that those things were figments;
you know, in the past. Jimmi says,
well, it's time for you to relook
at the outer world. I goes, that

scares me so I wanna leave ya. &
he goes, ok. So, Linn, that was
my day just before I got on Bus
#32 near E9th to find a job selling

insurance over the phone; some co.
called Heart Insur. Co. as that
damn hurricane, Isabel, or what-
ever, heads up towards our state.


thirty four

Sweeping Your Prayers Into The Closet

Linn said, to him death is
his second self. And he
doesn't like it. I mean,
I say, you know, oh, Jim
Zelski died at Republic
Steel, and he tells me to
shut my big mouth. Doesn't
wanna be reminded of the
ghost. Me, hell, I don't
care where or when. Linda

spoke, I don't know what
the hell you're talkin bout.
I just had the rugs cleaned
in our house. Linn, over
here in Buckeye, the geese
have arrived and he goes
and kills em. Doesn't like
their shit on our side of
the town. Wants me to fix
em, roast em. Damn, they're

greasy things. All this
death shit is a mystery to
me. And Joe, he says Black
Elk or someone said if ya
know death ya know the earth
is real and you are nothing.
And Bach is the only thing
to play when it comes into
your head. sitting like two
cellists hitting bass notes.


thirty five

Newsman Neil Zurker of "One Tank Trips" Thought This Story Boring

Linn spilled her Aquafina
all over her bed sheets
and was worried that Alvin
would think she, at her age,
had lost control of her
bladder. Washed and dried
them between 8 am and noon.
Al came home from work at
one. Linn asked him how
his morning went at Miller's
Tool & Die and he said, I
was tired the whole shift;
it seemed like there was
a mist in the air, a clean
mist, like there was a fog
coming from London, Ontario
and it was dragging my ego
right down. Feeling tired
right now and want to go to
bed. Al went to sleep. He
arose at one ten and said he
still felt wet and was going
to leave her and his two kids
and go live in southern Ohio
where things are drier, and
he could find a woman who
talked to him after work. Linn,
not speaking a word, got his
kids ready, talked of moving
to Buckeye. This item never
made it on the Channel 5 News.


thirty six

Answers Were Nevertheless Implied

She smelt the flowering currant;
passed it and headed to downtown.
Linn was crying, as she usually
did, at least, once a day. Said,
he is just legs and trousers.
What does he want? Hell, it's
spring. I'm losing another love.

In a moment a paltry significance
hit her between the eye lids.
The words: He has seen a boring
meaning in you and is still here.
What do you have to change him
for? For another of your projects?
Damn, let spring spring. Linn's

crying continued. Mid-age was
making her see her ending. She
yelled to no one but the noise
of downtown Cleveland, I am an
unrolled sequence of incidents
that knows her end is nothing
but the whirring and humming

of a frictionless engine. And
I want him to know this. Before
he decides to stay or leave. The
voice said, ah, this is good,
and you will see he will stay.
He likes gears. And you, you
like obscure flowers and fruits.


thirty seven

A Grandmother Asserts, The Truth Is Not Around

You gotta eat him, all of him
before he gets away, Linn says
as she cracks the skin of an
uncleaned carrot with her old,
delusioned teeth. Mary keeps
crying, saying mumbled stuff
like he's leaving me for a last
time and that's final. Mare is
ugly, I mean, so ugly that this
is truly a sad story. Cause Jim
is a warm body. Liked Mare
because she put out and more.

Anyway, there's a pause, then
Linn's mom walks into the room
after using the john and says,
you girls sound like you value
men. Hey, believe me, they
ain't worth the shit I just
dumped. I had one man once
who told me he loved me and I
could see he was telling me
the truth and I left him. It
scared me. I wasn't used to
the truth, especially from a man.


thirty eight

What A Woman Does When She Isn't Dating

Linn's face was stamped with anxiety
as she readied herself for the evening.
No one was coming over. No men. And
she thought, maybe I should clean up
the house to ready it for the weekend.

Deep down gloom was there, a dejection
that brought a load to her heart. She
said to herself, hell, no man is due
for the whole weekend. Damn. I mean,
I want someone. And he usually comes.

But when? Will he be tall, have big
balls; be short and talk like the man
who gives the weather report; or be
mean and unclean, and when we go out
in this Buckeye town, make a scene?

Or maybe, no man will ever come again?
The phone tingled. Linda's voice said,
you having a gentleman coming over this
night? Huh? You, you of all old gals,
do not have a guy with a ski at the end

of his name, coming over? Damn, excuse
me, I gotta go get a new heart at Sears.
Linn did not laugh and only said, I, I,
I think dating, wedding, and divorcing
days are over for me. I think I'll

check the sales at KMart, or watch news
of Channel 3 (I like Mona), or take
a long shower and wash my streaked hair,
or eat a peach (ala TS Eliot), or I
could exercise my will to commit suicide.


thirty nine

Linn, Her Only Child, and Their Time In Buckeye

The slants of light at the end
of winter days, they oppress you
like a church's tunes, says Linn

as she undresses her first child
as bedtime nears. All husbands
are gone now. Linda does not

call much anymore. Linn says to
Lori, there is more that your mom
does not know, much more. But I

will smile and not let you know
this. You will understand mom
as you become a woman, and know

I will be gone. Heck, I will have
been eighty five then. Smoking
will have killed me. I hope it

will not matter that you do not
know your father. Fathers don't
matter much anyhow. Lori looks

up and giggles. Does not care
that her mom is becoming an old
rumpled hunch of her past self.

Does not know that the maple-
leafed cup of this town she lives
in is now a riddled omen of what

life could be. The child does
not know that her cold life will
be well-illumined in 20 years.











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