r u s s    s t e p h e n s


dearc gradations


Chewed berries were cut
angelically and placed
on the bottom of my

My arrival rendered
a warm snuff from
the river, Harlem's
thick sea. Widowers

dearc ( jarc ), n.f. , [ Gael. ], A berry; a grape,an eye; dearc lionta, a full,
  beautifully shaped eye, a cave , a hole.




churned a puppet
excitement, netted strings
from Jersey; I turned
my head at the barbed
wire holding in a church
and its normalcy—crying
for a tabula rasa, as
the homeless spread

garbage upon the entrance
stairs —looking for vital
clues of God with needles
and food that might
have collected off of
ossuary deposits.




In August, trash leaks
a starving flesh, galuban:
weaned from a septembrist
memory, causing eyes to
taste rust sheathed
into questions of stripped
cars parked in the middle
of the street, of a promise

galuban, n.m., [ Gael. ], band of dugs of a mare to prevent the foal sucking.




rinsed in place, or
exit, an infertile
gley periphery

rises from sitting
red broch




I woke holding the
past that made
me appear
with a redness—
a lean ambient itch
due to the resting metal,

flattening my writing
hand blackening my
mouth with tiresome
silence, the perfect eraser.




It was 2 p.m., and I lost
meant New York hours,
so I hid behind Shai's
French doors and stayed in
the fold-out bed

( knowing he wanted me in his ).

I masturbated.

Leaving a celibate semen tease
linger in the living room

for Shai to come home

But Shai didn't come.




as the wearing smell
of the muliebral virgin
blinded his bed,

and I fell

to imaginary fathers
still trying
to hold my crotch

and heal artificially     in this Muslim home.




I found a postcard that pictured
Elvis boxing with a smeared
macedoine print from a paw,

as I heard the falling gait

of a cat

( 6 floors up, 2 stories holding ),

and a message from Shai on his machine.




wanted me to meet him
at his office.    I   dressed
myself   and exposed my   alien
white   tail      to the blare

of Samba that incinerated
  the brownstones with Harlem ritual

of secret Spanish laughter.

Then to Midtown, where I traded
   my token for rows of peopled suits

and vast , vast sleight

from the comb of buildings
incisors that rolled out
a huge hypnotic twilight.




Inside was a guarded blank
totem that elevated frontiers
to the unfinish of capitalist

This is where I met Shai.

We went back down and
hopped in a taxi, and then
stopped it , briefly on
51st and 5th Avenue for
a man, who sold us hors d'oeuvres
outside our window. Shai
said, "This is what I love
about New York!"




Braille petals skirted the
streets, delivering us
in fashion to the Village,
where I met Shai's lover, Tim.

A ministry of faux-family
patronage showered over
him with the taste
dearc  in exhaust.

We ate eanbhruich
 a flesh stale flirt,
against the flushed broth
of bone-laced handlers
and their guttural curiosity.

dearc ( jarc ), v., [ Gael. ], see, behold.
eanbhruich ( envrich ), n.f., [ Gael. ], flesh soup,
chicken soup. Ir enbruithe, broth. en ( water ) +
bruith=uisce feola ( flesh-water ).      Corm.




A camaraderie of the flat-unreal
Villagers, friends of Shai bragged their reality
at our table. They were passages, who read
their lines of cackling porn stardom
and lifting nasal jargle
to a typically built jazz musician.

The personality scene gave way
to Tim's presence, who saw me as a runt—
too youthful to grow into this
raw set. He greeted me with quaint theca hands
of emicant precision
on muscle solace ( model turned masseuse ),
and a taisch grief
from a calling aseity holding
his unblemished body halo
through parasalene




I left Greenwich
and absorbed the
parasitic amrita that gouged a layered shop.
Plague deposits of makeshift
goods; lines of a torque stretched
the streets and lead
bird flavor.

The fraud-market
spillage leant to
slender recognition.
Beyond the
fake fur pawn, guarded
by a meaty force with
chains of Hip-Hop "bling-bling,"
lay an obsessive line
of pictures—autistically
displayed on the curb.
One of the pictures
was of Tim, stilled in oneiric
juvenilia and homoerotic trite.




I stepped around
that     interlards
and eludes
my acquaintances
lush,  intricate


RUSSELL STEPHENS's concentration in poetry has been a weave and merge with visual art/visual literature through the experiment with and the tradition of SONG PICTURES—Native American ideographs representing individual songs and extended series of songs that can be read out from them. The focus of his poetry has been with this merge through art exhibition, as opposed to publication. His current chapbook Of Lightning & Transients: a collection of eleven books is a work in progress. He hails from Minneapolis, MN, where he lives with compromised sleep, and lives out his lack of dreams.

I S S N     1 5 5 9 - 6 5 6 7