Two from Inland by C. S. Giscombe


Nothing to the sky but its blank endless chaos, old blue sky, nothing to it when it meets the eye. To me half a belief’s better by far or one broken into halves.

Trim paragraphs of uninflected speech hung over the prairie. Eros came up out of its den in the embankment—came out tawny, came out swarthy, came out more “dusky” than “sienna.” The sky was a glass of water. White men say cock and black men say dick. One gets even in the midwest, one gets even in the midwest, one gets even in the midwest. Eros was a common barnyard pest, now coming to be seen in suburban climes as well. Eros was a persistent kitchen presence, a technique, a song with lyrics, clarified & “refined” both. The day lengthened like they do but everything was over by nightfall. To me it’s foxes, most days.


A freestanding sexual image for the prairies might be a good idea—it’d have no meaning in a larger context and its existence as a shape might take shape between other ideas.

But proximity’s a weak argument finally, as if something was going to happen, and you’d be left with image itself, you’d be out on thin ice in the best of situations.

But what if it—the project of coming in with such a thing—had potential as a folk motif, a smoke-colored fool story, a joke on folks?

A sexual image about the prairie ought to be a good idea. One thing passing for a whole lot of reticence; there’s commodity there, and a vernacular address.

But what about the sameness of outline—well, they say love’s the way inland. Trek, trace, trick. Image taking the place by storm.

(Blunt and hopeless, image, an idea finally like clothes: suggestive and even hipped but lacking impulse finally, presentable, blunted up.)

The negative’s a presence. For example, that he she them or it is finally not all that. Like the prairie’s a joke on us (among us).

An allegorical woman walking toward the center then, a tragic mulatta say, a fairly conventional interlocutress, would be a good idea.

The speaking eye and the talking hands. Talk’s cheap, meat on a bone. Gimme some sugar.

The rhyme’s a standard funky valentine, lipped and hipped, sum of the songs: give it to me, bring it (as you’d say to a dog), craft it (or you can leave it alone).

Issue Five

Editorial: Sulfir R.I.P.

Sulfur & After

Geraldine McKenzie

Michael Anania

C.S. Giscombe

John Latta

Susan Sink

D.C. Berry

Reviews of: C. S. Giscombe

Reviews of: John Matthias

And: The Word From Russia

Samizdat Magazine, © 2000-2001 R. Archambeau

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