inter\face 10
                            Spring 1995


       This issue of inter\face is dedicated to Women on the Net.

Contributors to this edition of inter\face:

             Allegra Sloman
             antoinette claypoole
             Holly Bittner
             Nadya Lawson
             Druis Beaseley
             Tanya Manning
             Eliza McGrand


Please see the end of this document for subscription and contribution 
information and the address of our world wide web page.


inter\face is:

   An electronic literary magazine dedicated to exploring the
   relationship between poetry and electronic media. inter\face looks
   forward at the future of poetry through the acceptance, knowledge, and
   utilization of the ideas of past and present. inter\face is about
   language and writing, not computers.

to be a woman on the net is to live in the confluence of irritation
and exhultation . to see the gap . to live the gap . to regroup by
being alone . it is to twist in the wind of privilege while
hearing the singing just over the hill . -as

We are phoneixs rising,

Our mouths snatching
like fire
from the ashes
of burnt voices, dried tongues and closed throats

We are the speading dawns
whose welkins know no end to their children--
sky, ocean, mountains,
hope, love, life,

Whose wombs knows all that grows
above  away  beyond   this earth
stars,  ice,  novas

Whose minds know that conquest
with closed deafness, myopism, atrophy

	-our wings know not these things



Allegra Sloman

IN COLOURS UNSUSPECTED (in memory of Paul Blackburn)

looking...subsequently thinking and feeling.

The body still a quarry, to the end and beyond.

(He used to hitch-hike to see Ezra. Their own poet(h)ics,
 what to say in all the welter, why bother
 speaking of it, why keep trying.)

the gulls

a thread of lust and contemplation

(he died, _entered the grove_,
 before that provoking old man,
 was born and died in the fall)

after you die, is the world the smallest
portion of your legacy?

o god, that word again...try dressing it, a doll
or four-in-one puppet Red Riding Hood, Grandma
the wolf, the woodcutter

a rowdy poetry...unh...the intensely sensate poetry of
...eeyah...lovely stuff and buoys and gulls
and intersecting lines of love, the shoving
leopard of poetry (?) I can imagine
sitting with him, cadging his cigarettes, coughing
reflexively and laughing, mostly (as I do sometimes)

the voice of it,
a/cross the hours of a lifetime, finite
printing and pruning of _a life's work_ 
and living it - in simultaneity

Travel. I have never been south of Buffalo.
He picks out Dutch squares for me to walk around
and about. There is Spain, as seen from the marblehard
floor of all places, a bank. Is it that important, to move
this body through space, to be elsewhere and other?
To capture foreign winds and photons and bring them
back, if not for me, for whom? He _does_ it for himself.
To cerebrate the sensation without injuring it. Without
blasphemy. With no trace of the maudlin or mind of a mis-
anthrope. The self-destructing task unasked for,
unannounced original, unwelcome guest, to become
FULLY HUMAN. Implication BEING there's a way 
of learning what it means and then becoming

stance and twisting strings of DNA
the patterned hierarchies of status
and inheritance, everything
and nothing

where I came from  as many answers as
imagine  *styles of communication
and interpretation*  culture a language
around which lies have aggregated   nationality
determined by a collection of lawsuits

(i was a tree, a nematode, the muck
 primordial, jes' lucky I guess)

what was determined in advance  how many
chances do I get? who's in charge? who
would want the job? which questions are 
a waste of time
imponderable liberty . unquenchable lust .  inevitable end

a job like any other, glamour or craft,
attention to detail, a good memory - it has advantages
and pager going off at 2 ay em but then
again you're at the Muse's bloody beckon every
minute that you're conscious   grist   your own
blood, kids to put to bed
and deaths to mourn

One rearranges pain
so as to make it, somehow,
pleasing. Whether the wild
call under the window of
a lover or your own most private

t ou j ou rs  en iv ree

a special drunkenness informs
your every move . on a good day

The planing and the marquetry can wait.
Now that you've got your work cut out for you.

There's no talking to me in this mood. He knows
this much, keeps pummeling the modeling clay.  
Is dat your poem?

He knows. A cockroach slides out of
the keyboard. I lose it, cursing, in the chaos
on the table. It's dopey with the poison
in its body, climbs down the wire spiral, 
and I kill it. Did you got
him? Yes. I got it. 
Wander back to the sofa,
curtains closed, apartment airless, tea cold.
It's just the way I like it. Pick up the book
again. It was a gift. Why am I thinking of the death and
resurrection? He lived and died. It's just 
a fancy/cum/conceit to think the dead will rise  
not from their graves but from a library.  
O leave a diary. Historians will pry 
and you will live, live. Your children's eyes 
in colours unsuspected since the troubadours. 
Be translated, o my people, know what is ephemeral 
pay in the coin of that fading realm. 

Contemplate the polygons
of filtered light. The ceiling's
come adrift 
of perspective. The bed's 
a raft. My thirteen-month-old
snores like something in a cavern. 
The eldest heaves a parody of a
world-weary sigh, still sound asleep. 
Mi esposo grasps the pillow,
ballast against nudges from a 
flotilla of feet. Five
in the morning. A brief
untroubled sleep. It's waking
that poses problems.

If I ever get to New York, perfesser,
I'll find your grave and trace your name
with a finger. I make no petitions, 
these days. But if I ever make it
to the navel of the world, ultimate
port and paradise of matter,
I will find your grave and say
a word or two.


"Thank you for realizing a dream of five years' standing and
pubbing In Colours Unsuspected.  The kids I wrote about in the poem
are now almost old enough for net addresses of their own. And why
the hell not? their 86 year old great grandmother is getting a net
address too..."



antoinette claypoole

brown skin
deep spring
into womb
place dreams seep
heat soothes
liberated tomb
slap in the face
slaps of smelling
halt chiffoned heep of me
cloisonne pin
upon lapel and hat
they tried to make me that

walking behind
i giggle
earth sign fingers
tugging braids
"make room for me"
back straddling
can my belly be
bones which mount
medicine we share
can my knees
please and clutch
kiss  sun
danced skin

dark and free
i ride your back
ride you back
to unpaved places
wild fusion
transparent motion
Sky-wedded healers
come to walk
as One
sighing palm
becoming thigh
sepia cheek shoulder
mouth to ear
words of fear

beneath the fainting couch i hear beaded hatband man sliding
through    painted     wide   white   world

he carries
he rain
she rain
scrub oak

bring water to his life

bringing water to her life
no thirst
all ways
saves our people


Holly Bittner

Meditation on the Rebound

Amidst the fall
weekend twilight
I pack up my goddess breath
and wait for night
to pick me up so we can
fall together over you.
We show up in black
on your doorstep, you
greet me with
your cauldron mouth and I stir,
closing the door on the moon,
who does not own you.

Above the stairs I glitter
in the clutter of your chambers.
You encircle me and I
simmer, hard-boiled
concoction of your luxury.
You only eat red meat
and I am no chicken bone.
Here I am, woman-beast:
I can bleed for you.
You cannot conquer,
still you try to get in,
bury your self in my white skin.
Bound to my exposure, you're my
half-baked Prometheus.
You fire me up with
each ransom kiss.

But I am small, I will not
contain you.  Instead I wan
at your constancy, slide
down, slither around
your protrusion, your
Candlestick trickster,
you flickered out
after the glow.
Now I'm lying,
hardened fast in
this pool at
the bottom of you,
too stuck to
scrape off.

(Once, I walked
 on the side of a mountain.
 Life hung between me
 and the drop off.
If I leave, will you
find me in the midst
of my forest of inconsistencies
and if I rise up
with my screams
will one day
you retreat at
the locking of my knees?

You grabbed me up
in the sale of
someone else's certainty,
cheapened by the drudge
of dried-up desire.
I am here with you
because I choose to be
and because
I am not free.


Holiday (A Family Portrait)

     The men are gone.  The women peek at each other from behind magazines 
they are not reading.  There are three of them inside the cottage, a 
mother and her two daughters.
     The men have been on the lake since dawn, returning only for meals 
which the women had dutifully prepared.  Now the three sit alone together 
again in the small living space.  It is their third day here, or perhaps, 
the third phase of the same day.  In any case, the women have had their 
fill of clear Canada sky, and the sun's patient, mocking persistence has 
driven them to confine themselves indoors, daring to breathe only each 
other's air.
     By this time, there is nothing left to say.  It is no use 
complaining.  It is no use pretending they are happy.  There is no one but 
themselves to talk to.  The only other voice to be heard out here is the 
preacher from the church retreat, the Holy Rollers, they joke, across the 
lake gearing up each evening as the sun goes down, a recurring broadcast 
for the family's ears only, one they cannot turn off.
     Today too is tapering to an end and the women do not mention its 
fading but mentally cross off the separate blocks of time they have 
somehow successfully shared, with the same thick black X.  The sun begins 
to recede again, and the daughters rise up as if sleepwalking, moved by no 
apparent force , but leaving their mother alone in the cottage to head 
toward the water side by side, scanning the ground for rocks that might 
trip them.
     The sisters stand in silence on the dock for a long time, it seems, 
until the older one reaches into her pocket, pulls out a cigarette, lights 
it and flicks her ashes casually, either not looking or not caring where 
they land, or both.  The younger sister leaves her side, climbs down into 
the awaiting rowboat, pulls up the anchor and rows herself slowly away 
from the land, away from the other women, into the shadowy glare, 
disturbing the still water with her sudden motions.
     As the women become separated by space and by darkness, each hears 
the same voice boom out across the water from the other side.  
"Hallelujah!  We shall all be saved..."  The voice continues in exuberant 
urgency, unfaltering, for an eternity.  When it finally stops, the night 
is black and cool and not quiet but vaguely alive with the faint hum of a 
boat's motor, audible to both of the sisters, though they believe 
themselves to be apart.  The men are coming back.
     Somewhere, inside the cottage, the mother sits by herself, beautiful 
in bright, artificial light.  She has forgotten her daughters, her husband 
and her sons.  She listens intently to the mosquitoes smacking their small 
winged bodies up against the porch screen over and over, trying to get in.


Nadya Lawson

The Girl

She was a pretty, brown-skinned girl
A pretty brown-skinned girl but her hair,
	her hair was
	long, wavy her
long hair waved at me from
two plaited pony tails that hung 
	down to her chest
	and ended in red ribbons.
Her plaited pony tails pranced in 
rippled red ribbons that
	hung down
	to her chest and she
Was a pretty, brown-skinned girl with long wavy hair in
plaited red ribboned pony tails
	pranced down to
	her chest.
Her red rippled ribbons matched her red checkered dress.
The red ribboned plaits matched her
	her checkered
	dress and she was
Pretty, brown-skinned which
perfectly set off her pretty,
	brown eyes
	and she was
Kneeling in a brown pew, brown
palms pressed in prayer
	pressed up 
	to the heavens 
brown eyes pointed up to the heavens too, she
Was kneeling in a brown pew, pressing
	her eyes praying her palms
	pointed to heaven.
She was kneeling in a brown
pew, praying in a
	calendar that was
over my bed on a nail, she was kneeling
Praying with her red ribboned plaits prancing and her
	palms pressing her
	eyes pointing
in a pew on my calendar on my wall over my bed.
Under her picture read, "Fulton Family Memorial Funeral Home."
She looked like she was praying but I knew.
Oh she looked like he was innocent with her
	red ribbons and red
	checkers and
eyes and palms pressing, pointing up to the heavens
long plaits prancing, waving in that pew but I knew what she
	was doing
I knew that she was really thanking God I
knew what she was doing she was gloating really she was
	thanking God for making her
	pretty, brown-skinned with hair
long enough to plait long enough to ribbon long enough to 
Prance on her chest she was thankful to look like her and not
	like me and I  
watched her.
Every night I watched her praying, gloating really
being thankful for her long wavy hair that pranced even though she
	was pretty, thankfully and
Not ugly like me and I watched her, every night sitting in that pew
sitting in that calendar sitting over me gloating, not praying and
	I watched her thanking, praying and I
	Watched and prayed too. 
I watched and prayed to look just like her.
Oh I knew she was smug in that pew pretending to pray,
	but gloating really
	thanking really thanking
God that she was brown-skinned and not black
like me and thanking God for hair that was long
	not picky, wavy not
	nappy oh I knew she was
Thanking God for what she had but I watched and prayed I
watched and prayed I pressed and pointed to what she had
	too I watched and
	wanted all that she had


Druis Beaseley

Canto to Osun - Iya Mele O ondo

formed wh/her brother
shifted, stretched, quaked
pushed the stone a/part

up went trees
ridges formed
looking like reclining bodies
curvaceous - seductive

laps against the boundaries
of the deep brown banks
contain & concentrate
her power

you feel it - deep
like a marijuana high
smoky - altering your
sense of time   you know
space - floating

is always moving
flowing, ebbing
back and forth
center to shore
her sister the wind
blows over her, moving
her fluid depths
shifting & swirling

was once honored
ridden upon w/reverence
praised, fed,
sung to for the sweetness
sweetness of her waters
& gifts of substance

many ride upon her
for personal pleasure
no longer knowing th/
they are connected
she grabs a per/son
from their boat
& takes them to her

ebbs - laps -
lows - swirls
teaches th/
fluidity & flexibility
are the
sustainers in life.


Tanya Manning

Amorous Dementia

I've drank elixirs,
offered sacrifices,
performed rituals,
fasted and prayed.
Still the sins feel unforgiven.
Still I cannot cleanse myself.

Forgiveness I cannot claim
because you still draw me,
taunt me,
subdue me,
conquer me,
ravish me,

doom me.

I've dusted myself
with the most fragrant powders,
but your scents
won't leave my system.

Each of your fruits enticed me.
Each of your promises made me sway,
sway to you.
I prayed at your altars,
hoping in time
for the deliverance
from heartache
and the deliverance
of divine favor.

But I have been praying for years,
anticipating the advent of grace
for my faith in each of you.
But no one
showering me with a luminous love.

I thought each of you
was a god.
I knew each of your names,
your special incantations,
your special needs,
adopting them as my own.
Whether you needed 
a beast of burden,
maternal caretaker,
intimate servant
or game to be conquered
I was there.

I bore your usage of me
in hopes of you revealing to me
that my soul and offerings 
were pleasing to you.

I am unrewarded
for my worship.


Eliza McGrand

Dark Rosaleen

polishes under the buttons of her shoes,
laces her cambric hold-me-tight,
squeezes her soft ass past the black table,
between the door and the Sunday chair
to the moon's back reach, stars' lap,
rubs her hips, her cream-skinned back,
on dense grass rampant with violets
and dandelions gone to prickles.
There is no defense against Rosaleen
the Dark.  Fall into her hair, lick
her milky breath, dance against
what sings her feet, play the hammer
on her dulcimer, tease silver trickles
of angel honey.  Make a liquor
of Rosaleen as hard as a glass wall
and golden as loneliness in summer.


What Women Know

We know tautness
the balance
between what we
cannot accept
but are made
to accept

the bareness
beneath children's
fine, floating hair
and the smell
from their sleep

the pain we surround
and absorb into bones
the frag
of old female bones

the food going around
and around
before us
without stopping,
how essence    rises
juice seeps,
and how
it falls

	How the doll

   and who puts
   it back together


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