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A magazine of poetry and related arts straight from L.A.


















David Lazar


Notes for a Notebook Full of Questions


Is the opposite of a double cross a cross, and if so, what does that make a Judas, what does it make of the guy who thinks he's steering you clear when he really leaves you hanging like a red dishrag on some clothesline in East St. Louis on the coldest night in winter? He didn't have to make you red, you think.

Is the opposite of genuflection something like reflection, something like the way a car slowly rolls by, and you're standing on the curb seeing your face flash, or flicker just the way you think you might have seen some hint of lightening in the sky, or perhaps what you experience when you're standing alone in an empty room and someone carrying a mirror rushes down the hallway past the open door you're facing?

What's the easiest way to forget you're going to hell, and what's the slowest way to get from the Bowery to Hell's Kitchen?

What's a taste of your own medicine when you're feeling pretty snappy other than that one little flap of skin?

If you really hadn't known, and because of that didn't mean to, would you have anyway, over and over, and then have bought the turpentine with your last sawbuck?

Why did her dress hold her body that way, like it was speaking to you, like it had all the answers that had ever been spoken in that roadhouse, that little spot between where and where was it that, try as you might, you can't seem to ever get out of your mind?

Even then, back in the "good" days,
she had a feeling she'd wind up...

Good Idea

I had one good idea in my life, and it turned out to be a bad idea. I sit at the window and watch the plans we made roost, leave their droppings, and fly off to God knows where. It wasn't just talk, wasn't just this and that and that and this, and boom boom we're in the money and the temperature's always 82, and your suits look like they were made for you, and not some monkey in Brooklyn. We thought about things, and we used our eyes. We had a guy inside who knew all the dope and was married to somebody's sister. We made sure our watches were wound and running at the same time. We slept well and remembered to leave our gaudy ties at home. We called our mothers and said Hail Marys, loaded our gats, and even checked the tides. Then all of a sudden it's like you're walking into a wall of warm air, your arms get heavy, and you remember the one little thing that turns a good idea into a bad idea, the one thing that you know you really knew, but just didn't think enough about. Boom, boom, there's no money and the birds might as well be heading for Capistrano, or any other place where birds go to on their way to God knows where.



David Lazar is the author of Powder Town, a book of noir prose poems, from Pecan Grove. He has recent work in Sentence, Denver Quarterly, and Laurel Review.

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Speechless Spring 2011
Copyright 2011 Published by
Tebot Bach