Speechless the Magazine

 To render. Be rendered. Awestruck. Awesome.
A magazine of poetry and related arts straight from L.A.



Charles Harper Webb


Trashy Girls,


Mom would've called them, with their jeans
tight as grape-skins, their shirts that halt
above the diaphragm, baring table-tops


of brown belly, and the glint of navel-rings.
Their fuchsia lips would give a bee heart-failure
as, raised on high by platform shoes,


their eyes, in purple shadow, scourge the air.
Their waists careen into the smooth flare
of hips. Their breasts precede them


as sirens do fire trucks. "Pull over," they scream.
"Check me out for free." Then, "Don't
you dare!" They (the girls) prowl malls


in pairs, incinerating with their scornful stares
the racks of clothes they can't afford,
the clucking women, gawking men, yipping


packs of kids who drag young mothers down.
By sheer defiance, the girls fend off that Fate
while moms out buying clothes for their sons


tense their lips the way mine did, and clutched
her heart, watching me man-handled, dragged
into bondage by my bulging eyes.


Writer's Statement


I want my poems to be, not only as well-written as good prose, but as compelling. In the battle for people's attention, I want my poems to win. I write accordingly, using every ounce of poetic craft, imagination, wit, skill at observation, and psychological acumen I possess, and leaning hard on my own sense of what's exciting, dramatic, emotionally charged. Boring art is bad art. If a reader says "Huh?" or "So what?" about a poem of mine, that reader may have failed me, but I've certainly failed that reader. I write to do for others what my favorite writers do for me: rock my socks off, and change—for the better—my world.

Charles Harper Webb's book AMPLIFIED DOG won the Saltman Prize for Poetry and was published in 2006 by Red Hen Press. His book of prose poems, HOT POPSICLES, was published in 2005 by the University of Wisconsin Press. Recipient of grants from the Whiting and Guggenheim foundations,  He directs Creative Writing at California State University, Long Beach.


Speechless Spring 2007
Copyright © 2007 Published by
Tebot Bach