Home Previous Page Previous Issue Info for Contributors Send Feedback Next Issue Next Page Search

Gangway #2Holly Lalena Day
Three Pieces

Pat Buchanon

Make me believe you, Pat Buchanon,
icon preaching from the shaky t.v. screen, sandwiched between Kmart
blue-light specials and ads condemning herion
my own brand of shakes. Raise my body, cruciform
from this nightmare of cold sweats and invisible centipedes
this place empty of everything and nothing, the words "junky" and "nigger"

that greet me every morning. The kike
that owns my building worships Pat Buchanon,
gives me that sour look as I walk past his own room, free of roaches
stocked with knickknacks and furniture I could only dream of finding at Kmart
during any sort of special. I slip pictures of Jesus, spread cruciform,
under his door, something in exchange for the herion

he never has. He's the one that got me started on herion,
old Yid doctor, him and his wife who looks more like a Chink
than a Jew—watched her body bend, cruciform,
opening for me the first time we kicked together, Pat Buchanon
omnipresent on the t.v., and again in my room, on my own Kmart
linen, flicking and stomping out German cockroaches

crawling on the walls and the floor. I arched like a spider
over her tiny soft body, felt the herion
try to steal my erection as the t.v. blared Kmart
commercials in another room. I don't know what nigger
would or could watch t.v. while his wife was getting the Pat Buchanon
from someone like me. I closed her cruciform

around my small wounds, closed her cruciform
around me, against the onslaught of millipedes
and roaches, closed us off from a world of Pat Buchanon
sound bites blasting eternal, asked silent what herion
did for her, little rich girl, having her night out with a black man
while her husband ate popcorn and puked, junk-sick himself, during Kmart

intermissions where everyone looked just like his wife. In Kmart,
you never find teenaged white models, lying cruciform
on beachtowels, modelling swimsuits. You find nigger
drug addicts pushing overflowing shopping carts of ant and roach
killer, some new form of drug less addictive than herion,
the people master Pat Buchanon

likes to pretend don't exist: the minority coloured that don't like Buchanon
either, crawling from crab-infested beds to face working at Kmart
binding themselves, cruciform, to each other, like herion.

Divider Line

Boots IV

Boots kicked the boy.
The small boy was lying in a pile of corpses.
Someday, a woman will trace the long white scars on your back and ask where they came from.
He scattered a handful of razorblades on the ground.
Someday, your own son will go to war.
This will all fade to yearly get-togethers with old army buddies.
Someday, reporters will ask you what you did during the war.
You will get a brief five minutes on a Time Life home video for this.
If your child is born with no arms or legs, will it seem unfair?
All the old ghosts will be replaced with new ones.
Boots stood nearly seven feet tall.
The man reached into the left breast pocket of his uniform.
Boots had hair so blond it was almost white.
Boots dragged the small body over the pile of blades.
"Let's play a game," Boots said to the boy.
The child's arms were around the waist of his mother.
In war, certain people become shining stars.
Skin peeled away like the flesh of a potato.
"You are not really dead."
A piece of metal sank deep into the boy's pale cheek.
Someday, your child will ask you what you did during the war.
The boy's eyes opened as if in shock.
He swung the little boy high into the air, high above the bodies of his dead parents.
No blood poured from the black holes in the boy's body.
Bombs went off in the background.
Bombs set just over the next hill, a sunset in the wrong direction.
Boots grabbed the little boy's right hand and right foot.
The sharp metal of the razors sliced thin through the boy's face.
Someday, this will all be washed away in Prozac numbness, in the peace of a military nursing home.
Boots had a very large penis.
Boots made a point of inserting his penis in every dead person he came across.
He swung the little boy lower, lower to the ground, until the body was dragging over the ground.
The white of the little boy's eyes stared straight at Boots.
"You are not really dead."

Divider Line


When I think about my brain
deep inside my head, I take
another breath. I think about
my lungs, giant airbags inflating,
deflating, deep inside my chest.

The bones protect them. Protect
me. They are a cage for my
potentially rebellious organs. I can feel them
deep inside my body, waking up,
going to sleep.

Waiting for that
potential auto accident,
anaesthetised surgery, when the
ivory gates are opened, the prisoners
exposed. Ready to leap out and
escape. My heart rattles against the
backs of my lungs, rattling at the bars
of my ribs.

I could refuse to breathe,
let them atrophy to nothing,
cave them into

I can feel them deep inside me
waking up
going to sleep

ready to leap out
at the slightest


© Holly Day and Gerald Ganglbauer 1996 Copyright Disclaimer