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More BMR Authors' Books:

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Small Boat with Oars of Different Size
by Thom Ward

Viking Brides
by Richard Cumyn

Interesting Monsters
by Aldo Alvarez

The Gauguin Answer Sheet
by Dennis Finnell

Rosicrucian in the Basement
by Robert Sward

by Aaron Roy Even

The Blue Moon Review


Two Poems
by James Harms

A magnifying glass, two poker chips
and a plastic dinosaur in his pocket, Walt
falls asleep mid-chew, leaves the rest
of his bologna to the charity of winter,
its thrifty hours south of noon.
Carnations the color of plums, the daisies
gone first, petals floating in a vase.
February in West Virginia, sunlight
through windows buttering
the pine floors, a basket of warm clothes
to fold, Phoebe naming them:  blue sock,
pretty dress, blue sock, every shirt a sort of
hat.  At five o'clock the postman rings to let us
know he's late.  And the light seems to sizzle
as it settles into shadows, at the edges of which
something moves.  Something always moves.

* * *

So Long, Sunset Boulevard

Is Red Foxx still alive?  We shared
a friend who ended up
as strung out as a pair of boxers
on a nice day in West Virginia, the traffic
along Route 50 lifting just enough breeze
to air out the underwear,
who started as a dealer and paid his mother's
rent and kept his brother
in private schools until he was old enough
to know enough
then ducked into the leaves and never said so long
to anyone, not to to his best friend who ended up
I wish I knew, he was my friend, too,
not to Hollywood and the easy marks, all those
tourists to Junkieland ready for
anything wrapped in foil, not to Highland
and Las Palmas and Wilcox and Vine,
all the cross streets west of Gower,
not to here and here's the rub:
he never said so long to Sunset Boulevard,
which has a way of seeming endless as it winds
toward the Pacific, where anyone
can end up out of road and alone
in the crowd above the sea, where
anyone can stand on the bluffs and watch
the ironic sunset, the air alive
with ozone, with all
the parts per million, the grenadine pink
and safety vest orange, where Red Foxx
if he's still alive sips coffee
at a picnic table near
the phone booths, our friend
waiting, his hand
on a receiver and thinking about
what's next: a meeting with
his brother's teacher, a date with his
mother's gutters (all that clutter and sag),
but for now the waiting around for
a sound at sunset, the wind
in a dropped bottle, the sizzle
of waves drawing back, a bell above
the traffic, a chance to say
Hey and how much, to say OK and so long.

James Harms is the author of three books of poetry, the latest of which, Quarters, was published in 2001 by Carnegie Mellon University Press. His fourth collection, A Clock on Hollywood Blvd., will appear in 2004. He directs the MFA Program at West Virginia University, as well as the West Virginia Writers' Workshop.

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