Written By: Coco
As I scurry to the library from the first day of English 7 ,INSCAPE Magazine Publication I am anxious at what history can teach me. Giddy and delighted to be in my favorite atmosphere surrounded by the leaves of sacrifice the trees on shelves begin to speak to me. They show me their lives through paper covers of memory. I am touching the souls of lives now over 73 years of age.
Simple crafted human hands fold over colored corpse’s and stamp there branding on them. Stapled together with their kin now covered in ink markings of thought and feeling, a book is formed. I hold each one as if I am holding a baby bird in my palm. Wings spread and flap with each page turn. The beauty of existence and the harshness of troubled times come together in the engraved, stamped and stapled trees.
I caress the embossed logo of educated literacy. “Pipes of Pan” it reads. The fluted faun plays his flute to the God’s defined above him as “An Anthology of Student Writing.”
A smile pushes my cheeks into my eyes, as I squint with crows feet imprints on the sides of my face. Tracing my index finger over the embossed text of “Pasadena City College Library.” A small star at the bottom of the logo. There is a type of joy I feel holding history in my hands. Reading the passages of time lapsed writings of others before me.
I inhale the scents of childhood wonder, the smell of books. The musty yet sweet aroma of print and paper. My mind already dancing in the song of words played in my head.
Turning the page to reveal hidden treasures of yesteryear the passage announces proudly;
I glance at the backside of a see-through tattoo before admiring the names of those that jumped in the leaf piles of verse. As they relished in the colors and images they saw choosing each leaf carefully to compile the scrapbook of life that fall of 65’. I’m a time traveler shaking hands with the staff.
Thanking each one personally for this wonderful gift. They leave instructions at the bottom of the page so that each detail is archived for the future. I reverse my eyes back to the top of the page and read each name carefully.
Anne Gladfelder, John Goodwin, Sylvia Hamilton, Ron Jaffe,
Miki Nottoli, Richard Ruge, Jan Schneidewind, Linda Siggins,
Candy St. Clair, Rita del Valle, Bob Walter, Blair Hardman,
Leigh Craig Wright, Mike Steinberg, George Galamba
Publicity Nanette Pike, Miki Nottoli
Cover Design Jean Van Name
Compositor Larry Lindblom
Adviser Beatrice T. Rodenburg
Printing Adviser Fred Hammond
Art Advisor Norman C. Abbey
From cover to cover although there is no art or pictures like Alice In Wonderland Would Discover “There are a great many books in this world without pictures.” I could go on and on about the beauty of this issue. I chose instead to let the words speak for themselves. Here is a Cento I composed, whispered to me through the trees of Vol. 21.
Pipes of Pan /INSCAPE Fall 1965 Archive Cento
Someone told me once that little boys
don’t have heroes anymore
my squirming boy inside
Little live boy
His head was forward, held in his huge hands.
His massive torso heaved and jerked.
hand in hand
with no thought of unicorns
See the man, see the funny man laugh at him
He’s going to die in May
as I squeeze my mind-sponge dry to try
and keep a float the punctured past
A single whispering grass blade
growing through the eye of its keyhole
Butterflies in my spleen
I’m a flower in the green glass blades and I splashed
stars when I parted the waters
Lying on Marshmallow bed sheets
Trying to extinguish the dark
But there ain’t no bread
the surging silent shouting of your eyes
it gives me wicked windowpains
Not once has a snowflake been carved by a cold chisel
Black as dirt and wise as Moses
We’ll fall asleep and wake
To feel corpses crawling and snakes strangling
You’re getting sleepy, very sleepy; the whirlpool is
And the windows look in on us
I speak of love which slews in silent pots and bubbles slowly;
thickening with the time spent stirring the weight
of constant faith
yet some how everyday I am baptized again
Sholom my friend –
The Kingly Cobra
Seduced by persistent bee
tapping on earths door
Brown parchment petal
Brittle now beneath my toes
Once budding velvet
deep forest encoffined with vapor
Its fifteen yards of ivory bones glow softly in the shade of time
Now there’s something that adds a little spice to life,
or at least to your after-dinner conversation
Calm, they sit…the great volcano ours its lava on another town
Gravel road growls beneath the car
And snakes hissed the tune of the banshee’s wail
Under layered leaves, Thrashing serpent surely lurks:
Kitten’s paws peeks out!
I’ll leave a crack no wider than a blade of growing grass
to milk some greatwhitefather god or pluck ancientantique
Shinning copper trees
When I was a witch I chewed up diamonds
Original pieces Written By:
Paul G.Arakelian,Linda Siggins, Annabel Wilson, Lee Collins, Ann Gladfelder, John Goodwin, Elaine Stube
Miki Nottoli, Mike Steinberg, Karen Carnahan, John L. Jeffersson Jr., Bob Walter, Jan Schneidewind, Dick Ruge
Ron Jaffe, Lynne Williams, Mike Willett, Blair Hardman, Eleven Candy St. Clair, Sylvia Hamilton, Leigh Craig Wright, John Egert
Check out this issue in the Shatford Library to read the entirety of each poem.
Coco is a Pasadena poet, public speaker, and performance artist. Her work is born of trauma and overcoming medical impossibilities. Writing is her secret to enduring. She is the author of Unicorn Psychosis, a collection of poetry, and has been published in Lummox 8, the Altadena Poetry Review (2019), Spectrum, and through Animal Heart Press. She is Spectrum Publishing’s Historian, Los Angeles Poet Society’s Archivist, Askew Lit co-host, Fall 2019 INSCAPE Director of Operations – Chief Consulting Editor and loves being a mother, mentor, and mental health advocate.
PCC Inscape Magazine, housed at Pasadena City College, is following Coronavirus protocols. At this time our staff continues to read submissions and publish web content.
Blog Posts reflect the opinions of the writer and not the opinions of Pasadena City College or Inscape Magazine Editorial Staff Members.