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March 09, 2000 - Image 27

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-03-09

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14B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc. Magazine - Thursday, March 9, 2000





The Michigan Daily - feekend, etc. Mag

Breakdown Poem
by Melissa Jones
last night downtown dearborn
pissing out behind
the just-closed Big Boy

primal posei
the dumpster
onto dirt and

next to

thirty dollars worth of
cover and long islands
each splash specks on bar shoes
this is the title in two senses:
one is alcohol into urine
once internal now obesely
outside running down all over
two is in a body
a soul-less god-less
body chemistry rules all
so that an injection of
progesterone can promise
happiness no babies
(a state of mind somehow
removed from biology
still reveling in it)
so that six drinks can do the same
bring me here
to this exact point
this dumpster how to have a self
when you're technological exacting deliberate
but still hostage to a body and a bladder both

by Sunshine Jenkins
Usually the only evidence of the spiders
is their cobwebby structures -
little masses of threads between the radiator,
fine strings like fairy sail riggings between
the broad paddles of my jade plant,
sprawls spun cryptically on the blank surface of wall -
which reappear as quickly as I clean,
breaking them with my fingers.
What could the spiders possibly hope to catch
in the winter of my bedroom?
Why this tenacious fabrication of strings?
Their bodies are the golden cream of butter,
hardly darker than the walls.
They move about the room, silent
and inconspicuous as dust.
In the afternoon, when the light
is brightest and lays itself
in two long rectangles that swivel slowly
before slinking out,
I comb out the knots in my stories,
my hand assiduously drawing out the lines of words,
the way I imagine the duchesses in old paintings,
who seem to be stoically
tending to their tresses,
are inwardly enraptured by the sensuality:
brushing and brushing their smooth scarves of hair.
Once while I was writing, a spider slipped into view,
stopped in the curled edge of a paper
and folded together its spindly legs,
tucking itself into the tiny shape of a dash -
I held my breath as if
the still moment were. somehow
caught in a fine mesh of silver filigree -
impossibly, we floated
with the dust; two specks of light.

Try to fall in love at least once a
day. Maybe it's with the boy who sits
next to you during biology lecture.
He wears faded brown corduroys,
and when he rests his right ankle on
his left thigh, his knee nearly brush-
es your leg. Spend the entirebclass
vying for his attention, but don't talk
to him. Claim the armrest that you
two share, and cross your legs so
that your body faces his. You once
read in Cosmo that this sort of body
language always gets your man.
While you should be taking notes,
make up romantic fantasies of your
extended life together. You see your-
self waking up next to him on a cold
winter morning, cuddling under a
warm quilt. The morning stubble on
his chinv scrapes your cheek ever so
lightly, and though it's prickly, it's
tender and beautiful.
Wonder if this is the type of guy
who you wouldn't mind sharing
morning breath with.
After the hour, when the class lets
out and he hasn't asked you to marry
him, decide he isn't worth your time,
at least not until the next bio lecture.
On your way home from class,
stare directly into the eyes of every
boy you pass. Your evaluation skills
are so fine-tuned, it's practically sec-
ond nature. Too short, nice eyes,
really tall, pretty face, too preppy,
perfect. You feel competitive when
they walk next to girls, outright hos-
tile when the two are holding hands.
Give up on this method halfway to
your dorm, before you go insane.
Jealousy is never an attractive trait.
Besides, you're a pretty, educated
woman. You should be above' this
While walking through your dorm
hallway, you spot your well-built
neighbor emerging from the boys'
bathroom, wearing only a towel. His
arm muscles flex while he cradles
his soap and shampoo bottle. You
blush, then quickly look away.
Besides the guys at swimming pools
and beaches, you've only seen two
half-naked men in your life - your
father and your 12-year-old cousin
- and these weren't exactly enticing
images. You pray your neighbor nei-
ther noticed your red face nor heard
your thumping heartbeat, and you
try to continue down the hallway in a
most casual saunter, pretending to
be fascinated by the yellowing walls.
When you walk in your door, the

fetched. And besides, you go to such
a big university, there must be some-
one here you're destined to be with.
Unfortunately, it's already
December, and you haven't had any
luck, other than fooling around with
some of the guys on your hall when
your floor decides to get drunk on
weekends. But you aren't really
interested in these boys; they're just
kind of practice for when you really
fall in love.
The next term, fall in love with
your French teacher. He is small,
with blond hair and chiseled fea-
tures, and although you suspect he's
gay, you find his accent so sexy, it's
impossible to pay attention during
class. Visit his office hours. Tell him
you want to work on your accent for
when you study in France in a few
years. Sometimes he'll reminisce
about his life in Paris, giving you
tidbits of personal information, like
how he lived on Boulevard St
Michel, near the Latin Quarter, by
Notre Dame. That night, you dream
of the hotel room you two share


by Cheryl Bratt

howling with a club tongue,
Like the honey said,
(you got to) go.

Woman, leave.

To the Girl Behind the Cash Register at Hallmark's
10 by Michael Lombardo

red button on your answering
machine is blinking. Maybe it's a
boy asking you on a date.
"Hello, girls, this message is for
Sarah. Sarah, it's Grandma Esther. I
haven't heard from, you in a very
long time. How are things? Call me
when you get this message.
Find your grandmother's phone
number in the address section of
your tattered daily planner. It's
located under "G," because all your
names are listed by first name in
alphabetical order. In college, you
rarely know anyone's last name.
"Grandma? It's Sarah. How are
you?" you cheerfully greet your
"Oh hello, dear. I hadn't heard
from you in so long, and I wanted to
make sure you're okay. How's
"Oh, it's fine. I've just been really
busy. I've got lots of papers to write
and tons of work to do."
"And how's your romantic life?"
"Grandma, I'm in college to learn,

not to find a boyfriend," you chastise
her. Your grandmother's the type
who wants everyone to be happy and
in love. She reminds you of Yenta,
the Matchmaker.
"Listen, honey, school is also
about having a good time. If you
don't have fun, what's the point of
living? Do you hear me?" Actually,
maybe she's more like Blanche from
the Golden Girls.
"Yes, Grandma, I'll keep that in
mind." Think about your grandmoth-
er's last remark after you hang up the
telephone, but not too much,
because it will only depress you and
give you a headache.
When you came to college, you
gave yourself until February to find
a boyfriend. Your older sister fell in
love in March, and so you, too, are
destined to find the right person.
Besides, not that you don't love
Erica and think she's a wonderful
person, but you secretly figure you
are generally prettier than she is,
with your red hair and hazel eyes, so
your goal doesn't seem so far-

Her name tag simply reads "JENNY"
in thick block letters, but she has added
a small daisy drawn in blue sharpie
with a heart-shaped pistil in red.
And he likes the flower very much,
but not quite so much as he likes
the breast upon which it lies.
He clutches the bright Mother'sDay card
he came here to buy tightly, tighter,
crumpling watercolor balloons and calligraphy
between the moistness of his wrinkled fingers.
His breaths are stumbling over each other, words
swirling like confetti around his head,
and his head is not alone for his drawers
are holding their own ticker-tape parade.
Then: he realizes his obviousness,

averts the gaze, scrutinizing instead piles
of assorted kitsch and cheap candy and
Beanie Babies with dumb, plastic eyes,
fearing that his glasses like teleprompters
were displaying his silently composed hymn
to the rounded roundness of those two delightful bubbles -
but in his song they would not be bubbles
for bubbles are such trifling things.
It would be too much, he thinks, to hope
for a wisp of a smile like Da Vinci's Lisa,
were he to unclench his teeth and loose his song.
Most likely she would think him just another
pervert in a line of hairy-handed perverts,
panting like an old wolf staring at the moon,
or rather two moons, hanging pendulous
against the firmament of a blue t-shirt.

Ufe £ttgm 9 t1

Editors: Toyin Akinmusuru, Jeff Druchniak
Contributors: Cheryl Bratt Chris Fici, Seva Gunitskiy, Sunshine Jenkins, Melissa
Mather, Curt Prudden, Joeile Renstrom, Sarah K. Skow.
All selected contributors are University students whose submissions were judged b
Photo Editors: Jessica Johnson, Dana Linnane, David Rochkind.
Photographers: Louis Brown, Sam Hollenshead, Jessica Johnson, Dana Linnane, Je
Cover: Photo illustration by Daily Photo Editor Louis Brown.
Arts Editors: Christopher Cousino, Managing Editor; Gabe Fajuri, Chris Kula, Ass
Editor in Chief: Mike Spahn

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