Skip to main content.
      MM MM O   O R   R P   P O   O     R   R E     V   V   I   E     W   W
 H    M M M O   O RRRR  PPPP  O   O     RRRR  EEE   V   V   I   EEE   W W W
      M   M O   O R   R P     O   O     R   R E      V V    I   E     WW WW
 E    M   M OOOOO R   R P     OOOOO     R   R EEEEE   V   IIIII EEEEE W   W
 Volume #5                      June 1st, 1998                     Issue #2
 Established January, 1994                      

      Editor's Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amy Krobot

      Bread  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gerald England
      Gentle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gerald England
      Motives  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Richard Fein
      Lady . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Richard Fein
      Traffic Jam  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Richard Fein
      filled with such panic . . . . . . . . . . . . . Janet L. Kuypers
      games  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Janet L. Kuypers

      The Acid Letter  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Joe Kenny
      He Makes Me Smell Him  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alan Kaufman
      Again  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alan Kaufman
      Lemons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joy Reid
      Alchemy  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joy Reid
      Lawn Care  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jonathon Weiss
      About the Authors  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  The Authors
      In Their Own Words . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  The Authors

 Editor                               +                       Poetry Editor
 Robert Fulkerson              The Morpo Staff         Kris Kalil Fulkerson                      +          

 Submissions Editor                                          Fiction Editor 
 Amy Krobot                                                     J.D. Rummel                                   


 _The Morpo Review_.  Volume 5, Issue 2.  _The Morpo Review_ is published
 electronically on a quarterly basis.  Reproduction of this magazine is
 permitted as long as the magazine is not sold and the entire text of the
 issue remains intact.  Copyright 1998, The Morpo Review.  _The Morpo
 Review_ is published in ASCII and World Wide Web formats.

 All literary and artistic works are Copyright 1998 by their respective
 authors and artists.


                               Editor's Notes
                                 Amy Krobot
                             Submissions Editor
   The painter Ferdinand Leger once wrote, "Man needs color to live. It's
   just as necessary an element as fire and water." Of course it goes
   nearly without saying that those who are sightless would place a much
   higher premium on fire and water, but for the rest of us, color wields
   immeasurable power in our lives. It influences our every waking
   moment. It is everywhere we look and often where we are not looking at
   all, spilling into our dreams, stimulating our mind's eye.
   Interesting then that so many of us feel so apprehensive about
   choosing colors for ourselves and our most intimate spaces. One looks
   at the colors of the natural world as at a husband of fifty years . .
   . always with a tinge of romantic wonder, but never without complete
   acceptance and familiarity. As lifestyle and decorating guru Martha
   Stewart has noted, "In nature every color goes together easily." But
   left to our own devices, we gravitate toward navy suits, white walls
   and the Estee Lauder counter for fear that we will not "do our colors"
   We put a lot of stock in color. We each, I feel, hunger for a personal
   space (our bedrooms, offices, bodies) colored to connect us to the
   easy beauty of the natural world while reflecting who we are. We
   recognize those around us who have found and identified with a
   particular hue, saying, "That color is you." The ultimate compliment.
   But coloring our surroundings often leaves us feeling uneasy. Color is
   overwhelmingly arbitrary . . . risky. Facing a limitless palette, we
   crumplt. And then, while we are down there on our knees, we thank God
   for Martha Stewart.
   Martha's (those of us who spent last December just trying to make her
   cranberry encrusted holiday wreath have earned the right to be
   familiar) latest commercial adventure, dubbed "Everyday Colors," is a
   collection of over 250 original paint colors, developed specifically
   for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and available at Kmarts
   nationwide. The colors are all beautiful, and above all, they come
   pre-mixed and matched. The Colors and Combination Display found near
   the paint was created to "demystify the art of combining colors." It
   does, and therefore you cannot go wrong.
   To some, this "system," which promises creative inspiration, seems to
   have as its ultimate goal the delivery of a significant reduction in
   your checking account balance. Yes its guided creativity (an oxymoron,
   unless you see that the goal of the paint guides is just to get you
   thinking about color in ways previously dismissed as too daring). And
   yes it costs. Martha's a business woman, but she also knows a lot
   about color, and we could all use a bit of her bravery.
   More important than the colo combination charts, however, if Martha's
   apparent understanding of the anxiety we feel when faced with having
   to choose colors at all, let alone determine the ways in which they go
   together. We seek color, but go numb when presented with shades . . .
   upon shades, upon shades . . . from which to choose.
   And so Martha offers an array of colors labeled as, for lack of a
   better description, "things" we find comforting and likeable. To help
   us accept an unusual, yet stunning light yellow, blue and brown
   combination, the colors are marketed as Heirloom Rose, Lamb's Ear and
   Dill Flower. Another shade of blue in her collection is simply Siamese
   Eyes. Light Brown, green, and bright yellow are "safe" and appealing
   when dubbed Sandcastle, Fresh Hay and Lemonade.
   Of course, these labels do much to help the manufacturer identify
   different shades, but "Blue 1, "Blue 2," "Blue 3," etc. would have
   worked just as well (and probably would have been easier to track).
   The labels, I believe, are meant for us. Packing strong psychological
   and emotional punch, "Everyday Colors" succeed because they bear names
   that reflect the natural world and all things reassuring and good. The
   labels remind us that the colors from which we struggle to choose all
   appear "easily" in nature and therfore should not cause us such worry.
   It should be mentioned that the master of this color labeling
   technique is the J. Crew clothing company of Lynchburg, Virginia. They
   sell blouses and pants and jackets and tees (items we use to color our
   bodies) in all kinds of shades all named with the color-wary consumer
   in mind. In the J. Crew catalog, red is Guava, Tomato, Paprika, Chili,
   Citrus and Poppy. Atlantic, Ink, Surf, Royal, Aloe and Quilt are blue.
   Shades of brown are offered as Caramel, Chocolate, Java, Cognac,
   Cocoa, Espresso, Tea, Malt, Tobacco, Bark, Saddle and Mahogany. Yellow
   is Corn, Citron or Chamois. Gray is Graphite, Stone, Putty, Peat, Fog,
   Storm and Haze.
   I'm all for it. Anything to gently remind us anxious ones that the
   colors of our paint and our pants are inspired by a natural world
   where almost anything goes. Don't be afraid to color away, just as you
   like. The fiction editor of this Ezine, who happens to be my
   boyfriend, happens to have an extraordinary aunt who, like Martha, is
   not afraid. Purple is "her color" and purple it is . . . everywhere .
   . . in ways you never even dreamed possible. She uses color 100% as
   she wishes and the result is space that reflects her energy and bright
   disposition. Her use of color is true, and she does it without
   guidelines or anxiety-easing labels. She just knows what she likes and
   isn't afraid to go with it. We should all have as much confidence and

                               Gerald Englad

   Nutty brown wholemeal,
   wheat germ, standard white,
   supermarket pre-wrapped cardboard,
   stale wedding reception left-overs;
   it's all the same
   to Bewick swans and Mallard ducks
   fighting for every thrown crumb,
   quacking and screeching
   at upstart gulls and starlings
   keen to encroach on banks.
   Only when the last bag of bread
   is emptied,
   the last child departed ,
   will they retire
   fat to the island.

                               Gerald Englad

   (for B.S.)
   "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild"  - Charles Wesley.
   Who threw the money-changers
   from the temple?
   Who endured pain,
   suffered children?
   Who turned water to wine,
   fishermen to saints?
   Who walked on water,
   trod on Roman toes?
   Being gentle
   is never a soft
   Gentle opens more doors
   than hard knocking,
   can turn the key
   to eternity!
                                Richard Fein

   I wouldn't have done it.
   Like me he probably haunted
   those drifter, bus terminal hotels where:
   maniac drunks charge doors
   their hunched shoulders used as battering rams,
   or winos puke in the halls,
   or the trash steeped in the alleyways decides to burn.
   Then you really need the shoes on your feet,
   no time to fidget with the laces.
   Even if there isn't any crash, stench, or smoke,
   there are always the cockroaches nesting everywhere.
   But why he took them off in a barroom full of people
   I'll never know; I wouldn't have.
   Simply as everyone else did, I moved away.
   But not fat man.
   "Your feet stink, your feet stink."
   He didn't answer fat man.
   He didn't even raise his slumped head.
   The rest of us pretended to study the bottom of our beer mugs.
   "Your feet stink, your feet stink."
   He didn't answer fat man.
   A rouge of rage colored fat man's face.
   Fat man whipped out a gun, pointed it, still
   he didn't answer or even move except
   to run his finger around the rim of a whiskey glass.
   The gun cracked, the bullet whistled
   and his bloody head plopped on the counter.
   Fat man fled; we all exhaled,
   then quickly followed one another out the door,
   going our separate ways,
   not wanting to explain anything to the law.
   Alone, I picked my way
   through a carpet of sleeping drunks,
   walking, walking, walking, till I saw a park
   and collapsed under a palm tree.
   Nearby was a fancy L.A. hotel
   and in front a fountain lit by colored lights that made
   the gushing water seem so still
   as if it were a snapshot or
   a fluff of red cotton candy.
   I took off my shoes to cool my feet.
   "Christ, it was so lousy hot."
                                Richard Fein

   look at that cattail reed, there, by the lake.
   Its cylindrical tip tips sideways
   and without underpinning its head
   bobs and sways when blown by every crisscross current of wind.
   It seems to bow
   before another member of its species
   which still stands tall and is seemingly faultless.
   Our broken reed tries to reach its neighbor,
   perhaps it will brush against it.
   But the same wind which blows our crooked stick so close
   also blows its faultless friend away,
   so like swaying cilia
   they touch only briefly at their tips.
   my fingertips briefly brush your hair
   but you bob and weave away so skillfully.
   Lady, lady
   I confess love
   all you do is listen
   so courteously.
                                Traffic Jam
                                Richard Fein

   He lay there
   right in the middle of the god-damn road.
   Used  some kind of greasy cloth for a blanket
   and folded newspapers for a pillow.
   by a line of headlights,
   by car horns,
   and spoken to,
   "Move you dirty bastard, outta the road,"
   he lay there.
   he raised his head,
   turned stomach-side down,
   extended his arms
   and lifted himself up.
   Then he bent down
   picked up a bottle
   raised it over his head,
   then put it to his mouth
   and emptied it in one long gulp,
   then threw it down,
   He gave us all the finger
   and lay down again
   head on newspapers, body under cloth,
   behind a barrier of broken glass.
                           filled with such panic
                              Janet L. Kuypers

   i heard a woman jumped
   from the john hancock building,
   fifty-something floors.
   i work on the thirty-
   second floor of the civic
   opera building, it's older
   than the john hancock, and
   we have regular windows
   there. you see, the john hancock
   has bullet-proof windows
   that don't just open up,
   whereas we have windows
   that just slide up and down,
   like the ones you have in
   your own home. sometimes
   i open the window, stick my
   head out and look at the
   street. the wind is so strong
   when you're up that high.
   sometimes we spit out the
   window.  a few times we
   threw a paper airplane out the
   window, watched it soar
   down wacker drive. i never
   stick my head out past my
   shoulders, and i'm one of the
   more adventurous ones at
   my office. i can't imagine
   looking out the window,
   then going out past the
   shoulders, opening that
   window all the way, and
   just going out. i'd be filled
   with such panic. i did the
   wrong thing, i'd think, then
   i'd struggle to find a ledge
   to cling to right before i'd
   start to fall.

                              Janet L. Kuypers

   They put in the tape
   when dad comes home
   from playing cards.
   Concentration, Password,
   Shop til you Drop...
   and when they get to
   Wheel of Fortune, mom
   has to be quiet when she
   knows the puzzle, dad
   gets mad when she blurts
   it out. How the hell was
   I supposed to know that,
   he yells.
                              The Acid Letter
                                 Joe Kenny
   The letter came on a Thursday two weeks before Memorial Day. After
   work, I held the mailbox's contents between my legs as I sped uphill
   to the house in my poop-brown subcompact. I had already read the
   return address on the only piece not bound for the recycler. I
   It was from Houghton, Michigan. It was from Carl.
   Carl Billings was one of my roommates senior year at a socially-okay
   midwestern college. Back then he thought correctly that a BS in
   chemistry would get him nowhere in the dim job market. His mother, who
   did not want Junior coming home to stink up the house with his
   patchouli and three year-old Chuck Taylors, agreed to help pay for his
   master's degree. He chose Michigan Tech because it was cheap, close to
   the wilderness, and far from the nearest DEA helicopter.
   He got so stoned at his undergrad good-bye party that he forgot where
   he put the keys to his pickup and couldn't leave for Houghton until
   his mom mailed him the spare set. They were in Laura Kurp's apartment
   under Laura Kurp's underpants.
   Carl always had the best drugs, and the best thing about Carl was his
   generosity. No apartment party was right without Carl's wafting
   Humboldt charms. All the guests marveled at the stuff and bit their
   lower lips in grief when Carl rebuffed their offers to buy. He was no
   pusher, he said, just guy with an overflowing baggy.
   I deposited the heap of junk mail and bills next to the telephone and
   candled Carl's envelope egg-style against the setting sun coming
   through the kitchen window. The thing glowed various shades of orange,
   the darkest portions falling where the letter was thickest. The
   postage stamp was nearly opaque, as was a patch in the opposite
   "My man Carl, the mind reader," I muttered as I carefully tore off the
   stamped end of the envelope and held its open mouth over the beige
   kitchen counter. After a quick shake the prize fluttered out: two
   small attached squares of thick paper bearing two tiny but remarkably
   accurate images of the Starship Enterprise orbiting some strange, new
   world. I drooled.
   With my sick voice the next morning I thanked Monica for her sure-shot
   flu cure. She knew that I wasn't really sick, but would submit the
   Sick Leave Request Form # 8855 to my boss, Personnel, and Payroll
   anyway. She knew I would reciprocate on the next sunny Friday. I put
   down the phone and cooked an egg.
   Friday bloomed with promises of freedom and chemical joy. I planned to
   head for the beach, but, being new to the San Francisco Bay area, I
   didn't know exactly how. I had heard that the coast from Monterey to
   San Francisco was littered with them. After a moment's thought I
   decided to just load up the car and go, starting fifteen miles away,
   in Santa Cruz, then driving north, looking for beaches along Highway 1
   until I found a secluded one. There I'd plant my towel, sit down with
   some beers, crack good book, and, a few miles from the mixing place of
   the first jug of Electric Kool-Aid, do the proper California thing by
   chemically going where no man has gone before.
   Except that all my good books remained in storage after my move from
   Chicago two months ago, so I would have to stop for one in Santa Cruz.
   After filling a cooler (something important enough to warrant dragging
   out of storage two months earlier) with ice and beers and stowing it
   in the tiny trunk of my tiny car, I fed the cat, drove past the
   mailbox back down the hill, and turned south onto the twisted asphalt
   that connects San Jose to Santa Cruz. Singing Gilbert and Sullivan out
   loud, I sped, determined to become the merriest of
   sun-and-otherwise-baked pranksters.
   The Tome Home was the first book store I saw in Santa Cruz. It held a small
   window front next to a grocery store along Highway 1. Thinking it to be a
   common strip-mall top-seller-only type book joint, I almost passed it
   by. But on the way out of the grocery store I noticed a young
   bookseller pushing a knee-high cart of worn mysteries onto the
   sidewalk for quick sale.
   I lost grip of my grocery bag. Two cans of beer hit the sidewalk at
   her feet. One popped and sprayed a thin stream of foam. With three
   pale fingers she picked up the unbroken one and put it back in its
   proper brown-paper home. "Here you go, clumsy." A yard away, she faced
   me. At that moment, every resident, tourist, and passer-through in
   Santa Cruz should have groped for sunglasses to shield their eyes from
   her smile's radiance.
   "Appreciate it," I mumbled. I could tell she was looking straight at
   me, but assertiveness drew a blank and left me there, blushing. My
   shoulder blades felt like they were sweating from the inside. Sure any
   words would come out in stammers, I fled for the nearest shelter: an
   atlas the size of Poland in the reference aisle. She rummaged around
   the front counter for a rag.
   My eyes peeked over the top of the olive leather-bound volume to
   absorb her form as I regrouped. I squinted at her dark brown hair over
   the Isle of Man. I dizzied at her legs as I flipped from Columbia to
   Cuba. When she finished the wiping up, she wheeled a second cart
   outside. Her eyes reflected midday sun through a pair of grandma
   glasses. Finished with her tasks, she took her spot behind a dark
   wooden desk beside the shop's front window.
   I carefully worked my way to the classics section and picked out the
   first thing I that caught my eye. It turned out to be Huckleberry
   Finn, (Merry Prankster serial number 00001). Then, carefully inhaling,
   I approached the desk.
   She had her feet up. Her chair worked as a recliner, allowing her thin
   green tank top to fall revealingly over her midriff. She put down a
   well-worn copy of an A.E. van Vogt book and looked up.
   Shit. She reads science fiction.. Perfect!
   The coffee's effects returned at that moment, and I found, despite my
   usual awkwardness around pretty people, that I could look her in the
   eye and speak without a stutter.
   "I love van Vogt. Have you ever read The Weapon Shop?"
   She stood up, bagged Huck, and drawled with a fading grin. "Van Vogt
   was a misogynist creepazoid and an L. Ron Hubbard butt-boy."
   We stood in tepid silence for five seconds while I regretted my birth.
   "The Weapon Shop, like most sci-fi, is patriarchal crap. That'll be
   seventy-five cents."
   My face must have darkened as my eyes fell to my sneakers. I paid her
   and fled.
   As I drove past the store on the way out of the parking lot, I paused
   to get a last look at the woman I'd scared away because I was, at
   least in her medium-green eyes, a male-chauvinist sci-fi-loving geek.
   She stood in the doorway with her arms folded, squinting at the
   But I was a prankster, dammit! There was a whole psychedelic day ahead
   of me. I would not let one glitch spoil my good time.
   Except that the encounter had made me very horny, since I hadn't had a
   kiss since leaving the Midwest.
   And she was just my type, nearly. She worked in a bookstore. She was
   beautiful and friendly, at least until my Mr. Spock side arrived and
   took over. Yes, she sent rabid ferrets down my backbone.
   Then again I was a prankster who could forget about the coquette and
   plow on.
   But why was she reading van Vogt if she didn't like the man? Gah.
   It didn't take long for me to find a beach. The first one was a placid
   stretch of beige set against mottled rust-brown sandstone cliffs. Its
   problem came from its proximity to Santa Cruz: It was starting to
   fill, and the guy at the gate wanted four dollars for parking.
   (Pranksters don't pay for parking.)
   I had similar luck with the next beach: serene water beside broad,
   sheltering cliffs. But the crowd looked a bit much. I saw
   buzz-stompers with whiny, litterbug kids and sooty charcoal grills as
   well as vapid types poised to ask for beer and suntan lotion. Above
   the sea spray, the place looked like a bad trip.
   After ten more minutes of Highway 1, I reached a roadside niche
   labeled Bonny Doon. The sun lingered at its zenith; I was running out
   of time. The place would have to do.
   I climbed over a large berm next to a narrow but deserted parking
   area. The wind there was severe, but the beach's raw good looks,
   invisible from the road, drew me in. Strangely and wonderfully, the
   beach was empty. As I descended a very steep bank the wind died. The
   beach curled around with the cliffs to form a sheltered cove. I
   dropped the cooler, placed my shoes on opposite corners of a
   red-and-white striped towel, and sat down. A quick breeze kicked up a
   little sand as I opened the cooler, and I had to spit out my first
   crunchy mouthful of beer. But the sun apologized. I sank into Twain.
   Then, taking the tab from an empty cigarette pack, I wet-docked the
   In college Carl had introduced me to the stuff with great care,
   knowing its powers could unbalance a steady personality. He handed me
   my first tab on as gorgeous a day as Wisconsin sees in June. We played
   guitar and walked for miles through the deciduous woods near the
   University at Madison campus as the trip set in. Over the entire
   five-hour hike we saw little more than a few students, several birds
   of prey, and a perhaps a dozen squirrels. Carl knew the area was
   mostly private during the summer and, in taking me there, made sure
   that a bad trip kept its distance. Coming down that night, we spoke
   softly on his uncle's urban back porch while splitting six-pack of Elk
   Just after tagging the seventeenth page of Huck with a sweaty
   fingerprint, I heard people approaching. It proved to be a couple,
   fortyish, with a Sheltie they called Chump. A floppy hat half covered
   the woman's face as she threw a foot-long piece of sandy driftwood
   into the water and called out. Her tan sizzled. When Chump returned,
   the man put down a picnic basket, spread out an oversized purple towel
   and unfolded two nylon-webbed chairs. Then, after embracing wet dog
   and tanned woman at once, he took off his shirt, sandals, shoes,
   socks, shorts and boxers.
   She reciprocated and smiled, inviting private moles onto melanoma's
   "Half the buzz comes from the placebo effect. Just knowing that you're
   tripping is a trip in itself. Respect the chemical, grasshopper," Carl
   had once told me. I respected it. Since that afternoon in a Wisconsin
   park with Carl, I had dropped acid only twice. Both times I was alone
   with no prospects of seeing anything or anyone that could send me down
   anxiety's gritty waterslide. Off work for four straight days, I made
   sure to have enough food, toilet paper, beer, and cigarettes to last a
   week so I wouldn't have to drive. I had a stack of Grateful Dead tapes
   and Mahler records. I disconnected the phone and unplugged the TV.
   Carl had taught me how to ride the chemical tsunami without getting
   On the beach this tsunami hadn't yet risen as I squinted at the naked
   pair in front of me. They were not hallucinations. Nor were the five
   bare oldsters that soon planted ten yards to my left. Before I could
   open my second beer, three extremely well-formed young men ran up and
   dropped their skivvies on the sand. I swallowed and grinned as my eyes
   fell on the woman with the dog. I reached for my sunglasses. On the
   leading edge of a trip that would keep me from escaping (by car at
   least), I had entrenched on my first nude beach. Not wanting to be
   some kind of freak, I dropped trow as well.
   Then straight at me from nowhere came a woman's jarring voice: "I
   could tell you were coming here 'cuz you had sunscreen and weren't
   wearing any underpants." I hadn't noticed any chemical special effects
   until that moment, when I heard the bookseller's stark words in my
   right ear. "You know I was kidding about the van Vogt, right?" It came
   back. A stripe of pale wonder appeared in the corner of my eye. My
   eyebrows dove.
   Suddenly it hit. My head filled with the sound of sand grains dropped
   one by one onto a sheet of rice paper. I became physically unable to
   speak. It was my tell, my way of knowing that the trip had begun.
   Anxiety ate my ego and burped. At the edge of consciousness I saw Carl
   shaking his head and canting in some would-be Sigmund Freud voice,
   "Das ist aber ein Bummer, dude. You are haffing einen bad Trip. Except
   that this wasn't that bad. I was just imagining the naked,
   flirtatious, Princess Charming next to me.
   "Are you familiar with the phallic undertones of Huck Finn?" she
   asked, tilting her non-existent head. Not wanting to let on to the
   other bathers that I was experiencing the Pacific coast's most
   gorgeous hallucination, I turned my head only slightly to bring her
   into full view.
   I put my beer aside and flipped onto my stomach.
   The image sounded disappointed. "Well, I see we took our unfriendly
   pill this morning."
   Minutes must have passed. It seemed like five, but tripping time is,
   well, different.
   "Hello?" The vision scowled at me. Another pause inched by. Her slick
   lips slid against each other: "Well, you had your chance, Mr. Science
   Boy. Have a cool life." My eyes delicately swept her frame as my brain
   made her walk away.
   Whew. Had the beachgoers seen me making a pass at a hallucination,
   they would have called for the big net, and pranksters don't eat
   without knives and forks.
   Three or four beers went by before I had the courage to really look up
   again at the other bathers. The sun grew low, my skin pink, and the
   beach empty. An older gentlemen with a Celtic-knot tattoo smiled and
   waved a lighted joint at me. Two shaved, tough looking women pulled on
   tank tops before leaving. A small spot of green disappeared over a
   dune at the far side of the cove. Everything looked normal. My trip, a
   short one, was over. I spent an awkward moment pondering the proper
   way to rerobe after a naked day. Do the shorts go on first or the tee
   shirt? Should I wait for everyone else to leave? Is there a polite way
   to get this sand off my butt?
   On the return trip I stopped at the Tome Home to catch a peek at the
   real thing. A thin young man in a black turtleneck stood behind the
   counter. I asked him about the woman with the grandma glasses. "Oh,
   you mean Jesse. Yeah, today was her last day. She's moving to Santa
   Monica or San Marcos or San Mateo or something like that." He couldn't
   remember which one.
   The cat greeted me loudly at my front door. As I sped to the cupboard
   for the bag of Kitt'n Krunchies I saw Carl's letter next to the sink.
   On picking it up I found the yet-unread postscript page stuck to the
   inside of the envelope.
   I read it.
   I dropped the cat food. Tiny pieces of star-shaped soy protein found
   their way under the refrigerator and stove.
     P.s.: Like the blotter? I got it from a comp-sci major buddy who
     made it on his very own color printer. Cool, eh? There's no acid on
     it, since things are kinda dry up here right now, but since you're
     a California dude now, I'm sure you'll find some Berkeley hippie
     chemist to soak it for you.
     P.p.s: Getting any?
                           He Makes Me Smell Him
                                Alan Kaufman

   among the faceless
   masses on
   the streetcar
   i sit
   trash bag stuff
   squeezed between
   the stink
   that doesn't
   that residentially
        smell that is
             a prophecy
         of fallen

                                Alan Kaufman

   fell down
   down the stairs
   in a vodka black-out
   black-out after punching
   that russian russian
   in the
   over an argument
   about dosdoyevsky
   who he claimed beat
   horses and i said
   you asshole
   that was
   just an image in
   one of his books
   and ilya swung
   past my
   but i
   what a stupid
   pat drove him
   to a clinic
   with a red towel
   crushed to
   his face
   i stayed behind
   with the rusky's
   old lady, vassa
   who mounted me on
   the sofa pouring vodka
   down my throat laughing
   'the victor gets the spoils'
   which i got & it was good
   then poured myself  down stairs
   back hurt bad, tea cold and wallet
   empty and now i'm waiting
   for the break of my
   but getting
   only broken; how much must i
   sit here remembering
   to make
   poem that  will matter
   to you?
                                  Joy Reid

   I don't have a cleavage.
   If I stuff my boobs
   in a push-up bra
   all I achieve
   is a rising dough effect.
   My breasts have veined with time.
   Shy tendrils have
   eased across my flesh
   and gravity has created
   a bean bag consequence.
   I remember reading
   of a young girl's breasts,
   the writer (a male)
   likened them to lemons,
   the kind (I guess)
   with teated ends.
   No doubt he saw them
   thrusting, impatient
   with poking nipples permanently erect.
   All I saw was thick rinded yellow
   while my mouth filled
   with a bitter after taste.

                                  Joy Reid

   Ageless, infinite
   foaming, rushing, yearning,
   green groping towards desire,

                                 Lawn Care
                               Jonathon Weiss

   His lawn was in a state of disrepair and had been keeping him up at
   night. Last night, after dreaming about it, he woke up with his legs
   stuck to his wife's back and all covered in sweat.
   "What were you trying to do?" she asked.
   "I was planting seeds," he said. "But I've got it all backwards. Go
   back to sleep. I'll take care of this thing in the morning."
   His wife rolled over, the front of her body now facing him, her mouth
   open. They used to discuss things like this, he thought, but not since
   he started working. All she said now was that she didn't deserve this.
   His lawn was sloped. It was sloped just like the surrounding hills.
   When together they first purchased the house, he liked to sit outside
   on his lawnchair on the back porch, where the grass wasn't as high.
   There he would read the morning paper.
   Often his wife joined him. When she did, the two sat silently, stared
   out at the skyline and the high trees, and drank their coffee, but
   when he started working, their lives suddenly changed.
   The lawn was, by now, in need of desperate repair.  However, rather
   than cut the grass, he built a small deck, about ten feet high, and
   placed the two lawn chairs on the deck, overlooking the sea of grass
   and weeds.  When chance permitted, the two of them sat, late in the
   evening, and looked at the stars.
   Even then, neither one of them said anything about the lawn. But it
   had not been mowed in over three years.
   When they bought it, they simply had no idea. They had looked at
   several houses before choosing this one, all in different
   neighborhoods.  None of them had a lawn like this. It was the only
   reason they bought the house.
   They rented during the first few years of their marriage and on her
   salary alone saved several thousand dollars for a down payment, but
   after that they were broke. They didn't have a penny leftover for
   repairs, for lawn care, or any other costs and they were not the kind
   of people inclined to take care of the lawn themselves. The real
   estate agent never told them how to care for a house, and it was
   something they never thought of on their own. He never said it to his
   wife but he had never mowed a lawn in his life and was not about to
   start now.
   So all this time he let the grass grow. And the trees.  He never
   pruned them and with each passing new year, the trees sprouted new
   limbs. The leaves that fell he let lay on the ground until they got
   buried under snow.  When, during the second spring, the leaves began
   to smell, at first he thought it was him. Stress can do that, he said
   to his wife. It can make a man sweat. It can do just about anything
   you can think of, he said.
   Once he came home after work to find a deer asleep on his lawn. He had
   gotten off work early, and the first thing he did was chase the deer
   away.  He actually ran after the thing.
   Then he went inside, where his wife was watching t.v.  He said he
   wanted to show her something.  His wife got up from the sofa, and he
   showed her where the deer had slept. You could see where some of the
   grass had been flattened.  There was a giant indentation in the lawn
   and he imagined a black hole sucking him in, tugging at his ankles.
   Pointing to it, he said to his wife, You can imagine how many others
   slept here. He said that he was glad that nobody had seen.
   "I accept responsibility for the lawn. But not the deer. They have
   nothing to do with this. They're a separate issue."
   "Honey," his wife said, "it's just a deer."
   She turned her body around and looked out at their lawn. She tried to
   take it all in.   Unlike him, she took pride in their house. She still
   considered it a miracle.
   "But our neighbors," he said. "You have to consider them. They see
   something like this and they think it's our fault."
   She put her hands on her hips. With the exception of the Rollins, who
   once came over for dinner, they did not like most of their neighbors.
   They were also fairly certain they knew what their neighbors thought
   of them.
   When the Rollins came over, Mr. Rollins brought over a bottle of
   wine.  Before drinking the wine, he served whiskey. And it came out
   that some of their neighbors considered them white trash.  He and his
   wife acted surprised, but by the end of the night they all had a good
   "I'll take the blame for the lawn," he was still saying to his wife.
   "But I won't be held responsible for the deer."
   "For Christ's sake, Jack," she said.
   "Mary," he said, "the deer are here by their own design. They're
   somebody else's creation. Not mine. The lawn may be, but not the deer.
   That's where I draw the line."
   He bent down and drew a line.
   "For Christ's sake. You're sick, Jack. Has anybody told you that?"
   When, after a poor night's sleep, he woke up, the first thing that
   came into his mind was, I ought to take care of that lawn before it
   takes care of me.  The two of them kept lists, and at the top of each
   one of his lists was inspecting his lawn.  Other things got crossed
   off and, eventually, inspecting the lawn, had moved its way to the
   That's how it happened.  He understood this the moment he woke, put on
   his clothes, and walked outside.
   He didn't have a choice anymore. Whatever had happened in the past was
   behind him.   Nothing else mattered.  He knew there was only one thing
   left for him to do.
   But who had ever heard of such a thing? A grown man losing everything.
   Because of his lawn.
   Of course, it wasn't a lawn anymore. It was a bog. Or a marsh. And
   deer slept on it.   Just then, a strange wail came from him.
   He remembered that, on one occasion, not long ago, he got out of bed
   because he thought he heard a party going on outside, on their lawn.
   He got out of bed and stood in front of their bedroom window to see
   what was happening out there.
   "What are you doing?" his wife called to him.
   "Somebody's outside," he said. "Go back to bed. I'm taking care of
   it," but his hands were shaking.
   He put on his pants, a shirt, a sweater, and his shoes. Then he walked
   quietly down the stairs and slowly opened the front door trying not to
   make a sound. He could not believe it.
   On his front lawn was a man setting up his tent. When Jack saw the
   man, he wanted to rush over to him and say, "This is my lawn."
   Instead, he stood where he was.
   His hands were in his pockets to keep them still and he watched the
   man finish hammering the spikes into the ground to prevent, Jack
   imagined, his tent from falling down. Because of the height of the
   grass and the weeds, he could hardly see the man as he bent down to
   hammer his spikes into the ground.  For a moment, the man disappeared
   When the man looked finished and had stood up, Jack walked over to
   "What do you think you're doing?" he asked.
   The man looked at Jack as if Jack had asked him a stupid question.
   Thinking that the man was probably crazy, Jack asked him an easier
   one. "What's your name?" he asked the stranger.
   "Frank Baker."
   "I'm glad to meet you, Frank," Jack said. "But you're going to have to
   leave. This is my lawn."
   He spoke slowly and tried to get close enough to the man to smell his
   breath to detect if he had been drinking. The man stood still and let
   Jack inspect him.
   "I've got nothing to hide," the man said.
   "You're going to have to leave," Jack said it again. "You're on
   private property."
   Then he turned around to see his wife. Mary was in the upstairs window
   watching him.   There was enough light in the sky coming from the
   stars so that he could see her features in the dark.
   "It's o.k.," Jack said, and he waved his hand.  "Go to bed," he said
   and turned back around to face the man.
   A strong wind blew, but the tent remained perfectly still. After the
   wind had died down, the two men started up a conversation. Frank Baker
   had wondered aloud what it would be like to have a lawn like Jack's,
   and at first, Jack didn't understand him.
   He opened his eyes wide.  Until then, it was as if he was still in a
   "What are you saying, Frank?"  His arms were opened wide and, as if he
   were an actor, he gestured to the lawn, his lawn.
   "Nevermind," the man said.
   "You're right," Jack said. "Nevermind."
   By now, he had put his hands back into his pockets. "I'd consider
   letting you stay," he finally said, "but I've a wife and I've got
   Without looking at her, he indicated to his wife by jerking his head
   towards the window and rolling his eyes.
   He did not know if the man understood him or not but he continued.
   "I'll take the blame for the lawn," he said, if not to the man, then
   to himself.  "But not this."
   He waved his hands frantically.  "I'm sorry, " he finally said. "But
   you're going to have to leave. Do you understand?"
   The man turned his back on Jack and, at first, Jack had no idea what
   he was doing. Then he heard a zipper being pulled and saw the man
   climbing inside his tent.
   Jack ran back inside.  He had had enough, he decided.
   But when he got inside, his wife was waiting for him.  She jumped out
   of bed. She stood behind him and watched as he opened his dresser
   drawer and began pulling out his socks.
   "What are you doing?" his wife demanded.
   He found what he was looking for and, ignoring her, held it in his
   hand. He started to go back down the stairs.  His last words to her
   were "I'll take care of it."
   He ran outside and pushed his hand through the flap that the man had
   left open. "I've got a gun," he said in the dark, "do you see?"
   "Just get your stuff and leave."
   Then he raised his voice. "It's the middle of the night, Frank.
   Who do you think we are here? The Holiday Inn."
   He discerned a slight movement so he toned it down, "I'm serious
   Frank, or whoever you are. I'm asking you as nice as I can to leave
   before this thing gets dangerous. Don't make me have to use this," he
   said, and he waved his gun.
   By now, half of Jack's body was inside the tent.
   He couldn't tell for sure, but he thought the man was wrapped in his
   sleeping bag and was trying to sit up.
   Jack suddenly wondered what would happen next.  The man was a
   trespasser.   And even if he didn't look to be a threat, how was Jack
   to know that? All this had happened without any warning, and Jack
   failed to make the connection between the man with the tent and the
   deer--if there was one.  For Christ's sake.  It was the middle of the
   night. What if Jack let him stay and the man hurt somebody, like
   Jack's wife or somebody's kid. It didn't have to happen tonight, Jack
   realized, but tomorrow it could happen or the next day.
   The man started to stand up inside his tent.
   "Don't shoot," he said. "It's o.k.," he said and he made a rustling
   noise.  "I'm leaving, Jack.  The tent, too. It's all yours."
   The man exited the tent and Jack watched him walk down the road.
   Before taking down the man's tent, Jack decided to crawl inside, all
   the way, just to see what it was like in there. He laid down on the
   man's sleeping bag and closed his eyes. The tent smelled of stale
   breath.  Jack opened the flap a little wider and then drifted off to
   In the morning, just before dawn, the sound of an engine woke him up.
   When he remembered where he was, he quickly grabbed all the man's
   stuff, took down the tent, and threw everything in his garage. Then he
   climbed back in bed with his wife.
   He tried not to move around but he needed to be comfortable.  He
   rolled over.   Then, turning just his head, he looked at her.  She
   looked like she was about to wake up. "I know this isn't what we
   wanted," he said. "But things will be better, Mary. You'll see.  The
   lawn, everything," he moved closer to her. "It will be taken care of."
   That was when he knew things had gotten out of hand.
   Starting at dawn with the clippers his father had given to him when
   they first purchased the house, Jack clipped the branches off the
   trees so that there was a clear path to their front door.
   Then he bent down on his knees and began to pull weeds. He pulled at
   the weeds that were taking over his lawn. He dug his fingers in the
   dirt where the roots would not come out. After he got rid of the
   weeds, he looked up at the sky for the first time.
   The sky was an ochre color, like it might rain. He wanted to finish
   with what he was doing before it rained but just then one of his
   neighbors, on his way to work, crossed the street and walked over to
   His neighbor said, "Nice day for it."
   Jack stood up and wiped his hands on his pants.  Then he shook his
   neighbor's hand. He saw that his neighbor was wearing his galoshes.
   For a moment the two men were silent. Then at the same time they both
   looked at the sky.  It was going to rain. But he knew that if he went
   back inside, there were too many distractions.
   He tried to look past his neighbor.  Maybe it was true that things had
   happened, but couldn't he see that Jack was going to take care of
   He took a few steps forward.  Then he thought about the rain. It
   nearly got him to cursing.
   He knew, of course, there was nothing stopping him from working in the
   rain.  His neighbors went to work every day and, now, he was at work,
                             about the authors
   Gerald England ( )
   Gerald England is a British poet, living on the edge of the Pennines
   with his lace-making wife, a son and a Manchester terrier. He has been
   active on the Small Press Scene for almost 30 years and edits New Hope
   International. He has published eleven collections of poetry and been
   translated into several languages. His latest collection "Limbo Time"
   was published early in 1998. His work has also appeared on various
   websites and he is a member of Cyberscribers, a group of writers on
   the Internet.
      Gerald England's Home page -
         New Hope International -
              NHI Review -
               Cyberscribers -
               Aabye's Baby -
                      Zimmer zine -
   Richard Fein ( )
   Richard has been published in many journals, such as: Mississippi
   Review, ELF: Eclectic Literary Forum, Talus and Scree, Comstock
   Review,   Whiskey Island Review, State Street Review, Caveat Lector,
   Luna Negra, Sunstone, REED, The Rockford Review Touchstone, Windsor
   Review, Maverick, Sonoma Mandala Literary Review , Ellipsis, Roanoke
   Review, and several others.
   Alan Kaufman ( )
   Alan Kaufman's most recent book is "Who Are We?", a collection of
   poems. Hailed as a "new young Kerouac" by the San Francisco
   Chronicle, he appears widely in print magazines and anthologies,
   including Aloud: Voices From The Nuyorican Poets Cafe , Witness,
   Tikkun and Long Shot. On the web his prose and poetry appear in Salon
   Magazine, ZuZu Petals, Poetry Cafe, Eclectica and many other 'zines".
   He has given readings throughout the U.S. and Europe and is translated
   into several languages. He lives in San Francisco.
                       Salon Magazine -
   Joe Kenny ( )
   Joe Kenny is an engineer who moved from Chicago to San Francisco in
   1992 shortly after celebrating his first quarter-century. His poetry
   has been published in the webzine Gravity.
   Janet L. Kuypers ( )
   Since she got so fed up with her job as the art director for a
   publishing company that she wanted to wear postal blue and take out a
   few incompetents, Janet Kuypers, to relieve the stress:
    a. vents her twenty-something angst musically with an acoustic band
       composed of her and two guys who like to get drunk a lot (the
       band's called "Mom's Favorite Vase"),
    b. writes so much that she irritates editors enough to get her
       published over 2,050 times for writing or over 190 times for art
    c. writes so much that in order to make her feel like a big shot gets
       five books published, "Hope Chest in the Attic," "The Window,"
       "Close Cover Before Striking," "(woman.)," and "Contents Under
    d. gets tired of thinking about her own pathetic life, so edits the
       literary magazine "Children, Churches and Daddies" so she can read
       other people's depressing stories, or
    e. all of the above.
   When doing all of that didn't work, Janet decided to quit her job and
   travel around the United States and Europe, writing travel journals
   and starting her first novel.
      Poetry Page -
    Scars Publications Site -
   Joy Reid ( )
   "I'm 35 years old and live on a property in Gippsland which borders on
   the Mullungdung state forest in Victoria, Australia. I teach
   Literature and Psychology and love reading sci-fi and watching
   ground-breaking films. I've been writing seriously for just over a
   year and in that time have experienced a wide range of success
   including publication in over sixty-five international e-zines as well
   as ten print magazines and four anthologies.  My aim is to promote
   Australian literature as widely as possible. My own work has appeared
   in the U.S.A, Canada, England, Croatia, Israel, Sweden, New Zealand
   and Germany."
                 MorningStar -
     chewtoy -
                   Poems -

   Jonathon Weiss ( )
   "Presently, I am practicing law in Philadelphia.  Prior to becoming an
   attorney, I was teaching English at the community college level. I
   have a Master's Degree in English from Old Dominion University in
   Norfolk, VA and an undergraduate degree from UC-Santa Cruz in creative
   writing. I've had several poems published in lesser known magazines
   such as the Tidewater Review. Presently I am concentrating on short
                             in their own words
   Motives by Richard Fein
   "Motives is loosely based on a newspaper account many years ago."

   Lady by Richard Fein
   "Lady is my ode to everyone's lost love."

   Traffic Jam by Richard Fein
   "Traffic Jam also actually occurred, and I was the angry motorist. The
   incident has haunted me for years."

   filled with such panic by Janet L. Kuypers
   "The story that someone jumped out of the 55th floor of the John
   Hancock building in Chicago is true; in fact, the person who jumped
   from the building landed fust feet away from someone I knew. I think
   that people have a fascination with death, because in a split second
   it can change your life. I wrote this thinking about how someone
   falling next to me would affect me, and what had to go through the
   person's head when they made the decision to fall."

   games by Janet L. Kuypers
   "Games is one of a series of poems written as responses to Paul
   Weinman's poetry. Paul Weinman often takes poems by a given author and
   writes responses to them; I decided to turn the tables on him and
   write poems as reflections of some of his work."

   The Acid Letter by Joe Kenny
   "The Acid Letter is pure fiction."

   He Makes Me Smell Him and Again by Alan Kaufman
   "I write badly in a beautiful way."

   Lemons by Joy Reid
   "'Lemons' was written after a frustrating bra shopping trip.  I've
   exaggerated the condition of my 'lemons' partly to shock and hopefully
   to get a laugh, it certainly made an audience of poets laugh heartily
   when I read it out at a conference."

   Alchemy by Joy Reid
   'Alchemy' was written in response to another poet's work who had
   missed the point as far as the sea is concerned (in my humble
   opinion).  I grew up by the sea (Sydney), there is nothing more
   intoxicating than swimming in the ocean.


                       SUBSCRIBE TO _THE MORPO REVIEW_

We offer two types of subscriptions to The Morpo Review:

   = ASCII subscription
        You will receive the full ASCII text of TMR delivered to your 
        electronic mailbox when the issue is published.

   = Notification subscription
        You will receive only a small note in e-mail when the issue is 
        published detailing where you can obtain a copy of the issue.

   If you would like to subscribe to The Morpo Review, send an e-mail 
   message to with a message body of

        subscribe morpo

   if you're interested in the ASCII subscription or

        subscribe morpo-notify

   if you're interested in the Notification subscription.


                       ADDRESSES FOR _THE MORPO REVIEW_ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robert Fulkerson, Editor  . . . . . . . . . .  Kris Kalil Fulkerson, Poetry Editor  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  J.D. Rummel, Fiction Editor  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amy Krobot, Submissions Editor . . . . . . . . .  Submissions to _The Morpo Review_ . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Reach all the editors at once . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Morpo Review Website


                         SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR TMR

  To receive the current submission guidelines for _The Morpo Review_, send
  a message to and you will receive an automated
  response with the most current set of guidelines.


            Our next issue will be available September 1st, 1998.