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Performance Poets Association®

A Raging Curiosity


Peel him away!  Harsh

murderous hand—the man—we’re

through with him, it is, the boy


We want


Boy of blubbering and small

deformity (his muddled

head) of moist excessive

temperature, let’s hear it all—

your story’s groan;

old chant—right up to now, snatched


from the minute, let’s hear

the bells—a youngster’s

steeple song, your life- -O kiddo, it is

pealing out!—

we’re waiting, and we’re




Jay Chollick

Many awards won, many publishing credits, two books and tape available



Each of us stands motionless.

Through the white shirt

of your delicate chest

I see your heartbeat.

Your pulse keeps time for you.


Because I am this quiet,

I do not change your plans,

You use staccato chirps and chants

and do not stop chattering

like some excited tree-top wren.


Your back to me now,

pairs of black and white stripes

fit the nape of your neck and

run down your length like wings

folded against your body.


When I return this way,

I hear your fervent ruckus, calling,

waiting for an answer.  I see you

racing toward, then away from,

another scampering miniature fur.


So this is what your wild language

catches: a friend to frolic with

so you will not have to stand alone

while fall’s late sun no longer warms us

and autumn leaves go and die.


Vivina Ciolli

Two published, contest-winning chapbooks,

writes essays, memoirs and short stories


The Muse


Something, perhaps the weight

of my covers themselves,

nudges the old quilt against my feet,

urging me.


How it feels like Big

Buddha, my red cat,

curled against my leg,

urging me.


Or the man

who used to share my bed,

rolling toward me for warmth,

urging me.


Or the spirit-woman

draped in a long white dress,

who haunts this empty house,

urging me.


Urging me to dangle my feet

from warmth to the hard wood floor

and begin what I’m here for

because no one has forever.


Vivina Ciolli