Fifth Estate # 342, Summer 1993

by Lisa Last

My cunt is a battleground

of life and death

pain and pleasure

it opens up to swallow

whole beings

then spits them out on command

My cunt is a battleground

of senators and stockbrokers

of you and me

who gets the last draw

My cunt is angry and mean

it is sad and sorry

My cunt is a landscape

fill it with trees

cut them all down

My cunt is a screaming hysteric

it’s a tired old dog

My cunt holds wars

bloody battles to the death

My cunt grows old

over and over again

foaming at the mouth

My cunt is a garden

fertile soil

grows many things

My cunt quivers at a touch

drips at a suggestion

My cunt burns like a desert

it rains like the sky

My cunt destroys cities

builds temples to the moon

My cunt is psychic

it knows all

it sees inside

My cunt jumps like a fat cat

flattens itself against mountains

My cunt begs for sympathy

it gives no mercy

My cunt wants revenge

wants to be a black hole

wants to be a pinprick

My cunt wants to intrude

on private parties

it has demands

My cunt would bring gifts

if it had a holiday to celebrate

it wants one all to itself

My cunt does a chickendance

does a snake dance

doesn’t do anything

My cunt itches

My cunt scratches

My cunt is full of razor blades

you had better watch what you do

My cunt creeps like a vine

says prayers in the middle of the night

My cunt is a morning bitch

won’t do anything before noon

My cunt is a slipcase love song

it’s a bebop jazz rhythm

it’s a steady drum

My cunt is an ice breaker

a ball breaker

My cunt is an occasion for any


by Maugre

I’ve been busy dancing on the moon

scrawling, moving in, moving out,

dancing in my head,

sewer-gazing, star-eating,

playing games with molecules,


making bone-music, hoping

groping, moping and various other


It’s a living(or so they say).

We all do things.

Yet these days the shadows keep

falling out of my pockets.

There’s a surplus of shadows

both gorgeous and profound.

I guess they keep me going.

by Antler

I have worn smooth with the grip of my hand

branches found by the trail

Caught by my eye and lifted,

Thrown in the air and caught by my hand and tested—

if it’s not too long,

if it’s not too short,

if it feels just right,

I say to myself—”This is my staff!”

and thump the ground with its end.


Carry me far! Take me where I must go!

Miles away from miles away from every road,

every house, every human voice

or voice of machine,


Through woods I love,

Past lakes where no one is,

Beyond where the footpath ends,

up where the mountains glow

and the sky has never been breathed!

And should I again among crutches and canes

umbrellas and books under arms

Walk in the skyscraper’s shadow,

It will be with my staff

It will be in clothes smelling of campfires

and moss.

And if myriad strangers stare

curious, suspicious, indignant,

I’ll grip my staff tight as I pass

and let wilderness speak through my mouth

How the feel of this staff

puts me in touch with the Gods,

Transports me back through the eras,

To the epochs of staff-bearing men,

To the heritage of this wand

of power and prophecy.


Isn’t the only way to write with a pencil this size?

For words to be so large

you must get out your compass,

And the only way to write mountain

is to climb to the top?


Numberless possible staffs

wait on the forest floor,

Or fallen from high trees

caught in their lower branches,

Or resting against a stump

as if someone left them there.


My walking stick urges me on,

takes my hand as a friend,

Comforts me, steadies me

over rough terrain,

Beyond where it’s ever been mapped,

Where no human ever set foot,

Following the voice of the stream

up where the mountains glow

and the sky has never been breathed!

by Christina Pacosz

(for Judith)

That Detroit engine, a lethal rumble

climbing the hill,

a gangster carburetor without a heart

It is Hazel Motes,

driving a resurrected rat-color car

It is fear, the mother of violence,

acrid vinegar in the mouth,

bright headlights cutting

a swathe in the dark cloth

of night. It is automobile, audible

automatic, a lead sled,

badly in need of a muffler

and you are the girl, the flesh

and blood hood ornament,

upper thighs gleaming in the flashbulb


the wild creature

all tooth and scuttle

cowering in the roar and glare

of whatever it is

that has arrived.

by Mick Vranich

how many signs stuck in the ground

to figure out where the spot is

what the direction is to go in

or go out

where there’s this man washing

a thin towel and a t-shirt

at a dripping fire hydrant

on canal street just up from

a homeless settlement on a mound

of ground at the foot

of the manhatten bridge

cars bottled up on the entrance

the cab driver stuck in the jam

stares at the tipi sticking out

of the tangle of cardboard and crate

shelters they built

checks his mirror

noses forward a couple more car lengths

a tall dark canvas tipi

the rattle of broken shopping carts

the crack of the hammer

busting the crates for the fire

smoking in the downpour.