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Arlene Ang



behavior changes prior to an earthquake.

In the school library, the globe spins


on a cracked meridian. Third graders

often have sticky hands and sharp pencils.


With technology, homo sapiens lose

the most common of senses after birth:


in a reality show, senators request

lessons in washing plates, and call it


an honest communion with their

feminine side. Everyone preens before


the surveillance camera. In the yard,

hens stop brooding and break their eggs,


geese fly towards safety. In life,

some solutions cannot be found


in the yellow pages; fowl psychologists,

at $200 per hour, rarely arrive on time.


God Decides To Take The Train

Framed with morning light, his long

beard appears red, his face impassive

as a surveillance camera.


Fellow travelers size him up:

a frustrated politician, Mafia assassin,

perhaps a chef with indelicate hands.


He regrets this train ride to Venice.

Conductors are unbearably rude

to commuters without tickets.


His shoulder has been taken

for a pillow by the Japanese dozing

beside him. He tries small talk.


Hebrew sounds menacing when the subject

is the weather; his English is worse.

His seatmate draws away, alarmed.


Later the man will place a call to Kyoto,

confess to his wife, I was glad

to be rid of his company, for he stank.


Arlene Ang lives in Venice, Italy where she edits the Italian Niederngasse ( Her poetry has been published in Literary Potpourri, Melic Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Smiths Knoll (UK), Tattoo Highway and 2River View. Stirring has recently nominated her poem, House of Correction, for the 2004 Pushcart Prize.

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