ISSN 1551-8086
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  February 2004
volume 2 number 1
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  contributing poets
  Cheryl Beychok
  Marcielle Brandler
  Adam Bresson
  Don Kingfisher Campbell
  D.J. Carlile
  Aurelius Demarco
  Francisco J. Dominguez
  Vince Garofalo
  Ursula T. Gibson
  Hunter Lee Hughes
  Quentin Josephy
  Scott C. Kaestner
  Christopher Kuhn
  Ray Lanthier
  Marie Lecrivain
  Laura Lionello
  Aire Celeste Norell
  Angel Perales
  Nancy Shiffrin
  Mani Suri
  Megwynn White
  mailing list
Cheryl Beychok
February 2004



    Born on the Isle of Manhattan and currently residing in Santa Monica, Cheryl Beychok studied English Literature at Tel Aviv University and UCLA.
    After winning a trip to Paris in 1991 and falling in love with figurative sculpture, she has devoted herself to learning the art ( She also stumbled upon a mambo class in '91 and has been hooked ever since.
    Her first trip to Cuba in 2002 inspired this poem of impressions and a desire to live there.



Blue City

Cuba sneaks under my skin

like a sweaty sultry rash

a spooky sad itch

on its own terms

exploring & infiltrating

my moist membranes

its heady perfume

mystifies & intrigues me

smoke mirrors

dim reflections

dank sweet smell of dark alleys

mist walks the Malecon

wind & water pound the wall

ancient sentinel

forlorn island fortress

beautiful blue balcony

pillar & window

blue car

the blue Cuban street

evanescent shadows

shimmer in the drizzle

of halflit midnight on Calle Obispo

faded facade ghost

silhouettes sashay

stiletto cobblestones

skinny black beauties under umbrella

zigzag in the night rain

dance to rhythm of horse step

wagon wheel & clave

mambo of hip & high heel

Monsterrate Bar

Mojitos & Cristal

full moon & mint leaves

tourists with tall glasses line the bar

Castro TV broadcast

flagwaving & floodlights

another protest rally

uproar in Key West

revolution spinning out of control

the beautiful streets of Habana Vieja

skinny boys in tight jeans flirt

little confetti-colored cakes

inciting gay tourists

antique architecture crumbling

decrepit faded economics

painted peeling real estate

restoration co-venture reality

caving into what I wonder

whose ultimate face lift?

life lifted from squalor

forced relocation

a new somewhere home



cat & mouse

Cuba libre

parlour game parties

Batista history museum

palatial guerilla warfare

sartorial aspects of the revolution

where machismo style finds dead Cubans

in a faded Macy's powder tin

where old eyeglasses & wallets reside

here polite school children

all neat & clean in their uniforms

sing songs in the street

marching to the bus

proletariat history hallways

leading back to slavery

Fidel's voice in the next room

video for sale around the corner

i'm drawn to a wonderful nightscape painting

naked couple

rooftop moonlight hovering

yellow crescent banana boat


i imagine

the open sea

the Malecon

how blue can it be there

how deep the mystery

son montuno




taste Africa on the tongue

origins of lost dreams

wings of all mankind

seagull & sea goddess

wet humid island

floats with strange bedfellows

politics of prostitution

balance & poise

acrobat spinning on the head of a pin

spirit gives utterance

to hope & redemption

sing of beauty & light

that flutters from its cocoon

stir the boiling pots of melodies

slaves shipped

shackled to harvest

sway in fields of sugar cane

bitter & sweet

this soulful sexy song

shimmy shakes the world’s tailfeather

spiralling guaracha & guaguanco





chicken dance



deep rhythm

grinding hip thing

ramshackle revolution reality

rebel spirit

lingers on streaked faded walls

castles of sweet confection dangle in air

a thin man in plaid shirt balances a cake

jostled shoppers do a doubletake

hallways sans electricity

haunting memories

wrought iron caress curliques

scaffolding without guile

strangely innocent lacking protection

palaces of relentless ruin

decayed wedding cakes

without doors or floors

solares offer no shelter from the storm

balconies open to the sun

laundry flung flies to dry

people wave behind bars

cages rattle "let me out"

candlelit patio dance parlour

taxi cabs honk & wave

plates of pork & greasy fries arrive

friends flow freely

with carbonated rum & coke

conversation curls with smoke

pouting lips

pantomime in spanglish

party in a shack

hips sway to well-oiled music

we squeeze into tiny Russian-era taxis

five people cruising low on petrol

door handle falls off

window won't roll

one working windshield wiper

it's pouring

soaked & squished on Steven's lap

passenger door flies open

hairpin turn on the flooded Malecon

please another street!

driver senses every dip

so I don’t go thru the windshield

saving his shock absorbers for another day

feeling strangely safe on these streets

only the dogs don't follow you in Cuba

the trail of bodily harm inflicted

is rationed out daily

strong spirits

thin bodies

willing flesh

like language languishes out of use

toils in the fragrant promise of paradise

sacrifice endures

La Lucha

a passionate people stay alive

thanks to the blessing

of fortunate placement on the equator

no one freezes to death while starving

copyright 2004 Cheryl Beychok