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Neil de la Flor, Maureen Seaton, and Kristine Snodgrass: Three Poems

Floyd 2 | The Holiness Code | Pilgrim Raids

Floyd 2

Hurricanes pile sand onto paths where boys and boys
walk their surfboards through hollows and tunnels

sucking menthols as the tide unrolls its crushed velvet cape.
There's a surfer missing in South Beach.

There are echoes upstream, delayed orgasms.
This is how it works: tornado, spoon, olive (oyl).

You can invite a sailor, ship or no ship, and,
creeping, decimate your own lung(fish) on shore

like a flopping history of your sexuality in tenth grade.
Or first grade. As a little girl, I used to go down

to the edge of the lake and ignite matchsticks. As a boy,
I surfed Andrew, spermed through his hormonal seas

until my wet suit was sated and my head bald.
I gave up surfboarding and prostitution. However,

I often wonder about the other Floyd, the one ship-
ped to the west coast in a vat of pesto, how he arrived

greased up and grinning with basil in his teeth,
wondering where his and her menthols went.

Written by Neil de la Flor and Maureen Seaton

The Holiness Code

Do not be deceived: neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the Kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9-10).

I liked saying her name over and over while she read the Encyclical to me in bed at the Atlanta Renaissance Hotel:

Lover Girl, Lover Girl.

Everything holy is in my pants, she said.

There are times when I take positions next to the cross and place my hand on Christ's haunches. Torn from his mother, I think. Mother, Mother of God, Mother May I, Mother, Are You Dreaming, Mother Duck, Motherload. Then I say to him, Jesus, I've sold my bible for sandwich bread.

"'As for acts which are themselves sins (cum iam opera ipsa peccata sunt),' Saint Augustine writes, 'like theft, fornication, blasphemy, who would dare affirm that, by doing them for good motives (causis bonis), they would no longer be sins, or, what is even more absurd, that they would be sins that are justified?'"

     —from Veritatis Splendor, Encyclical Regarding Certain Fundamental Questions of the Church's Moral Teaching (His Holiness Pope John Paul II August 6, 1993).

Note: Leviticus x 7 + J.C. = The H.C.

Twinkies? Margaritas? Intrinsece malum?

I've lost my confession card, she said. They were listed and I've forgotten what I've done.

Mind my seat while I sin.

The room was empty except for me and my Lover and the Pope. We had a race to see who could eat the most breakfast and my Lover Girl won hands down. On her lips, the hashbrowns of victory.

The Theory of Relativity - 5 Hail Marys = The H.C.

The smoke of a new Pontiff puffed into the Southern sky.

Written by Neil de la Flor and Maureen Seaton

Pilgrim Raids

Rage-Pilgrim Raids across
a sea-ish Outside and Inside
in the narrowest
bottom heart-
(Nobody discolors what now streams.)
                    —Paul Celan

I've never been afraid of Pilgrims, he said, face smack down on the lip of the shore. Nobody discolors my little debbie without a fight.

That's right, she said,


In that what sickens calloused and colored. She and he therefore sicken what prenatality of the aforementioned watering hole-you, silly! Ramified and Desdemona and Gilgamesh in and out of a brambled yacht. Our ocean. Our play dirt. Our mortified and relinquished testimonials. Our virile eggs and forever immortality. Our shovels and our pills.


Translation: Omygod! They're drunks, not truckers-jackass! Celan's Angels are in a canoe or light raft. Some are gay, some are not, some don't like sex or drugs, some like both, boys and girls. They like their eggs boiled, not shaken, like minor gods n' goddesses. Even more often they enjoy cake, preferably banana cream pie, and if available, globbed with whip cream. Save for some kink and cookies the Pilgrims, a.k.a., Lilliputians, don't like diggin' for nothin'.
Our End:[:(]        A Dust Bowl

The Others' End:           Some Spats and a Pristine Rim

Of the aforementioned watering hole and (wiley) and virile eggs and such numbness, like that of a crumb, the reeling of a fish, sickens you, silly. Silly! What such chopping and slicing you shall weather.

And Further:           Two More Round Deep Days


Lesson your grip.


Look at the cathedral way their cheekbones fly above their mouths, she said, of Pilgrims, actually of the ones buttressed and bleeding. An infinite line of coffee cups across the cornfields. Of slop and feedbags.

Translation: See all the cigarette smoke at their meetings? Watch all those Angels smoke Pall Malls, or Pilgrims out of pipes. Ha! They are not peace pipes, they are woven from some real fruit, maybe an apple, or a mango. Nonce this ethereal air and latticed wing myth. Some such concentration camp like the one on Fire Island—

But, what do Angels know of liking girls instead of boys? Who do they wail on? She said.

They are rowing towards a banana-cream life. He said.

Toward cheekbones like a cathedral. Sometimes called Napoleon's death mask. Or Phoebe's pan O brownies. Likewise a rift, as in flying buttresses, cuttresses.


Ring of seaweed. Red sea soup. Sloppy kisses. Those are the things Angels avoid when divining the deep doughnut. Kiss me kiss me kiss me sweetlips, she said, breaking her wooden spoon over his bow. Keep your friggen mask on. I don't want you to see what's comin'.


Conquista: the opposite of conquisto; the underbelly of a buccaneer's ship, or the underbelly of a pirate/piratess.

Seven brides for umpteen brothers. Like wishbones, only before turkeys. Way before pie. Was there TIME BEFORE PIE?


Pecan (nuts, mommie?)
McDonald's rectangular hand-held blackberry-like thingy



Supercalafragilistic (arghh)


Where are the Pilgrims?

Under the water, fast asleep.

Written by Neil de la Flor, Maureen Seaton, and Kristine Snodgrass

Poets' Biographies:
  Neil de la Flor is the Managing Editor of Mangrove, the literary arts journal of the University of Miami. His work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in the Indiana Review, Hotel Amerika, Lodestar Quarterly, Admit2, and Scene360.

Maureen Seaton's fifth collection of poems, Venus Examines Her Breast (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2004), won the Publishing Triangle's Audre Lorde award for lesbian poetry. The recipient of an NEA fellowship and two Pushcarts, she is currently Director of Creative Writing at the University of Miami.

Kristine Snodgrass holds an MFA from University of Miami where she was a James Michener Fellow. Her poems have been published in The Tusculum Review, Mangrove, and Big Bridge and anthologized in Tigertail, A South Florida Annual and are forthcoming in anthologies Condemmed Madonnas and Now Taste This! Miami. She teaches at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida.

© 1999 - 2005, by the poets featured herein.