Agnieszka's Dowry (AgD), Issue 1 (Book)

ISSN 1088-4300
ISBN 1-888431-09-1
pp 52.

As promised, we took our on-line magazine into book-form, if only so you could snuggle up to it away from keyboards. 39 authors contributed work ranging from a lone haiku (Wlodzimierz Holsztynski) to a monologue in pages and pages of letters (jewel). In all, this is our largest chapbook to-date, at 52 pages, a first in a quasi-quarterly series which trails the until now strictly on-line magazine.

We had to change our designs in mid step in order to make this book contain all the work, then, to contain it inexpensively, thus become at all possible. So while fat, it is still a chapbook, and while a fat chapbook, it costs no more than our skinniest chapbook.

There are illustrations, as margins allowed, but the focus in this book version of the on-line AgD is on the stream of words by itself, alphabetically by author. This accidental juxtaposition itself makes for fun reading.

While we catch our breath, we invite you to please visit the on-line AgD for your take on fast navigation/reading (lynx, or image-loading turned off), or our best try at an arrangement in form, color, context -- at fast loading speed.

Original color drawing used for the cover art of AgD Issue 1

Click Here to learn how to obtain this chapbook (mail-ordering; store locations).

wormhole to: The Four Exuberants
wormhole to: White Stained Glass
wormhole to: Marek Kachina
wormhole to: All My Life Only Flowers
wormhole to: Vermillion Dread
wormhole to: My Good Name

A selection from Agnieszka's Dowry (AgD), Issue 1:


Now I ask you,
if the serpent spoke to you,
slithering, shimmering,
bending out of the mystery tree
to hang upside down
like a naughty kid
from the branch he lay wrapped around upon
and brought his cold eye low
so close to your cheek
and whispered a hiss of your name
with his flicking lick of a tongue,

wouldn't you, fascinated
that he knows all about your nick-name
and your birth sign
and the dance you do all alone in the shower
and what you tell your pillow,
and, with his soft voice
he seems so friendly-like
and knows just what to do
to call you to him
while he lets you feel
he understands you better than God,

wouldn't you listen? wouldn't you tell
him yes yes yes
whatever you think is best,
and wouldn't you hunger
for all his secret knowledge,
his forbidden irresistible tricks,
wouldn't you let him lead you into danger,
like sticking your finger in liquid quicksilver
even though you know mercury is poison,
like staying out in a bad hood after dark,
and wouldn't you slide your neck
close against his slick body--
so damned smooth--
and wind yourself around him,
curl in his coils,
while he lifts you,
lifts you up to reach
the fruit-- at last,

and having nibbled that delicious bite,

wouldn't you then want to share?

and do you think it fair
that for this one small sin,
I should be made to bear
the whole human race--
so many unruly children
that I never will have a moment
to myself again to feel
the clear clean newness
of coming upon him
suddenly shining in the glade,
gleaming among all those rosy apples?

Therese Leigh

Copyright © Therese Leigh
March 1996

Go to On-line AgD: Agnieszka's Dowry (AgD) ISSN 1088-4300, on-line

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Copyright © 1996 A Small Garlic Press. All rights reserved.
Created 1996/12/5. Updated last on 2008/5/2.