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Born and raised in Los Angeles, Amelie Frank received her degree in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis from U.C. Irvine. She founded The Sacred Beverage Press with poet Matthew Niblock and produced the acclaimed and respected literary journal Blue Satellite. The author of five poetry collections, she has featured at most of the key venues in Southern California, including the Newer Poets Series, the Los Angeles County Museum, and MOMA. She has served as a Co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets, is a Trustee on the Board of Trustees of Beyond Baroque, and is the new Events and Marketing Coordinator for Red Hen Press. In 2002, she organized The Big Picture, the historic gathering of nearly 300 poets at Beyond Baroque for a documentary photograph. In 2003, she was awarded the Spirit of Venice Award for coordinating a reading at the Abbot Kinney Festival, and in 2004, she served on the arts grants awards committee for the City of Ventura.

Pineapple, Not of This Earth

To Jasmine Albritton

The blue of this artichoke is from Venus
Pedunculated, milky sapphire, 
Bittersweet to the bite
The green of this pineapple is from Saturn
A fast-moving composite of yellow and blue
Keen to outrun the radio signals from 1947
The poetry from Jasmine's assignment is from Jupiter
So like the girl, one wide eye turned ever toward
The nowhere and everywhere of the star-pierced universe.


You Awake?

There is in my narrow bed
a pillow as long as my body
against which I align myself
as I lie on my side, imagining us
as two of Moore's fallen bronzes
our hips as his blades
sweetly proximate
my totemic belly warming
your eunuch's back
my left nipple ever introspective
and the right a beacon of ripeness
alert to a shift in the climate
or that joke whispered only
in latitudes cozy with 
the Tropic of Capricorn.


Home of the Bottomless Cup of Coffee

Oh, I feel so...-Tears for Fears

There's a conversation that begins
"My name is Steve, but it really isn't."
And it continues. "Oh. And I thought
you were a cowboy who didn't like me."
"No, you're okay. You're cool."
"Well, then, it must be the boots."

This conversation begins in 1980
and sees the parties through
false alarms, stylish matriculation,
practical jokes involving a can
of shaving cream and phenomenology.
It's that kind of conversation.
It will bet on one heart breaking
and the other racing far too fast
and the medicine for the problem
won't arrive until well after
the conversation has ended abruptly in 1987.

But it's alright. It's alright because
in heaven, there's a wedding reception 
where you can get strawberries on
a small china plate,
strawberries and chocolate darker
than moonless midnight
arranged in a friendly, edible circle.
In heaven, where your friends get married
and you get fed, there are places to perch
that overlook the lazy vast cerulean.
There are sweet things to pass between your lips.
There are sweet words that never will.
But in heaven it's all unspoken.

In heaven, also, there's a dance floor
where the conversation continues
and we're clinging to each other
as if the fate of every horse on earth
depends on the outcome of this clinch.
We haven't spoken in 17 years, but I just
wanted to tell you that in heaven,
there's a 24-hour diner with a 10-cent cup
of the best coffee you've ever had. 

2005 Amelie Frank


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