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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 4, December 2018
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J Hahn Doleman
San Francisco, California, USA


Song of the Centipede

The old woman from Wailuku warns us about them. Shake out your shoes before slipping them on your feet. Check your pillowcase before resting your head. Their bite is red hot fish hooks in your flesh and you'll wish it was fatal. If you find one in your house it means someone is jealous of you. They love water, swim fast, squeeze through shower drains and crawl up your leg. To catch them, fill a pan from the tap and place it on the floor with a towel rolled in the center. But never kill them or their mates will come looking for you. Fling them outside instead; they eat cockroaches. Release them in the house of your enemy only if you are certain the goddess is on your side. The old woman knows all this from long ago when she worked the sugarcane fields, a machete-swinging mistress of the plantation boss.

chant of passion
the hula dancer flashes
a toothless grin  

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