Philip Kaveny

reads poetry at Madison science fiction conventions, where he is a frequent panelist. He has been involved with literary and book review journals for many decades.

Carnival Pilgrims

Razzo Pilgrimage, Easter 1970 (on our way to the Poynette Wisconsin Rock Festival with its cast of 40,000 human souls)

Vita: This poem is written by me to celebrate my 30 years of total abstinence and sobriety from alcohol since Feb 2, 1971.

The summer of Love turned to my winter of Discontent, and
April 1970 was truly the cruelest month.
Therefore Steve and I set forth our quest for lady death.
She took the form of an eighteen year old, blond haired blue
eyed cutie dressed in a mini skirt with linen gauze blouse, sandals,
flowers in her long blond hair and wore absolutely no
underwear, of any sort whatsoever.
We were carnival pilgrims with black leather jackets, but
No hair shirts – riding both aback our two-wheeled Norton
750 at 120 mph.
Cold sleet walled in our faces my greatcoat flapping like a
Land locked sea bird. My arms wrapped tightly around
Steve's waist and a case of beer tucked under each armpit.
Faster ever faster the engine roared after her receding form.
We sought to swap our lives for a dance with lady death.
Road, ice, and sleet became a solid silent wall. Time past
Time present all time hung forever As we froze.
Then I felt her icy breath and lips against my cheek as
she laughed, and laughed , laughed and said:
"Vietnam has filled my dance card with fine young men,
much dearer than the likes of you.
Besides, silly boys with me it is always ladies' choice.
But please; meet my wallflower sister lady grace
(your designated driver) who will get you home alive."
Her name is Freya.

c. 2001

Borguild a Viking Chief had a new long ship made for himself and his men by Sven the
master ship builder. The night it was completed they had a celebration and drank too
much mead. Then the chief and his court went down to see the master builder's work.
Borguild and his men all looked at it shrugged their shoulders, looked at each other, and said.
"Nice boat eh, lets go back into the Mead hall and have another drink."
As they started back to the mead hall, they were stopped by
the sound of Svenıs great ax cutting through lapstake pine boards as a hot knife through butter.
The master ship builder had taken a broad ax and cut a 6"
strip of wood from the top edge the port side length of the ship from end to end.
Borguild the chief roared with outrage. "You fool, you madman, you have mutilated my ship.
Into the Wolf Pit with you."
Sven the mastership builder raised his ax for silence, and all fell into a hush. With that
same ax Sven made the same cut on the starboard side of the ship. The chief and his
men were awe-struck with her beauty, as she now would lie long and low in the
water like a panther. Now the men toasted the beauty and wonder of the master ship
builderıs creation till the early summer sun's first morning disk exploded across the
Northern Sky.

They planed both edges smooth, added twenty oarlocks on each side with pegs to lash
their shields. Then they gave her a mast from the tallest pine in the forest, and a great
white sail with a sea dragon on it. And they named her Freya. Perhaps this name was
not such a wise choice for mortal men. In their joy they may have angered other
goddesses not so fair.


My Name is Alphonse
( I have no soul)

She came to me as if driven by the wind.

She came to me last night in my monk's cell.

She a rent unamendable in a single night

of passion the fabric of a score & ten years

of scholarship.

She made the scholar's dance of realism

around nominalism jest, by what She asked.

She bade me do again the work I had

I no longer did after the monks

found me bleeding half dead on their steps

and named me sanctuary a score & ten years ago.

I used to kill men for treasure , now she bade me

Kill what canıt be be killed.

I thought of the brave young men whose empty

eye sockets begged the noonday sun for mercy

through shattered helms, for none dare bury them.

Then my heart turned bitter as I grasped that

she paid them as she paid them the night before.

I spoke to her like ice, and asked

What are you to send men into blackness, what sort of

royal slut are you. She cut me. I felt something hot,

biting, and searing, and sharper than any razor against

my cheek, then I saw tiny drops of my blood against

my white linen shirt. Then the my drops of

blood mixed with the salt ocean of her tears.

I blinked and she was gone; now I was

alone with no place to go. Who was I, who am

I, was I a scholar, am I killer, the world

has changed some much, my feet and legs take

over, they remember what my mind does not.



Nov 22 1958: Itıs 1:30 AM and the dance has been out for three hours.

My name is Philip. I am fourteen years old. I am six feet one inches tall and I weigh 223 pounds.

Sparks fly from the cleats on the heels of my black engineer boots. My Black leather jacket fits me as I move as if I grew it.

The lead ball I melted onto bicycle chains rest UN easily in the pocket of my greasy jeans, and the thirsty machete I have double edged sharpened and strapped inside my pants leg makes me walk a little like Chester on Gun Smoke.

Everywhere I turn what I fear most is behind me. Have I become death only looking for more death?

Please, please, please, do not scare me for I may kill youŠ

Good Christ get me out of this alive. I think of Glen from time to time. Glen always hated

My poetry which does not rhyme. I stuggle yet in search line to commemorate this dead friend of mine. Who flew the coop without dropping me a line.