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Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Text and Criticism

Ontario Review, Fall/Winter 1998-99, No. 49

Ontario Review 49Poetry

  • Margaret Atwood, "Crickets", "Questions That Expect the Answer Yes", "Heart"
  • C.K. Williams, "House", "Not Soul", "Archetypes"
  • Wayne Koestenbaum, from Metamorphoses
  • Laurence Goldstein, "Dragon Lady"
  • Yusef Komunyakaa, "Scapegoat", "Doctor Feel-Good"
  • Judith Vollmer, "On Reporting the Murder of a Young Prostitute"
  • Denise Duhamel, "Stranger", "Cockroaches"


  • Sabina Murray, "Walkabout"
  • Melissa Pritchard, from Selene of the Spirits
  • Hartford Gongaware, "Our Lady of the Highways"
  • Willa Rabinovitch, "Out of Nowhere"
  • Richard Burgin, "Simone"
  • Patrick Ryan, "The Real Ones"


  • Simon Dinnerstein, "A Retrospective"
  • Jeremiah Ostriker, Portfoilo


  • Kashmir, 1985, photo by Jeremiah Ostriker


Doctor Feel-Good
Yusef Komunyakaa

He's a Laughing Buddha
With his head thrown back,
Body shaking like the Jesus
Christ in Playboy years ago.
If you don't sing with the cuckoo clock,
He brings in the plastic nose,
The squirt gun of red dye,
Stacks of funnybooks, & the rubber chicken.

The fantasy videos are for hardcore
Grumpiness & un-American
Grief. First he tickles
The soles Of your feet

Before prescribing Prozac.
He can't imagine boredom,
& says only a pretty smile
Assures margins of profit.

by Richard Burgin

He saw her for the first time near Broad and Tasker on his way to the store. It was like everyone else was dead and she was shining. There was fifty or sixty feet of gray city between them. He kept walking toward her. She was wearing a pink plaid skirt and matching shirt--cheap clothes but they looked good on her. When he got nearer she raised her shirt halfway up trying to tempt the drivers passing by. She had a small chest and looked very young and pretty. When he passed by they smiled at each other and said hello and he asked her how she was doing. He could feel himself being pulled towards her and had to use all his strength to keep going to the store because he'd promised himself years ago—once AIDS started getting big—no more hookers....