2012

April 23-29, 2012: 14th Annual Yom HaShoah Issue

week of April 23 – 29, 2012

Our fourteenth annual Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) issue.

Alan Britt
Alice Weiss
Anca Vlasopolos
Andrea Moriah
Austin McCarron
Avril Meallem
Barbara Braverman
Bernard Mann
Breindel kasher
C.A. Lindsay
Carol Lynn Grellas
Channie Greenberg
Clint Hirschfield
Corey Mesler
Daniel S. Irwin
David Neves
David Ray
Doctori Sadisco
Donal Mahoney
Doug Dvorkin
Eamonn Lorigan
Edie Schmoll
Ellaraine Lockie
Ezra Ben-Meir
F.J. Bergmann
Fern G.Z. Carr
Graham Fulton
Hanoch Guy
Hayim Abramson
Howard Good
Howard Camner
I.B. Rad
Jan Theuninck
Judith R. Robinson
Judy Foner
Julia Carlson
Juliette van de Mheen
Katherine Shabat
Katherine L. Gordon
Leah Gottesman
Leah Schweitzer
Lilian Cohen
Lisa Aigen
Lucio Munoz
Marc Radzyner
Marsha Carow Markman
Martin C. Rosner
Martin Burke
Merritt Waldon
Michael Brownstein
Michael Virga
Mike Leaf
Neal Whitman
Neil Meili
Olga Krochak
Patricia Har-Even
Patti Tana
Paul Cummins
Pearse Murray
Peter Schireson

Phyllsie Gross
Rachael Z. Ikins
Rena Navon
Rivka Goldberg
Ron. Lavalette
Rona Kiel
Roy Runds
Sabine Huynh
Sandra Soli
Sheila Gogol
Stephen Berer
Stephen Mead
Therese Heidingsfeld
Thilde Fox
Vincent F.A. Golphin
Wanda VanHoy Smith
Wendy Blumfield
Yakov Azriel
Zev Davis
Zvi A. Sesling

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click
here.for.submission guidelines


Alan Britt
alanbritt@comcast.net

Young Man Refusing to
Save Himself from the Firing Squad

Mr. Himmler, even if all my grandparents
were full-blooded Christians,
I’d still proclaim them Jews!

You, Sir, are a vile life form,
a parasite
sucking pus from the Devil’s wounds!

And, unfortunately, for you, Mr. H.,
I’ll be around years, eons, perhaps, watching
you fall asleep each night
with a warm gun in your mouth!


Alice Weiss
amjweiss@alum.barnard.edu

Bio (auto)

Alice Weiss, Cambridge MA. Civil rights attorney, Louisiana, 21 years: Poet, 10 years, MFA 2010, published in Liberty’s Vigil, The Occupy Anthology, www.whlreview.com, www. muddyriverpoetryreview.com, Jewish Currents and soon Ibbetson Review; has been featured at, Provincetown Poetry Festival; Cape Cod Cultural Center, Calliope; was, until 2011, poet-in-residence Am HaYam, the Cape Cod Chavurah.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Alice Weiss and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Aunt Hertha’s Song

Hertha Heyman 1887-1935

Her small opera company
in Bonn declares itself Juden frei
and Hertha takes off for a park in Berlin.
Still in rehearsal clothes, shawl
stained with grass and soot,
she climbs on a crate,
grabs the branch of a linden
to steady her bulk, and settles,
her back straight, her breast swells,
she hurls the notes like a spear. She is Valkyrie
She is Brunhilde. She demands, no,
she pleads for Wotan to temper
his terrible decree, and,
at the fall of her final note,
She speaks to the gathering
crowd: Heine was German..
Mendelssohn. German,

and showing the star sown
to her blouse,
Brunhilde, German
Keine juden, Keine kultur
im Deutschland.

Despite her behavior and her race,
and because of his affection for
the commodities broker, her brother,
the ambassador telegraphs
he has prevailed on diplomatic officials
to obtain her release. She is not to return.
At New York harbor, dark bruises
on her throat and down her neck signal
how lucky she’d been, her weight ballooning,
her voice a whisper. Her story, too, told
only in whispers among us
long after her death because
everyone thought she was mad.


Anca Vlasopolos
vlasopolos@sbcglobal.net

Bio (auto)

Anca Vlasopolos published the award-winning novel The New Bedford Samurai, the award-winning memoir No Return Address: A Memoir of Displacement, two collections of poems, Walking Toward Solstice (hot off the press) and Penguins in a Warming World, three poetry chapbooks, a detective novel, Missing Members, and over two hundred poems and short stories. She was nominated for the Pulitzer for The New Bedford Samurai and was nominated several times for the Pushcart Award in poetry and fiction. She is associate editor of Corridors Magazine. She lives in Grosse Pointe, MI, and she teaches at Wayne State University, in Detroit, MI.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Anca Vlasopolos and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Best Captives

If the Germans had not experimented on human subjects, space exploration and medical science would have been at a great disadvantage.
— Anonymous, M.D.

fifty years after
in dailies and magazines
reporters entertained with stories of how it was
this one for instance:  German Prisoners of War
      glad to be in America
      glad for food, shelter, their guards’ innocence
            that let them reconstitute themselves like
            the burned scattered blob of horror flicks
      then killing oh by accident of course
      or merely driving to suicide those of their numbers glad for the prison out of Aryan rule
ex-prisoners told us how some stayed and found eager wives
fathered children
went back to the Vaterland
some forth again
then letters to editors
remembering
those prisoners were cleaner
neater
harder-working
 
more organized
more disciplined
 
taller
better spoken
quicker to strike the locals who didn’t
act properly
toward ladies
and the elderly
 
altogether setting down, these letters,
what we’d been told and told
about the better stock
 
* * *
in 1986 Dachau even under rain so sanitized
it looks like a boys’ summer camp
wooden bunk beds, scrubbed barracks
 
the crematorium, looking like a benign huge kiln,
would hold only a fraction of what they brought
 
they had them dig a trench then shot them
in front of it row after row
without a mess behind
 
cloth triangles, faultlessly collected, neatly displayed,
pink or red inserts in the dirty yellow
of ancient stars
 
a man the look of a trapped simian
stares in this picture of the research capsule
where they are checking air compression
for all our future flights

 


Andrea Moriah
moriahandrea12@gmail.com

March 15 1944
(4 days before the Nazi invasion)

Mother has had Ildi polishing the cherry wood
dining room table since early morning. 
It will be covered with the ivory damask
Father brought home from his last trip to Antwerp,
but Mother says she likes the way the cloth slides
and settles in just the right place at the corners
when the table is polished just so.
 
Juliana is in charge of me and my sister.
We are to appear for supper dressed
in lace, wearing patent pumps and silk stockings,
our hair ribboned in ringlets.
Then we are to take our leave
and go to eat in the kitchen with her.
 
Honored guests from the capital are to be at our table
for a grand feast of pheasant, figs and goose liver. 
The cooks have been stuffing and basting and mashing,
swirling rich sauces with brandy and butter.
 
But the guests are not arriving. 
I drape myself over Father’s armchair;
my sister warns me to stand
upright and mind my petticoat.
 
In the salon, I draw open the front curtains
on a lawn strewn with petals from new yellow crocuses.
The lead-framed window diamonds cut the lawn into pieces.
 
I unlatch and push open one of the windows.
A scrim of warm dampness cannot cover the cold wind.


Austin McCarron
mccarron.ahc@live.co.uk

The Death by Starvation
of a Holocaust Survivor

Roughly surviving on gasses
of failed ideologies
I swallow wounds but the end
is my food on a starving plate,
where my youth of gold clouds
is rain of boots and horror camps.

Ribs of blood I gently strum and
bones riddled with mystical juices
I tease out of sorrowful existence.
Weakened by illness I shine a lamp
of hunger on my disease
and return to the solitude of death.

Hallucinations immerse me in stone
huts with authorities of matchless
winters and fires consume me and
I am nothing other than details of air.
Food of emptiness will eat me before
the flower of starvation is truly laid and
in the morning I will see the bridge of
my soul and climb
over its haggard ropes, where the music
of words is blind and I am
like blood rowing through bodies of night.

 


Avril Meallem
aemeallem@gmail.com

Pairs of Spectacles

Piles of spectacles huddled together
as if trying to bring comfort to each other.
Seeing eyes crying out to the world.
“Where were you?”
Each pair a human being
Humiliated
Destroyed
Beseeching mankind to remember.
Now only exhibits in a museums.
Yet witnesses to the pit of human depravity.
Their eyes will stare at us forever.
Each a story never to be continued.
A story of future generations
that could have been…


Barbara Braverman
bbbraverman@me.com

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Holocaust Remembrance Day
Tel Aviv
In front of Independence Hall
where Ben Gurion proclaimed
Israel as a nation
we stand.
Sirens slice air
for two minutes.
Sedans stop rolling
drivers and passengers
emerge from safe cocoons
strollers stop strolling
hammers cease jammering.
A rider hops off his motorbike
holds helmet in hand.
Except for the occasional caw
of a hooded crow
all sounds subside
as if playing musical chairs
and every one finds a place
to bow a head in reverence
to those lost.
But the golden retriever
does not stop
he continues his journey
down Rothschild Boulevard
sniffing each tree along the way.


Bernard Mann
davidlegcy@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Bernard Mann is poet (New Millenium Writings, Cyclamens and Swords, Ardent, Poetography, DiVerseCity, VoicesIsrael, others), awards-winner (including 2008 New Millenium Writings 3rd Prize; 2011 Margaret Reid Very Highly Commended for 3 poems), fiction writer (Cyclamens and Swords, elsewhere), author of non-fiction Rivers in the City, (New York, London, Tokyo; second edition 2013). Former Jerusalem Post correspondent, member of K. Hasollelim, past editor of two minor quarterlies, he lives in Austin, Texas.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Bernard Mann and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Our Survivors’ Paean of Triumph

Writing poetry
after the Holocaust,
Adorno told us, is barbaric, and
in one way, we honor his view,
but Kitaij knew he would attempt
to do Cezanne and Degas and Kafka over
again, after Auschwitz,
and Anne, that awesome phrase-wright of a girl, one
of a million like her, wrote, in a tough-chinned voice,
that she didn’t think of all the misery
but of the beauty that still remains,
and Evgeny wrote that he is each old man
shot dead here, each child shot dead here,
in the killing woods of Babi Yar,
and Shostakovitch wrote thunderously
to echo these words,
and Elie painted the memories, grim
and stark and blighted with murder
by Schutzstaffel and other killers,
but elegaic with the monumentality
of his revelations, and Primo sang
of the Jewish will to prevail, and
tens of thousands of number-tattooed
others have read their drumming verses
to tens of thousands and millions
in their hearing, and millions more,
the Jewish Diaspora, with millions of others
on The Land, have danced and are dancing
in an endless rhyme-rich circle,
a Mobius-strip of the never-eclipsed
Davidian spirit of poetry and its deepest hues,
have sung and have shuddered the planet
with the great refrains of triumph
over the hideous
Nazi evil.

 


Breindel kasher
b.lieba@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Breindel is a poet and a documentary film maker. She traveled throughout Eastern Europe, for over a decade, filming and recording survivors. From her travels, she wrote a book entitled, “Who Robbed the Moon,” the testimony, in poetry form, of 13 survivors. She created a documentary film in Yiddish with English subtitles entitled, “Der Letzter Lubliner,” (the Last Jew from Lublin.) The film has been shown all over the world. Breindel is a published poet. Her work has been in Midstream Magazine, Voices, Cyclamens and Swords, Prism Magazine, Yeshiva University press, to name a few. These poems sent are from a new work in progress entitled, “Winter Stars.”

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Breindel kasher and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Cooking

Cooking for the new year
honey cakes, dates, carrots
pumpkin, leaks
Hungarian recipes
passed down
from Baba Feiga

Baba Dora’s black
and white photograph
hung in my bedroom
she was murdered
in Poland, no words
were spoken about that
when I asked
father grew sad
he said I looked like her

 


C.A. Lindsay
OneAlliedSailor@bookartcorner.com

Bio (auto)

Carol Ann Lindsay, began her writing career in 1974 as a columnist, then worked as writer/photographer for various papers and magazines in San Diego. In 1989, she began writing poetry which has been published in literary magazines (Old Hickory Review, The Kit-Cat Review) as well as commercial (Leatherneck, Magazine of the Marines, USA Today,) publications. Lindsay, who had been Poet of the Week on the Poetry Super Highway (Feb 26, 2001) has won numerous First Place Awards for poetry, short stories and essays. Her poetry had been part of juried art exhibitions at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts, La Jolla Art Gallery, and the East County Performing Arts Center, El Cajon. Lindsay was also executive producer-host of Carlsbad Corner, 30-minute CCTV shows showcasing writers, musicians, and artists. She had also been featured poet for a news segment on local (KDCI) CNN headline news during National Poetry Month and her poem “Floral With a Rose,” has graced a wall of the historical Pen Arts Building in D.C. since 1998. As President of the Palomar Branch of the NLAPW (National League of American Pen Women), Lindsay was presented with the “Woman of Achievement Award” in Laguna Hills, California. The author of six books is a long-time member of the Academy of American Poets.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by C.A. Lindsay and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

One Allied Sailor

Dirk Baatenburg de Jong 1911-2007

When the seagull plunged into the sea and invaded the space of whales
to dine on silver fish and scarlet kelp, you looked at me and told the story
again, except this time, I actually listened. You, the one who couldn’t swim,
had no fear of the final voyage that June 26th when the Nazis torpedoed ships
and the S.S. Maasdam slithered slyly in the frigid North Atlantic,
carrying American Marines and a First Mate who defended Hitler,
saying he was good for the bad economy. When the U-48 attacked your Dutch freighter
and it descended into the sea, you liberated people, helping them climb into gray lifeboats
to wait in the stinging cold for a rescue ship. There was no time to think much then,
about home, or a woman, when you watched two American nurses
sucked into the darkness of the ocean by the propellers of an oil tanker.
I could almost see the spinning waters of the sinking ship
before I was ten after you told me that story
again.

I was presented with history you had lived in the sea, and out of it at the King George Dock
where the Blitz displayed devastation designed by the Fuehrer.
You said over and over and over again, as the Luftwaffe filled the London sky,
that you cradled a German bomb in your jacket, then threw it overboard
in spite of sailors who supported Hitler.
You said Hitler fans from your country could overlook the extermination camp reports
about thousands of people burning together.
You said the people in Germany could see human smoke, smell the stench, and ignore it all.
Then you sailed to New Orleans where you saw a black man forced to sit in the back of a bus.
You said that Americans saw Negroes the way Hitler saw the Jews and after that
you caught a glimpse of American splendor as you took a train from San Francisco to New York.
You said you also passed, “American concentration camps for the Japs.” Those internment camps,
you said, made you angry with America because you thought it was the land of the free.

I remember the sunny days when you visited with the daughter of the Holland-America Line
owner, who had a tattooed number on her left arm. You saw her jagged number
when you sat on my patio chair in California, near the naked mountains where you lived,
as she told you her story. She said Hitler had destroyed her ability to have children and, like you,
she repeated her story over and over again because Hitler had obliterated so much of her life.
Her survival of the Auschwitz Camp gave her power and the opposite. Some of it she couldn’t explain,
but I know it ruined a piece of her soul the way your view of death and destruction
bankrupted a part of your life. I know you saved yourself by hiding it all in the back of your mind,
even when you wakened in the middle of the night to the sound of a car on our street,
just as she salvaged her life by working in America as a doctor, helping mothers deliver their babies.
When she died, the evidence for the anguish that Hitler gave was buried with her number.

I believe you went through hell on earth, too,
when I saw your body whither like the cliffs being hit by the waves.
You had faced death in the waves more than once, more than twice.
At 95 years old, you still remembered the ghostly yesterdays.
You said you faced life, not death,
but the dryness of your mouth stained the smile on your small lips
when we walked away from the gull that rose up from the ocean, a flapping fish in its beak.

 


Carol Lynn Grellas
clgrellas@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is a six-time Pushcart nominee, Best of the Net nominee and a recent winner in the Red Ochre Press Chapbook competition for her manuscript Before I Go to Sleep. She has authored several chapbooks along with her latest full-length collection of poems: Epistemology of an Odd Girl, newly released from March Street Press. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of online and print magazines including: The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Verse Wisconsin, Poets and Artists, The Foliate Oak and many more. According to family lore she is a direct descendent of Robert Louis Stevenson. She lives in El Dorado Hills, California.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Carol Lynn Grellas and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Island of Tears

With nothing more than stones beneath their tongue
they traveled here across a breadth of sea
from Europe to the port at New York bay
where Ellis Island met each refugee,
their only baggage claimed; two broken-hearts
from suffering ten lifetimes couldn’t mend
for all they’d lost and yet a brand new life
was promised, new beginnings from the end
to horrors named unspeakable that plagued
humanity, when they were seventeen.
Now wrinkles cover ninety-year-old skin
with tattooed numbers rarely ever seen─
and yet they moved beyond all suffering
one diamond spared adorns her wedding ring.

 


Channie Greenberg
drkarenjoy@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

KJ Hannah Greenberg is grateful to make Jerusalem her home. Her writing has appeared in Jewish places hither and yon, including in: Scribblers on the Roof, Mishpacha Magazine, The New Vilna Review, The Blue Jew Yorker, Horizons, The Shiur Times, The Deronda Review, and Poetica. As well, she blogs for The Jerusalem Post, and Natural Jewish Parenting, and recently gave birth to two new, secular books; A Bank Robber’s Bad Luck with His Ex-Girlfriend, Unbound CONTENT, 2011, poetry, and Don’t Pet the Sweaty Things, Bards & Sages Publishing, 2012, short fictions.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Channie Greenberg and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Official Shaliach of Jerusalem

Will be no bureaucrat walled in by computer-generated sandstone, evaporated
Hope for “malingering” boys, “indolent” widows, criminals without convictions, hilltop
Youth, faded rabbis, Bais Yaakov-uniformed girls, scruples unbelayed by budgets,
Falafel mountains (paid under the table), ministers’ stamps, or forged giclée prints.

Moshiach’s trumpet call will reinforce no lairy negotiations, no markedly vulgar portals,
No flashy “kindnesses” (affixed by fat notaries, mollycoddled in their carpeted halls).
His words, clear of complex detritus, of rationale for betraying the land, the people,
The Torah, free from eradicating yeshuvim, and from feeding fear, will rewrite our ruin.

Concurrent with issuing guns, dogs, also alarm systems, to settlers, he’ll hunt leggy vipers
Spewing falsehoods, pinging electronic mailboxes with mendacity, brimming Twitter accounts
Thick with mischief. He’ll lasso Facebook messengers plugging green line-prancing, plus
Round up politicos, tiddled big wigs, any muck deigning to deceive our kin for a fortnight’s hype.

En route to bringing our eon of healing, of resurrection, of world peace, he’ll validate
Petitions, pleasant facades, good-natured encampments, proletariat words, prayer,
Leaving lambastions, empty promises, boggled decision-makers, as prey, quarry
Redundant for YouTube ornamentation, vacant TV greetings, dubious radio pulses.

Where pundits claimed Israel was born on the backs of our precious, six million martyrs,
While detractors demanded our discharge of G-d given rights, and when terrorists acted,
They misunderstood. The Holocaust = a widely publicized warning, natural hazards = alerts
Against social fracking/political duplicity, plagues = admonitions critical of formal brutality.

Hashem’s authorized spokesperson of Yerushalayim, of Tzion, of Yisrael and Yehudah,
Prophet, king, magistrate, will unlock social combinations, disregard chiefs in expensive
European cars, ignore “staunch” fighters working cameras, quail “peace proliferators,”
Restore our generations, heritage, hearts, as he performs his atavistic donkey ride of wisdom.

 


Clint Hirschfield
ranger4man@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Clint’s second book Poetic Illusions was released March 20th 2012 on Barnes n Noble website. Illusions get lost in thoughts; a man stands alone exposing his naked feelings for the entire world to see. Verbal freedom shows this nakedness, they are not dreams. Stripped down are words of letting it go, to seek out ones fears and dreams then to confront them in a sound reality full of rocking emotions. My journey along life’s way has been filled with timeless rides of emotions. I share with you my thoughts; I hope they touch your heart. The illusions can you see them, feel

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Clint Hirschfield and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Holocaust… What Eyes Did See

There is only you and I to remember the past,
soon voices will lay silent as the last story
gets told.

Unclear overcrowding from ruthless roundups
because of who you are, then the who you
were was taken away.

Human life was deemed unfit and held behind high
Walls, with people left to an impending fate.

Those few left remember faces that look no more,
never to be forgotten by all in ten thousand life
times.

A remembrance to those who also had hopes,
dreams and a spirit like you and I.

 


Corey Mesler
coreyjmesler@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

COREY MESLER has published in numerous journals and anthologies. He has published five novels, 3 books of short stories, numerous chapbooks and two full-length poetry collections. He has been nominated for a Pushcart numerous times, and two of his poems have been chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. He runs a bookstore in Memphis.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Corey Mesler and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Paper Dolls

In 1941, in Poland,
a little girl is cutting paper dolls
out of newspaper.
Man, woman.
Her parents are out, away,
she doesn’t know where,
but they’ve been gone
a long time.
Her concentration is a watch-
maker’s.  So carefully she
goes around
the frangible limbs, arms
and legs.  The hands
are impossible.
When she is done she holds
them up for a moment
before consigning them
to the fire in her little oven.

 


Daniel S. Irwin
niwrid@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Daniel S. Irwin born and raised in Sparta, IL, just outside of St Louis. Artist, writer, actor…all a matter of opinion. Soldier, scholar, priest…all a matter of schoolin’.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Daniel S. Irwin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Nana

Everyone couldn’t get on the boat with Einstein.
Leaving the country became difficult.
Even the St Louis was turned back from safe shores.
But, it was often “Why leave?”
Why leave? the loyal and true, heroes of the last war,
Law abiding, homeland and family loving folk.
“Why leave?”
World gone mad, life callously taken en mass.
Would that we could know God’s plan
To understand the ‘why’ of it all.
The Chosen rise above their suffering.
Nana has a fading tattoo on her arm
Put there years ago. Still, she
Sings sweetly lulling the baby to sleep.


David Neves
stud-ly@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

David Neves is a 54 year old single cute lil’ fella living in Newark, NJ. He has just released a new book, Tales of an Unclean Life. Buy it, dagnabit!

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by David Neves and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Song of Katyn

You never had a chance as you stand writhing
to the sky with your wrists tied behind your back;
the bayonet between your shoulders thrust clear
on through your heart as you stand
in defiant testimony to the sky.

You speak clearly-suspended in alloy damnation as we
who look away, have bound you and we who ran away
have speared you thrust clear on through your heart
as we don’t heed wordless indictment
in chisled judgement as you defy the sky…
You never had a chance…

 


David Ray
djray@gainbroadband.com

Bio (auto)

DAVID RAY’s most recent book of poems is Hemingway: A Desperate Life. Others include After Tagore: Poems Inspired by Rabindranath Tagore, When, and One Thousand Years: Poems About the Holocaust. Music of Time: Selected & New Poems offers selections from fifteen earlier volumes, several of which received national awards. The Endless Search is a memoir. David now lives in Tucson, Arizona, where he continues to write poetry, fiction, and essays. www.davidraypoet.com

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by David Ray and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Visitors from America

In a Ukrainian village a group
of Americans sought out what
had once been the home
of their loved ones who had
been rounded up by the Nazis,
all their possessions forfeited,
no legacy to pass on.

The current owner is genial, invites
the visitors in, seems glad to see
them. The wife serves drinks
and sweets. The children smile
at those their age. The hospitality
is flawless. And yet the nephew
of the uncle who was betrayed
by some neighbor risks being rude
by looking around, seeking
evidence. Had this been their
family furniture, their etchings
and paintings on the wall?
Should they ask for anything back?

The man of the family, this American,
wonders if his grandfather or the others
had glanced back, said farewell
to the house and all that was in it
as they left at gunpoint and soon
toppled into the open pit. He asks
his hosts how they had acquired
the house. The pater familias
does not seem to know, says he
was only a child at the time, shrugs,
looks puzzled. “After the war,”
he adds, and perhaps is glad his English
is so inadequate. He and his wife
exchange looks as if the other
might come up with magic words.

“From whom did you buy?”
the visitor persists. But it seems
he is dealing with owners who have
no idea how their house was acquired.
They look around at one another.
The children giggle in embarrassment.
The host lifts his shoulders, his eyebrows.
How should he know — it’s been sixty
years. But his wife disappears, returns
with a bag of apples, hands them over
with a smile, apologetic, almost a grimace.

Were these the apples of guilt, forgiveness,
evasion, sorrow, reparation? Would apples
undo the past or serve as fair trade
for the house, the view of green hills,
the laden trees? Were these apples
the blood-red descendants of those
that grew in the yard that day in 1942
when the family came out, herded
at gunpoint, nudged along if they tried
to look back? The visitors on this path
which had been taken by those rounded up
climbed a knoll and had no trouble
finding the mass grave though it was unmarked.
It almost glowed out of the earth.
They stood gazing down, left the apples,
for they knew these were not
the golden apples of paradise.

 


Doctori Sadisco
darkroadout123@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

I am Doctori Sadisco. I live to write poems and short stories. I work for a health food manufacturing company which makes excellent tofu. I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Doctori Sadisco and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Ring and the Flesh

“How”
is such a small word
perhaps an indulgent cliche
a sign of prejudice
yet round like a ring
issuing from our lips
so full of
exclamation
and indescribable
fullness
so incapable
of preparing someone
for what is to follow

It cannot hold
what follows

cannot contain
the story
we might suffer

of
one of us
in a multitude

How this time
will roll out
like a wheel of horror
through its simple
three letters
the so-called reason
for a victory
of hate

How
like a scream held in the throat
not for a moment
not for a day or a week
not even a month
but for three years

Go ahead

Breathe
that many times
calculate
the stale air moving
in and out
of all those lungs
to fill a year
a decade
a lifetime

That is how
long the ring remained
upon her finger
the same length of time
it took for public denial
to come into vogue
for those whose ugly hearts
refuse the eternal shower
of love except
for love of
self interest

Not the ring
of marriage
not the ring
of graduation
not the ring
for anyone’s happy engagement
but
a ring for death
given by a dying stranger
at that one moment
of her sickly
last breath

On a wooden plank
which was her bed
in a place in Poland
where the Jews
were kept

That ring
becomes
another’s flesh
and will never
be taken off
not in this life
not in the next

 

 


Donal Mahoney
donalmahoney@charter.net

Bio (auto)

Donal Mahoney, an immigrant from Chicago, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He has had poems published in print and online publications in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Donal Mahoney and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Staff Meeting
at Auschwitz

We dare not tell
the Fuehrer that
we failed to get
the rabbi’s wife
to tell us where
the rabbi is so
now we have to
call the plumber.
Tell Old Franz
to bring his drill.
He has a way
with women.

Old Franz
will have to
rod this lady out
so we can ask her
once again
where the rabbi is
and if she still
won’t tell us
Franz will have to
rod her out again.

Remember Mrs. Stein,
zaftig in her dirndl?
She wouldn’t tell us
where the cantor
and his wife were
hiding till she saw
Old Franz’s drill
and then she told us
where they were
and we found 30 more
silent in the attic.

If Mrs. Stein were
still alive, she’d tell
the rabbi’s wife
about the drill
and that would
be enough to save
Old Franz a trip.
He’s getting weary.
He had to use
a cane the night
he came to call
on Mrs. Stein.

 

 


Doug Dvorkin
RONDVORKIN@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Doug was inspired to write by a teacher at his high school. In December of 1996 Doug and his girl friend separated. Michelle to go off to Berkeley where she would give birth to their daughter, and Doug going off to Oakland to party with his friends and do heroin and die from an overdose and never see the child born two months later on his 21st birthday.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Doug Dvorkin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A little less

The boxcars were filled with skin
with withered flesh
and eyeholed sun gleaming
the salivating lips
of men who once had
ideals and purpose and wives
who clenched the ashes
of children under
their makeshift dresses
as they sauntered off
dragging their sore feet
against the concrete
looking for blame in the gray emanations
on the surface
and chipping paint
they rather have chiseled

Children who were once chased home
with clubs and spit and screams
of dirty Jew pig

Children who were tender
who sought shortcuts home
and trailed behind their parents
on Sunday walks enchanted
with the steam of their breath
in the air
dying with hands as callused
as a carpenter’s

And at the end my mother stood
among dogs who didn’t bark
lying maudlin circled in shards
of wood and cinder

She floated away
to give birth to a son
who desecrates his flesh with tattoos
and can never be buried in a Jewish cemetery

 


Eamonn Lorigan
eamonnlorigan@gmail.com

The Love Songs of Slobodan Milosevic

In the snows
of Sarajevo

Such a lovely place
to kill.

Don’t you know
the ground is melting

still so many graves
to fill ?

*

Listen: Mother Earth
is singing

Like a woman
in a cell

hungry soon she’ll smoke
our shriveled

souls like cigarettes
from hell.

*

In this place
there is no grieving

breath is life
and death is birth

underneath the ground
She’s breathing

Don’t you understand
her thirst

*

Blood does not remember
violence

Only Christ will
judge my worth

Maybe soon He’ll
give us silence

Until then, let’s feed
the earth

 


Edie Schmoll
musicsongs44@yahoo.com

When

WHEN will this world’s inhabitants
learn to just get along?
It’s tougher to start a war, you know,
than it is to join in song.

WHEN will human beings decide,
enough is enough; make peace!
If the people in charge would only say,
“These wars will have to cease!”

Just ask a mother who’s lost a son,
why we always have to fight.
WHEN he’s dead, does it really matter
who’s wrong, or who was right?

WHEN my sweetheart went to war,
and never returned to me,
I hoped, and coped with the riddle
of why this had to be.

The soldier who dies will not be forgotten–
husband, father, or son;
but the tears of millions are on our hands.
WHEN will the madness be done?


Ellaraine Lockie
elockie@comcast.net

The Tour

A butterfly hovers over wildflowers
in front of Sachsenhausen
Wings beating manic
Much like my heart
But its body immobile
Perhaps like mine
suspended in uncertainty

The decision to enter obscured
by images of wings torn from torsos
And worker bees crushed
by Klinkerwerk bricks

Crimes against humanity widened
to include the insect world
With selected species believed to be
biologically inferior
Beside Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses
and homosexuals

History inherited through insect instinct
Their ancestors oblivious to textbook facts
That were erased by entertainment found
in Sophie’s Choice and Schindler’s List

The pain prescribed in fiction
Surface deep, short lived
and far removed from the reality
waiting behind the butterfly

Where I stare indecision still
Held in bondage by my make-believe
excuse of a tourist trap tour
turning atrocity into spectator sport

While truths of facing my fear
of the hideous in human nature
And nightmares that might
animate off the movie screen
Flutter unaware over the wildflowers
And exit with the butterfly

 


Ezra Ben-Meir
ezrabm@gmail.com

Terezin August 1999

Sunflowers
yellowed-black heads in the sun-less sky
bent
ashamed of the journey we were making
Northwards
from Prague.
 
The Expressway this Sunday morning
was empty
but few cars passing.
Roadworks,
then narrow roads
though well kept
until we turned left at Hrdly.
 
Finally,
beside us
twin, rusting railway tracks
though weeds and Nature
have not overtaken them
in over fifty years
since last they were used.
 
I left a slow burning candle
five Czechoslovakian crowns
on the bed of a trolley
leading into a fan-blown furnace.
 
Guide books claim that racism
though much muted
in Prague
is against Black tourists
and other minorities.
 
After all
there are not many Jews left
 
There.


F.J. Bergmann
demiurge@fibitz.com

Vow

At the moment
when I knew that all that has brought us
to the vertex of the present can be seen solely
as an effect
of that appalling golden light,
glittering yellow, starry,
that like the exhalation from a catacomb reaches us
from distant yesterdays through lampshade skins
or emanates from the millions of empty skulls
discarded in the monstrous common grave of the past,
I made a vow.

This war will never be done with;
backtracking into the past, following the spoor of harm,
no one will comprehend why
these atrocities were performed.
From what is remembered, I cannot escape,
and I will never come back
from that luminous afternoon landscape, the wheatfields
spotted with poppies like bloody wounds
flowering across a machine-gunned crowd.
In the dark fogs of the last century
the rumble of ancient injustices reverberates
above the infinite spatter of evaporated tears;
the ashes of the dead dissolve in burning rain.

I will lift myself out of that fouled mud
by the dead tongues of my shoes.
In my dreams I will summon a shining tomorrow
where the dust of decayed cadavers
will unite in glory with their living souls
to renew the earth.

 

 


Fern G.Z. Carr
contact_ferngzcarr@shaw.ca

Bio (auto)

FERN G. Z. CARR resides in Kelowna, Canada. She is a lawyer, teacher and past president of the local branch of the BC Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. A member of The League of Canadian Poets and former Poet-in-Residence, she composes and translates poetry in five languages. A winner of national and international poetry contests, Carr has been published extensively world-wide including Finland, Thailand, Israel, South Africa, Nepal, New Zealand, Mayotte Island in the Mozambique Channel and India where she has been cited as a contributor to the Prakalpana Literary Movement. Canadian honours include being featured online in Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, having her poetry set to music by a Juno-nominated musician and having her poem, “I Am”, chosen by the Parliamentary Poet Laureate as Poem of the Month for Canada. www.ferngzcarr.com

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Fern G.Z. Carr and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Now and Then – The Jewish Experience

Children gobble up treats at a Purim carnival,
laughing and spewing pastry crumbs
from hamentashen stuffed with prune filling;

Brave souls willing to risk their lives stuff Jews into attics and cellars.

“Why is this night different from all other nights?”
the youngest child asks his father at the Passover Seder,
eagerly awaiting the hunt for the afikomen and his reward;

There will be rewards for flushing the Juden out and turning them in.

Rosh Hashanah marks the start of a new year,
a time of introspection and reflection on the past,
a time for wrongs to be redressed in anticipation of a brighter future;

Transported shadows wrenched from the ghetto face an ominous future.

With religious fervor and growling stomachs,
worshippers atone for their sins on Yom Kippur,
symbolically repenting by fasting from sundown to sunset;

Vapid eyes in emaciated bodies ask a silent, “Why?”

Rejoicing in the celebration of Simchat Torah,
children boisterously parade around the synagogue
chomping juicy red apples, singing songs and waving flags;

Atop the sentry post of a death camp, the Nazi flag quietly billows in the wind.

The orange flames of eight brightly colored candles
bounce in rhythm to oil crackling and sputtering in a frying pan
where crispy golden Chanukah latkes dance;

The orange flames of the crematoria crackle and sputter as they dance, too.


Originally appeared in Poetica Magazine – Reflections of Jewish Thought (March 2007): 20.


Graham Fulton
hfulton32@btinternet.com

Bio (auto)

Graham Fulton lives in Paisley in Scotland. His poems have appeared in many publications including Edinburgh Review, The Potomac, The North, Ambit, Raintown Review, Stand, Chaparral, Illya’s Honey, Hidden City Quarterly, Dream State: the New Scottish Poets, Staple. His collections include Humouring the Iron Bar Man (Polygon) This (Rebel Inc) Knights of the Lower Floors (Polygon) Black Motel/ The Man who Forgot How to (Roncadora Press) Open Plan (Smokestack Books) Full Scottish Breakfast (Red Squirrel Press) and Upside Down Heart (Controlled Explosion Press). 4 new full-length collections are to be published by Smokestack Books, Red Squirrel Press, Roncadora Press and Salmon Poetry.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Graham Fulton and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Tone Deaf

Auschwitz, Poland

At gas chamber 2 at Birkenau
a mobile phone goes off
as we stand
in nauseous awe
of casual butchers rotten things
that men have done

It makes
a cock-a-doodle-doo sound pops
our mood with callous style
a wake up call for those
who can’t

Genocide rails recede
to the gate
Orthodox Jews say prayers
in the trees

The phoneman answers
and tells the caller
exactly where he is then laughs

 


Hanoch Guy
hanochkguypoet@yahoo.com

Felix Koch

Felix Koch could have been ashes.
Now he is moving slowly
At 83 in Tai Chi stretches
in the garden of his Bed and Breakfast
In Sasoua, the Dominican Republic
between a blooming bougainvillea and a pomegranate tree.
At 5.45 Am.

His friend Judith from Vienna says he could have perished
if Trujillo of the Dominican Republic did not have
a spell of generosity between 1940 and 1943
allowed six hundred Jews to emigrate
in order to become dairy farmers.
Each got ten cows,one mule and a horse.
Felix could have vanished in Vienna in 1940
but in 1998 at 83 he is paddling furiously his stationary bike at 6 a.m.
speaks meticulous German to Judith
Spanish to his Dominican wife.

He looks at me:
“Are you in room one ?
We have a Shabbat service at seven.
Only eight are left from the original group in Sasoua,
May be five will come.
Are you sure you are Jewish?“


Hayim Abramson
hayimphd@netvision.net.il

Bio (auto)

Hayim Abramson (Ph.D.; M.A.) lives Bet El. He teaches Jewish subjects in English and Spanish; He writes in both languages and also teaches Spanish as a second language. He teaches a weekly lesson at the Israel Center, Jerusalem; and in other settings.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Hayim Abramson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

March of the Living*

I thought as many that it was permitted to go
And for far cities I saved, planned and went.
To my mind the sites were pilgrimage places
But only got to walk in soil soiled by hatred.
 
I had planned a spiritual journey for myself
But, nonetheless, the dead insisted they were there.
Yes, shallow graves in ravines opened with blood
And anonymous ghosts came out from the woods.
 
They came to remind me in the name of life
That wells abroad are but broken cisterns.
The bodies asked me why they died for nothing;
At the hands of cruel murderers such barbaric death?
 
Truly, white of sin was my heart
And quite innocent were my intentions.
Yet the dead thundered from the hollow:
“You are my guardian, brother!”
 
They banded around me, all sadly broken
And would not let me rest complacently:
“Remember your orphan mother and father
And that not all is well around these places!”
 
We do comfort the dead by keeping their memories
And making them linger in the beating of our hearts.
Certainly here in our own Israel they will invigorate
By growing in the planting of new generations.
 
In this purer soil people do gather more in holiness,
Being replenished from our forefathers’ earthy faith.
It is here that Jews are building home foundations,
As children and grandchildren sounding echoing drums.
 
Yeremiya 2:13 “My people have done two evils: They
Have left Me, the source of living waters to hew cisterns,
Broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”

*Many Rabbis insist to redirect the effort of
Remembering the Holocaust by educational activities in
Israel, including helping real survivors [rather than by
Trips abroad]. LINK


Howard Good
goodh@newpaltz.edu

Bio (auto)

Howie Good is a poet and journalism professor from New York’s Hudson Valley.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Howard Good and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Ode to Dead Grandmothers

Oh, little girl! Armies disintegrate.
What felt like tragedy never was.

Exhausted Austrian soldiers
staggered down the frozen road

past your doomed father’s peasant farm
as you hid in the subzero darkness,

your name, Blooma, Yiddish for flower.

 


Howard Camner
hcamner@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Howard Camner is the author of 16 books of poetry and the autobiography Turbulence at 67 Inches. He was nominated for Poet Laureate of Florida in 1980 and received the MiPo Literary Award in 2004. He was named Poet of the Year in 2007 in the New Times “Best of Miami” readers poll edition. His works are housed in literary archives worldwide.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Howard Camner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Day for Night

They counted us:
our shoes and silver
our bones and dreams
the roads we took
the things we left
our prayers answered too slowly

They counted us:
where darkness fell at sunrise
where eyes were not windows
but witnesses
where doors were locked behind us
and only God held the key

 


I.B. Rad
ibradeck@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Ms Rad, wonderdog, and I.B. live in New York City.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by I.B. Rad and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Manhunt 1941*

Hanging on my wall,
its’ title penciled,
“Manhunt 1941,”
a small lithograph
depicts 3 Nazi soldiers,
with several hounds,
pushing through
a wintry woods,
its foreboding mood abetted
by casting its bleak perspective
in shades of blue
and by placing actors,
plants, and shading
to draw attention to
footprints in the snow.
In the foreground,
nicely contrasting
with solid figures
of hounds, trees, and soldiers,
tall leafless vegetation
is drawn with fine point
lending unexpected delicacy
and even beauty
to that chilling scene.
And, at times,
as I view
those remorseless troops,
I shiver
knowing it’s four years more
until, at last,
the game’s over.

*George Ivers (1922 – 2001), creator of “Manhunt 1941”, was born in Poland. As a member of the Polish division of the French army, he was captured by the Germans and was a prisoner of war on 3 separate occasions, escaping each time (perhaps giving him a special affinity for this subject matter.) Later, he immigrated to the United States. His works appear in many collections such as the Brooklyn Museum, the Jewish Museum, the New Jersey State Museum, and even the white House and the Vatican.


Jan Theuninck
jan.theuninck@belgacom.net

Bio (auto)

Jan Theuninck is a Belgian painter and poet, he lives in Zonnebeke (Belgium). More about Jan.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Jan Theuninck and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Auschwitz

burned in the oven
I perished in smoke
the remaining ashes
are deep grey

 


Judith R. Robinson
Pghdazzler@aol.com

Bio (auto)

I am a poet, editor and teacher from Pittsburgh PA, USA. I am author/editor of eight books of poetry and/or fiction.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Judith R. Robinson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Song for the End of Lithuanian Jewry

Not a charm of goldfinches swirling away,
not a clamor of crows in warning,
not the sad voice of Kovner,
labeled the fool, urging escape
could penetrate the rays of sunset
striking the leaded glass windows
or find place upon the snowy linens,
or among the crystal wine cups
or golden candles glowing
on the Sabbath table.
No dire word dare enter the quiet after prayers,
the men somber, hushed, still rocking
with praise for the Almighty, and then
the women’s dance, their swaying steps,
their rosy children, their clean, kosher homes.

The only bittersweet this night are notes of the violin.

 


Judy Foner
judy.foner@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Judy Foner was born in Rechovoth in 1936. She spent the war years in Suriname, South America and returned to Israel in 1946. Judy has a degree in English and French from the University of Leeds, England. She lives in Jerusalem and taught English to adults in Israel for many years including twenty years at the Bezalel Academy of Arts. Her activities include singing in the Jerusalem Oratorio choir and writing. Judy has twice received an honourable mention in the Reuben Rose Poetry Competition and some of her poems have appeared in Voices Anthologies.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Judy Foner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Doll – Ghetto Warsaw

After visiting Yad Vashem’s exhibition of toys and games
children played with during the Holocaust, October 2002

She screamed and yelled
from inside the sack of coal
against his explicit order
for absolute silence.
He had no choice in the end
but to give in and
find a dark entrance
hidden from view where
he could drop his struggling
burden and let the three-year
old  out.   Covered in soot
she leapt at him like a wild
cat: “Zuzia, my Zuzia,
we’ve left her behind, we must
go back and get her!”
“But she’s only a doll.” He tried
to talk sense into her but
to no avail.  He had to retrace
step by dangerous step and
finally, in the darkness of
the cellar find  the doll
her mother had made
for her to hold onto
when left alone.  Then
followed the long journey
out, this time with
a still and silent sack
on his back to the
reunion with her wounded
mother who yelled at the
youth:  “You went
back in for a mere
doll and endangered
both your lives! You should
never have listened to her!”
But her daughter
then quietly said:
”A mother does not
leave her child.”


Julia Carlson
uberhuss@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Julia Carlson is the author of two chapbooks and former Fiction Editor of the Wilderness House Literary Review. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Julia Carlson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Train Station Near
Villeneuve-Sur-Lot France

Arrive in a small green car
Seems like the middle of nowhere
Wait for my husband’s aunt from Pasadena
Play baby-foote in the Bar-Tabac
Drink a cafe express
Watch a three-legged tabby cat on the platform
Read a plaque on the wall:
“From here 50,000 Jews
Were sent to Prison Camps”
Because it was
The middle of nowhere.


Juliette van de Mheen
stardustraven@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Juliette van de Mheen/stardustraven lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She has worked at the University Library of Amsterdam and she now works at the Municipal Archive. Some of her poems were published at Poetic Medicine, Troubadour21, The Shofar Literary Review, Naturewriting.com and The Greensilk Journal.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Juliette van de Mheen and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Kristallnacht 9-10 November 1938

From behind the curtains
Silent spectators

Saw
Heard

The victims’ piercing screams
Their persecutors’ raucous roars

Sledgehammers smashing
Stones and glass

Broken windows
Burning buildings

Desecrated – Destroyed
Homes, shops, synagogues….

Those frightened witnesses
Sat immobile

Crying, wrestling
With their conscience

Inside their houses
While outside

The hellhounds
The hordes of hooligans

Obeyed and followed
The Monster Anti-Semitism

Hatred and hysteria
At fever pitch

The Beast rolled on
Its orgy of destruction

Most brutal
These November pogroms

The turning point
Foreshadowing….

 

 


Katherine Shabat
sevenwv@netvision.net.il

Bio (auto)

Kaila Shabat, nee Katherine Rubin, born in London in 1947, arrived in Israel as a volunteer after the Six-Day War. She and her husband live in Ganei Tikva (Gardens of Hope) – suburb of Tel Aviv, and have two grown children. Her first book of poetry, ‘Back from Beyond,’ was published in 2008. In 2011, she expressed her vision for a better world, in a chapbook, entitled ‘Venus Empowered. For the last ten years she has been working on a chronicle, which in the future, she intends to publish as a series. Her greatest joy is to sing and record inspirational songs.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Katherine Shabat and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Portrait of a Survivor

Her face is wrinkled,
her back bent,
though toothless and half-blind
age has not dimmed
the dazzle of her mind.

She recalls early years
in the shtetl of her birth:
her doting family,
and a first love.

Her blue eyes becloud
as she relives once more
unspeakable horror
and cuddles the white cat
as if it were the baby girl
torn from her arms in Vilna.

After years with the partisans:
deprivation, hunger and fear,
a fresh start in a young state.

As always she complains:
“I have one foot in the grave
I am neither here nor there.
Why doesn’t He take me?
I no longer care,”

then avidly devours
a handful of bonbons
and shows off the photos
of her great-grandchildren.

 

 


Katherine L. Gordon
kanddgordon@porchlight.ca

Bio (auto)

Katherine L. Gordon lives in Rockwood, Ontario. Canada.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Katherine L. Gordon and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

In a Spring Circle

Not alone in museums that glorious throng,
but in all the living pulse of us
are they kept—-
they bloom in tree and flower
the budding fruits that bless our green moment
with us always in the heart of legend,
by them we live and protect
the coming generations who will remember them.
Like prophets of old their lives guide us,
it is love that blossoms in the spring
a shrine of living beauty,
remnants in mausoleums may proclaim
but their living blood enshrined in us
will always be our shared
and sacred secret of reborn spring.

 


Leah Gottesman
leah@keshetisrael.co.il

Bio (auto)

My husband and I and three children made aliya 34 years ago and have made Efrat home for the last 28 years. I am presently completing my MA in the poetry stream of the Shaindy Rudoff Creative Writing Program at Bar Ilan U. I work fulltime in logistics for an incoming tourism company in Jerusalem and teach proficiency English to drivers of the public vehicle.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Leah Gottesman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Holocaust Remembrance Day
in Jerusalem

From my position on the rooftop,
even the chatter exchanged amongst birds
in trees sequestering the conical roofed mall
of a Jerusalem neighborhood
could not drown out the fury of the automated siren
that mimicked frantic shrieks of love truncated,
the roar of routine amputated,
the howl of a future disemboweled
of all those masses of Jews
pierced through by spears dipped in hate-filled rhetoric
that denied even one last breath…
while savagery waged on European battlefields
and skies pummeled the earth with fire.

From my position on the rooftop,
the terra cotta tinted homes of Jerusalem –
so stubborn in their positions –
assembled in their ranks
west, north, south, east of my saluting feet,
defy the verdict of below to disappear.

 


 


Leah Schweitzer
Leyeleh@aol.com

Your Sounding

You send us
messages
from the pit
from the void

Your courage
drips tears
from deep hollows
down
into
this rich
heavy earth

Your sounding
proclaims you
remnant
of history–
you never
leave us

You
make us
realize
we are
all of us
works of art
some destroyed
perhaps
yet
none of us
forgotten


Lilian Cohen
lilian.cohen6@gmail.com

Holocaust Shadows 1

Those people in the photographs
hopeful and expectant
in 1930s clothes and hairstyles
are not shadows
but young people
whose bright future was not to be
who would not marry sweethearts
study law or medicine
photograph their children
at family holidays in the mountains
or by the lakes.
 
My family
lost in the death camps
not shadows
but people in a culture lost
not lost but willfully destroyed
my culture
my people
my family
not shadows.


Lisa Aigen
lisaigen@gmail.com

Walking Past a Shoe Store in Lodz

My reflection in the shop window
 shudders.
Nothing will ever be the same.
shoes or spectacles,
train tracks or bunk beds,
bread, or soup,
hair on the barber’s floor,
showers, soap
a knock on the door.
Not even dust on the windowsill.
 
Once you know, you see the scars
in the woods, the rivers, the ravines.
Wild strawberries and violets,
are inadequate headstones
where whole languages are dead.
 
 
I try not to picture the people
who belonged to
those  shoes.
with their dark, solemn eyes,

No longer confined to their ghetto,
they tap in the streets and alleys,
valleys and villages.
how can a soul be
distilled into
a mere handful of ashes. 
 
The sun sets blood red.
A Polish moon rises,
caged in barbed wire.
The heavens wear
six million yellow stars.

 


Lucio Munoz
caringlucio@hotmail.com

Thinking Holocaust

When I think about a heart being forcibly restrained
I think pain;
When I think about the best cure for a soul’s illness
I think forgiveness;
And when I think about inhuman actions based on a hate filled cause,
I think Holocaust.

The first thought,
With faith, can be ignored;
The second thought,
With courage, should be remembered;
And the last thought,
With perseverance, must never be forgotten.


Marc Radzyner
mradzyner@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Marc Radzyner ‘s earliest formative experiences were in Switzerland and Belgium and travelling to Australia- his parents being originally from Poland. In Australia he published poems and articles, taught literature and lived for a few years on a bush property writing. In 1980 he came to live in Israel with his wife Dorothy. They have two sons, and live in the Western Galilee ecological village of Clil. He teaches English at an extension of Bar Ilan University, and has published one book, The Myth Father (2009). He is currently working on a series of poems about the Piacenza Rebbe, R. Kalanymous Shapiro, the Esh Kodesh.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Marc Radzyner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Atonement 

Sometimes they did speak of it
furtively,
their lives before
were mythical to me
and the war legendary.
Warsaw was an origin
familiar even in a foreign language
yet always fearful, threatening
and distant, like a kind of purgatory.

How do I confess the fascination
in the bodies and the nakedness?
From their flesh exuded mystery
like exhalations of vapour.
The very concept,
the relentlessness
was in itself alluring.
And so for years
sheathed like a stranger in my curiosity
I was protected and could endure,
and thought, they were born to die like that,
as though it had always been their destiny.

Today in a suburb of Warsaw
I walk along streets like void canals.
From a map I hold in my hands
I work out where my mother’s house had been.

They were born to die like that.
What deep mystery clings to all that flesh?
I desired to embrace
not the bodies but the wound,
the vast numinous
idea of such annihilation.


I brought my own face closer and closer
to the little grille
and gazed transfixed at the dying.
I myself have to atone
for ever accepting and denying.

 

 


Marsha Carow Markman
mmarkman@socal.rr.com

Bio (auto)

Marsha Carow Markman earned a Ph.D. in English Education from the University of Maryland. She has taught in the English Departments of The George Washington University, the University of California at Santa Barbara and is Professor Emerita of California Lutheran University. In addition to general literature and writing courses, she has taught courses on “The Holocaust in Literature and Film.” Publications include: THE AMERICAN JOURNEY (vols. 1 & 2) and WRITING WOMEN’S LIVES with Susan Corey and Jonathan Boe; articles in scholarly journals and contributions as writer and editor of Piri Bodnar’s Holocaust memoir, OUT OF THE SHADOWS; and most recently, eight poems in IF WE DANCE . . . A COLLECTION OF POEMS, two of which are Holocaust related. Markman divides her time between Woodland Hills, California and Annapolis, Maryland.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Marsha Carow Markman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Mama’s Handbag

Mama carries a handbag
too large
too heavy
for her slight frame

a nest for her wallet
a pouch for her wedding ring
pictures rescued from that dark abyss
her mother father sisters
rounded up disposed of
then
Today.

“Someone could steal your purse,” I say
“Your wallet and ring
those precious pictures.”

“You are safe in America, Papa reminds her
Again

“We Jews must keep a bag packed,” Mama tells me
but where are those bags stored?
I search the closets in our Brooklyn flat
for a satchel packed for travel.

“There are no bags there,” I tell Mama.
“The bags it is only a metaphor,” she explains
as we walk to the green grocer
my ten-year-old heart quaking
at those whispered words:
Pogrom
Ghetto
Auschwitz

 


Martin C. Rosner
Roscape@aol.com

Bio (auto)

I have 5 published books of poetry, my last described at my website. My poetry has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers including 17 poems in “The New York Times” and is currently part of the course in modern poetry at American International College. The poem below is of the 21 since my last book. I live in Paramus, New Jersey.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Martin C. Rosner and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Kaddish

Lamentations, lamentations fill
The temple of my mind,
Plangent with grief.
Not for me, not for me,
Nor even for my friends
Who limp their painful way
Along the steep descending road,
But for the voices in the winds
Of history, all the nameless
Sufferers who came before,
Now stifled in obscurity,
Their torment unrecalled..
I never knew them, although
I feel they were my kin.
Now their reproaches, bleeding
Through the centuries,
Assail me to exhort
For recollection, justice, sorrow
And compassion, while the deafened
Ears, the small dry selfish minds
Refuse to hear their cries.
Thus I must mourn
For they will not.


Martin Burke
martin.burk@telenet.be

Bio (auto)

Martin Burker is an Irish poet living in Gent, Belgium.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Martin Burke and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Standing Above Jerusalem

This is the place of memory
This is the site of remembrance-
Look at me and see how well I have learned this art.
Dreams assume the fullness of stones
And stones sometimes awake
Love?
O yes, in holiness and flesh
And all the unnumbered questions.
How little has changed –
Three thousand or three years ago and they were still the same
Thus I carry wounds from Masada
Palms from Jericho

Bells are never simply bells
No more than love is simply love –
Thus when one rings it is asking
Where is the one who is beautiful?
To walk in these hills is not possible unless
You acknowledge these hills to be holy –
Look:
There sits the chosen king with his general
And troops are at the ready.
You cannot walk in these hills and be alone
About you, in the shadows, between the tree,
Are moving those names you first came upon
In the older scriptures of light.

As if this was the miracle hour
And this the midnight watch
By which we might fulfil the prophecies
Who to the tourists are charming-
Posing for photographs in smiling groups
Teaching them dances from the time of David
And our beloved city painted on a dish
Which before me rests peaceful and easy
As I stand sentry on the site of remembrance
An act in which I’m as much alone
As was Joseph when deserted by his brothers

 


Merritt Waldon
kid_ink_fug@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

My names is Merritt Waldon, I am 37, live in Austin, Indian… Life isa poem for me most of the time…translating is another thing.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Merritt Waldon and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Beginning of the fall of Western civilization

Time does not forget the millions of tortured,
and killed of the chosen people of God.
Nor do we as world citizens put away so
quickly the memory of powers failures
at the hand of such hungry wolves
as Hitler and his henchmen.

I sing for the dead of those locked down
and ravaged by mans most incurable disease.

I sing in remembrance of their loss,
and survival.

Without those who survived, who would
witness for the truth;
who would stand against the ressurection of
the heinous shadows that embrace us?

Who, but those who have already faced it,
fought it, and beat it?

Remember without our voices…Without our guts,
our holding hands creating a wall against senseless
madness;

history repeats itself.

 


Michael Brownstein
mhbrownstein@ymail.com

Bio (auto)

Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The Café Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, PoetrySuperHighway.com and others. In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), and I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011). Brownstein taught elementary school in Chicago’s inner city (he is now retired), but he continues to study authentic African instruments, conducts grant-writing workshops for educators, designs websites and records performance and music pieces with grants from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the Oppenheimer Foundation, BP Leadership Grants, and others.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Michael Brownstein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

In the Camps

Stress lines are not the stretch marks of love
and I who have seen rifles used in violence,
lift a knife, yes, to cut blood wrinkles
across hands of murderers, hell seekers,
men so stupid they can only follow orders.
Geography comes in handy sometimes, a history
of place names, semantics of color.
We did fight back, and we knew prayer,
a simplicity of milk, a pot boiling over,
but we never turned into our captors
no matter what you have heard, and we
never forget—remember that—we never forget.

 


Michael Virga
mavbuon@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Michael Virga, B.A. in English from Birmingham-Southern College, has been about Poetry circa 1987, but Poetry has been with him since conception. A bohemian cyber-poet in a space of his own in an antique & quaint locus, English Village, a familiar & creativity-friendly environment ever since he can remember, nestled on the central south slope of the red mountain in his home-city, Birmingham. Michael (MV) contributes poetry on-line & in print, including Stirring V5E8 : August, 2003, AMAZE, MELIC REVIEW (here and here), and 4 IBPC Honorable Mentions: 2001, 2004, 2006, and most recently in April 2010.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Michael Virga and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Reality is [stronger] than fiction

By the time I was a young boy,
bookwise, I experienced my first love
affair with my sister, Helen Keller. She taught me
Compassion. Those weren’t tears behind
my thick glasses: emotional ecstasy.

That’s how I righteously fell,
how could I not care.
In the library we met
and lingered beyond the books.
Not bound & shelved to be passed around.

No wonder then, about that time,
I also read & read about Hit
ler —

how anybody could be so mis
driven to think (“upon the rock”)
they could concentrate to master mind
and utterly annihilate
the miracle(s)
of life

 


Mike Leaf
leaf_mikerachel@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Mike Leaf born London England 1934. Made Alyah 1953. Member of Kibbutz Amiad. Volunteered Paratroopers 1954 participated in retaliation raids and parachuted into Sinai 1956 and was badly wounded. 1957- 60 operated heavy earth moving equipment in the Congo and Central Africa building roads dams and working down, copper and asbestos mines. Returned Israel lived in Natanya began painting and sculpting full time 1969, moved to Sfat. Is still living there. Since 2000 splits his time between Sfat and Thailand spending the winters in Chgiang Mai. Finds inspiration by involving himself in various other cultures and has travelled extensively with wife, staying for 5 – 6 month periods in Mexico, Morocco, India, Bali, All countries in S.E Asia, Europe and the States. Website mikeleaf.com

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Mike Leaf and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Tragic Bare Room

The tragic bare room
The wooden chair upturned
The prayer book lying
Wounded on the floor
Entangled in the thongs
Of the sobbing T’filin.
The broken window
Swings on screeching hinges.
A gutted house across the way
Seen through the shattered glass.
A pall of smoke
The smell of cordite.
The abused room alone
Bares witness
And silently mourns
Its banished occupant
Now crammed
With thousands more
Into cattle wagons
Journeying to Auschwitz
 
Mere words
Mere words  
Inadequate
Insufficient
Only succeeding
In dwarfing 
The demonic enormity
Of the Holocaust 

 


Neal Whitman
neal@whitmanassociates.org

Bio (auto)

Neal Whitman is a member of Voices Israel and lives in Pacific Grove, California.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Neal Whitman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Context is All

“Hell is someplace where nothing connects to nothing.”
T.S Eliot commenting on Dante’s Inferno.

That evening
the children were given no homework.
The mimeo machine is broken, again?
Start of school vacation?
A reward for good work?
So many good reasons.
But what if…
on February 17, 1944,
Jews were leaving their Italian captors in the morning?
Taken by the German Waffen-SS:
650 men, women, and children
packed and stacked in train wagons.
And sent off into morning fog?
From Turin, North then East.
East past Austrian towns.
East past Czech towns, Slovakian towns.
East to Auschwitz.
Journey to nothingness. In the Italian camp,
the little school run by the women inmates had continued
to the last day. But that evening
the children were given no homework.
All took leave that night.
All took leave from Life.
All were taken someplace where nothing connects to nothing.
All were taken to the Inferno.

 


Neil Meili
meilineil@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Lives in Edmonton Alberta and Austin Texas. Involved in psychology teaching and Communologue facilitation in Israel and other countries as co-founder of Imago Relationships International’s Peace Project

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Neil Meili and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Still Here

I was born while you were dying
my birthmark is a blue tattoo

For seventy years I’ve been trying
to remember and forget

There are museums and deniers
there are survivors of survivors

People are still writing poems
the damn thing won’t wash off

 


Olga Krochak
olga.krochak@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

My name is Olga Krochak and I am an MA student in Tel Aviv University. I live in Netanya with my husband and a newborn daughter, Emily. I love poetry and organize readings in order to promote English poetry in Israel.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Olga Krochak and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Silence

She touched his forehead
It was cold
Good, she thought
Then gently rocking him in her arms
She sang the lullaby her mother once sang to her.
His tiny mouth went up and down releasing a hush shriek
Hush, she said, hush, my dear.
Then revealing her wilted breast, she tried to stick it into his mouth.
He shrank and cried once more.
Louder.
“I don’t think he wants it” someone said
She smiled.
He still has strength, she thought.
She pressed the nipple-
Not one drop of milk
Pressed it harder
No, nothing
Harder
One drop, yes, of blood.
Then hiding back the useless foodstuff
She hugged him once more.
Pressed him tightly to her chest.
With closed eyes she listened.
Silence.
Nothing.
Not a sound.
Then a sound.
One sound.
A laughter?
No.
A scream?
No.
A feeble noise.
Then a scream.
Then a laughter.
 
She pulled the little worm body closer to her chest.
One tear.
One.
Then she waited.
Screams!
Laughter!
“They are coming”
She lifted her head and looked off into the one and only window in the room.
It was dark.
But the flashes of light were getting brighter.
“They won’t let us live”
“But the war is over”!
“They won’t let us live.”
A distant knock.
NO. A thud.
Bang!
She sighed and stood up.
Bang!
She took the little pile of cloth that now breathed steadily
and placed it into the one and only chest in the room, leaving the door slightly open.
Bang!
Yes. It will be enough.
Maybe just a little bit more.
Bang!
No, a little bit more.
No! They will see him.
Less. Yes.
Bang!
That’s it. It will be enough.
BANG!
Screams!
Laughter!
Then- Silence.
Once again.
No.
A hush shriek…

 


Patricia Har-Even
patricia@har-even.net

Bio (auto)

Patricia was born and educated in London, made aliyah from suburban Surrey in 1968 to Karmiel, returned to a boring but lucrative job in London and achieved the apotheosis of a second aliyah to Safed, after retirement in 2008. Loves messing around with books and dirtying her hands in the garden.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Patricia Har-Even and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Getting In

Hiding in the hay at the bottom of lorries
Stolen by the Resistance, we
Were disbelieving of our luck to have got so far.
We had a fair time of it at first
On the Italian boat, chasing the young girls
Around the open decks in the sunshine,
Laughing. Afterwards they had to go below
To help the mothers of young babies, and our
Sleeping quarters stank with sweat, urine and sick.
Then the British ship appeared and we
Crouched down to whisper on our bunks, and
Heard the sailors shouting to our captain with a
Bullhorn, though he cried this was a refugee
Vessel – no guns on board; but still the English sailors shot at us.
We used potatoes, which were all we had;
And of course so useless, that kind of ammunition –
We had to sacrifice our stores, and thus we were
Forced into gentlemanly arrest by the
Policemen of the sea, who put a pistol on the captain’s back.
In the King’s English they instructed him
To set a course for Cyprus. Not Germany at
Least, not there. Some of us, we later heard,
Got through, but how? And found themselves
Naked in prison at Atlit, with DDT. Great open green tin
Chambers shown to them, which many of us
Recalled were like the rumoured unspeakable
Places that had no exit doors. These only cleansing
Stations however, on the way to a prison
By no means inhumane. Of course no men and boys allowed
With wives or sisters in the same huts,
Or families might attempt escape together.
Yet finally one night the shifts of history turned
Round and the kibbutzniks came at last;
We’d heard the warnings, made up our
Small packages of possessions and crept out.
We made a silent coming of it and
Arrived, bewildered, into Palestine.
It should be told, and bitterly, that we came like this.

 


Patti Tana
pattitana@optonline.net

Bio (auto)

Patti Tana of Locust Valley, NY, is the author of eight collections of poems, most recently Any Given Day (Whittier Publications, Inc., 2011). To listen to Patti read her poems, visit http://www.pattitana.com. She is Professor Emerita of English at Nassau Community College (SUNY), editor of the Songs of Seasoned Women poetry anthology, and the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association Long Island Poet of the Year 2009.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Patti Tana and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The List of Names: Jean (1925-1995)

Everything tasted of ash.
I never looked up at the sky
the whole time I was in Auschwitz.

When my period stopped
I was so afraid
I’d never have children.

Mengele saw me naked
more than my husband
in all the years we’ve been married.

Of my family only I survived
to wear the coat
lined with names.

After the war we wandered
scavenging for food
and places to sleep.

No one wanted us.
Now the children don’t want to hear.

from When the Light Falls Short of the Dream
(1998) by Patti Tana


Paul Cummins
pcummins@newvisionsfnd.org

Bio (auto)

Paul Cummins is an educator, author and founder of New Visions Foundation, a non-profit organization providing innovative educational opportunities through which the most at-risk and under-served and at risk young people can transform their lives. New Visions Foundation serves as a catalyst in educational and social innovation for disadvantaged youth. Since its inception in1995, it has launched independent and charter schools, and has implemented innovative programs for children and youth. He lives in Santa Monica, CA with his wife. They have four daughters.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Paul Cummins and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Overlooking Jena: 1939

Here we were
surrounded by a forest,
there were even trees
inside the walls.
Between the kitchen
and laundry
stood the Goethe Oak.
Its inscription:
“Above all the treetops
there is peace.”
Yet as though they knew
this was no place for them–
there were no birds,
not a one,
in Buchenwald.

 


Pearse Murray
pearseamurray@aim.com

Bio (auto)

Pearse Murray is a native of Dublin, Ireland and lives in Albany,New York. He has had several poems published in a variety of Anthologies (Voices Israel, Child Of My Child, Tree Magic, Poems for Peace) and in on-line and print magazines such as Poetica, Cyclamens & Swords, Blue Collar Review, Revival Literary Journal and forthcoming in The SnailMail Review and Poetry Salzburg Review.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Pearse Murray and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Silent Sky Over Theresienstadt

1.
Silence: that which is not heard
Noise: that which masks silence
Music: that which presents a World without a No

Silence: that which yearns for a voice
Noise: that which lies to the living
Music: without which, perhaps life would be a mistake

Silence: that which can be a crime
Noise: that which can be a crime
Music: that which we sing in a minor key

Hatred: that which says no to the Other
Love: that which requires a world Without a No
Witness: that which is memory without silence

2.
Let anger dissolve in the wounded womb of our graves
for at some time or other does not Memory give way to History?
and no further go?

 


Peter Schireson
Pschireson@schireson.com

Bio (auto)

Peter Schireson lives in North Fork, California in the Sierra Foothills. His writing has been published in Midwest Literary Review, Annalemma, Portland Review, Stone Highway, Post Road, and other journals. And he has been poet of the week at PoetrySuperHighway.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Peter Schireson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Snapshot

My mother taped a snapshot to the wall
of two slight Polish girls. They don’t look more
than eight or nine. Along the edge she scrawled
a single word in pencil: “Sobibor.”
“The Germans gassed them in that camp,” she says.
“It could have just as well been me, but my
folks left decades before. Iftheirs had fled
and they’d survived…” Her voice trails off. “But I
had better luck.”
………………………..The hospital has sent
her home today. There’s nothing more to do.
I’ve watched her life trail off to this near end.
She whispers to me now, reminds me who
these little specters were. I say, “I know.”
She smiles and says, “I’m tired. Please. Let me go.”

Originally published in “Caduceus”

 


Phyllsie Gross
phyllsie77@evron.co.il

They Knew It

How ever did it happen
That the humblest of mothers
outwitted such mass death?

Himmler knew what he was doing:
If he murdered all their parents
he had to kill their children
He knew he must preempt them,
those ‘avengers’ of tomorrow
and to “keep them from arising
to face our sons,
our grandsons”[1]

Seven infants
grew up guessing
was I born perhaps
here
or there?
the forest? where?
tight-lipped were the mothers
imprisoning the unimaginable
the unmentionable
the unforgettable
these sixty-five long
years

they knew they had to cheat
to cheat the thumb of Mengele
holding in their bellies
standing that much taller
they passed the cruel inspections
they passed their way through Auschwitz
they ended up at Kaufering
they worked as slaves in Augsburg[2]

Their fellow women workers –
they just knew they had to help them
they midwifed all their babies
they hid them while they labored
they gave them
food
care
water

the photograph was crinkled
faded black and white
shaded greys of swaddlings
clasped by stunned young mothers –
they sat between the bunkbeds
with their infant boys and girls

The Liberators knew it
Those GI Joes just knew that they
must document
must photograph
that scene from that far ‘planet’ –
among the dead and starving –
moms and babes
still breathing

The filmmakers –
they knew it
they knew they had to tell it
to new German generations –
they set out to tell the story
“However did they do it?”
and the mothers bled their tears
and shed
the story
as they knew it

 

[1] Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, was determined to exterminate all Jewish children. His policy was set out in the secret speech he gave at Poznan, Poland on October 6, 1943. (Haaretz.Com, 27.4.10, “Six Jewish babies born in Dachau reunite 65 years later”)

[2] There was an arms factory at Augsburg, Germany. Dachau concentration camp had several satellite camps like Kaufering where slave labour was


Rachael Z. Ikins
justaskrache@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Rachael Z. Ikins was born and raised in NY ‘s Fingerlakes region. She published her first poem at age 14 under the guidance of a talented English teacher, year after selling her first charcoal drawing of a great horned owl. As an adult she has published in numerous journals over the years and has won 10 poetry prizes among them first place National League of American Penwomen 2006 and 08. Her first chapbook “Slide-show in the Woods” (Foothills) was published August 08. Second chapbook “Transplanted” 2010 Finishing Line Press. Third, RENOVATION (Foothills) t released April 2012. She lives in Liverpool, NY, USA.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Rachael Z. Ikins and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Simpler Time

Red brick building just outside Madison
empty now, might’ve been an auto repair shop once. “Hinman 1935”
read some arched letters incised over its door. Cool, dark

cavernous depths in summer, a dusty,
oiled black floor. Where men worked,
maybe brothers. Grease-stained fingernails
Ivory never would’ve done.
Clamped Camels between

thin smoking lips after supper…listen
marbles, hopscotch, a fat-tired bicycle
bounces past, streamers, clothes-pins
rat-a-tat.

The men work on a Woody, Franklin, a Model T,
radio tuned to the crackle of Game. Everyone shuffles around
it after work. Girls wear strapless sun-dresses, sunburn. Lemonade’s spiked.
Sweaty undershirts. Pinochle champeens.

.***

kids gambol through dusk, chasing fire-flies,
Mason jars. Before we entered the second World War.
Before the oldest veterans who marched in the Parade
fought brother against brother 1865.

Before the Great Western Turnpike was dotted with
rusty yellow-blue battle signs to tell the tale. “Hinman 1935” explicit, simple.
Before gasoline cost 25 cents a gallon.
Before when dogs caught rabies,
children, polio.

Across the ocean, genocide. Families starved in camps. Extermination.
My grandfather secreted antibiotics between boxed, dried beans he sent. He searched
Germany for his wife’s Jewish physician, his friend, Doktor Wolff
who delivered my mother at their home, his best buddy
he got drunk with after in celebration later


Rena Navon
renavon1@gmail.com

My How Art Teaching Has Changed

A woman I took for my teacher turns out
A stern warden forbidding my dazzling smile
Why did it take me so long to take in her message?

A shadow on the wall is not unusual in art
But coming out into the light those markings
Look different and keep changing with my position

Is that my pale father in the row next to me?
He never liked drawing, couldn’t even write well
So why is he here now, his eyes under a spell?

*
An eraser put out lines we’d rather not find
The people turn out the same when climbing
Or descending, oblivious to where they are going

I kept erasing expressions that came out wrong
Adding new features as they got hidden, shading
With different colors that got rubbed away

Words became murmurs, a book I was writing
Turned out just a page that I threw in my folder
In time to see the folder get thrown in the trash

*

It was not a class but a trek with an end at a hill
Our subjects were people who were with us still
Recognizable enough to keep filling our brush

We learned in ’43 art class could mean death
A blemish was safer than a painterly complexion
A straight line had to be broken and broken, cast off

We were subjects with a smile getting rubbed out
Its absence was what the shorn mouth was about
A lump in the throat dumped in cold cream each night

*

Erasers became people hiding from the living while
Curtains for shading were prepared sheets for the dead
Young models now corpses to bury instead

While a scared friend pretended she was the warden
Students were getting pushed from horizontal desks into
Piles more convenient to place in vast trucks

 

Looking left, looking right, for some semblance of form
I had lost all my forms that conformed to a norm
I was lied to my losses were due to a storm

*

The fighting now over, real work would begin
Line and shading no longer original sin
Colors running and blurring, from fat into thin

Rules obliterated without starting a fight
Guards assuring us everything would turn out all right
Parading down galleries and turning out lights

The woman I took for my teacher turns out
A male guard turning light into dark
Colors burning up blackly, described as the night

 


Rivka Goldberg
rifkahg@013net.net

Second-Generation Survivors

We do not exactly know
Past, present and future horrors
But we do know we are survivors too

One’s father given up as dead
Climbed out of a pit with a permanent scar
Only spoke of it once questioned by his daughter

Named her after five women none of whose lives
She knows anything about but is haunted by in mid-life
And is now groping for some light she knows not where

Another’s put by his father on the last train to foreign shores
Ran back and forth with broken English trying to get permits
For his parents before they were sent to Auschwitz to be killed

In his never fully adopted home and family
Called his oldest daughter after his mother
And despairing of a son, his youngest after his father

Another’s after his wife’s short turn in a birthing carriage
On a train to freedom became father to a now-grandmother
Forever oblivious of her exact birthplace

She will never know which of her eloquent expressions
And somewhat outlandish clothes take after
Which relatives who perished somewhere back there

Another’s built his immediate family in Warsaw after the war
With a woman who had lost her closest in the camps
She did not want to know but chose to move unblinkingly ahead

Her daughter a repository of these unknown lives
Constantly seeks any scrap of information
Even after moving a world away

Somehow we survive our parents’ survival
With gaping uncertainty about who they really were
And who we cannot ever consciously fully be


Ron. Lavalette
rdlbarton@netscape.net

Whither Thou Goest

Again the dream: the boxcar and the
long march. The camp. Last night, again,
selection and weeping. Ash in the air.

Don’t ask me why. Don’t ask me if
I miss someone I’ve never met, I
don’t. Except in dream, I was not

there to bear witness; was not there
at all. I don’t believe I’ve ever met
anyone who had to let their lover go

or let their father or their mother go
—I must have; must have met them,
but I can’t recall.

………………………This morning, though,
it seems I know them all. It seems I
stand beside them, waiting in long lines,

waiting in the cold on hard red ground,
surrounded by even harder faces, late
winter snow and traces of ash in the air.

 


Rona Kiel
rkrmkiel@gmail.com

The Siren Shrills

The siren shrills and
the leaves wave from the plane tree
the tarpaulin over the dumpster swells
the sheet swings from the washing line
the striped cat folds her tail to her side
And we are as dead.
 
The siren stills and
the young woman in the shop doorway smooths her hair
   and waves to her friend
the window cleaner cycles past with his bucket and mop
   swinging from his handlebar
the tall man folds himself into his car
   and starts the motor
the girl’s cheeks swell as she
  blows a kiss to her mother
And once more we live.


Roy Runds
royr1@bezeqint.net

Bio (auto)

Born to Polish-Jewish parents in Perth, Western Australia, in 1944, I emigrated to Israel in 1972 and settled in Tel Aviv, where I have since steadily followed my vocation as a poet. Since 1984, I have been a member of the Voices Israel Group of Poets in English (Voices), which publishes a yearly anthology, VOICES ISRAEL, in which my poetry has appeared in every issue since 1989. I have also done some proofreading for this magazine, on the editorial board of which I served continuously from 1992 to 2006.. My poetry has been published widely in Israel and also in Australia, America, New Zealand and Germany. I have had three books of my poetry printed, all in Tel Aviv, and am planning a fourth. My occupational experience has included editing, proofreading and abstracting, although the great love of my life is writing poetry.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Roy Runds and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Sinister Numbers

Summer wilts,
frazzles the nerves.
Cars and pedestrians
jangle and jostle in the jungle.
Motorists honk madly and maddeningly,
practise their combat readiness.
Primitive people shove,
inflict infernal noise.
Salesmen and mosquitoes whine.
Tobacco fumes poison-gas the public
Oy! Oy! Oy!

My bus arrives fifty minutes late.
Fuming, I push my way towards a seat.
In front of me sits an aged woman,
sighing, sighing, sighing.
Damn you,
you think you have troubles,
I swear mentally.
She rolls up her sleeves,
exposing a row of numbers
indelibly tattooed
on her left forearm –
signature of hell!

Israel –
wayward rescuer.
I am penitent.


Sabine Huynh
sabhuynh@netvision.net.il

Bio (auto)

Sabine Huynh was born in Saigon, Vietnam, and raised in Lyon, France. She then lived in England (London, Leicester, Cambridge), the States (Boston, MA), and Canada (Ottawa). She now lives in Tel Aviv, Israel, where she writes, and works as a literary translator (specializing in Holocaust-related poetry and biographies). Her poems and short stories in English and in French have appeared in various literary journals and anthologies in Europe, Israel, and North America (including Quebec). pas d’ici, pas d’ailleurs (“steps from here, steps from there / not from here / not from there”), the world anthology of modern Francophone women poetry she prepared in 2010-2011 (with A. Lacelle, A. Paoli & A. Tourniaire), will be published by Voix d’encre in France in September 2012. Her first novel, La mer et l’enfant, is due out with Galaade Editions in France in January 2013. Visit Sabine on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Sabine Huynh and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

You were looking for
tidy children’s bedrooms

(to Uri Orlev)

The sirens howl for two minutes

pensive silence in your eyes
limbs and birds immobile
like in freezing winter
although we are in April

One minute for six millions
stars in the sky
one minute for five millions
moving in orbit around them
two minutes to think up
a eulogy for the dead
a eulogy for the living

In the Warsaw Ghetto you were twelve
your mother was already
the most beautiful star

you had to help the men look for coal
in empty dwellings
and because you loved
collecting books and stamps
you were looking
for tidy children’s bedrooms

In Bergen-Belsen you were thirteen
you wrote poems
on the bunk beds wooden slats
and then you neatly copied them down
in a tiny notebook
before reciting them
on Jewish holidays
standing proudly on a small table

Sixty-eight years later
wrapped up in foil
the notebook shines
in your Jerusalem bedroom

Mauve sage flowers grace your garden
saving us from ourselves
when the leaves burn
sacred smoke cleanses the air
clouds travel to the children’s bedrooms
to bring them back

 

 


Sandra Soli
sandrasoli@cox.net

Bio (auto)

Sandra Soli, poet and writer in Edmond, Oklahoma, offers a Remembrance Day poem from her current book in progress, Child’s Play, to honor survivors and the many voices no longer heard. Poems appear or are forthcoming in Ruminate, Burnt Bridge’s D-Day commemorative issue, War, Literature, and the Arts, and elsewhere. Honors include an Oklahoma Book Award and two Pushcart nominations.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Sandra Soli and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Our Daily Bread

After Szymborska

Once upon a time, a dark-eyed girl
left her house with some others.
She rode a train with a broken doll.
Noise covered her life.

Mother waved from another path.
The girl grew tired and dropped her doll.
The doll was useless. The girl, too,
wanted something else.

Someone smiled, so she walked that way.
She baked in an oven like bread,
bread to feed millions and a job.
A man who used to know her swept the place.

He cleared away ashes and ate bread that day.
As time went on, the noise grew louder.
The girl, the mother, and the man, accused
of cliché, hid themselves in books.

Now everyone can breathe        break
bread and eat it, dust the books,
load them in boxes, cart them away,
sing summer songs.

 


Sheila Gogol
sheila.gogol@tip.nl

Bio (auto)

Sheila Gogol was born in New York and made aliyah when she was 18, but then she met a Dutchman and moved to Amsterdam, where she has been living ever since. She is a retired English teacher and has two sons and two grandsons. She goes to Israel every year and visits the Russian relatives from her father’s side of the family, people she never even knew existed during the Soviet era.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Sheila Gogol and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Shoebox

“They are right here in the house with us!”
my mother would exclaim
whenever I asked about her relatives
back in Poland.

This is New York, I would think
a tiny apartment in New York
what in the world
would they be doing here?

Then as we were packing her things
for the Hebrew Home for the Aged
we found the shoebox of photographs
sent to her as the only living relative.

There they were, all of them,
smiling, grimacing, young and old,
I took the shoebox home with me
and never opened it again.

Recently though my 5-year-old grandson
found it hidden in the closet
and spread all the pictures out
on the dining room table.

“You said we didn’t have any relatives,”
he reproached me,
“and here they are, look at them,
they look just like me! I love all of them!”

 


Stephen Berer
steve@shivvetee.com

Bio (auto)

My writing career spans forty years. Most of my work has been devoted to composing long narrative poems that explore the clash between the real and the ideal, in the lives of historical figures and people I have known. As I reconstruct these lives, so I reconstruct English, in an effort to achieve heightened and multi-dimensional perspectives. This latter has been a slow, evolutionary process, requiring the re-thinking of spelling, grammar, and the conceptual implications of linguistic structures. I believe that restructuring language is an essential task if we are to build more insightful and effective psychological models, and more realistic and accurate assessments of the quantum mechanical world we live in.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Stephen Berer and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Ferst Revvellaten

………………………………..Kalman ben Arya Zev Bar Mitzvah,
………………………………..Khiya Sura 5758; Victoria
Thoze dayz Rabbiy Hillel woud bless owwer hows
And sleep with us wen he krossen the Straets.
We ar wok, Shabbut, past the parlaymen bilding
On the way tu Shule. It wuz erlee spring.
The budz still struggel aggenst the koeld.
Nu shuets braken owt ov thaer dessent in erth.

Az if the parlaymen fell in a heep
I saw owwer Tempel in Ruwenz.
Teerz begin tu por frum my iyz.
……..“How iz this hap in the Prezzens owwer Lor?
……..“The naeshenz roze up aggens God
……..“Tu merder all the Preest in Ewrope.”
Teerz drip thru my beerd,
And I am taest salt and akkridmoning.

And Rabbiy Hillel speeken theze werlz,
……..“We ar sorlee woonded.
……..“Deth iz standen befor eech Sol.
……..“Theze that ar not torn with the knife
…….. “Flee frum the Tempel in terrer.
…….. “But du not weep, my sun.
……..“In owwer tare, in the woonden hart,
……..“God iz laen a Torrah. Not beyond us,
……..“Not in the Tempel, not in the Skroel
……..“But in the helasseez ov owwer sellz.
……..“The Preesthoud wuns aggen will stride
……..“Sekyure at the hed ov nashenz.”


Stephen Mead
smead@albany.edu

Bio (auto)

A resident of NY, Stephen Mead is a published artist, writer and maker of short collage-films. Much can be learned of his multi-media work by placing his name in any search engine. His latest project, a collaboration with Kevin MacLeod, is entitled “Whispers of Arias”, a two volume CD set of narrative poems sung to music, http://stephenmeadmusic.weebly.com/

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Stephen Mead and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

In Hiding

Is the war still going?
From this cave I hear much
but not enough. One gets
greedy for company, longs
to escape thoughts which become
claws scratching scratching
for hours at a time.
Well,
there’s the radio, these headphones,
and those books that I snuck. That’s good,
most of it, when I can pan out the propaganda
about how loathsome is a certain species: us.
I switch on Delius, read Henry James.
Often,
I’m all the characters and then can pretend
that this too is another part, a fine job,
sold out for years. In the evening, afterwards,
we have a banquet: wine not yet vinegar, smuggled ham,
big pearly onions. I confess, it’s a pleasure, your
voice, the Adriatic, swooshing off this Sahara.
Sometimes
I rewind it, your presence’s reeling tape,
set up a candle by makeshift stage curtains
and come through fishnet donned, a gold cigarette
holder, Marlene Dietrich in the raw.
Do you laugh still when I write you of this?
It must be weeks since the pigeon swooped through
bringing your last note. That was the day these
wall cracks emitted a bit of sun. I stared hard,
closed my eyes, and they seemed to be orbs, all
doors beyond keyholes. Darling, what’s wrong?
I’m still
listening, aren’t I? And you? It’s just that ’til
I read you and know I am a surrealist going blind.

 


Therese Heidingsfeld
tirzih@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Tirzi Heidingsfeld grew up in Australia and now lives in Jerusalem, Israel. She teaches at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is writing a book about her childhood called European Kangaroo.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Therese Heidingsfeld and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

bridge

my mother ran from temesvar
to a small village on the banks of a river
she ran with her community
as the rabbi decided

they crossed the bridge
over the river
and stayed there on the far side
for the closer side was already taken

then the germans came
and my mother saw them massacre
those  who were on the closer side of the river

the rabbi said to my mother’s community
to say shema
and prepare themselves

my mother saw the germans across the river
 throw babies into the air
and shoot them

after that massacre the murderers were tired
and rested for the night

that night the allies came by planes
and bombed the bridge

and in the morning
what was left of the germans
retreated


Thilde Fox
thfox@bezeqint.net

Bio (auto)

Thilde Fox was born in Vienna in 1930 and was sent to England on the Kindertransport in 1938. She came to Israel in 1953 and now lives in Tel Aviv.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Thilde Fox and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Tears

The moment I remember how to cry
I will go backwards
and pour out my tears
like stones on graves
to say I was here
when a friend walked away
a mind wavered
a child stumbled

When I come to you
standing by the train
in the noise the smoke

I will gather the last few drops into myself
and forget again.

 


Vincent F.A. Golphin
vwriter@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

After more than 30 years as a writer, journalist and educator, Vincent F. A. Golphin is now an assistant professor of Creative Writing and Literary and Cultural Studies in the Department of English at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. His latest collection of poetry is 10 Stories Down (FootHills Press).

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Vincent F.A. Golphin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Think of the Dead as Martyrs

Lives stolen to redeem the soul of Humankind
I see the line un-ended, and bear the cries from
silenced tongues out of swirling Atlantic depths,
across the American plains,
the flesh-fed earth in Treblinka, Auschwitz-Birkenau,
Belsic, Sobibor, and into the present
Boznia and Herzegovina, Rwanda and Sudan.
 
Wrath overrules reason, in every generation
genocide plied on colors, castes, connections.
The incorrigible thirst for power,
sketched in bone and blood,
again and again,  a failed lesson leaves
us to think of the dead as martyrs
so that the needless sacrifice gains worth.

 


Wanda VanHoy Smith
wandavanhoy@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Wand Van Hoy Smith (Hermosa Beach, California) is a member of the Redondo Beach Poets who read every Tuesday night at Coffee Cartel. Her poetry is published in anthologies such as poeticdiversity and San Gabriel Poetry Quarterly. Most recently in The Night Goes on All Night a book of Noir poems. She is regularly published in an e-book RKYV in Canada and Jerry Jazz in Portland Oregon.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Wanda VanHoy Smith and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Keypunch Secrets

Free trade makes a healthy economy
during the great depression IBM made deals with
Nazi Germany and trains to places like Auschwitz
ran on time thanks to IBM’s new technology.

Shela is a product of the computer age.
Proud of her capitalistic roots from a long line
of pilgrims, pioneers, and patriots.
Her grandfather fought in Flanders in WW one
Her father carried a gun in the second world war.
Her mother is proud of her contribution to
freedom and democracy by being a keypunch
operator on early computers big as a room.
When tales of German death camps increases the
US joins forces with allies and IBM ceases dealing
with der Furhrer who’s submarine sink American ships.
Like Rosy the Riveter Shela’s mother works in a
shipyard that build warships to defeat the Nazi regime.

The world goes around and around
free trade is good for economy.
The war ends and soon American streets
welcome the Volkswagen and Ella Fitzgerald scats
Mac The Knife to the master race in a concert in Berlin.
Only lately does Shela learn from the Village Voice that
IBM provided the third Reich with keypunch machines,
sorters and tabulators to track and list Jewish citizens.
She would like to believe the VIP didn’t know why
Hitler tabulated lists of citizens by race and religion.
Did they believe it was simply a tool for census taking.
Miscalculation is a shameful error while a lie
to convince the world it didn’t really happen is a sin.
Denial won’t make the numbers go away.
Shela is grateful her tattoo is a dove not a number.
Some things like the holocaust can not be erased.


Wendy Blumfield
wendyb@netvision.net.il

Bio (auto)

I was born in London and now live in Haifa Israel. I am a writer and childbirth educator/lactation counsellor and also President of Voices Israel English Poetry in Israel. I wrote this poem after visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC because I was so touched by the people waiting in line, most of them not Jewish.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Wendy Blumfield and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Holocaust Museum
Waiting in Line

The sun shines bright in Washington
And flags of freedom wave high in the cold spring wind.
We wait in line in the land of the free
To enter the tunnel of death
And hear the story of the march of the dying.

They were born in the land of the free,
These plump parents and their freckled sons,
The Believers who bow their head in shame,
They wait in line in a city of sunlight and power
Before they enter the tunnel of death
And hear the story of the march of the dying.

A woman heavy with her unborn child
Grieves for the unborn who died so long ago,
And waiting in line in the city in the land of the free,
We talk about mothers milk and bonding with the unborn,
The line is moving now
And we enter the tunnel of death
And hear the story of the march of the dying.

 


Yakov Azriel
yakovaz@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Yakov Azriel lives in Efrat, Israel. He was born in New York (as Gerald Rosenkrantz) and came to live in Israel after finishing his BA in English literature in Brooklyn College. He later completed an MA in Judaica, and in May 2004 he received his doctorate in Hasidic literature. He has published four full-length books of poetry: Threads From A Coat Of Many Colors: Poems on Genesis (2005), In The Shadow Of A Burning Bush: Poems on Exodus (2008), Beads For The Messiah’s Bride: Poems on Leviticus (2009), and Swimming In Moses’ Well: Poems of Numbers (2011), all published by Time Being Books. His new books of poetry based on the Books of Deuteronomy and the Psalms will be published over the next few years. Over 180 of his poems have been published in journals and magazines in the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel, and his poems have won fifteen different awards in international poetry competitions. In addition, Yakov has twice been awarded fellowships from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture for his poetry.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Yakov Azriel and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Yom Ha-Shoah: Holocaust Day

you eat breakfast
listen to the radio
leaf through the newspaper
and try to overcome
fear of the night

you eat breakfast………but inside of you
the Dybbuk of the Holocaust runs wild
ravenous
…………he chews your bones
…………he sucks your veins

the kitchen has four walls
………… …………a ceiling
………… …………a floor
………… …………even a window
………… …………but no sky ……no heavens

the Dybbuk ……having clawed the walls
crouches under the table
on his haunches
waiting in ambush
ready to pounce

the kitchen is a cage
in which you’re trapped
with the Dybbuk ……….with nightmares with hungry beasts of darkness
and all now sit with you
to eat breakfast

 


Zev Davis
d2343@012.net.il

Bio (auto)

I was born in Detroit in 1943. I came on Aliyah to Natzrat ‘Illit in 1981 and have been living there ever since.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Zev Davis and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Cockerel

after a Hungarian-Jewish folksong

The cock it crows at dawn.
It tells us when to rise
up, get out, close out your slumber,
open up your window. Birds sing.
They’re praying, can’t you hear–

Join them, cast the dust
from hands, in the night
grew fallow as the blood unmoved
now it runs inside your veins.
Now come and re-create.

“Why do you call me so .
How many times have I
told you there’s nothing new,
the same tunes rise, drowned out by noises
drumming in my ears,

whirring, whizzing, booms.
This is the world that I
know. It doesn’t change,
repeating all the tired slogans
calling me to stand

all my brothers and
sisters in a row.
What’s the purpose of your crowing
at the crack of dawn.” The cock smiles,
“I come to greet the day.

For better or for worse
I was amply blessed
to start you to become the being,
to open up your eyes, and seeing
what there is to do.

It’s tiring for me
too, and there’s so much
that I understand, your sadness,
all the same, the hard ground, barren
and so little grows

yet, there I am, I go
in the henhouse where
reminding chickens how to prosper,
there begetting fluffy offspring.
It’s not an easy task,

nor is yours, that’s clear.
foxes run about
in bushes as guarding the fence, stand
steadfast. Yes, the food, just
worms, and bits of gruel

like your beggars’ feasts.
We share a common fate
and looking at the sky.
It will not fall . That is the reason
we wake up, and why I call you
to build, to grow, to be.


Zvi A. Sesling
zviasesling@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

Zvi A. Sesling has been published in numerous magazines and in Jewish publications such as Midstream, Deronda Review, Poetica, New Vilna Review and Voices Israel Anthology. He was awarded First Prize (2007), Third Prize (2004) and Honorable Mention (2011) in the Reuben Rose International Poetry Competition. He edits Muddy River Poetry and and is editing Bagel Bards Anthology #7. Sesling reviews for Boston Small Press and Poetry Scene. He is author of a full ength poetry book, King of the Jungle (Ibbetson Street Press, 2010) and a poetry chapbook Across Stones of Bad Dreams (Cervena Barva Press, 2011). His full length volume, Fire Tongue, is due from Cervena Barva Press in 2012. He is working on a full length book of Jewish poems.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Zvi A. Sesling and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Smoke Rising From A Chimney

time to think of the dead and lost friends
their faces hidden in the foliage
and to consider the ruination of love
a wisp of smoke rising from a chimney

–Billy Collins
The Lamps Unlit

It is almost Passover and soon I
will sit at the long table with
matzo, wine and family celebrating
freedom from pharaoh, freedom here in America

It is time to think of the dead in
Auschwitz and the other camps the Germans
built to kill the Jews of Europe, dead faces
now ashes under the fallen foliage

It is time to consider the ruination of love
two lovers unfulfilled
husbands and wives, parents and children
and the family destroyed
in a wisp of smoke rising from a chimney

 


April 16-22, 2012: Jay Levon and Gretchen A. Bateman

week of April 16-22, 2012

Jay Levon and Gretchen A. Bateman

BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
click here.for submission guidelines


Jay Levon
POTW@PoetrySuperHighway.com

Bio (auto)

Jay was born in the Ozark Mountains to a family of dirt farmers, musicians, preachers, and other such miscreants. He now lives in Mountain Home, Arkansas with a latex she-bot named Lola, and the occasional dead hooker.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Jay Levon and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Jimmy and the Train

There were
three of us.
Jimmy,
David,
and me,
who sat
in back
of the class,
stoned and
acid buzzed,
seeing visions
of nothing.
I wanted
to be a poet,
or a rock star.
David wanted
to be
an artist.
Jimmy wanted
to be
dead.
I swear
that was
his goal.
“I’ll never
live
past thirty
anyway, so
fuck it.”
We used
to drink
Boone’s farm
by the
railroad tracks,
and when
a train came
howling
around the curve
we would stand
between the rails,
and give
the engineer
the bird.
At the last
minute
we would
duck out of
the way.
David always
moved first,
then me,
then Jimmy.
Jimmy would
wait until
the headlight
singed his
hair.
Crazy fuck.
We would
laugh and
drink more.
David died
in a car wreck.
Jimmy didn’t
die.
He’s almost 40.
I still
want
to be a poet.

Cicada

The night he died
I was living in a cabin
in the woods.
Isolated, and without
electricity, or phone cords,
I was teaching myself
guitar by firelight.
18 years old, I was
strong and without fear,
this was before life &
time kicked my ass.
Before the universe
conspired against me.
Before I conspired
against myself.
A knock sounded
at the door.
My cousin telling me
that I needed
to call my father,
but would not, or could not,
tell me why.
In darkness I ran
to the country store,
and used the pay-phone.
My father answered
with voice sounding
cracked and ancient.
“Your brother had
an accident.”
“Is he alright?”
“No.”
“Is he dead?”
“Yes.”
Like a bad actor,
I dropped the phone
and sat hard
in the dust.
The Cicadas
were singing,
what seemed to me,
the saddest song.
This life would never
be the same.

Birthday Wishes

Once, long ago,
she asked what I wanted
for my birthday.

“Anal sex,” I replied
as a joke,
kind of.

“Maybe,” she said
and laughed,
kind of.

I think she gave me
a book.
It was kind of disappointing.

 

 



 Gretchen A. Bateman
gbeachbum.464@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Gretchen A. Bateman is a writer from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by  Gretchen A. Bateman and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Unpacking

The cruel irony is
the 50 boxes bursting
the yellowing tape
holding the memories
Scream
You can take it
with you because
objects don’t just
disappear
like some people do
intent to remind
and to continue
breaking, like china cups
fragile hearts


 

April 9-15, 2012: Graham Fulton and Ryan Quinn Flanagan

week of April 2-8, 2012

Graham Fulton and Ryan Quinn Flanagan

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Graham Fulton
hfulton32@btinternet.com

Bio (auto)

Graham Fulton is 53 and lives in Paisley in Scotland. His poems have been widely published in both the UK and USA in magazines, anthologies, newspapers and online journals such as The Potomac, Poetry Super Highway, Chaparral, Illya’s Honey, Hidden City Quarterly, Concho River Review, Word Riot, Barbaric Yawp, Raintown Review, Ambit, Edinburgh Review, Envoi, Stand, The North, Scottish Literature in the 20th Century. His published collections include Humouring the Iron Bar Man (Polygon, 1990) This (Rebel Inc, 1993) Knights of the Lower Floors (Polygon,1994) Ritual Soup and other liquids (Mariscat Press, 2002) Black Motel/ The Man who Forgot How to (Roncadora Press, 2010) Open Plan (Smokestack Books, 2011) The Zombie Poem (Controlled Explosion Press, 2011) and Full Scottish Breakfast (Red Squirrel Press, 2011). His latest collection is Upside Down Heart (Controlled Explosion Press, 2012) featuring colour illustrations by artist Becky Bolton, one half of Good Wives and Warriors. New collections called Brian Wilson in Swansea Bus Station and Please Wear Comfortable Clothes and Be Prepared to Discuss Suicide are to be published by Red Squirrel and Smokestack in 2013 and 2014. More information on www.grahamfulton-poetry.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Graham Fulton and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Films of Famous People
Who Will Soon Be Dead

Watching The Misfits it feels weird
to think that Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable
were dead
soon after
with the brown mountains of Nevada
and the stars in the unpolluted sky,
and so was Montgomery Clift
with his frozen in half car-crash face
and sad way of walking
who appears
at the rodeo
written by Arthur Miller,
and watching Giant it feels weird to think
that James Dean was dead soon after
with his hair shaved back at the temples
to make him look older than he is
and slumped drunk and mumbling
on a Hollywood Texas table,
and watching The Dark Knight
it feels weird to think that Heath Ledger
was dead soon after with his face all white
and a purple suit all alone in his
New York City Little Italy apartment
it doesn’t seem fair with his straggly dirty
red hair,
and watching Stand By Me it feels weird
to think that River Phoenix was dead
a precise number of years later
on a misguided sidewalk in Los Angeles
with everyone going Oh look, isn’t that
River Phoenix lying dead on the sidewalk,
he was really good in Stand by Me and showed
a remarkable degree of maturity
for one so young,

and watching the Abraham Zapruder film
it feels weird to think that John F. Kennedy
was dead a few seconds later or a few seconds
before depending which part of the film you’re
watching in the privacy of your own home,
and watching the grainy shimmery black
and white film of the first man into space
with his sparkling cosmonaut orbital helmet
it feels weird to think that Yuri Gagarin was
dead sometime in the future when he was killed
in a plane crash under inevitably suspicious
circumstances sometime in the past

Reading Song of Myself
and Watching Taxi Driver

reading Song of Myself
by bearded bisexual Walt Whitman
with all his lovely American lines
such as
I celebrate myself, and sing myself
and
A child said What is the grass?
and
I witness the corpse with its dabbled hair,
I note where the pistol has fallen

which seems appropriate
as I’m watching Taxi Driver
at the same time
starring Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle
with all his lovely American lines
such as
Here is a man who would not take it anymore
and
a man who stood up against the scum,
the cunts, the dogs, the filth, the shit

while holding his hand over a flame
and burning roses
and leaves in a sink
and telling Harvey Keitel to suck on this
as he shoots him in the stomach.
and I’m looking
from the page to the screen
and the screen to the page
until it’s impossible
to tell them apart
and it’s actually loveable old
transcendentalist Walt Whitman
lying on a bedroom floor
and shooting himself slowly in the head
with his own blood-dripping finger
as Travis tells us
about the meaning of poems,
things plucked from thick air,
and reassures us
Clear and sweet is my soul,
and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul.

Life of Brian
Filming of the movie World War Z
took place in Glasgow in August 2011

Jesus at last it’s Brad Pitt in his blue jeans
and all of the women and some of the guys
are going mental
and saying things like Oh my God!
and He’s so cute! and
He’s much smaller in real life!
and screaming and taking pictures
as he raises his arm and waves and smiles
in a meltingly friendly way
with his convincingly not-too-
long blond hair
and his reassuringly confident swagger
all the way back to his luxury trailer
for a cup of coffee, or a leisurely dump,
as soldiers
and SWAT teams
and a bearded trampy man
with a three-legged dog
wait about for the next take,
and a newly arrived wee woman
who’s missed it all
says to her man Whit ur they dayn?
to which he replies Thur maykin a film
uh thu Zombees!
to which she replies
Brian Pitt?
Who the fuck is Brian Pitt?

which is a really good question

 



 Ryan Quinn Flanagan
cyanogen_rqf@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

Ryan Quinn Flanagan presently resides in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada. He is the author of three books of poetry, the most recent entitled Pigeon Theatre (JTI Press). His work has recently appeared in The New York Quarterly, Poetry Super Highway, Word Riot, Gutter Eloquence, and The Antigonish Review.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by  Ryan Quinn Flanagan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Gulags
like Alarm Clocks
Chained to the Morning

……………..The cops sit across the street
day and night.
Perhaps
they’ve been tipped
off.
I don’t know what they expect
to find
at this late hour,
but it seems they think
they are still undercover.
Even though I know
that everything I throw out
is public property
(admissible in a court of law)
and that
the strange clicking on my phone
when anyone calls
means I should not divulge state secrets
or call 1-900 numbers
with my hand down my
pants.

If this is totalitarianism
than it is not very
well done.

Stalin
takes a lot of practice,
but I guess everyone has to start
somewhere.

There’s a Market for Legs

The spider in my backyard
did not deserve to have all his legs pulled off
with pliers

one
by one

but something came over me
when I watched those flies struggle
and become immobilized
in its web.

……………In a fit of rage
I ran to my father’s tool box
and went

to work.

By the time I was finished
I had a pile of legs
which I kept under my pillow
for the next three months.

Waiting for the tooth fairy
to diversify.

Honour the Ball Sack

I said
before I was grounded
for indecency
when I was eight years old
for trying to pronounce the name
of the French author.

A slip of the tongue
when I was ten
put me on time out
on the stairs of a babysitter
for claiming that peter piper picked a peck
of pickled peckers.

…………….I am now thirty
and for the life of me
I still cannot say what peter piper
was picking

…………….without incident

or quote the French greats
without reference
to the family jewels.

Age has not dulled the blade
of my propensity
for error.

I still cut deep
with infantile wisdom.


 

April 2-8, 2012: Donal Mahoney and Jim D. Babwe

week of April 2-8, 2012

Donal Mahoney and Jim D. Babwe

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Donal Mahoney
donalmahoney@charter.net

Bio (auto)

Donal Mahoney, an immigrant from Chicago, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He has had poems published in a variety of print and online publications, including The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), Revival (Ireland), Catapult to Mars (Scotland), Public Republic (Bulgaria), The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Commonweal, Poetry Super Highway and The Camel Saloon. Some of his earliest work can be found at http://booksonblog12.blogspot.com/

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Donal Mahoney and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Take Me to the Taxidermist

I told my wife the other night
when she came back to bed
my feet were cold so now’s
the time for me to tell her
not to bury me or burn me
or give my body to science.

Take me to the taxidermist
and have him dress me in
Cary Grant’s tuxedo, a pair
of paten leather shoes
from Fred Astaire and a
straw hat from Chevalier.

Once I’m a Hollywood star,
stand me in the garden with
that chorus line of blondes,
brunettes and redheads
I stationed there the day she
flew home to Mother in a snit.

Years later now, my dancers still
kick high enough to lance the sun.
I plan to hold a last rehearsal
once my wife motors into town
and finds a priest who’ll say
a thousand Masses for my soul.

 



 Jim D. Babwe
jdbabwe@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Jim D. Babwe is a photographer, writer, and opportunistic microphone hog living in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, a community of Encinitas (CA). He was born in Los Angeles and raised in the underappreciated cultural melting salads of Compton and Lynwood, where he loved playing baseball and learning to appreciate the music of James Brown and Frank Zappa as one of the six basic food pyramids. He knows there is no such thing as a free lunch, but he maintains an abiding faith in the existence of coupons good for significant discounts on the price of breakfast.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by  Jim D. Babwe and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Queen of Leucadia Boulevard

rambling through the night
talking to the trees
singing to the cars
yelling at the bees
throwing rocks at stars
dodging fragments of the stars
she’s knocked out of the sky

chanting random commentary
listening to responses only she can hear
she remembers
she’s alone again
snaps to attention
attacks with rebellious abandon
protects herself from feeling lost
finds location
in the softest target
finds me
blames me for the war
blames me for the flu
blames me for a thousand awful
things I would never think of doing.
five feet two or three
barely 101
rattling bones
inside a simulated jaguar
patterned leotard
she calls herself The Queen
says she owns the Boulevard.

I parked next to the gas pumps
she followed like a shadow
and barked “Woof. I know you”
as I walked through the door
entered the convenience store

she veered toward the clerk
said, “scratchers. I need two of those”
snagged a penny
jammed it into a jeans pocket
with newly wrinked lottery tickets
sweetly asked nobody in particular
for help with finding cottage cheese
found me indecisive
hot dog or burrito?
hot dog or burrito?
said she quit smoking last Thursday
started up again about a day later
suddenly told me
I was in luck
grabbed my hand
promised to read my palm
for half price–five bucks
added this:
it’s a good deal
but if you’re too cheap to spend the dough
I’ll settle for a dollar per finger.
I said thanks
but no
and she checked out again
informed her imaginary companion
she would chew the head off my pitbull
in addition to the horse I rode in on buster brown
cackled see you later cowboy
ran outside to dive into the back
of a pick-up truck that slowed
for a moment
before it barely beat the train
and disappeared north
into the fog.

wandering near the curbs
casting mumbled spells
searching for the cottage cheese
calling old connections to a special spirit world
for a little magic dust
to make her happy like she used to be
and then outside
before I get back behind the wheel
I’m the one alone
almost talking to myself aloud
like this:

maybe we should change the way
we look once quickly
before we quickly look away
when we see someone’s
disconnected from at least a clock
at most–everything
and maybe there
can be good reasons
for both.
what would be the harm
in handing her a blanket
and a sweater
a pair of shoes
and breakfast
in the morning
after handing her a written invitation
an actual invitation
to a safe place
here in town
where she can spend
at least one night
with both eyes closed?

and what if
(you know who you are
and yes I’m the one who
filed a complaint)
Deputy Down On Your Knees
Hands Behind Your Back
They Picked On Me in School
You Stink
You Need a Shower
what if he
backs off a little
instead of strutting
for cadets to show them
how a real cop
works the streets?
what if he
addresses her as Your Majesty
before asking
How may I be of service?

maybe
he’s capable of kindness

enough to open a door
on the passenger’s side
why not allow her
to ride comfortably
in front?
how difficult is decency?

I can understand
a little nervousness

who wouldn’t be a little nervous
in the presence of
the Queen
of Leucadia Boulevard?


 

March 26 – April 1, 2012: Matthew Abuelo and Joan Colby

Matthew Abuelo and Joan Colby

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Matthew Abuelo
maab30@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Matthew Abuelo is a writer, professional blogger and award winning poet who lives in New york City. He has three books out, two of which, Last American Roar and Organic Hotels, both can be found at lulu.com. He is also a former journalist for the online news site Examiner. He currently writes for the Times Square Chronicles. His third book “The News Factory” has just been released by Plain view Press.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Matthew Abuelo and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Untitled

Your fingers are like pills,
I become sedate with just one touch
As the shafts of light that
Shatters in our room
comes as a witness to your finest felony
stealing the precession of my moves
Which folds in on themselves
Its a crime that can only be pulled off when one operates with
crippled instinct
and
 all gravity and the seasons lead back to you.
This is where the weight of that gravity
bends each note of my heart stem
like the frantic cords of Satches furious guitar. 
And all the truth stolen by the thieves of art changes their pigment for you.
And all the Christian soldiers on 42nd street lose their bite for you.
Subway preachers cancel their lunatic speech for you.
And all of the subway trains pass by in their silent parades
All for you.
 Even those angles of Saint Luke’s keep it all together one last time
For you.
The horses that move through Central Park like fish in an aquarium snaps their mounts for you.
And all the shut ins of the SROs open their doors for you.
The stale air of their rooms are now the freedom meant for you to taste as a gift of their ruin. 
I can only hand this truth over to you
That the stars are still indifferent to us
As they wait for no one behind the lights
Of 86th street.
But their indifference is perfect
Like the last pieces of a dying artist
Who you swore you were going to meet.
 Their great
Great heights
is always
The next stage
For flaming monks
In their silence
smiling
 Reaching the purist form of escape
From the tyranny of flesh.
Like these stars
Some night when a rare black out falls over the city
And the glare recedes from view
I will look for you
to find my way home.

The Body Of Good Fortune

The body of good fortune is always fragile
And never lasts.
The unseen figures
Which gently strong our synapses
And always turning our direction to the
Agateware
That horror
Is what
Remains
Like the last roaches
Who return long after
The poison has settled under the floor board.



Joan Colby
JoanMC@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Joan Colby has been the editor of Illinois Racing News for over 25 years, a monthly publication for the Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Foundation, published by Midwest Outdoors LLC. She lives with her husband and assorted animals on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois. She has three grown children and six grandchildren.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Joan Colby and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

After a Line From Yeats

The bundle of accidence and incoherence that sits
……………………Down to breakfast is not who you are.

Who then? Not the orange you are segmenting
Into distraught hemispheres. Not the
Silver butter knife or the drenched scone.
What artifice eludes you? You look
Out the window at the blooming lilacs
Whose scent overpowers your discretion
Transforming what you were about to think
Into another notion altogether.

The weather report seems good enough
Although rank clouds are gathering
Beyond the south pasture so what can you believe
If not that you are entirely yourself
Drinking black coffee on a day like any other.


 

March 19-25, 2012: Christina Matekel and George Johnson

week of March 19-25, 2012

Christina Matekel and George Johnson

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Christina Matekel
cmatekel@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Christina Matekel is a creative writing student at BYU-Idaho in Rexburg, Idaho, originally from San Francisco. She is married, has one cat and one guinea pig, and is currently on the grad school hunt.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Christina Matekel and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Indonesia in January

Trapped between littered roads,
the river whips around curves and bends,
carrying plastic Coke bottles manufactured in Atlanta, Georgia.
Rain parades down in Christmas bulb drops,
wrapping Denpasar in a festive gray.
Trash bag ponchos stand in for umbrellas, and
water-logged dogs lacking tails brush sunblocked legs
as they chase children lacking shoes or parents.
Twelve- year-old girls, baskets of
fruits on their heads, call, “excuse me?
excuse me?” to the empty wind
while their brothers study English and chemistry in a quiet room.
Foreign fruits, rambutans and mangosteens, crack and bleed,
their scents sweet and heavy in January humidity.
Middle-aged couples from Ohio or Wisconsin
tuck passports into name-brand fanny packs
hidden under freshly pressed white tank tops,
away from thieves.
Their palms incubate silver coins with engraved birds
and yellow, pink, and green bills that count for nothing in San Francisco.
Buy all you want.



George Johnson
GPaulus5@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Live in Berkeley, Ca. Born and raised in Stockton, San Joaquin Valley. Born in 1947. educated at local schools, graduated from Lincoln High School 1965. BA degree Humanities and Philosophy California State University at Sacramento; MaTh in Theology University of San Francisco. I spent thirty years working for Alameda County, twenty-five of them in the Department of Health Care Services as a Lead Medical Clerk in Medical and Psychiatric Emergency Rooms. Married,wife Eileen, with one grown and errant daughter and have raised a plethora of cats. Been writing poetry since I was eight or nine years old. Influenced by Houseman, Poe, the Imagists, Objectivists and the Beats.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by George Johnson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Writer’s Block

A Sears Roebuck catalog
butterfly on crystal meth
Just turned sixty-five years old,
smoke too much,
Drink and stare

Age focuses senses
My aged cat, being wiser
Returns to her sleep.

I am Nietzsche’s mad man
Late at night
Poe’s Norse Raven giving the
gift
I say the hell with it and join the cat.

 


 

March 12-18, 2012: Annette Marie Hyder and William Wright Harris

week of March 12-18, 2012

Annette Marie Hyder and William Wright Harris

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Annette Marie Hyder
annette.hyder@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Annette Marie Hyder is a freelance journalist, an author and a poet. She is the founder and curator of the international feminist project, “Facing Feminism: Feminists I Know.” Her articles have appeared in print throughout the United States and internationally. Her most recent book is “The Real Reason the Queen Hated Snow” published by Twilight Times Books. She is currently happily at work on a novel of magical realism.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Annette Marie Hyder and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


the rain was falling like soft tears

but has hardened now into snow—
this can often happen with the heart
as well as with the weather



William Wright Harris
wwhpoet@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

My poetry has appeared in nine countries in such literary journals as The Cannon’s Mouth, Ascent Aspirations, generations and Write On!!! I am a student at the University of Tennessee- Knoxville, where I have studied poetry in workshop settings with such poets as Jesse Janeshek, Marilyn Kallet, Arthur Smith, and Marcel Brouwers. In my work I juxtapose concrete images with abstract notions, often write in structures such as unr1hyming couplets and triadic verse, stress economy, and utilize such literary conceits as the ekphrasis poem, parallel structure and the incorporation of mythology within my work.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by William Wright Harris and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

oldenburg’s plug

an electrical
…..plug sewn
…..…..together &
suspended
…..from a chord
…..…..hanging
from the
…..ceiling
…..…..never finding
an outlet to
…..call love
…..…..or home


 

March 5-11, 2012: Michael Lee Johnson and William Doreski

week of March 5-11, 2012

Michael Lee Johnson and William Doreski

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Michael Lee Johnson
promomanusa@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Michael Lee Johnson is a poet, freelance writer and small business owner of custom imprinted promotional products and apparel: www.promoman.us, from Itasca, Illinois. He is heavily influenced by: Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Irving Layton, Leonard Cohen, and Allen Ginsberg. His new poetry chapbook with pictures, titled From Which Place the Morning Rises, and his new photo version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom are available HERE. The original version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom, can be found HERE. New Chapbook: Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems, by Michael Lee Johnson. Michael has been published in over 25 countries. He is also editor/publisher of five poetry sites, all open for submission, which can be found at his Web site: http://poetryman.mysite.com/

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Michael Lee Johnson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Around My World

I’m a thin, tall, black lady
living in a small pink cottage
my body barely fits inside
the frame, and I’m sitting
on my buttocks with my knees
bent and my head
scraps the inside wall
at the crease where
the roof starts leaning in
on one side against my brain.
A red flower pot balances
on my kneecap and gracious
black stems and black
flower leafs sprout skyward
through the chimney top
ascending into blue
winter sky like
Jack the Bean Stalk.
Small words are written
in black all over my pink
walls, inside and out,
and I can’t remember
any of them or how they
join together right to left.

Around my world of
pink and black are
blue skies with snow
frames around all four
edges.

My pink palm of my hand
holds my chin up.
I reflect on why I’m
cramped up inside
of myself and the
black framed window
near my eyes
keeps most of the blues
and sunshine out.



William Doreski
wdoreski@keene.edu

Bio (auto)

William Doreski teaches at Keene State College in New Hampshire. His most recent collection of poetry is Waiting for the Angel (2009). He has published three critical studies, including Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors. His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in many journals, including Massachusetts Review, Atlanta Review, Notre Dame Review, The Alembic, New England Quarterly, Worcester Review, Harvard Review, Modern Philology, Antioch Review, and Natural Bridge.

Visit William on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by William Doreski and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

East and West

East of Park City, thunder
blues the peaks. Walking alone
on the highway, traffic sizzling,
I regret nothing–the lost job,
the unwise marriage, the book left
unwritten, continent unexplored.
The flat blue slam of thunder
reminds me that one evening
by the pond where students grappled
in pairs I should have spoken,
but you wouldn’t have heard me,
your cotton dress shivering
like a second skin. Now the light
rebukes, with cause, and that range
of mountains running east and west
instead of north and south rasps
like teeth of a mammoth chainsaw
and leaves me severed at the waist
but frisky enough, and cheerful–
the distant lightning dangling
like millions of shattered neurons
expended in my cause and name.


 

February 27 – March 4, 2012: Alan Britt and Gisèle Vincent-Page

week of February 27 – March 4, 2012

Alan Britt and Gisèle Vincent-Page

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Alan Britt
alanbritt@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

In September 2011 Alan Britt read his poems at New Jersey City University’s Ten Year 9/11 Commemoration in Jersey City, NJ. and is participating poet for the We Are You Project. His recent books are Alone with the Terrible Universe (2011), Greatest Hits (2010), Hurricane (2010), Vegetable Love (2009), Vermilion (2006), Infinite Days (2003), Amnesia Tango (1998) and Bodies of Lightning (1995). Britt’s work also appears in the new anthologies, American Poets Against the War, Metropolitan Arts Press, Chicago/Athens/Dublin: 2009 and Vapor transatlántico (Transatlantic Steamer), a bi-lingual anthology of Latin American and North American poets, Hofstra University Press/Fondo de Cultura Económica de Mexico/Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos de Peru, 2008.

Politically speaking Alan has started the Commonsense Party, which ironically to some sounds radical. He believes the US should stop invading other countries to relieve them of their natural resources including tin, copper, bananas, diamonds and oil. He is quite fond of animals both wild and domestic and supports prosecuting animal abusers. As a member of PETA, he is disgusted by factory farming and decorative fur. In addition asks, please boycott Ringling Brothers Circus until they stop using and abusing elephants for their bizarre form of entertainment called the circus!

Alan currently teaches English/Creative Writing at Towson University and lives in Reisterstown, Maryland with his wife, daughter, two Bouviers des Flandres, one Bichon Frise and two formally feral cats.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Alan Britt and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Quantum Physics

(For William Blake)

The terrestrial world revolves pretty much
like atoms, anyway.

Oh, yeah, feathers of crushed walnut
with streaks of bi-polar blue and volcanic ash
burning the furnaces of the night.

These atoms, you and I, these atoms
could be Lorca or Goya
for all we know. For you and me,
for all we know.

This world doesn’t amount to much
more than atoms, atoms rising
from the fur of a grey and white cat
frozen like a marble Venus
upon the rust velvet shoulder
of my subatomic divan.



Gisèle Vincent-Page
giselevp@live.ca

Bio (auto)

Gisèle Vincent-Page from Winnipeg, Canada has had another birthday, just a year shy of retirement. However, with 27 years of HIV under her belt, she has been retired from her high school teaching for some time. Gisele had a book published in the fall.

Visit her on the web here: soultalkergiselepoems-gisele.blogspot.com

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Gisèle Vincent-Page and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Good Night

Good night to the smiling
moons asian land burnishing the
seascapes of you and me,

strokes of soapy filled waves
washing the shore brandishing
sand gleaming white.

I was here before, with you and
you and you.

Twisting and scraping our way
crustaceans lifting ourselves parts
one over the other till we no
longer were the sea but the limbs
on trees dropping seeds back
through the crusts of time.


 

February 20-26, 2012: Shitsugane Olembo and Mark DeCarteret

week of February 20-26, 2012

Shitsugane Olembo and Mark DeCarteret

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Shitsugane Olembo
kolembo@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

I am a 42 year old, Gay, Kenyan Film Director. I hold a B.Sc. Pharm. and an MFA Film. I write and read for pleasure and as a means of discovering for myself how, my imaginiation of myself accounts for my eventual reality. Can I really be, who I see myself to be? I have always explored the meaning of identity and identifiers, and have always been interested in the experience of human beings as they are defined, whether or not these definitions are internally or externally applied. As we negotiate a Global world, and an increasingly digital one, I question what it means to be who we say we are, and what it takes to find the spirit within.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Shitsugane Olembo and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


nigger, whore, bitch

I have always liked,
Defiant Africans,
Nelson, Patrice, Kenyatta,
Martin Luther King,
Groovy black men,
Niggers with attitude,
But they intimidate me,
Black men.
Freedom fighters,
Bar room brawlers,
And I rise from sleep,
Sheened in sweat,
On foreheads and trousers,
On outstretched palms,
And I’m breathing heavily,
Feeling stained,
Because,
That one there,
The white man in Navy uniform,
With hair on his balls,
I know him,
-conquistador-
He smells of garlic and grease,
And my black friends call me,
Nigger, whore, bitch.
Will he take the lion tooth offered,
Will he make the tribal dance?
-I can teach him to love the earth,
Teach him to plant his feet in, deep-
I masturbate from sleep, supported
By thick, colonial, muscle.
I am forging steel,
Industrial iron,
I am engineering a white lover
Beneath the sheets, whilst
Apologising to freedom fighters,
Who call me nigger, whore, bitch.



Mark DeCarteret
markdcart@aol.com

Bio (auto)

My poetry has appeared in AGNI, bateau, Boston Review, Chicago Review, Conduit, Cream City Review, Diagram, Hotel Amerika, Killing the Buddha, La Petite Zine, Phoebe, Salt Hill, as well as the anthologies American Poetry: The Next Generation (Carnegie Mellon Press), Thus Spake the Corpse: An Exquisite Corpse Reader (Black Sparrow Press), New Pony: Collaborations & Responses (Horse Less Press) , and Under the Legislature of Stars: 62 New Hampshire Poets (Oyster River Press) which I also co-edited.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Mark DeCarteret and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Star Reading

Let us wait till
that same star
turns up again, dear—
reddish and short-lived
yet rerun ‘cross the sky–
our two wishes burned off
but the both of us still here
lit up like this newest sun
wed to only what’s
technically dead.


 

February 13-19, 2012: Alex Stolis and Lee Evans

week of February 13-19, 2012

Alex Stolis and Lee Evans

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Alex Stolis
alex.stolis95@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Alex lives in Minneapolis.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Alex Stolis and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


From an iPod found in Canal Park;
Duluth, MN July 2010


Shuffle

6AM Hot love; T Rex: the furnace hasn’t kicked in yet. 1978, laying in the backseat
with a girl I just met; on our way to the hospital. Today it would be called active
suicide ideation with plan & intent.

7:02AM Where have all the good times gone; Van Halen: sent an email to her. No,
not her, the other one; the one who throws little bombs. Scar on her back. 1982, Felicia,
dyed red hair and motorcycle boots. She wanted to fuck. I couldn’t remember her name.

8:45AM Space [I believe]; Pixies: I check mail, change the radio station, turn the radio
off, check mail, turn the radio back on. 2012, smoke willows between the clouds; grey
roots of a forlorn and empty heaven.

Playlists

Dylan/Waits/Cave: remember the Arena; kids, a line of blue smoke, waiting
to be messiah-ed. You take my hand. Tell me that, for years, you played piano;
never mention how easy it is to lose balance on water.

Exiled: Mesabi Avenue was impassable in winter; rear-wheeled tanks slide
stuck and we bombed our way top to bottom. The lift bridge chops the lake
in two a dozen times a day; manmade rain shiny on the hoods of cars.

Radio K: We are cursed to wanting; winter to spring to summer to fall
to east to the wrong side of the tracks. The wind cracks 24/7, a barista
smiles, waits for my order; I hear the short quick snap of a pop top.

Artists

Modern English: I was 17, she was 16, dirty blonde hair; a prostitute. I didn’t believe
in god then either. You lie next to me, curled in a dream; I am nothing more than your
skin, a light that changes color with your every breath.

Ray LaMontagne: downtown Duluth: Glass Blocks, Musicland’s, pre-porn NorShor
Theater; we huddled in cigarette shelters, bored on borrowed time. Let’s find a little
place on Park Point that has enough room to paint the lake forever.

Tokyo Jihen: You put your hand in my back pocket; the future, like heaven, exists
only for those who can’t live in the present. There is only this: bare limbs, the dust
of feathers, your trigger finger in the small of my back.



Lee Evans
alebap@myfairpoint.net

Bio (auto)

Lee Evans is a Marylander transplanted to Bath, Maine. He has done various things in his life, most of which he has forgotten. However, he is sometimes able to answer specific questions, when sufficietly prodded.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Lee Evans and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Remembrance Day

Death trembles through the air
Home from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The bell in the gazebo tolls
Five hundred breathless names.

Incompletely Gone

Cat coughed, shuddered
Stretched on floor by window
Snow flurries

Caress of my hand
Unseen her life force relapsed
Into the future

Three days ago
She followed me through the house
Today she is ashes


 

February 6-12, 2012: Michael Estabrook and Garth Pavell

week of February 6-12, 2012

Michael Estabrook and Garth Pavell

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Michael Estabrook
mestabrook@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

Michael Estabrook is a baby boomer who began getting his poetry published in the late 1980s. Over the years he has published 15 poetry chapbooks, his most recent entitled “When the Muse Speaks.” Other interests include art, music, theatre, opera, and his wife who just happens to be the most beautiful woman he has ever known. They both live in Acton, Massachusetts.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Michael Estabrook and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Old Uncle Gus

Old Uncle Gus
died finally at 94,
after having
spent the last 14 years
in bed
with a broken hip that never
mended.

he lived so long
because his heart & lungs
were strong, he’d been a
bicycle racer
in his youth.

I went to college near
where Uncle Gus lived,
& stopped by now & then
to visit him
in his quiet back room,
windows wide open,
sunlight shining in
on his clean white sheets.

we’d sip tea & talk,
his bright gray eyes staring out
into the yard
at the squirrels & blue jays,
at the pots with colorful flowers,
& he’d
tell me their names in German.

Greenwood Lake

we were too poor
to have vacations when I
was a kid

but once we drove all the way
to Greenwood Lake
stayed overnight in a cabin
with screen doors
in the front and the back
a long dark hallway yawning in
between

I caught three
sunfish
threw them back

climbed with my brother
over boulders and rocks
and into trees
collecting pine
cones
and stringy empty birds’ nests

but what I remember most
was Dad looking so thin, thin
as a matchstick man,
there beneath the mountains
sitting up
on the hood
of his shiny ’56 Buick
having
one last smoke
before the long
long ride
back home

Lost Room Dream

Even after decades
I still have the same old dream.
College, final exams.
I cannot find the exam room for my economics class.
In fact, I had forgotten to attend classes all semester long.
But now finals, must try to take them.
But cannot even find the room.
Up and down the stairways, wide and sunny,
back and forth down the hallways, narrow and dusty,
peering into rooms, rows of desks,
windows, chalkboards, stacks of test booklets.
But nothing is familiar. I cannot find the room.
Years later in real life I returned to Louvain, Belgium,
where I had attended, but not completed, graduate school.
The classroom had been there in the same place
since Andreas Vesalius, 400 years:
an ancient stately room of learning
along a cobblestone street. But once again,
like in my dream, I cannot find the room.
I cannot find, the room.



Garth Pavell
garthpavell@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Garth Pavell’s poems recently appeared in The Writing Disorder, THIS Literary Magazine, SN Review and The Battered Suitcase. He works for a nonprofit in New York City.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Garth Pavell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Secret To Happiness

The secret to happiness plagues me
You said as we shared a triple chocolate death
Cake inducing us into beach chairs awed by the sun

Appraising your life’s dream is bad
For the circulation, I managed to utter
Like a formidable limerick tantalized with itself

But love’s danceathon was taking its toll
You declared in a sleepy summer dress
That did indeed suggest in no uncertain terms

My packed pipe with its mysterious smoke
Deemed life a soup that tastes better once it’s stirred
You took my bait-like breadstick and chomped

With great hedonistic care academically caning
The behind of your mind into submitting itself
To master the art of moving inwardly onward


 

 

January 30 – February 5, 2012: Nathaniel S. Rounds and John Grey

week of January 30 – February 5, 2012

Nathaniel S. Rounds and John Grey

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Nathaniel S. Rounds
nsrounds@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

A reformed photographer born in Wichita Falls, Texas, Nathaniel S. Rounds writes from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Nathaniel S. Rounds and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


So Much Glass to So Much Steel

Behind a clear, glass veil
Facing a snarling, spitting sea
And the dim shadow of Georges Island
I spent nine dollars
From Mother’s retirement cheque
On gelato down at the bay
Birra Moretti in a coffee cup
And for a frat boy twist
Greek fries with chopsticks

Outside this farmer’s market
A distant cousin with payot and a suit of sky-by-night
Nods his head and fedora in a courtly fashion
To the bag boy and his toil

And the train enters and do-si-dos
With kindred spirit trains
To the strain of whistles blown
For dream time



John Grey
jgrey10233@aol.com

Bio (auto)

Australian born poet, works as financial systems analyst. Recently published in Poem, Caveat Lector, Prism International and the horror anthology, “What Fears Become” with work upcoming in Big Muddy, Prism International and Pinyon.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by John Grey and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Fisherman

Some day your thoughts
will bob about like worms on a hook
and snare nothing.
Your blood will be sludge,
a stream filled with silt.
The slowest trout
will be too quick for you.

But we’ll still share
those grassy shorelines.
We’ll still inquire of unseen life
with our rods and reels.
As meager as the haul may be,
our creels won’t go unrewarded.

And remember,
though your arteries are hard,
and fingers loose around the fore-grip,
the current is not closed to you,
the waters don’t turn their back.
Our streams are undivided.
We throw our lines in and we catch.


January 23-29, 2012: B.Z. Niditch and C.L. Sostarich

week of January 23-29, 2012

B.Z. Niditch and C.L. Sostarich

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B.Z. Niditch
bzniditch@msn.com

Bio (auto)

B.Z. Niditch is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and teacher. His work is widely published in journals and magazines throughout the world, including: Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and Art; The Literary Review; Denver Quarterly; Hawaii Review,; Le Guepard (France); Kadmos (France); Prism International; Jejune (Czech Republic); Leopold Bloom (Budapest); Antioch Review; and Prairie Schooner, among others. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

The following work is Copyright © 2011, and owned by B.Z. Niditch and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


In a Cafe

Voices lowered
all hands
on computers
Ethiopian coffee
moves as clouds
at the edge
of a clouded cup,
a ray of sunlight
through a fixed glare
of a window bird
searching for bread
and a cousin
thought lost
with a bass
on his shoulder
stops by.



C.L. Sostarich
Carly1707@aol.com

Bio (auto)

C.L. Sostarich lives in Blakeslee, PA with her husband, four children, and their weird little dog. In the good old days she edited the literary print magazine Maelstrom and she is nearly done paying off the debt from that after twelve years.

The following work is Copyright © 2011, and owned by C.L. Sostarich and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Dinner On Sunday

On Sundays, the bars were closed.
In reverence for the Lord,
drinking,
Smoking,
swearing,
and abusing women
Were a treat for hearth and home.

A special occasion such as this
Required head sized blocks of meat,
Gravy, and mountainous mountains
Of snowy, butter -fluffed tubers.
The tallest glasses of milk
You’ve ever seen.

Six-pack Jack watched John Wayne drawl
While he waited for his feast to be served.
Curling up his lip in a snarl
And gunning up his bad-ass cowboy gruff.

A table set for a worshipped king,
A dinner that was cooked from morning
Until beer-fart scented night.
A plate thrown to the floor
Because that shit wasn’t fit for the dog.


 

 

January 16-22, 2012: Howie Good and Jonathan Hayes

week of January 16-22, 2012

Howie Good and Jonathan Hayes

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Howie Good
goodh51@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the new poetry collection, Dreaming in Red, from Right Hand Pointing. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to charity, which can be read further about here: https://sites.google.com/site/rhplanding/howie-good-dreaming-in-red

The following work is Copyright © 2011, and owned by Howie Good and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Aviaries

for Joseph Cornell

1
You stare at a tree as if waiting for it to burst into bloom, rain flying so close that its feathers brush against you.

2
You make a box of the night sky, with constellations of nails; another that resembles the door to a river; and others more like windows, or caskets, or a ballerina who suffers from migraines and talks to pigeons.

3
You were hailing a taxi on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 53rd when you heard the word “beautiful,” long, thin, misunderstood. What more could you want? Well, to be guarded on either side by a stone lion.

4
You open the cage of a stuffed green parrot. It takes some people a lifetime to realize that what should occupy empty space is emptiness



Jonathan Hayes
jsh619@earthlink.net

Bio (auto)

Jonathan Hayes recently returned from Japan where he climbed Mount Fuji. Currently, he lives on Nob Hill in San Francisco, California. He works as a cook at a Mexican grill in Lafayette, California, where the Pony Express used to make stops. He is also known by some as, “Purple Hayes.”

The following work is Copyright © 2011, and owned by Jonathan Hayes and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The City is Alive!

[A Super-Organism Psalm of Sorts; Painted in Florescent Yellow.]
In response to Richard Lopez and for Mel C. Thompson

Often he called himself “He” as he felt distant from himself

If “April is the cruelest month,” then its cruelty is its bright sunshine

He walked into and out of the porn shop with pride

At the corner of Kearny and California he could no longer look up at the Fates,
they had been watching him though, from a skyscraper

Walking thru the Financial District he felt small compared to his generation
tapping their $500 toes and talking ‘bout the stock market or a weekend getaway

He walks into Wells Fargo on Market Street

(This poem is happening “now.”)

(Let’s Oppen it up!)

He writes the poem and deposits his $166 state tax refund into his checking account

Dances with Saint Patrick in Yerba Buena Gardens drunk on the City

Pop radio songs pour out of the Virgin Megastore closing sale
onto the shoe shining sidewalk mid-day pedestrian rush hour foot traffic

UPS brown truck parked one wheel up on sidewalk blinking its back yellow lights
where a movie theater used to be on the south side of Market Street near Sixth Street

He rolls up his sweatshirt sleeves to catch some sun


 

January 9-15, 2012: Gayle Bell and David Neves

week of January 9-15, 2012

Gayle Bell and David Neves

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Gayle Bell
linnbell2002@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Gayle Bell is a black womanist. She has self published “Jazz Sunday Brunch” “Primal Gospel”, “Open Song”, “Dialogues”, “and Porch Choir”. Her books “Shouting And Getting Happy” and “Benediction” were published by Genuine Lizard Press (William Bryan Massey, Editor). She has been anthologized in a number of publications. In 1999, Ms. Bell was Featured in the Film “Poetic Healings”Directed and Produced by Chinwe Odeluga. She can be found at poetry readings in the Dallas, TX. area.

The following work is Copyright © 2011, and owned by Gayle Bell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Blue Kiss

If I could describe the blue
In Monet’s lilies
It would be eclipsed by
The wrinkle in your dress
Hidden by your off white shawl
Your mouth pressed
On my cheek in an ‘oh’ of pleasure
The after image of your smile
Your shoes leaving an arrow
For me to follow



David Neves
stud-ly@hotmail.com

Bio (auto)

David Neves is a cute, little fella from Newark, NJ, who runs through the streets almost naked screaming: “Buy my book, dagnabbit!”

The following work is Copyright © 2011, and owned by David Neves and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Mortality (A Postal Tale)

I

Leo like Death worked as a 204B (Supervisor-In-Training), back
when I was pitching mail and trying to change the Postal World.
The veins in his forehead and neck could be seen from
Staten Island and resembled a detailed road map of the
stretch from Harrison to East Aurora NY, up Buffalo way.
Leo Like Death made an extra $6.38 an hour as a 204B,
so that he could have more, so that he could live faster
and therefore die sooner! If that weren’t enough, he
had just gotten married to his mail order bride from
an Asian Island Nation, who evidently had an uncanny sense
of timing and knew just when to return to the television
after the commercials and also knew when to sneak back
into the house after making extra money on her secret
part-time job.

II

Leo Like Death-the color of a boil getting lanced;
but Mrs Mail Order doesn’t care as she treats her puss
colored prince like an incontinent cash machine with a
terminal illness, apparently waiting for Leo to do what
comes naturally; to my knowledge, she has never bought
him any green bananas. Leo Like Death is in the process
of violating Article 13 of the Collective Bargaining
Agreement by working feverishly on Junk Mail (but you’re
not supposed to call it that), and therefore depriving a
Bargaining unit, non supervisory worker of a gainful
employment opportunity so that Leo the 204B, could make
himself and his bosses look good. I would have done
the Step 1 grievance but was unable to obtain any time off
of the workroom floor in order to do my Shop Steward duties.

III.

It did not matter however, as the grievance was resolved
when the daytime Shop Steward found Lifeless Leo headfirst
in a sack at the Bulk Mail Rack; he damn near got
dispatched to the DVD facility with the daily BBM
(Big Bowel Movement?), third class mail. As I ponder my
own mortality from the leprosy colored Lifeless Leo,
(after he did what comes naturally), who taught me
life’s three greatest lessons;

1 GET YOURSELF A MAIL-ORDER BRIDE (preferably from
an unpronouncable country) PRONTO!

2. DON’T EVER VIOLATE THE CBA SINCE GOD IS OBVIOUSLY
A HIGH RANKING UNION OFFICIAL;

3. DON’T BUY ANY GREEN BANANAS!
Leo did what comes naturally…RIP.


January 2-8, 2012: Kenny Fame and Michael H. Brownstein

week of January 2-8, 2012

Kenny Fame and Michael H. Brownstein

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Kenny Fame
kenny.catoe@yahoo.com

Bio (auto)

Kenny Fame the poet also known as K*Fame, is a black writer that was born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey; which is also the hometown of one of his favorite poets Allen Ginsberg. He currently resides in Harlem NY; and Brooklyn NY as well. He is an English Major attending CUNY Medgar Evers College in NYC. He was recently a graduate of Cave Canem’s 2011 Poetry Coversations with Bakar Wilson writing workshop. K*Fame has always been very creative in terms of writing and like’s to explore many different styles of poetry; from Free Verse to Haiku’s. Growing up he admits to appreciating the poetry of: Anne Sexton, Dorothy Parker and William Shakespeare; but as an adult he has moved on to the works of Yusef Komunyakaa, Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, Haki Madhubuti, Allen Ginsberg, among others. K*Fame is also the winner of The Tenth Annual Black Writers Conference Poetry Writing Award.His work has appeared in Steel Toe Review # 7. He has performed his work at CUNY Medgar Evers College, Daddy’s Basement, Abigails Café & Wine Bar, La Pregunta Arts Cafe, Nuyorican Café, Cave Canem.

The following work is Copyright © 2011, and owned by Kenny Fame and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Monday Morning Blues

it’s amazing what this one river can do

this new york city apartment this win
dow’s view this wide open view of new

jersey this peace this calm this blue water
this blue sky this hudson river washing away

this nasty curse on my tongue this lump
in my throat this phlegm on my chest this

cough i can’t cough up this rotten in my
tooth filling up all this empty in my heart

it is so amazing what this one river can do



Michael H. Brownstein
mhbrownstein@ymail.com

Bio (auto)

Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. His work has appeared in The Café Review, American Letters and Commentary, Skidrow Penthouse, Xavier Review, Hotel Amerika, Free Lunch, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Pacific Review, Poetry Super Highway and others. In addition, he has nine poetry chapbooks including The Shooting Gallery (Samidat Press, 1987), Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), A Period of Trees (Snark Press, 2004), What Stone Is (Fractal Edge Press, 2005), and I Was a Teacher Once (Ten Page Press, 2011). He is the editor of First Poems from Viet Nam (2011). Brownstein taught elementary school in Chicago’s inner city (he is now retired), but he continues to study authentic African instruments, conducts grant-writing workshops for educators, designs websites and records performance and music pieces with grants from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs, the Oppenheimer Foundation, BP Leadership Grants, and others.

The following work is Copyright © 2011, and owned by Michael H. Brownstein and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Rootworks

This is the length of tree
and this is the impression a tree makes of root
anaconda long, hooked buffalo thick, yak swayed.
Flame and earth broil over, wind throws out its back,
rain a thunder storm without lightning, without darkness,
but thunder, lots of thunder
and later, rain a storm of darkness, without thunder,
but lightning, lots of lightning.
This is the length of bamboo,
this is the length of banana,
this is the length of the language of symbol and shape
rumbling root free deep a wave at sea
hurdling forward to meet its lover
bloated with sand and polished pebble,
full of breath and sea, full of glass.


 

 

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