July 4-10, 2016: Poetry from Jane Ellen Glasser and Angele Ellis

​Jane Ellen Glasser and Angele Ellis

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​Jane Ellen Glasser

Bio (auto)

Jane Ellen Glasser’s poetry has appeared in journals, such as Hudson Review, Southern Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Georgia Review. In the past she reviewed poetry books for the Virginian-Pilot, edited poetry for the Ghent Quarterly and Lady Jane’s Miscellany, and co-founded the nonprofit arts organization and journal New Virginia Review. A first collection of her poetry, Naming the Darkness, with an introduction by W. D. Snodgrass, was issued by Road Publishers in 1991. She won the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry 2005 for Light Persists and The Long Life won the Poetica Publishing Company Chapbook Contest in 2011. The Red Coat, published in 2013, is available from FutureCycle Press, which also published the chapbook Cracks in 2015. Her full-length poetry collection “In the Shadow of Paradise” has been accepted by FutureCycle Press and will be available in 2017. Her work may be previewed on her website: www.janeellenglasser.com

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by ​Jane Ellen Glasser and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

One Apple

Why claim the whole orchard
or even one tree bowed
with fruit, at its base
a devil of bees feasting?

One is enough for a treatise
on beauty, sin, and death.
What else could tell us
so much about ourselves,

we who were schooled by Eve,
a queen pandering poison,
the worm. Just one granted
access to the Elysian Fields,
slammed Eden’s Gates.

Cezanne swore he’d astonish
Paris with an apple, and he did.

How to Ripen

Picked green, sour, odorless, hard,

place Bartlett pears
in a brown paper bag, seal tight;

submerge mangoes
in a copious container of rice;

infiltrate one ripe kiwifruit
in a bowl of green plums;

like a Cezanne painting, lay peaches
on a clean linen towel, cover with another;

let a banana and avocado on the counter
quicken with touch;

in a straw basket, watch passion
fruit make love to honeydew.

Oh, what propinquity and climacteric
hormones produce!






Angele Ellis

Bio (auto)

Angele Ellis lives in Friendship, both a Pittsburgh neighborhood and a state of mind. Her poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in over fifty publications and ten anthologies. She is author of Arab on Radar (Six Gallery Press), Spared (A Main Street Rag Editors’ Choice Chapbook), and a forthcoming collection of poetry and flash fiction inspired by her adopted city.

The following work is Copyright © 2016, and owned by Angele Ellis and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Heart of Glass

All that blighted August, I cursed the mugger heat of Philadelphia,
city of brotherly love. To groove with this highflown phrase, recall
the melodious roar of a SEPTA conductor, in Barry White baritone—
Cit-tee of Bruthah-lee LOOVE. My last pair of Summer L’Eggs
shredded to bits in the office bathroom. Back in the retrosexual,
women wore pantyhose to work even as the thermometer spurted—
bare shins were indecent, marking you as a bag lady or a slut
with no time to change after a tearing night of booze and fun.

My legs were slick from a slog to McSorley’s—landmark bar loved
by Harry, long with the Irish shades. McSorley’s, where I saw
baseball great Pete Rose up close and too personal—manhandling
a blonde not his wife, gobbling fries like Moe Howard on steroids.
My madeleine a stale block of peanut butter, Mary Jane candies
piled like bricks at the antique register. No beer. I looked like a kid,
and (unlike my coworkers) I never drank until after five, when
martinis shook under the yardarm. Fuck the clock, stuck at two.

Back to the quotidian grind. I was a tech writer or doc specialist,
forking thick pages of verbage—near rhyme with garbage—
into the maws of disdainful programmers. Just out of college,
I was earning—in today’s devalued dollars—60K. In my soul,
I was a poet or painter or Jules Feiffer dancer—like Franny & Sherry,
in black leotards and batik skirts swaying over shoeless (stockinged) feet.
Pure trouble, those posers—not even making a pretense of work.
Harry thought they gave our computer-driven office an artsy ambiance.

So young, but I rarely felt it, stopping after work on South 13th Street
for peppers and tomatoes at the Asian produce stand. Too hot
for a soft pretzel, and if I ate anything on the sidewalk, blow-dried
jerks with Jersey plates, cruising for hookers, would shout out,
Hey baby, suck my dick. I never had the nerve to yell, Get your pal to do it.
That year, all the streetwalkers looked like Debbie Harry, silently crooning
“Call Me.” Beautiful barely clad gay men strolled hand in hand
in serene self-absorption. That was the summer I saw my first nipple ring,

on a chest like a lost Greek statue. Remember: all this happened
before…before There died a myriad / And of the best, among them…
Inside The Lenox, our sad doorman, a mocha bruise on his temple,
greeted me as Miss. I combed my mail from its brass hive, punched
the elevator to 13, gears grinding to my studio, Triskaidekaphobia Tower.
I collapsed on my sofa bed, staring slantwise at the silverdust Delaware
as the sun pulsed onward like a stained glass heart, and the death rattle
of the air conditioner raised goosebumps on my still-downy knees.


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