April 10-16, 2023: Poetry from Jay Passer and Carrie Magness Radna

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Jay Passer

Jay Passer’s work has been included in print and online publications and anthologies since 1988. He is the author of 13 collections of poetry and his first novel, Squirrel, was published by Alien Buddha Press in 2022. Passer lives in San Francisco with a host of imaginary cats and 2 very real houseplants.

The following work is Copyright © 2023, and owned by Jay Passer and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Too Ashamed to Face the Forest

I came back
as a neon green fern
vibrant on a redwood stump

but it didn’t take
so I returned as a gray wolf
prowling outside the farmyard fence

but the rifle was accurate
and I reappeared as a plastic utensil
with a chokehold on a fish in the wild ocean blue

but that didn’t work either
so I took a walk on the trail at Muir Woods
my eyes closed the whole way

like some kind of sluggish rollercoaster
through a flickering fluorescent strip mall at twilight
I came back

Carrie Magness Radna

Born in Norman, Oklahoma, Carrie Magness Radna is an archival audiovisual cataloger at the New York Public Library, an Associate Editor of Brownstone Poets Anthology 2022, a choral singer, a lyricist-songwriter, and a poet who loves to travel. Her poems have previously appeared in the Oracular Tree, Tuck Magazine, Muddy River Poetry Review, First Literary Review-East, Mediterranean Poetry, The Rye Whiskey Review, Spillwords.com, Poetry Super Highway, Shot Glass Journal, Jerry Jazz Musician, Brownstone Poets (anthology), Cajun Mutt Press, Tamarind, West Side Arts Coalition (WSAC), Adelaide Literary Magazine, Life and Legends, The Rainbow Project (Poets Wear Prada), Poets Wear Prada (podcast), Litterateur RW, Subterranean Blue Poetry, Trouvaille Review, Horror Sleaze Trash, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Home Planet News, Alien Buddha Press, Nomad’s Choir, Walt’s Corner, Polarity e-Magazine and The Poetic Bond (VIII—X). Her first chapbook, Conversations with dead composers at Carnegie Hall (Flutter Press) was published in January 2019, and Remembering you as I go walking (Boxwood Star Press) was published in August 2019.  Her first poetry collection, Hurricanes Never Apologize, was published in December 2019. Her latest poetry collection, In the Blue Hour (Nirala Publications) was published in February 2021. Her upcoming collection, Shooting myself in the Dark (Cajun Mutt Press) was published in January 2023. She won third prize for “The tunnel” (Category: Words on the Wall: All-Genre Prompt) at the 69th annual Philadelphia Writers’ Conference (2017). She won 12th place “Lily (no. 48 of Women’s names sensual series)” by the 2018 Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards, “all trains are haunted” (Non-rhyming poetry: Honorable Mention) of the 89th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, “May (a Pantoum)” (Rhyming poetry: Honorable Mention) of the 90th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition, and “Pink (A Ghazal)” was the Third Prize Winner (Rhyming Poetry) of the 91st Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. Nominated: Best of the Web (2021) and The Pushcart Prize (2022). When she’s not performing classical choral works with Riverside Choral Society or New Year’s Eve performances with the New York Festival Singers, or writing art song lyrics with her choir buddies, or traveling, she lives with her husband Rudolf in Manhattan.

The following work is Copyright © 2023, and owned by Carrie Magness Radna and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Bird arena

Third time today,
uptown on Broadway,
I saw flocks of pigeons 
gearing up for an orgy,
but this time,
they crowded onto the roof
of the 96th Street 
Broadway Mall Community Center,
(its roof is still dripping),
gazing out, keeping warm,
heads bobbing in-time,
watching the ongoing traffic
as if their crowd was listening 
to the music of the city,
an invisible rock show.

when the music died down,
they exited in droves,
wings cutting the sky
of the Upper West Side 
all at once,
shaking the heavens.

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