February 11-17, 2019: Poetry from Robin Crane and Kaye Voigt Abikhaled

Robin Crane and Kaye Voigt Abikhaled

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Robin Crane

Bio (auto)

Robin Crane has had poetry published in the Olympia Literary Yarn, Poetry Motel, Finery, Poetry Superhighway (twice) and The Hourglass Magazine, and short stories of hers have appeared in All Things Girl, Ghoti Magazine, Newtopia, 63 Channels, Evergreen Review, the Hairpin and the Scrambler.

The following work is Copyright © 2019, and owned by Robin Crane and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Power Couple 

I prayed and prayed and prayed for you.
My heart was broken many times.
One night I wore my lucky panties to a bad date
And the guy did not see them
But I did drink too much
And I did get assaulted in the men’s room at
A public park later that night.
I did shit myself afterwards
And the ambulance did cut the panties off of me
Along with a very tight dress and
A sweatshirt from my alma mater.
Veni, vidi, vici.
I’ve received many cruel gestures from
People with penises,
Though I’m no prince myself. I’ve received
Many cruel gestures but still
I hold in my chest a reservoir of patient patience.
A man once wrote to me —
“if you don’t wanna hook up anymore that’s fine
But don’t act all coy like you did the other night.
I don’t have time for chicks that don’t wanna give
It up” —
And I couldn’t muster up even a mild annoyance
Because I just kept remembering his
Frank unselfconsciousness one night as he stood
Naked and facing away from me in his room,
His slight potbelly gently sloping towards his
Tired penis and,
Falling down his back,
A braid of his beautiful long black hair that he
Hadn’t cut in 32 years.
I couldn’t help but pity him,
though for what I don’t know,
except maybe the burden of existence.

I prayed and prayed and prayed for you
In the quietest parts of soft sweet nights with someone else’s
Still-nice hands at my back.
I prayed for you on nights when I seemed less a beautiful woman
Than a preemie or a sick dog,
A pound puppy.
I prayed for you when I felt less a human mother than a
Mournfully lowing cow with overfull udders.
I tried to consider you objectively and not in relation to
And when I couldn’t do that
I at least tried to consider you as the man to whom
I’m the amorphous antagonist, the “you” in your poem.
I squoze my eyes shut as tight as possible and whispered
A million “and please help him”s for you because in a way,
We belong to each other.


Kaye Voigt Abikhaled

Bio (auto)

Kaye Voigt Abikhaled is a naturalized citizen of the United States (1965). She is a member of the Austin Poetry Society, Life Member of the Poetry Society of Texas and Counselor for the Austin area. She is on the Board of the Austin International Poetry Festival 2019 and spent a decade supporting Poetry in Schools in the Austin, Texas area and chaired the Texas State Student Poetry Society Awards, 2003. As Editor of A Galaxy of Verse, she published ten issues 1999 – 2004 and has judged poetry contests for local, state, and national poetry contests.  Publications: Childhood in the Third Reich: World War II and its Aftermath, Mellen Poetry Press, 2001; translated into German by the author (2006); Club des Poètes (2004); Lyrics of Lebanon (2005).

The following work is Copyright © 2019, and owned by Kaye Voigt Abikhaled and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Postman

always came at nine
today he thanked us for our time, his last day

forty years he carried the mail
we said we’d miss him, he politely stared

he owed no one a favor, owed no apologies
a quiet man grows roses

Jean Paul Sartre at My Desk

At Pan Am’s District Sales Office, Atlanta, 1963
I look up at an old man leaning over my desk
he entered quietly shuffling in a worn wool coat
shirt that needed laundering holding up 
trousers bulging at the knees his belt looked ancient

asked to see the district sales manager
private he replied offended
I asked his name stopped in mid motion
offered Jean Paul Sartre the straight chair
disappeared into the office behind me 
and closed the door 
announced the visitor breathless
the boss had not idea who he was  
I whispered prompts that drew derision
(French, writer, world famous philosopher
"whatever he needs, it should be granted")
Stew scowled at my impertinence

minutes later Sartre shuffled by 
with just a hint of gratitude 
in his one good old eye


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