January 11-18, 2010: Harris Tobias and Maja Trochimczyk

Harris Tobias


Bio (auto)

Harris Tobias lives and writes in Charlottesville, Va He has had poems published in Literal Translations He is the author of two detective novels and numerous children’s books His first detective novel, The Greer Agency, is due to be published by ATTM Press this Spring.

The following work is Copyright © 2010, and owned by Harris Tobias and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Damn Leaves

Damn Leaves I raise my wooden sword to rally them This way boys, into the fray Deserting their positions they are down
Yellow, that’s what they are (granted some are red
some brown) Their green uniforms long since shed.

Hold your places, men, stand fast
I strike them with my sword Stand and fight
I command but they do not obey They run headlong the other way, retreating
The rattle of their panicked feet scrape past Back Get back upon the tree I say Stay green boys, stay green or all is lost.

Soon there will be nothing to stop the cold The summer soldiers are fallen and fled A cold wind slices through bare limbs
Who will hold back the snow?
My army fallen dead
Head down I go inside defeated
I break my sword and toss it on the ground
Then go inside where it is heated.

Ode to Spring

I have seen you
Spread out before me like a rumpled sheet upon a corpse
Patchy and cold that bloodless white of yours
Is so fine Bare trees black
Like wires on a screen are the only mourners
Elsewhere icicle teeth grin mirthless from every eve
While in its white cocoon the new life stirs
And like the frozen ground,
It bides its time ‘til spring.

I have see you
A green, velvet virgin somehow new again
Small breasted and innocent you lift your skirts for joy
I lust for you in your ripeness
And ravish you into blooming
Drowned, brown and flowering
Swelled pregnant and round you grow
You go shameless to the altar
Swollen with seeds
A careless whore giving warmth away
Spring will never die a maid

The Mermaid’s Kiss

Her eyes were luminescent fish
Her hands were silver swans
Her hair was as the breath of horses stamping in their stalls
Her arms were boats, finely carved and fitted for the sea
And as the sea too were her lips
Sweet and salty like a mermaid’s kiss
Her breasts were as the dimpled hills
And I saw her and felt her there
Like a carnival she was
All color and delight
And when I took her in my arms
There was the swoon of birds
And the smile of a choppy sea


Maja Trochimczyk



Bio (auto)

Maja Trochimczyk is a poet, music historian, and non-profit director born in Poland, educated in Poland and at McGill University in Canada (Ph.D , 1994), and living in Los Angeles, California (www.trochimczyk.net) She published four books of music studies (After Chopin, 2000; The Music of Louis Andriessen, 2002; Polish Dance in Southern California, 2007, and A Romantic Century in Polish Music, 2009), two books of poetry illustrated with her photographs (Rose Always and Miriam’s Iris, 2008), hundreds of peer-reviewed and popular articles, and poems in Magnapoets, poeticdiversity, San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, Quill & Parchment, Ekprasis, and anthologies, chapbooks and blogs by Poets on Site and othe rs Her most recent project is Chopin with Cherries, an anthology of poetry celebrating the 200th birth anniversary of Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849).

The following work is Copyright © 2010, and owned by Maja Trochimczyk and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


“Look at me”

– inspired by Ella Fitzgerald’s “Misty” and a Sunday drive to a Buddhist peach orchard

the dark honey of Ella’s voice
filled the valley with a golden sheen

The bike stopped at the red light The biker looked at me intently All in black leather, he did not seem familiar
the dark honey of Ella’s voice
spilled onto the asphalt

The light changed to green I was touched
by the brightness in his eyes as he drove by,
turning his head, clearly off-balance He stopped
to gaze at my metallic Honda I felt his surprise
the dark honey of Ella’s voice
blossomed in an aftertaste of sweetness

I knew he realized who I was,
the woman he found irresistible again
and again and again I wonder if he told
his girlfriend about our sunny encounter
the dark honey of Ella’s voice
flowed over the wonderland –
the dark honey, oh, the dark honey

The country road led me towards live oak
and grassy slopes, shining yellow and bronze There was no hatred, just being alive
after the storm I was silent I had nothing to say.

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