September 26-October 2, 2005: Douglas Holder and Alan Elyshevitz

week of September 26-October 2, 2005

Douglas Holder and Alan Elyshevitz

click here for submission guidelines

Douglas Holder

Bio (auto)

My work has been in Buckle, Poesy, Poetry bay, Facets, High Horse and many others I am the founder of the Ibbetson Street Press, and the Arts/Editor of The Somerville News in Somerville, Mass My interviews with Contemporary poets are archived at Harvard and Buffalo University libraries I am the co-founder of the “Somerville News Writers Festival,” in Somerville, Mass
Visit Douglas on the web here:

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Douglas Holder and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Killing Time at the 99

A skeletal man
his torso
barely supports
a crisp white shirt-
his forehead
violated by a jet black
wedge of his toupee–
and a businessman’s
with the scripted chatter
of the barmaid
(she assures us a few times
it is not the heat
but the humidity
that bothers her–)
looks to
his audience
staring into
the icy abyss
of frosted glasses,
an old man pipes up
and fawns over
a prized cat
who I think
with such suffocating attention
must be miserable
and I drink
to all this loneliness
made visible

Man With Guitar

And when he riffed
his girth
was no obstacle He rose
like beckoned
from above His head craned
like a meaty swan
following the music
like some
Egyptian hieroglyphic–
face twitching
as if it
was synchronized His eyes tightly
on the singers
all I could see
were his
agile, manic

For her

it is as simple
as breath–as stark,
as plain
as death
or rain
There is
no distance–
the music
in waves
from her black
tangled hair
drops in
sweaty tears
from her brow-
smiles in
the creases
of her face,
from her breasts
trills and flutters,
an exotic-plumaged bird
and then
the voice crescendos
to some
deep nocturnal dream,
far below–

and I wonder
how it came,
and where
will it go?

Alan Elyshevitz


Alan Elyshevitz is a poet and short story writer from Norristown, Pennsylvania His poems have appeared in The Mid-America Poetry Review, Fourteen Hills: The SFSU Review, Visions-International and many others He has published two poetry chapbooks: The Splinter in Passion’s Paw (New Spirit) and Theory of Everything (Pudding House) In 2001 and 2003 he received fellowships for fiction writing from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Currently he teaches writing at Community College of Philadelphia and Philadelphia University.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Alan Elyshevitz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Engine

Tutoring me on the parts
of this engine you lull me
to sleep like religion
The mysteries of manifold wires
and the holy blood called lubricant
you honor as if the souls
of our forebears
inhabit the cylinders
Who are those icy men and women
in the old photographs
in your dresser drawer?
What made that childhood scar
between your fingers?
When you summon me
to feel where a hose leads
I twist my graduation ring
round and round on my finger
to coax some talent from my hands
while things we won’t speak of
hum in the background
running on inexhaustible fuel

This poem previously appeared in Wavelength

Akhmatova #6

The saints seem to budget their answers
To prayers You’d think otherwise,
With their loyalty oaths and all those
Crowns bestowed on hemophiliacs And with such impressive c.v.’s
Of simony and illuminated manuscripts
And cathedrals that fell through
The floor of mathematics Anna, your prayers are too far-reaching
For saints whose bones a priest lets you
Kiss for ten zloty in Poland
Or fifteen francs in southern France Take the gold, Anna, or the mate who
Quits drinking, or the infant with ten
Working fingers Smile at the priest
And walk away
This poem previously appeared in Wavelength

Akhmatova #4

I owe you succor, greenery, sap
And crickets On your messy
Knees, reasons and thumbtacks
Have left their marks It’s my fault, Anna I didn’t
Keep kosher nor tune your ukulele And when I opened the door to the tropics,
Your cat wandered off in the snow Forgive me: for shifting the waters,
For diverting the salmon from sex
Galore, for hoarding the river
In a block of ice
This poem previously appeared in Fourteen Hills: The SFSU Review

Research and Development

The world is dredged for headlines:
baffling African plagues,
greeting cards that explode in the mail Our fears diminish after three square meals,
when we pick the taxes from our teeth,
unwind and turn down the noise We burn scented timber and stare
through glass at the gibbous moon,
feeling light-headed, weightless In layman’s terms there is no explanation And those who are gifted will not speak to us —
those who tamper with gravity
in secret windowless rooms
This poem previously appeared in Alligator Juniper

Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter: