April 5-11, 2004: Miriam N. Kotzin and Patricia Gomes

week of April 5-11, 2004

Miriam N Kotzin and Patricia Gomes

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Miriam N Kotzin

Bio (auto)

For the last thirty-five years I have been teaching creative writing and literature at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA  I am a contributing editor of Boulevard, and in addition my poems have appeared in The Southern Humanities Review, The Mid- American Review, The Mad Poets Review, The Painted Bride Quarterly, Taurus and The Iron Horse Review as well as anthologies  Online my poems appeared in the Drexel Online Journal and are forthcoming in the Vocabula Review and ForPoetry.com.

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Miriam N Kotzin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


“And the Holy One, blessed be He, came and killed the
Angel of Death ”  Chad Gadya

The host is eager to begin Like a too familiar uncle, the Angel
of Death circles the table The first question:
whose turn
Alone, my mother
and I refuse the dining room
and sit side by side
in easy chairs  “Behold This is the bread of affliction
We dip parsley in salt water, but when
I open the front door, only winter’s
breath bears in
on the blue light
Elijah’s glass stands full I have said all the blessings  I
do not use
my father’s cup
I raise and lower the plate,
reading all the words  We complete
the service, but at the end we do not
choose to sing
Chad Gadya

Reclaiming the Dead

My father stumbled into death We’d turned away a moment,
then a call The next spring my mother and I
planted violets that never grew back The cemetery has rules, no flowers,
we learned as we stooped
planting around his footstone anyway
All winter the earth, unyielding,
refused everything Now the ground gives under-foot
as I cross the field,
wary as a trespasser
My mother telephoned her death;
when  she died I was on my way It rained through the night
after I bought her coffin It was ritually correct, the pine
box, pegged  New to my hands,
her rings cut my fingers
as I carried her there, daughter, pall-
bearer, talking to her steadily
since her death The gravediggers let go I heard the splash  I saw her float A pump a purposeful machinery
worked until she was settled
I make my way to the woods,
to the path down to the swollen cedar stream,
loops of brambles,
greening, have caught the hang
of spring.

Patricia Gomes


Currently based in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Patricia Gomes was named the First Place Winner in iVillage’s Annual Poetry Slam in 2002 and 2003 Her most recent works appear in EOTU, House of Pain, Literary Potpourri, Adagio Verse Quarterly, Shadow Keep Magazine, Boston Poet and Lily This fall, her short story, “Illegal Aliens” was included in the anthology “Other Worlds: Alien Alerts ” In 2004, her work will be featured in Dark Krypt, Gaea’s Cauldron, and Impetus
Creator of the Octologue, an eight-line, syllabic form of poetry, Ms Gomes is a regular columnist for Lil’s Experimental Ezine, and a poetry reviewer for Adagio Verse Quarterly. 

Visit Patricia’s website: http://pages.ivillage.com/pat305/

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Patricia Gomes and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Stroking Castro’s Beard

Benjamin writes of bananas in a crystal bowl Poetic as it is, I consider the poem ridiculous He compares the fruit metaphorically
to Cuban prisoners of war and asks me:
Why don’t you write of important things?

I’ve wondered that a time or two,
but not often and seldom
for very long
Don’t ask more of me than I’m prepared to give It is enough to allow you the next-morning mustiness
of my lover’s bedroom,
to pin back your hair
with the inflexible tortoise clip
of my dead grandmother,
to lick the sticky mango juice away
from the corner of your mouth It is enough
to walk together on sun-warmed pine needles
until our feet are black and calloused Why do you ask that I also bleed?

Latin Refrain

Xavier strums Spanish lullabies,
goodnight tunes
on a twelve-string Gibson
meant for
dah Blues Kissing hips
atop the unsheeted bed, he is a Bird
of Paradise,
he is
turbulent waves
to this stoic desert His fingers are nimble, his melody intoxicating Quill to inkwell,
inkwell to quill &Mac247;
written in tongues
for crickets to decipher;
we leave our Craft
for chambermaids to read.

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