September 22-28, 2003: Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz and Linda K. Sienkiewicz

week of September 22-28, 2003

Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz and Linda K Sienkiewicz

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Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz

Bio (auto)

Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz is a poet and fiction writer living in Las Cruces, New Mexico She writes for children and adults, and her work has appeared in a variety of online and print journals She is an assistant fiction editor for Small Spiral Notebook and is on the editorial board of Scrivener’s Pen Literary Journal, Inc.

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Night Game

It is the middle of the night I hear my daughter
up, scampering to find me It is a hot night
another hot New Mexico summer
and I am lying,
not in my bed,
but on the kitchen floor,
cool Mexican tile beneath me
Mom, she calls out And then, again: Mom She concedes this game of hide and go seek
we have not agreed to play
But I hold on to a few moments,
then softly say: Ollie, ollie, oxen free I’m here, my voice guides through the darkness I’m here
.first published in The Ink


the paisley one
for my wrists
and the black
to blanket my sight
and red, yes,
to capture the sighs
but you choose
the silk that will hold
my ankles
the width
of your desire
and then, bind me, love set me free.

one a.m (eastern standard time)

i was drunk again the operator dialed the number
as i threw up in the rain the bars were open
people still out on the streets
and i thought new york
was too crowded to be alone
i told you this when you answered
the phone; you asked what
the hell it was supposed to mean i don’t know i guess i wanted
to say join me or let me
come home
but i was suffocating in the wine,
my feet soaked with vomit
and rain, and all i could hear
was your angry breathing
then the operator cut in
and asked me to deposit a dollar- 85
for additional minutes
i had the money, but realized
the lines were already dead:

i couldn’t speak you wouldn’t listen
.previously published in El Ojito

Linda K Sienkiewicz

Bio (auto)

I’m a poet, free-lance writer and artist from Rochester, MI I’ve had poems published in Slipstream, Clackamas Literary Review, Rattle, Spoon River Poetry Review and others and a short story on I have two chapbooks, “Postcard of a Naked Man” by March Street Press, and “Dear Jim” which was published as part of Main Street Rag’s poetry chapbook contest I also won The Heartlands Today chapbook award in ’97 and was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize Writing poetry is the best way for me to make sense of the strangeness of memory and logic My website is Wallpaper the Sky

The following work is Copyright © 2003, and owned by Linda K Sienkiewicz and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author

Too Soon

I pour my third glass of Merlot
and address a sympathy card The cat leaps up, bats her foam ball
under my feet: this is rapture The dog rips into a beef-basted
chew bone: this is bliss The whole room
stinks like dead cow but it’s nice
to have content animals My father’s
girlfriend’s sister died yesterday Heavy
smoker, stole stranger’s cigarette butts
from ashtrays to keep her habit I can’t get used to saying father’s girlfriend They’re tennis partners who live together Sleep together too, I imagine The dog vomits a rawhide strip It’s nice to vomit and be content There’s only one time that I ever feel
so animal, so immersed in the joy
of the moment, even if painful,
and that’s during sex My husband lolls
in bed, I walk downstairs, naked under
my robe, cunt still faintly buzzed Once you let go, the body takes over
and nothing matters— not cigarettes,
wine, I’m sorry for your loss,
the Black Hawk my son will fly
over Afghanistan and certainly not the alarm
which brings tomorrow too soon
.forthcoming in Prairie Schooner

Wake Up

Let’s call my first life practice,
and death—
a pop quiz I’ll cram all night and wake up
as someone else
wearing a bracelet from God
that wards off cold sweats,
bird splat,
false hope
Or as a Fed Ex package
tagged for Virginia Beach I’d be delivered
to your arms
and you would say
Yes, stay
I’m tired
I woke myself
from a dream shouting
There’s a hole in the screen
and you were a firefly
then a star
then a comet
swooshing six hundred and forty two
miles out of reach
and you didn’t look back
Let’s forget cramming
I’ll blast down the coast
like Hurricane Floyd
and break both your arms I’ll throw myself
from your balcony
into the Atlantic
and wake up
as someone
even I won’t

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