Category: Poetry

Stellar Friends – Fabrice Poussin

Stellar Friends – Fabrice Poussin

Stellar Friends

Afraid to look back, hiding the secrets of her intimacy,

he can only shed light on the truths revealed to all.

Shy to the present, she reveals all to eternity.

Her vulnerable past shelters her in false security.

She fears little, gliding in the heights of the stratosphere.

Her coyness may be the only armor she requires,

surrounded by the icy embrace of darkest depths,

her dreams of a star she keeps a secret.

A gentle glow vibrates at the center of her gravity,

the pulse growing to unimaginable breadth.

She may conquer the neighboring galaxies

as she escapes from the dangers below.

Her future will be safe as she continues to ascend,

faithful to the distant moon, worshipped by the sun.

I will follow her luminous shadow at a distance 

to protect the passion, sole source of her being.


Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, San Pedro River Review, and other publications.


She Dreams – Fabrice Poussin

She Dreams – Fabrice Poussin

This poem of Fabrice’s details an endearing, introspective moment, which is a focal point, it seems, of all three works we’ve chosen to share from him.

After Fabrice’s pieces, we will be doing one last comb-through for any remaining pieces in our inbox, so if you are awaiting a decision on something, it’s likely you’ll hear about it soon. Also, keep an eye out for an announcement on our print issue going live, which should be coming soon.

Without further ado, “She Dreams.” Enjoy.

She Dreams

Little hands on the firm knees of enduring love,

she pauses her spirit on the promise of the new dawn.

Looking in the distance, the ruby lips smile again,

sighting a friend chasing the ball in the mist.

There will be no school for her, free she is yet,

her cheek warm against the cozy lap of a mother.

Soon she will join in the plays of another every day,

but for now, she listens to the hearty pulse beneath her ear.


Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, San Pedro River Review, and other publications.

The First Existentialist Poets – Milton Ehrlich

The First Existentialist Poets – Milton Ehrlich

The First Existentialist Poets

Have always been individuals trapped in existence

like everybody else caught in the undertow of being.

Even before they knew how to spell phenomenology,

poets were sensitive souls with angst in their pants

who still longed to rise up, to sing and dance.

They knew freedom could open the doors of perception

and help us make better choices.

As kids, they figured out that life was absurd—

hearing adults bray, “Yes indeed, we are all going to die.”

The better poets keep you laughing at yourself,

providing insight, irony and wittiness in their poems.

Some poets can make humor the backbone of their verse.

Poets capture the moments missed by ordinary folks

who move along with the herd with their heads down.

Awareness, awareness, awareness—the key to the heart of a poet.


Milton P. Ehrlich Ph.D. is an 88-year-old psychologist and a veteran of the Korean War. He has published poems in The Antigonish Review, London Grip, Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant Literary Magazine, Wisconsin Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times.

Packed and Ready to Go Out of this World – Milton Ehrlich

Packed and Ready to Go Out of this World – Milton Ehrlich

Packed and Ready to Go Out of this World

Lovebirds sit on their suitcases

waiting for their wings to sprout.

They listen to a melancholy melody

in a minor key planting seeds of love.

They carry a supply of dark chocolate,

a magnum of Cabernet Sauvignon wine,

a double cream brie soft-ripened round,

and a Rukaza silicone hot-water bottle.

Under the white sheen of a full moon

their backs begin to swell with buds

unfurling of newly formed angel wings.

Radiant and winged, they fly away

to transmigrate in the crisp night air.


Milton P. Ehrlich Ph.D. is an 88-year-old psychologist and a veteran of the Korean War. He has published poems in The Antigonish Review, London Grip, Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant Literary Magazine, Wisconsin Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times.

Look, Stop, and Listen – Milton Ehrlich

Look, Stop, and Listen – Milton Ehrlich

Look, Stop, and Listen

The world is naked before you—

a Bacchanal feast worth exploring.

Listen to the hum of the wings

of a cluster of hungry hummingbirds

at your backyard feeder.

Notice the sluggish crawl of a swollen

caterpillar about to metamorphose

into a Monarch butterfly.

Embrace the buds of chrysanthemums

about to bloom into dazzling whites.

And don’t forget the morning glaze

on a forgotten peanut butter and jelly sandwich

left on a bench at your bus stop.

Can you appreciate the charm of the cracks

on the cement sidewalks you stand upon?

Every stone, leaf, and petal smiles in a silent song and dance—

performed free of charge as long as you pay attention.


Milton P. Ehrlich Ph.D. is an 88-year-old psychologist and a veteran of the Korean War. He has published poems in The Antigonish Review, London Grip, Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant Literary Magazine, Wisconsin Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times.

Hands – Milton Ehrlich

Hands – Milton Ehrlich

The blunt, at times sardonic tone of this poem of Milton’s — as well as the three others we’ll be sharing from him — accurately captured the sweet-and-salty nature of life we all feel at times (now more than ever, surely, for some of us). Enjoy.

Hands

Can pluck a Stradivarius,

sculpt a David out of marble,

pleasure oneself, or a loving partner,

scratch an itch, pick your nose, wipe your ass,

write a play, applaud and give a standing ovation,

tie a shoelace or play an accordion,

steer an ambulance or a “Just Married” car,

dig for gold or bury a good or bad soul,

swat a Corona Virus mosquito,

shake hands with an old friend or a new enemy,

pull the pin on a hand grenade, squeeze the trigger

on an M-1 rifle or press the code for a nuclear bomb.

Never forget, a hand can always reach

for the hand of God.


Milton P. Ehrlich Ph.D. is an 88-year-old psychologist and a veteran of the Korean War. He has published poems in The Antigonish Review, London Grip, Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant Literary Magazine, Wisconsin Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times.

Going Home – Barbara Daniels

Going Home – Barbara Daniels

The second and final poem we will be sharing from Barbara as of now. The story-like quality of both “Her Seven Faces” and “Going Home” were impressive to us, and we imagine you’ll agree. Enjoy.

Do you enter from a garage,

step into a laundry room clacking

and steamy with cleanness?

Or slide a glass door down a track

bumpy with sunflower hulls

left by finches and chickadees?

Do you wipe your feet? Your hand

sorts through mail on a desk

by a door. The skin on the backs

of your fingers. The single

broken nail. I rest my forehead

on my own door. After a while, I go in.


Barbara Daniels’s Talk to the Lioness was published by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press in 2020. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere. Barbara Daniels received a 2020 fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Her Seven Faces – Barbara Daniels

Her Seven Faces – Barbara Daniels

Her Seven Faces

Sleeping in blankets like limp wings,

she dreams a madwoman’s dreams,

(pointing fingers, orange birds

whistling convulsively, cord strung

with teeth and a prickly amulet).

She bursts out of sleep

like a swimmer gasping for air.

Dried salt marks her skin.

She searches a mirror

for her seven faces — stiff grin,

frown her face slumps into,

sales-talk smile, and, damn it.

What were the other ones?

Her teeth are still yellow,

A3, determined when her dentist

held tinted chips against her mouth.

These are her eyes in the mirror,

flecks of grayed slate.

A ghost brushes the back of her neck.

Charms, countercharms.

It’s not too late to be changed.


Barbara Daniels’s Talk to the Lioness was published by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press in 2020. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere. Barbara Daniels received a 2020 fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

OK Boomer – Dash Bevis

OK Boomer – Dash Bevis

This comedic poem of Dash’s is a sharp, fun, and enlightening read. Enjoy.

OK Boomer

OK Boomer.

We can’t use books because they have no buttons! GOD that’s funny!

Icecaps melting, wildfires, hurricanes, but it’s just sunny!

“These Millennials are sensitive; I can’t call guys him or that girl her!

Oh, my coupon is expired? LET ME SPEAK WITH A MANAGER.”

OK Boomer.

“What? You just rent? I bet it’s ‘cause of those phones!”

No, Karen, it’s because I can’t afford my goddamn student loans!

“But I worked my way through college! It’s you guys that want the most!”

Said the article that blamed the avocado toast.

OK Boomer.

“That phrase is so disrespectful! This is an insult we will not take!”

What about when everyone you insulted was a “snowflake”?

You’re old and washed up and entitled and annoying.

The world is changing and won’t be enjoying

This negative mindset of superiority,

So feel disrespected, take the insult and leave!

OK Boomer?

Everyone is a wussy for one reason or another!

You aren’t special just for being a grandmother!

We can all get along, it’s not really a big deal,

Though, it would be nice if y’all would tip with your meals…

Crowds – Steve Ablon

Crowds – Steve Ablon

This is the third and final poem of Steve’s that we will be posting this season. We appreciated his storytelling abilities that were ever-present despite the conciseness of each of his pieces. Enjoy.

Oh, and keep an eye out for an announcement we’ll be posting either later today or early tomorrow. You’ll be glad you did so!

Crowds

There is a woman 

lying on the ground, 

a crowd, cars 

stopped, blood 

oozing from the 

side of her mouth. 

There is a man 

fallen on the beach, 

still as a clam shell, 

not breathing. 

A heart attack? 

There is a girl 

on the aisle, 

on the flight, 

faint, sweaty. 

I leave my seat, 

talk to her, 

try to be calm, 

examine her. 

Will the plane 

be diverted? 

It’s diabetes, 

some sugar 

will put her 

back on course. 

I am a doctor 

when crowds 

gather on the 

street, the beach, 

the plane. 


Steven Luria Ablon, poet and adult and child psychoanalyst, teaches child psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and publishes widely in academic journals. His poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines such as The Brooklyn Review, Ploughshares, and The Princeton Arts Review. He has published five full collections of poetry including Tornado Weather (Mellen Poetry Press, 1993),  Flying Over Tasmania (The Fithian Press, 1997), Blue Damsels (Peter E Randall Publisher, 2005),  Night Call (Plain View Press, 2011), and, most recently, Dinner in the Garden (Columbia, South Carolina, 2018).