Tag: Poetry

An Afternote to a Book Without Us – Holly Day

An Afternote to a Book Without Us – Holly Day

An Afternote to a Book Without Us

Cockroaches raced along the ground here long before

there were dark alleys and rancid dumpsters,

truck drivers and greasy spoon diners, old hamburger wrappers

to curl up inside. Before we were here, cockroaches

scuttled in the nests of dinosaurs, fed on the sticky albumin

of newly-hatched eggs, dug tunnels in massive piles of fecal matter,

were old even then. They lived through

the asteroids, the second and third great extinctions,

left petrified footprints in the mud

alongside our first bipedal ancestors.

They will be here to see the last flower of humanity

wilt in the heat of cataclysm, will polish our bones

with their tiny, patient mandibles, will lay their eggs

in our shirt pockets and empty hats. There will be

no great cockroach takeover,

no post-apocalyptic ascension to superiority—

they will always just be, chitinous wings fluttering,

scurrying, squeaking in the dark.


Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Grain, and Harvard Review. Her newest poetry collections are Where We Went Wrong (Clare Songbirds Publishing), Into the Cracks (Golden Antelope Press), Cross Referencing a Book of Summer (Silver Bow Publishing), and The Tooth is the Largest Organ in the Human Body (Anaphora Literary Press).


I Will Not Be – Holly Day

I Will Not Be – Holly Day

An Afternote to a Book Without Us

Hand in hand, fingers turn to claws and I

still know you inside that mask of anger, I

can still see the person I will always fall

in love with behind those bright eyes,

am I going to die tonight? I wonder.

Walk with me softly past the corner

where we first kissed. Here, under the street lamp,

the exact spot where you said you loved me

over and over again, do you remember?

I do. I do. This is us, so many years later,

and there is only ice when we speak,

but do you remember? I wonder.


Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Grain, and Harvard Review. Her newest poetry collections are Where We Went Wrong (Clare Songbirds Publishing), Into the Cracks (Golden Antelope Press), Cross Referencing a Book of Summer (Silver Bow Publishing), and The Tooth is the Largest Organ in the Human Body (Anaphora Literary Press).




Another Woman Talking to Herself – Holly Day

Another Woman Talking to Herself – Holly Day

This is the first of three poems by Holly that we will be posting, which should be the last three pieces we share with you all this spring. Our print issue is currently in the process of being approved, and it will be available to all of you very soon! Keep an eye out for any further announcements on that front. Without further ado, here is “Another Woman Talking to Herself.” Enjoy.

Another Woman Talking to Herself

Overcome with regret, she cradles him in her arms

before reluctantly devouring his headless corpse. Later, she will lay

a clutch of white, oval eggs, knowing

her daughters will eat her sons someday.

The mantis has no voice for her sorrow, her grief at the loss

of her brief love affair. The crickets take up her song instead

a chorus of chirps that fills the night with shadows.


Holly Day’s poetry has recently appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Grain, and Harvard Review. Her newest poetry collections are Where We Went Wrong (Clare Songbirds Publishing), Into the Cracks (Golden Antelope Press), Cross Referencing a Book of Summer (Silver Bow Publishing), and The Tooth is the Largest Organ in the Human Body (Anaphora Literary Press).

Wrinkles – Fabrice Poussin

Wrinkles – Fabrice Poussin

Wrinkles

The boy looked at his hands.

Something had changed.

Now he saw two useless wrinkly palms

speckled with spots he once had spied

upon the leathery flesh of an ancestor.

Child still, he caught the shine of a wheel

attempting to roll forward

upon a sterile floor of bland linoleum,

inhaling a perfume now too familiar:

like ether, chlorine, and formaldehyde.

Teenager, he noticed his chest heaving,

a throbbing near the surface of a blueish river.

In awe at the sight of a life that refuses to give up.

Thoughts slowed to ponder the moment.

Seconds seemed like hours in this padded box.

Young hunter, he could still feel those legs

resembling a mummy’s shrunken flesh,

swimming within the sweet memories

of a chase against the hare, determined to survive,

and the sweet taste of the gamy flesh upon his heart.

Unable to lift those arms, once so potent,

the green of his eyes fades into a gauze,

letting the old soul drift into slumber at last.

Newborn blinded by the lights of another sun, he continues to write his own intimate history.


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.

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.