FIRST LITERARY REVIEW-EAST

Submissions Meet the Editor-in-Chief March 2016 Meet the Associate Editor July 2016 November 2015 January 2012 Book Review - Lyn Lifshin's "Ballroom" March 2017 September 2016 May 2014 Book Review: Amy Holman's Wrens Fly Through This Opened Window July 2012 Book Review: Kit Kennedy Reviews Heller Levinson September 2012 Book Review - Patricia Carragon Reviews Leigh Harrison November 2012 January 2013 March 2013 Book Review - Dean Kostos "Rivering" May 2013 Book Review: Hochman Reviews Ormerod Summer Issue 2013 September 2013 McMaster Reviews Szporluk January 2014 July/August 2014 November 2014 Book Review: Wright Reviews Gardner Stern Reviews Katrinka Moore May 2015 Hochman Reviews Ross July 2015 Tocco Reviews Simone September 2015 Simone Reviews Cefola May 2016 Bledsoe Reviews Wallace November 2016 January 2017 May 2017



JANUARY 2013

Our Children

The bullets ring out to their targets unknown
breaking hearts and bodies soft and warm
too soon cold.
Our tears, their blood, barely used
in measured time.

What victim this?
Adam, the world's first man,
barely a man, so anger filled.
His mother dead,
his pain, pain to all the mothers.
His mother dead, all the others wounded,
left to die a slower death.
Their fate, longing for a different past.
Our fate, our future scarred
and full of holes with names.
                                                      -Sharon Gluck

Sharon Gluck lives in Brooklyn with her husband. She is the mother of two grown sons. She works in health care, and this is her first published poem. Needless to say, she is very excited to share her poetry with the readers.

[Editors' Note:  And we're excited to give you your first publication, Sharon!]

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Butterflies Kittens and Babies
(for Terry Rogers)

Because you need to know that beauty does indeed exist
even when the rain stretches on for days, mud clings to your
new high heels, the bills are late, the supper burns, one more
child is sick, the car is getting so old, he doesn't say "I love you"
as often as you need to hear, you notice yet another wrinkle,
you long for Italy's sun to hold your face, we never got to finish our
conversation, the price of gas goes up again and the price of staying
the course is more than you can sometimes bear. I am here sister,
to tell you that there are butterflies and kittens and babies,even when
you cannot sense them. They fill your head and dreams and they
do flutter, purr and coo, all just for you.
                                                                              -Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan

Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan is the first woman to be appointed Suffolk County Poet Laureate (2009-2011). She is the founder and president of The North Sea Poetry Scene, Inc., publisher of The North Sea Poetry Scene Press and the editor of Long Island Sounds Anthology. She has been honored with a Long Island Writers Group Community Service Award and the MOBIUS Editor-In-Chief's Choice Award. Tammy, who already holds a Master of Business Administration degree, has also completed a Master of Fine Arts degree from Stony Brook University South-ampton.She is author of six books of poetry, one of which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. She teaches at Briarcliffe College and maintains an active schedule of workshops and performances. Visit her on Facebook or at her website: http://www.tammynuzzomorgan.com/. She is the founder and now the director of an archival/arts center for Long Island poetry, located in Patchogue, New York, that serves as a literary research center and gathering place for poets. News of the center can be found at: http://www.lipoetryarchivalcenter.com/

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Time is a Burden

 

Time is a burden

                carried on change’s

                                back

And under sun or rain

                it continually re-arranges

Piece by piece.

The culture of the hero

                is gone

The story has begun to reign

                again.

What happens next

on unpaved paths

                is of more importance

                than an interrogation of characters.

                                                                                --Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia 

 

Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia currently resides in Albany, NY after growing up in Brooklyn.  He received a BA in Linguistics from SUNY Albany and was a cook for 10 years.  These days, he works the graveyard shift putting boxes on shelves.

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Windows

Bottle green windows drip diamonds.
Carbon crystals bounce on icy pools before me.
Light refracts, vague images of you
Break through the two-way mirror
You hide behind. Breathless,
I catch you skating on my frozen tears.
I press my hand on the cold glass --- longing
                                                                        -Karen Jakubowski

Karen Jakubowski lives on Long Island where she was born, raised, fled from and returned to. Her poems have appeared or are scheduled to appear online at Poetry Breakfast, Vox Poetica, Houseboat and The Barefoot Review.

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Longing

Some things go on too long:
the dentist for more than
a minute; the homily when
you are hungry; the lecturer
who never wears a watch.
Some things could last longer:
our biweekly pay when we
buy groceries and gas;
the cello concert by Yoyo
Ma; your caress of my hand
as I pass. Some things should
never stop --- this sunshine on
the moist curve of your back
                                                       -Dr. David B. Axelrod

You can check out Dr. David B. Axelrod's doings at www.poetrydoctor.org. He is a career poet, with 20 books out. He is the former poet laureate for Suffolk County, NY, and now lives in Daytona Beach, FL, where he directs the Creative Happiness Institute, Inc., and continues writing, publishing, and sponsoring writing programs.

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Kerouac Kitty

Kerouac kitty
poems unravel
like toilet paper
                                     -Patricia Carragon

Patricia Carragon is a New York City writer and poet. Her publications include Best Poem, BigCityLit, CLWN WR, Chantarelle's Notebook, Clockwise Cat, Danse Macabre, Ditch Poetry, Inertia, Long Island Quarterly, Lips, MÖBIUS, The Poetry Magazine, Marymark Press, Maintenant, Mad Hatters' Review, The Toronto Quarterly, Six-Word Memoirs, and more. She is the author of Journey to the Center of My Mind (Rogue Scholars Press) and Urban Haiku and More (Fierce Grace Press, 2010). Her latest book, The Cupcake Chronicles, is forthcoming from Poets Wear Prada. She is a member of Brevitas, a group dedicated to short poems. She hosts and curates the Brooklyn-based Brownstone Poets and is the editor-in-chief of the annual anthology. For more information, please check out her Web sites at http://brownstonepoets.blogspot.com and at http://patriciacarragon8.wordpress.com/.

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Typewriter Madonna

does everything
with triple spaces
so you can read
between the lines


Haves

Even lying down, a sea
of pine, red
birds, crickets

and your hands, the feel of
waking up in the
morning

bursting with haves
                                                  -Lyn Lifshin

Recent works by Lyn Lifshin include Ballroom and To All the Poets Who Have Touched Me. NYQ Books will be publishing her book A Girl Goes Into the Woods. Her Web site is http://www.lynlifshin.com/.

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String

My senses unwind a string of thoughts
Words streaming words, they speak in body lengths
Heel to toe, eye to hand, head to heart
One thought doubles over another
And with a knot here, a tug there
They ache a pattern as intricate as lace
I sit in the tension spellbound, curious
Like a child who twists a string around his finger
To marvel at the many shades of red revealed
                                                                                    -Nancy Sima

Nancy Sima is a freelance writer currently at work on her first novel. She documents her writing life on her blog http://calendargal.blogspot.com/.

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About time . . .

When there is little left of life

and past dreams are monuments of folly,

then the unraveled wool                              

of my sweater

will serve to tease the dog

                                                and make you smile again.

                                                                                                  -Dr. Peter K. Lynch

Dr. Peter K. Lynch is an award-winning poet whose works have appeared in the Molloy College Literary Magazine, on the National Council of Teachers of English website, and in the Walt Whitman Winner's Circle as a Sesquicentennial First Place Award Winner. His travels have inspired his poetry and his family has enjoyed it. At present, he is an Associate Professor in the Graduate Education Program's Division of Education at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, NY. He lives in Seaford, NY, with his wife, Barbara.

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The Grief Counselors

She gets up, stretches and curls into my legs. He, on his bed,
licks with purpose his paw. She nestles against my knee.

We are, they say, a pack. Sleep, they say, is nourishing.
Sun hits his black ear as I reach a hand to scratch his gray chin.

He leaps onto the mattress and yawns. Cleans his elbow with slow strokes.
It's a new morning, he says. She dreams, her breathing a sedative.

Clock ticks. Wind blows. Light sneaks in Venetian blinds. He says,
So much you humans demand from us, and sighs, and sleeps.
                                                                                                   -Ann Cefola

Ann Cefola is the author of St. Agnes, Pink-Slipped (Kattywompus Press, 2011), Sugaring(Dancing Girl Press, 2007), and the translation Hence this cradle (Seismicity Editions, 2007). A Witter Bynner Poetry Translation Residency recipient, she also received the Robert Penn Warren Award judged by John Ashbery.

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The Bowery (Not)Sonnet

Tell me everything you know about a green door on Bleecker Street;
Not about the diligent carpenter who planed it into being,
But the door itself and its need to separate us from someone else.
Tell me when the Bouwerie dropped its UIE and gave up its CBGB.

Then I will tell you I want to spend a night --- or maybe two ---
In a seaman's home on Fourth Street and imagine a concertina
Wheezing me to sleep with choruses of "Sail Away, Ladies."
But right now, I'm distracted by the man on the fire escape

Who is facing lower Manhattan. He is, I suppose, thinking
About the Twin Towers and how loss makes us who we are.
7 OUT OF EVERY 10 9/11 FIRST RESPONDERS SUFFER FROM RESPIRATORY DISTRESS. *
He's smoking a cigar; even minor acts show we're engaged in life.

Meanwhile, over on East Seventh Christ looks down
On McSorley's Old Ale House and smiles at the goodness of it all.
                                                                                                          -Joel Allegretti

* From a placard posted along the Bowery in May 2007

Joel Allegretti is the author of four collections, most recently, Europa/Nippon/New York: Poems/Not-Poems (Poets Wear Prada, 2012). His second book, Father Silicon (The Poet's Press), was selected by The Kansas City Star as one of 100 Noteworthy Books of 2006. His poetry has appeared in many national journals, including Smartish Pace, The New York Quarterly, Fulcrum and PANK. He wrote the texts for three song cycles by Frank Ezra Levy, whose work is released on Naxos American Classics. Allegretti is a member of the Academy of American Poets and ASCAP.

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Happ-eBirthday

Re
ading
email is
the new cake.
Party hats are over.
Celebrations tweet. Instead
of blowing out candles I delete
Auto-Notified birthday greets posting
at a speed of 25 Happys-per-Hour. A traffic
jam of cheer clogs my screen. No ice cream. What is
the new etiquette? Where is the ribbon? I answer a thread.
My gift is guilt about your email unread. No time for champagne.
No sex in bed. Instead of happy birthday, we now have online dread.

                                                                    -Flash Rosenberg

Flash Rosenberg is an "Attention-Span-for-Hire" who draws, photographs, writes and performs. She is artist in residence for LIVE from the New York Public Library where she live-draws discussions to create animated "Conversation Portraits" vimeo.com/flashrosenberg She is a recipient of a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives with three turtles, a plethora of apologies, abundant merriment, and infinite questions.

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We Were Green

He tells me of the green river
we met there once
in green times full of green pride
rising sap
and it was green that called to us
as we lay in the lime grass
green our eyes opened each other
like limbs of a tree splayed
by the green wind song
of evergreen
and my reedy skirt's
abandon
                                                       -Mary Orovan

Mary Orovan grew up in Canada, and moved to New York when she was a teenager.  She was Features Editor of US Camera Magazine, and has taught at various NYC universities. Her poetry book, Green Rain (Poets Wear Prada, 2008) is now on Amazon.com. It has a Pushcart nominated poem. Recent work appears in Poetry East, The Seventh Quarry (Wales), Plainsongs, and other publications. She's been writing poems for about 12 years. Living near too-busy Union Square, she recovers in Central Park.

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Man's Lament

Where is my wood
Someone has jacked my lumber
And I am only sawdust
No more leaves, no more woodpeckers
It has all fallen to earth
And no one was there to hear the sound
I cannot cast shade
Nor hang a hammock
No more grain to plane
                                                                  -Jeff Santosuosso

Jeff Santosuosso is a business executive and poet who splits his time between Pensacola, FL and Dallas, TX. He's a member of the Dallas Poetry Community and the West Florida Literary Foundation. His poems have appeared in Rhyme and PUNishment, HoboPancakes, Pif Magazine, The 2012 Texas Poetry Calendar, Illya's Honey, Red Fez, the Red River Review and other print and online journals. You can find him on Facebook.

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In the Middle of the Night

Amor vincit omnia---
except insomnia!

The Powers of Twelve

Twelve Wise Men
Do
Zen.

Twelve Wise Women
Do
Something Else.

A Dozen Wise Men
Assume
Twelve Positions.

A Dozen Wise Women
Assume
Something Else.

                                                              -Peggy Landsman

Peggy Landsman's work has been published in many online and print literary journals and anthologies. Her poetry chapbook, To-wit To-woo (FootHills Publishing), and her out-of-print romance novel, Passion's Professor, which she wrote under the pen name Samantha Rhodes, are available on her web site. She lives in South Florida where she swims in the warm Atlantic Ocean every chance she gets. http://peggylandsman.com.

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Berry Picking

I wish I could send you
the last of
September's raspberries
Their sweetness reminds me
of your thoughts ---
precious bursts of insight
gracious and delicate
And then I feel
a tender crunch of tiny seeds
and respect the torment
of your growth.
                                              -Kate Boning Dickson


Kate Boning Dickson is a musician by training. She has been a featured reader for Performance Poets Association and is a board member of the Long Island Poetry Collective.

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From Fairy Tale Mail

From: NeighborhoodAssoc@FairyAcres.net
Subject: Your garden
To: MaryMary@Contrary.com

The contents of your garden violate
our Neighborhood Association's rule.
Silverbells and cockleshells are great
but pretty maids all in a row? Not cool!
The concept is quite sexist at the least
objectifying women, so we feel.
A garden gnome or mythologic beast
would be all right. Just something not so real.
You wouldn't put a jockey on your lawn,
so please comply and make your maids be gone.
No pink flamingos and no plaster saints -
they're just too tacky; we'd have more complaints!
Conventionality is much desired
and here in Fairy Acres it's required.
                                                                         -Margery Hauser

Margery Hauser is a New York City poet whose work has appeared in Poetica Magazine, Möbius, Umbrella, The Jewish Women's Literary Annual, and other journals, both print and online. When she is not writing poetry she can often be found dancing, knitting, practicing yoga or working out with her tai chi broadsword. She is a member of the Parkside Poetry Collective, for whose encouragement and support she is ever grateful.

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Chk, Chk, Chk, Pzzzz

Birds skitter and flit thru the trees
checking for nest sites,
"Chk, chk, chk pzzz"
where thin branches
not yet budding
write intricate messages in Arabic
"Chk,chk,chk, pzzz"
I see the cursive lattice of a mosque,
"Chk, chk, chk, wheeee."
                                                                         -Edi Holley

Edi Holley has won many awards for her paintings in shows throughout New England and at Washington's Smithsonian Museum. In 2010, she organized a reading at the NY Federal Court for National Poetry Month. Her latest poetry chapbook is Finding Gold, and her latest book of children's stories is Just Stories. She lives in Brooklyn and New Hampshire.

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Quack Poem

O dutiful for specious lies
On amber waves of pain,
Insurance mountain magistrates
Above the looted gain.
O Medica! O Medica!
Transfix this busted knee.
And if you can't, no further rant's
An opiate for me.
                                                    -Fred Yannantuono

Fired from Hallmark for writing meaningful greeting-card verse, Fred Yannantuono once ran twenty straight balls at pool; won a yodeling contest in a German restaurant; was bitten by a guard dog in a tattoo parlor. His book, A BOILERMAKER FOR THE LADY (ww.nyqbooks.org/fredyannantuono) has been banned in France, Latvia, and the Orkney Isles. Work was nominated for Pushcart prize in 2006. He is the featured poet in the current issue of Light Quarterly. His book TO IDI AMIN I'M A IDIOT-AND OTHER PALINDROMES is due out later this year.

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Winter is Stripped Down

Winter is stripped down
to her gray undergarments,
while sister spring is stirring
under the earth covers,
not quite awake,
far from her full bloom,
but edging into daylight
with sleepy whispers of,
"I'm coming.
I'm coming."
                                                    -Cecille D. Brant


Cecille D. Brant is a teacher at Delaware Technical and Community College in their English department, where she mostly teaches technical writing. She also works part-time as a stable hand in a small farm near her home. She has published two poems in Moon Orbital Odyssey News, a small poetry journal of the early 90s, and most recently, she won the 2010 William Butler Yeats Society poetry competition.


MAY POETRY SUSTAIN YOU THROUGH THE NEW YEAR . . . .