FIRST LITERARY REVIEW-EAST
Dear Loyal Fans of Poetry:
Whether you're on the beach, sitting by the pool, on the terrace, or lazing in your lovely backyard, we hope you will add this exciting issue of FLRev to your summer reading list.
-Cindy Hochman and Karen Neuberg, Editors
SON OF SAM PALINDROME
Dam'ff it Sam, a God-deified dog, a mastiff mad.
Fred Yannantuono's book, A Boilermaker for the Lady (www.nyqbooks.org/fredyannantuono), has been banned in France, Latvia, and the Orkney Isles. His work was nominated for a Pushcart prize in 2006. He has been a featured poet for Light Quarterly. His latest book, To Idi Ami I'm A Idiot And Other Palindromes, is due out very soon.
I watch the moon starve
for more than this.
Its thin body creeps the sky
like the edge of a bed.
I remain its struggling
feast, the poverty of a woman
—April Michelle Bratten
April Michelle Bratten currently lives in North Dakota. Her work has previously appeared in Stone Highway Review, THRUSH Poetry Journal, and Waterhouse Review. Her book, It Broke Anyway, was published by NeoPoiesis Press in 2012. Her chapbook, Raw Dogs and Other Metaphors, was published by Maverick Duck Press in 2012. She edits Up the Staircase Quarterly.
itself as a lifestyle
center: fake small town made for the
windows are the daily
specials of the long-abandoned
Michael Ceraolo is a retired firefighter/paramedic who is the author of Euclid Creek (Deep Cleveland Press) and the forthcoming Euclid Creek Book Two (unbound CONTENT Press), as well as numerous chapbooks.
SITTING IN A FAVORITE CHICAGO CAFÉ WITH A VIEW OF LAKE MICHIGAN ON A SUNNY SATURDAY IN SEPTEMBER, I NOTICE THE TRAFFIC LIGHT TURNS AMBER
what does the nasturtium in my salad know of caution?
CONSIDERATIONS: #60 Should I consider your offer?
cooking in strange kitchen, matches where spoons should be
stir fire with fire?
segue memory list litany
chicken garlic white wine tarragon
roasted Spring vegetables
if I accept the lady apple you offer, am I tethered?
moon extricating from cloud from sheets
your fingers — apples of earth — seasoned ripe & ready
Kit Kennedy has published four collections including while eating oysters, CLWN WR BKS, Brooklyn, and Intentions, Co-Lab Press, San Francisco. Kit lives in San Francisco and is Poet in Residence of SF Bay Times.
flopsicle, dropsicle, plopsicle
slopsicle, no mopsicle.
Can't stopsicle, I hopsicle
to the shopsicle
to get another.
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 Federation. 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.
Your arm hit the blinds and
they swung like a pendulum
piercing my eyes you
held up your hand
to stop the sun
to shade my face
it felt just like love
so I sunk
in the silence
I felt it
Sarah Thursday teaches elementary school, is obsessed with music, and only recently dove back into poetry. She has been published in various places, such as Atticus Review, The Long Beach Union, East Jasmine Review, Carnival Lit, Ishaan Literary Review, and Lummox (2). Recently, she has become the editor of Cadence Collective: Long Beach Poets, almost by accident, but completely on purpose.
We're in the Chevy; you, staring at the steering wheel.
I hear your voice in fragments.
Differences ... see others.
Study quantum physics
every living thing
its elemental particles
as we do, my love.
["Valentine" was previously published in The Aurorean, Winter 2003-2004]
Ann Settel's poems have appeared in The Western Humanities Review and others. Some have been set to dance by the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company.
Crescent Moon Polygraph
My blood looms with the tide.
Sea oats bend
and I walk the crescent shoreline
reflecting last night's moon.
I answer yes and no.
Truth pounds in my chest.
There is no objectivity.
Subjective truth prevails.
There is no postmodern love,
only intuition and the most
ancient kind of sex.
—Jonathan K. Rice
Jonathan K. Rice is Editor/Publisher of Iodine Poetry Journal. He is the author of two books of poetry, Shooting Pool With A Cellist and Ukulele and Other Poems, both published by Main Street Rag Publishing. He lives in Charlotte, NC.
A mess of doves stutters
and flutters a sanforized
pair of pantaloons astir
in the oyster cloister a nexus
a nostril a restitution waiting
to hibernate a whitecapped
sailor's sixth sense of defense.
Kerosene kitchenware a crutch
of layaway lust frittering
at the fitful ridge in a Sunday
of peepholes she gloms onto
feathered gowns in boondocks
of brown fog.
Mitch Corber has recited his lyrical sound-poetry throughout the city. His work has appeared in Blackbox Manifold, Columbia Poetry Review, ditch, Blazevox, E-Ratio, tight, Polarity, Mirage, and others. He founded the Thin Air Poetry DVD Archives, which includes DVDs of Ginsberg, Corso, Ashbery, Di Prima, and Cage, as well as 200 contemporary NYC poets. Corber is an awardee of the New York Foundation for the Arts, and director-camera of NYC's Poetry Thin Air Cable Show. Mitch Corber's full-length collection, Weather's Feather, was recently published by Fly by Night Press.
For a time I spoke to the wind. Firetrack's circuitous press, the dry currents, water's unkempt gleam: my archetype of imagined stillness. A tiny pill slips under my tongue.
I saw myself: a small child scrawling on blanched pages of the kingdom...
a dappled song grown/shameless & empty inside the mouth spills
into the wet grass. Everything
as the ascension toward dusk.
I saw my love walking in the field. He lay down among the spinifex.
When I move I move with my new mind, the unanswerable; memory, snow bleaching the surface of lawns; snow whitening the supplication failure brings.
Maureen Alsop, Ph.D., is the author of two full-length collections, Mantic (Augury Books) and Apparition Wren (Main Street Rag), She is the winner of Harpur Palate's Milton Kessler Memorial Prize for Poetry and The Bitter Oleander's Frances Locke Memorial Poetry Award. Her recent poems have appeared in various journals including The Laurel Review, AGNI, Blackbird, Tampa Review, Action Yes, Drunken Boat, and The Kenyon Review. Maureen is an associate poetry editor for the online journal Poemeleon and Inlandia: A Literary Journal. She presently leads a creative writing workshop for the Inlandia Institute, the Riverside Art Museum, and The Rooster Moans.
The well dries in July
When the voice of the mockingbird echoes
in every drop of indigo choking at the tip
of a pen, you know the universe is testing
a writer's patience like humidity
teasing the owner of street tea stalls in the month
of May in Bombay, Mumbai, or Bombay, who cares —
the city at least has a name, unlike the scribbling
resembling the coarseness of horse's tail sprawled
across my notebook, hoping for eloquence to adopt it.
I didn't choose this way.
But, then, when has a writer
known what appears on the page.
—Sweta Srivastava Vikram
[Previously published in Poem2Day - A Creative Review, 2010]
Sweta Srivastava Vikram is an award-winning writer, two-time Pushcart Prize-nominated poet, novelist, author, essayist, columnist, and educator. Born in India, Sweta spent her formative years between India, North Africa, and the United States. A graduate of Columbia University, she reads her work, teaches creative writing workshops, and gives talks at universities and schools across the globe. Sweta lives in New York City with her husband. You can follow her on Twitter (@ssvik) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/Words.By.Sweta).
Mayim: for Martin (May 13, 2013, 10 pm)
he must have thought he was in the desert
dry mouth, lips rimed with white
as if water once there
had dried around the edges
his hands cold, his feet, his legs,
his forehead cooling
we lifted the breathing machine mask to hear
the word he was saying:
"mayim", he said, "mayim."
Dan brought him water, a cup with a straw, "Here, Dad."
He sipped, wet his lips.
Not too much," the nurse warned.
"Mayim," he whispered. "Mayim". He must have thought
he was in the desert when he begged for more
Alice Twombly teaches Seniors at the Learning Collabortive and works for Fordham University, Teach For America. Her poems have appeared in the NJ Poetry Monthly and other journals. She was a finalist in The Nation-Discovery contest. She has had many one woman shows of her photography in Northern New Jersey and her photographs hang in homes, restaurants, and businesses in the Metro area.
for John Elsberg (1945 - 2012)
A bottle washes up
On the Eastern shore
Some boys break it
& years later the sharp pieces
Are worn smooth as stones
But they retain their colors
Glinting amid the dull real
Stones that erode all around us
Reflecting ancient starlight
Bringing it all back home
Eric Greinke's poems have been published in numerous journals, including the New York Quarterly, the Paterson Literary Review, California Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Hurricane Review, Mad Poets Review, The Pedestal, Wilderness House Literary Review and Main Street Rag. Recent international publications include Prosopisia (India), Ginyu (Japan), The Green Door (Belgium) and The Journal (UK). His most recent book is For The Living Dead - New & Selected Poems (Presa Press, 2014) www.ericgreinke.com.
in a frenzied moment
Juliet tryst I
gave myself to know
your weight on me
your smell on my skin
in time usually given
to moans & rash promises
or false declarations
if an alternate universe
spins off from a decision
you will be bound in my embrace
on the river surface of time
this vision is my life raft
when the river
threatens to pull me under
Michelle Hartman's poems have been published in Plainsongs, Crannog, Poetry Quarterly, The Pedestal Magazine, Raleigh Review, San Pedro River Review, Pacific Review, Concho River Review, RiverSedge, and Illya's Honey, as well as over fifty other journals and ten anthologies. Her work also appears overseas in Ireland, Germany, Australia, Canada and Nepal, and she is a multiple Pushcart Prize nominee. Her poetry book, Disenchanted and Disgruntled, from Lamar University Press, is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She is the editor for the online journal Red River Review and holds a BS in Political Science-Pre Law from Texas Wesleyan University and a Certificate in Paralegal studies.
song of the seas
(inspired by the film "The Weight of Water")
in shadows past winged warriors dance to the songs of a moon long forgot
and sea nymphs cast their sighs to the skies — and the seas roll
lust lies low and comes with the tides as incest burns the weeping nest -
and the seas roar
women in white weave love in the night as fireflies fly
and gulls kiss the light — and the seas reach
braids unfurl as axes swing and white turns red in the carnal bed - and the seas rise
fear and loathing run the course to death's dark door
and drummers march to skin held taut o'er mothers' wombs — and the seas reign
and hangmen three sink to their knees at the altar of sin - and the seas regret
as prayers push upon the shore drownin' secrets forevermore — and the seas receive
and the seas hold their memories
[Previously published in Yareah magazine, 03/09/2014]
Jenean Gilstrap is the author of Words Unspoken, her first book of poetry, and is a featured poet/artist at both Yareah Magazine and Plum Tree Books. A second volume of poetry will be released this summer. Her work may also be found in several literary publications. Notably, she has been invited to read her poetry at the 2014 Fermoy International Poetry Festival in Ireland.
The Astrology of Ants
An ant scurries across the sidewalk.
A man walking by
The world is full of such acts
and even the stars
so huge and other-worldly
will look down on us
from their journeys
but will not see us
praying their paths
—William Cullen, Jr.
William Cullen, Jr. is a veteran and works at a non-profit in Brooklyn, NY. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Camroc Press Review, Christian Science Monitor, Gulf Stream, Pirene's Fountain, Poppy Road Review, Right Hand Pointing, Spillway, Wild Goose Poetry Review and Word Riot.
El Prisionero de la Luz
(after the painting by Roberto Matta Echaurren)
Imprisoned between the dawn and dusk
without the darkness for relief
when light becomes a burden
of certainty without escape
I am blinded by my own beliefs
the way I see myself
a sun that circles endlessly
around the earth
a god who know the thoughts
of trees and birds
while in the light of reason and day
I am nothing more
than a bat without its cave
or a bird inside its covered cage
a prisoner of light
and my own conceit.
Neil Ellman, a poet from New Jersey, has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and the Rhysling Award. More than 950 of his poems have appeared in print and online journals, anthologies, and chapbooks throughout the world.
I Sleep This Way
On my side, one leg drawn up,
half fetal curl, half stretched, elongated,
neither Rubens, nor El Greco,
unable to commit.
Dreams intrusive as claxons,
subtle as sage, flutter white curtains;
snap flags on rocking North Sea ferries;
swarm, humming, from sealed jars
beneath the eaves in Maryland; tumble
like cottonwood-all fluff and fiber — amid tics, clicks, familiarities of home.
And you, keeper of schedules,
recorder of fact, with hammer and spoon,
books and bullets, always seeking truth
layered among poetry and dream,
let it go. Let it go.
Ann Howells's poetry has appeared in Calyx, Crannog (Ire), Free State Review, Magma (UK), Sentence and Spillway. She serves on the board of Dallas Poets Community, 501-c-3 non-profit, and has edited its journal, Illya's Honey, since 1999, recently taking it from print to digital (www.IllyasHoney.com). Her chapbook, Black Crow in Flight, was published by Main Street Rag Publishing (2007). Another chapbook, the Rosebud Diaries, was published by Willet Press (2012). Her work has been read on NPR; she has been interviewed on Writers Around Annapolis television show; and she has been twice nominated for both a Pushcart and a Best of the Net.
the heart falls open
the heart falls open
unleashing the sled dogs — wild and tame — clamoring for food
blood red meat on white snow
the heart falls open
the tea kettle screams — demanding attention be paid to a mindless task
on ordinary and non-ordinary days - we drink the tea - regardless
the heart falls open
a media free-for-all — a private moment for all the world to see
replay as you wish - over and over again
the heart falls open
for some — it is inevitable — it must open — pouring forth
what is tangled and precious - its nature to be open
the heart falls open
even after a long sleep — a bad dream — a forgotten wish
a broken promise - even still - the heart falls open
as it will
Artist, poet, intuitive counselor, and lifelong student of the esoteric arts, Margaret McDermott resides in Long Island, NY. (By day, Director of a Corporate Wellness Company). Her blog is standingwithangels.tumblr.com.
poem for the Wizard of Oz journey
(After L. Frank Baum's 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz')
This is an ordinary escape from one's self
an ordinary storm
an ordinary yellow brick road
an ordinary 1+1 = ∞
an ordinary fear
an ordinary arrow mark
an ordinary dream
an ordinary dreamlike reality-
an ordinary fairy godmother
an ordinary pair of red shoes
"Home ... home ... home"
this is an ordinary number three
"Why didn't you tell me before that it
was this easy to go back?"
an ordinary answer:
"Because you wouldn't have believed me!"
Elif Sezen is an Australian-Turkish interdisciplinary visual artist, bilingual writer and poet. She recently received her Doctorate in Fine Arts from Monash University; she lives in Melbourne. Her collection of short stories Gece Düþüþü was published by Hayal Press early 2012 (in Turkish). Her translations of Ilya Kaminsky's collection of poems Dancing in Odessa was recently published in Turkish by Artshop Press. Her poems recently appeared in Cordite, Sotto Magazine, Rosetta Literatura, Australian Love Poems 2013, Kýyý Journal, Wonderbook of Poetry, Buddhist Poetry Review, Eureka Street and Little Red Tree International Poetry Prize 2013 Anthology-‘notable selection' section.
Modern and Hi Tech
It is modern and it is hi tech, it is laser sharp and shiny and clean
There are no weeks without contact and no postcards from the front.
No telegram stacatto censored by the night .
Now it is Skype, Facebook and Twitter, an instant press release and a reporter on the spot.
But when you are on your knees and creeping around a dusty corner while bullets sizzle and twang around you, when a bump in the road can be an IED and the blast can shred both your protected legs and your armoured truck.
Then you are just as close as Siegfried and Wilfred and just as dead as Robert and Rupert.
The enemy is still waiting and watching and Britains youth still answer the call , for Queen and for country, for the flag and for the nation .
But still like Siegfried many brave souls will ask why? and why? and for God's sake why?
Andy Scotson lives in Kilsby Rugby Warwickshire with his wife, Jeanette. He works in planning for a big supermarket chain. He used to write a bit of poetry and has just started again.
THANKS FOR READING, EVERYONE . . . AND HAVE A BEAUTIFUL SUMMER!