Poetry Apr-May 2011

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This issue we feature the work of three marvelous poets.

My Grandparents’ Kitchen
by Chani Zwibel


One dirty blue towel

Red cherries and edge of tablecloth

Jewel-blue of a potato chip bag

Of a heart that was

A beer

Cardinal, capital, crush

Sitting crossed-legged

On a chair in my grandparents’ kitchen

A dusty smoke-yellowed room 120 years old

Branch lifts in the moonlit air

In a bottle of drink

The dream:


One red jewel of a cardinal sitting on a branch in the snow.

by Kimberly Harding


Sugary-coated surrogacy

How many had I birthed

Having never been pregnant?


Tiny fists (or was it foots)

Looped in hand as I pulled

Strings and all through the candy-lined passage


My tunnel gapes

Ebbs and swells

More compliant than elastic


The tensile fibers slackened with fistula fulminations

Past leaking

Into present timely space


All crownings polar

My preparations for naught

Stitch me closed.

I am done.


The Oven
by Chani Zwibel


Hot inside a hot inside

The better cake baker

Makes sweet pound cake

Red coils fed by electricity

Emanate heat

Rise, rise

Chemical infusion of sugar and egg

Be thou this week’s coffee companion

Make in thy heavy heated heart

a macaroni of exquisite cheese

Green beans and mashed potatoes

Prepare me a bird perhaps,

But only if you hunted for it,

Spent hours in the cold snow tracking

Its wounded feathers to death.


by Catherine McGuire


First the varnish has to go—

sand down the gloss, so wounded

by rain and sun; the long gaping sores

of peel and chip. Take a brush

to the half-flattened rungs

that hold a back in place

grate off the old walnut stain

get it as bare as possible.


Then whitewash —

prime the scoured surface

to a uniform blank, a sculpted form

of new possibilities.


Finally, coax this chair to bloom:

coral, saffron, blue

bring out the quizzical curves

with a hint of gold leaf.

Celebrate the sturdy seat, bulbous arms

slender legs. A chintz cushion

and a place in the garden —

no longer the dining chair pulled up

to that dark table where you ate together.

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