Monthly Archives: October 2018

“Elegy for Shura” by Diane G. Martin

“What is that beautiful game?”
“It’s not important.
All those who knew how to play
are either dead, or have
long since forgotten.” “Even you?”

“Especially me.”
“Is it ivory?” “Only bone.
The ivory game
was sold during hard times. Too
bad, yes, but it matters

not if no one plays.” “Teach me,
Shura.” “I do not remember.
And anyway, what is the point?
Then with whom shall you play?”
“I’ll teach someone else.”

“Did you ever hear the one
about the old Odessan
Jew who drove to town…”
“You can’t divert me so cheaply.
Now back to the game. Shame

on you for using such a ruse!
I expected better,” I grin.
“You ask too much; I’m dying.
I’ve no energy
for whims. So, join me at the sea

again this year and then we’ll see.”

Diane G. Martin, Russian literature specialist, Willamette University graduate, has published work in numerous literary journals including New London Writers, Vine Leaves Literary Review, Poetry Circle, Open: JAL, Pentimento, Twisted Vine Leaves, The Examined Life, Wordgathering, Dodging the Rain, Antiphon, Dark Ink, Gyroscope, Poor Yorick, Rhino, Conclave, Slipstream, and Stonecoast Review.

“Teeth” by Sara Eddy

The neighbors’ child wanders into my yard
unannounced to play on the old swing set.
I know her mama will be along, but I go out
with a sigh to make sure she doesn’t
break her head or wander further.
I say hello.
She doesn’t answer; she is full of beans
and evil intent–she is like Loki’s best girl
and she needs watching carefully.
I say whatcha doin today
and she sucks her lips into her mouth
around her teeth
preparing for something, sparking
her eyes at me like she’s ready
to leap at my throat
I take a step back as
she pulls those lips apart and holds
them gaping with her fingers
exposing her fangs
so she can threaten me with the real reason
she has ventured to my yard:
a loose tooth.
She puts her tongue against it and pops
it toward me, letting it hang on a thread
dangling like a dead mouse by its tail.
With a wave of nausea I leave her
to her trickster god’s care
and scurry to the house
feeling curious distress. Why,
why are teeth so upsetting when
they aren’t in our mouths? Fallen out
teeth and punched out teeth
pulled teeth and rotted teeth
the roots of nerve and blood
going back perhaps ages and ages
to when this would be a death sentence:
You lose your teeth, you cannot eat, you die.

Sara Eddy is a writing instructor and tutoring mentor at Smith College, in Northampton, Massachusetts.  Her poems have appeared recently in Forage, Parks & Points, and Damfino, along with Terrapin Press’ anthology The Donut Book.  She lives in Amherst, Mass., with three teenagers, a black cat, and a blind hedgehog.



“Market Day” by Erinn Batykefer

I must believe not to move is to be more easily found.

At the vintage junk-trader’s stall, I pulled
a ribbed Fire King bowl from the bowl it nested in

and the ringing did not stop.
The market turned a maze of buzzing edges,
the flower stall’s nasturtiums jerking on their stems,
the bowl’s opalescent sheen in the air, seizure-white.
I must kneel at the door with hairpins and toothpicks, dig
the ghost fennel from the keyhole.
I carried the ringing bowl through the stalls—
husk cherries and small split plums; raw sugar and salvia,
summer squash, but never again nasturtiums—
its empty mouth a strobe-drone, leaping like halogen.
I must inscribe a circle in the dirt: market, river hills;
I must sweep the St. John’s wort from the linens.
Years I lived with a shadow stepping into my footprints—
going home took a long time, every alleyway echoing

come haunt me again.

Erinn Batykefer earned her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is the author of Allegheny, Monongahela (Red Hen Press) and The Artist’s Library: A Field Guide (Coffee House Press). Her work has appeared recently in Blackbird, Lockjaw Magazine, Cincinnati Review, and FIELD, among others. She works as a librarian in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“AppleSong” by Terry Savoie

1.

 Succulently sugared Annas tucked in snuggly against a peck
of blushing Empires who, in turn, are fitted alongside
Grannies, sharp-tongued, in their tight, tart skins;
Gravensteins & Northern Spies push forward bright-
bosomed & rosy-cheeked while Winter Bananas wallow
in their amber-lemon syrup which will never fully explain
the glow on the soft skins worn by Golden Russets, odoriferous
to be certain, brushed over with girlishly cream-coated flesh;
the Hawkeyes & Pipins & Winesaps, gentlemen from two
centuries past, so wise, say some, far beyond their age,
have now turned into the naughtiest, the plumpest slices
for pie fillings then they are joined by the polished, intoxicating
Gordons & peck on peck of sprightly Permains thrown in alongside
a bushel of Black Spurs, their sugary tones so radiantly fulsome, so… 

2.

Asleep: in
their one
ripe season,
apples are
packed in
tightly &
tucked
in straw,
in crates,
in the cold
cellar, safe
& silent,
sleeping
away their
days un-
til they’re
summoned
to the kitchen up-
stairs to serve
the Mistress’s
sweet purpose.

Terry Savoie has had more than three hundred and fifty poems published in literary journals over the past three decades.  These include The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Iowa Review and North American Review as well as recent or forthcoming issues of  American Poetry Journal, Cortland Review, and Birmingham Poetry Review among others.  A selection of poems, Reading Sunday, recently won the Bright Hill Competition to be published Spring 2018.

“Charming” by Laura Cherry

To get to you I bit the apple
at its loveliest spot, drawing the poison
out and into me. I lay in my glass box,
neither sleeping nor swooning, neither
half empty nor half full, every nerve
edged in black like a mourning letter.
What the doves call song I call grief; but
I waited.
                 Your charger found me first,
nosing at my coffin, transformed
from battle steed to foal by the scent
of apples. You swung the hinged lid
slowly: one last moment to fear
my heart’s desire, all my new kingdom
in your kiss.
Laura Cherry is the author of the collection Haunts (Cooper Dillon Books) and the chapbooks Two White Beds (Minerva Rising) and What We Planted (Providence Athenaeum). She co-edited the anthology Poem, Revised (Marion Street Press). Her work has been published in journals including Clementine Poetry JournalLos Angeles ReviewCider Press Review, and Hartskill Review.

“Running With The Wolves” by Bruce McRae

An hour of joy, an ounce of sorrow.
This monumental moment, in part and in whole.
I’m being touched by moonlight, so a little bit mad.
Moonstruck and nightblind. Gone the way of the wolf.
I’m lying in a loony half-light and recounting the myths,
the stories we tell ourselves in order that we might carry on.
Meaning imbued over coincidence. Memories shorted.
The past redacted and redressed, so all is calm.
You can put away those nerve-pills and quack confections.
You can rest easy. Write a poem. Go whistle.
A full harvest moon, and you can see into the darkness.
You can sail that moonbeam over the shallows of paradise.
Hang tight, my passenger, it’s full on into morning.

Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island BC, is a Pushcart nominee with over a thousand poems published internationally in magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His books are “The So-Called Sonnets” (Silenced Press), “An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy” (Cawing Crow Press), and “Like As If” (Pskis Porch), all available via Amazon.

Read these other poems by Bruce on Zingara Poetry Review: “Hinting at Eternity,” Making Do,” and “Stop the Clock.”

 

 

 

 

“Insomniac” by Danielle Wong

They called us destructive—
tiny, wild animals
caught up in cheap candlelight and
high on back-alley weed
or inky Pinot.

Soured sweet memories of
glimmering nights out and
stolen weekends spent
begging for the keys to
your parents’ Chevy.

The rare times they agreed
were the best days—
the only days
worth all that
trouble.

We’d drive (and fight) and
drive until we couldn’t even
find our way back to that
stuffy garage in your
unnamed city.

 I swear you made
my heart quiver
when you sang
slowly—
the soft rhythm of your
voice after a cherry-lipped kiss.

Sure, there was that time
when I broke your laugh
and you cracked
my heart into splintered shards…

It just always seemed so
pure—that addicting war we waged.
The honesty of it, the
unfeigned tenderness of it.

The ineffable
brilliance
of you and me.

Danielle Wong is an emerging author living in San Francisco. Her debut novel, Swearing Off Stars, was published in October. Her work has also appeared on several websites, including Harper’s Bazaar, The Huffington Post, and USA Today. Beyond writing and reading, Danielle loves traveling, running, and watching old movies.