FIRST LITERARY REVIEW-EAST

Submissions Meet the Editor-in-Chief March 2014 Meet the Associate Editor January 2012 Book Review - Lyn Lifshin's "Ballroom" March 2012 Book Review - George Held's "After Shakespeare: Selected Sonnets" 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

 

 

JANUARY 2015

 

Come inside our virtual poetry cove, where it is always cozy and warm. There's hot cocoa with marshmallows, but if you need something stronger, let's turn up the heat with a little poetry. We've got some lovely words here which we hope will sustain you throughout the new year. Here's to poetry, camaraderie, and PEACE in 2015!

         —Cindy Hochman and Karen Neuberg, Editors 

 

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Celebration
(cinquain)

 

I walk
home from the store,
listen to tree branches.
A boy claps his hands as if for
the day.
                                              —Evie Ivy


Evie Ivy, dancer/instructor/poet in the NYC poetry circuit. Her work has been heard in venues throughout the Tri-State area, radio, and cable TV. Her "Dance of the Word" programs, a combination of dance, poetry and music, have been seen at the Nuyorican Poets Café, Bowery Poetry Club, Cornelia Street Café, Tribes allery, and others. She hosts the Green Pavilion Poetry Event, one of the longest-running poetry readings in the NYC area.

 

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Yielding

pillow & mattress
receive the weight

 

the length & the breadth
of our bodies

 

welcome the pleasure
of lovers
                                            —Patti Tana

 

Patti Tana is Professor Emerita of English at Nassau Community College (SUNY) and the 2009 Walt Whitman Birthplace Long Island Poet of the Year. She is the editor of the Songs of Seasoned Women poetry anthology and an associate editor of the Long Island Quarterly. Her ninth book of poems is forthcoming from JB Stillwater Publishing: All I Can Gather & Give. To listen to Patti read her poems, visit www.pattitana.com.

 

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CLOCK

 

the time different
in each part
of his body

 

INFORMATION

 

The parade had no bears or pancakes.
                                                 —Bob Heman
                                                       

Bob Heman has been doing this for a long time.

 

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The Persistence of Memory
(after Dalí)

 

Digesting the last crumbs of time,
clocks, like quantum pancakes,
melt onto a floor that never was.
Won't someone help me to remember
the future
when I fell out of Pharaoh's sundial?

 

Black & White Photo of a Breaker Boy
                    Hazleton, PA, circa 1920

 

After war's global thrust,
these mountains' guts devoured
by the starved, including you,
Dad; no choice but to prizefight,
to separate dead dinosaurs
with your hands,
to fill your lungs with their ghosts,
your young photo rendered in
sepia and hard coal shadows.
                                               —Maria Jacketti

 

Maria Jacketti is the poet laureate of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, where she resides with her husband, daughter, and feline tribe. A New York University graduate, she is a well-known translator of Nobel laureates Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral.

 

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Plantation

Could I possibly be free of your spell of malcontent, a lotus swallowed in your quicksand of mud and puddles of your playground of Pathos. Free from your shackles of sheltered fantasies, slave to the whiplash of your bitter truth. I was Harriet Tubman, leading the way to your underground betrayroad, pistol in hand pocket, waiting to pull the trigger of the betrayal of your planned return. . . .
                                                  —Karen Kristi Adger

 

Karen Kristi Adger lives and writes in Bronx, New York, and is currently at work on her first chapbook.

 

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EVERY DAY THE

house tears
more. Where
did your hands go

 

doors twist
away, every


day's blue
Monday, the

 

birds are
made of ice.

 


DON'T GO

an iceberg's
covered your
whole state
eucalyptus
went away


the snow
settled in your
old girl's
blood and
fingers


she never really
cared

anyway

                                 —Lyn Lifshin


Lyn Lifshin's most recent books include Knife Edge & Absinthe: the Tango poems; For the Roses: Poems for Joni Mitchell, All The Poets Who Touched Me; A Girl goes Into The Woods, Malala, Secretariat: The Red Freak, The Miracle, and Femme Eterna. Check out her website at www.lynlifshin.com.

 

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The Virgin (from They Sing at Midnight)

How white I am, and still
like my room. Snow fills
the flowers' mouths, grows
in mounds near my window.

On the wall behind
my bed, both clock hands
creep near twelve. I shift and
listen to the wind.

Against the dark, I
glow. Below my belly, something
moves. Its beating wings electrify
my hair. I recognize nothing.

I watch dull stars, a streak
of moon. Snow thickens as I wait
trembling beneath my sheet.
The dark opens its beak.
                                               —Alison Stone

 

Alison Stone's poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, Barrow Street, Poet Lore, and a variety of other publications. She has been awarded Poetry's Frederick Bock Prize and New York Quarterly's Madeline Sadin award. Her first book, They Sing at Midnight, won the 2003 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Award and was published by Many Mountains Moving Press. From the Fool to the World was published in 2012 by Parallel Press. She is also a painter and the creator of The Stone Tarot. A licensed psychotherapist, she has private practices in NYC and Nyack. She is currently editing an anthology of poems on the Persephone/Demeter myth.

 

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Iris

I dreamed of a chandelier flaming
with candles of iris. Their fire
burnished its brass with a light
that illumined only itself, as stained glass
in a dark church, afternoon full of clouds,
summons light from nowhere.

                          Look Mother, I said,
seeking to please, though she
had disappeared from mortal eyes,
a cosmos imploded back to a fleck,
speck compressed by death.
 
                   She didn't answer.
but the candle iris flared,
bodiless blue matter surviving,
a promise forever arriving: grace and pardon,
flame and flower from a long-gone garden.
                                                   —Elizabeth Poreba

 

Elizabeth Poreba is a former New York City high school teacher. She has published a chapbook, The Family Calling, with Finishing Line Press. Her poems have appeared in Commonweal, and she is a member of the One O'Clock Poets workshop.  

 

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don't think

there's no point in trying — trying
will not get you what you think
you want.  yearning, pining, undermining.
there's no point in trying, trying,
trying.  pushing.  crying.  not trying
works better.   don't think
there's no point in trying.  but trying
will not get you what you think.
                                             —Katrinka Moore

Katrinka Moore's latest book, Numa, was published by Aqueduct Press in 2014.

 

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 FULL OF BAD IDEAS

Here's to Q and A.
Here's to T and A.
Here's to getting back
to our drinking.
Here's to wet gods.
Here's to Confession #87.
Here's to the 6th
missing shore I have
stepped away from.
Here's to the Anti-genius
Museum. Lust is
a firefly in an inferno.
Here's to you.
Inscribe the embers.
                                         —Jeffrey Cyphers Wright


Jeffrey Cyphers Wright is a New Romantic sonneteer. He studied with Ted Berrigan and Alice Notley at St. Mark's Church. After studying with Allen Ginsberg (who wrote an introduction for his second book) at Brooklyn College, Wright received his MFA in poetry. Publisher and editor, he currently runs Live Mag! http:www.livemagnyc.com. A column of Wright's poetry criticism called Rapid Transit appears regularly in The Brooklyn Rail. Wright's graffiti-based collages have been included in several group shows. His latest book of poems is Triple Crown, published by Spuyten Duyvil.

 

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Village wintry


Old Joe's shade glides through downtown tonight
scraping the deep and willful black snow
that soaks the hole in his shoe, up through the cardboard flap
that slides as his feet sketch their path
uphill from the harbor
to the door of Hank's saloon,
glowing tenderly in the icy night wind.
Atlantic and Third: the center of Joe's universe,
for this moment, anyway.
Looks through the steamed glass, hoping for a sign,
a fellow traveler, to be his patron, benefactor,
finance a shot or two of Four Roses,
in this quarter of town the drink of kings,
even his nerves long enough to write his symphony.
                                                            —Thomas Rigney


Thomas Rigney is a member of Brevitas, an invited community of poets. His first published poem appeared in River Poets' Journal in December. He is a poet and unpublished memoirist, and assistant principal of a small public high school in NYC.

 

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The Squall To Come

 

If treason be
The wine of fools,
Then let fury be
The vine in bloom

 

As liberty licks
Her widening wound
In wait for solace

 

Negation sweet
Neither matron nor mistress
Of the squall to come.
                                        —Stuart Fishman

 

Stuart Fishman resumed writing poetry back in 2003, after a long layoff. He has had two poems published in the Wisconsin Review. More recently, he had a poem published in a collection called Stars In Our Hearts. He has another poem published in a collection by Evie Ivy.

 

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Purple Elephants Conversing with you in Latin


they say it's just a pill
a shake from the bottle
and a cup of water is all

 

but when its geomancy and confluences
hit your ever-flowing stream and you find yourself like
a moth that's not supposed to emerge from a cocoon . . .

 

there you are

 

but they say you're cured and like the
new slur in your speech and find it sexy

 

oh, where was I?
that's the point!

 

stay away from the medication, Magical Child,
and let the purple elephants break it down to you

 

in Latin
                                                 —Obsidian


Obsidian has been published in many journals and anthologies; the most recent being "Dinner with the Muse" and "The Venetian Hour," edited by Evie Ivy and sold at St. Mark's Bookstore, in addition to the Alternative New Year's Day Spoken Word Anthology published by Rogue Scholars Press. He also appeared on Columbia University Radio station WKCR-89.9FM, "Studio A Series," hosted by Anne Fiero, along with several members of the Brownstone Poets.

 

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THE SAIL OF THE WORLD

 

Is always passing by—

a bit lonely but full of life—

heavy as the universe,
light as silk,

almost being immaculate.

Just now it's come over

a long-legged crane
perched on the bridge railing

and over a small brigade

of construction workers

ramping up the high rise
with sweat and expertise.
                                      —Tim Suermondt

 

Tim Suermondt is the author of two full-length collections: TRYING TO HELP THE ELEPHANT MAN DANCE (The Backwaters Press, 2007) and JUST BEAUTIFUL from New York Quarterly Books, 2010. He has published poems in Poetry, The Georgia Review,Blackbird, Able Muse, Prairie Schooner, PANK, Bellevue Literary Review, Stand Magazine U.K.), and has poems forthcoming in december magazine, Plume Poetry Journal, North Dakota Quarterly and Ploughshares. After many years in Queens and Brooklyn, he has moved to Cambridge with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.

 

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On the Knife Edge

 

Even this room looks different and as for the rest of the city
I shudder to think how it's changed
Rock doves land on the ground—they, at least, seem rational
Looking up at the clouds I see new and startling formations
We walk on the edge of a knife and only through diligent effort can we avoid being cut
Our blood is our own!
There is hope, always hope
                                           —Matthew Anish

 

Matthew Anish is a widely published poet/writer. He is a graduate of Brooklyn College and the New School University. Many of his poems can be found on poetrysoup.com and he has published 7 chapbooks of verse. He also writes a monthly column for Barrs Postcard News. Much of his work can be seen on poetrysoup,com

 

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Cynically Yours: A New Yorker

 

I see your tongue tremble
on caressing the snowflakes,
I see my hands dust the crumbles
as if they were a sheet of dandruff.

I hear your breath sing to the stars
as if they were your lover from the twelfth grade,
I hear my voice spit disgust
at the night for breeding ambiguity.

Maybe I am unappreciative and cynical
and live in a box of rodent-infested hell,
but the quietude that's music to your ears,
strangles my sleep, exacerbates my fears.

The neighbor's dog, the community pool,
the informal people and the town's fool
make me long for faces with no names-
the world where I can be alone in company: New York.
                                                —Sweta Srivastava Vikram


Sweta Srivastava Vikram (www.swetavikram.com), featured by Asian Fusion as "One of the most influential Asians of our time," is an award-winning writer, Amazon bestselling author of 9 books, novelist, poet, essayist, columnist who currently lives in New York City with her husband. A graduate of Columbia University, when Sweta is not doing yoga, dancing, cooking, traveling, writing books and posts for other magazines, or teaching creative writing, she is working as a digital marketing consultant. Connect with her on Twitter (@swetavikram) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/Words.By.Sweta)

 

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VI Movement (from Walls, 2010)

 

Under the curve of the stomach.
In the tangled sun's gesture.
In our eye we keep scales with no flight.
In our eye yellow waves with no flight.

 

Disembowelling. Skinning. Struggling.

 

Exhausting. Exhausting. Falling.

 

No wind.
The sun ray is a tendon of broken blood.
In our eye we keep the ancient animal.
Yellow with no flight.
Wriggles with no flight.

 

The fish devours.
The fish gasps.
The wind devours.
The wind gasps.
                                      —Erika Dagnino

 

Erika Dagnino, Italian poet, writer, performer, has contributed to literary and music magazines. She has published prose and poetry books, and produced CDs in Italy, England, and California. She has a strong relationship with the free jazz musical world, especially in New York. www.erikadagnino.it.

 

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from LITTLE POEMS

 

little poems
behind a rock
on a peppercorn
next to the penny
behind the ear

 

HOW TIME PASSES

It started at noon
on the left near the sofa
Stood on its hind legs
Roared
And yelled
"Watch me now"
Then a shadow spun left to right
Three birds startled in flight
out the window
And ice tea melt slid
down the glass onto the table.
                                                     —Alan S. Kleiman


Alan S. Kleiman is the author of GRAND SLAM, a Collection of Poems published by Crisis Chronicles Press. His poetry appears in numerous magazines and journals including Yareah, Verse Wisconsin, The Criterion, Right Hand Pointing, Camel Saloon, Stone Path Review, and AfricanHadithi. His poems are in anthologies published by Fine Line Press and Red Ochre Press and have been translated into Spanish, Russian, Polish, Norwegian, Danish and Ukrainian. He appeared at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts as a featured poet in the performing arts series. Alan lives in New York City and works as an attorney when not writing poems.

 

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CONFIDENTIAL

Although I do it every day
I'm no good at dying.
Windblown trees plait
above the bracken.
What good will I be gone?

We fill our lives waiting
for the next day but let's face it--
light is empty.
I know the world by its shadows.
Why go on repeating ourselves?

Dance says the wind & dirt
understands. All calls will be kept
confidential. The wolf in me
doubles its tracks. Don't forget:
stars too conform.
                                        —Dan Giancola

 

Dan Giancola is the author of two chapbooks and four books of poetry. His last two books—Part Mirth, Part Murder and Data Error—were published by Street Press (Sound Beach, New York). Dan lives in Mastic, New York.