FIRST LITERARY REVIEW-EAST

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



MARCH 2014

 

We didn't plan it this way, but for some reason this issue turned out to be full of rain, snow, trees, and ghosts.  And a nod to the Oscars!  In any event, we hope you enjoy it!

                                                                       Cindy Hochman, Editor-in-Chief

 

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Snow smoke

blowing over

the frozen lake—winter

beach the desolate set of a 

movie

                                          —Michael Ceraolo

 

Michael Ceraolo is a 56-year-old 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."


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Loneliness


On this endless street of noise
where silence and blood jostle through,
sweat and smoke mingle,
debris of lost love still lingers.

I am a "lot of noise" in my head,
horns blaring and myself.
A "lot of smoke" in my lungs I am,
sooty anger and desperation.

A lonely pariah he was.
A silent speck on that street of noise.
His peaceful sleep is what I stole
and since then have stored it
in the lonely alleys of my heart.

                                                     —Anupam Sinha


Anupam Sinha is a computational biologist working at CDFD Hyderabad.  Apart from his interest in science, he loves reading literature, writing poems, quizzing, and travelling.

 

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All the Silence in the World


One syllable dispels
the silence of the world.

One footstep overturns
the law of gravity.

 

One kiss begins
the melting of an ice age.

                                                   —George H. Northrup

  

George H. Northrup is President (2006- ) of the Fresh Meadows Poets in Queens, NY, a Board member of the Society that selects the Nassau County Poet Laureate, and former President of the New York State Psychological Association. Recent publications include Generations, Light, Long Island Quarterly, String Poet, The Buddhist Review, and The New York Times.

 

 

 

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You May Be a Ghost

If you’re living in the past.
You may be a ghost
If each breath feels like your last.
You may be a phantom
If all your thoughts are random.
You may be a wraith
If every passing month
Is just another death.

                                             —Eric Greinke

 

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

 

[Editor's Note:  You can read Cindy's review of Eric Greinke's book at the Pedestal Magazine here: http://www.thepedestalmagazine.com/gallery.php?item=23325]

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Climate Change

Maybe death is a party

so good, nobody wanders out for air.

But here, we bandy in the pause

between thunderheads.

During the day,

storms darken the sky.

At night, they brighten it.

                                                         —Michael Meyerhofer

 

Michael Meyerhofer's third book, Damnatio Memoriae, won the Brick Road Poetry Contest.  His previous books are Blue Collar Eulogies (Steel Toe Books) and Leaving Iowa (winner of the Liam Rector First Book Award).  He is also the Poetry Editor of Atticus Review.  Feel free to visit http://www.troublewithhammers.com/ and buy something!

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                                          transcendent


false

                                dawn

 

whispers


         sweet nothings

 

to

                      the rising

 

                                                sun
                                                                      

                                                             —Charles J. Butler


Charles J. Butler started out reading in the Nuyorican Poet's Café, and has published his work in Asbestos, The Brownstone Poets 2007 and 2008 Anthologies, Dinner With the Muse, Poetry in Performance 36 and 37, Stained Sheets, and Rogue Scholars, among others. He has read in poetry venues throughout the Tri-State area. Charles is the former host of the Park Slope Poetry Project and was the Associate Editor of its publication, Erato. He was also a part-time guest co-host at the Perch Café Literary Tuesdays. His first book, 39 Poems, was published by No Shirt Press.

 

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Noir

After the rain, steam

beige fog rises

from trees along side of highway

who says it is forest ghosts

why does the ghost cross the road

specter of a ghost

is why fog

brings chill and fear

at night when

bear growls, wolf howls

owls screech like terror banshees

shadows with axes

slink between trees

ghosts wait

                                                          —Zvi A. Sesling

Zvi A. Sesling’s poetry is in print & online journals in U.S and other countries. His poetry was in the Spring Rain Poetry Festival on Cyprus in 2012.  Featured readings include: Jewish Poetry Festival, Brookline, MA, Massachusetts and Boston Poetry and Massachusetts Poetry Festivals and Open Books in San Diego, CA.  He publishes Muddy River Books and edits Muddy River Poetry Review.  He reviews for Boston Small Press and Poetry Scene. Sesling authored King of the Jungle, (Ibbetson St., 2010), Across Stones of Bad Dreams (Cervena Barva, 2011). He edited Bagel Bard Anthologies #7 & #8. He lives in Brookline, MA with his wife Susan J. Dechter.

 

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Winning Streak

I dreamed I won three Oscars,

Four Emmys and a Tony too.

My fireplace mantel was sagging

From the honors I accrued.

I picked up two Golden Globes,

Five Grammys plus a Pulitzer Prize.

The awards kept pouring in that night.

I couldn't believe my eyes.

They gave me the Nobel Peace Prize

And my very own Stanley Cup,

Then I earned a People's Choice Award

Seconds before I woke up!

                                                              —Vernon Waring

  

Vernon Waring is a four-time winner of international poetry competitions sponsored by Tom Howard Books.  His work has appeared in Nerve Cowboy, WestWard Quarterly, Poetry Repairs, and The Great American Poetry Show.  His short fiction has been singled out for commendation in the Glimmer Train, New Millennium Writings Awards, and Soul-Making Keats Literary Competitions.  He lives in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. E-Mail: vkwaring@aol.com

 

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Go Away

 

Yawning Winter,

Concede to me

A tiny taste

Of hope,

 

For shivering trees

Offer only

Your complexion

While a sullen sun


Grants no compassion

To beggars

Who dream

Of spring.

                                            —Stuart Fishman

 

Stuart Fishman has had two poems published in the Wisconsin Review. More recently, he has had a poem published in a collection called Stars In Our Hearts. His work also appears in a collection edited by Evie Ivy entitled The Venetian Hour.

 

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Big Game

 

In the backyard my cat

carries a baby mouse 

in her mouth

Releases it 

so she can catch it again

 

Again, again 

and again

Her needle teeth stuck

in the same groove

 

I can't catch her

So I turn away 

from Mother Nature 

at her worst

And re-think

my trip to Kenya

                                                      —Ellaraine Lockie

 (Previously published in Pearl)

 

Ellaraine Lockie's recent work has been awarded the 2013 Women’s National Book Association’s Poetry Prize, Best Individual Collection from Purple Patch magazine in England for Stroking David's Leg, winner of the San Gabriel Poetry Festival Chapbook Contest for Red for the Funeral and The Aurorean's 2012 Chapbook Spring Pick for Wild as in Familiar.  Her tenth chapbook, Coffee House Confessions, has just been released from Silver Birch Press.  Ellaraine teaches poetry workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, Lilipoh.  She is currently judging the Reuben Rose Poetry Competition for Voices Israel and the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Winning Writers.

 

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. . . from acorns grow

                                                                            for Raymond Carver

84 years old and bundled against the first day of spring

Whose fluttery breezes

Skip through your silver hair

          Behind your slow steps

As you plod the pavement arm-in-arm

          with another woman, half your age

Beside a girl whose acorn face gapes and gawks at all the motion,

Whose step is the spring itself

You left so long ago.

Still, it is spring;

And you, old oak,

Are smiling.

                                                —Evan Guilford-Blake

 

Evan Guilford-Blake writes fiction, plays, poetry and creative non-fiction. His work has appeared in numerous print and online journals, winning 13 competitions and receiving two Pushcart Prize nominations. His novel Noir(ish) was issued last fall by Penguin. Eighteen of his plays are published, and he’s won more than 40 playwriting contests.  He and his wife (and inspiration), Roxanna, live in the Atlanta area. More information is at www.guilford-blake.com/evan.

 

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In the Woods

 

“I hug trees,” you tell me,

Leaning your body against

The uncaring bark. 
“Why trees?” I ask.

“Hold a woman instead.”

"Trees"—fingering a leaf—

“Won’t hurt you.”
Alone, I feel your arms embrace

The tree.  

Above you a sparrow

Startles into
flight.

                                               —Anne Hosansky

 

Anne Hosansky is a resident of Queens and a member of the Fresh Meadows Poets.  Her work has been seen in Möbius, The Poetry Magazine, and she was a winner in the Dru Heinz Poetry Contest.  She is the author of three non-fiction books and numerous short stories published internationally.

 

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Falling Trees

 

Like the fingers of angry gods

Or

Flag-posts of our sins

They

Sway & sway

Until

It’s time to go.

Stretching their twisted arms

Towards sunlight’s confusion.

When falling

It is a trumpet

Wailing like

A new jazz orchestra.

Even with no eyes

They sure close them

On the way down.

                                              —Gabriel Ariel Levicky

 

Gabriel Ariel Levicky was born in the former Czechoslovakia into the family of Holocaust survivors.Inspired by the American Beat and music, he embarked on his own search publishing his first book of poetry Neznáma Poézia (The Unknown Poetry, 1977).  In 1979 he decided to escape via number of countries - fled to Italy, later arriving to the US. In 1982 he left for California, San Francisco where he ran a series of poetry readings, got involved with a Beat scene magazine Beatitude and published his second book of poetry The Unknown Poetry # 2, linking it to his samizdat Slovak publication. His poetry collection B(lack) & W(hite) Wet Paint Poems was published by Xlibris. He is also an author (as Emir Gabpashaberger, the founder and destroyer of Jews For Jihad, orgasmization), a farce absurdity. He is also a published cartoonist and author of hand-made collages, called GabLevages®.

 

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Not Yet

Passing our neighbor’s barn

I see its swayback spine

Sagging— its rib cage

exposed beneath the weight

of fresh snow— a calamity

ignored day after day is

inconsequential—despite

the generations it’s spent

standing there.

Its conversation, like a heart’s

solitary habit of addition &

subtraction, becomes terms

I understand— a red barn

raised against odds will

one day fall down.

                                                         —M.J. Iuppa

 

M. J. Iuppa lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario.  Her most recent poems have appeared in Poetry East, The Chariton Review, Tar River Poetry, Blueline, The Prose Poem Project, and The Centrifugal Eye, among other publications.  Her most recent poetry chapbook is As the Crow Flies (Foothills Publishing, 2008), and her second full-length collection is Within Reach (Cherry Grove Collections, 2010).  Between Worlds, a prose chapbook, was published by Foothills Publishing in May 2013.  She is Writer-in-Residence and Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor program at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York

 

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Yes


Love is a room I enter sideways.

Roots of gut, branches of bone,

our bodies burn like trees.

Our faces have left us.

Whatever ties us to our names has vanished

in the owl's beak.

Boneless, we are maggots feeding

underneath the rock of the dark.

Our mouths open to coral and stars.

                                                                              —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.  Her latest book is Dangerous Enough (Presa Press).

  

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You need the darkness if you want to see stars

An echo through the humid air. An ache deep
in shins keeps you grounded, keeps you hidden
from the passing cars and the sound of the
mailman delivering bills and death notices.
At night, between the raindrops and floating
pieces of tree sheddings, you crane your head
up into the night's thickness, look for intervention,
seek a solace only solitude can provide. Over and
over, you cut at scars, hide out in your trenches.
Erase the pieces you despise, one by one.

                                                                   Kendall A. Bell

Kendall A. Bell's poetry has been widely published in print and online, most recently in Rose Red Review and work to a calm. He was nominated for Sundress Publications' Best of the Net collection in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013. He is the author of fourteen chapbooks. His current chapbook is "Blair's Echo". He is the founder and co-editor of the online journal Chantarelle's Notebook and the publisher/editor of Maverick Duck Press. His website is www.kendallabell.com and his chapbooks are available through www.maverickduckpress.com. He lives in Riverside, New Jersey.

 

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The Two Of Us

Surgery was not required—
the crack in the camel's back
was always wide enough
to let a river run through.
Our rift, as you called it, went deeper
than an error in judgment,
thinking we could stem
the flow of semiotic dysfunction
by sheer will, but willpower
needs the strength of a herd,
and there were only the two of us.

                                                         —Rosalie Calabrese

 

Rosalie Calabrese is a native New Yorker and management consultant for the arts whose poems have appeared in publications ranging from And Then to Cosmopolitan, Jewish Currents  to Poetry New Zealand, as well as The New York Times and other newspapers, several anthologies (including the 1997 Anthology of Magazine Verse & Yearbook of American Poetry) and on the Web. A writer of short stories and books and lyrics for musicals in addition to poetry and press releases, she is listed in the Poets & Writers Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers as well as various versions of Who’s Who.

 

 

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Memories Play Over and Over

 

Familiar winds float on the Hudson River

a clean, crisp breeze with

Soft winds gently brush my face

symphony plays

Familiar rhythms walk me home

My neighborhood is quiet

It hugs my being keeps

thoughts present

Sadness cripples, leaves only for

moments at a time — a blink of an eye

Memories play over and over

and over over over and over

                                                            —ice gayle johnson

 

-Edgar Allan Poe

“Never to suffer would never to have been blessed”

 

ice gayle johnson is a multi media artist living between Chicago and New York. A regular on the New York scene and performs across the country.  Her self name cd-ICE can be purchased on d-baby.com and her self named dvd-on cdbaby.com. Current and forth coming, TRUE BLOOD in the coming anthology "Rabbit Ears" November 2013 and a poem from the new collection "Corsa On The Hudson" Strange Unknown Energy-2013 Poetry in Performance #41 issue- published by CIty College. Feature at City College Poetry Festival May 2013.

 

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Those words

They have been whispered

for centuries, and handed down generations

 

endorsed by sunrises, sunsets
and embodied under thunderstorms

 

fruited on winter trees

and chanted by chocolates,

forested by faith

those same words

now resounding in my ear,


 . . .


'Don't lose heart '     

                                                  —Sanober Khan               


Sanober Khan is a poet from Mumbai with two poetry books to her credit, titled "A touch, a tear, a tempest" and "Soul Blossoms". In 2012, her first book was shortlisted for the Muse India Young Writer Award. Her work has also been published in the Taj Mahal Review.