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



 

MARCH 2014

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

                                                                                      -Cindy Hochman, Editor-in-Chief 





 

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Frozen Marsh

Skating between
the leafless trees.

A blade sparks
on a rock.

Deep below the ice
sleeps the leopard frog.
                                                             -Gil Fagiani

Gil Fagiani's poetry collections include: Rooks (Rain Mountain Press, 2007), Grandpa's Wine (Poets Wear Prada, 2008), A Blanquito in El Barrio (Rain Mountain Press, 2009), Chianti in Connecticut (Bordighera Press, 2010) and Serfs of Psychiatry (Finishing Line Press, pending 2012).

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Plato Limerick

In thumbing a copy of Plato
There's nothing remotely erato.
Just give me a laugh-O
Just tell me that Sappho
Is hot as a plain-boiled potato.


On Reading Sam Adams's Poetry

A brewer's a guy who makes beer.
Poems he shouldn't come near.
This stuff is shittier
Than James Greenleaf Whittier,
With nary a hint of Shakespeare.

Hypnotist Limerick

A hypnotist swinging his watch
Saw the subject was eyeing his crotch.
He said with a scream
"Wake up! It's a dream!
Let's ratchet this all down a notch."
                                                              -Fred Yannantuono

Fired from Hallmark for writing meaningful greeting-card verse, Fred Yannantuono once ran twenty straight balls at pool, won a yodeling contest in a German restaurant, was bitten by a guard dog in a tattoo parlor. His book, A BOILERMAKER FOR THE LADY (www.nyqbooks.org/fredyannantuono), has been banned in France, Latvia, and the Orkney Isles. Work was nominated for Pushcart prize in 2006. He recently featured at the Cornelia Street Café. His book, TO IDI AMIN I'M A IDIOT-AND OTHER PALINDROMES, is due out later this year.

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Mission

gone
       to Nebraska
along
       the North Platte river
then
       on to Missouri
where
        she
            waits.
                                                     -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 hosts the Park Slope Poetry Project and is 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, and was favorably reviewed by editor-in-chief Cindy Hochman in New Mirage Journal.

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                                 Ages Past 

                              Planes of Mirage, clouds of mist, lie deep,
                                                  Freed by light.
                               Ages past, lost to all eyes, dwell below,
                                                Waiting for life.

                               Lovers in the spring, death in winter,
                                           Await their freedom.
                             Empires of Iron, Kings noble and wise
                                                 Sleep lightly.
                                                                            -Jerome Brooke

Jerome Brooke was born in Evansville , Indiana. He attended Indiana University - MLS, JD. He now lives in the Kingdom of Siam. He is married to Jiraporn Sutta, a princess of the lost Kingdom of Nan. He is the father of two children. His daughter, Jirachaya, is five. She has been crowned as Miss Superstar 2011. His son Justin, 40, is a sales executive in Shanghai . He is a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of Indiana. He served as City Attorney, for Ellettsville , Indiana . He also served as Judge Pro Tempore for the Superior Court of Monroe County . He has written City of the Mirage (Amazon) and many other books.

[Editor's Note: Mr. Brooke is the nice man who gave me the job as editor of this lovely journal, for which I am eternally grateful!]

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Waiting for Snow

The crows caw for it
the earth thirsts for it
beige grass
brown trees
need to pretty up
need a white gown
something bright and glittery
with which to
seduce spring
                                               -Dorothea Hutton Scher

Dorothea Hutton Scher was born in Vienna and emigrated to New York at age six. She has been here ever since, an enthusiastic Manhattanite. Dorothea has two grown daughters. She recently published her book of poems "Trapped in Black and White".

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Senryu

I am the target
of irrepressible Time,
who mortally wounds.

Observing seasons,
we forget their passing steals
our vitality.

The greatest riddle
is not Death, but rather that
we should even live.

I shall not dread snow
nor bone-chilling winds of time;
your love gives me warmth.

I have learned, dear heart,
the tighter I hold your hand,
the shorter the miles.

Winter companion,
you bring sweet warmth to my hearth,
expelling the chill.

Ted O. Badger: native Texan, graduate of Baylor University, veteran of World War II, author of five books of poetry, published in many journals over years. Editor of the Lucidity Poetry Journal since 1985, founder of the annual Lucidity Ozark Poetry Retreat in 2001. Life member of both the Poetry Society of Texas & Missouri State Poetry Society.

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would that I had never met you

when you lay broken
chest heaving wing torn
I healed you
I set you free

how could I know
that I stitched you
with all my soul threads
fly back to me
                                        -Ronald Fischman

Ronald Fischman started writing poetry in middle school, but turned to musical composition. His works have been staged by ensembles from solo piano to full orchestra in Aspen, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Trenton,, and Storrs, CT. With the dissolution of his marriage, Fischman returned to poetry. His first collection is Generations.

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Mercury Moth

Even licky-tip licorice suspends the pensive enemy.
A balm sooner than a bite. Fashionista. Sausage pizza.
Road narrows as you while away mileage. A mercury moth
in a 60-watt outage. Thursday jurist, no alarmist.
Self-made servant, he earnestly prevails. A phantom slant
on Atlanta packrats. Peach blossom. Perky autumn.
Men with an entirely gaudy glare.
                                                            -Mitch Corber

Mitch Corber has recited his musical poetry throughout the city. His work has appeared in Blackbox Manifold, Columbia Poetry Review, Blazevox, Listenlight, Polarity, and others. He founded the Thin Air Video Poetry DVD Archives, which includes Ginsberg, Corso, Ashbery, Di Prima, and Cage, as well as dozens of contemporary NYC poets. Awardee of the New York Foundation for the Arts, and director-camera of NYC's Poetry Thin Air Cable Show.

[Editor's Note: Mr. Corber is also the publisher of my chapbook, The Carcinogenic Bride, which is still available, through me, for $5.00].

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Self-Portrait of the Artist

Drew was an artist who knew
That self-portraits were easy to do
She posed nearer and nearer
To her studio mirror
And it was there where Drew drew Drew
                                                                 - Vernon Waring

Vernon Waring has a background in journalism, public relations, and advertising. His poetry has appeared in The Iconoclast, The Great American Poetry Show, Ascent Aspirations, and Nerve Cowboy. His light verse has been featured in the Philadelphia Daily News, Saturday Evening Post, WestWard Quarterly, and WRITERS' Journal. A native of Philadelphia, he now lives in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

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On Viewing Russian Landscape with Sun by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff

In this village of thatched huts
and acute mountains, the sun
is an eye with dilated pupil
and icy iris-the better to
take in the leafless trees and
the people cocooning inside.
                                             -T.C. Gardstein

T. C. Gardstein is a writer, copyeditrix, artist, southpaw, and native New Yorker who is currently doing time in Bay Ridge. Her first novel, Circuit, is available on Xlibris.com and Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Circuit-T-C-Gardstein/dp/0738826766. T.C.'s erotic poetry has appeared on cleansheets.com, and she was the best-selling author on the recently defunct Paper Bag Press with her two erotica eBooks, Sandwich Filling and The Poetry Prostitute (also published as an audio book). Her anti-horoscope astrology blog is http://pluto-rising-astrology.blogspot.com. T.C. has given featured reading performances at such NYC venues as Galapagos, Madame X, Cornelia St. Café, Yippie Cafe, and Ding Dong Lounge.

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To Hanna, Who Brought the Apples

Some etchings--my name no less--don't fade.

A fit of temper (White's Lancelot to your Gwen) when

I washed it off.

Now, flicking my arm, I see veins, capillaries, the tan of my flesh.

Your etching nowhere to be seen.

I would have it that way, would play, in deadly earnest, at being blind.

The etching at once invisible and simply, always, there:

minnows darting in a clear stream.
                                                                  -Sam Pirro

Sam Pirro lives with his cat, Olive, on the Upper West Side. He has an M.A.in English from Hunter College of CUNY, where he first nibbled, then gorged, on Dickens, Chaucer and Swift. He has since discovered--and is passionate about--Henry James. His writing has appeared in Blind Man's Rainbow, Clark Street Review, New York City Voices, Tablet, and the Morningside/West Side Bulletin. In 2007, he published as a chapbook, Wooings, an extended narrative that incorporated earlier prose and poetry. He will be publishing a new collection of his work soon.

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                             March-Into April

                                    In the woods by wet rocks and stone
                                       and dripping rain in the leaves
                                      our footprints are mud-pressed

                                          We lean against a railing
                                                towards a sun
                                           as brilliant as March

                                                   Our Nature:
                                        we find ourselves in woods
                                  like falling leaves or rising springs
                                     whose germ blooms in open air

                                             We are lovers still
                                                   seasonally
                                                                     -Alice Twombly

Alice Twombly fell in love with John Keats when she was 15. But, she couldn't write like him, and eventually, didn't really want to. In the 1970's and 80's, she was one of the founding members of NJ Salute to Women In the Arts, and had many poetry readings. She was a winner of the NJ Poetry Monthly Annual Competitionin 1981 and a finalist in the Nation Magazine/Discovery Competition in 1982. Afterwards, she just taught school, raised two sons, and took up photography. Now, she is looking forward to returning to poetry writing and readings again. Thanks, to Zev Shanken, for your friendship and introductions.

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Wrapped Around Desire

Desirous of all that is
is of blood and wanting
wanting for what
what is part of us and separate
separate from what you know
know of me, what I know of light
light striking your thigh, desirous.
                                                    -Kit Kennedy

Kit Kennedy co-authored Inconvenience (Littoral Press, Brooklyn) and Constellations (Co-Lab Press, San Francisco), both with Susan Gangel. While Eating Oysters is forthcoming from CLWN WR Press, Brooklyn. She lives in San Francisco and blogs at www.poetrybites.blogspot.com.

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Perhaps in the Forest of Fountainebleau

suggestive of "Wineglasses" by John Singer Sargeant

Meet me after lunch has left the town to sleep
and sex. I promise you the coolness of some shade

on cotton white cloth that sheets the table by
the lattice fence. Our blood deep wine awaits us

in glasses that take the bottle quickly. The sun is
gracious and uneven and we talk about how stories

flower in the rocks of difficult walkways. Anyway,
they come anyway, just like our erotic conversations

in the afternoons of friendship. Our wine is taken
slowly, evenly, and just the sound of some sex or

sleep in the lilt of conversation is enough. We've had
a gift in learning this. The flowering, anyway, stores

in humid sentences we breathe. Soon we'll take
the sheet that clothes the table in the olive shade.
                                                                               -Amy Holman

(from "Wrens Fly Through This Opened Window")

Amy Holman is the author of Wrens Fly Through This Opened Window, published in 2010 with Somondoco Press, and the prize-winning Wait For Me, I'm Gone, published in 2005 with Dream Horse Press. She's been in many magazines, including Archaeology online, American Letters & Commentary, Barrel House, Barrow Street, Failbetter, Gargoyle, New Verse News, The Potomac Review, and Zocalo Public Square. She writes prose as well as poetry, teaches poetry workshops, gives lectures on how to publish, and consults with writers on their literary careers. Check out more at her website: www.amyholman.com.

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Scent of Sorrow

I crawl under the meadow,
like a black spider on marble steps
trying to avoid the misfortune of a large foot
that could morph its frail body
into an unrecognizable pulp.

Like pieces of oak in corked wine,
my tiny bones emerge
floating in every scent of sorrow
where air is the offender
and the serpentine night is a suspect.

I survive
a stranger crazier than a rabid raccoon
only to deal with a beast at home
who debauches me like meat and cheap liquor.
Sad verses and lonely earth undress me every night.
                                                                          -Sweta Srivastava Vikram

(from "Beyond the Scent of Sorrow")

Sweta Srivastava Vikram (www.swetavikram.com) is a writer, poet, novelist, author, essayist, and blogger, whose musings have translated into four chapbooks of poetry, two collaborative poetry collections, a fiction novel, and a nonfiction collection of prose and poems (upcoming in 2012). Her scribbles have also appeared in several anthologies, literary journals, and online publications in six countries across three continents. Sweta has won two art Prize nominations, an International Poetry Award, and writing fellowships. A graduate of Columbia University, Sweta reads her work and teaches creative writing workshops across the globe. She lives in New York City with her husband. You can follow her on Twitter (@ssvik) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/Words.By.Sweta).

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reading reading

Basically I dislike reading;
It is to protect myself from reading that I read:

A book in order not to read the newspaper,
Criticism so I won't have to read a novel,
A novel so I don't have to bother with poetry,
Poetry so I don't...
have to read minds
                                                             -Philip Beitchman

Born in Philadelphia a bit before the outbreak of World War II (his first memory is Pearl Harbor Day), Philip Beitchman has called himself a poet since that proud Proustian ‘moment' his "Arbor Day Ode" appeared in his high school yearbook. Over the years, mostly by dint of monographs he's published, he's called himself other things too: critic (I Am A Process With No Subject, 1988); scholar of mysticism (Alchemy of the Word, Cabala of the Renaissance, 1998), philosopher (The View From Nowhere, 2001), and theatre historian (The Theatre of Naturalism: Disappearing Act, 2011). His first book of poetry, Getting Back, is in now in press. Philip Beitchman lives in Flatbush and teaches literature at Medgar Evers College of The City University of New York.

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(From "Ennui") Treatment

Frequently self-treated:

Ladies' Home Journal

Coffee

Diet soda

Wine

Smoking

Gossiping

Talk therapy

Aerobics

Dieting*

Retail therapy

Plastic surgery

Marital infidelity

Pills**

*in severe cases: fasting, anorexia and/or bulimia
**Valium, Vicodin, Xanax, Zoloft, see Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR) entries V through Z


Differential Diagnosis

when confirmed by blood tests:

mononucleosis

                      a/k/a kissing disease

malaria

            a/k/a sleeping disease

 

Behavioral Patterns

Unable to complete projects
binges on reading material
esp. memoir and fiction
the loss of the will to live
sudden radical changes in hair length*

also:

journaling oversharing self-help research retreats gurus
mantras caftans

*Farrow, M., during Rosemary's Baby (American horror, 1968)
                                                                                -Deborah Hauser

Deborah Hauser is the author of Ennui: From the Diagnostic and Statistical Field Guide Feminine Disorders (Finishing Line Press, 2011). She has taught composition and literature at Stony Brook University and Suffolk County Community College. Her poetry has been published in The Wallace Stevens Journal, The Pedestal Magazine, and -gape-seed- (Uphook Press). She has read her poetry at the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA), New York University, Newman University, KGB Bar, and Bowery Poetry Club. She has presented her academic work at the Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference and graduate conferences at City University of New York and Stony Brook University. For more information, visit deborahhauser.com.

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