FIRST LITERARY REVIEW-EAST

Submissions Meet the Editor-in-Chief March 2016 Meet the Associate Editor July 2016 November 2015 January 2012 Book Review - Lyn Lifshin's "Ballroom" March 2017 September 2016 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 Book Review: Wright Reviews Gardner Stern Reviews Katrinka Moore May 2015 Hochman Reviews Ross July 2015 Tocco Reviews Simone September 2015 Simone Reviews Cefola May 2016 Bledsoe Reviews Wallace November 2016 January 2017



 

SEPTEMBER 2012

And now, here's a poem from the editor-in-chief:

This issue was a little late

coming out of the gate

but when you read these amazing poems

you will see it was worth the wait!

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Information

Saw something in a book that changed the sky.
                                                                                       
-Bob Heman

Bob Heman has lots of information. 

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Nuclear Power Madonna

can't be contained


After Hearing the
News I Start Falling

Grey sand,
a palm

cold fingers I

fold into
myself
like
a
brain

the swollen river
sinks in, roots
that twist
no where
                                       -Lyn Lifshin


Recent books from Lyn Lifshin: THE LICORICE DAUGHTER: MYYEAR WITH RUFFIAN, ANOTHER WOMAN WHO LOOKS LIKE ME from Black Sparrow at Godine., following COLD COMFORT and BEFORE IT'S LIGHT, : NUTLEY POND, PERSEPHONE, BARBARO: BEYOND BROKENNESS, KATRINA, ALL THE POETS WHO HAVE TOUCHED ME, and FOR THE ROSES. Her upcoming book, A GIRL GOES INTO THE WOODS (with a blurb by editor-in-chief Cindy Hochman), is due out soon from NYQ Books. Her web site is www.lynlifshin.com.

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Coffee with Cream

It's the season when short sunny days
fall out of pockets one after the other.

Days when coffee with cream and books piled
by beige leather chairs beg for attention.

We talk to our dogs, pour whiskey in tumblers,
measure time in minutes. Slowly rewinding

like hands on a clock. It's the season when
everything that only happens once, happens.
                                                                                   -Ann Shalaski

Ann Shalaski has been published in many literary journals and magazines. An author of the poetry collection World Made of Glass, published by San Francisco Bay Press, she lives and works creatively in Newport News, VA.

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                                   The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth

                                                                       As 
                                                                     soon
                                                                       as 
                                                                      the 
                                                                     first 
                                                                      line 
                                                                       of 
                                                                     tanks
                                                                     rolls
                                                                      over 
                                                                      them
                                                                                                   -Ed Stever

Ed Stever has been publishing poetry since 1986 and is the current Suffolk County Poet Laureate, as well as poet in residence and a board member of the new LI Poetry Archival/Arts Center in Patchogue.

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Rocks Are Falling

Rocks are falling
On the cradle of civilization:

Tigris, Euphrates,
Hudson, Mississippi,

Ur, Baghdad,
Big Apple in Eden,

rocks
are falling
remaking the world.
                                                        -Maria Jacketti

Dr. Maria Jacketti is a multi-genre writer and long-time college professor. She has six books, over two hundred articles, and hundreds of poems in print. Her work spans poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, journalism, and copywriting. She and her husband Wayne Funk run a three-year-old writing business, Mountain Laurel Consultants. The focus of the business is copywriting, e-writing, and white paper composition for enlightened companies and organizations. Her long collection of poetry, Medusa's Hairdresser, has been accepted for publication by Warnborough College Press, as has her novel, When Kundalini Comes Home. These books should be published before the end of 2013. She was recently named Poet Laureate of Hazleton, PA - - and the editors say:  Congratulations, Maria!

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Outlet

Beneath the loud
explosive death
of surf on granite,

a silent stream
of gritty backwash
courses unseen

from lethal shore,
beyond the breakers,
to a waveless calm.
                                                              -Charles Pierre

Charles Pierre is the author of three poetry collections: Green Vistas (1981, 2009), Father of Water (2008), and Brief Intervals of Harmony (2010). He has recently completed a fourth collection, Coastal Moments, which he hopes to have published soon.

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The Temptation to Exist

Taken from a book, you apply the technique with dull determination. Behind closed eyes time no longer exists, except for the clock ticking its tock. Thought, no longer coherent, traces illusion with realisation; fantasy tests meaning, laughing and joking, rending silence, limitless, unreal, poisoned by the rattle of time's distant alarm, the flick of a page telling what you should experience. Later, you hide the book at the bottom of the shelf, confident it all is nonsense.
                                                                                                          -BJ Muirhead

BJ (Bruce) Muirhead is a writer and photographer living in rural Australia. He has published art criticism, poetry, short fiction, and has exhibited paintings, drawings and photographs, and has two delightful young children who frequently take him away from artistic work.

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Rhyming Box

To capture it inside a rhyming box
I sing your name again.

Again it coats my tongue
it fills my mouth.

I chew on letters
chant until your consonants and vowels

echo in cathedrals of my head
reverberate in lushness of my lungs

spiral and elevate toward cirrus clouds
Then saturate the loamy earth

evaporating
into furrows down

down to the very roots
of me.
                                                           -Linda Simone

Linda Simone's work has appeared in journals and anthologies, including Cezanne's Carrot, Italian Americana, Lavanderia, Mandela, and most recently in Assisi and the anthology, Wait a Minute: I Want to Take My Bra Off. Her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her chapbook, Cow Tippers, won the Shadow Poetry Competition.

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The Poet's Well

The well penetrates deep into the earth's center
to excavate the secret world
where passionate magma roils and boils
in the turmoil of CREATION.
Now it leaps--
iridescent vermillion, crimson, black, snake green
and burning sparks of gold fire shower
and shoot upward to the stars
where angels play and reach for the gifts
to caress, embrace, reshape
the treasures of deep earth
in BIRTH.
                                                                          -Edi Holley

Edi Holley has won many awards for her paintings in shows throughout New England and at Washington's Smithsonian Museum.  In 2010, she organized a reading at the NY Federal Court for National Poetry Month.  Her latest poetry chapbook is Finding Gold, and she is about to launch a new book of children's stories called Just Stories.  She lives in Brooklyn and New Hampshire.

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On Further Reading Incomprehension, Or Maybe Something Else

The sign in front of the fire station drive said
EMERGENCY DRIVE    DO NOT BLOCK
And yet during the course of the year
not more than a handful obeyed the sign,
the rest not heeding it because they were special
                                                                                           -Michael Ceraolo

Michael Ceraolo is a firefighter/paramedic/poet who has had one full-length book (Euclid Creek, from Deep Cleveland Press) and a few shorter-length books published and numerous magazine publications, and has several other books in the works."

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Amid the Ashes

As smoky reminiscence wafts about
a-swirl with all the actions I repine,
a bitter harshness mingles with self-doubt
to weave a pattern I cannot define.

I wave away the smoldering regrets,
reject the clinging scent of yesterday.
I turn my face away from blurred vignettes,
but still those hazy memories replay.

Like cinders in the bowl of life's remorse,
the essence that was you has flared and died,
and while the winds of change seek a new course,
I seek out sparks and tamp them down with pride.

What once ran fierce and hot has now been spent...
reduced to ash and lingering lament.
                                                                               -Sharon Anderson

Sharon Anderson is a native of Maine, but has lived on Long Island since her marriage in 1963. She has been writing poetry and short stories since childhood and was first published in Young America Sings in her teens. Since then, she has been published in a series of international anthologies entitled "On Viewless Wings." In association with these publications, she has been awarded the Bruce Dawe Certificate of Excellence twice, placing first and third. She is actively involved with several writing groups in her area, and is an adviser on the Nassau County Poet Laureate Council. Sharon's other activities include editing for the above mentioned anthologies, gardening, and square dancing.

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Reaction to the Shootings

                                                        "We are brave enough to bend to cry."
                                                           -Nikki Giovanni

When you combine the text crawl--
33 killed in massacre--with images
of SWAT teams storming buildings

where you once studied physics,
shock cuts through muscle and bone,
pierces your heart like a skewer

touched by fire. Emotion
too great to swallow,
your mouth fills with stones.

Comfort perches on lips
like baby sparrows
too weak to fly.

No words can salve
charred hole
in your chest,

an emptiness
only time
can heal.
                                                   -Bill Glose

Bill Glose is the 2011 Daily Press Poet Laureate, the Books Editor for Virginia Living, a regular contributor with other magazines, and author of the poetry collection, The Human Touch (San Francisco Bay Press, 2007). His have appeared or are forthcoming in such publications as Chiron Review, New York Quarterly, and Amoskeag.

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No More

No more art books, no more
replica objets d'art

bought at museum shops
and brought home to squat

neglected
on dusty shelves

No more purchases as a stay
against erasure

No more denying
I won't be

around long enough to cherish
whatever I might buy . . .

no more--
                                                                       -George Held

George Held's writing appears regularly both online and in print. He blogs at georgeheld@blogspot.com. His latest book is AFTER SHAKESPEARE: SELECTED SONNETS (www.cervenabarvapress.com, 2011).

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Open Space

Sunlight touches
The frames of two stories
Where life dwelled and died.
Bricks built on love
Were dismantled.
Hedges were evicted--
Laughter and tears,
Now homeless.
Ghosts of memories
Roam a skeletal acre.
Greed buys it,
Rebuilds in its image--
A reminder to others
That they might be next.
                                                              -Patricia Carragon

Patricia Carragon is a New York City writer and poet. Her publications include Poetz.com, Rogue Scholars, Poets Wear Prada, Best Poem, BigCityLit, CLWN WR, Chantarelle's Notebook, Clockwise Cat, Ditch Poetry, MÖBIUS, The Poetry Magazine, The Toronto Quarterly, Marymark Press, Maintenant, Mad Hatters' Review and more. She is the author of Journey to the Center of My Mind (Rogue Scholars Press). She is a member of Brevitas, a group dedicated to short poems. She hosts and curates the Brooklyn-based Brownstone Poets and is the editor of the annual anthology. Her latest book is Urban Haiku and More (Fierce Grace Press, 2010).

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Survivor
Japan, New Orleans and, and . . .

look at edges of where
my home was
awash in tales of a sea
of too much fault
Job's salt tears
sting skin Jonah
quaking wave whale
no miracle after all
no Noah two by two
my mate my people
swallowed and I stand
here see
this lone briny tree
bud-filled
                                                        -Mary Orovan

Mary Orovan grew up in Canada, moved to New York when she was a teenager.  She was Features Editor of US Camera Magazine, and has taught at various NYC universities. Her poetry book, Green Rain (Poets Wear Prada, 2008) is now on Amazon.com. It has a Pushcart nominated poem. Recent work appears in Poetry East, The Seventh Quarry (Wales), Plainsongs, and other publications. She's been writing poems for about 12 years. Living near too-busy Union Square, she recovers in Central Park.

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at li-lac

i'm having a ny day
i say to raoul:
shopped in soho where
i never go, for a sportsac
(basic back to black) &
as thank you for hortencio,
a pinot noir at manley's,
now i'm here, know nothing abt wine,
smirnoff my game, well, says raoul,
counting out 10 truffles, thank you gift
to tasha who hands-me-down her ab-fab casual wear,
if you're having a ny day
make sure to flip the bird
at a taxi
                                                                                 -eve packer

Eve Packer, Bronx-born, poet-performer, author of 3 books, Skulls Head Samba, Playland Poems (1994-2004), and New Nails (which will be reviewed in the December 2012 issue of FLRev), 5 cd's w/jazz. She has a chapbook forthcoming this fall from Poetswearprada.. From Donald Hall: "I salute her as the Weegee poet", and from (the late) Dennis Duggan, Newsday," . . . smoky & sexy in a way that makes you think of love."

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Observing Birds Song
or
Observing the Endings of Things

Something in the atmosphere
is stealing the birds of song.
Their notes are disappearing
one by one by one
from the limbs of aging trees
our parents used to play under
when they were young
                                                                       -Hope Koppelman

Hope Koppelman has been writing since the age of five, when she began dictating stories to her mother who typed them on the family's typewriter. She completed her first 24-chapter novel, "New Girl," at the age of twelve. Today she lives in Orlando , Florida where she spends her free time writing about the evolution of spirit and the laws of personal growth. "Writing is the most solid thing in my life; it's my bridge between matter and spirit, conscious and subconscious, life and the great unknown. I would be unbalanced, disconnected, misaligned without a framework for my thoughts, a structure to the madness, a map of my own creativity."

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Last Call

Licking lesions with a coarse tongue salty with sound bites
There is safety in this dark and heavy handed silence
drowning the ghosts of last call in danceable beats
of fortitude bordering on self-righteousness
while feet trace names and the diagrams of change in the dust
                                                                                               -Courtney Trowman

Courtney is a dancer, writer, artist, world traveler, music whore, tattoo collector, lover, book nerd, dork in general, and superhero living in Los Angeles, CA for the past eleven years. The quote she used in her first collection of poetry is very indicative of how she has chosen to lead her life thus far: "Never be afraid to tread the path alone. Know which is your path and follow it wherever it may lead you; Do not feel you have to follow in someone else's footsteps." -Eileen Caddy

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I Dance Till I'm Out of Breath

When the rabbi says Heschel said
We should "accost god with prayer,"
I wince, an omnipotent god should care
If we request health, progeny, success?

The divinity I want to pray to
Doesn't snarl above Baghdad,
Burn date palms, provide tanks,
Or crush hilltops with cement.

The god I pray to responds
With silence, usually No,
Drawn, if at all, to humility
Nakedness, misery, pain.

The god I pray to smiles
On the barren who dance
                                                                 -Angelo Verga

Angelo Verga is the author of six collections of poetry, the most recent being Praise for What Remains, Three Rooms Press, 2009. He has been published widely both here & abroad. Verga resides in lower Manhattan, the belly of the beast.

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from Canti of the Eye

XIX

We do not have clutches if not the very lack of clutches.
Certain of our death we afford to digress and to lend the ear
each to our own inaccessible torrent. We lay down listening.
It's a vague torpor that catches the sound of the current,
a long line of stones runs under the flows the flows like inside the bone marrow.
I desperately draw a shape to try and give shape to a world just like an incessant instant,
ours; nothing is visible but a strange enormous carcass,
like the bone of an enormous fish that leaves us enormous empty spaces.
Not very far in order or disorder of marine shells, of escapes, of seaweed, of claws.
Where the water flows out a glimpse of a glimpse of the viscous sparkle adhering to the rocks.
There, where we let the wave hush, is the abyss become deafening.
                                                                                                                       -Erika Dagnino
                                                                                                      Translation: Emilia Telese

Erika Dagnino, Italian poet, writer, performer has contributed to literary and music magazines; she has published prose and poetry books, cds in Italy, England, California. She keeps strong relationships with free jazz musical world especially in New York. www.erikadagnino.it

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