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



MAY 2013

  

 

Main Street, 8:40 A.M.

. . . the fog is lifting.

                                      -Joel Allegretti

Joel Allegretti is the author of four collections, the most recent being Europa/Nippon/New York: Poems/Not-Poems (Poets Wear Prada, 2012). His second book, Father Silicon (The Poet's Press), was selected by The Kansas City Star as one of 100 Noteworthy Books of 2006. His poetry has appeared in many national journals, including Smartish Pace, the New York Quarterly, Fulcrum and PANK. He wrote the texts for three song cycles by Frank Ezra Levy, whose work is released on Naxos American Classics. Allegretti is a member of the Academy of American Poets and ASCAP.

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Facebook

Forthright
Americans
Circulate
Elongated
Buoyant
Oratory:
Obtuse
Kvetching
                                                   -John A. Todras

Retired NYC teacher, former Associate Publisher of New Press Literary Quarterly; concert pianist-composer-poet. AKA L. Egan D'Ivory with Elyzsabeth Ahne for his original comedy and love cabaret songs.  First place poetry prizes: Shelley Society of NY poetry contest, Borders Book contest, L.I.. Credits include Haiku Headlines, First Literary Review-East, Brownstone Poets Anthology, PPA, Nomad's Choir, etc.

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Turin

Still in the womb, shrouded in your own
tarp of Turin, twisting and turning with
your soul set on infinite sit and spin
cycle . . . as always, rinse and repeat.
                                                                       -Karen Kristi Adger

Karen Kristi Adger was born in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.  She is currently involved in all sorts of literary and poetic pursuits. She is new to poetry and is currently working on her first chapbook.

 

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Starcrossing XXXV**             (from Starcrossings)

I felt your haiku,
the blankness in those blue eyes
cluttering the page.


Starcrossing XXXXIV**

Our years were
a black-tie affair
without the tie.
                                                            -George Guida

George Guida is the author of four books, including The Pope Stories and Other Tales of Troubled Times (Bordighera Press, 2012). His volumes of poetry are New York and Other Lovers (Smalls Books, 2008) and Low Italian (Bordighera Press, 2006). He teaches creative writing and literature at New York City College of Technology, and serves as Poetry Editor of 2 Bridges Review. You can visit his Web site at georgeguida.com.

 

 

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One Black Cat

One black cat
Sinuous body etched on snow
Reductive panther in a white terrain
Do you too dream of tropic sun
Of leafy shadows drinking rain?
                                                                    -Marilyn Goldsmith

Marilyn Goldsmith's poems have appeared in several anthologies and many literary magazines. She lives on Long Island where she taught English at LIU, CW Post College. She is a member of several writing groups and in 2009 was named Member of the Year by the Long Island Writers Guild.

 

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After Enough Raki

hips swirl and swivel,
tawny skin glistens
shoulders shimmer,
wriggle, ponderous,
hypnotic. Bodies
making love to the
music. In Southern
southeast Anatolia
a dancer saves a
handkerchief and the
men get down, wild
kicks, Cossack style,
white belly dancers,
uninhibited and almost
bare, put a spell on you.
                                                       -Lyn Lifshin


Recent books from Lyn Lifshin: THE LICORICE DAUGHTER: MY YEAR 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 http://www.lynlifshin.com/.

 

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Red (a cinquain)

What's red
is not purple
Red asserts itself--it
doesn't dream. That is what the red
rose knows.
                                                               -Evie Ivy

Evie Ivy, dancer/poet lives in Brooklyn. She teaches the ancient art of belly dancing and has been hosting poetry events, including the Green Pavilion Reading Event, for more than fifteen years. Her dance and poetry events, "Dance of the Word," have been seen at the Nuyorican, Tribes Gallery, Bowery Poetry Club, Cornelia Street Café and Smalls. She is the author of the book The First Woman Who Danced, which contains poems on her experiences as a dancer/instructor. Besides dance and poetry, her favorite subjects are art and history.

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For The One With Beautiful Hands

Your hands are mighty scepters,
whose strength and vitality
I cannot comprehend.
Thy fingernails are tinged with red fire
and earthiness.
I do not know all the things
your hands have done,
but I know that the Lord crafted them perfectly,
blemishlessly, holily.
I pray that you use them--those gorgeous
hands--nobly,
all the days of your life.
                                          -Melanie M. Eyth

Melanie M. Eyth enjoys all things artistic! A creative God created us, and it is with great reverence and honor that she seeks to glorify his Name through poetry, dance, painting and photography.

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Zen

some guitar riffs
a soft laugh
creaking of a door. . .

sometimes you've got
only that much

and

a late Spring noon . . .
                                                        -Kanchan Chatterjee


Kanchan Chatterjee is a 45-year-old male executive, working in the ministry of finance, government of India. He lives in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India.

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Afternoon Raga

Shimmering green, a lizard tail darts under the shade of a gigantic tree, its full-globed mangoes ripe with promise of sweet juice. Pink-fleshed guavas fall under the tree, eaten away by shy squirrels. Earthenware pitchers stand in a row, filled with water, khus-khus mats cool the air with their fragrance. The afternoon sun bakes hot, parched ground. A dead snake blanched by the sun lies coiled in the lal mitti, and not too far from it, a blind man walks by the half-evaporated river. His firm tread leads him toward the narrow artery of the rivulet. A rogue breeze shakes loose a sudden image: how she would wade in, regardless of her clothes, splashing water at him, laughing at his annoyance when his glasses got wet, how their dripping fingers would find each other. An avalanche of loneliness catches him. He trails a finger in the shallow stream, trying to find her swirling in the rifts. Her upside-down face becomes his afternoon song: earth and water, heat and shade. A voice swims up to him with a wavering smile, reaching out with a tentative touch. Concentric circles spread out in the water, holding his finger captive as the song bubbles up to the surface: he recognizes that rare visitor as joy.
                                                                                              -Ami Kaye

Ami Kaye is the author of What Hands Can Hold, and the forthcoming Singer of the Ragas. Ami's poems, reviews and articles have appeared in various publications including Cartier Street Review, Peony Moon, The Argotist Online, Luciole Press, Diode Poetry Journal and Scottish Poetry Review. Her work was nominated for the James B. Baker award, and included in the Soul Feathersanthology from Indigo Dreams Publishing and the Rising in Hope anthology fromTinfoildresses. Ami Kaye publishes Pirene's Fountain, and is the editor of the anthology Sunrise from Blue Thunder, a Pirene's Fountain project for the Japan 2011 disaster relief fund. Ami is also the publisher of Glass Lyre Press, an independent literary press, which began at the beginning of this year.

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After supper, the night curls
Under the garden,
Climbs walls
Until our reflections
Rise sharp, gaunt
Above the candlelit table
As day is removed
To make space for now.
                                                           -Maria Lisella

Maria Lisella's Pushcart Poetry Prize-nominated work appears in Amore on Hope Street and Two Naked Feet and in her upcoming collection, Thieves in the Family, to be published by New York Quarterly Books. END HERE IF TOO LONG. She co-curates the Italian American Writers Association readings at the Sidewalk Café and Cornelia Street Cafe in Manhattan.

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ascertain

then air in the syntax of extraneous

(combine theory philosophy entropy th_______)

knowledge obliged fundamental holiday                 this
relaxed positional clarity (into a night's crawl of light building absence)

, frequent as laughter in the reflection of calm
retraining memory to burgeon into now
then alarm upon existence of necessary fragments of
understanding

silence
                                                           -Felino A. Soriano

Felino A. Soriano has authored nearly five dozen collections of poetry, including In the parallel of pursued occurrences (Fowlpox Press, 2012), Quartet Dialogues (white sky ebooks, 2012), and Of language|s| the rain speaks (quarter after press, 2012). He publishes the online endeavors Counterexample Poetics and Differentia Press. His work finds foundation in philosophical studies and connection to various idioms of jazz music. He lives in California with his wife and family and is the director of supported living and independent living programs providing supports to adults with developmental disabilities. For further information, please visit www.felinoasoriano.info.

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How history releases its weary ointment and slathers us in redundancy

A young girl peers into a window of impalpable mist.
Too soon, she announces to herself her intention
to release her own angular inquiries into the hidden
and accept glossed explanations.
                                                                   -Karen Neuberg

Karen Neuberg is the Associate Editor of the journal you're "holding in your hands" right now. You can read more about her by clicking "Meet the Associate Editor" above.

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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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Alice Slowly Chasing Rabbits

A quarter pill of Lexapro is too little,
too late. A half-pill makes her ill.
Already he does not know her.
Soon after, she does not know him.
Purple and yellow orchids
shed: wilted flowers, reasons
for loving him. She does not dry,
save the flowers. This is a Riemann cut,
wormhole of a marriage.
On her list of turbulence,
all clocks tock, their complications,
belligerent sounds. Too late for them,
the rabbit says--too late.
                                                             -Susana H. Case

Susana H. Case has work in many journals, including Hawai'i Pacific Review, Portland Review, Potomac Review and Saranac Review. Her most recent chapbook is Manual of Practical Sexual Advice (Kattywompus Press). An English-Polish reprint of her Slapering Hol Press chapbook, The Scottish Café, Kawiarnia Szkocka, was published by Opole University Press in Poland. She is the author of Salem In Séance (WordTech Editions). Elvis Presley's Hips & Mick Jagger's Lips is forthcoming from Anaphora Literary Press.

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personal history

At one job interview, I'm asked the last book I read. I have to think a moment. The Big Book of Baby Names. In this country, you can easily become the sort of person you never wanted to be, broken statuary along your path, a secret hiding place just ahead, schoolgirls whispering behind their hands.

*

April unfolds explosively, leaf by black-spotted leaf. The world becomes so overloaded that it tilts far to one side. I turn back at the thought of encountering a pregnant homeless woman shuffling along a street of pawnshops and check cashing stores. The green envelope that appears among the mail contains an invitation to the wedding of people I never met.

*

I'm another troubled middle child who grew up breathing the persistent dust of anti-anxiety meds. Clouds mope about. Babushkas drink a fifth a day. There are many laws, but few arrests. My heart swims around like a black goldfish in a clear plastic bag -- what happens when spring arrives fashionably late.
                                                                                           -Howie Good


Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection The Middle of Nowhere (Olivia Eden Publishing) and the forthcoming poetry chapbooks The Complete Absence of Twilight (Mad Hat Press), Echo's Bones and Danger Falling Debris (Red Bird Chapbooks), and An Armed Man Lurks in Ambush (unbound CONTENT).

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On Discovering Female Librarians Apparently Fornicate in Glasses

Ladies, you know lasses without glasses can't tell spines from asses
spectacles will keep your dewey decimals respectable!

Invitations

I'm designing envelopes for embassies--
crimson capitals for the Kremlin,
blue italics with gold dingbats for the Swedes,
swaggering saloon dog American letters,
crisp Chinese characters craning their necks,
and squat gray san-serifs for the Antarctic Archipelago.

Oh World, ask me to create your Gala invitations!
I'll wear a strapless gown of glyphs at my computer,
feet tapping melodies I almost hear
where figures loop and cross in a tease of "i"s and "u"s
at the balls where futures drop and rise like music.
                                                                         -Claudia Carlson

Claudia Carlson has worked for many years as a book designer for some of the top publishers in the business, including Farrar, Straus & Giroux and Oxford University Press. She has won design awards at the Bookbinders Guild and Independent Publisher Associations. She also creates maps, websites, and illustrations. Her first book of poetry, The Elephant House, was published by Marsh Hawk Press in 2007. She co-edited, with Jeanne Marie Beaumont, The Poets' Grimm, an anthology of modern fairy tale poems, Story Line Press, 2003. Court Green, Heliotrope, NYCLit.com, and Southern Poetry Review, among others, have published her poems. The Same, The Cream City Review, and Gargoyle have featured her photos.

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Inhibition, Exhibition

No one talks about making whoopee;
it's as quaint as chaperones
and petticoats.

Now it's called a hook up,
which sounds to my ear
a lot like a stick up

or something accomplished
with metal parts.
                                                   -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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Ownership

My looks, at times, own a collar around your neck.
My eyes own a well, built for me, and you are the water.
My motion owns the most.
My motion owns the world and the world moves your way as an offering.
My soul sits and waits on Heaven's gift.
My heart owns a mouth that moves with caution. Like a cop.
My future and past own a mask.
My hope lost a card deal with certainty.
And your eyes bought me a pedestal, for my ownership power all the way down to my feet!
                                                                       -Dory Williams

Dory Williams is a 35-year-old Texan who has been writing for 17 years. She studied as an English major at the University of Texas at Austin. Recently she has been working towards health, independence, an enlightened view of life and the poetry that reflects it!

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Alphabet Allegory

There's A way to B anything C ing anything
D fend every dream while E ting ice cream
F ortlessly G men discovering
H Bombs! I want to escape,
J walk on the K ble, L emental, you say?
M pathize with my fable and N d with no label.
O, lustrous dream! P ceful, Q mulus steam:
R you rising? Are you S caping right-sizing
by having T while out boating?
U sually I avoid V gans, shillelaghs and W ‘s
because it's X hausting, my reality.
Y not immortality for
Z ebras and their black/white formality?
                                                                    -George Stallé

George Stallé has worked in the arts, entertainment, tourism, news media and education fields. Originally from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, he now sheepishly admits to living in New Jersey and claims to be the only person who has done PR for Shamu, handed Benny Goodman a glass of water backstage, and flown a blimp. A music teacher, clarinetist and a graduate of Lawrence University, he plays everything from blues to classical.

[Editor's Note:  We are pleased to say that this is George's first publication (we love discovering new talent!). Here's to a long career in poetry, George.]


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The Easter Mystery Anagrammatized

thorned

throned


NOTE: Composed Easter Sunday, April 23, 2000.

The Theory of Evolution Anagrammatized

formed

morfed


NOTE: Composed and dedicated on the 200th Anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth, February 12, 2009. Published in Thunderclap! Issue numero uno [no. 1] May 2010, pp. 35.

The Graduate Anagrammatized


milf

film

NOTE: Published in Thunderclap! Issue numero dos [no. 2] July 2010, pp. 27.


 

Auteur Alcoholism Anagrammatized

whiskey

key wish

                                                                      -John J. Trause

JOHN J. TRAUSE, the Director of Oradell Public Library, is the author most recently of Inside Out, Upside Down, and Round and Round, the chapbook Seriously Serial, and Latter-Day Litany, the latter staged Off-Off Broadway. His Eye Candy for Andy: 13 Most Beautiful... Poems for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests is now available from Finishing Line Press. His translations, poetry, and visual work appear internationally in many journals and anthologies, including the artists' periodical Crossings, the Dada journal Maintenant, and the journal Offerta Speciale. He has shared the stage with Steven Van Zandt, Anne Waldman, Karen Finley, and Jerome Rothenberg and the page with Lita Hornick, William Carlos Williams, Woody Allen, Ted Kooser, and Pope John Paul II. He is a founder of the William Carlos Williams Poetry Cooperative in Rutherford, N. J., and the former host and curator of its monthly reading series. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize (2009 - 2011). For the sake of art Mr. Trause hung naked for one whole month in the summer of 2007 on the Art Wall of the Bowery Poetry Club.