Tag Archives: January

Leaving Rhode Island
Margaret C. Hughes

Leaving Rhode Island

White coral, lightless chandeliers,
ship’s rigging etched in scrimshaw:
last night’s wet snow weighs on the trees,
keys of an old piano, stuck down and silent.

The trees along the highway after the snow
make fractured glass of the sky.
Every twig’s an upside-down éclair,
every branch a zigzag two-tone bowling alley.

Once, our glass stovetop shattered,
and every fragment stayed in place.
I wonder what’s waiting to burst
into burning circles

just on the other side of the sky.
 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 41.

Margaret C. Hughes’s poems have appeared in Foliate Oak Literary Review and Small Craft Warnings. Margaret is a queer organizer and activist, and holds a B.A. in English Literature & Creative Writing from Swarthmore College.

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Words I Often Get Mixed Up
by Jenna Le

Bento: a lunchbox coated in resin secreted by an insect whose blood is sometimes also used to make a red dye.
Beento: someone who has studied abroad in England; at times, someone who bought a winter coat for this reason.

Awhato: a caterpillar that has been killed and mummified by a parasite, after which the parasite’s spore-producing organ juts out of the caterpillar’s neck, like a flag of conquest, and which is dried and burned to make a black dye.
Annatto: an orange dye made from the seeds of a tropical tree.

Toheroa: a long-tongued clam once exploited to make a green soup and now protected by law.
Hetaera: a woman in ancient Greece prized for her long tongue; her hair dye may be red, orange, or black; her praises are sung at symposia where her bared legs are bitten by drunks and insects until blood beads the skin.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 4.

Jenna LeJenna Le, a daughter of Vietnamese refugees, is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011) and A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora (Anchor & Plume, 2016). Her poetry has appeared in AGNI Online, The Best of the Raintown Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Denver Quarterly, The Los Angeles Review, and Massachusetts Review. Her website is jennalewriting.com.

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Even Though Eric Was Right
by John Repp

to fix me with that “Grow up” look
after I said “I wish I’d grown up
in the forties,” I wish this minute
I’d come of age in fifties New York,
a two-dollar coffeepot perpetually
perking on a hotplate, battered books
propped the length of each baseboard,
a Cross turntable crackling Bartok
on a glacial morning a friend & I
will walk the length of Avenue B,
chatting, smoking, counting cats
& automats, stopping for pickles
& egg-salad sandwiches just off
Tompkins Square Park, woolgathering
the afternoon gone over cafeteria pie
& canasta. Bundling bags of dinner,
three newspapers & a hankering
for Debussy up the stairs after dark,
we’ll soon settle in, my friend—
a woman with a newsboy cap
slung back on a blonde bob—
tending the Cross, me slicing
the rye, spreading the mustard,
apportioning the corned beef,
the two of us cozied up
with a shared can of Ballantine
& a healthy disdain for the Philistines
crowding our days. As promised,
she’ll render me tonight, my last night
here, a charcoal, life-size, hieratic me
impressed on the wall for good.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 4.

John ReppJohn Repp grew up near the Palace Depression in Vineland, New Jersey. His most recent book is Fat Jersey Blues, winner of the 2013 Akron Poetry Prize from the University of Akron Press. Find out more at his website: www.johnreppwriter.com.

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