Tag Archives: Volume 20-3

When My Yoga Teacher Tells Me I’m Vata Deranged
by Chanel Brenner

I can think of worse things.
It’s windy in your head, she says,
but I like the soughing in my mind.
Thoughts blow through me like clouds.
Words loft like plastic bags, swirling
along my shoreline, then settling.

My sister’s having a baby,
I need to buy more vanilla milk,

breeze through me like a samoon.
Does my dead son climb trees in heaven?

The squall in my head
knocks down memory lines,
fractures and uproots grief,
wrenches time from its hinges.

Tranquility is overrated,
stillness weak.
I dive, tumble, then soar on my gritty, muscular wind.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 3.

Chanel BrennerChanel Brenner is the author of Vanilla Milk: a memoir told in poems, (Silver Birch Press, 2014), which was a finalist for the 2016 Independent Book Awards and honorable mention in the 2014 Eric Hoffer awards. Her poems have appeared in New Ohio Review, Poet Lore, Rattle, Muzzle Magazine, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Spry Literary Journal, Barrow Street, Salamander, and others. Her poem, “July 28th, 2012” won first prize in The Write Place At the Write Time’s contest, judged by Ellen Bass.

See all items about Chanel Brenner

Visit Chanel Brenner’s contributors page.

When Lying Is Close to the Truth—A Ghazal
by David Sloan

Night sneaks in like a lover’s whisper: breathless, untrue, close.
You wait at an unlatched window, conjure doors to close.

I can live with lies—they’re how we learn to love ourselves.
When you’ve broken a glass, I know. Keep a broom close.

Recall an unpinned night when stars refused to move?
The only way to find us was a scatter of strewn clothes.

I want to rescue the crippled gull, dangle-legged dancer.
Like you, it edges away, then flies when I get too close.

When I die, scatter my ashes in Algonquin—McIntosh
Lake—where loon, moose, stars come canoe-close.

If heaven leaks light, and trees are crooked truths,
I choose the only place where forbidden fruit’s close.

Don’t tell beloved about lonely gods sobbing in your arms.
Keep the divine unreachable; just you lying, you, close.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 3.

David SloanA graduate of the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA Poetry Program, David Sloan teaches at Maine Coast Waldorf High School in Freeport. His debut poetry collection—The Irresistible In-Between—was published by Deerbrook Editions in 2013. He received the 2012 Betsy Sholl Award, Maine Literary awards in 2012 and 2016, The Margaret F. Tripp Poetry Award, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is currently enjoying life’s latest delight—grandfatherhood!

See all items about David Sloan

Visit David Sloan ‘s contributors page.

Five Tries to Say I’m Sorry
by Joannie Stangeland

Only one year I planted pumpkins—

carriage or shell for keeping very well—

dragged them to the front yard,
left them to grow old and soften

while I wanted happily ever
in the country called leisure,

and I don’t like to travel—but remember

those days after the dash for the airport,

dragging our baggage to carry on,
the small home with the red roof—casita,

as though another language made
the walls exotic—dusk early and the notes

the yellow windows wrote, no grocery lists,
lights rising up the palms, and then stars?

Here in a house where tasks

are meant to add up to romance,

my hands twist, slacken, can’t find
the name for what I want

and it isn’t in the television, the lump
of laundry left undone.

I’ve been hunting for my heart

and revise myself daily, redraft my chapters.

You tell the story you want to hear.

This is the love letter I can send.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 20, Issue 2.

Joannie StangelandJoannie Stangeland’s most recent book is Into the Rumored Spring from Ravenna Press. She’s also the author of two chapbooks, and her poems have appeared in Superstition Review, Tulane Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and other journals and anthologies. Joannie helps edit The Smoking Poet and Cascadia Review.

See all items about Joannie Stangeland

Visit Joannie Stangeland’s contributors page.