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Gauguin’s Tahitians at the Impressionist Exhibit, by Adela Najarro

This is a poem about love that does not focus. This unfocused poem
mentions how hands imprinted themselves on my ribcage, how we fell
into cracked concrete near the museum, how molecular cell division
led to an entrance. There were pigeons in rain, then jeweled paint
on canvas. We sang of desire, the desire to grow old and paint landscapes:
cliffs open to a raging sea that breaks past fog and wind—an homage

to Gauguin’s pre-Tahiti phase. His cliffs were swatches of orange, paired
above a cavernous gray churning crash of sea against rocks—angel’s wings
mid-fall, the fall from grace open in a joyous flutter against the tumultuous
unknown. The cliffs remain cast in a startled phase: angels open
and waiting, those angels taking in the sea, the sea enveloped by its own
gravity, the rocks crying. The painting moves in my mind, not staying still.

We, too, will become old. Gauguin ended sitting in sand. The Tahitian girls,
behind, to the left. Distant and away. All lovely women have lives
of their own. The Tahitians kept themselves unknowable and did not pay
heed to the swirls engulfing Eden, to Gauguin’s tussled hair, to his hungry
eyes ravishing their skin. He was the Western world. Ready to paint,
to capture living myth and mythos, he settled into his own solitary heart.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 1.

Adela Najarro’s poetry has appeared in numerous journals and can be found in the University of Arizona Press anthology The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry. She currently chairs the English department at Cabrillo College and is on the board of directors for Poetry Santa Cruz. Her poems have appeared in Puerto del Sol, Feminist Studies, Notre Dame Review, Nimrod International Journal of Poetry & Prose, Blue Mesa Review, Crab Orchard Review, ACM: Another Chicago Magazine, and elsewhere.

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Adela Najarro

Dear Morning after the Moon Kept Me Awake,
by Susan Laughter Meyers

Last night’s monocle
split to pieces by the loblolly limbs,

wind at the window secretive
as an owl

at woods edge,

an ear tuned to the groundlings
on guard in the switchgrass.

Your promise, sweet daydream:
drowsy inexactitude

a few degrees up
from chill, a rapt vigil,
sleep no longer fretworthy,

a shadow half shadow that shadow—

you, darling daybreak, accountable
for eyeshot greening & winged.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 1.

Susan Laughter Meyers is the 2012 winner of the Cider Press Review Editor’s Prize for her poetry manuscript My Dear, Dear Stagger Grass, to be released in fall 2013. She is the author of Keep and Give Away (University of South Carolina Press, 2006), selected by Terrance Hayes for the South Carolina Poetry Book Prize, sponsored by the SC Poetry Initiative. Keep and Give Away also won the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Book Award for Poetry and the Brockman-Campbell Book Award. Her chapbook Lessons in Leaving received the 1998 Persephone Press Book Award, judged by Brendan Galvin. Her poetry has also been published in numerous journals, including The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Beloit Poetry Journal, Crazyhorse, and jubilat, as well as the online sites Poetry Daily and Verse Daily.

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Valentine’s Day,
by Lauren Shimulunas

and the cat opened a winter bird for her
red on the front steps like a spill
of juice on kitchen tile.

She saw it naked in the worst way, straining
with bent wings to find safety
as steam rose from the belly.

With no gun, unable to stomp it with her boot.

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 1.

Lauren Shimulunas is a recent graduate from the University of New Hampshire MFA program. Her work has appeared in the Q Gallery’s Verse and Vision, and her poetry has placed twice in the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets annual Triad Contest. She teaches freshman English and works in the writing lab at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

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