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How the Balaton Wine Survived,
by Jessica Jewell

Most of the soil takes in the seeds
and what are left darken
into the volcanic loam. One sunbeam
each for the sprouts. The wind empties
out of the lake and climbs the sharp
hillsides. At the top, the church bell
announces Sunday lunch. Startled,
Agnes Varga drops the bowl of peas.
Something you might call happiness
is happening now. A century ago
every vine from here to Szekszárd
was nibbled away by the phylloxera bugs.
This was before the Emperor was murdered.
Before the bombings left wide gapes
in the monastic cellars and most of the village
men were sent to the front. Before
widows and mothers who mourned
had nothing left to nourish but a grape.

 

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

Jessica Jewell’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Nimrod, the American Poetry Journal, Harpur Palate, Copper Nickel, Rhino, Barn Owl Review and Poetry Midwest, among others. Her chapbook, Slap Leather, was published by dancing girl press in 2011, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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Postcard to Rapunzel, in Hindsight, from My Kitchen at Rue de Lappe,
by Suzanne Allen

You sit on a stool across the butcher-block bar, plastic bag sagging around the box of hair color and the bottle of wine you picked up at Monoprix—One price.  One room.  A few tea lights.  I’m boiling water, slicing mushrooms and onion to sauté in the pan I bought there, too.  The jarred sauce sits next to the sink, an ashtray by the window.  We sip and talk.  Sit and stand, pace and spin.  You spin in your socks.  You tug and tear at your dreadlocks for an hour before you can say the words.  “I used to starve myself.”  You pull the phrase out like a Veuve Clicquot cork—no spill—nodding, eyes darting, looking down. I will spend this entire evening combing out your hair, happily helping you unravel yourself.  There can be no more pretending I didn’t know.  I am no longer worried. I know you are hungry.  I cannot tell you this now, but before too long you will be at home on rue du Plaisir, and you won’t let your hair get so tangled ever again.  I push the bowl of pasta towards you.  Hand you a Monoprix fork.  “Here now,” I say.  “Eat.”

 

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

Suzanne Allen lives between Los Angeles and Paris, France, where she directs the Creative Writing program for WICE. Her poems can be found in Nerve Cowboy, Pearl, Spot Literary Magazine, and in international anthologies.

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At the Foot of the Staircase,
by Una Nichols Hynum

praise the way the stairs hang in infinity
rise to the attic where old histories are stored:
dressmaker’s dummy, butter churn, a dusty sextant–
past the third floor room of a crazy great grandmother
keep going out the window sweeping up
through the thinnest stars – the hooked moon curved
around its coming phase, barely visible, a sonogram
with all the complexities it will be born with–
what small changes can we see from earth when
in our own back yard buds appear on the willow
young-green leaves on the dormant fig, paint
beginning to peel from the north side of the house
praise the way the stairs come back, tread by tread
faithfully returning the day to its natural progression
crazy granny throwing a teacup from her barred window
a scattering of porcelain petals on the walk.
 

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

Una Nichols Hynum was born in Providence RI. She is a Graduate of SDSU, has been nominated for the Pushcart, a member of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and a finalist for Hearst Poetry Prize. Her work has most recently appeared in Spillway, Calyx, A Year in Ink, and San Diego Poetry Annual.

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