Category Archives: CPR Volume 18, Issue 3

Ode to Hellgrammites
by Grant Clauser

A hellgrammite is the larval form of the Dobson fly, and one of the ugliest things you’ll find in fresh water.

To river bass, you’re Turkish Delight.
To everything else, you’re
the river’s dank nightmare,
a larval thing that crawls
under bedrocks that have
never seen the light of day.
You’re no Tiger, Tiger
burning bright, but
some fearful hand’s
mad lab experiment.
If the hand that made the lamb
made you, you thanked it
with a bite that drew blood.
You’d pull teeth
from a gift horse’s mouth.
Oh mandible, oh prolegs,
oh stench of undermud and fish guts,
cross between Mothra, Jabba the Hut
and Maine’s meanest lobster,
when I twist your fleshy tail
onto fishhook, crack
your exoskeleton armor
with a sharpened barb,
don’t get mad, get even.
Light the river bass’
hunger with your sticky gills.
Be the bait that gives 100 percent
by taking the bass
down with you.
But if you survive
and make that change
to heaven’s fallen butterfly,
know that every sin
your body’s marked with
will shed one night
under a summer’s full moon
when you finally spread
your wings
like weeping willows
and hunt instead
from the sky.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 3.

Grant ClauserGrant Clauser is the author of two poetry books, Necessary Myths (Broadkill River Press 2013) and The Trouble with Rivers (Foothills Publishing 2012). Poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Good Man Project, Painted Bride Quarterly, Southern Poetry Review and others. He also writes about electronics, teaches poetry at random places and chases trout with a stick. His blog is

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by Gemma Cooper-Novack

in memoriam EK

I would have been here whether you died or not. Fish twist
their tails out of the water, the ripples
broaden the pond. I would

have been here, young girls using laughter to keep
their bodies afloat, my own legs
kicking the water aside so it covers
the deafening buzz and spills
over the sunset. A wet dog barks
herself in circles, fills her mouth with a stick
that’s bigger than her leg. I would have been

here, meat crisping
above crumbling coals, and in
a hospital room spongy new marrow would fill
your bones like moss—your muscles
slackening further, the knobby mole on your hand-shorn head
focusing like an eye. I would have

been here. The last time the cicadas came
out you were a newlywed,
reflective smile and hair falling straighter
than guitar strings that trickle music
down to the water now.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 3.

gemma_bganske_web6Gemma Cooper-Novack is a writer, writing coach, and arts educator who lived in New York, Chicago, and Pokuase, Ghana before moving to Boston. She writes poetry, fiction, plays and articles. She enjoys walking on stilts in her spare time.

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Fishbone Diagram
by Cathy McArthur

Halfway through the week,
someone pointed to a skeleton of a fish,
drawing lines and wondering
what was the root of the problem;

a fish bone in my chest, a silver lure with a black cord
was caught in my throat.

I was really human at one time. I wasn’t a fish
but wanted to go with others in suit, upstream,
and swam with the fear of losing myself
in a sudden turn, a wave.

My brother home from the hospital;
his thin hand held a lit cigarette.
He cursed his food, the weather.
I was tired of running errands,

of not answering him,
Christianity settling in that house, around me
branches and tributaries with instructions.

An x-ray showed me
recovering alone; shiny scales redistributed
or tossed, a spinal column: arms, legs and a mouth
working, moving away.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 3.

placesaver2Cathy McArthur’s (aka Cathy Palermo’s) poetry is forthcoming in Juked and has recently in Blueline, Two Hawks Quarterly, and Barrow Street. She lives in Queens, New York with her husband, and teaches creative writing and composition at The City College of New York.

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