Tag Archives: january 2014

by Michelle Matthees

A flock of doves condensed into vestments.
All of winter stood before the people,
disguised as a man with a pleasant singing voice.

Candles were lit behind him to stave off
the cold, and as they climbed their private
staircases, young women in distant lands

pressed their faces onto glass windows.
Below, the burnt leaves of November
were stoked and lifted their gray silk into the air.

Meanwhile the man stood before his admirers
and in the oven of his arms baked bread.
It appeared, steaming, clean, whole.

An old peasant woman stoked the leaves,
gray scarf rounding her head into stone.
“Why must there always be betrayal?” she asked.

It was dusk, and the dark soil offered no reply.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 1.

Michelle MattheesMichelle Matthees’s poems can be found in Pank, The Prose Poem Project, The Bellingham Review, Bloomsbury Review, Prove, and elsewhere. She is a current recipient of Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant and has received awards in the past from Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis, The Jerome Foundation, AWP, and other arts organizations. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota.

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Fragments of His Last Letter
by Donna Vorreyer

From far away, you see the awful truth
of me and do not flinch. How unpleasant
all these years to be warehouse for my
insane devotions, unable to requite them.

Today I walked with my wife on the beach.
It was pleasant, but false, like shaking hands
with a stranger at a party. On the way home,
dead coral slashed the bottoms of my feet.

Later, I watched seagulls soar and list, each
wing and feather perfect synergy of strength
and flex. I wept because I am not strong.
Because I cannot learn to bend.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 1.

Donna Vorreyer

Donna Vorreyer’s first full-length poetry collection, A House of Many Windows, is now available from Sundress Publications. Her work has appeared in many journals including Rhino, Linebreak, Cider Press Review, Stirring, Sweet, wicked alice, and Weave. Her fifth chapbook, We Build Houses of Our Bodies was just released from Dancing Girl Press. Visit her online at www.donnavorreyer.com

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The Origin of Sorrow,
by Donna Prinzmetal

I know you’ve seen this all along.
This has nothing to do with the way the earth gathers
beneath fingernails. You’ve been watching

the rattling words mounting in the distance,
listening to the crisp hollow sound that doubt makes
inside a canyon like birdseed scattered on

the pavement around a doomed bride and groom.
The trail narrows and I search for stanzas where
this winter tousles my hair and we stop together, stand oak-still

in the frail moonlight. I recognize this place like my own
hand or a kiss from my lover. Who has not found it
unacceptable to live a moment longer? The ground

has a softness to it, not mud, but a gentle give.
You know I long to be lupine, wild, and I hold
you like a ritual of the body, like bathing, the blue question

opening like the mouth of a cave ahead. We are still
here, holding the icy canyon walls in the dark, navigating
the rocky crevasses, as if it mattered.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 1.

Donna PrinzmetalDonna Prinzmetal is a poet, psychotherapist and writing teacher living in Portland. Donna’s publications include Prairie SchoonerThe JournalComstock Review, Cincinnati Review, and Arroyo. Her work has appeared in two anthologies: Chance of a Ghost and A Face to Meet the Faces.  Her book, Snow White, When No One Was Looking is scheduled for publication in May, 2014 with CW Books.

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