Tag Archives: july 2013

Venus in Transit
by Anne Britting Oleson

She flashed across his universe,
all swing skirt and sandals
and red hair and convertible—
where she slung her purse
into the back seat before
sliding behind the wheel.

Tonight’s cowboy, hopes dashed,
stands in a parking lot
lit by a sputtering streetlight,
watching the glowing taillights
disappear down the empty road,
hunching his shoulders
against the echo of mocking laughter
streaming from the heavens
like a falling, failing star.

(for Morgan)


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 3.

Anne Britting Oleson has been published widely, in North America, Europe and Asia.  She has published two chapbooks, The Church of St. Materiana and The Beauty of It.  She lives in central Maine with her family.

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Cooking Show Host Seeks a Career Change,
by Carrie Conners

After an hour of brainstorming her job skills she complied:
1) smiling through anything, even cramping facial muscles or fingers
sizzling against the side of a cast-iron pan, 2) uttering fake, orgasmic
noises for the camera when she bites into food. It’s always too hot

to taste anything right after you take it off the burner. By the fourth
show she realized that by closing her eyes she could stymie the tears
from a singed tongue while amplifying the appearance of pleasure.
From this list she figures she might have a future as a phone sex

operator or a politician. She can’t do it any longer. Last week while
demonstrating the proper technique of pan searing foie gras, she swore
she heard a duck’s angry quacking. On her website, her favorite foods
are listed as sea scallops with cilantro gremolata and ginger-lime buerre

blanc and walnut almond cake with orange-pomegranate compote,
but most nights she eats Cocoa Puffs or Doritos. Giving up, she slices
a lemon in half and twists her fingers into its flesh to cover the smell
of garlic, a tip she told her viewers, but that never really eliminates the scent.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 3.

Carrie Conners is an Assistant Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York (CUNY).  In addition to Cider Press Review, her poetry has appeared in California Quarterly, Tar Wolf Review, DMQ Review, and RHINO.

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by Eric Paul Shaffer

From where I sit, the papaya reveals a green ruff
of fruit swelling beneath a loose canopy of green
hands catching morning light.

The neighbor’s new
roof gleams like a penny in light that might silver
if there were more, but the clouds return the rays
to the sky,

bouncing them back into the universe
after an eight-minute flit from star to blue planet
and now, for eternity,

a long, lightless rush through
space between stars that stars cannot illuminate.
Light seeks sand, sea, and mountains, to reflect on
some work of substance,

to wring color from beams
full of rainbows and release one, an announcement
that of all of the colors the sun contains, this blue,
this red, this yellow,

this green the eye entertains
is truly the only color this sky, this mango, these
bananas, and the ripening papaya

do not accept.
And so, as this speck of earth arcs among the stars
around the prodigal sovereign of the sun,

we are
known by what we are not. Shadows cast black
contours where light falls, but leaves and legs
pass along gravel and grass

as we do when the time
comes to rise and go, but the sun feeds the green
above and below the crown and heel,

and the stars
light our way, and after we pass, the fruit golds
and falls, and only the sun burns for the earth.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 3.

Eric Paul Shaffer is the author of five books of poetry, including Lahaina Noon (2005), Living at the Monastery, Working in the Kitchen (2001), and Portable Planet (2000). He received the 2002 Elliot Cades Award for Literature, a 2006 Ka Palapala Po’okela Book Award for the book Lahaina Noon, and the 2009 James M. Vaughan Award for Poetry.

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