Tag Archives: Volume 19-1

What he claims is
by Carmen Germain

true: death cap rises
after rain in the forest,
pits trap and vipers coil.
So Mondrian decrees
no fellow feeling beyond
geometry, admonishes
“contours of nature
should be tightened.”

What is the tree to Mondrian?
Why does he so despise
the natural world,
deny the red plum growing
outside his window, deride
the willow groves,
close eyes to all that’s wild?

“A drop of sperm spilt
is a masterpiece lost,”
his gorgeously demented theory.
His art a box built to withstand
tough handling, unlike
the flame-red, blood-red rose.

Clear nights the earth’s
a flute of wine,
a near grave waiting
while his Flowering Apple Tree
churns like terrible fish
riled in jacklight.

Image Flowering Apple Tree, by Piet Mondrian, public domain, courtesy es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:Blossoming_apple_tree,_by_Piet_Mondriaan.jpg

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 1.

placesaver2Carmen Germain is the author of These Things I Will Take with Me (Cherry Grove). Recent work has appeared in Poet lore, The Comstock Review, and The Naugatuck Review. She lives in Washington state and northern British Columbia.

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Feeding the “Doctor Fish”
by Daryl Jones

You do not have to drown for this.

You do not have to be a Shanghai tycoon
dangling your pale feet in a celadon pool
outside a teahouse, plum blossoms opening everywhere
like the delicate O’s of a thousand tiny kisses.

You do not have to be a Turk, psoriatic, scabrous,
soaking your pallid legs in the sulfurous water
of a Kangal hot spring. The needles, the numbness.

You can be a common tourist, leg-weary, lost
in the streets of Santorini, your sandaled feet
callused and powdered with the white dust
of the Akrotiri ruins, a blister on your heel.
Ignoring the stony faces, fear of disease,
you surrender your euros and immerse your burning feet
in a tank of tepid water. The nibbling, the strangeness

of this world. How some will try anything
for pleasure or an end to pain.
How some will swallow anything to survive.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 1.

Daryl JonesDaryl Jones lives in Boise, Idaho. His poems have appeared in Black Warrior Review, The Idaho Review, The Sewanee Review, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. His book Someone Going Home Late received the Natalie Ornish Poetry Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. He is a former Idaho Writer-in-Residence and a past recipient of an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship.

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My Feet Over My Head
by Eric Paul Shaffer

When I was little, I could not grasp the distinction
between my shoes and my feet. I called both pairs

“feet.” I once said, “I need to learn to tie my feet.”
When I wanted to go and both seemed nowhere

near, I’d cry, “I can’t find my feet.” When my sole
wore through the rubber, I’d tell my mother, “I need

new feet.” The heels, arches, and toes at the end
of my legs were still what I walked on, bare or not,

and I could fly down the sidewalk as fast as I needed,
with or without, swiftly pursued or simply exuberant.

Once, after we swam a creek, my brother, grinning
demon that he was, snatched my feet from my hands

and launched my twin soles skyward, laces knotted,
tongues spinning and eccentric. I had tied the laces

tightly, in a newly-mastered bow. I was amazed
to follow their loopy flight, and when I saw my feet

over my head, suspended, sparking on black lines
drooping from leaning, weathered poles and bellied

earthward beneath gray sky, I could see the new
height required scoldings, spankings, and shopping.

Staring up, barefoot on that dirt road, I knew then
I needed to know my shoes from my feet since one

pair shod the sky, and I was going somewhere else.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 19, Issue 1.

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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