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Poetry Winter 2022    fiction    all issues


Li Zhang

Ana Reisens
Pam asked about Europe
& other poems

Krystle May Statler
To the Slow Burn
& other poems

Kristina Cecka
On Remodeling
& other poems

Belinda Roddie
Bless The Bones Of California
& other poems

Summer Rand
Alexander tells me how he'd like to be buried
& other poems

Alexander Perez
Toward the Rainbow
& other poems

Karo Ska
self-portrait of compassion…
& other poems

David Southward
The Pelican
& other poems

George Longenecker
Stamp Collection
& other poems

Mary Keating
& other poems

Talya Jankovits
Imagine A World Without Raging Hormones
& other poems

Laurie Holding
Sonnet to Mr. Frost
& other poems

David Ruekberg
A Short Essay on Love
& other poems

Elaine Greenwood
There’s a thick, quiet Angel
& other poems

Richard Baldo
Carry On Caretaker
& other poems

Jefferson Singer
Dave Righetti’s No-Hitter…
& other poems

Diane Ayer
A Fan
& other poems

Kaecey McCormick
Meditation Before Desert Monsoon
& other poems

Meg Whelan
& other poems

Katherine B. Arthaud
& other poems

Aaron Glover
On Transformation
& other poems

Anne Marie Wells
[I'm crying in a sandwich shop reading Diane Seuss' sonnets]
& other poems

Holly Cian
& other poems

Kimberly Russo
Selective Memories are the Only Gift of Dementia
& other poems

Steven Monte
& other poems

Mervyn Seivwright
Fear Mountain
& other poems

Writer's Site

Jefferson Singer

Snowy Owl in Connecticut

I enter memory,

as I entered the woods long ago,

cracking the ice-laced earth,

seeking my voice,

what does it mean to see,

to take the mind’s tangle

and make it familiar to foot,

open to airs,

to find a path’s or poem’s double texture

that brings one deeper in the wild,

but closer to refuge,

that fuses sound with light,

that salvages from shadow

winter’s shimmered gaze

on beech leaves’ yellow skins,

sycamores’ port-wine stains,

hornbeams’ Chinese lantern shells,

catkins void of their green fruit,

bittersweet on gray branch,

rouge upon a corpse.

This life that lives in death,

my scientist father would endorse,

all decay will yield to birth,

on this we could agree.

From a cedar’s

green cabinet, it came—

a snowy owl,

rowing wingbeats,

round head in crystal air,

yellow eyes that caught the sun,

a ghost sailing in blue sky—

I was, still am, undone.

He could not take my word for it,

would not share my vision,

seated in his book-lined study,

blanketed in reason.

For many years,

its afterimage traced a phantom

in a thicket of vague thoughts,

more myth than memory.

Now, two winters

since my father’s death,

I finally see it clearly,

see its silver sweep,

its dappled feathers,

white as the rabbi’s robes

on the holiest of days,

lofting my prayers,

white as pages

laid before my pen,

an irruption of the possible,

the wingbeat of my words.

I see, with a predator’s sight,

The cruelty of choice—how sometimes

we must release our reason

for others to be free.


On a Vermont hillside,

her vintage wooden skis, waxed,

mine, rentals with plastic slats,

she made me feel,

as I slipped and fumbled

in my incompleteness,

my wobbly me-ness—

I was enough,

and that I loved her.

At that same spot, I later proposed

what she, with her mom,

had already guessed—

for a moment she swayed,

Give me just a while to own it,

to sight our path ahead.

No photographer behind a tree,

no best friends, parents, siblings, cousins,

stepping over the hillside’s crest,

no rented restaurant, prosecco iced,

just us,

taking the cheapest room in the local inn,

opening a window

to a retaining wall,

counting the dinner’s cost,

making half-panicked love,

then huddling like two sleepy pups,

tired from the day’s full chase,

trusting, with a minimum of guile,

the balance of years would steady us both,

on the track we’d agreed to follow.

Six Month Cleaning

I don’t care who my dentist is,

my hygienist must be Andrea,

her posture straight, her uniform crisp.

She leads me to her station,

high priestess of hygiene,

I am an acolyte in her mission.

Her light radiates above my head,

my bib, a cleric’s collar,

her dedication to her calling,

the probing, polishing, plaque removal

has the purity of purpose

that summons Galahad or Percival,

her round table of silver instruments,

honed in the heat of holy fire,

flash and dance within her grasp,

her floss glides through each gap,

and as she practices her ordinance,

she talks of the loaves and fishes of her life.

Childless, she loves her rescue dog

who tracks the deer behind her home,

her husband’s loyal hiking mate,

she details his adventures,

the six-foot snake, the coyote pack,

the skunk, the raccoon,

the possum hiding in the grill,

fussed at until her husband

opened the silver doors

and revealed two beady eyes.

Her words are the hymnals of the everyday,

quieting my fretting brain,

in the very month

that my father died,

they point the way

through the forest dark

when the straightforward path

has been lost,

she stands above,

I lie below,

and then I rise, moist-eyed,

renewed, rinsed of sin,

she leads me, posture perfect,

to the check-out station,

somehow, she has turned

my grief to gratitude,

Now the next six months

are up to me.

Dave Righetti’s No-Hitter,
July 4th 1983


Out of rags,

a whole cloth conclusion,

a finished quilt of nullity.

How does one hold in consciousness

that which did not happen,

the no-thing,

the undone done,

the with-held,

the held back,

the absent guest,

the lost chance?

How does memory curl

around the punctured thought,

poke like a tongue

where the missing tooth belongs?

Gone, gone, gone,

grasping for the negative space,

the diastolic moment,

straining to recall a kind of death,

the resolute negation;

to freeze in mind

the impotence of action;

to love equally the pause

and not the note,

the breath,

and not the word,

the loss,

and not the gain.


Let us begin again with nothing,

with a child’s blocks,

piled in the playroom,

inconsequential as a schoolyard game,

one random October afternoon—

not the last day outdoors

with bat and ball

before winter’s abrupt ejection,

but the bardo just before it.

Begin with structure-less structures,

and build block by block,

an architecture of absence,

of that that is not there,

of towers filled with air.

Memory works by forgetting,

the selective letting go of fact

enables the fictive glow of truth;

the fireflies in the mind’s dark eye

coalesce as immanence

in the shadow world’s relief.


Here it is:

as the party ate and drank above,

the TV in the basement room

unfurled its blank assembly—

twenty-seven outs and not a single in,

the man that watched with us,

long since dead, the beauty

of his rounded head,

and Van Dyke beard crumbled,

so too the image of the woman

he married and

ultimately divorced,

frozen in her thirtieth year,

the other guests

drained away like rain water

down the grate,

nothing, nothing, nothing


but the sublimity of nothing,

the high art of restraint,

the discipline of denial,

the one day,

those few hours

in which nothing worked perfectly.


Come play in the moonyards tonight,

make of their light a lanyard to lead you,

far out to sea where the smallest bird wearies,

stutters to land on the prow of your ship.

Now when the moon floats in the water,

go to the place where the ice mountains rise,

walk on the earth that smells of no land.

Then will you mix snow with your sleep,

send the bird home, though he follows your step,

go on alone, know the cold till it numbs,

walk in the land of the heaviest slumber.

Live in the last yard of the moon,

inside the hollows of its skull,

somewhere the cool air will seep to your neck,

follow its breath to the lighted way,

then will you rest, your wandering done,

only soft glow, hum of sleep,

even death could not be this kind.

Jefferson Singer is the Faulk Foundation Professor of Psychology at Connecticut College in New London, CT. He studied creative writing at Amherst College and Harvard University, taking seminars with Seamus Heaney and Robert Fitzgerald while at Harvard. In addition to teaching and research in clinical and personality psychology, he has a private psychotherapy practice in West Hartford, CT. He is married, a father of two daughters, and grandfather of Miriam, 1 year old.

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