Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Summer 2013    fiction    all issues


Sharron Singleton
Five Poems

Sarah Giragosian
Five Poems

Jenna Kilic
Five Poems

Kristina McDonald
Five Poems

Toni Hanner
Five Poems

Annie Mascorro
Five Poems

Brittney Corrigan
Three Poems

S. E. Hudgens
Four Poems

Ali Doerscher
Four Poems

David Sloan
Three Poems

Olivia Cole
Five Poems

Lucy M. Logsdon
Four Poems

Marc Pietrzykowski
Four Poems

Donna Levine Gershon
Five Poems

Eva Heisler
The Olden Days

Stephanie Rose Adams
Five Poems

Jill Kelly
Five Encounters

Ben Bever
Five Poems

Michael Hugh Lythgoe
Five Poems

Arlene Zide
Three Poems

Harry Bauld
Five Poems

Lisa Zerkle
Four Poems

Peter Mishler
Five Poems

Tim Hawkins
Five Poems

Marqus Bobesich
Four Poems

Abigail Templeton-Greene
Five Poems

Eric Duenez
Five Poems

Anne Graue
Five Poems

Susan Laughter Meyers
Five Poems

Peter Kahn
Two Poems

D. Ellis Phelps
Five Poems

Linda Sonia Miller
The Kingdom

Nicklaus Wenzel
Skagit River

Holly Cian
Five Poems

Susan Morse
Five Poems

Daniel Lassell
Five Poems

Svetlana Lavochkina
Temperate Zones

Daniel Sinderson
Three Poems

Catherine Garland
Five Poems

Michael Fleming
Five Poems

Arlene Zide

My Claim to Fame

My claim to fame—   I had breakfast with him

and his second wife

  now replaced by another

  blond young thing.

Pancakes and coffee

fragrant as the songbird morning

of his words.

Once, He sat on my couch, the other poet


(between the Boursin-spread cracker mouthfuls and the sips of wine)

of how women’s poetry   just wasn’t

strong enough

didn’t make “statements”.       His own whining,

drumbeating body-painting


bonding ceremonies in the woods


The Nobel prize-winner too

came to dinner once,

his childhood rape

sticky fly-feet stuck in memory, but

never grew wings on any of the women in his novels,

made their lives


I need


to ward away

such memories, unseat

them,   send them off in their fur-lined coats

into the snowy night.             I need

to write

my own mornings,

the hot sweet coffee, crumbling rolls,

the frantic flying cockroaches and smashed dishes of

a Bronx back kitchen.

I want to watch our breath float again in the winter air

while we sing wild choruses, sailing to Bear Mountain,

standing room only at the opera, love affairs with tall hard men, flying

across the mountains of Afghanistan

to land in a village in the tribal wilds of India


must count for something—

my words

my claim

to fame.


in memory of Loraine and for Heather

The eldest daughter

lay herself down along her now-dead mother

old arguments forgotten, put

aside, her sad self

at the fore,    her life

a riddle, still.

While all around her brothers squabbled,

ordered, scoffed   and simmered

all around,

gave orders to their sisters, to each other,

unable to offer solace

to their living mother or

now, any sister, or


Kept muttering

about wills, and houses ,

paintings, books, and trinkets

while scolding

sisters, one   as always, silent,

one still sobbing in her mother’s hair.

In my hospital room

my son, too full of pain, perhaps,

sat , never noticing   the built-in   window-bed   for family,

(complaining later to me of how long

he had to wait for me to breathe,

to wake.)

He sat

in corridors, in anguish

in indelible   childhood memory

when his mother screamed

and ranted, picked her way around from wall to leaning wall

while his father, interminable wordsmith

had no words

no arms to comfort or console,

no concern   but for his

having to suffer more

by watching

his wife suffer.

Remembering perhaps

            his doctor father always having time

            to tend to others, his kind words

            for others.

(He too complained

to a limp form of me in a different

hospital bed, arms strung with tubes

and piping,   and fear.)

Perhaps fear

is what’s at   the heart of it.

Sons   can’t

fear,   can’t

show lack of control,

or make sense

of the senseless.






close by

face in her disheveled hair

to better hear

even a whispered word.

Don’t Get Too Comfortable

Don’t get too comfortable. You won’t be here forever. Don’t go and unpack all of your rickrack undies. This is just a way station. You are in a shabby limbo.

Soon the trials will get started. Every day they’ll question you. You will question yourself every day, every hour.

At first, as usual, the birds will whistle and sing in the early mornings; then they’ll start flying off, to the South, to the North. To those places you’ve not even seen in your dreams.

Once, perhaps in a dream, you will be that bird. Soaring, over green fields to a distant hill, you will own the meadows.

But, don’t get too comfortable. This is just a way station.

You won’t be here tomorrow.

Arlene Zide has published in a variety of journals such as Meridians, Rattapallax, Evening Street Review, 13th Moon, Colorado Review, California Quarterly, and Rhino. Her translations of Hindi poets have appeared in Exquisite Corpse, The Bitter Oleander, and Salt Hill; and in the Everyman Series: Indian Love Poems, the Oxford Anthology of Indian Poets, and Language for a New Century.

Dotted Line