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Poetry Summer 2022    fiction    all issues

Cover of Poetry Summer 2022


Joanne Monte
& other poems

Holly York
Still When I Reach for the Leash
& other poems

Anne Marie Wells
Catholicism Still Lingers in a Concrete Poem
& other poems

D.T. Christensen
Coded Language
& other poems

Laura Faith
& other poems

Abigail F. Taylor
Winter in Choctaw
& other poems

Natalie LaFrance-Slack
& other poems

Nicole Sellino
iii. moving, an interruption
& other poems

Gilaine Fiezmont
In Memoriam / Day of the Dead
& other poems

Sheri Flowers Anderson
On Being A Widow
& other poems

RJ Gryder
& other poems

William S. Barnes
to hatch
& other poems

Suzannah Van Gelder
& other poems

Sam Bible-Sullivan
The Dying Worker’s Soliloquy
& other poems

Hills Snyder
Eclipse (July 4, 2020)
& other poems

Lauren Fulton
Birth Marks
& other poems

David Sloan
& other poems

Nancy Kangas
Dry Dock Cranes of Brooklyn Navy Yard
& other poems

Noreen Graf
In Attendance
& other poems

Jim Bohen
Nothing Tea
& other poems

Thomas Baranski
Let us name him dread and look forward
& other poems

Gilaine Fiezmont

Men Are Filled with Grief

To Tom and Ron

Berkeley coffee beckoned

us together father-figure and

mentee sharing that pulse

of pain down the right leg.

Between bites I conjured

the memory, the anguish

when unrelenting suffering

locked you into a curtained room

to wait out

                          the end.

And he says:

             Men are filled with grief

             And they must walk through it.

For ten months I

gritted my teeth each morning

walked the one block

the fates still granted me.

For ten months I

tossed for escape each night

sought the comfort of

curling sideways

                          first right,

then left.

Men must walk through grief.

And the next moment grief

cut off his voice.

Just like that recalled embodied prison

the pain shooting down, weaving

itself into the fabric of your life

encasing me into upper body

freedom, the silence stretching

into dread of forever.

Grief lengthened wordlessly into

                                                              a disembodied touch.

I wanted to hug you.

At least extend my hand

for one caress

                                       in solidarity.

Saltspring Two

I always make the best of things, you say,

measuring mayonnaise for salad night,

with fresh eggs and fresh parsley we

make magic out of summer’s bounty.

I sit in the tall chair in the corner

your surface-sister I

                                       have your eyes

one arm on the bar, one hand on my knee

I do nothing

                          but watch.

You tell me you’re mom here, make sure

the guests tuck in a good breakfast.

Your mouth’s already pressed

together, your arms tire daily dough into bread.

I’m a Samurai in a Mustang doing

four hundred miles a day.

I know Valhalla will fall to the giants.

My L.A. is only a training ground.

You couldn’t take it, you say,

walking close to the lights to spot trouble,

abandoning the sidewalk for lit traffic

avoiding dark corners breathing gun-fire.

Outside my car purrs awake at a warning,

The headlights reach into our kitchen,

they drain our faces, turn us into black-and-whites,

Alert my sword-mind to Columbian forest shadows.

We blend potatoes into vinaigrette

I hold the bowl, you scoop the onions,

I think about the two years you taught

                                                                 water safety

when spring melts open the Yukon shores,

and your summer’s respite on Saltspring Island.

You know warriors are lost to peace,

yet you draw me into this other life

hand me bread and the gift of your welcome.

Water on the heart

To Billy

In the hospital you missed foamy lather,

the weight of wet hair curling in your hands.

Under my towel I spot the red mark

where lasers stung away brown skin.

But you display your other scar

between your ribs, witness

to your heart trouble:

It is the pump and not the blood,

you tell us with a gesture,

raised shirt like a white flag.

Water on the heart,

pressing in on that limited organ,

your human body shrinking slowly,

pressing in on our squeezed soul.

Your voice splashes cheer at your survival,

I coo along for good measure.

When I leave,

determined not to let my heart

                                                        give out

I kiss you good bye.

In Memoriam / Day of the Dead

To Anne, 1956 – 1994

Once imminent

death gave you

the bluest eyes,

a gaze so clear

                            it cut

to another horizon.


The gaze of a soul

ready to begin our next journey.


To look at a soul bared

of the routines of daily life.

Shall I wrestle with you now?

Shall I light a candle

on All Soul’s

to keep you close?

No, I shall cherish this haunting.

I shall seek it out

when forgetting begins

                                        to swallow me.

Yes, I cherish this haunting.

I turn to San Gabriel’s Peak

you spent so much time in its shadow

to hear you dancing


the brown ridges

                             flowing into the sky

northeast of our city of angels.

Gilaine Fiezmont works as a teacher and researcher, writes speculative fiction, and loves it when she is struck by inspiration for a poem. She reads and listens to stories and poems from many lands and across many genres, occasionally in her native French or later Spanish. She is currently working on to celebrate and promote poetic explorations, and continuing her Alnos Chronicles online and via ebooks.

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