Issue 9.3

Transparency of the Older Woman

By Patty Dickson Pieczka

Women over 50 become invisible.
– Modern myth

She knows the seasons of birth
and blood, the hearts and hollows

of men. A dark bird of death
pecks seeds from her hand.

She senses a lie before it stains
the air, a storm before bruises

swell the clouds, sees maze-threaded
roots that connect all life.

Slipping into folds of time,
she tucks into a soft-woven calm,

free from cramp and mirror
and groping hand,

finds youth
was only a caterpillar.

A movement on her scapula——
flutter of invisible wing

sends her silk-spun robe
drifting behind her.

——————–

Patty Dickson Pieczka‘s second book, Painting the Egret’s Echo, won the Library of Poetry Book Award from The Bitter Oleander Press (2012). Other books are Lacing Through Time (Bellowing Ark Press, 2011) and a chapbook, Word Paintings (Snark, 2002). She won the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest in the Best Sonnet category (2014), first prize in the 2012 Illinois Poetry Society contest as well as the Frances Locke Memorial Award (2010). She graduated in Creative Writing at SIU. Writing has appeared in many journals such as Bluestem, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Versedaily.org, and Willow Review. 

Under an Electron Microscope

By Patty Dickson Pieczka

Nucleotides twist
into a ladder of tiny pearls.
A twirl of DNA ropes
into sedge and steam.

A man steps down
from its dangling,
bare feet imprinting clay.

He carves out his life
with a musk-oxen horn,
carries hammerstone
and a bear-tooth awl.

His woman buried near
a scorch of caribou,
he migrates through
the woodwind valley,

carries his son
down the sacred melt
through dogtooth violets
and gooseberry deer paths.

The silver stream has learned
her voice, her laugh, curves
its arms to touch him.

As trees whelm the earth with
darkness, he breathes a fire
from flint and rock, throws
his heart into the flame.

A charred stone in his chest,
he searches for God’s face
in wavers of smoke and spark.

At this end of the microscope,
I wear his hungry eyes.

——————–

Patty Dickson Pieczka‘s second book, Painting the Egret’s Echo, won the Library of Poetry Book Award from The Bitter Oleander Press (2012). Other books are Lacing Through Time (Bellowing Ark Press, 2011) and a chapbook, Word Paintings (Snark, 2002). She won the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest in the Best Sonnet category (2014), first prize in the 2012 Illinois Poetry Society contest as well as the Frances Locke Memorial Award (2010). She graduated in Creative Writing at SIU. Writing has appeared in many journals such as Bluestem, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Versedaily.org, and Willow Review. 

Solved

By Alison Stone & Eric Greinke

After the raven on the lawn
and the pasta squiggled to hieroglyphics
in the bowl, it was no surprise
when the basement door flew open
and there you were, conspicuously revealing
the last clue, that skeleton key.
If only one of us remembered
where we hid the locked box.
We walked 500 paces into the past
and tried to remember
who we were then
and what we would have done.
My striped leggings and
practiced half-smile
should offer a clue, but
we were in a different mood.
It was a key that used to open
everything in a house. But now,
a combination was needed,
something about forgiveness
and deft fingers, three turns
to the left to clear the lock,
and a satisfying click to climax.
I’m so pleased you dropped that key.

——————–

Eric Greinke has two new Presa Press books scheduled for 2016, Poets In Review (a collection of forty-six reviews written from 1972 to the present) and Zen Duende – Collaborative Poems with Glenna Luschei. Recent work has appeared in the Aurorean, Delaware Poetry Review, Forge, Gargoyle, Home Planet News, Ibbetson Street, Main St. Rag, Poem, The Pedestal, So It Goes, Solo Novo and as a fine art broadside by Adastra Press. His poetry has found a large international audience.   www.ericgreinke.com

Alison Stone is the author of Dangerous Enough (Presa Press 2014), Borrowed Logic (Dancing Girl Press 2014), From the Fool to the World: Poems in the Voices of the Major Arcana of the Tarot (Parallel Press 2012) and They Sing at Midnight, which won the 2003 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Award and was published by Many Mountains Moving Press. Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, Barrow Street, Poet Lore, and a variety of other journals and anthologies. She has been awarded Poetry’s Frederick Bock Prize and New York Quarterly’s Madeline Sadin award. She is also a painter and the creator of The Stone Tarot. A licensed psychotherapist, she has private practices in NYC and Nyack. She is currently editing an anthology of poems on the Persephone/Demeter myth.

Fall

By Alison Stone & Eric Greinke

Walking near a row of
halfway-to-red maples, he realized
summer was nearly gone.
She had made it the best summer ever.
He flushed redder than the leaves
remembering her intricate
stories about her childhood,
and how they drew him in like a
hungry orphan smelling
pancakes browning in someone
else’s kitchen. Her eucalyptus lotion
evoked the image of his grandmother.
Her hair scrunchies called back his
swimming coach. Nostalgia followed her
through fields of excitement,
like bees on the scent of
almost forgotten sweetness.
He was never just himself
when he was with her, instead
he grew into a giant, ready
to conquer his own awkwardness
and save them both from
being battered by the flying debris
of another unrequited connection.
All his lonely past selves snuggled
next to her on the couch,
waiting for the dead leaves
while he walked weakly away.

——————–

Eric Greinke has two new Presa Press books scheduled for 2016, Poets In Review (a collection of forty-six reviews written from 1972 to the present) and Zen Duende – Collaborative Poems with Glenna Luschei. Recent work has appeared in the Aurorean, Delaware Poetry Review, Forge, Gargoyle, Home Planet News, Ibbetson Street, Main St. Rag, Poem, The Pedestal, So It Goes, Solo Novo and as a fine art broadside by Adastra Press. His poetry has found a large international audience.   www.ericgreinke.com

Alison Stone is the author of Dangerous Enough (Presa Press 2014), Borrowed Logic (Dancing Girl Press 2014), From the Fool to the World: Poems in the Voices of the Major Arcana of the Tarot (Parallel Press 2012) and They Sing at Midnight, which won the 2003 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Award and was published by Many Mountains Moving Press. Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, Barrow Street, Poet Lore, and a variety of other journals and anthologies. She has been awarded Poetry’s Frederick Bock Prize and New York Quarterly’s Madeline Sadin award. She is also a painter and the creator of The Stone Tarot. A licensed psychotherapist, she has private practices in NYC and Nyack. She is currently editing an anthology of poems on the Persephone/Demeter myth.

Peanuts

By Alison Stone & Eric Greinke

Turning and turning in the wind,
the tree-trapped kite
forever taunts poor Charlie Brown. Lucy
holds the football faithlessly, while he
puts everything he has into his slapstick
kick. I always wanted to be Snoopy,
but I would have settled
for Woodstock. At least he
can fly off when things get
predictable, and doesn’t
Linus really get it best,
waiting for the Great Pumpkin?
That faith is more important
than candy, and anything
great is worth waiting for.
No one can eat just one.

——————–

Eric Greinke has two new Presa Press books scheduled for 2016, Poets In Review (a collection of forty-six reviews written from 1972 to the present) and Zen Duende – Collaborative Poems with Glenna Luschei. Recent work has appeared in the Aurorean, Delaware Poetry Review, Forge, Gargoyle, Home Planet News, Ibbetson Street, Main St. Rag, Poem, The Pedestal, So It Goes, Solo Novo and as a fine art broadside by Adastra Press. His poetry has found a large international audience.   www.ericgreinke.com

Alison Stone is the author of Dangerous Enough (Presa Press 2014), Borrowed Logic (Dancing Girl Press 2014), From the Fool to the World: Poems in the Voices of the Major Arcana of the Tarot (Parallel Press 2012) and They Sing at Midnight, which won the 2003 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Award and was published by Many Mountains Moving Press. Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, Barrow Street, Poet Lore, and a variety of other journals and anthologies. She has been awarded Poetry’s Frederick Bock Prize and New York Quarterly’s Madeline Sadin award. She is also a painter and the creator of The Stone Tarot. A licensed psychotherapist, she has private practices in NYC and Nyack. She is currently editing an anthology of poems on the Persephone/Demeter myth.

After The Freeze

By Alison Stone & Eric Greinke

Crocuses poking up beside
six foot snow mounds
seem like old friends
who call after years of
cold shouldering, now
forgotten as the easy banter
resumes like buds
bursting from old branches
unclenching like fists.
When the snow melts
long frozen odors leak
from the bleeding earth
what was hidden
now emerging to
pollinate memories
both hot & cold
until what blossoms
shines with
the familiar false hope
of fresh flowers.

——————–

Eric Greinke has two new Presa Press books scheduled for 2016, Poets In Review (a collection of forty-six reviews written from 1972 to the present) and Zen Duende – Collaborative Poems with Glenna Luschei. Recent work has appeared in the Aurorean, Delaware Poetry Review, Forge, Gargoyle, Home Planet News, Ibbetson Street, Main St. Rag, Poem, The Pedestal, So It Goes, Solo Novo and as a fine art broadside by Adastra Press. His poetry has found a large international audience.   www.ericgreinke.com

Alison Stone is the author of Dangerous Enough (Presa Press 2014), Borrowed Logic (Dancing Girl Press 2014), From the Fool to the World: Poems in the Voices of the Major Arcana of the Tarot (Parallel Press 2012) and They Sing at Midnight, which won the 2003 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Award and was published by Many Mountains Moving Press. Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, Barrow Street, Poet Lore, and a variety of other journals and anthologies. She has been awarded Poetry’s Frederick Bock Prize and New York Quarterly’s Madeline Sadin award. She is also a painter and the creator of The Stone Tarot. A licensed psychotherapist, she has private practices in NYC and Nyack. She is currently editing an anthology of poems on the Persephone/Demeter myth.

A New Day

By Eric Greinke

Originally published in Main Street Rag

 

Wake up, light up
Turn on the tube
To check the news

But we really care
About the weather
& wonder how long

Indian summer will last
Or whether it might rain
Because we all love

A sunny day
When everything seems possible
In those marginal moments
Before the airing of the initial grievances

——————–

Eric Greinke has two new Presa Press books scheduled for 2016, Poets In Review (a collection of forty-six reviews written from 1972 to the present) and Zen Duende – Collaborative Poems with Glenna Luschei. Recent work has appeared in the Aurorean, Delaware Poetry Review, Forge, Gargoyle, Home Planet News, Ibbetson Street, Main St. Rag, Poem, The Pedestal, So It Goes, Solo Novo and as a fine art broadside by Adastra Press. His poetry has found a large international audience.   www.ericgreinke.com

Shorelines

By Eric Greinke

Originally published in Turtle Island Quarterly

 

6AM morning campfire, orange
firing up the dawn. Fresh
green spearmint by a clear
stream. Water flows from
cold springs to feed the blue
lake. Minnows gather in
curtains of light. A ski boat
circles, sending waves to smash
the shore, throwing light
skyward, projecting brief
rainbows. Weeds grow from
cracks in an old pier. Rusted
steel upangles from white
sand. Two old dogs play at
waters edge, puppies
at heart. A whoosh of wings
pumps over the lake: white
swans in explosive flight. Down
flutters down to float
on a fluid surface. Boats
sit at tilt on a pebble
beach. A seagull worries
a dead fish, its eyes
long gone, sockets staring at
a sky that stretches out
over clueless cities, by seas
that birth tidal waves aimed
at distant shores, where
campfires blink innocent eyes.

——————–

Eric Greinke has two new Presa Press books scheduled for 2016, Poets In Review (a collection of forty-six reviews written from 1972 to the present) and Zen Duende – Collaborative Poems with Glenna Luschei. Recent work has appeared in the Aurorean, Delaware Poetry Review, Forge, Gargoyle, Home Planet News, Ibbetson Street, Main St. Rag, Poem, The Pedestal, So It Goes, Solo Novo and as a fine art broadside by Adastra Press. His poetry has found a large international audience.   www.ericgreinke.com

Angels Of Death

By Eric Greinke

Back when I was a social worker
for developmentally disabled children,
it was not uncommon to lose a child,
often one whom I’d worked with for years.
They were children who breathed
through tubes, who ate through tubes.
Some could neither hear nor see.
Some were bright but confined by their bodies.
Some had normal bodies with mental prison cells.
Their life spans were usually short.

As workers, we used gallows humor
to deal with harsh realities.
It gave us some temporary relief.
A worker whom everybody loved,
sweet and cheerful, a beautiful woman
who never joined in the sick joking
had a long streak of infant deaths
on her overloaded caseload.
So, we called her the Angel Of Death.
The teasing went on for several weeks.

She put up a good show at first,
but then another child on her load died.
After that, she didn’t come in for a week.
Then, she quit and moved to Minnesota
to become the manager of a Hallmark shop.
Children continued to die off all our caseloads.
After the fourth year, I couldn’t handle it.
I would burst into tears at funerals,
sometimes using a whole box of tissues.
I finally fell away, imaginary wings broken.

——————–

Eric Greinke has two new Presa Press books scheduled for 2016, Poets In Review (a collection of forty-six reviews written from 1972 to the present) and Zen Duende – Collaborative Poems with Glenna Luschei. Recent work has appeared in the Aurorean, Delaware Poetry Review, Forge, Gargoyle, Home Planet News, Ibbetson Street, Main St. Rag, Poem, The Pedestal, So It Goes, Solo Novo and as a fine art broadside by Adastra Press. His poetry has found a large international audience.   www.ericgreinke.com

Buds

By Eric Greinke

Originally published in Presa

 

BAG OF WIND
Our hero returns.

*

CHARACTER
She floats away to set the table.

*

200 ACRES
The jukebox played ‘Strangers In The Night.’

*

THE CONSPIRACY
Some brothers took him home.

*

LIES
We both knew what really happened.

*

WILDERNESS HOUSE
Located in the suburbs.

*

INSECURE MOMENTS
The clues were always there.

*

ICE AGE
Cosmic guinea pigs fade away.

*

COPS
No personal information is required.

*

THE RED ROOM
No one knew how much they’d eaten.

*

ALIEN PEN PAL
Later, they found the gun in a hole.

*

STOLEN PROPERTY
The box was finally empty.

*

THE CURSE
Everyone thought the butler was guilty.

*

TRAFFIC CONTROL
Parking in the city was too expensive.

*

REVENGE OF THE ZIPPER
She had an incomparable quality.

*

SANDALS
He left his keys on the ocean floor.

*

DYNAMITE
Percussion was uttered.

*

WILD ROSES
The scrutiny was devastating.

*

AMERICAN TRAGEDY
“All bras are not created equal.”

*

ETERNITY
Side effects were generally mild.

*

STRAWBERRIES
Better red than dead.

——————–

Eric Greinke has two new Presa Press books scheduled for 2016, Poets In Review (a collection of forty-six reviews written from 1972 to the present) and Zen Duende – Collaborative Poems with Glenna Luschei. Recent work has appeared in the Aurorean, Delaware Poetry Review, Forge, Gargoyle, Home Planet News, Ibbetson Street, Main St. Rag, Poem, The Pedestal, So It Goes, Solo Novo and as a fine art broadside by Adastra Press. His poetry has found a large international audience.   www.ericgreinke.com