Summer 2007

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Fall 2005

Summer 2005

Editor's Note


SNR's Writers


    Jazz Age

    They danced the Charleston
        naked in the snow
            on the rooftop of London's Palladium;
    a man swayed on a rope
        between the McAlpine Hotel's highest windows,
    NYC, 1923. Death-defying rays filled the air,
        the devil's cure for disorders of spirit and mind.

    In Vienna Freud excavated, Hitler painted.
        Artur Rubinstein played the piano
            in the da-da cabarets of Paris
    where Tzara and company hailed
        the nothing  that was everything
    On the Left Bank
        they shouted Burn Down the Louvre!
    On the Right Bank
        they feasted on napoleons and sex
    In America flappers exposed their legs
     a coy garter around a stocking
    rolled  just below the knee

    Like my young not-yet mother wore
        in a crinkled snapshot.
            She has just met my father,
    but it would be a decade
                before my birth
    so in a sense none of these things really happened
    any more than the events
         that will follow my death

The Bag

Neither shabby nor chic
a black canvas backpack
leaned against a light pole
outside Penn Station

Nobody on the taxi line
dared touch it
in fact, few noticed
nor did the 8th Avenue

rush hour crowd take note
not even a potential thief
Though curious about
what might be a name tag

I, too, refrained
stood far back as I could
When a lady on line, clearly
an out-of-towner,  told the

Amtrak police to take it
to the Lost and Found
one of them scoffed
blew his whistle, turned away

For all I know
the bag's still there
leaning against a light pole
in the frigid air

the caricature of a drunk
zipper intact

In Pakistan, according to the Times,
Al Qaeda is regaining power.
I barely scan the article below:
another  bomb explodes in Baghdad.

    Fire Coral

    One bitter cold night I took a match
    to my litter of impossible wishes,
    salvaging a few memories and names
    that would have to suffice thereafter
    to candy the harsh taste
    of my many regrets
    so  only the lovely sound
    of  fire coral remains to make up for
    my failure to dive
    down to its flame-shaped rays

    like the memory of that colossal roar
    when I heard a glacier calve
    in Alaska's inner passage
    sole compensation
    for my desire to enter its ice-blue heart

    or a fleeting sense of that time
    I pitied a man
    whose face I glanced
    from my downtown express
    into the window of his uptown train
    for not having a chance
    to dance with me
    his own litter of impossible wishes
    to remain forever unknown

Copyright 2007, Barbara F. Lefcowitz. © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws.
It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.

Barbara F. Lefcowitz has published nine poetry collections. Her latest collection, The Blue Train to America, appeared in January 2007.  Her fiction, poetry, and essays have been published in over 500 journals and she has won  writing fellowships and prizes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National  Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Foundation, and several individual journals.