Spring 2005 Issue

Happy Little Washday Song

Pipe tobacco, toilet water, floor wax,
Rinso White,/ Rinso Bright,/ Happy Little Washday Song.

Sometimes I sniffed the Rinso granules
for a good sneeze. Time now to clean out

the debris of my parents’ lives.
Death of memory, memory of death:

a matter of subject and object.
Shortly before my father died

I held a spoon of ice cream to his tongue.
He neither resisted nor welcomed it.

Pipe tobacco, toilet water, floor wax,
Rinso White, /Rinso Bright, /Happy Little Washday Song

Toilet water, hard to believe
such a funny name. To believe

those who made me are granules
adrift in the Gulf of Mexico off Holmes Beach.

Hard to believe their flesh is no longer flesh,
to believe they’ve become abstractions

to believe people tapped feet
to Happy Little Washday songs, believe

my father is smoking “that damn pipe,”
that my mother’s dabbing toilet water

in one paradise or another
(aren’t they all the same?) Hard to believe

they’ll speak now only through my tongue,
that I’ll neither welcome nor resist their voices,

hard to believe they’re gone, to believe
in belief, in the consolation of memories
of Rinso, toilet water, pipe tobacco, floor wax.. . .

Autumn/Winter 2005 Issue

Summer 2004 Issue

Winter 2004 Issue

Summer 2003 Issue

Editor's Note


SNR's Writers


The Pillars of Cappadocia

The guidebooks call them fairy chimneys
but everyone knows
they’re megalithic penises
hardened from ancient volcanic ash
capped with basalt
to stand guard above the
the mosques and minarets
the rock-cut Byzantine churches--
every man’s dream, every woman’s mirth,
relief that her own sexual architecture
is free from threats of erosion,
sudden collapse.
--Goreme, Turkey

Fine Print

My eyes no longer let me read fine print.
Which means I’m free not to heed
any warnings that would keep me
from leaping over clouds and rainbows,
mixing elixirs, dancing nude
down pathways of piano chords.
But tricksters beware.
More keenly than before I suspect
potential scams, jackpots, lotteries,
package tours that promise
visits with the dead,
excursions to the archives
of all I have forgotten,
my small museum of love.
For how can I possibly believe
what I cannot see--
like the day I can no longer read
both the fine print and the bold.

Barbara F. Lefcowitz has published eight collections of poetry; the most recent is PHOTO, BOMB, RED CHAIR. She has also published short fiction, individual poems, and essays in more than 500 journals and received writing fellowships and prizes from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others. Presently she is working on a non-fiction book about the human eye as well as another poetry collection. Also a visual artist, she lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

Copyright 2005, 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.