Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Sound of Sugar...Joy Gaines-Friedler



Returns

It’s coming upon a year my friend sat
         Lotus style
in her Hospice bed, said, it’s all so terrible

and, now I know love.
And, my neighbor called to say his wife
        is leaving him.

I admit slugging through with only
a feathery slip of a word—
sorry.

Lately a kind of dividend is paid
when nothing changes overnight

when the phone remains silent
and no conduit of news diminishes us.

That exoskeleton that can grow around me
    keeping sweetness out?
I’m sorry for that too.

When my friend, thin as a wing,
looked at me and said,
this must be so hard on you,

I shook-off that boney layer.

I let that be her last gift to me.

My neighbor keeps everything clean,
    fixes everything;
has dropped his wife’s name; turned her into a pronoun.

She’s living with someone else,
he says without my asking.

Every morning a chickadee flings itself
against the window—fighting its reflection—
defending against itself.

Today, at the mail box, my neighbor said,
she’s not coming back.





About the Poet:

Joy Gaines-Friedler’s work is widely published in journals, including Rattle, Margie, The New York Quarterly, and others. Her first full-length book of poetry, Like Vapor, was published by Mayapple Press (2008). Joy teaches creative writing for non-profits in the Detroit area including Springfed Arts and Common Ground where she works with families of victims of homicide.




About the Sound of Sugar:

We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Sound of Sugar....Andrew C. Gottlieb

Ritual Leavings


We went to your stone and waited.
      The snow showed our past,
             gave us away in our giving.

Block letters, bright sun, frozen grass.
     Winter was listening
           while we lined our things

along the short granite cliff.
     Three chocolates in lockstep,
          a latte, a small happy Buddha,

the three dollar kind in red plastic
     with his bag and his look.
          A small book of poems.

The only thing missing: the photos,
     your smiling. This losing
           dismantles our notions of wholeness:

cold fingers, a frivolous mingling,
     a single crow hunched in an oak.
        Who’s not lonely in the cold?

The trees have retreated excepting the firs
      with their green skirts and thin leaves.
           Needles, the decline, goodbyes, pine

scent. You’ve left us behind
     to a ritual leaving. A comb,
         a coin, an orchid, bone whistles.

A milling of beliefs at the coldest
      of stone, our clinging past
            like a piling, a raft, and a rope.








About the Poet:

Andrew C. Gottlieb works and writes in Irvine, California, and loves the southwest climate, though he spent 9 years in Seattle and misses the rain and ferries. His work is published in many
journals and in his chapbook, Halflives (New Michigan Press, 2005). These poems are from Ritual Leavings, a recent semi-finalist for the Philip Levine Award. Andrew does a pretty good job at his day gig, but avoids it as much as possible; instead spending time outdoors with his wife and two stepchildren, or with his books: reading and writing.   



About the Sound of Sugar:

We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.