John Grey


I could change into
a werewolf. If I can feel
the hurt of someone dying
on me or falling out
of love with me then
I can imagine great dark
shoots of hair bursting
out of my palms, my throat,
my cheeks. If I can hear
someone say, I have only
another six months or
it's just not working,
then I can be the beast
under orders from that
fat yellow satellite,
roaming and killing.
If I could be hours,
days even, lying flat
on the bed, looking up
at the ceiling like
its peeling paint,
its webs, its spiders,
are a legitimate view
of the world, then
I can be down on all
fours and baying my
heart out. If there's nothing
that can't be taken away
from me, then there's
nothing I can't be.
If I can live with
people asking me how
I'm doing, then I can
be a good answer.

See John Grey's complete Jerseyworks collection


Angela Consolo Mankiewicz


From him I got bad knees, kidney stones, breast cancer, and
a heart disease marker; from her I got genes tough enough
to slough them off.

From him I got good hair, good teeth, good legs;
from her I got good skin, better legs.

From him: wariness, weariness, a touch of timidity,
respect for labor, caution, aloneness.

From her: will, willfulness, a touch of madness,
a love of books & New York City, aloneness.

I watched him and embraced silence; I watched her
and swore to keep silence to myself.


I'm more like him except, of course,
when I'm more like her.

When I fail she stiffens, he sleeps
the sleep of angels.

When I win, she dreams her sugarplum dreams,
he re-reads the paper.

The way I live excites and terrifies her,
brings him nightmares, and bewilders them both.

They are most bewildered and frightened
when I am most my self.

He thought he taught me: nothing - that was her job.
She thought she taught me: nothing - I was my genes.

He was wrong. So was she.

More poems by Angela Consolo Mankiewicz and others...


Sheema Kalbasi


The festive occasion of a fancy luncheon,
A bat mitzvah, or a gridlocked traffic in NY
Where I go through the motions and emotions
Of having dignity in the middle of an organized chaos
Emboldening my body. It reminds me of
A train with loads of passengers
Where women sing
And whirl, only to return and to resume
The magical beat of music
With the sound of bangles and gold bands chiming
On their arms and anklets,
Toe rings and ghungaroo jingle bells
Fastened to their ankles,
Shaved scalp children
Running on top of the luggage racks,
The hard bench seats, hunger, thirst, exhaustion
And the uncertainty of the future at fourteen.
Now, many years have passed
While I maintain the high standard of punctuality.


John Grey is an Australian-born poet now living Providence, RI, whose work has appeared in South Carolina Review, Bellevue Literary Journal, Abbey, Agni, Worcester Review, and The Pedestal, among others. His latest book is What Else Is There from Main Street Rag.

Angela Consolo Mankiewicz lives in Los Angeles, California, and has published four chapbooks, most recently AN EYE, by Pecan Grove Press (2006) and AS IF, just released from Little Red Books-Lummox. Prizes include a Grand Prize for her sestina in TRELLIS,
2nd prize Jerseyworks 2008, and a 1st-prize for her broadside published by AMELIA. Angela was nominated for a Pushcart for her work in Hammers, and she received a Writers Digest Honorable Mention for her play, JUDGMENTS. Publications include: PRESA, Montserrat,
Re)Verb ,Sketchbook, Seldom Nocturne, Arsenic Lobster, Temple/Tsunami, Butcher Block, Slipstream, Chiron Review, Hawaii Review, Cerberus, Karamu, Lynx Eye, Pemmican, Blind Man's Rainbow, ArtWord.
A collection of children's stories, THE GRUMMEL BOOK, is being reissued on CD this year by SHOOFLY. Angela has also been the Contributing Editor and Regional Editor, respectively, for the small (now defunct) journals Mushroom Dreams and
New Press.

Sheema Kalbasi, born in Tehran, Iran, and now living in Arlington, Virginia, is a human rights activist, an award winning poet, and literary translator. She is the director of Dialogue of Nations through Poetry in Translation, director of Poetry of Iranian Women Project,
poetry editor of The Muse Apprentice Guild and co-director of Other Voices International.
She has authored two collections of poems, Echoes in Exile in English, and Sangsar (Stoning) in Persian. Kalbasi's work, distinguished by her passionate defense of
ethnic and religious minorities' rights, has appeared in numerous reviews and anthologies
and has been translated into several languages.

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