Stabat Mater

Virgin Mother says:
  Don't call me Ophelia.
  Cleopatra's O.K. Lady Macbeth, sure.
  Not Ophelia.

Virgin Mother says:
  Robes, gowns?
  Who needs 'em!
  A lot of dreck!

  I got plenty of
  shmattes for walking
  around in.

  Also I got pomegranates,
  cherries, fresh baked bread…
  lots of milk…

  I'll give.

Virgin Mother says:
  You wanna know if I'm
  really a virgin?
  If I've been shtupped?

  I'm not telling.

Virgin Mother says:
  So you're telling me you're sick at heart.
  You wanna gaze upon my face?
  You think I'm gonna heal you?

  Oy gevalt! You'll survive.

Virgin Mother says:
  Sleep. Sleep. Geh shlufen.
  I'll stay up.

Virgin Mother says:
  I give. You take.

Virgin Mother says:
  I clean house my way.
  Open all the doors and windows
  for the hot and noisy winds
  and for strangers.

Virgin Mother says:
  Let me kvell a little:

  "I'm Mahatma's and Osama's momma,
  Saddam's and Martin's,
  Hitler's and George Washington's too."

  So whaddaya think of that!

Virgin Mother says:

  Who do you think wiped his tuchas for him?
  Washed his little pipick?

Virgin Mother says:
  The last supper?
  I cooked… roast leg of lamb.

Virgin Mother says:
  Crucify my bubbele!
  I'll go stick my head in the oven!

Virgin Mother says:
  You can't get rid of me so easy.
  I'm here for good.

Virgin Mother says:
  I'm a Shiksa; I'm a Sabra;
  I'm a Sunni; I'm a Semite.

Virgin Mother says:
  You want to sing?
  I don't need your singing.
  Look inside. Then look out.
  Then go sing.

Virgin Mother says:
  I don't care about nations.
  A bunch of garbage — chazerai.
  Nothing but tsouris.

  That's plenty to worry for.

Virgin Mother says:
  Whoever you are:
  Nice, not so nice,
  martyrs and mensches,
  gonifs and saints and schlemiels
  beloveds, alones….

  Geh. Geh gesundte hayt.
  You should live and be well.

Virgin Mother says:
  I'll bring the salad.

by David Lewitzky

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David Lewitzky's an overweight old fart/young poet retired Social Worker/Family Therapist living his sedentary life in Buffalo, New York. He wears his hair in a tail and he's got a tattoo he's proud of. He submits lots of poems to lit mags and occasionally gets some accepted. He is a MAGPIE!!!


Always on Sunday

I feed my baby eggs in bed,
he has me for dessert.
We read the funnies in front of the fan
and spend the day inert.

There are days more productive
when things really do get done,
but Sundays are seductive.
Yeah, Sundays are for fun.

We pull the phone loose from the wall,
throw the front page out,
tell the Jehovahs to take a hike
the neighbors not to shout.

Most days you make arrangements.
Some days you scheme and plan.
These things create estrangements
between a woman and her man.

So, forget the doctor's sage advice.
Forget cholesterol.
Feast on romance's extravagances
and, happy Sundays all.

by Tracy Koretsky

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If you printed out even half the stuff Tracy Koretsky has written, dumped it into a big net strung out across the ceiling, stood beneath, then let it drop, you would suffocate. Pile up the stuff that has been published and stand on top of it and you could probably reach the cookie jar on the uppermost shelf. Alas. Still, more than anything, Tracy loves to be read. Help yourself to audio poems and chapters, author interviews, and a download of her memoir in poems. www.TracyKoretsky.com


To Coffee (On Drinking the Day's First Cup)

Oh first delicious cup of coffee
On this morning dark and frosty
how your caffeine jolt delights me
    screams in my veins!
Dark berry of Columbian tree
    I sing you paens!

They tell me I should let you be
Because caffeine is bad for me.
They say to drink decaf coffee
    will keep me cool.
Better to live with nerves all jumpy
    than snore and drool.

We who drink the high test stuff
Can wing it well right off the cuff.
We'll take you on and call your bluff
    and not back down.
Morning time won't find us gruff
    with deadly frown.

A mug of java in the hand,
Yuppie blends or national brand,
Steaming, rich from tropic land,
    all hot and black.
Not that weak stuff, washed out, bland
    Midwestern slack.

What if our blood pressure's high?
We're quick of step and bright of eye,
our nerves all trigger sharp and spry.
    We've got the edge
On dowdy folk who warn and cry
    and take the pledge.

I've seen coffee drinkers go
Into a quiet room, and though
Others whisper and talk slow
    they shoot the breeze,
Their words rush forth, bubble and flow
    with greatest ease.

I've seen them at espresso bars
Drinking latte at all hours.
The double-cappuccino stars
    drink even more.
What amazing gifts and powers!
    They're real hard core.

When the Lord finished creation
And stepped down from His high work station
To take well-earned one day vacation,
    it's well I know
He grabbed his cup, and with elation
    drank some strong joe!

by Steve Klepetar

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Steve Klepetar claims to be the best known Shanghai-born Jewish-American poet in all of Central Minnesota who has written a dissertation on Sir Walter Scott (no, he didn't play Scottie in Star Wars—look him up). His work has appeared widely and has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, which his father-in-law would have told him would get him on the subway as long as he had a token.



old Issa
drunk on haiku
stumbles in moonlight

by Ed Higgins

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Ed Higgins and his wife live on a small farm south of Portland, OR with a menagerie of animals including two whippets, two manx barn cats (who don't care for the whippets), an emu named To & Fro, and a pair of male alpacas named Machu & Picchu. His poems and short fiction appear in various print and online journals.