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Other notable work by Brenda Levy Tate.


Nanette Rayman Rivera-

what love is

May I please say this
my love:
like years ago
the sea is open
to my escapades
and the soundlessness of my body
allows me now to forgive you.
If for one hour I could
quarantine within me
the exquisite danger beautiful
of those years,
remember to repipe in the dream
when we escaped
the earsplitting fiesta of the boardwalk,
and created a canopy of our hole-y
blanket, high on fries with vinegar, salt
water as it echoed
over my breasts
as your tongue sought whichever brook
of my body you could sluice away—
and if I could remember the aqua yellow tangerine
umbrellas knocking knees with each other
like candied and capricious dancers—

if I could stop

and not remember
the treeless walk from the subway,
how high you were on something that might’ve killed
you, and only remember the smack
of the waves and how you lifted me over,
your salty shoulder finding my lips.
There’s no doubt I am
a rococo haven
where dreams and drama fuse
in a bawdy-house
of locomotive emotion and shored anger

If I could think

to let you buy me
a really large lobster
or if I could dream to just be
one and mysteriously
hit upon some stream.
If when you assuage me like silk
piping with a red umbrella of my own,
a lobster and a promise
of prettier shores
I, and you with me
could once again love
the sand and the afternoon
and you, out cold to my clan-
destine destined confidential.


I’m Such an Actress

If nothing else I know how to Sarah Heartburn.
I never saw anything wrong
with a real life of this.  On stage I wanted blue
bayous into Laurette Taylor.  In my family, I’m only
the one who doesn’t wear beige, who doesn’t account
for things.  Truth be told I am in love with the human
actress.  I examine the juice of the heart, the blue
vervain keen on using toothed leaves as method
into breath.  I don’t speak for Isis
or her tears, or Juno and his, I speak, and please
excuse the flippancy, for the women, and I’m only the one
who dares to say it, but, dazed to have this—
a piece of body that projects into a body (pituitary into breasts or heart)
and is connected with the mainland, accountant land, the left
brain  by an isthmus.  (reason).  I’m such an actress,
I reach where place decodes craze into truth, feeling
the limb, the phantom even in sleep, a leg of land,
something tender and tendon, maybe a tough band of tissue—
out of sight, outer-realm bound.


an actress and her stigmata

The actress dreams in spot on acts, auditioners mad
with craving jut into craven dark or rain, depends.
On what you’re after.  You think you will make it,
each woman a mess-about denudes herself in smiles the bigger
the sadder.  Her wrist and her pulse a friendship
bracelet covering her scars, refusing to be imagined otherwise.

The bend and dip of a shadow anywhere in the world, a beach, the moon – ah-
Or maybe you’re so different.  Your wounds I see
that after the rapes tiny carpels as this magenta and claret
like you once were.  I don’t see the console.
The moon’s back, the sea air hot as you unclasp your corset.

Or maybe you’re so different.
A sea urchin reaches over and strangles – ah
In New York City that pity the streets hook
and eye over the bridges-  stented hearts die in summer.
You could slide from pack ice into east river water or tub water, fall in love
and fall out.  You could disregard sense memory and get over
this imperfect stigmata stop bleeding stop acting stop.  A beach, the moon – ah


Runaway Daughter

A sinister man offered to help
carry her brown paper bag.

Afraid to offend,
she handed over her pink

poorboy sweater and bellbottoms,
so innocent.

She trained her heart to STOP
and fell on the tracks for a denouement

The sinister man came
back, hurled himself onto the rail,

pulled her up and onto the platform,
so unbelievably sorry

A yamache-ed man stepped onto the escalator
down to the 5:44 train to Babylon

Daddy, she cried, please, take me—
her words leveled by a clear

all aboard announcement,  and no one heard.


Nanette Rayman Rivera, two-time Pushcart Nominee has  poetry collection, Project: Butterflies by Foothills Publishing and chapbook, alegrias, by Lopside Press.  She’s first winner of Glass Woman Prize and is on Best of the Net 2007.  She won best of issue in Greensilk Journal. Publications include The Worcester Review, Carousel, Carve, The Berkeley Fiction Review, MiPOesias, ditch, Prick of the Spindle, A Little Poetry, The Wilderness Review, Pebble Lake Review, Dirty Napkin, Pedestal, Lily, Wicked Alice, Dragonfire, Wheelhouse, and Stirring. Upcoming:  Featured Poet in Up the Staircase, The Blue Jew Yorker.  She is listed on imbd and Turner Classic Movies for her roles in Guns on the Clackamas and Stephan’s Silver Bell.    She graduated from The New School University.



Brenda Levy Tate-

Walking the Ruts

Another morning drags its parachute behind me –
fabric too frail for this fresh grit. I shrug off the traces
of last night’s promises: I’ll accept everything.

But Venus always falls. Light yellows above my scooped
footprints, yesterday and all the day-strings before, back
along every mucky track that follows me. Wire slipping

from a spool. He is there, lead weight at the end, knot
in my elastic ribbon. If I stretch myself a hundred years
around the earth, he’ll neither give nor snap me free.

On my right, the forest is gone, a new killing ground
buried in beheaded pine. Two young tamarack shiver,
defendants in some mock trial. They’re frightened,

this thin pair, facing the blade. Henry VIII’s lost wives,
damned for no reason. Anne and Katherine, beloved ghost-
trees-in-waiting. In the mud, my toes gouge their names.

I must turn now. Stumble home to offer him lunch.


Dual-Clutch Transmission

We used to press into each other, fingers linked
as you drove one-armed. I translated you all wrong,
mistakenly brailled lips, jaw, hair with its citrus stink
– fingertipped California oranges, but didn’t think
they meant your future. Now, forty years along,

Annapolis Basin spreads against the distance;
ice floes, skinned raw and bleeding, mutter
at the shore. Here am I, beside mud-red water,
a fly circling rotten kelp. This broth will soon grow
too heavy for me, till your ghost commands drink.

Closed in a Plymouth Breeze – both my own mentor
and rebel protégée – I steal the radio’s indifference:
CKNS Country, free range, homefed, too slow.
Its gritty edges sandpaper the thin substance
coating my brain until tar bubbles from below.

So you’re making yourself old down in San Diego,
while I still try to drive my way through March. Snow
hides everything dead; guess I’ll leave the rest to chance.
Once I wadded a forgive-letter – ink faded blue –
under your wiper blade. I bet you never knew.


Thirty-eight Decembers after 1970

Full Cold Moon: my cherry-picker’s birthday, wherever he is.
His ghost stretches its tent between Remembering Trees.
A shadow moves behind, too thin for true love’s shape.

Fabric blocks his tight smile and washed eyes. I trace
our elapsed future in stitches marking the canvas.
He was once Sagittarius, owner of dogs, guns, cigarettes

and – briefly – me. For this, may he have long life. It’s not
for my hand to decide how it finishes. He is circled by babies,
this whiskey barrel grandda, pale under old man’s beard,

skin a raft to ride his shotglass rapids. Perhaps he
notices me dancing on the bank as I wave my Bing
branch, ripped from its roots. The pith gleams tender

beneath a ragged tear. Night slams down. No scars
wreck this dark – just a bubble waltzing on water
until it opens like a kiss. Sky Archer lifts her bow,

scatters woman-blossoms at my feet. She burns away
my memory cloth. I stumble into the river and a stone
grazes my heel. Leeches snuffle its unraveling salt.

A lonely bloodclaw owl slices the light,
wings full of myth. But I am not for him.


I feel nowhere …

… this wrinkled skin blanket
smothers my voice.
How may I speak?

Wrap around boulders,
golden seaweed undulation
in a salt orgasm.

Halo the last snowfall
over an old mountain,
dissipate, rise.

Leap through magmatic arteries,
eons deep before release.
Lurk in a nail-bed,
add cells to cells to cells.

Ride a sperm-tail, immolate
myself on conception’s pyre,
name the first shivernote
of a mother’s scream.

I am a waiting shade.
Avoid me – a void: me.


Brenda Levy Tate lives in rural Nova Scotia, Canada, surrounded by gardens and wildlife. She draws poetic inspiration from the natural world as well as from the people who have wandered through the pathways of her life. She has published two collections, Cleansing (Rising Tide Press 2005) and Beeline (Lopside Press 2007) and recently completed a Young Adult novel, which earned first place in the 2008 Atlantic Writing Competition.

Brenda’s work has attracted a growing audience in both the US and Canada. Her poems have placed or been named as finalists in several competitions, among them the Glimmer Train Poetry Open, Winning Writers War Poetry Contest, Poetry Superhighway Annual Competition and Interboard Poetry Competition (IBPC) sponsored by Web del Sol. In 2008, she was the only poet to have two of her poems included among the six IBPC finalists for Poem of the Year. Her work has also been published in various print journals such as Houston Panhandler, Epicenter, Halifax Magazine. One of her sonnets, “The Last Mate”, was selected for inclusion in Jailbreaks: 99 (Biblioasis 2008), an anthology of Canadian sonnets written over the past hundred years.

Besides writing and photography, Brenda also enjoys fossil collecting, singing and gardening.




Editor, Lisa Zaran

ISSN: 1095-732x

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2007

January - Roger Humes
February - Jimmy Santiago Baca
March - Graham Burchell
April - Ruth Daigon
May - Anne Fraser
June - Corey Mesler
July - Scott Malby
August - James Keane
September - Maurice Oliver
October - Robert Pinsky
November - Louis Daniel Brodsky
December - Bill Duvall

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2008

January - Kelley White
February - L. Ward Abel
March - Maura Stanton
April - Dr. Charles Frederickson
May - Peter Magliocco
June - Penny Harter
July - Gary Beck
August - Jéanpaul Ferro
September - Fish and Shushan
October - Kenneth Gurney
November - John Gallaher
December - Carmen Alexandra

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2009

January - Karen Rigby
February - A.D. Winans
March - Donald Illich
April - Stephen Ferreira
May - Tracee Coleman
June - Ernest Williamson
July - Sally Van Doren
August - Nanette Rayman Rivera
September - Gianina Opris
October - Judson Mitcham
November - Joel Solonche
December - Peycho Kanev

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2010

January - Louis Gallo
February - Buxton Wells
March - Labi Siffre
April - Regina Green
May - Howard Good
June - Carol Lynn Grellas
July - William Doreski
August - Sari Krosinsky
September - Ben Nardolilli
October - James Piatt
November - Robert Lietz
December - John Grey

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2011

January - Robert Philbin
February - iolanda scripca
March - Tad Richards
April - Katie Kopin
May - Jacob Newberry
June - George Moore
July - Rae Spencer
August - Jim Richards
September - Antonia Clark
October - Tannen Dell
November - Christina Matthews
December - Charles Clifford Brooks III

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2012

January - Anniversary Issue
February - Jim Davis
March - Ivy Page
April - Maurice Oliver
May - Lori Desrosiers
June - Ray Sharp
July - Nathan Prince
August - Robert Klein Engler
September - Jenn Monroe
October - John Grey
November - Andrea Potos
December - Christina M. Rau

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2013

January - Maria Luisa Arroyo
February - Journal on haitus

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2014

April - Rebirth
May - Timothy Walsh
June - Brian Fanelli
July - Carol Smallwood
August - Elizabeth P. Glixman
September - Sally Van Doren
October - Sherry O'Keefe
November - Robert McDonald
December - Gerry McFarland

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2015

January - James Keane
February - Liza Hyatt
March - Joseph Reich
April - Charles Thielman
May - Norbert Krapf
June - Lynne Knight
July - Sarah Brown Weitzman
August - Tom Montag
September - Susan Palmer
October - Holly Day
November - A.J. Huffman
December - Tom Pescatore

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2016

January - Richard Perin
February - Linne Ebbrecht
March - Sheri Vandermolen
April - Molly Cappiello
May - Caleb Coy
June - Paul Lubenkov
July - Domenic Scopa
August - Adam Phillips
September - Timothy Gager
October - Bruce Lader
November - Holly Day
December - Al Rocheleau

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2017

January - Robert Lietz
February - Jocelyn Heaney
March - David Brinkman
April - Lana Bella
May - Kaitlyn O'Malley
June - Ruth Kessler
July - Chanel Brenner
August - Darren Demaree
September - George Moore
October - Joshua Medsker
November - Ralph Monday
December - Howie Good

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2018

January – Simon Perchik
February – Julia Travers
March-June – Journal on hiatus
July – Simon Perchik
August – Hiram Larew
September – Kevin Casey
October – Ditta Baron Hoeber
November – EG Ted Davis


Image of bird by contemporary artist, Courtney Smith
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