Sunday, February 11, 2018

From Volume 38: "Altamira" by Harry Gordon



Altamira
By Harry Gordon

After the Fiesta de San Fermín
we drove up from Pamplona
to Laredo and slept together that night
on the beach
where the ebb is so extreme that
in the morning it looked as though
the ocean had disappeared.

I can still see you lying there
at dawn, dozing,
as satisfied and indifferent
as a pub cat.

That afternoon we drove up to
see the ancient paintings
on the low ceiling of the Altamira Caves,
handsome, sinewy deer,
bulls, and horses, their muscles
contoured by the stone.
There were no men in the pictures,
so I convinced myself that the artist was a woman.

We crawled in on all fours,
like the beasts above us,
and in turn lay on a rock worn smooth
by thousands of tourists
and one great artist.

I remember lying there and looking up
and, near the charging bull,
seeing her tiny hand print,
her signature in ochre,
the only thing left of her now.

I reached up through time
and placed my hand on hers
and wished that I could be that close to you.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

From Volume 38: "Suburban Housewife" by David S. Macpherson



SUBURBAN HOUSEWIFE
By David S. Macpherson


When I was a suburban housewife in the 1970s, before everything changed so drastically, you could play with your kids and still smoke cigarettes. You didn’t want your kids to smoke, but back then, we believed in the old adage, “Do as I say, not as I do.”  Soccer had just become popular so I drove the kids in the station wagon to practices and games. Or they ran off to another kid’s backyard for T-ball or touch football or whatever else suburban kids did to fill up their day. You didn’t worry where they ran off because they never left the block. Back then, your kids were safe in someone else’s backyard.
When I was a suburban housewife in the 1970s, I had to find ways to fill up my days as well, but I didn’t have the luxury of T-ball. I had laundry to do. I had groceries to put away in the green Formica cabinets. I had bathroom scum to wipe up. I had Tonka trucks to trip over. Throughout the house, I played music: Neil Diamond, Mack Davis, Crystal Gayle. Back then, music was wholesome and smooth.
I left the albums of my childhood in the closet. My favorites: Buddy Holly, The Kingston Trio, Ella Fitzgerald. Those records were too painful to listen to. It reminded me that I was not in New York anymore. That I would never get a chance to go to the Village Vanguard to hear Dave Brubeck or Thelonious Monk anymore. Now, I was a suburban housewife living outside of Chicago in a land of green manicured lawns and garden gnomes. You didn’t talk about being a New Yorker, let alone a Jewish New Yorker. Back then, you wanted to act as goyish as possible. Wonder Bread was safe bread.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

From Volume 38: "Holiday" by Stephen Thomas Roberts

A croissant with a glass bowl of jam.


HOLIDAY
By Stephen Thomas Roberts

It seems indulgent
to eat outside
beneath an awning
and breakfast late.
The passersby
must be tardy—
late for work or school,
or else are idlers—
but either way
the thought amuses.

How pleasant to sip
the juice of exotic fruits
and nibble breadstuffs
daubed with jam,
and read the local paper
(or pretend to)
over steam rising from café au lait.

Friday, December 1, 2017

2017 Pushcart Nominees

Congratulations to this year's Pushcart Prize Nominees in the order in which they appear in this year's edition, Volume XXXVIII:


  • Polly Brown, "Richard and the Blue Boat"
  • Claire Mowbray Golding, "Nameless"
  • Nicholas McCarthy, "Paterfamilias"
  • Jennifer L. Freed, "Cleaning the Bathroom"
  • James K. Zimmerman, "Hart Island"
  • Michael R. Schrimper, "Chinese Dream"



Best of luck to all our nominees!

To order a copy of Volume XXXVIII, click the cover image on the right-hand side of the page.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

From Volume 38: "Skating on the edge of flesh" by Richard Fox




SKATING ON THE EDGE OF FLESH
By Richard Fox



One: on Dr. Paul Kalanithi ’s When Breath Becomes Air



The neurosurgeon.
            Cuts to cure.
            Midnight rounds/early call,
his wife waits for her consultation.

Ecstasy, saw slicing skull, a scalpel’s rivulet.
Danger in the drill,
thrill in the skill.
            Sensitive hands, eyes that see
            what only he can see,
hope for goners.

Lung cancer killed the neurosurgeon.
            I have malignancies in my lungs.
            We share the trinity:
diagnosis, treatment, death.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Volume 38 Cover Reveal!

Volume 38 of The Worcester Review is coming soon! 
Subscribers, expect for your copies to arrive in early November.


Cover Art "Mothership" by John Vo
Cover Design by Kirsty Walker, Hobblebush Books



We're so proud to bring you work by these talented poets and writers...




Monday, October 2, 2017

From Volume 37: A poem by Leone Scanlon



MY SEVENTY-SIXTH YEAR
By Leone Scanlon

In Chagall’s kitchen a red floor, a cake, and a cut melon on a red table,
pink roses for her birthday, her feet not quite touching the floor,
he, floating above and around, head curved like a swan’s for a kiss,
like the father in cummings’ poem swaying “deep like a rose”
over his mother to kiss, like a poet, as I imagined he would and did
when I was young, life transformed, the way Chagall
turned a kitchen with cake, knife, red floor into flying,
the way pain slices flesh and spirit crimson,
the way cut roses spill petals over a table filling the room,
the way the on-sale rose bush my daughter planted
blooms again and again even in late October, scenting the chill
as I descend the steps in slippers and robe to pick up the paper,
sky still starred, pink changing to blue, crows cawing from a tree-top
and turn, gathering my robe, breathing in roses, to start the day.