For Sylvia

Happy Mother’s Day. Miss you.

Stevie's Law

I can laugh now,
but for a time
I was so scared
of my shadow;
that I would only
venture forth at
night, or noon
or during an
eclipse of the sun.
You might guess
that I’d be ridiculed,
what with carrying
a parasol to school
on sunny days in Spring,
but my brother was
three hundred pounds
of muscle, hung out
with the Amboy Dukes
and carried, as a
weapon, half a tree
trunk like a third arm.
From the time I was
six years old, the other
children called me sir.

My mother put an end
to it “toot sweet.”.
While no student
of psychology,
she took the time to
reason with me,
as she bent over a
steaming laundry tub,
in her ragged house dress,
like something out of Dickens.
She said quite clearly,
“Go outside right now,
or I will cripple you.”
My mother never…

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At 3 a.m.

A fine poem from my friend Sarah.

Sarah Russell Poetry

This poem is a departure for me. I found myself channeling Hemingway after reading for the third or fourth time A Moveable Feast — perhaps the best and least known guidebook for Paris. My thanks to Scot at Rusty Truck for publishing it this week.

At 3 a.m.
after one more day
without words, Paris
takes you in like a whore,
not surprised you’re back
for another fuck in the dark.
November. Brittle rain
scrapes the bone.
You walk the sheen of cobbles
to the Seine, where bodies,
freshly guillotined, once floated,
heads left behind in baskets,
past the great cathedral, gargoyled,
buttressed, to the boîte
on St. Louis where absinthe
and jazz make love, and a girl
comes to rub against you
like she knows your name.

– Sarah Russell
first published in Rusty Truck
for Poets United Poetry Pantry
Photo by Nicolas Vigier

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Poem: Stardust

My poem Stardust

Literary Yard

By: Steve Deutsch


are we
if not
a mix
of stardust
and desire?
A shell
that screams
I want
across the wanton

of us
not saintly
or demonic
a balm
of sorts
for the

And for
the evil
we do
in our
we have
no better
than to
the night

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Poem: Joy for the Timid?

My poem No Joy for the Timid

Literary Yard

By: Steve Deutsch


I have never
been one
to dive in.
At Brighton Beach
I’d shuffle
slow as silt,
while other children
into the ocean
at a gallop,
more race horse
than human—
faces shocked
from whoa to joy

Can joy
come slowly?

Does delight
ever descend,
thick as honey,
on the timid
among us?
of butterflies
who greet
with a stammer
and a shrug.

Does it
sneak up
on those
of us
who research
the obvious,
elbows deep
in sacred
while just
the shadow
of the library
the sun
is bright
and people
the avenue
both ways?

I wrestle
the puzzle—
or peril,
with great

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My poem Stardust in Literary Yard today.

via Poem: Stardust

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Stevieslaw: My poem, Poet, just published on Eclectica

Here is the link to the poetry section:


And here is the poem:


I found your first book today
in a second hand store at the Harrisburg Station.
Dingy and age-tanned,
it retained its dustcover,
with a photo of you at 22,
wearing a threadbare corduroy coat
I’m sure is still in your closet,
and what might pass for a smile.
It’s a rare first print from ’69.

My war.
Your deferment.
You kept to your poetry
like you kept to the old neighborhood,
both mired in bottomless poverty—
an endless scraping by.
Yet, just last year, The Times called you
the Bashful Bard of Brooklyn.

We will lay you out tomorrow
in a sandy plot
in one of those many cemeteries
that dot the flat, emptiness of the mid-island plains.
Bury you next to Mary
your common-law wife of fifty three years
and your only treasure.

Old friend,
I never told you what I felt
when I first held a copy of your book.
I was outside my tent,
less than a mile from the wreckage of Ben Tre.
The package had been waiting for me
while we took that city down.
Not even the rats and the roaches
could have survived our fury.
“That should be me,” I thought,
and tossed that splendid book
on the residue of the war.



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Stevieslaw: My Poem “What I Had Forgotten”

My poem, What I Had Forgotten,” was up on The Drabble today. Here is the poem:

Spring came on reluctantly this year—
like the probing of a diffident lover,
uncertain of welcome.
It gave me time to remember
how much the heat of the new sun
felt like a caress
and how the breeze from the south
made me feel like shedding layers—
clothing and skin,
and running wild-hearted
through the first green.

And here is the link:


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