Issue No. 1, Summer 2012

Now That Hades Has Cycled Blue

No more manic charges to the surface
behind his coal stallions snorting smoke,
no more spending sprees–leather jackets

by the dozen, miners’ lanterns by the score,
lava doo-dads from souvenir stands
rimming Vesuvius. For a month, then two

he doesn’t budge, just sits on his dark couch
in a blue funk, una fifa nera, watching
CSI re-runs and pale potatoes grow.

Persephone tries to tempt him with last season’s
sightsee, Rome and a walking tour
of the Amalfi Coast. They could visit Capri,

swim the Blue Grotto, lick gelato azzurro,
take in Tiberius’s latest treacheries at Villa Jovis.
Later hike the Pathway of the Gods.

Wouldn’t it cheer you up, she says,
to push one of those doddering antediluvians
and his walking stick down into the deep?

I hear, too, the lemons in Sorrento
have just begun to bloom—
the slightest nudge would do.

* * *

Portrait of Porridge

The sun was a gold locket
on the horizon

and the wind, what there was of it,
she could bear.

Let’s say her father’s breath
on her neck.

She had left
and was not coming back,

brave in a child whose only wealth
was her hair.

The bowl of porridge
was the Scottish sort,

steel cut and rolled
and smelling of cream.

It reminded her
of her grandmother’s nose,

but, at least, was something
she could bear to eat.


Lois Marie Harrod won the Tennessee Chapbook Prize 2012 (Poems& Plays) with her manuscript The Only Is. Her 11th book Brief Term, poems about teaching, was published by Black Buzzard Press (2011), and her chapbook Cosmogony won the 2010 Hazel Lipa Chapbook contest (Iowa State University). Her chapbook Furniture won the 2008 Grayson Press Poetry Prize. Previous publications include the chapbook Firmament (2007); the chapbook Put Your Sorry Side Out (2005); Spelling the World Backwards (2000); the chapbook This Is a Story You Already Know (l999); Part of the Deeper Sea (1997); the chapbook Green Snake Riding (l994); Crazy Alice (l991); Every Twinge a Verdict (l987). She won her third poetry fellowship from the New Jersey Council on the Arts in 2003. Over 500 of her poems have been published online and in print journals including American Poetry Review, Blueline, The MacGuffin, Salt, The Literary Review, Verse Daily, and Zone 3. A Geraldine R. Dodge poet and former high school teacher, she teaches Creative Writing at The College of New Jersey. Read her work on www.loismarieharrod.com.