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Special Issue of the Adelaide Literary Magazine. Best poems by the Winner, 6 Shortlist Nominees, and 100 Finalists of the Third Annual Adelaide Literary Award Competition 2019, selected by Stevan V. Nikolic, Editor-in-Chief.

THE WINNER: Andrea Bernal

SHORTLIST WINNER NOMINEES: Pedro Xavier Solis, Cathy Essinger, Martin Golan, Nikolas Macioci, Gabrielle Amarosa, Heide Arbitter

FINALISTS: William Pruitt, George Gad Economou, Abby Ripley, Andrea Cladis, Lael Lopez, Richard Weaver, Peter Scheponik, Holley Hyler, Patrick T. Reardon, Phil Kemp, Martin Willitts, Jr, Helen Hagemann, A. Elizabeth Herting, Fred Pollack, Lazar Sarna, Mary Jane White, Austin C. Morgan, Jan Napier, Edward V. Bonner, Donny Barilla, Monique Gagnon German, Susie Gharib, Carole Langille, Lowell Jaeger, Sandra Kolankiewicz, Marc Frazier, Daniel King, Bikal Paudel, Richard Fein, Korkut Onaran, Kevin Keane, Ann Pedone, David Dephy, Samantha Zimbler, Christine Tabaka, Lauren Bishop, Mickey J. Corrigan, Mark Hurtubise, Rabbi Steven Lebow, Karen Schnurstein, Jesse Domingos, Jonathan Andrew Perez, Greg J Moglia Jr, Kimberly Crocker, Clarke Owens, Stella Prince, Clay Anderson, Tamara Williams, Tim Suermondt, Keith Hoerner, Steven Goff, Frannie Gilbertson, Peter Crowley, Mukund Gnanadesikan, Megha Sood, Sophie Chen, Debbie Richard, Linda Casebeer, Gail Willems, Craig Kennedy, Ernest DeZolt, Susan Cossette, Byron Beynon, Allie Rigby , Jessica Sabo, Jeremy Gadd, Maria Golgaki, Terry Boykie, Martin Altman, Jonathan DeCoteau, John Sweeder, Patrick Hurley, Midori Gleason, Rosangela Batista, Felix Purat, Caleb Dros, Belinda Subraman, John Casey, Idalis Wood, Laura Dunn, Ingrid Blaufarb Hughes, Catherine Cates, Robert René Galván, Whitney Judd, Catherine Rohsner, Shari Jo LeKane, Jack Brown, C.H. Coleman, Philip Wexler, James Christon, Jules Elleo, Jan Little, Chani Zwibel, Sarah Conklin, Katharine Studer, Larry Hamilton, Christopher Di-Filippo, Riley Bounds, Angela Shepherd, Rees Nielsen, Mike Jurkovic, E. P. Tuazon, Nate Tulay, Tony Tracy, Chic Scaparo, Kelsey Berry, Tina Weikert, Tom Laichas, Miller Lawrence-Fitzpatrick, Ryan Kovacs, Jeremy Ford, Elena Petrovska, Peter Freeman

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Published by ADELAIDE BOOKS, 2020-04-07 19:51:43

Adelaide Literary Award Anthology 2019 - POETRY

Special Issue of the Adelaide Literary Magazine. Best poems by the Winner, 6 Shortlist Nominees, and 100 Finalists of the Third Annual Adelaide Literary Award Competition 2019, selected by Stevan V. Nikolic, Editor-in-Chief.

THE WINNER: Andrea Bernal

SHORTLIST WINNER NOMINEES: Pedro Xavier Solis, Cathy Essinger, Martin Golan, Nikolas Macioci, Gabrielle Amarosa, Heide Arbitter

FINALISTS: William Pruitt, George Gad Economou, Abby Ripley, Andrea Cladis, Lael Lopez, Richard Weaver, Peter Scheponik, Holley Hyler, Patrick T. Reardon, Phil Kemp, Martin Willitts, Jr, Helen Hagemann, A. Elizabeth Herting, Fred Pollack, Lazar Sarna, Mary Jane White, Austin C. Morgan, Jan Napier, Edward V. Bonner, Donny Barilla, Monique Gagnon German, Susie Gharib, Carole Langille, Lowell Jaeger, Sandra Kolankiewicz, Marc Frazier, Daniel King, Bikal Paudel, Richard Fein, Korkut Onaran, Kevin Keane, Ann Pedone, David Dephy, Samantha Zimbler, Christine Tabaka, Lauren Bishop, Mickey J. Corrigan, Mark Hurtubise, Rabbi Steven Lebow, Karen Schnurstein, Jesse Domingos, Jonathan Andrew Perez, Greg J Moglia Jr, Kimberly Crocker, Clarke Owens, Stella Prince, Clay Anderson, Tamara Williams, Tim Suermondt, Keith Hoerner, Steven Goff, Frannie Gilbertson, Peter Crowley, Mukund Gnanadesikan, Megha Sood, Sophie Chen, Debbie Richard, Linda Casebeer, Gail Willems, Craig Kennedy, Ernest DeZolt, Susan Cossette, Byron Beynon, Allie Rigby , Jessica Sabo, Jeremy Gadd, Maria Golgaki, Terry Boykie, Martin Altman, Jonathan DeCoteau, John Sweeder, Patrick Hurley, Midori Gleason, Rosangela Batista, Felix Purat, Caleb Dros, Belinda Subraman, John Casey, Idalis Wood, Laura Dunn, Ingrid Blaufarb Hughes, Catherine Cates, Robert René Galván, Whitney Judd, Catherine Rohsner, Shari Jo LeKane, Jack Brown, C.H. Coleman, Philip Wexler, James Christon, Jules Elleo, Jan Little, Chani Zwibel, Sarah Conklin, Katharine Studer, Larry Hamilton, Christopher Di-Filippo, Riley Bounds, Angela Shepherd, Rees Nielsen, Mike Jurkovic, E. P. Tuazon, Nate Tulay, Tony Tracy, Chic Scaparo, Kelsey Berry, Tina Weikert, Tom Laichas, Miller Lawrence-Fitzpatrick, Ryan Kovacs, Jeremy Ford, Elena Petrovska, Peter Freeman

Keywords: poetry,literary collection,essays,short stories

Adelaide Books

New York / Lisbon

2020



ADELAIDE LITERARY AWARD
2019



ADELAIDE
LITERARY AWARD 2019

POETRY
ANTHOLOGY

Adelaide Books

New York / Lisbon

2020

ADELAIDE LITERARY AWARD 2019
POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Special Issue of the Adelaide Literary Magazine
February 2020

ISBN: 978-1-951896-62-1
Adelaide Literary Magazine is an independent international monthly
publication, based in New York and Lisbon. Founded by Stevan V.
Nikolic and Adelaide Franco Nikolic in 2015, the magazine’s aim is to
publish quality poetry, fiction, nonfiction, artwork, and photography,
as well as interviews, articles, and book reviews, written in English and
Portuguese. We seek to publish outstanding literary fiction, nonfiction,
and poetry, and to promote the writers we publish, helping both new,
emerging, and established authors reach a wider literary audience. We
publish print and digital editions of our magazine twelve times a year.
Online edition is updated continuously. There are no charges for reading

the magazine online.
(http://adelaidemagazine.org)

EDITOR IN CHIEF
Stevan V. Nikolic

[email protected]
MANAGING DIRECTOR

Adelaide Franco Nikolic
GRAPHIC DESIGN
Vesna Trpkovska

Published by: Adelaide Books LLC, New York
244 Fifth Avenue, Suite D27, New York, NY 10001

e-mail: [email protected]
phone: 917 477 8984

Copyright © 2018 by Adelaide Books LLC
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any
manner whatsoever without written permission from the Adelaide Books
/ Adelaide Literary Magazine Editor-in-chief, except in the case of brief

quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Best poems by the Winner,
6 Shortlist Nominees, and
100 Finalists of the Third Annual
Adelaide Literary Award Competition 2019,

selected by
Stevan V. Nikolic

editor-in-chief



Contents

The Winner:
NOMINALISM
  by Andrea Bernal,
  translated from Spanish by Charles Olsen  21

Shortlist Winner Nominees:
BIPOLARITY

  by Pedro Xavier Solis,
  translated from Spanish by Diane Neuhauser  29

HOW WORDS BECOME THINGS
  by Cathy Essinger  31

WHAT WAS THAT FIGHT ABOUT ANYWAY
  by Martin Golan  34

DESIRE: WANTING by Nikolas Macioci  37
SHE by Gabrielle Amarosa  39

THE LUCKY RICH by Heide Arbitter  44

11

Adelaide Literary Award 2019

Finalists:
Every Spring by William Pruitt  51
The Creaking Walls by George Gad Economou  53

Planetship by Abby Ripley  56
On Becoming by Andrea Cladis  58
Through Their Eyes by Lael Lopez  63
Walt Whitman by Richard Weaver  66
Shadow Dancing by Peter Scheponik  69

Hair by Holley Hyler  71
Ecclesiastes Road by Patrick T. Reardon  76
Sophia at My Window by Phil Kemp  78

The World is too Bright for Our Eyes 
by Martin Willitts, Jr  80

Breakfast by Helen Hagemann  82
Joan Claire by A. Elizabeth Herting  84

Amsterdam by Fred Pollack  87
He Talks to His Father by Lazar Sarna  90

Tantrum by Mary Jane White  92
Eastertime Blues by Austin C. Morgan  94

Street Girl by Jan Napier  97
A Hundred Crisp Winters by Edward V. Bonner  99

12

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Rising Dough by Donny Barilla  101
City of Narcissus, City of Icarus 

by Monique Gagnon German  103
Immensity by Susie Gharib  106

What You Hold by Carole Langille  109
A Prayer to Invisible Stars by Lowell Jaeger  111
Because of Everything by Sandra Kolankiewicz  113

Anomalies by Marc Frazier  115
Delta Sagittarii by Daniel King  118
Hour Hand’s Message to a Friend by Bikal Paudel  120
The Cantor’s Green-Eyed Daughter by Richard Fein  124
Mahler the Third at Chautaqua by Korkut Onaran  126
Before the Ink Was Dry by Kevin Keane  128
I Swim in This Darkness by Ann Pedone  130
The Dust of the Garden by David Dephy  132
The House, After Sandy by Samantha Zimbler  134
Reality Sets in by Christine Tabaka  140
The Garden by Lauren Bishop  142
13 Seconds by Mickey J. Corrigan  144
Ancient Designs by Mark Hurtubise  146

13

Adelaide Literary Award 2019

Bob Dylan’s Dream by Rabbi Steven Lebow  148
Sunflower in August by Karen Schnurstein  151
Give Us Days, Give Us Nights by Jesse Domingos  155

These Signifiers as a Flock of Bobolinks 
by Jonathan Andrew Perez  157

Climb High by Greg J Moglia Jr  159
Fireflies in Jars by Kimberly Crocker  161

Riderless by Clarke Owens  163
Half of Me by Stella Prince  165
Last Night by Clay Anderson  167
The Real Love Story Iii by Tamara Williams  169
In the City Museum I Stepped Right into a Painting 

by Tim Suermondt  170
Your Promise by Keith Hoerner  172

The Fountain by Steven Goff  175
For My Joe From Your Norma Jean 

by Frannie Gilbertson  177
Train This Machine to Replace You by Peter Crowley  180
Life Ends in Immolation by Mukund Gnanadesikan  182

Interchangeable by Megha Sood  184
Misconceptions by Sophie Chen  186

14

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

First Time in New York by Debbie Richard  191
The Way of Happiness by Linda Casebeer  193
Surgical Theatre (In Two Acts) by Gail Willems  195
Final Journey of a Rose by Craig Kennedy  197

Stolen Innocence by Ernest DeZolt  199
A Gothic Poem by Susan Cossette  201
Renoir at Les Collettes by Byron Beynon  203
Snap Once If You Can Hear Me by Allie Rigby  205

Origin by Jessica Sabo  207
Inanna and the Gate Keeper by Jeremy Gadd  209

Immersed by Maria Golgaki  214
Been to Bisbee by Terry Boykie  216
Adam: a Meditation by Martin Altman  219
Chinese Dragon by Jonathan DeCoteau  222
On Becoming More Like Mr. Rogers 

by John Sweeder  224
Violet Planet by Patrick Hurley  227
First As Last by Midori Gleason  229
As Cinzas Do Sol / Sun Ashes by Rosangela Batista  231
On the Day Of Master Jan Hus’ Immolation 

by Felix Purat  234

15

Adelaide Literary Award 2019

The Tree From Jumbie Beach by Caleb Dros  239
To Bathe Or Not by Belinda Subraman  242
The Nihility of Everything by John Casey  244
Frozen Fervor by Idalis Wood  246
Creative Minds by Laura Dunn  249

Women’s Action by Ingrid Blaufarb Hughes  250
Peaches by Catherine Cates  253

Palisades by Robert René Galván  255
Virgin by Whitney Judd  257

Pei-De Chen by Catherine Rohsner  259
Timekeeper’s Waltz by Shari Jo LeKane  262

Wake Up Laughing by Jack Brown  264
A Better Education by C.H. Coleman  266

Bingo by Philip Wexler  268
To Earth and Water by James Christon  272
On Brighter Days I Drink only Water Before a Speech 

by Jules Elleo  276
Forgiving My Father by Jan Little  279
Brief Envelopes of Dusk by Chani Zwibel  281
Learning How To Love by Sarah Conklin  283

16

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Homecoming by Katharine Studer  284
Visiting Adelaide:

Pineapple Mystique by Larry Hamilton  287
Politics In Vigil by Christopher Di-Filippo  289

Mother / Father by Riley Bounds  291
Tender by Angela Shepherd  295

The Defiant Jay by Rees Nielsen  297
Marty’S 81 by Mike Jurkovic  299

Arriving To Your Poem by E. P. Tuazon  302
A Wonder Woman by Nate Tulay  304

From Reubens To Rembrandt by Tony Tracy  306
A Morning in December by Chic Scaparo  307
The Truth by Kelsey Berry  309
Fear of Rejection by Tina Weikert  312
Pacific Division by Tom Laichas  314
Queen by Miller Lawrence-Fitzpatrick  316
Sip by Ryan Kovacs  318
Beneath the Cantutas by Jeremy Ford  321
Waves of Life by Elena Petrovska  323
Homeless by Peter Freeman  327

17



THE WINNER



Nominalism

by Andrea Bernal,
translated from Spanish by Charles Olsen

1.  In a house
In a house of lies
built without nets,
with our bodies,
rooms without doors,
we confess.

21

Adelaide Literary Award 2019

2. Semblance

A semblance.
This is how I live.
Easy.
Not going anywhere.
The blue bridge is a lie.
A lie the gray stairs.
Don’t cross,
there is no up or down.
On my back forgotten rust,
a weight.
A semblance.
Easy,
it is finding the way among ants and stones.
The beloved’s hand,
unconscious trajectory,
will come to rest
for a while.

22

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

3. Eyes

Blind lighthouse eyes.
Don’t make constant turns around the sea.

4.  Contrast

Your vine daring to arrange itself on concrete.
Your restless bee approaching my eye.
I, who would ask everything of you,
but I know now
everything is nothing.

23

Adelaide Literary Award 2019

5.  Your name

Your name was wiped.
The lake dried up.
They’ll say you still exist.
My window cries
in another hemisphere.
Spaces to view life beyond.
Today, opaque, they tremble
without sense
or pretext.

24

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Paula Andrea González Bernal (Andrea Bernal poet) (Madrid,
1985) is a philosophy teacher and poet. As a philosophy teacher
she studied at the University of Salamanca and was awarded
a special prize. As a poet she is known as “Andrea Bernal”.
She published her first poem “Primavera viva/Live Spring” in
2006 at Lord Byron Editions, being the youngest poet of an
anthology that included poets such as Jaime Siles and Cris-
tina Peri Rossi. In 2013 she published “Los pájaros/The Birds”
with Eolas editions, León. This book is presented in León, Sal-
amanca and Madrid, with the writers Raquel Lanseros, Julio
Llamazares and Antonio Colinas (current winner of the Reina
Sofia Poetry Prize in Spain). In 2016, she published “Adiós a la
noche/ Goodbye night” with Isla de Siltolá editions. This book
was also presented by Antonio Colinas and Julio Llamazares in
Madrid. In addition to poetry, she has worked as an art critic in
several Spanish Museums and other cultural institutions such
as Domus Artium Salamanca, Musac and art galleries.

Her current literary work is based on the French transla-
tion of her new book “Todo lo contrario a la belleza / Every-
thing opposite to beauty”that will be publish in Spanish lan-
guage this october with “A voice, once” another poetry book.
(Both in Islade Siltolá and Eolas again). She is also working in
a book of short stories “La felicidad de los lobos/The happiness
of the wolves”, being considering to be in editions “Devenir”.
Actually, she is doing her Phd about Schiller and Chejov too.

25



SHORTLIST WINNER NOMINEES



Bipolarity

by Pedro Xavier Solis,
translated from Spanish by Diane Neuhauser

Bipolarity
Some days your mind opens like a sprung cage
with birds breaking away, chirping, flapping their wings
fluttering and swooping over the high green of trees
free revelry without limit, only light and song and flight.
Other days your mind capsizes into the depth of your heart
like a boat inundated in the darkness of the sea bed
with a chorus of ghosts singing in the deaf night
sunken, prow encased, without sail or keel or direction.

29

Adelaide Literary Award 2019

Bipolaridad

Hay días en que su mente amanece como una jaula abierta
de la que brotan gorjeos de pájaros alzando sus alas
revoloteando y piando sobre las copas altas de los árboles,
libre jolgorio sin derrotero, sólo luz y canto y vuelo.

Otros días su mente zozobra en lo profundo del corazón
como un barco anegado en la obscuridad del lecho marino
con un coro de fantasmas cantando en la noche sorda
echado a pique, proa encallada, sin velas ni quilla ni ruta.

Pedro Xavier Solís is a Nicaraguan poet and essayist. He serves
on the boards of directors of the Nicaraguan Academy of Lan-
guage and of the Granada International Poetry Festival. Poesia
Reunida (2012) is a selection of his poetry from 1980-2010,
and Atlas (2017), his most recent collection, focuses on the
eternal political themes of love and war. His work has been
translated into Italian, Romanian, and Arabic, along with En-
glish in Tides (Mind made Books, 2015) translated by Suzanne
J. Levine and Worlds Within and Apart (APAC, 2018) trans-
lated by Diane Neuhauser.

Diane Neuhauser has returned to Latin American poetry
after a long career as a strategic management consultant for
US corporations. She is now translating poetry from Spanish
to English, with a special interest in Nicaragua. A doctoral
program at Vanderbilt University in Hispanic poetry (many
years ago) and recent stays in Central America have given her
the impetus to turn to translating.

30

How Words Become Things

by Cathy Essinger

For June Belle

My granddaughter, not yet two, points at the moon,
and pipes along the length of her outstretched arm
the word, “Balloon!”

Charmed by her misconception, I correct her
nonetheless, saying.“No, that’s the moon,” but
she just laughs,

placing her hand over my mouth and repeating,
“Balloon!” until she is sure I get the joke.
Already she knows

that every metaphor is a lie, and that language
alone will never suffice, no matter how words
rub against the things

31

Adelaide Literary Award 2019

they want to become, no matter how much static
they create or how many sparks rise
into the waiting air,

some things will always remain unnamed despite
our efforts to put words into her mouth.
It is not language

that causes her eyes to come open at night, or words
that pull her into my arms when owls hoot
their spooky syllables.

Words cannot find the silky blanket that has slipped
beneath the bed, or cause her head to drop upon
my shoulder.

Still, lying in bed at night, I hear her practicing
her words, burbles that linger in the air…yes,
like balloons…

that float above her bed, soft and meaningless,
sounds that mean nothing,
nudging her into sleep.

32

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Cathryn Essinger is the author of four books of poetry–A
Desk in the Elephant House, from Texas Tech University Press,
My Dog Does Not Read Plato, and What I Know About In-
nocence, both from Main Street Rag. Her fourth book, The
Apricot and the Moon, is forthcoming from Dos Madres.

Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Southern Review,
The New England Review, Antioch Review, Rattle, River Styx, as
well as PANK, Spillway, and Midwest Gothic. They have been
nominated for Pushcarts and “Best of the Net,” featured on The
Writer’s Almanac, and reprinted in American Life in Poetry.

Website: cathrynessinger.com

33

What Was That
Fight About Anyway

by Martin Golan

The night the fight broke out
it got nasty, as an argument can
over something neither of you care much about
We were outside sipping coffee on a chilly night
and something was said or not said or said the wrong way
and ghosts from the past sprang from long-buried graves
and soon were yelling about God knows what
You raised your coffee as if to hurl it
then dumped it on the driveway in a show of disgust
Something hot and good and thoroughly enjoyed
Reduced in a flash to a dark steaming stain
The smoke that rose from it sulked in anger
that all its pleasure was lost forever

In the morning, after a night when reconciliation
stayed one step ahead of whatever words we could find
I slipped outside to get some air
and found the coffee on the driveway had frozen

34

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

into the shape of a flower, tendrils twisted and broken
Even the stem slit by rage

The fight brought out too much that stayed too long
Winter came cold and hard
The coffee on the driveway thawed, melted, and started to run
then froze again, a different flower
by day, a different stone by evening
as the splotch of brown turned hard, then soft,
then hard again
and sometimes, in the middle of the night,
we’d both wake up
and make love, wildly, madly, on the edge of violence
and not speak a word
as if desire had turned against itself
and wanted to destroy us
as we lay there, legs entwined
in sweat and grief
sex, we learned, burns off the anger
but leaves the pain

Months later, after finally a night of untroubled dreams
The argument all but forgotten
I looked out the bedroom window
and didn’t see the stain, but knew
it wasn’t gone, that now it was
a part of us, like all our sorrows and all we grieve
We never lose our losses, they just become
an ache, a wound, a scar
a broken part of who we are

35

Adelaide Literary Award 2019

Martin Golan’s first novel, My Wife’s Last Lover, was published
to much acclaim, and was followed up with Where Things Are
When You Lose Them, a collection of short stories one reviewer
called “a dozen short but rich literary gems.” He works as a jour-
nalist, most recently an editor for the international news service
Reuters.

36

Desire: Wanting

by Nikolas Macioci

I need someone to tell me how to live
the little bit of life I have left. So far,
I have barely made sense of it. I want
moments back. I want to do my life again.

Maybe if I go to the streets and ask around,
someone will hand me a paper with right
answers on it. How to avoid loneliness.
How to be loved. How to acquire a free
sandwich when you’re homeless.

Maybe if I stand at a freeway entrance
with cardboard that says I will work
for love, someone else who’s been wounded
by want will pull to a stop, take me home
to hold me in arms I only dreamed of.

I will never know the best way to satisfy longing.
I have stood in the glare of neon watching couples

37

Adelaide Literary Award 2019

come and go from a bar on Saturday night,
listened to gritty chatter leading to anticipated sex.
I have lingered on sidewalks at night asking sky
to bless me with somebody, a beggar of stars,
a mendicant of the moon.

I’ve been patient all my life, know wordless ways
to wait, confident cure for solitude would come
in a way I’d never guess, a surprise moment
that illuminates the heart with satisfaction.

I’ll leave it at this. There’s a sadness everywhere
in the room in which I sit, remarkably inescapable.
All of the things in life I want amount to one thing,
to wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night drunk
on intimacy, to know what it’s like to lie next to fulfillment
and feel the confirmation of flesh.

R. Nikolas Macioci was born in Columbus, Ohio and re-
ceived a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. He won a
number of poetry competitions, including the 1987 National
Writers’ Union Poetry Competition judged by Denise Levertov.
His publication credits include two chapbooks: Cafes of Child-
hood and Greatest Hits, six full length books of poetry: Cafes
of Childhood (expanded), Why Dance, Necessary Windows,
Occasional Heaven, Mother Goosed, and A Human Saloon.
He has appeaared in more than 200 magazines such as Neg-
ative Capability, The Connecticut Writer, Mississippi Valley
Review, Blue Unicorn, and Chiron Review.

38

She

by Gabrielle Amarosa

She lives where I live,
Inside me,
Behind me,
Occasionally through me.

She pounds a drum
Incessantly,
Like another heartbeat.
The doctors think it is another heartbeat.
But it’s not.
It’s her, and her
Thrumming, toneless, never-ending drum.
A call to action
Or a call to insanity.
Either way, I rarely pick up.

Sometimes, briefly, she takes over.
I wish she would do it more often;
I’m tired, and she’s tireless.

39

Adelaide Literary Award 2019

I try to imitate her but I’m
Too close to her to do it justice.
The space between us is like
Between a finger pressed on a mirror
And its reflection.

I snatch glimpses of her sometimes
In my own reflection or mind.
I beg her to stay, but she goes.
Back to her drums.

The thumping in my soul
Unfurls into a thumping in my head.
I wish I could turn myself
Inside out
So that she was facing the world
And I was facing her drums.
I would not touch them.
I would only sleep.
She does not need the drums to call her
To action or to insanity—
She answered both long ago
And they live inside of her
The way she lives inside of me.

I don’t have the stamina
To drum the way she drums,
Ceaseless and eternal
But somehow always fresh and new.

40

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

But maybe
My final waking act
Can be to drum her out
So that I can sleep.

Come out, come out,
Come out.
Her drums are louder.
COME OUT, COME OUT,
COME OUT.
Her drums are faster.
COMEOUT, COMEOUT, COMEOUT, COMEOUT,
COMEOUT, COMEOUT.

I am no match for her
And we both know it.
The hands of my soul are already raw.
The vibrations have already
Shuddered up through my jaw
And settled into my temples.

I catch her attention
The same way a child catches a bubble,
Where the very act of doing it undoes it.

I slap the drums once more,
Loudly,
Frustrated down to the hard pit of my being.

41

Adelaide Literary Award 2019

I am going to sleep.
Either she will come out,
Or she won’t.
I will not be awake for it either way.
My call was not strong enough;
Is hers?

I feel heavier and heavier,
Until even my ears are too heavy
To hear her drums.
I slip into the softest black
And the sweetest silence.
My last conscious thought
Is to wonder whether the drums stopped
Or whether I am just too far away
To hear them or feel her.

I take my hands off the drums,
Open my eyes,
And see the sharpest white.

My turn.

42

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Gabrielle Amarosa is a Healthcare Business Intelligence Consul-
tant living and working in the Boston, MA area. She graduated
from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a major in Actuarial
Mathematics and a minor in Writing and Rhetoric. Her work
has previously been featured in an Arts in Reach collection and
the May 2019 edition of Adelaide Literary Magazine.

43

The Lucky Rich

by Heide Arbitter

Inside this elite community
Lamborghinis once raced
Now, chopped for parts

The dead
In their driveways
Incinerated
By the lightening
Of
God

Golden mansions
Spoiled residents
Guarded by
Navy Seals at the gate

God
Didn’t like any of them

44

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Anymore
They received His solution

Fire from His hands

God left the trees
Rejoicing
No Longer
Wounded by gardeners
Who cut them into abnormal
Shapes
And caused them pain

He spared the fauna
Along with domestic cats and dogs
With their pink fur
Strangled diamond collars
Forced to smile
When the paparazzi demanded

Later, this landscape
Is purchased
By other
Lucky Rich

Bull dozers
And bricks
Blast through

The open gate

45

Adelaide Literary Award 2019

They make
Noise
Scare the bees
While constructing
Edifices
Which rival royalty

The new wave
Of Lucky Rich move in
But not before
They hire marines
To guard the
Closed gate

Now, the Lucky Rich
Splash in the waterfalls
Of their pools
Throw galas
Cheat on their partners
Ignore their children
But, it does not matter
They have the best lawyers

They forget about
Gratitude
Blessings
God

And
Encounter the same fate

46

POETRY ANTHOLOGY

Heide Arbitter’s plays have been produced in New York City
and regionally. Some of these productions include a one-act,
HAND WASHED, LINE DRIED, which was produced at the
Public Theatre; a full-length, FROGS FROM THE MOON
at the American Theatre of Actors; and a one-act, TILL WE
MEET, at Unboxed Voices. Smith & Kraus and Excalibur have
published JILLY ROSE, SHARON and POPPY. Heide was
recently interviewed on the radio, WFUV.

47


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