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Since 1996 Volume XXI

2017 &2018
Joan Gelfand


Joan Gelfand’s poetry, fiction and reviews are in national and international publications. Joan is a member of the National Book Critics Circle, Poetry Editor for the “J” and Development Chair of the Women’s National Book Association. She blogs regularly for the Huffington Post. Joan’s newest collection of poetry is “The Long Blue Room,” Benicia Literary Arts, 2014. http://joangelfand.com


Blue Moon 


This blue moon's lost
Behind east facing hills
Her brightness, dulled.
Obscured face.
She's chaste.

December's blue moon wanders
Out of sight. Is she veiled,
A tragic Desdemona
Mourning for penguins,
Polar bears?

Spinning somewhere
In a black hole
Is she wild?
Out of control?

I surrender hope
Of glimpsing her dinner plate face,
Her warm, milky smile.

Succumb to scraping dead stars
Off the pavement
So many light years below.



Joan Gelfand

Author of three volumes of poetry, and a novel set in a Silicon Valley startup, Joan’s work appears in the LA Review of Books, Rattle, Prairie Schooner, Kalliope, Marsh Hawk Review, Levure Litteraire and Chicken Soup for the Soul. “You Can Be a Winning Writer” is published by Mango Press.

Praying at the Altar of Nam June Paik



Lotus blossom’s sharp/snub-nosed catfish. 

Flashes. We are clones/Forty years after Aquarius dawned,  

We become frozen psychedelic hearts/petrified/concrete block.  

Summer of love/revival/nostalgia’s sour. We starve but for 

An altar. Fluxus sculptor constructed his tech tower 

TV/consoles/fragmented images/sounds. Harmonic and 

Found/art, these east/west wats become our galleries  

Have busted out. Do it yourself. Reuse. Museums/immolation 

Immigration dying on streets where/we refuse/petition. A prescient vision 

Paik named “the electronic super highway.” I quit. Global to drill bit 

Amphora to inkwell. The long view just got myopic. School of fish with no insight


Gov Brown pronounces: “Seceding is an option.” We protest/resist/ 

Our rage palpable/the turtle indecipherable. The river, muddy as ever, sinking. 

 I am losing ground. Can art save us from this circus act?  

 I’m lost.  Listening to John Cage, I’m atonal, afraid to glance 

Sideways, back. Here’s that birdflock, limp cock/tails as black as drones.  

Everyone’s gone/viral/we are in the hands of a reality TV bully. 

A hoax. All protocol tossed overboard/words useless/loose  

Lips/sinking ships. Twitter/ feeds/ nourishes hate speech. 

I’m praying at the altar of Nam June Paik.  



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