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05 April 2013

Things in Light Poetry Series 2013: Martina Reisz Newberry

Rudolfo Carrillo

Welcome to our second annual poetry series. Last year we focused on New Mexico poets and their work. This year we decided to apply a global methodology to supplant our insular inclinations. We'll try to publish a set per day until the damn well runs dry. Our first contribution is from Martina Reisz Newberry. Enjoy.


Dark, rainy morning
My coat, a closeted slash
Blood-red reminder

Wet sand, so cheerless,
The desert is too honest
When it’s sad, it weeps

Ragweed sends great sighs
Lightning brings out its muscle
It’s never afraid

A white crane    out there
The sand doesn’t even stir
Crane bringing showers


When I saw her at the Coffee Bean Café
& asked her how she was
her hair blazed crazy
& her fingers grew brittle
& she said she just didn’t believe
in the whole thing anymore
& I said I guessed things
weren’t so good then huh
& she said she was tired
of being the last clean towel
in the damn linen closet
& I just nodded like I understood
& she said making poems was worse
than shoveling shit in a chicken coop
the famous writers ignored you
wouldn’t help you with so much
as a fucking endorsement
& her work meant nothing to nobody
& failure surrounded her
came at her like a tidal wave
& was drowning her
& I said I knew how that was
& she said she doubted that
& she said she would believe
her number was up if she’d ever been
given a number in the 1st place
which she hadn’t (been given)
& I said Sadie I’m sorry
how about I buy you a coffee
& she said yeah that would be fine
& while we drank it I noticed
her fingers     like dried vines
how they would snap off
if I took her hand

3.  JULY 2012

I can write love into this dark hotel,
talk of all that has been lived so far and
will be lived tomorrow & the tomorrow
after that.  The words, repetitive, strong,

deliberate as summer’s heat, might
stir this room into life—a kind of life—
open the blinds, turn the bed down with cool,
dreamy hands and kind gestures.  I can write

a doorway into this hotel’s bedroom
where warm stones have eyes & watch our entrance
& later, our exit.  The speechless Aspen
trees outside this hotel are waiting for

revolution and then resurrection. 
I can write purpose into them, put my
human mind into their deciduous mouths,
write madras shirts and sheets into these dark

beds. I can look into the dusk-covered sky
for some gift not like any other.  For
you, I say.  For you and no one else:  the
secret samba from this dark hotel to your eyes.


It blew hard last night
and there was lightning
no thunder.  It rained. 
I looked out at all
that weather, saw my
years and my dreams drain
into the desert,
soaking the sand with
questions. Where did it go? 
The hoped-for peace of
nations, the release
of suffering from
all sentient beings,
the rails to snake our
sorry souls to Camp
Eden.  Where was it?
My face, wet, pillowed,
ached with ignorance.
Where did everything go?


Martina Reisz Newberry’s most recent book is LEARNING BY ROTE (Deerbrook Press).  She is also the author of WHAT WE CAN’T FORGIVE.  LATE NIGHT RADIOPERHAPS YOU COULD BREATHE FOR MEHUNGERAFTER THE EARTHQUAKE:  POEMS 1996-2006, NOT UNTRUE & NOT UNKIND(Arabesques Press, Amari Hamadene, editor) and RUNNING LIKE A WOMAN WITH HER HAIR ON FIRE: Collected Poems (Red Hen Press). Ms. Newberry is the winner of i.e. magazine’s Editor’s Choice Poetry Chapbook Prize for 1998: AN APPARENT, APPROACHABLE LIGHT. She is the also the author of  LIMA BEANS AND CITY CHICKEN: MEMORIES OF THE OPEN HEARTH—a memoir of her father—published by E.P. Dutton and Co. in 1989. She has written four novels and several books of poetry, has been included in Ascent Aspirations first hard-copy Anthology, also in the anthology In The Company Of Women and has been widely published in literary magazines such as:  Ascent Aspirations, Bellingham Review, Blessed Are These Hands, Cape Rock, Connecticut Poetry Review, Cenacle, Counterpunch, Current Accounts, Divine Femme, Haight Ashbury, Iota,Istanbul Literary Review, Niche, Piedmont Literary Review, Southern Review of Poetry, Shot of Ink, Smiling Politely, Touchstone, Women's Work, Yet Another Small Magazine, and others.  Martina lives in Hollywood, California with her husband Brian and their best 4-legged pal, Charlie the Cat. 

Rudolfo Carrillo / a fifth-wave feminist from the fourth estate | a burqueña | a ladyboss | a writer + editor

I am a fifth-wave feminist and a reluctant member⸺hey, Groucho knew whereof he quipped⸺of both the fourth estate and the gig economy. I am an Albuquerque-based freelance writer, editor and social media marketing and branding+PR consultant. I remain an observant ’90s riot grrrl and a devout practitioner of halfhearted yoga posturing and zen and the art of the sentence diagram.


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