Poetry - Issue 15 | June 2012

Two poems by Karen Greenbaum-Maya


In Exchange

August, Munich

Heat floats up off sidewalks
wide enough for troop movements.
Eiskaffe buzz lets me go blank.
After two tall ones, I can’t think.
The soft whipped cream schlags me
into a smoky stupor.
So hot, starlings wilt in the grass.
My shoelaces slip slack, then free.
Trash stench hits me at dawn at ten paces.
How can this work?  Why ask the question?
What blocks me now is not all mine.
A building I don’t see
holds an office I can’t find.
Summer dresses are in German.
Cygnets are gray-skinned German law students.
Cars honk in German, it’s my turf.
Cap-gun consonants eat up E for einsam, not Engel.
Trees caged in parks
  shade the odd man jerking off
  shade angry old women.

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About the author

Karen Greenbaum-Maya is a retired clinical psychologist in California. In another life, she was a German Lit major, read poetry for credit, and lived for Art. She has been in such wild places as: Jasper, Alberta; Radium, British Columbia; Ray Lakes in the Sierras, and the Greyhound bus depot in downtown Los Angeles after dark. She received Honorable Mention in the Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Contest, and her poems and photographs have appeared in Lilliput Review, Off the Coast, and Sow’s Ear. Kattywompus publishes her two chapbooks, Burrowing Song and Eggs Satori. See more at her blog.

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