PoetryIssue 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.

 1 2 >

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.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok