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.

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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.

Read our current issue:

Poetry

hands off by John Amen
Etched by Michael Bazzett
First Day in Sydney, 1992 by Catherine Bull
Two Poems by Laurie Byro
Seamstress by Krista Genevieve Farris
Train Kids by Tracey Gratch
Floating World by Karen Greenbaum-Maya
Two Poems by Bernard Henrie
Transcendental Nocturne by Colin Honnor
Newport Mansions, Observed from the Cliff Walk by Jean L. Kreiling
Gifts: Naxos by April Lindner
Two poems by Gary Maggio
10-100 by Bradley K Meyer
Two Poems by Kassandra Montag
Microclimates by Lisa Ortiz
Ukrainian Now by Lauren Reed
Two poems by Kim Suttell
Two poems by Pepper Trail
Morning Trip to the Mechanic by Samantha Walters
Two Poems by Anna Weaver