Martina Reisz Newberry: Two Poems


When they talk about “living in the Now,”
they mean you, Love, with your highland pipes,
smiling a faint smile towards me
while your fingers dance on the surface
of your instrument. Your Now
is palpable; it’s that small gathering of
music dancing in your head, your fingers
finding the dance and joining it there on
the pipe’s clear spine, and the light and shadow
surrounding all of it—the entire Now.



Traffic is backed up for a few blocks
and busses are being rerouted.
All very inconvenient.

It’s the woman
in the middle of the street;
she holds a knife to her
own white throat.
Two cops are reasoning
with her and the lookers
look from all sides of the street.

She wants to be where everything
stops including her life.
She tells the short Latino cop
that she’s out of money,
no place to live,
can’t get even a bit part in
a lousy B movie.

The knife flashes
and the other cop,
the one with the mustache,
puts his hand out—
Give me the knife;
give it here, he says.

Her boyfriend kicked her out,
took back his ex—
they have two kids;
she can’t even get a bit part
in a lousy movie,
can’t get her hair or nails done—
her life is over.

The short Latino cop offers her a smoke—no;
he puts out his arms for a hug—no;
he tilts his head to one side
the way his ex-wife said was cute—no.
The lookers are quiet,
waiting, looking.
The lights change and
change again.

The other cop fingers
his mustache,
shrugs hugely and
walks away.

The woman drops the knife
and follows him.
Don’t turn your fucking
back on me
she shouts. Fuck you!
Don’t walk away from me!

The short cop shakes his head
and begins taking down the barriers.
Lights change. Traffic resumes.


Martina Reisz Newberry’s newest collection, BLUES FOR FRENCH ROAST WITH CHICORY is available from Deerbrook Editions. She is the author of six books. Her work has been widely published in magazines and journals in the U.S. and abroad. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Brian, a Media Creative.

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