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crowbars and middle fingers: Poem by Rob Plath
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Fire: Poem by Bernice Holtzman
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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Bernice Holtzman: Fire

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Art by KJ Hannah Greenberg 2023

Fire

 

by Bernice Holtzman

 

1.

 

If You Were Fire

 

If you were fire

Then I could be air

Surrounding you, but never confining

Always allowing you your freedom

To expand and rise as you saw fit

Sometimes I’d gently fan your edges

Coaxing you higher

Exciting your color deeper and brighter

A tribute of sparks popping from you

And dissolving into me.

 

But I think I would end up being a glass

Turned upside down over you

Meaning only to touch you

Embrace you

Shelter you

Feel your warmth

But slowly and finally

Snuffing you out.

 

 

2.

 

If I Were Fire

 

If I were fire

My flames would be too wild for you to handle

You would shrink from my heat

Beating me back with your disapproval

Walling me in until I was tamed

Contained by your limits

Of manageable size.

 

You would never let me go out completely, though

For then who would give you warmth

When you needed it?

 

 

1999 Bernice Holtzman

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Art by KJ Hannah Greenberg 2023

Bernice Holtzman is an author of poems, short fiction, autobiographical pieces, two (so far) children’s stories, and all manner of clever commentary. Her work has appeared in The National Poetry Magazine of the Lower East Side. That was 30 years ago, and she’s still talking about it.



KJ Hannah Greenberg is eclectic. She’s played oboe, participated in martial arts, learned basket weaving, and studied Middle Eastern dancing. What’s more, she’s a certified herbalist, and an AP College Board-authorized teacher of calculus.

Her creative efforts have been nominated once for The Best of the Net in poetry, once for The Best of the Net in art, three times for the Pushcart Prize in Literature for poetry, once for the Pushcart Prize in Literature for fiction, once for the Million Writers Award for fiction, and once for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. To boot, Hannah’s had more than forty-five books published and has served as an editor for several literary journals. Channie’s latest book is Eternal not Ephemeral, Eternal not Ephemeral: Greenberg, KJ Hannah: 9798852494016: Amazon.com: Books, a collection of fifty tales, including "Absinthe for Aliens," "Isabelle," "Transitory Unease," and "Special Teeth," which were originally published in Yellow Mama or Black Petals. 


In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2023