New Poem up at A Minor


by Miriam Sagan


There is a minute and a half
more light each day
this winter month
as the earth tilts towards equinox
here in the City of the Sacred Faith. Also,
everywhere. So please don’t ask me
how I am, really,
unless you want to hear
the truth of it—
how much I still love you
after all these times.

So moving from darkness
into the brighter if fading afternoon
after the matinee
is startling. The doors open outward
and we re-enter, but not completely,
a familiar world that shimmers—
even in the parking lot
the crepuscular streets—
a bit now at its edges.





Miriam Sagan is the author of 30 published books, including the novel Black Rainbow (Sherman Asher, 2015) and Geographic: A Memoir of Time and Space (Casa de Snapdragon). which won the 2016 Arizona/New Mexico Book Award in Poetry. She founded…

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Leaving T or C

I’ve been here for two weeks, with a weekend break teaching in Albuquerque. It is difficult to arrive at an artist’s residency, and difficult to depart, as if there is an invisible ring of fire around the experience. I’ve had unlimited soaking in hot springs, slow quiet days in a funky town, written about the solar system, and my childhood.

Things I Already Knew:

I’m easily bored.
I’m in pain.
New Mexico makes me happy.
I don’t care about the “poetry biz.”

Things I Realized:

I might naturally be pretty happy.
I can enjoy Giant Walmart.
My subconscious isn’t under my control–dreams, associations.
I don’t know what “spiritual” means.

Home tomorrow, God willing and the creek don’t rise.

My First Creative Moment by Karla Linn Merrifield

My First Creative Moment
by Karla Linn Merrifield

Many, many moons ago—in 1967—my brother inspired my first poem, a short one of two stanzas that lamented our relationship: “I love him much/he loved me one,” went one line. I copied the poem out of my diary and onto a scrap of notepaper, which I passed the next day to my boyfriend Victor during English class. Our teacher, the wonderfully engaging but draconian man named Dennis McGuire, spied my surreptitious action, swooped down the aisle and snatched the note before it reached its destination in Victor’s hands. Without further ado, Mr. McGuire tucked the poem into his planner. I expected punishment. A special report on Ivanhoe? Writing “I will not pass notes in class” a hundred times? A conference with my parents? But, no punishment came. Whew! I guess the embarrassment was enough in my teacher’s eyes.

But the poem didn’t languish. Several months later, the junior/senior high school literary magazine appeared, and there between the covers was my poem! Mr. Maguire had submitted it on my behalf and suddenly I was a published poet! What a thrill to see my words—and my name—in print. And classmates were stopping me in the hallways to congratulate me and rain kudos upon me!

I never looked back. To become a poet was my destiny and it remains so these fifty-three years and 800+ published poems later. I’m still striving to live up to the man who saw in me a potential I had no idea I possessed even though he’s been gone from this Earth for two decades. His wonder never ceases.

More Stash

I hid another three pieces:

In the spa.

On the road

Behind the hood

The purple one is gone! Pocketed, or tossed.

Here is some text:

In the first grade, I teach a boy named Chipper how to tie his shoes. It’s natural to me to explain what I know, but the teacher praises me for being kind. I don’t really like Chipper, and didn’t feel very kind. It just seems wrong for me to know and him not to. That is the last praise I get. I can’t read. Pretty soon I’m in the “slow reading group” with, of course, Chipper. I can’t read at all. Consonants, vowels, they swarm across the page like ants after crumbs. If I’m lucky, I can count and figure out what sentence I’ll be asked to read. I may know a few words, or letters. Then I’ll listen carefully to everyone else. If they read “see Spot” I try to find something similar in my sentence.
My parents lecture me. My father, the Freudian, says I am afraid to grow up. I want MY PARENTS to keep reading to me. My mother yells that I am not paying attention. Then the lecturing begins. I am not living unto my potential. Soon they will be saying I won’t go to college or get married because I won’t “meet anybody interesting.” I’m too dumb.
However, the summer of fourth grade I do begin to read. I have no idea why. Suddenly it comes together. I’m still not doing well in school and people are still yelling at me but I now have the most beautiful secret worlds into which I can escape. Reading remains unusual for me. I can read extremely fast, and sometimes words light up in different colors. All of these things have names, and a diagnosis. But to me this is just how things are.

Post Office Mural

3 minutes from where I’m staying, it is a dark intense mural that I can’t really deconstruct. Indian Bear Dance? That’s kind of vague. Pueblo? There seems to be a kachina. Local in some way? Anyway, it’s beautiful. I bought some stamps with WPA post office murals on them. Although both the postal service woman and I were sorry this didn’t make it in.

New Deal mural entitled “Indian Bear Dance” painted by Boris Deutsch in 1940. Truth or Consequences was known as “Hot Springs” until 1951.
“Indian Bear Dance, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico Installed in 1938, this 12-foot long, oil on canvas mural by Boris Deutsch is located in the Geronimo Retail Unit, 300 Main Street, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, Post Office. The retail unit is open 24 hours a day for postal customers and visitors interested in New Deal art.”

A Peek A Boo Poem by Miriam Sagan

Object Permanence

Peek-a-boo, for the baby’s laugh,
The Milky Way is glued together by a massive black hole

Pulling stars, dust, and everything inward
In the constellation of Sagittarius.

The baby was born under Pisces
On a chilly lunch hour

What a relief she can crawl so quickly
On her fat sturdy legs.

For a while you could hide something
And she’d forget about it

Now she has “Object Permanence”
Which is why we can believe in G-d

Or that our country is right, or seek revenge,
But also that I still love her

Even though I’m in a motel
In Socorro, New Mexico.

When she sees me she’ll do a little dance
And stick out her tongue in greeting, her special thing.

I tell her secrets, like to remember the word “freedom”
In the Richie Havens song,

And that the stellar megalopolis
Is pulsing, though we can’t see it.

Carrion crows, Eurasian jays
An of course magpies

Also have object permanence
As to the black hole

It is we, not the galaxy,
That must imagine the invisible.