March 2014

Welcome to the March issue of the Dragonfly Press Ezine! This month, we have:

“Pity The Poor Cat Who Mourns” by Grace Cavalieri
“Strapless” by Parthenia M. Hicks
“Forty-one” by Margaret Luongo

Pity The Poor Cat Who Mourns

I am tired of your crying, caring for your own comfort.
Self compassion was never meant for animals
and yet you try
pushing your pile of papers as if it were a blanket,
making the familiar strange,
like artists do, to manage grief.
You have to know someone before you can forget him, and
what, tell me, did you know—
only that he is dead—
and worse, that but he’s no longer young.
Too much to think about. Two in one.
I see confusion feasts upon your heart and how you wake up with a start:
Dreaming of Las Vegas? Where no birds live? What a howl of loss
you give—and who could blame you.
Now you roll in a pastiche of sand pissing in full view,
your clawing and moaning uncluttered by morality
walking out of your jungle box veiled in dust.
Listen—you have no uplifting memories of the world with him,
so how can you fake grief, or is it emptiness disguised as hunger
that makes you eat and eat.
It has been one month now that we were left alone.
Each night the light goes on and off and on until
you push it from off the table, and I don’t blame you.
The spirit world does not
Interest me either as it knows nothing of our mourning.
Oh how I wish I could curl up like you
into a ball of fur, purring with belief that
he’d come upstairs at any moment. Surely this is what you think and why not—
you didn’t see the machine he was hooked to before his death,
tubes with lights blinking on and off until his body begged itself free.
How can you help but believe— if you wait long enough—
he’ll fill your bowl again and pick you up to hold.
Poor dumb creature, foolish and confused, how I pity you,
for soon you’ll find for certain, in spite of your best fears,
I am all that you have left.

Grace Cavalieri is celebrating 37 years on-air with her series for public radio, “The Poet and the Poem,” now from the Library of Congress. She’s written 16 books of poems and 26 produced plays. She holds the 2013 “George Garrett Award” from the Associated Writing Programs and the 2013 “Allen Ginsberg Award” for poetry. She also holds the CPB silver medal. Grace is a monthly poetry columnist/reviewer for The Washington Independent Review of Books.


Yesterday a blackbird in the rain
eating the eyes of a squirrel
Today a memory of Mama
in a strapless white dress
poised at the top of the steps

We think she is all ours
turning slowly to show
artfully connected bones
river of black hair
feet bound by ribboned
ballet shoes

We do not yet understand
the promise of a white dress
the shape of hands
that will remove it
lock it into place and time
like a stage prop

We do not yet know about visiting
ghosts at the end of the long hall
white hospital walls
and other white cotton gowns

We see her whole now, and en pointe
transparent like a tear that falls on a wet sidewalk.

Parthenia M. Hicks

Parthenia M. Hicks is the Poet Laureate Emerita of Los Gatos, CA, the recipient of the Arts Council Silicon Valley Fellowship for Short Story, the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Poetry Prize and the Villa Montalvo Poetry Prize and has received several Pushcart nominations. She is the poetry editor of Enlightenment Journal and holds a Masters of Divinity in Kriya Yoga. Her recent work can be found in Chest, the Red Wheelbarrow, and Local Habitations, an anthology featuring the poetry of five Bay Area Poets Laureate.

Videos and TV Appearances of Parthenia M. Hicks

2010 – 2013 Feb 2014
Los Gatos Poet Laureate
4.31 min

Harker Speaker Series
1.24 hours

Local Habitations Poetry Readings
1.30 approx min

Gathering of Poets
30 min


Become someone who smokes and has cocktails at five, wears kelly green dresses and talks about politics and theater all husky-voiced on the sofa. Replace futon with sofa—floral, roll-armed, ruffle-skirted. Take up yoga and conduct all errands in yoga gear, even on non-yoga days. Important to stock up on box wine, white. Important to smoke as much as possible and leave burn holes in tablecloth and scorch marks on bedside table and bathroom vanity. Replace milk crate with bedside table. Obtain gardening shoes. Put in garden. Develop gut-and-flat-rear-end combo, maybe get those little socks with the colored fluff balls at the back. Make No-bake Jell-O cheesecakes and meals based on the English muffin and canned hash. Casseroles. Give La Bonne Cuisine to younger person. Insist on convenience over quality in all things. Read murder mysteries in the middle of the day, checked out from the library—paperback, nothing with cats. Try new hobbies, like oil painting, but “just for myself.” Paint a bowl of lemons in pre-hurricane light, extolling the virtues of storms. Call your mother while smoking; deny that you are smoking. Laugh at spouse’s jokes as if brainless. Live in the moment, like an animal, or like someone who doesn’t want to think about the future or the past.

Margaret Luongo’s stories have appeared in Tin House, The Cincinnati Review, The Montserrat Review, FENCE,, the Pushcart Prize anthology and other publications. In 2008, LSU Press published her first story collection, If the Heart is Lean. She teaches creative writing at Miami University of Ohio.