knorr stevens

Jeff Knorr is the author of five books of poetry, Fire Season (forthcoming in 2023), The Color of a New Country (Mammoth Books), The Third Body (Cherry Grove Collections), Keeper (Mammoth Books), and Standing Up to the Day (Pecan Grove Press). His other works include Mooring Against the Tide: Writing Poetry and Fiction (Prentice Hall); the anthology, A Writer's Country (Prentice Hall); and The River Sings: An Introduction to Poetry (Prentice Hall). His poetry and essays have appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies including Chelsea, Connecticut Review, The Journal, North American Review, Red Rock Review, Barrow Street, and Like Thunder: Poets Respond to Violence in America. Jeff was the Poet Laureate for the city and county of Sacramento from 2012-2016. Jeff Knorr lives in Sacramento, California and is Professor of literature and creative writing at Sacramento City College.

The Sky Has Faded to the Wheat

I am standing in the barn alone.
The walls tilt west, as if the sun has dragged them this way.
I hoped quail would be here. For what?
To take the belly of shot my loneliness brings.
The White River is a mile away and I know
it sounds like your breathing when I am next to it.
I said to you once that heartbreak was a necessary evil.
I knew then I hd better fill the truck with gas.
When I step out beyond this faded, gray wood,
timbers squeaking against nails, the heat and distance
will remind me, that as far as I walk
I might never know your eyes again.

Jeanine Stevens is the author of the new volume NO LUNCH AMONG THE DAY STARS from Cold River Press [] Limberlost and Inheritor (Future Cycle Press). Her first poetry collection, Sailing on Milkweed, was published by Cherry Grove Collections. She is winner of the MacGuffin Poet Hunt, the William Stafford Award, The Stockton Arts Commission Award, The Ekphrasis Prize, and WOMR Cape Cod Community Radio National Poetry Award. Brief Immensity, won the Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Award. Gertrude Sitting: Portraits of Women, won The Heartland Review 2020 Chapbook Prize. She participated in Literary Lectures—Celtic Symbolism, sponsored by Poets and Writers. Work has appeared in North Dakota Review, Evansville Review, The Kerf, Stoneboat, Rosebud, and Chiron Review. Jeanine studied poetry at U.C. Davis, earned her M.A. at CSU Sacramento, and has a doctorate in Education. She is also a collage artist and has exhibited her work in various art galleries. Jeanine is Professor Emerita at American River College. Raised in Indiana, she now divides her time between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe. She also enjoys Romanian folk dance and working with collage.

Aphrodite’s Taverna

What was the thought that woke me in my wandering night mind:
a chore, unexpected offer, an old lover appearing aged and wanting?
You drank Rakia over crisp sea bass and melon. I switched to wine.
We danced to gypsy music accompanied by a modern clarinet.
Remember the young goddess in T Shirt and Jeans, palms pressed tight
moving toward you? So humid, you wore a headband there by the Bosporus.
Sunrise, purple shadows lace the lawn, grace leaded windows. The neon
pulses on and off above Aphrodite’s Taverna. I sip my morning coffee.
Sense impressions fade as late turning constellations diminish in a new star’s
first light. You invited me to ride with your caravan for six months.
Remembering last night’s dream: the crescent moon resembling a fish tail,
wobbling off-center, striking a yellow asteroid, I had to say “No.”
~A first line by Rumi