Autumn/Winter Issue

Summer 2004 Issue

Winter 2004 Issue

Summer 2003 Issue

Editor's Note


SNR's Writers


Smelling Spain Again

Heat, dust rim the shade of dim twilight.
So hot -- August manifests its own siestas
with after glow; embers bright
behind still and shuttered louvers.
So quiet - imagine the mantilla, the fan,
the powdered skin of sponge cakes senoras bake
beneath black and summer lace, greasepaint
dripping like a tapas oil; slowly rocking;
plates of oranges at their feet.
Wind picks up and then is stony breeze again.
Once again settles in the sickroom stillness.
Stone pinnacle cathedrals, like piney lofts,
spiral off to space, carrying centuries of protective prayers
or immense disdain for a city built on this brutal plain.
Prado heroes, martyrs, victims peer imperious or with
fear: human flotsam caught up in the highest crosstrees
tolling out the first glimpse of doomed armadas: the end of the end of empire.
And then: a room, a woman singing in the shroud of trees
and -- of a sudden -- the rose you own turns violent,
wide open and upended, with the purple smell of violets in Morocco.
Then: you watching me, as I swallow them.

What We Have on Our Hands

Something must be on the verge of beginning to begin to be.
The vandals of our lives are as obsolete as old coins
and the size of roses are failing down the street:
a churchyard, a tower clock revives the day, a joke
that time will keep on going and latter-day chrysanthemums bloom
as if nature blesses those who stand and wait; and I think of October
as the light that fails, the time clock's precious ticks as fools 
time as a false belief in what it is to remain self-contained
what is possible as what it means to slip toward the past
what will be as being born as a debtor to the posthumous
what is real as the chance to drown at any moment
permanence as what is marked for every foe that turns
as surely as the roses' blossoms fall and every residue
as the realm of worms or resin holding fast to some pine bough's
keep; and, then, of all the winters that have come relentless and secure.
Something must be on verge of beginning to begin to be: a place
to where we plunge, we plunge with no more need for stealth than midnight.

Waterfall Concealed from the Road

It drops whiteness -
like snow cascading
or the lace flounces
trembling up and down
a flamingo dancer
(it is the white you will see
inside a church in early
November, the veils of girls
at First Communion - cold,
clean white, the way you remember
      tales of absolution)
              spreading wetness where we lie
              making wetness    whiteness of our own.

John J. Mundt is a poet and writer living in New York City. Previously published work has appeared in The New York Quarterly, The Pittsburgh Quarterly, Change, Ink, The Portable Muse, Euphony, Art & Understanding, and Christopher Street. He has degree in journalism from St. Bonaventure University and a masters in media from New York University.

Copyright 2005, John J. Mundt. This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.