Ann Arbor Review


Gerald Clark
Lyn Lifshin
Paul B. Roth
Ndue Ukaj
Anne Babson
Laszlo Slomovits
Qinqin Huang
Duane Locke
Adhar Maheshwari
Shutta Crum
Odimegwu Onwumere
Anthony Seidman
Chris Lord
Running Cub
Amit Parmessur
John F. Buckley &
Martin Otto

Joanie Freeman
Alan Britt
Jennifer Burd &
Laszlo Slomovits

Sonnet Mondal
Karyn M. Bruce
John Tustin
Jennifer Burd
Michael Gessner &
Daniel Davis

Martin Camps &
Anthony Seidman

Fred Wolven

Holly Day

M. J. Iuppa
John Grochalski
Catherine O'Brien
Joe Milford
Byron Matthews
Joseph Murphy
Dike Okoro

Steve Barfield






Ann Arbor Review

is an independent

International Journal & ezine

Copyright (c) 2012 Fred Wolven
All rights revert back to each poet.
--editor / Southeastern Florida


Fred Wolven, editor

Submissions via e-mail:





I stand in front of the mirror and wrap
shroud around it; now it is
more accurate.

And after I bind it with a thick burgundy
cord, and lock you up in my cabinet, I
think: now we are both set free.

He says to me: ties bind; but I reply with: bindings
And as the plane taxies off the runway, I think
of the time we were playing hopscotch
down by the pond behind our house,

when he found a baby magpie under the gum-tree.
It was chirping, and when we looked up,
we say a black-and-white head rise from the nest,
calling out shrilly when it saw its young cupped

in my brother's hand.  He climbed the tree carefully,
gripping the branches with his spare hand
until he reached the nest, where he slid the chick back in.
He told me that baby birds had to remain in their nest

till they could fly.  And that birds were not like us,
they were not bound to a family like we were.
That once they left their nests, they went their separate
ways.  They were not rooted to one spot

like we were.

My friend says I'm obsessed with finding my own Xanadu.
That I'm looking for some kind of utopian paradise.

I don't know if she knows that the word 'utopia'
comes from the Greek phrase ou topos,
which means no place, or nothingness.

So I'm dreaming of a paradise that doesn't exist.

I'm searching for nowhere.

On the morning of my seventh birthday,
my grandmother gave me a parakeet.
She taught me how to clip the feathers
on the outermost part of its wings

so that it would not be able to fly properly.
That way, it can't escape, she told me.

And in the afternoon, my brother and I re-enacted scenes
from the American Revolution that he learnt
in his history lessons.  And as we chanted:
give me liberty or give me death,

I watch my new parakeet flap its wings

The gum-tree behind my house has been eaten away
by mildew.  Now only a stump remains.

It always seemed so tall and sturdy
when I had been just a child.  I used to believe
that I could climb it straight up to a place of my own.
To my personal paradise.  But

I had not known how to climb a tree then.
Instead, I watched wide-eyed as my brother
swung himself upwards from branch to branch
(angry tears welling, arms still red

and stinging from our father's belt),
seeking our utopia.  Nothingness.

Time will not forget.

(It has been a year since I lifted off from this
airport.  And when the plane touches down,
there will be one fewer face welcoming me
at the gate,

and as I reach out for them,
will my arms hold
empty air?)

Why did he never tell me that the ties that
bind tightest exist only to be shredded and torn,
while those that you believed you could cut
always turn out to be stronger than we thought?

I lift you out of my cabinet and you fall
to the ground, staring back unblinkingly
as we join hands on your hard, glassy

surface to unwrap you from your black
sheath; but though we deny our exact
reflection, to free you (and me) we cannot

walk separate: our entwined hands
must not push back each


Qinqin Huang, Singapore


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