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  November 2004
volume 2 number 4
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  featured poets
  Steve Abee
  Neil Aitken
  Larry Colker
  Nimah Nawwab
  Alice Pero
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Alice Pero November 2004



    Alice Pero's poetry has been published in many magazines and anthologies, including Three Mile Harbor, Salonika, San Gabriel Valley Poets Quarterly, The California Poetry Calendar, Word Thursday, TrĂ©s di-verse-city, Albatross, Lummox, and The California Quarterly. She can be found online at among others.
    Alice's first book of poetry, Thawed Stars, published in 1999, was hailed by Kenneth Koch as having "clarity" and "surprises." She has on two poetry prizes from the National League of American Pen Women, an award from The California State Poetry Society, and awards from the San Gabriel Poetry Quarterly. Thawed Stars is available on or directly from the author at her website.
    Alice has taught poetry to children in private and public schools for 12 years and is a member of the CA Poets in the Schools. In October 2002 she founded a new poetry reading series in Santa Monica, Moonday, which she runs with her co-host, Anne Silver. More information on

Alice's website



When I Lie

I'd like to have that wide-eyed look,

empty eyes like the ABC at 6 newswoman

with the stiff blond hair-sprayed hair

who has the mask that was frozen in time

by some catastrophe

so she couldn't stop announcing them

one after the other, her voice like a steel trap

When I lie, I'd like to hold the universe perfectly still,

not jostling anything, keeping the status quo, poker face

When I lie I wouldn't see the stack of cards,

all falling in a ripple, catching me up,

tiny sounds echoing in my ears

When I lie, I'd rather not flush or sweat, skin clammy,

I'd just keep it smooth, even,

no one knowing my dark inside

When I lie I'd like it to be like a poem,

one full of places I've never been,

people I could never be,

songs I never sang,

loves I never spoke of,

a lie that might be true

copyright 2004 Alice Pero



The Silence

The silence I am looking for

is punctuated with bird song

the quiet suddenly

making bird sound into music

The silence I am wishing for

is after the baby finally falls asleep,

the house settling like an old horse,

comfortable in its stable,

soft wood creaking between the rest points

The silence I am longing for

is after the love making, bodies sinking deep

in an ineffable quiet, quilts falling on them

like snow on a windless night

The silence I am asking for

is the rests between the notes,

the long breath before the flutist plays

long pearl shaped tones,

the nothing that makes the sound carry far

The emptiness you want to fill

with everything

copyright 2004 Alice Pero



Another Rain Poem

The rain is not as beautiful

as you might think

It is loaded with thoughts

those grammatical errors

fights with your ex

a stumble in the dark

old shoes

The rain streams down

sides of buildings

holding us captive inside

Even though the lights are on

we squint, stare out windows

try to feel cozy

On rainy days words seem closeted

We try to find each other

across large carpeted rooms

The dog's bark is muffled

coming from the garage

Whoever invented rain thought grief

would make flowers grow

Cold would force smiles

a drenching wet

would bring the happy village idiot

to his senses

We have to find reasons for quiet rain

the mist coming off the mountains

the slow drips from the eaves

excited birds' extra twitter

at the bird feeder

a log on the fire

But I agree with that old Greek playwright

who said that rain is merely Zeus

pissing in a sieve

I am glad the air is so kind to it

somehow turning it sweet

as it falls on our heads

copyright 2004 Alice Pero