May 1, 2012 POETRY / FICTION













Advice to Vanity




Andrew Feindt



At her daughter’s vanity,


mother, reflecting, advises,


“One day you’ll miss your armpit hair.




“For now, take pride in rite:


let fingertips congratulate technique,


praise razor’s gleam, efficiency.




“By three steel blades and lubricating strip,


grooming has made your skin smooth,


severed beast’s hidden coat from woman’s skin,




“shaved outline into America’s silhouette of mate;


relish conformity as compliment,


innocence swapped for passive seduction.




“You have matured into ritual,


but beware: anniversaries will cultivate resentment –


life lost to unappreciated preparation for the everyday.




“Preening as bait will be priority


until marriage (and after on special occasions)


until libidos settle, atrophy.




“Then, reflections will seem strangers:


a little girl in her mother’s shawl


clomping around in shoes three times her feet.”










Again in my Monster’s Mouth




Andrew Feindt




gnawed between rows of jagged teeth,


embedded bottles – smashed open, hungry –


drool cheap whiskey anger over bitten lips.




Soaked-in chagrin, subsequent helpings –


lime-tainted gin – revealed your face,


elongated mural of acrylic aerosol


along arched walls of my tunnel vision:




your frozen jaw dropped in desperate howl,


your arms outstretched for light.


After the fifth drink, there are no apologies;


a sober breath promised to not look back.



With stare centered on dark, infinite throat,


my slurred shouts swallowed, regurgitated echoes


tugged eyelids blind, burned nostrils numb.



These were the tears – wet, unintelligible screams


waves of goodbye – which wore away sobriety’s shallow inscription


from the monument I dedicated to you


and your patience, just as thin.









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  1. Ronald Fischman May 02, at 16:24

    Andrew's retelling of the feminine ritual could come right out of The Feminine Mystique. The question is ownership. If the daughter owns her body, men, and other women, will love it and want to merge with it. If a man or woman owns his or her sexuality as a lifelong gift, it can last for decades. Obviously, the poet succeeded in evoking a collision of worlds and spheres.

    • blackswanpoetry May 13, at 18:55

      Thank you Andrew for your comment. I love to see where my pieces are taken by the reader.


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