Poetry

New book: 
THE SAUNA IS FULL OF MAIDS, POEMS AND PHOTOS (Shanti Arts Press)
AVAILABLE NOW https://www.amazon.com/Sauna-Full-Maids-Cheryl-Fish/dp/195165174X/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&qid=1623949379&refinements=p_27%3ACheryl+J.+Fish&s=books&sr=1-4
“Steeped in the rich images of the Finnish north, Cheryl J. Fish’s latest collection of poetry is a meditation on how Finnish life and experiences entangle with mythic pasts and global modernities. Fish’s verse brilliantly captures the complex juxtapositions that characterize life in Finland today—from steaming saunas to nuclear reactors, from the Kalevala to Tom of Finland exhibitions, from Sámi lávvus to boozy Helsinki karaoke pubs. In her poetry, the mythologic remains with us, blooming in renewal in the everyday acts of diverse people: gay Helsinki; an immigrant from Afghanistan in a tiny northern village; a father rowing a boat with his dreadlocked son. The collection has a breath and cadence to it like a naked run over snow-covered ground, from a hot sauna to the cold sea.”
Tim Frandy, editor and translator of Inari Sámi Folklore: Stories from Aanaar
CHERYL READING from THE SAUNA IS FULL OF MAIDS featured on Don Yorty's poetry blog:
https://donyorty.com/2021/07/21/cheryl-j-fisch-reads-from-the-sauna-is-full-of-maids/
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CRATER & TOWER, poems of 9/11/01 and Mount St. Helens Volcanic eruption was featured in the Tribeca Citizen: https://tribecacitizen.com/2020/05/19/poetry-about-9-11-that-reverberates-today/
and in SUM, CUNY Faculty Research and Publications
https://sum.cuny.edu/september-eleventh-mount-st-helens-eruption-poetry-bmcc/

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Book of Poetry Links Trauma of 9/11 and Mount ... - CUNY SUM
TO PURCHASE CRATER & TOWER: 

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Cheryl J. Fish is the author of Make It Funny Make It Last (Belladonna Chapbook #171) 2014;  and My City Flies By (E.G. Chapbook, 1986) and has been a co-editor of the journals Poetry New York and Ahnoi.

To order my chapbook, Make It Funny Make it Last, see link:

http://www.belladonnaseries.org/chaplets/


Poems were published  in Not Enough Night, Naropa Institute's on-line poetry journal:
Box of Noses (for Josh)

In the Mangroves

Oscillations, Or Waterlogged

Yours and Mine 

Supine Dome (Bucky Fuller at Black Mountain College)


 
Samples of Previously published poetry
 Excerpt of poem first published in B City:
 

F I S H   N E T S

 

By not owning a single pair

of fishnet stockings, have I

kept you from these arms?

Having otherwise endured

the resistance of Cybex

weights,

they wish to

tangle betwixt yours.

 

The fish

the net

legs meant to make

you repent

break up hours of

good works...


POEMS published in BIG CITY LIT, including

"Home Alone" "Night Light"



Off Side          Appeared in Gyroscope Review 16.4, 2016, p. 39

 

Prepared for rain, we arrive early wearing ponchos

Search for soccer field number two, Red Hook, Brooklyn

In striking distance of Ikea’s flagship

Stockholm-on-the-Gowanus

Blackened factories, ships’ containers

Trucks fire up tacos, serve plantains and guava drinks

 

Our team gets called off-sides

Again and again, a whistle, a hand, nothing counts

A foot might wedge or pivot in air

And end up east or west, anywhere

They don’t stand a chance against the bulky Latino strikers

elbows gnash their bony-boy physiques

in fancy uniforms, shiny red-and-yellow cleats

Our coach’s panicky indignation fails to ignite passion

The ball arrives first

The others barrel it into our net when we miss

Their siblings’ mock-kick on the sidelines, a dog runs on the field.

 

Losing takes grace.

I head to the truck for a shake

Amid whistles, bewilderment   

One boy boots a crushed Pepsi can

Into the blinding sun. 

http://joom.ag/162Q


Excerpt of poem that appeared in The Village Voice and Response
and is included in The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish-American Poetry  http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/the-bloomsbury-anthology-of-contemporary-jewish-american-poetry-9781441125576/

GENERATION X, CROWN HEIGHTS, 1995

 

Generation X Lubavich boys

listening to Sun Ra

and getting high

eating kosher coldcuts by the pound

mingling halakah and vodka

can you reverse baal t'shuvah?

But in the streets near home, they still wear their

yarmulkes

and if momma begs, will straggle into Shul

In Crown Heights

staying out all night smoking with Rastas

on Utica--

  Six, seven, eight, ten

children in two-family homes. Studying in Yeshivas

no science, no math, no sex ed--you get married,

go to bed.  Everything

is in the Talmud.

Lapsed Lubavitch boys dancing with voluptuous

Caribbean women in midnight discos

screwing maybe a secular Jew...

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excerpt of poem that appeared in Talisman

U N D U L A T I O N                              

 

So many boats cruise by

          awakening criss-crosses

          in Jersey's pierced

hourglass

 

          this is the Rhine, or

up the Seine, it's about proper

width and color, almost palpable.

 

          Radiant sun

releases apologies, a million

little frogs...

 

It's your move.

 Come at me straight.

Anywhere isn't elsewhere

 

the sun sinks earlier

and earlier

September a reminder

of purpose--

the writing in the book.

 

This is the Hudson:

          strange glistening body

out my window...

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 SONGS CAPTIVATE THE TRAVELER (from THE SAUNA IS FULL OF MAIDS)


Could it be a sha-man, or a sha-woman blows through this

wind and water?  Joik; poetry; exoneration. Songs captivate

the traveler. Human-animal-stone-tree. Rituals, rivalries.

We tried to find my spirit guide in her Brooklyn apartment. Is

Is it a turtle, a rabbit, a magpie? We don’t know.

The Hebrew word for soul, nephesh denotes all animal life.

 

Poems begin and end as songs. How can the cuckoo bless a forest

if only one tree is left unfelled?

I dwell in the Northland for inspired intervals. Lapland. Ostrobothnia.

Helsinki. Troms-Finnmark. Tampere.

I apologize for my Americanness. The sound of my voice,

Voice of my sounds    interferes with sky shapes.

Impatient with what separates us. Meet me again soon..

Silence.  River I miss your shadows.


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