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poetry  2


Ghosts of Madrid


     by  Nina Romano



 There’s a place called Madrid

accent on the first syllable,

situated not in Spain,

but in New Mexico

between Santa Fe and Albuquerque—

minutes from both—

where history and destiny awaited

rancheros, conquistadores, fortune seekers
of gold, copper and fame

on the Turquoise Trail,

running through Lone Butte,

Cerrillos and Golden. 


What was once the ocean’s floor

stretched far and wide, now   

undulates in the precision

of low mountain desert 

where pinion, juniper, yucca,

purple-jointed, purple-flowered

cane cholla blooms,

and prickly pear flowers yellow;

where roadrunners, jackrabbits, coyotes

scamper wildly among petroglyphs

on rocks in high desert.


Roads, mountains, hills

and silver mines, land

with stunning views

of the Sangre de Cristos Mountains,

land running red with iron and men’s blood—

settlers in the environs of Madrid;

here is where they wanted to be:

new residents from other places,

artists, craftsmen

poets, writers, lovers,

in deepest love with nature,

but in the middle years

of the 20th century

Madrid was a ghost town

replete with resident specters

whose aftershave perfumes the air,

whose steps are heard running on catwalks,

beneath loggias, on staircases of old saloons.

And though they leave no shadow,

curtains move when they pass by.


Madrid, a reborn town,

flourishes once more,

a little municipality

not far from the

Santuario de Chimayó

with it’s adobe walls, sacred dirt,

and heirloom chile woven into wreaths

for both natives and touistas


I know because once I traveled there—

I know because I lived and breathed

among the versicolored flowers

of the staghorn cholla.

I know because now I haunt this habitat.                      





Bio: Nina Romano earned an MA from Adelphi University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Florida International University. She lived in Rome, Italy, for twenty years where many of her poems and stories are set.  Romano is fluent in Italian and Spanish. She has interned for Marie Howe, Denise Duhamel, and C. K. Williams at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, and taught literature as an adjunct professor at St. Thomas University.  Recently, Romano has presented writing workshops at the Sanibel Island Writers Conference and Florida Gulf Coast University.


Her short fiction, memoir, reviews and poetry appear in The Rome Daily American, The Chrysalis Reader, Whiskey Island, Gulf Stream Magazine, Grain, Voices in Italian Americana, Vox, Chiron Review, The Salt Lake City Weekly, Rough Writer’s Ink, Mangrove Review, Irrepressible Appetites, Roads Literary Magazine, Night Train, A Little Poetry, ExPatLit, GULFSTREAM!NG, Grey Sparrow Journal, The Northville Review, The Bosphorous Art Project Quarterly, Strong Verse, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Writers Ink, Lung Poetry Journal, The Poetry of Marriage Anthology, Tinfoildresses, Wilderness, Perceptions, Poetry Salzburg Review, and Crannóg Magazine.


Excerpts from her novel-in-progress, The Secret Language of Women, appear in Dimsum: Asia's Literary Journal, Southern Women’s Review and Driftwood.


Romano is the author of two poetry collections: Cooking Lessons by Rock Press, which was submitted for a Pulitzer Prize, and Coffeehouse Meditations, from Kitsune Books.



The Last True Rendezvous

          by  K.D. Hazelwood


Autumn’s invisible paintbrush

Flecks yellow into golden oak,

With lovely strokes into maple and  weeping willow leaves

With purposeful pumpkin highlights

Hoping to harmonize with October.


But the paint will not paste or keep

These crumpling crumpets on

With their, wasting, withering party hats.

It’s just the last, grand illumination,

The last stand-


The elated exit of a show off.


Sunlight time

Just science,

Predictable  photosynthesis.


Ah, but I suspect

That the yawning tree leaves

Simply grew tired of the single color of six months,

The boring mono-toned attire!




I swear the bravest of leaves

Ransacked their closet,

And snatched that russet

Burnt-orange skirt,



That Red Dress,

The flaming one!

For that Saturday night at midnight,

For the last, true rendezvous of the soul,

The last real glow of youth,

Just before the wrinkling.


Bio: The GSJ editor, author of CoyoteBat!-now available at :







         by  Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal


In the green sea

I wanted to drown

my heart.


My heart was ripe.

I wanted to take

a bite.


My orange soul

was the color of

the sun.


In the blinding

sun I wanted my

heart baked.


In the evening

I wanted to take

a nap.


My soul dreamt in

orange colors.

My soul shined like

the orange sun.



Bio: Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal was born in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.
He works in the mental health field in Los Angeles, CA.  His latest chapbook,
Digging A Grave, will be published by Kendra Steiner Editions.  New poems
will appear in Abbey, Pig In A Poke, and Yellow Mama.