The Other Side of Panic

by Martina Reisz Newberry

It begins
with the desert’s hot sky,
as always,
alchemizing grief and loathing
into love stories.
Here is the other side of panic:
a dug-in-deep
that makes your
marrow itch.
the desert underwrites
your soul’s story.
You become
untethered from yourself
which may
may not
be a good thing.
Such intricacy!
People in the sand
looking for closure
as if there was such an animal.
“We’ll do this
so we can have
they say when
what they mean is
they want every gory detail.
They want to smell and taste
the who/what/where/when/why
in each sanctification
of violence.
I dream a lot
in this desert.
My dreams
turn to fish line
which I use
to sew what is real
to what is not.

What We Can’t Forgive

Martina Reisz Newberry's picture

Martina Reisz Newberry’s most recent book is WHAT WE CAN’T FORGIVE. She is also the author of LATE NIGHT RADIO, PERHAPS YOU COULD BREATHE FOR ME. HUNGER, AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE: POEMS 1996-2006, NOT UNTRUE & NOT UNKIND (Arabesques Press) and RUNNING LIKE A WOMAN WITH HER HAIR ON FIRE: Collected Poems (Red Hen Press)., Ms. Newberry is the winner of i.e. magazine’s Editor’s Choice Poetry Chapbook Prize for 1998: AN APPARENT, APPROACHABLE LIGHT., She is the author of LIMA BEANS AND CITY CHICKEN: MEMORIES OF THE OPEN HEARTH—a memoir of her father—published by E.P. Dutton and Co. in 1989., She has written four novels and several books of poetry, has been included in Ascent Aspirations first Anthology and has been widely published in literary magazines and books such as: Amelia, Ascent Aspirations, Bellingham Review, Southern Review of Poetry, and others., Newberry lives in Palm Springs, California with her husband Brian and their benevolent dictator/cat, Gato. All her books are available from

Last updated August 05, 2011