Portland Review

Poetry, prose, and art since 1956.

Shark’s Teeth and Saltwater

—   Let’s say there is a shark, salivating sea salt for the taste of splintered wood and bone.   You are bone centered and blood thick on the rickety bow of a ship.   It is not a hefty bottomed floating thing, but more of a small sailing ship, tipping to the slant of waves crashing.   You are… Read more →

Dorothy Tries

  — What pilgrim shadows— how stubbornly they tail you, children better left at home. The tawny stalker slinks, sour puss following that silver marauder— always after your heart, girl. You are dragging yourselves toward paradise: one brick, one brick. By now your feet are swollen, the size of pomegranates, pulsing fuchsia inside hand-me-down pumps. They’ll callous your feet in… Read more →


Link: Check out the Portland Review website for our new weekly feature, “Magnes’s Mailbag,” run by our Managing Editor, Michael Magnes! He welcomes questions not just about writing but about life, and is much like a guru, although only the sense that he sometimes floats.

Penis for Sharon Olds

     —     There’s nothing wrong with the Pope’s penis or the Pope himself, both are overrated carbon matters made important by his Catholic aura. If thought biochemically, it’s not much different from the vagina of the nuns, who you, nonetheless, never question, assuming they’re women, that they indeed are, subordinate to the delicate clapper at the centre… Read more →

My Yard Becomes the Apollo Theater

  —   I tossed a handful of peanuts into my backyard attracting a trio of jays, screeching, screeching, to my window where liquid notes spilled from their throats as if from saxophones:   Salt Peanuts, Salt Peanuts, they sang from slender twigs, their kews and jrrs and green arpeggios reminding me of Gillespie and Parker and Powell:   Bebop… Read more →