A Journal of Poetry and Kindred Prose

Charlotte Mandel

has published seven books of poetry. Her collection titled Rock Vein Sky from Midmarch Arts Press, was listed as a Best Poetry Book Read for Fall 2008 by Montserrat Review.

Other titles include Sight Lines and two poem-novellas of feminist biblical re-vision, The Life of Mary and The Marriages of Jacob.

An independent scholar, she has published a series of essays on the role of cinema in the life and work of poet H.D. She edited the Eileen W. Barnes Award Anthology, Saturday’s Women. She recently retired from teaching poetry writing at Barnard College Center for Research on Women.

Visit her website.

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The Amsler Grid Test

A square enclosing squares
as on graph paper,
in its center, a critical black dot

meant to mirror the pupil of your eye.
Just a boring game until one day
the lines mimic tangled wire

and the horizontal slats of window blinds
crimp in the middle like a sheaf of wheat.
The roof across the street

dances the shadow of a fringe
over your forehead,
and you envy the canine sense by which

some breeds appraise the world
through a fall of feathery fur,
an obstacle

made up for by sniffing
mightily at strangers,
licking fingers that have sorted food.

Bless all stoic seeing-eye dogs
and those whose hands
seek their halters.