Poems by Richard Fein


They’ve found each other at last these voyagers.
Her star is Virgo  and his is distant Andromeda.
Diligent dream chasers for sure.
Just a hug away in the  car
but the expanding cosmos can’t contain them.
Through the windshield they measure the sky.
Fingerbreadths  apart at least for now
but imagination radiates out to the heavens
so their separate paths will surely grow to galaxies apart.
Yet for today they’re still only an embrace away.


Two lovers belly on belly form one mass,
a two headed, four armed, four legged soul,
a kind of conjoined Hindu god and goddess.
And within them lies the center of gravity.
In the missionary position,
woman is confined between man and earth
while man moons the man in the moon.
And even if it’s only by a fraction of an inch,
he can yet journey closer to or farther from
that heavenly peeping tom.
Yes, of course, when she=s on top she also can moon the moon.
But the pair’s center of gravity usually lies not within the woman
or in the fissure between the love-locked duo,
but somewhere within the male for usually he is of greater mass.
And in this cosmos the lesser mass orbits the greater one.
But turn the hot pair sideways
and behold an equal sign between them,
with gravity’s center belly-button to belly-button.
True, no longer can either moon the moon.
but man and woman are now free to move
in  and out, in and out, in and out,
with respect to each other’s position.


My bones stand naked in my skin,
as I’m stalled at this fork in the road.
Time for rebirth as a butterfly or a snake,
but which one?
A butterfly carries no trace of its former self,
the worm it once was;
a  snake keeps its crawling form
clearly hinting at what it will become,
yet a bigger snake.
Butterflies have wings and so are closer to angels;
snakes are more down to earth.
Butterflies are transient beauties.
In the “once upon a time”
one might have landed on Eve’s hair
as she stood naked in her flesh.
They die quickly these fluttering angels,
after their nuptial flights.
But the snakes around me today
live through many frosty winters.
They resurrect themselves each spring
and flick out their tongues to taste the air,
find their mates and survive the mating.
Cold blooded, slithering, slow, earthbound, forked tongued,
but craftier than Eve,
I’ll be a snake.


What’s left for an old champ but to reminisce
about long ago hard won victories?
Touchdowns, homeruns, they’re now just stale statistics.
Ah, but in a playpen of letters
a hokey writer can once more turn toddler
and play with every new sounding word
as long as he’s an old hand at gripping a pen.
With so many new toys itching his stiffening fingers
there is no need to polish
the threadbare glories of long-ago trophies,
when his wordsmith fingers might
burnish from some humdrum loving cup
yet his greatest revelation.


Undress the mind  as the naked ego leans over the restroom sink.
Everyone at least once and probably more will make such a stop along the way.
That time when seemingly you’re travelling nowhere and must pull over——
just to rest, to have coffee, to recheck your map to wherever, or to just puke.
A dialogue with the mirror begins; curses reverberate against the walls,
and self-recriminations hurl at your face-to-face reflection.
Tears and pounding fists, a flatulence of feelings,
as hands are scrubbed clean of rage, regret, and grime.
And then the sudden  embarrassing question——
oh no, is anyone listening behind the bathroom stalls?
No, you’re truly alone. What a relief. What a curse.
Then comb your hair and straighten your tie.
And if you’re a lady reapply mascara and lipstick.
Then out the door and back into everyday life.
But lest ye forget, one more question, the toilet paper,
is it trailing alongside your feet yet again?

About the Author
Richard Fein was a finalist in The 2004 New York Center for Book Arts Chapbook Competition
A Chapbook of his poems was published by Parallel Press, University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has been published in many web and print journals such as: Reed, Southern Review, Roanoke Review, Skyline Magazine, Birmingham  Poetry Review, Mississippi Review, Paris/Atlantic,  Canadian Dimension and many others.