April 26 – Judy Kronenfeld

Lorenzo Judges

Welcome to National Poetry Month and Gyroscope Review’s month-long celebration of poets – and their diverse Writing Assistants. Enjoy the audio/video works by previous Gyroscope Review poets and be sure to check out the Author and fun Writing Assistant Bio at the end of each NPM poet post. Don’t forget to tag the poet on Social Media and let them know you enjoyed their work!



After dropping gutter ball upon gutter ball,
my mother, in her skinny eighties,
who’d never bowled or played a sport 
in her long, immigrant life, got up for her last
try, following our visiting son’s sixth or seventh
spare. Desperate for something to do
in our town, he’d told us and his grandparents
bowling would be fun.
So Mom stood at the lane in the Grasshoppers flats
she hadn’t exchanged for bowling shoes,
holding the ball in both hands, fingers
avoiding the holes, then set it down,
with a little nudge.

The ball began to roll with preternatural
slowness; it seemed it might take eternity
for her turn to be done. 
It was infinitely slower than the arc
of the moral universe, but surprisingly
steady. Still, we could have placed bets 
on inertia or friction while waiting—until
it hit the head pin at the magic angle,
and as we gaped, and mother clapped
her hands together, mesmerized,
one pin after another languidly
lost balance, tripping a brother, 
until they all lay felled like a forest
during a volcanic eruption, and the scoreboard
lit up. 

What were the odds? One to ten thousand? 
It felt like an oppressed
peasant winning the presidency
in some third-world country.
My mother’s smile looked shy, 
but secretly victorious as a Valhalla warrior’s.
And Dad and Gramps and Dan and I
whooped and hooted for her joy. 

Your Daily Poem, October  6, 2021. 	http://www.yourdailypoem.com/listpoem.jsp?poem_id=3866

If I Could Use the Wind Phone…

If I Could Use the Wind Phone...
	Inside [the phone box] there is an old black telephone, disconnected, that
 	carries voices into the wind....[P]eople who have lost someone... pick up
 	the receiver to speak to the other side. 
	—Literary Hub, March 17, 2021

I think I would feel shy with Mom and Dad, settled 
for decades in their grey subterranean country,
wandering passageways in their no longer new
shapes permeable as vapor, whispering
in their no longer new language—fainter
than air brushing my ears—
and faltering, now, in the language
we once shared. 

It might be easier to talk with my brother-in-law, 
only three years gone, to finally return
his generous weekly calls inquiring after each
of the members of his brother’s nuclear family,
even the dogs. Perhaps I could be
hearty with him, as if he were in for a brief
hospital stay, and coming home soon. 
But my questions would stick in my throat,
as they do when I think of my uncles
and aunts, my sister-in-law, my cousins
and friends—all dispersed on the wind:
Are you sleeping comfortably?
Are you able to eat?

Those who manage to use the wind phone
must talk the way I talk to our living dogs, 
patting myself	with words as I move
through my day on those rare occasions
when you, my love, have traveled far from home... 					
For my lunch—tuna on sourdough? Or cheese			
and tomato? Chime in, guys.
But, if you depart to Forever
before me, and silence buzzes
like static in my ears, and the house fills
with a viscous invisible fog
I self-consciously push through,
preternaturally alone—		
your absolute Absence
will make all words withdraw. 

Originally published in Gyroscope Review (Fall Crone Power Issue, 2022). 


Ally and Austin (the larger of my two dog helpers) are, apparently, half-siblings; my husband and I adopted them from a rescue center in Southern California over five years ago, when they were about five. They love to keep me company in my study (oops, their den) while I am writing. Mainly they sleep. Or air out their bellies, holding their four paws in the air, bent at whatever the dog equivalent of “wrist” is (while sort of sleeping). They are excellent, calming company. They never comment unfavorably on rough drafts. In fact, they never comment at all. Perhaps it’s undeserved, but I like being their be-all and end-all; when they wake up (those relatively few moments), their eyes are fixed on mine. In the photo, they are occupying a living room chair they have usurped, having followed me there.



Judy Kronenfeld’s five full-length books of poetry include Groaning and Singing (FutureCycle, 2022), Bird Flying through the Banquet (FutureCycle, 2017), and Shimmer (WordTech, 2012) (all of these are available on Amazon). Her poems have appeared in four dozen anthologies and in many journals including Cider Press Review, Gyroscope Review, MacQueen’s Quinterly, New Ohio Review, One Art, Rattle, Sheila-Na-Gig, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Verdad. Judy has also published criticism—including King Lear and the Naked Truth (Duke, 1998)—short stories, and creative nonfiction. Her sixth book of poems, If Only There Were Stations of the Air, will be released by Sheila-Na-Gig Editions at the end of March or beginning of April, and her third chapbook, Oh Memory, You Unlocked Cabinet of Amazements!, is forthcoming from Bamboo Dart in June, 2024. Her memoir-in-essays, Apartness, will be published by Inlandia Books in 2024/2025.

Pre-orders Stations until April 1

Don’t forget to read the Spring 2024 Issue of Gyroscope Review.

NPM 2024 Poets

April 1 – Cal Freeman

April 2 – Susanna Lang

April 3 – Marion Brown

April 4 – Melissa Huff

April 5 – Elaine Sorrentino

April 6 – Alison Stone

April 7 – Alexandra Fössinger

April 8 – Laurie Kuntz

April 9 – Dick Westheimer

April 10 – Wendy McVicker

April 11 – J.I. Kleinberg

April 12 – Ellen Austin-Li

April 13 – D. Dina Friedman

April 14 – Connie Post

April 15 – Georgina Key

April 16 – Judith McKenzie

April 17 – Jacqueline Jules

April 18 – Amanda Hayden

April 19 – Lisa Zimmerman

April 20 – Richard Jordan

April 21 – Beth Kanell

April 22 – Kari Gunter-Seymour

April 23 – Jane Edna Mohler

April 24 – Susan Cummins Miller

April 25 – Kathleen Wedl

April 26 – Judy Kronenfeld