April 7 – Alexandra Fössinger

NPM Thorpe

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!



How Oma spread the dough 
in the air above her head, 
her spidery fingers moving too fast 
for my eyes to follow – a circus game 

of spinning – 
expanding it to the impossible 
size of her kitchen table,

this paper-thin sheet she filled 
with the ingredients 
of her harsh love: cut apples, cinnamon, sugar, 
pignoli, and a half glass of rhum.

I watched, caught in the heavy weight of
inheritance, its simple inevitability.

For years, my mother tried to learn it, 
yet never mastered 
its secret technique. The dough 
kept tearing. All those holes 

made by her even harsher not-quite love, 
quiet indifference, betrayed her lack of kinship, 
made it impossible to achieve an intact
Apfelstrudel, to attain belonging;

while I learned, right there, how to be an orphan, 
that the beauty of things sometimes
lies in being taken to the grave.

Published in Gyroscope Review, Crone Power Issue 2023

Eye-contact in four acts

Eye-contact in four acts

The early morning,
as it awakens,
is so secret a place 
I always believe
no one sees it but me.

Remade translucent,
I pass by the Arab 
grocery store
of Lilla Tvärgatan 
where I notice a magpie, 
trapped in the body 
of a crow. 
It sits on the fruit stall,
watching me intently 
until discomfort for 
its recent shape
gives it an itch so awkward 
it tries to shake its 
plumage off, 
then sullenly it steals 
a shiny grape – 
deep dark jewel – 
and flies away.

When I stop in the middle
of the cobble street
(where it suddenly no 
longer smells of drain),
to write this down,
a woman stares 
shamelessly at me:
bewildered, half-disdainful.
How could she know that hands 
can still be used for writing,
that they remain an observant 
servant of the gaze.

I laugh. Carefully place 
my pen into my handbag – 
its bed amidst the books 
and other pens – 
to memory-laden sleep. 
Then I look up: out of 
the wooden balk, 
the yellow scaffold, 
multiple eyes are fixed on me.
The Gods of things unnoticed 
benevolently smile at me,
‘We know you’re here’, 
they say,
‘Go on, go graciously on.’

Published in Contrapasso, by Cephalopress, November 2022, https://www.amazon.com/-/de/dp/1838220623/ 


Hugo is a very introvert cephalopod who likes to keep his ink mostly to himself. Sometimes he will lend Alexandra one of his nine brains, though never an arm. He doesn’t mind being misunderstood, or not being listened to, because he knows his poetry is not for everyone. The important thing for him is to express himself with absolute sincerity.


Alexandra Fössinger is the author of the poetry collection Contrapasso (Cephalopress, 2022) and the forthcoming chapbook Recount and Prophecy (Alien Buddha Press, 2024). Her work is published in Tears in the Fence, Gyroscope Review, Oyster River Pages, Feral, Mono, and La Piccioletta Barca, among others.

She is one of the winners of Best Microfiction 2024 chosen by Grant Faulkner, and mostly interested in the spaces between things, the tiny shifts in time and space, the overlooked, the unsaid.

Book Link:

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