First edition | Postmortem

First Edition features new original works by Northern California Jewish writers. Appearing the first issue of each month, it includes a poem and an excerpt from a novel or short story.


After seven days 

Stalking verbs, phrases

Nouns and similes

Like a tourist on safari

She arrives home to the tribe

Dried out plants

The cat’s bowl, empty

She hauls laundry,

Garbage, take out containers

Combats strange smells.

After a week of breathing

Mountain misery a sense

Of home in the wide open

She faces closed up rooms

Windows locked

And a certain gym sock

Aroma permeating the bedroom.

Did Odysseus suffer so?

It tries her sense of humor

As she cleans up the mess,

But after scrubbing the refrigerator,

Tossing moldy food

She loses her cool

When finally

She misses her mother

Who taught her how

To run a tight ship,

Taught her how to row.

— from “The Long Blue Room” (Benicia Literary Arts, 2014)


Joan Gelfand of San Francisco is the author of three poetry collections and an award-winning chapbook of short fiction. Her poetry movie, “The Ferlinghetti School of Poetics,” will be released in the fall.