Mayapple Press is a small literary press founded in 1978 by poet and editor Judith Kerman. We celebrate literature that is both challenging and accessible: poetry that transcends the categories of "mainstream" and "avant-garde"; women's writing; the Great Lakes/Northeastern culture; the recent immigrant experience; poetry in translation; science fiction poetry.
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Like Vapor – Joy Gaines-Friedler

Like Vapor - Joy Gaines-Friedler

Like Vapor – Joy Gaines-Friedler

Poetry. Paper, Perfect Bound. 64pp.
$14.95 plus S&H
2008, ISBN 978-0932412-652

In these poems we are assured of humanity, our existence and our eventual extinction, with a grace and comfort that uplifts our spirits and encourages our own consideration of life.


Distracted Angels
by Joy Gaines-Friedler

An angel assigned to me is day-dreaming.
She files her nails, chews on Juicy Fruit,
and makes up names for herself in Spanish; can’t
decide between Chiquita and Sylvester;
she’s pretty sure Sylvester is Spanish.
An angel assigned to me listens to the wind
chimes outside my bedroom, stares at the swaying
copper as one stares at fire. He seems depressed.
I tell him knock-knock jokes. He offers only mumbles.
A tiny angel in blond curls dances in circles
to the Foreigner lyrics Urgent, Urgent, Emergency.
She flashes a smile and throws a pink message pad
at me with the box, urgent, checked off. She doesn’t
remember my name and calls me “Boise.”
I don’t know why, except, that I like potatoes
and they grow them in Idaho. An angel
assigned to me is asleep between the sound board
and the strings of my piano, flattening G when I play
Joni. One of my angels has forgotten my phone number,
can’t remember my e-mail, and has become
frantic because he misplaced his reading glasses –
again. He keeps showing up at my old house,
forgetting that I moved over a year ago.
There is an angel assigned to me that won’t
get out of the bathtub. He is trying different
salts: lavender, petroulli. He is so busy
relaxing that he hasn’t noticed the smell of smoke,
or the insulation about to go up in flames.


Joy Gaines-Friedler has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History. Her poetry is widely published and has won numerous awards. She is currently an MFA student at Ashland University in Ohio.