Art and poetry on page and stage

gift box


Joanna Fuhrman


Someone is driving a gray Subaru, and I am in the back seat with Mick Jagger. I explain that I’m organizing a solo performance for him at a secular, Jewish sleepaway camp. Mick’s resigned to this fact; he’s lost faith in singing and only wants to talk to me about the health bread he’s invented.

“Guaranteed to ward off blockage,” he brags.

The bread has the texture of a grainy brick, and as he describes it I can see a slice floating in the air between us, so I smile at him, proud of what he has accomplished and hoping if I’m polite he will give me a piece.

In the distance, the tree branches turn the color of the space between his teeth, and I know somewhere in my heart that something important is loosening itself. As we drive I can feel a smudge of a memory on my skin: the silver light around a hologram guitar string, a blackish purple torso rocking itself between the mountain’s lips.

Joanna Fuhrman is the author of five books of poetry,  most recently The Year of Yellow Butterflies (Hanging Loose Press 2015) and Pageant (Alice James Books 2009). She is a former poetry editor of Ping Pong and Boog City, and served as coordinator for the poetry readings at the Poetry Project at Saint Mark’s Church for three years. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including New American Writing, The Believer, Volt, Fence, Lit, Quarterly West, Conduit, and American Letters and Commentary, and in anthologies published by Soft Skull Press, Bloomsbury, Brooklyn Arts Press, The Dia Foundation, HarperCollins, New York University, and Carnegie Mellon University. Her poem “Stagflation” won a 2011 Pushcart Prize, Joanna has been teaching for more than 20 years, and currently, teaches poetry writing at Rutgers University and Sarah Lawrence College’s Writers Village for teenagers.