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The Longest Pleasure by Vinita Agrawal


Review by g emil reutter 

Vinita Agrawal is a poet of honest observation who is an imagist at heart. The poem, Wrought By The   Storm is about having tea with her father, the death of her mother is central as in this excerpt:.

The storm struck our prayer bell

Shook the Gods at the altar

Caused the fan to whir anti-clockwise

Jerked wildly in our pulse beats

Skewed our outer expressions of calm

Flickered like fear in our eyes.

She captures in stark images those left behind in economic prosperity and social reform in the poem, Pedder Road Flyover:


Here they lived – under the canopy of opulence

on a road named after Mr. W.G. Pedder,

a British Municipal Commissioner of 1879 Bombay.

Politicians changed the name to Dr. G. Deshmukh Marg after a social reformer.

But somehow the families here still picked garbage,

waded around in stench, did death’s work,

stayed alive only because cholera was dead.

If you ventured out at the devil’s hour,

you’d have heard them groan into the darkness

as at last, traffic dimmed around three in the morning.

A few hours of oblivion must have felt good

with loyal street dogs curled up warmly by their sides.


In the poem, Jovan Musk and Tiananmen Square, Agrawal writes of being there during the uprising. Of

…The screams of raw blood flooding a public street

Unaware, that on its silver jubilee, I’d be reminded with deadly hurt

Of what it was like to live in oppressions long shadow


Azadirachta Indica is a poem about the shade of a Magosa. How they populate most courtyards in India of her walk with a doctor and the dangers of the Magosa and then:

Watch, he said, and picked up a golden yellow seed

popped it between his thumb and forefinger until oil oozed out.

He poured it on a worm down below, stunning it.

It retreated hastily. Didn’t stand a chance.


Later, I dipped my sins in it,

hoping it would cauterize tissues of guilt

sterilize thorny voices in my head

that accused me of being unclean.


From the poem, Time Lag


Despite loess caressing the roots

and the damp, earthy aroma of trees,

a brokenness clings to the winds;

fresh as a pistil that has just lost its flower.

Despite the wet tissues made of air and rain,

the tree branches look fractured

their leaves pale like pinched skin.


Vinita Agrawal is a well-traveled poet who takes in all that she observes. Her honest and passionate images cause a stirring of thought and a desire of action. She is an urban poet who writes of the stark realities of the world and of her own pulse beats and broken drift wood of the heart.


You can pre order the book here: https://finishinglinepress.com/product_info.php?cPath=4&products_id=2423


IMG_1360-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa. You can find him here: https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/





Clear Moon, Frost by Amy Small McKinney

Charles Louden* – The Fox Chase Review 

      Amy Small-McKinney writes from a humble yet intense place turning phrases and the constant drumbeat of metaphors. Small-McKinney celebrates some simple things in life: 

From The Meaning of Life

“I am happy when I find the juicy orange/ I am happy when the sofa is on sale/ happiest when I have not lost my job.” 

From Dillsburg, PA       

“The frogs have begun whistling/ Black Walnut trees, their green globes/ the size of tennis balls, have not begun to shed/ or to make their mess, though they secret walnuts inside.” 

       Small-McKinney brings us back to stark reality: 

From Found

“my house is gray.  All color gone/ I lift up the light. It gathers in my hands” 

From White Poem

“I walked scattered into the worm hand of myself/ I was nothing, I swear only scattered/ ashes before ashes, before the earth/ that refused to receive me” 

Clear Moon, Frost by Amy Small McKinney is available from Finishing Line Press at this link: www.finishinglinepress.com 

You can read the poetry of Amy Small McKinney in The Fox Chase Review at this link:


Amy Small McKinney will read her poetry with Leonard Gontarek at The Fox Chase Reading Series, “Featured Poets Reading”, at 3 Sisters Corner Café in Fox Chase on April 24th @2pm. 

* Charles Loudon lives on Cottman Avenue in Philadelphia, he is not sure if he lives in Fox Chase or Burholme depending on who he speaks with. He is frequent visitor to the Ryerss Library.

Clear Moon, Frost by Amy Small McKinney

Poet Amy Small McKinney whose work was published in the most recent edition of fox chase review has announced the release of Clear Moon, Frost by Finishing Line Press. Please have a look at this new release by visting www.finishinglinepress.com  and click “New Releases and Forthcoming”.

 We wish Amy the best with her latest release!