The HyperTexts

Vera Ignatowitsch

Vera Ignatowitsch loves poetry and has been writing it for decades; however, she only recently began submitting poems for publication. Her poetry has since appeared in two anthologies and literary journals which include The Lyric, The New Verse News, The Orchards Poetry Journal, Light: a Journal of Photography & Poetry, Poets Reading the News, San Pedro River Review, Raintown Review, The Road Not Taken, I Am Not A Silent Poet, and Tuck Magazine. She is also the editor-in-chief of Better Than Starbucks.

Small Child

Small child
with my eyes
return my heart before you wander.

Take the jewels.
I wish you plenty.
Place a flower’s petals gently.
Break a toy but not intently.

Sing once
through my eyes,
calmest cataclysm of passion;
only please return my heart
before you wander,
although I could not bear accept it,

small child
with my eyes.

I Will Not

You were not there to watch when he
"allegedly assaulted" me.
You point out facts that you distort.
My pants were tight. My skirt was short.
My perfume sucked the rapist in.
Expensive jewelry is a sin.
I had a drink; I smoked a joint.
"Those were advertisements." You point
to my behavior, dress, and speech
as causes of this horrid breach
of all my rights. Your "helping" me
is nothing but a travesty.
How dare you heap me in disgrace?
He pulled a knife. He slashed my face.
He tore my body, beat me lame,
and now you won’t release his name?
Protect his rights, but shove your blame.
I will not wear your mask of shame.

To My Lost Loves

for my father Walter and my husbands Edwin and Steven

My loves departed in the dead of night,
the darkest hour. I longed to follow there,
to drown, and never turn back to the light.

Forsaken, I kept searching for a sight
of them. My breath would barely stir the air.
I mourned alone as clocks struck 2 each night.

Hot grief, it seized my throat and gripped it tight,
just held me pinioned, fixed my haunted stare
on them, and banished all the light.

They went without presentiment of flight,
went leaving not a trace to kiss me where
I waited, blind with loss each endless night.

No last goodbye, no soft caress, no bright
consoling gesture showed their slightest care
for me. They went, extinguishing the light.

Godspeed my loves. You lost the final fight.
It doesn’t matter whether it was fair.
You call me now; you call by dead of night
and tell meTurn! Turn back toward the light!


The skin I stroke is parchment thin,
as delicate as Gypsy wing.
Our hands entwine and we begin
to hear the song we always sing.

It resonates. The melody,
reprising fully our romance,
replays the love you brought to me.
Those young strong arms still guide our dance.

You sit beside me, catching breath;
I drink your smile and understand
that you will love me after death,
that you will always hold my hand.

Originally published by The Lyric

Close the Door Tommy

Close the door Tommy.
Mom’s got the TV volume
down real low; maybe she saw
the delicate flush on your cheek
as I leaned close to whisper.

Close the door Tommy.
Sis has no idea where
her pink lace bikini briefs
disappeared to, or how hot
they look framing your hip bones.

Close the door Tommy.
Dad will get home at six
and hear I’m doing homework
with my buddy who can’t
throw a baseball, but I can.

Close the door Tommy.
Let me touch you languid
and ravishing on my bed.
Don’t go into the closet.
We have the whole room.

Leftover Woman

About time our society be makin’ hay
from the leftover woman with feet of clay
she got guts of a cockroach, her mind like a rock
took to hidin’ her heart in a smelly old sock
she uses up sisters like disposable spoons
loses taste real fast for her babyfathers’ tunes
kissin’ ass or spittin’ all the same in her mind
cause the leftover woman got an axe to grind
disrespect is the only card left in her soul
she be drivin’ new wheels while collectin’ the dole
she the ultimate icon in the socialist deck
she be raised far above old reality checks
though we payin’ for the victims of circumstance
this a leftover woman by nature not chance.

Go scatter out churches and synagogues
see mosques gettin’ leaky or swampy as bogs
just re-take your seat on this driverless train
while the leftover woman call the sun and the rain.

Takin’ care of others is for female fools
anti-capitalist dogma make us blind in schools
gimme gimme conventions in place of rules
while we wind up our children like thread on spools.

Leftover woman put out her hand
she be holdin’ the gears in a bucket of sand.


I watch the washing machine
where my clothes spin. It begins
a cycle of violent agitation.
The laundromat is crowded.
Screaming children carom.
Loud women speak foreign
languages and hide food in their totes.
‘No Eating Here’ say the signs
above the cheap folding tables.
The women eat furtively in corners.
The displaced war refugees I grew
up with had food in their totes
— secreted, shared — they watched
out for violent agitation.
They knew peaceful societies
forget they are blessed, last as long
as their violent agitation
is shared but secreted.
They wear out, like clothing,
grow wearily indifferent,
abandoning vigilance
until peace is discarded,
shamed into dark corners.
Evil can be shunned but its ghost
always returns, hungry for quarters,
eager to restart the cycle.

Impress Me

I want to be the snowflake
that kisses your eyebrow,
the grass that clusters bending
beneath your footsteps,
the spoon you lightly cradle
bringing it to your mouth,
the book you study intently
and take everywhere,
the fragrance of apple pie
you inhale with anticipation,
the water mist caressing
your cheekbones at the falls,
the cloth of your silk robe
molding your muscled length,
until your taste, your texture,
your essence suffuses me.

Ovillejo Aubade

Before you turn and go away
I greet the day,
preparing to embrace its scope
with love and hope.
Before I turn and fold the sheets
my heart skips beats.
Your kiss encircles and entreats
our pillows soaked in silent dreams
that end with dawn and still, it seems,
I greet the day with love and hope. My heart skips beats.

Originally published by The Lyric

Battle Scars

As soldiers both we’d seen impressive scars
our brethren sported, casual and proud,
paraded in hot weather through the bars.
You’d nod respect but never ask aloud.

The day your hand touched mine in mute appeal
my breathing tripped on questions in your eyes.
I answered there and then. We would reveal
much more than marks. We’d drop our alibis.

The anger wasn’t lightly overcome.
It clung as ever to the guarded truth.
We marched in step to that insidious drum
familiar as a jagged broken tooth.

We struggle now, to say just what we mean
and stumble where the wounds remain unseen.

Originally published by The Orchards Poetry Journal

Aleppo Sorrow

Here in these ruins
was my home. I was born
next door, in that rubble.
Here I learned, walked, ran.
On that corner I fell in love.

Here I chose my allegiances
my creed, here my prayers
followed the sun.

Here I watched my family die
one by one and some together.
For them I became a killer, a soldier,
for my mother, for my love,
for desires crushed into dust.

They took me prisoner
knowing I dream to rise again,
live only to exact revenge.

Here there is no history
made, only history lived.
Swallow it like a stone.
I will carry it in my core
until it beheads us all.


What is it in the entertainment biz
that makes hotel rooms normal places where
you’d hold a meeting? My hotel room is
a place to read or play some solitaire.
In offices and boardrooms, sometimes bars,
we plan our strategies and make our deals.
The older gents squint over their cigars
and don’t look like they’ve passed on any meals.
Our commerce, though, is not in looks or flesh.
Shenanigans are stock tips, Chinese walls
disguise the shadows where grey areas mesh
into invisibility.
                       Lust calls
the greedy into darker places where
an empty mirror joins in evening prayer.

Originally published by The Orchards Poetry Journal


Embarking from the trees they seem so blithe,
phantasmagoric swirling whirligigs.
They ride the breezes roaming far and wide
as if they know they’re mostly guinea pigs
and sacrifice is fated. This is trust,
this blind conviction in a known result,
appearing unconcerned as wanderlust
while being launched as from a catapult.
A few will kiss rich soil and sigh, unwind
the storied journey that will culminate
in destination providential, find
fertility and one day germinate.

I watch your shadow carefully, enchanted
to see the zygote ripple when implanted.

Originally published by The Road Not Taken


Oh wake! I can’t conceive a place
where I will never see your face
again. You wouldn’t leave like this
and not once more bestow a kiss
on me. Your smile informs the day.
It chases my regrets away.
No son of night can claim your glow.
Sleep’s sibling, but he cannot know
your heart. It beats in time with mine.
The sparkles in your eyes define
our love, and now that I have known
this bond, I can’t go on alone.
Stay with me. Let me hold you tight
till every dawn dispels the night.
No sleep can hold you dear as I.
Though spirits call, just pass them by.
Oh wake! When morning lights our way
then we may love another day.
Oh wake! You must. Can you not see?
You are the better part of me.

Originally published by The Lyric

By the Lake

The water licks the sandy shore
clean as an urban beach can be.
No condoms here, where families
in makeshift camps make obstacles
for dogwalkers. The hot dog stand
is closing now, its shadow grown
deep with another day’s regrets.

Our dogs cavort. You crouch and break
apart the extra bun you bought
for this, for feeding lakeshore birds.
Their squawking cries drown out the breeze
ruffling the water, stirring the leaves.
You parcel morsels out to them
divided fairly by deft hands.

The big ones bully forward, try
to gobble everything. You scold
them, carefully tossing tidbits
to every smaller one. Finished,
you turn your face to me, as placid
as a child’s, a gift I could not
deserve, but now mine forever.

The HyperTexts