March 29, 2023

Éanlaí P. Cronin


the gonzo mug, the first thing for which i reached 
that night when i was twelve and i returned
to the cubicle in the convent i called home 
where one hundred and thirty girls 
shuffled along the marble corridors of this once 
british landlord’s manor, the irony of such a gaggle 
of indigenous women speaking nothing 
but our native tongue in a place where once we 
would have been cailín aimsires, no more than scullery maids, 
no less than always available to the whims and wants 
of some hungry force tossing his occupying seed into unwelcomed 
furrows, here now our victory. our time. irish clambering back 
into the molecules of memory. day by day. phrase by 
repeated phrase. were i there again, it would be 
more than enough, the daily baptism 
of language resurrecting from the bones. back then, its loss 
sauntered along in the blood, the brutality of one native 
against another. who had words for damage done? who dared 
begin the job of that unraveling? the month february. 
the day valentine’s. just told by mother 
superior that the senior girl i adored (let me tell you here 
that this was a love that lasted all of fifteen minutes, beginning 
to finish, no idea in me of its great need, just one embrace 
in the darkness of a music room while others 
scurried past on their way from evening supper to study hall 
so that she and i arrived late and my heart knew 
something it had not known before, someone had claimed 
me entirely as their own). the hooked finger of mother 
superior beckoned from the dais. she whispered in my ear 
in the quietness of that once banquet room 
that this liaison was to cease. 
some snap undone. 
night prayers in church singing 
to a god i hated. climbed the spiral staircase, unearthed
the hidden envelope among my white knee socks. 
emptied the contents of my father’s heart 
pills into the saucer of my palm. filled the gonzo mug 
half way with freezing water. swallowed the lot. watched my reflection 
in the darkness of the window. smiled. 
i remember that. 
smiled at her authority. 
climbed into bed. 
waited. counted each breath. just as i had done 
months before. on the surgeon’s table. count backwards, 
the masked man had asked. 
ten to one, good girl. 
i did the same. 
i can’t remember 
where i stopped.

from Rattle #79, Spring 2023
Tribute to Irish Poets


Éanlaí P. Cronin: “Born and reared in a small, Irish-speaking village in the southwest of Ireland, I learned, early in life, that language and land were intertwined. Indeed language and life itself were married in such a way that the singular incantation of a proverb or prayer evoked the nature of the Gael inside the blood, no matter how cold or indifferent one had become to one’s own native origins, no matter how deep a schism history had created in the marrow of the Irish psyche. An Irish verse or a psalm could bring a grown man or woman to tears in our winter kitchen. And I, as a child, could spend hours weeping in a quiet corner at something I didn’t fully understand but knew to be true and real. As real as the thinning carpet on which I sat. Or the small footstool upon which I perched at my mother’s feet by a roaring range. It seemed, back then, in the 1970s, and still to this day, that to hear the native tongue, to sing a traditional song, to recite an epic verse, ‘as Gaeilge,’ was to rebirth within the Irish skin something nearly dead and gone. To make room, not for the terrible beauty Yeats mourned, but for the trembling truth of the savage restored. Savage because we had, even in my childhood, come to view ourselves, through the eyes of long oppression, as mongrels of a kind, uncivilized, shameful, wanting in some way. Yet, not a word of such a thing ever spoken or dissected. As though to be Irish and to be broken were the common weather through which we moved. All of us flawed tokens. My task, as an Irish child, is to pen whatever I can that will rouse the Irish soul in my beloved homeland, and in me. To make sound that which has been silent and dying. To become once more unbound, her and I, in all our original splendor.” (web)

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February 23, 2023

Tribute to Irish Poets

Conversation with
Frank Dullaghan

The Spring 2023 issue of Rattle features a Tribute to Irish Poets. From Yeats to Boland and Heaney, Ireland has a long tradition of producing great poets. We thought we’d take a look at what’s going on there now. The theme includes 17 poems by Irish poets and their always-interesting contributor notes, and a conversation with Frank Dullaghan, a poet who has lived an interesting live in both Ireland and abroad. The open section features 21 poets exploring their perspectives on life.

Irish Poets

Audio Available David Butler Love! His Affections Do Not That Way Tend …
Audio Available Anne Casey Portrait of Kevin Barry in the Irish Times
Audio Available Jane Clarke After
Audio Available Éanlaí P. Cronin Gonzo
Audio Available Martina Dalton Motorway Man
Audio Available Frank Dullaghan Oíche na Gaoithe Móire
Audio Available Jim Feeney Irish History
Audio Available S.C. Flynn Their Share of the Dark
Audio Available Denise Garvey Constancy
Audio Available Kerry Greer I’d Drive Anywhere with You
Audio Available Joanne McCarthy Today My Father Should Be at the Score
Audio Available Neil McCarthy Lessons in Survival
Audio Available Maeve McKenna Fykiaphobia
Audio Available Lauren O’Donovan Binge
Audio Available Eugene O’Hare Brother
Audio Available Niamh Twomey Hounslow 1997
Audio Available Landa wo Migrants

Open Poetry

Audio Available Azia Armstead To Hannah Lyons
Audio Available Madelyn Chen Never Asking
R.G. Evans Poetic Closure
Audio Available Bill Garvey Burger King
Audio Available Benjamin S. Grossberg It Kept Always Being Sunday
Audio Available Kim Hansen Frank
Audio Available William Harry Harding Papa’s Shotgun
Audio Available Michael Hettich A Certain Childhood
Deborah Ketai In Her Name
Veronica Kornberg Improvident
Audio Available Y.S. Lee Rebuke the Ghosts
Audio Available Kat Lehmann Ocean Ancient and Evolving
Audio Available Howard Nelson Little Richard
Alicia Ostriker Ode to the Automobile and Human Happiness
Audio Available Josh Parish Needle-Nose Pliers
Audio Available Aleyna Rentz Idiots
Audio Available Tanvi Roberts Poem in Which the Word Is Not Spoken
Amy Rose Your Lie in April
Mark Rubin Ohio Dove
Tano Rubio Feed: Auténtica
Audio Available Dan “Sully” Sullivan The Best Stories


Frank Dullaghan

Cover Art

Joseph Lynch (web)

January 28, 2014

Linda A. Cronin


It began with such enthusiasm,
as it so often does.
You claimed to be a perfect pair,
the King and Queen of hearts,
or at least a pair of diamonds.
So anxious to play house,
you lied to steal weekends together.
So desperate to swear your love and devotion
to forsake all the others
you hadn’t had the chance to meet,
you refused to postpone the wedding,
despite his mother calling
it a funeral and yours
forecasting doom. And now,

just two years later,
you tell me some mornings
when you look at your husband,
stumbling out of bed, you see
only his insurance money.
We both know months, only weeks probably,
will pass, until you tell me
you’ve filed for divorce.
You’ve discovered comic books
and martial arts quickly lose steam
when confronted with car payments
and rent bills. Dinner doesn’t automatically
appear, and laundry needs to be folded.
Now, the love, the passion,
the determination to make it work
has vanished. Unlike the bridesmaid’s dress
swarming with unnaturally large,
pastel flowers and Scarlet O’Hara skirt,
still hanging in my closet.
The dress perfect
for an English Garden Party,
the one you swore
I’d wear again,
and I knew I never would.

I listen to your voice,
discouraged and uncertain.
Your dreams faded faster
than the carpet you chose together.
No stronger than the couch
your Labrador shredded.
I wonder not about love,
because you thought you had that,
but all the other ingredients
no one thinks about.
About the strength and patience
love needs to endure. About where,
in the tough times, you find
the faith to get you through,
to believe in tomorrow,
and I think maybe that’s the real
question we should all ask
ourselves and each other
before we ever swear I do.

from Rattle #20, Winter 2003

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February 27, 2001

Tribute to Italian Poets

Conversations with
Colette Inez & Maxine Kumin


Releasing December 2003, issue #20 celebrates the work of 20 Italian and Italian-Amercan poets.

Also in the issue, Alan Fox interviews Colette Inez and Maxine Kumin. In the essay section, Jack Coulehan and Christina Fitzpatrick both write about the sources of poetic inspiration and the origins of their work.




Dorothy BarresiGiovanna CaponeAntonio D’Alfonso
Diane Shipley DeCillisAlfredo de PalchiAnn DeVenezia
Diane di PrimaLuigi FontanellaMaria Mazziotti Gillan
Dana GioiaRachel Guido DeVriesJerry MazzaGianna Patriarca
David PetruzelliJoseph RanalloVittori Repetto
Kenneth ScambrayFelix StefanileLaura Stortoni-Hager
Pasquale VerdicchioRobert Viscusi


Michael AttieTodd BalazicWalter BargenBettina t. Barrett
Steven BarzaLaura BernsteinPartridge BoswellLarry R. Brooks
M. L. BrownErik CampbellE.R. CarlinLaura Carter
Noel ConneelyJack ConwayLinda A. CroninWilliam Doreski
Thomas DorsettMarie DunfordMichael Estabrook
Clifford Paul Fetters • Christopher Fox
Jeannine Hall GaileyBernadette GeyerTaylor Graham
Charles GreenleyJan HardyJames HazenBecca Hensley
John HerschelPatrick HicksMargaret Holley
Preston H. Hood IIIDory L. HudspethColette InezDick Johnson
Bob JohnstonWillie James KingRichard KrohnMaxine Kumin
Melissa LambertonCricket LeeCyrus MahanDawn McDuffie
Kel Munger • James O’HernKenneth O’KeefeMartin Ott
Lynn PattisonKevin Pilkington
Stuart RedpathZoe ReedCharles P. RiesCatherine Ruffing
Cecil L. SayreRichard SheltonShoshauna ShySpencer Smith
Deborah StamblerJoyce SteinA. F. Thomas
David ThornbrughAmy UyematsuDavid WelchFred D. White
Ed WickliffeAndrena Zawinski


Ben Balthaser
Marcus Cafagna
Jo Scott Coe
Barbara Crooker
Andy Fogle
Hugh Fox
Laura Sims


Jack Coulehan
Christina Fitzpatrick


Colette Inez
Maxine Kumin


Danita Harrold

Italian Poets



March 5, 2001

Tribute to Underground Writers

Conversations with
Billy Collins & Jack Grapes


Releasing June 2001, issue #15 celebrates the work of 18 underground writers–poets who have a large publishing history outside of the mainstream.

Also in this once sold-out issue but now returned, Alan Fox interviews fan-favorite Billy Collins and Jack Grapes, the Los Angeles writer and teacher who had a hand in the original creation of Rattle itself.




Amiri BarakaEric BassoArt BeckJohn BennettDouglas Blazek
Bob BranamanHugh Fox • Jack Grapes • Ben L. Hiatt • Linda King
Tom Kryss • Lyn Lifshin • Gerald Locklin • Rich Mangelsdorff
Al Masarik • Clive Matson • Ann Menebroker • Wayne Miller
Joyce Odam • Maia Penfold • Bob Perlongo • Frank T. Rios
Kell Robertson • Kent Taylor


William ArchilaFrank Aredia • Herman Asamow • Barry Ballard
Kurt Brown • John E. Burl • Jose Hernando Chaves
David Hovan Check • Steve Conway • Philip Corwin
Linda A. Cronin • Dancing Bear • Stephen David De France
Joanne Diaz • Ana Doina • W.D. Ehrhart • Walt Farran
Gene Fehler • Alan C. Fox • Fred Fox • Suzanne Freeman
Robert Funge • Pamela Gemin • Greg German
Maria Mazziotti Gillan • Egito Gonclaves • Leonard Gontarek
Jessica GoodheartJanice N. HarringtonCynthia M. Hoffman
Dan JohnsonBob Johnston • Ward Kelley • Vandana Khanna
Ronnie Klaskin • Michael Kuperman • Melody Lacina
Melissa Lamberton • David Dodd Lee • Dennis H. Lee • Mandi Lee
Carol Lem • Manuel Paul Lopez • Giovanni Malito • Anne Marple
Marc Maurus • Corey Mesler • Amy Miller • Daniel Moore
C.J. Morrissey • Will Nixon • Charles O’Hay • Martin Ott
Ben Passikoff • Richard Pearse • Patricia Pedersen • Pat Pittman
Rafael Pizarro • Evan Rail • Phiip Ramp • Hilda Raz
Sean Reagan • Nancy Gomez Roa • Bill Roberts • Lynne Savitt
Zach Schomburg • David Shevin • Jim Spurr
Joshua Michael Stewart • Alison Townsend • Fred Voss
Matthew Wane • Charles Harper Webb • Mary Ann Wehler
Florence Weinberger • Bill Yake • Andrena Zawinsk


J.B. Bernstein • Nancy Cary • David Choriton • Cheri Crenshaw
Devorie Franzwa • Stellasue Lee • Martin Ott


Hugh Fox


Jack Grapes
Billy Collins