Catherine Tufariello

Meditation in Middle Age

Beauty is youth, youth beauty; that is all--
A truth that you can straight-arm or embrace
When eyes slide past you, and your mother's face
Peers from the mirror, mirror on the wall.
With or without knives, needles, lasers, dyes,
You'll lose this war. But losses can be freeing,
And there were things you missed while locked in seeing
Yourself, in your mind's eye, through others' eyes.

Farsighted now, you're startled by the shimmer
Of stars and landscapes swimming from a blur
Of burned-off fog. And you're the child you were,
Alert and self-forgetful. See her curled
Unnoticed on a window seat in summer,
Lost in the dew-sharp garden of the world.


Transparent planets wander
over the hedge next door
along with muffled laughter--
the youngest daughter, four,
whose whim has set them spinning.
On errands of the wind,
they shimmer, dip and pivot
until their skins are thinned
to filaments like cobwebs
a single blink will tear,
the breath of she who made them
rejoining April air.

A Lexicon

--for Mary Meriam, who invented this form.

Pearl is a world you can hold in your hand
Moon is a stone and stars are the sand
Time is the water that washes them all
Door is the fear of what waits in the hall
Clock is the click of its nails back and forth
Snow is the army that sweeps from the north
Dark is a window with ghosts of your face
Floor is a platform suspended in space
Tree is a bridge between being and seems
House is the refuge the dead find in dreams
Hair is a swimmer's the current has fanned
Pearl is a world you can hold in your hand


A native of Buffalo, New York, Catherine Tufariello received a B.A. in English from SUNY Buffalo and a Ph.D. from Cornell University, where she specialized in nineteenth-century American poetry. She has published two chapbooks and one full-length collection, Keeping My Name (Texas Tech, 2004), which was a finalist for a 2005 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and winner of the 2006 Poets' Prize. Her poems have recently appeared in Able Muse, The Dark Horse, Light Quarterly, and The Nervous Breakdown. A staff member of the Project on Civic Reflection at Valparaiso University, Catherine lives in Valparaiso, Indiana, with her husband and daughter. Earlier work in Mezzo Cammin: 2010.2


Taylor Altman
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Barbara Loots
Charlotte Mandel
Annabelle Moseley
Angela Alaimo O'Donnell
Ann Walker Phillips
Carolyn Raphael
Jennifer Reeser
Hollis Robbins
Catherine Tufariello
Doris Watts
Joyce Wilson
Marly Youmans

Fifth-Anniversary MC Reading
West Chester University Poetry Conference
Friday, June 10
8:15 AM
Alice Mizrachi: Growing up in New York, I have been immersed in a culture that is constantly growing. Throughout my work you can feel the influence the city has had on me, the never-ending desire to grow and flow. One common thread in my work is the texture--rhythm and layers. I love to incorporate tactile surfaces that compel the audience to approach and feel it. Timeless and universal, my images evoke a raw feminine energy that leaves you feeling nurtured. My art is a vehicle to express to the world my journey as a NYC female artist in the past, present and future. I am logging my time here. After completing a residency in Paris during 2010, I am focusing on residencies in other cities with the intention of spreading my art globally.
32 Poems
The Academy of American Poets
The Atlantic
The Christian Science Monitor
The Cortland Review
Favorite Poem Project
The Frost Place
The Iowa Review
Light Quarterly
Modern American Poetry
The Poem Tree
Poetry Daily
Poetry Society of America
Poets House
Raintown Review
String Poet
Valparaiso Poetry Review
Verse Daily
Women's Poetry Listserv
The Yale Review

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