The Unspoken Language of Speaking in Public

By Kathryn Barry


“The Unspoken Language of Speaking in Public” first appeared in Curry Arts Journal 2006.


The drumming

in my ears

beats the pulsating


My limbs


begin to perform

a tap dance.

Breathing, no longer

being effortless,

adds to my panic.


I am up next…


All this uncertainty:

in myself,

in my knowledge,

in who I am—

raw insecurities

for my “peers”

to judge


as if judgment

wasn’t endured

every second

of every moment

of every day,

carried out

by means

of myself,

the biggest critic.


“Kathryn Barry…”


Expectant eyes

slowly turn

in my direction.


I am numb.

My Friend

By Megan Shea


“My Friend” first appeared in Curry Arts Journal 2006.



Your body is the color of the sky

Before a storm, and the calm

Of the pristine blue ocean

Enhances your peaceful nature.

The squeaking of your

Voice is like a laugh

That goes on forever. When

You open your mouth,

All I can picture is a smile ear to ear.


Beneath it all,

You are intelligent

And friendly, willing

To fly through the air

As you show off your tricks;

The waves that come crashing

Up and down from all the

Splashing are pure enjoyment.


If I could travel

The ocean on your back,

I would; swim beneath the

surface of the fresh salt water

With you and the schools of fish,

I would; see the beautiful

Sights on the sandy bottom with you. I would.

I can see them now, the multicolor seashells

And coral of all different heights

And shapes. They are as perfect as you.


I’d hold on to your pointed fin

And start an adventure, if I could;

Enjoy a ride with the sun streaming down

On our backs, or the moon illuminating

A path for our destination.

Chapter Eight of the Novella Dark Falls

By Jillian DeSousa

Dark Falls was exactly as the name suggests—dark.

            Of course, that could be attributed to the fact that it was raining and eight o’clock at night. But even if the sun were shining, it could still be spooky.

            There was something too perfect about it, like a movie set. The quiet street, the quaint town square dotted with shops and restaurants, and the beautiful colonial and Victorian houses standing on top of well-kept lawns. It had an eerie feel to it.

            Within fifteen minutes of entering the town, I find the hotel, named Falls Into Bed Inn (cheesy name) and park my car. I notice I’m one of maybe five cars in the parking lot. 

Continue reading

Toxicity behind the Smile

By Brittany Capozzi

“Toxicity behind the Smile” first appeared in Curry Arts Journal 2008. 

            The facial expression of a loved one paints itself into a joyful grin, but beware because behind it may be where the voiceless lies hide.

            When you glance at your reflection in the mirror do you see yourself as someone else?  Do the lines around your eyes show wisdom that is inevitably aging, or do they unmask fresh lies from the core of your heart?  There’s an apparent similarity between you and the mirror; both seem to be withering away into a different image.  You attempt to polish the picture, but it’s not so easy, is it?  To obliterate what is seen at the surface does not omit what is seared on the inside.

             Yet, you smile.

            Labeling is a negative judgment call, but you are indeed known as a “Good Guy.”  Do those favors you offer truly stay fresh or have they gone stale?  You keep busy day after day, season after season.  Your patience grows thinner, turning into a single thread through the years, as does time.

            Still, you smile.

            As unsentimental as you are, you ironically corner your secret of hurting, too, don’t you?  Hurting…not yourself but those close to you.

            Your footprints have been scarred into my backbone, making the full support I once had shatter into fragments of neglect.

            You smile.

            Do you believe in the perfect love coming to an end?  No evidence has shown that it does; however, the passing of time clarifies that it happens to the best of us.  Marriages evaporate into thin air these days as puppy love denies itself years later.  Or does it?  Does the love for something created evanesce?

            You keep your smile,

            while deceitfully appearing honest.

            Just because the words are not written on the blank page doesn’t mean they are not there in your mind.  Keep smiling, show off your pearly, “polished” teeth.  Let the clown mask drown out your thoughts so I won’t hear them.

            But I do.

            As I distance myself from you,

            I too smile.

The Pen

By Mike Arienti


“The Pen” first appeared in Curry Arts Journal 2003.



I have lost

the pen

with which I wrote you

a poem


and which

you asked me to




I’m sorry for losing it.

I will leave myself a note

to buy another.

May I borrow a pen?

A.A.D. Analysis

By Jane (O’Connor) Deering Fish


“A.D.D. Analysis” first appeared in Curry Arts Journal 2004.



weeding through creativity,


creating a wise study,


studying my distraction,


distracting my construction.


asking mom and dad

to ease nightly drinking,

being told to mind my business.

I won’t repeat their history.


mixing greens with oranges,

believing in weed and Adderall,

concocting my own prescription,

cracking out plus stoning in,

speeding up then slowing down.


constructing a diversion,


diverting the denial,


denying History



Eve of Spring

By Sara Letourneau



Spring begins tomorrow.

You’d think it had already arrived after

a winter of little snow or cold.

I didn’t notice;

this year, winter raged in my soul.


Loss of friends, death of a loved one—

they brought winds that cut through my bones

and summoned tears. I stayed indoors,

having no desire

to reach out to others

yet yearning to be reached.


What a waste of time and life.

Self-pity, I’ve learned, only means more suffering

the longer you let it snow on you. 


So I will end this season now. When I wake

in the morning, even if the hurt

lingers, I will run out the door

with every inch of me open

to greet the sun. I will stop to lean down

and comb the earth with my fingers

and smell its dampness. I will find

the nearest gazebo and then visit it again

during a rainstorm, so I can watch

nature’s madness at work.


And, I will smile

at more strangers and bid them “hello.”

Everyone longs

to be acknowledged like the first flower of March—

as if they’re coming home,

as if their presence matters to at least

one living person.


So do I—and that will happen

once the season changes outside and within.


The Silly Angry Poem

By Dan Kessel

A vortex of grinding gumption gearing to get out,  

In the very depths of my being, a tune rings about,

Like an honest man with a righteous cause,

Charging in without the slightest pause,

Marching down upon the shoulders of war,

Pounding rhythmically through every corridor,

He rallies his troops from their great big cage,

Where sleeps the incarnation of ultimate rage,

Claws and paws maul the bars and the entrapment begins to shake,

Chains lash around, the fiends are vexed to make their break,

And like the culmination of prophecy it all happens at once,

They gush forth and ricochet as if blind, deaf and dunce,

It comes over me like a wave washing away all emotion,

Like a shadow consuming day with unwavering devotion,

Smashing through, cell by cell, corrupting and manipulating,

Creeping in, standing hairs on end, virulently stimulating,

All the while sitting here, pondering my heart,

What would happen if truth and loyalty hadn’t fallen apart?


By Mark Snyder


This poem first appeared in the Spring 1973 inaugural issue of the Curry Arts Journal. Mark Snyder was one of the journal’s founding editors.


Time is running short.
Clocks tick away the faster-faster minutes
and my mind explodes in a volcanic eruption

of dates, things and places.
My brain, the acting file cabinet,
is locked and I can’t find the key.
Help me straighten out this mess,
by the way, what’s your name & address?


By Sara Letourneau

Wind flows through tree limbs,

a river of air brushing

past needles and leaves.

Crickets chirp and serenade

one another, their songs brief and

monotone, the soothing bird songs of dark.

Owl tells his ballad, hooting of

who did this and who did that,

the cadence of his call lighter than rain.

I rarely listen to the night—but don’t we all?

So often do we talk and scream

and fill our houses with our own noise

that we also fill our own heads and forget

to turn ourselves off

so we can open the window and listen

to the orchestra playing outside every night.