g emil reutter

Coronavirus – Recommendations for Quality of Life


As we find ourselves in the middle of the pandemic, here are some suggestions/ recommendations to get through the day.

  1. Keep informed, but don’t be consumed by the 24 hour news cycle. Limit yourself to an hour or less a day of cable/internet news reports. Stay safe and follow your city/state guidelines and orders. Above all don’t be foolish about your health.
  2. Read literature. Order new books, read books from your library. Keep occupied.
  3. Read on line poetry/literary magazines. Take the time to enjoy the art of others.
  4. Respect spacing in the home. Give others in the home enough space not to make them feel confined. On the other hand when the time comes have family discussions.
  5. Order groceries and have them delivered from your local markets. From what we have learned there is up to a five day wait for deliveries.
  6. Keep your necessary medication in stock.
  7. Check out movies on antenna provided television or streaming services. There are some good films out there.
  8. Check out YouTube for poetry/literary readings. Here are our recommendations this month for you to have a look at: https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/03/20/poetry-videos-to-get-you-through-the-weekend/
  9. Meditation, prayer, yoga, treadmill workouts, walking outside at safe distances all enhance your quality of life. Stay healthy both mentally and physically.
  10. Above all, be responsible. Don’t put others at risk. Call friends and family and remember to wash hands & keep six feet apart from others. If you have to go out then wear protective equipment and hopefully the curve of the virus will flatten.

With much love to all,

Diane Sahms and g emil reutter

North of Oxford

Poetry Videos to Get You Through the Weekend

We searched YouTube for some of the poets we have published and our staff over the years to provide you with some live readings to enjoy during these turbulent times. We hope you enjoy!




The Bloody Waste by Red Focks

bloody waste cover

By g emil reutter

In The Bloody Waste, Red Focks captures the complexity of the new United States. The novella is driven by a cancer diagnosis of the main character, Greg Redford. There is nothing cliché in this novella. Focks uses the diagnosis as a back drop to issues from health care debt, inter cultural marriage, homelessness, drug addiction, of a family scraping by under the radar and generational political conflict within families. His characters are fully developed and tension drives each and every page.

Greg’s wife, a Mexican immigrant ironically named America is a strong female, the mother of two who deals with Greg’s light hearted reaction to his diagnosis with strength and worry. Greg’s step son is a DACA child and when his America First parents visit, she confronts them and to their shock calls them racist, not in a bitter manner but a matter of fact manner that they deny.

Focks beautifully captures the love between America and Greg as well as the interactions of their family, Nehemiah who has only known Greg as his father and the newborn, Poetry, who drove Greg to disavow drug use.

Focks artfully utilizes flashbacks to tell the backstory of Greg’s struggle with drugs, homelessness and hoboing across the United States to Arizona. Equally he captures the strength of America, his wife who gave birth to Nehemiah as a single mother abandoned by the father of her child. He meets his wife while working as a vendor on the streets of Phoenix, an immediate connection and soon they are living in a trailer on the outskirts of society, married, raising a family. They get by selling artful tee shirts on line.

Focks use of language is sometimes gentle, often harsh and in the use of this language reflects the struggle of everyday Americans. The Bloody Waste lays bare the struggling working class of America in a time when the 1% consolidate wealth leaving the majority on the edges of the American dream.

You can find the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Bloody-Waste-Red-Focks/dp/1734440988/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_2?keywords=the+bloody+waste+by+red+fochs&qid=1584623814&s=books&sr=1-2-fkmr2


g emil reutter can be found at: https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/



Wherever I Look I am Never There by Allen Brafman

By g emil reutter
Allen Brafman is a poet of careful observation. His poems are quiet yet all have a strong undercurrent of passion of life and death. In the poem, Mirror, the poet reminds us how we carry with us all those who came before:
This is my father’s beard
His face has become mine
My grandfather
chuckles inside the parlor mirror
His hand comes forth
He is about to pinch our cheek.
A poet of deep reflection Brafman holds his memories close in what appears to be a simple poem yet is complex, the poem, This Morning:
I found our first kiss
forty some years, hundreds
and hundreds of times
remembered, lost
in the breast pocket of
a denim shirts, back
of the closet, shirt that
just about fits me again
On the surface it appears to be a memory of a first kiss, but it is much more. The poet writes of a love of forty years, a memory that comes to him often over the years only once again to surface when trying on a shirt from the back of his closet. A gentle and beautiful love poem.
The poet tells us in the poem, Birds Thick as WaterEach newly acquired loss/added/to all the losses/ lost and tallied before. He is a poet who writes of the reality of loss and what it means to those left behind such as this from the poem, Lost and Found:
I don’t want to
talk about people
I’ve spoken to on
the phone who
died before I
got there
This poem reflects the stark realism of life. It is not adorned in fanciful words, it is simply the truth, blocking out of their departure and our final destination.
Brafman treats us to a beautiful surreal poem, Butterfly’s Child with haunting, majestic imagery.
A yellow butterfly lifts a little
girl from the front yard
to a forest of marigolds burning
In a third-floor window box. Explosive
winds hurl the butterly off
course,  put a cinder in the child’s
eye. The child falls back to the yard, free
of the butterfly, the rain that follows.
Fed by water, flame that can never
extinguish, she has become the daughter
of that butterfly, large black eyes
growing on yellow wing ferociously
she sometimes flutters
Brafman writes of a panhandler as a carnival barker in the poem, Playing the Odds. He tells us of a drunken escalator in the poem, Attacked from Within, and in the poem, Time is not Enough, he writes Lonely as a bar stool/in a crowded bar. There is nothing stale about this collection as Brafman fills his poems with fresh imagery. In the first stanza of Anna, he returns to stark realism of what we all know to be true on the subway:
That woman’s
talking to herself,
don’t let her
see you
looking at her,
she might
start talking to you.
Wherever I Look, I am Never There is a collection of poems that reflects life in realism, at times surreal. Of love, of loss, of the lonely, of family, of the will to go on. Brafman gives voice to those who live on the edges, of those departed in sometimes gentle and stark observations of a poet who loves life and those he encounters.


g emil reutter can be found here: https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/


House on the Edge of Town and Other Stories Just Released by Alien Buddha Press

house cover amazon

Alien Buddha Press has just released, House on the Edge of Town and Other Stories by g emil reutter. This short story collection is his first release of fiction since 2014. The book is available at this link:



What others have to say about House on the Edge of Town and Other Stories

“g emil reutter is the real deal. The authentic voice of weird and wild America. reutter’s stories are vivid and unforgettable. His prose is dazzling”

                                    – James Vincent, editor In Shades Magazine.

                                    – Marina Esmeraldo, creative director In Shades Magazine.

“Tight. Real. This is how g emil reutter solves the style of melodrama in House on the Edge of Town and Other Stories—with a huge dose of insight for those who fall through life and those who barely escape. Even if they are to blame in this world of blame, House on the Edge of Town and Other Stories will make you wonder how in one paragraph, or one page, or barely more than three, you are absorbed to the point of forgetting you are reading a story, the verisimilitude so real you might consider these characters could live on the next block over, that is, if you are observant enough to care. But you care about the women and men in these stories who barely scrape by, and you don’t forget them. g emil reutter tells it like it is. House on the Edge of Town and Other Stories is one of a kind.”

Sandra Fluck, editor The Write Launch Literary Magazine- bookscover2cover, LLC 

“Life jumps off the page and kicks you in the face. Its bitter taste blends with slight optimism, turning you into the right direction. reutter gives you life as it is, without makeup or glitter and leaves you to think over what is and what could be.”

Roxana Nastase Author of A Churchgoing Woman

Editor, Scarlet Leaf Review 


Big Headed Anna Imagines Herself by Stephanie E. Dickinson

big head

By g emil reutter

We are introduced to Big Headed Anna at birth. Her child mother, boy bodied suffers in child birth. Her baby’s head so big that Anna’s feet were roped to free her from the womb, upon looking at her the young mother fled. Anna took to a cow when left for dead, survived to go on. Or so it is imagined by Anna.

Dickinson has crafted a series of flash fictions that chart the adventures of Big Headed Anna through time and space, of viewing the living and dead, of the life of an outcast from birth who encounters a wide array of characters. Imagined or real? For many who take the time to read this vivid collection, who have suffered from the cruelty of human kind there will be no doubt that the life of Anna could be real. Dickinson’s use of flash fiction to tell the story is simply brilliant as are the images and metaphor that populate this collection.

From Big-Headed Anna Believes Herself as a Strange, Beautiful Name:

“I am eleven years old today and hungry since I ran away from the other place. If I cut my eyelashes there would be no feeling. I would have to move my ear lobe between the grist’s flint or the tip of my nose to understand about touch. To show you how orchids thrive in snow and spongy soil, an earthworm loses its head and grows another. Tallow, bone flesh. My neck thinks of me as its lily. Wandering toward the French Quarter under talon of moon, I sing in a beautiful whisper. Hush little brittlestar who lives underewater. My big head hides under my bigger hat. I shiver listening to the river, the cotton barges.”

Big Headed Anna suffers the indignity and violence of rape, unable to see her attacker, a bag covering her head. And when she gives birth, her child stolen from her, carried away her only comfort is knowing the child has a normal head. Many of the flash describe her efforts to find her child.

From Big Headed Anna Listens to the Last Sound in the Grass:

“I am braised with malaria and yellow fever, and I sink deeper into the bittersweet. I am haul and lumber. An unmarked grave on Rampart Street where traveling workers make prayers has seen my child alive. A raven brings them bread and flesh. The lost Creole spirits sheltering them on houseboats tell me to lift the tablecloth where oysters are set down with comets.”

Dickenson has weaved these stories together as a master quilter, each strand interwoven, each resulting image full of color and metaphor. The stories take place between 1900 and 1933, a harsh time in America, a harsh time for those who appear a bit different from the majority, a harsh time for the poor during a time of exurbanite wealth and decline. Although dream like in its presentation the supporting characters are developed with words and images reflecting a beauty and realism to this work. Yet like a master quilter, Dickinson has created a body of work in this collection always with an underlying love for its central character.

You can find Big Headed Anna Imagines Herself here: https://www.amazon.com/Big-Headed-Imagines-Herself-Stephanie-Dickinson/dp/108723655X/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1572125064&refinements=p_27%3AStephanie+E+Dickinson&s=books&sr=1-1&text=Stephanie+E+Dickinson

g emil reutter can be found here: https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/




Intersection on Neptune by Donna J. Gelagotis Lee

By g emil reutter
In this time when many in the United States have forgotten their lineage, of how they came to be in the United States, along comes Donna J. Gelagotis Lee to remind everyone of the immigrant experience, of native born children who have lived lives that those who came here hoped for. Intersection on Neptune brings us into the urban layering of Brooklyn, of family, of Coney Island, to family life and as she writes in the title poem, the country’ pivot point. In the second section the reader is transported New Jersey, the burbs, farms, and shore, of Seaside, of pastures, horses and trails even of a man making deliveries of eggs. Gelagotis Lee brings us into the rest stops, ballgames, writes of the pay phone and a homage to Trenton. She has had a lifelong love affair with Brooklyn and New Jersey. Her poems are blunt and truthful such as this in the second stanza of From a Rooftop in Brooklyn:
Today, a sea of brick
buildings combs
the grey air,
green parks pushing them
aside, schools still
straining to meet
the goals of a touchdown
democracy. Silver birds
cluster like butterfilies
as they eagle-sweep over the
land they know, past faceless
windows, a country
So in the midst of grey air, brick, faceless windows she gives us hope, Silver birds cluster like butterflies.
These poems by Gelagotis Lee read as a documentary of the American experience with love, family, of the difficult times, the good times. She captures the urban, suburban and rural experience in poems that will stay with you long after the read. Intersection on Neptune reminds us of from where we came, that the United States is a place that new arrivals can accomplish much, it is not an easy ride here, but you can make it.
I end with the title poem that captures so much.
Intersection on Neptune
               –Neptune Avenue, Brooklyn
The sea smell rushes
in on a sudden breeze, like
that vehicle that veers into the space
just as someone pulls out. Older
couples, hearty Jamaicans,
Yiddish accents: land of Immigrants;
watch them claim it—
Chinese, Russians, ladies with thick
jewelry, men with yarmulkes;
the elderly line up at the strip
mall to trade stories, their props
canes and old-world hats. Yellow
lights let you cross only to the island.
Sirens interrupt talk. The sea breeze inter-
venes. The walk to the boardwalk is short.
But here, at this intersection, we
Have gathered, where the city turns.
And we find a parking space,
Crowded, a little tight, but afterwards
it’s enough; we all fit.
We smell the sea, the kosher bakery.
Our house is a high-rise
Our horizon, the Verrazano and the Empire
State. We’re on the finger
of New York City –the end
of the subway line, or the beginning—
the city starts and ends here,
on the country’s pivot point.

Eating Raw Meat and Other Nuances of Life by g emil reutter

erm cover

Eating Raw Meat and Other Nuances of Life has just been released by Alien Buddha Press.

What Others Say About Eating Raw Meat and Other Nuances of Life 

“g emil reutter writes the poem the way I like it – sharp, detailed imagery, paintings in black ink carved into the page – the minutiae of life under the microscope. There’s clarity and depth here in this book but there’s power too – the power to move the mind and the soul. These words are fine words. My kind of poems. They should be yours too.” -Adrian Manning- Poet and Publisher at Concrete Meat Press

“Beneath dark shadows of maples, this watcher observes unnamed strangers and lovers beneath a generous moon, sympathetically and precisely with the eye of an oil painter.  The night turns to day, the seasons change, and the cycles renew.  A fine collection for any palate”. – Russell Streur –  Editor, The Plum Tree Tavern

In Eating Raw Meat, g emil reutter proclaims, “I stand on the rubble that is left / of the American dream”; looking out from that prospect, he tells us, “I think of the hard working class.”  Yet, even as these poems show us hard labor and trashed dreams, reutter affirms how close attention to those lives and to the natural world serves to redeem us on this “beautiful brutal blue planet.”  “I work the / garden the way I work a poem,” he tells us; and, centered among existences, “I … listen to what they say, watch what they do and write what I can.” This attention results in poems of integrity and of beauty: “rhythm / of rain, cadence of thunder, lyrical / hissing of wind.”

-Nathalie F. Anderson – Alexander Griswold Cummins Professor of English Literature and Director of the Program in Creative Writing – Swarthmore College

Check out the book here: Eating Raw Meat and Other Nuances of Life