August 2009

Alex Dimitrov


Julia Alter
Kurt Brown
Alex Dimitrov This marks an author's first online publication
Gregory Lawless
Austin MacRae
Kirby Olson
Simon Perchik
Marvyn Petrucci
Dan Veach This marks an author's first online publication
Ryan Vine
Rob Walker
Hilde Weisert
Marjory Wentworth
Ross White
Michael Wynn

Haley Carrollhach This marks an author's first online publication
Mariko Nagai

David M. Katz
interviews Daniel Brown

David Rigsbee
reviews Divine Comedy: Journeys through a
Regional Geography

three new works by
John Kinsella


This marks an author's first online publication Alex Dimitrov is the recipient of a Roy W. Cowden Memorial Fellowship from the Hopwood Awards at the University of Michigan. His poetry and reviews have appeared in Best New Poets 2009, Poets & Writers, Crab Orchard Review, Gargoyle, and The Portland Review, among others. He is the founder of Wilde Boys, a queer poetry salon in New York City.

The Underwear    

At seven I hadn't seen my father naked
but found the outline of what held him.
I stared at the loose waistband that snapped
around his hips, cupped the pouch
which was slightly darker, more worn
than the rest of the cotton.

Held high above my face, I pressed it down,
let it cover my eyes and nose, a kind of warm suffocation.
My knees gave in when I pulled at the cloth
with each tooth, bit into it.

The terror wasn't the pleasure—
more animal than another boy's hands
pressing my face into the playground dirt.
It was the moment she came in, looked
away, and like a good mother,
asked me to wash my hands before dinner.



Dish Washer    

My father's first job in America was washing dishes
in an upscale suburban restaurant he hated so much,

he'd bring the food home and never touch it,
would rather go hungry than live on that food.

My mother and I stayed up waiting for him
every night like a ritual—school night, Saturday

night, we stayed up—distracting ourselves by
telling Bulgarian folktales, dancing to music

videos, anything to keep from falling asleep, anything
not to miss him walk through that door, his eyes

bloodshot, a wet ring around his shirt, exhausted
and utterly himself, my father. My kiss

on his cheek the only thing I knew would help him
go back there, and return to us again the next night.



Alex Dimitrov: Poetry
Copyright ©2009 The Cortland Review Issue 44The Cortland Review