Help Line by Martina Reisz Newberry

I have craved and coveted

until my throat closed with the

exhaustion of it. The same


goes for waiting. I foresaw

a certain future which did

not take place so I waited


until another future

rose up, brought lessons cruising

through the bedrooms of my days


like a Continental Town Car

(circa 1959). Usually, I prayed

to the God of Anguish, of


Melancholy and, usually,

the answer was NO. Love, sex,

politics, and how-much-wine-


is-too-much-wine––I studied

these things, ended up brooding

and bedeviled. I believe


I won the rosette* for First

Place in Ponderous Confused



I would not win the rosette

today. These days I pray to

any God or Goddess who


will give me the time of day.

Usually the answer is NO.

Yesterday, my prayers involved


how I might untangle the

coercion, the ultimate

assault of ageing. True to

form, the answer was NO.





* a badge or ornament that is made of ribbon and folded in the shape of a rose; often given as an award.

Martina Reisz Newberry
Martina Reisz Newberry’s books are Never Completely Awake (due out in 2017 from Deerbrook Editions), Where It Goes (Deerbrook Editions), Learning by Rote (Deerbrook Editions), Running with A Woman Like Her Hair on Fire(Red Hen Press), Lima Beans and City Chicken: Memories of the Open Hearth (E.P. Dutton &Co) Her work has been anthologized and widely published in the U.S. and abroad. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Brian Newberry, a media creative.