Liz Axelrod

Poems, Essays, Reviews, Stories…

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My first book of poetry is now available for sale. It was a finalist (5th place!) in the Finishing Line Press New Women’s Voices Series. The book was released in June, 2016. Please consider ordering a copy now – it makes a great holiday gift! Also – my daughter did the cover art! Click Here to Purchase.

Go Ask Alice

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Feminist Round Up and 5 Must Reads

Many more wonderful articles at
This article is here:
February 25, 2016


For months I’ve been following the blogs, the posts, the lists, the rants, the raves and the ravishings. I’ve been horrified, dumfounded, hysterical and generally nauseated by what I see as the breaking-down of women’s rights and liberties. Before I go into a major serious RANT, I need to parse it out. Not just for you but also for me. I’m not going to talk politics or Hillary or Gloria Steinem on Bill Maher – it’s all out there, click and see. I’m going to talk about what we need to read to make sure we don’t fall further down this slippery slope.

I’m going out on a limb here by (almost) admitting my age –  I grew up after the “Bra Burners” and before “Girls Gone Wild.” This sandwich of time, was idyllic. I thought I could be anyone, have anything, and my tits would never matter in the choices I made (well, they would – but only to my advantage).

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Friday mourning
slit-eyed at my hollow desk
Seven hours sleep beats three
the night before nothing
beats your torso wrapped on mine
Braced my face deep inhale
curling chest hairs tracing
brown and blond locked in
clocked in alarm set: 2:15am
Cold cab harsh to warm cave moments
dark and eyes pasted to the bridge
Can’t run
my fingers through my hair
Buildings, lights, a blur
How much time to Penn
Station moving into sight
The clock sighs 3:00a.m
Good Night

35 flights up and still sirens?
Wind whips ash from balconies
Cold warm deep depth dive
dove darling mindless
searchpoint lost to smoke
wine, time, and justus
Embrace this lost direction upside
down GPS garbled giddy vocals
turning sharp left into arms
trashing corners
Vertical? Horizontal?
(Yes, that’s better).
Spring forward:
Where did that hour go?
5:19am train filled with lost
Mohawk boys and cheerleaders screaming
“We won we won we won the game!”
Keep your mouth shut
on the drunken train
Kiss me quiet
(yes, that’s better)

Brunching home with adolescence—
Teenage hopping round the room
textphone inhand
First kiss business!
While you and I laugh and
worry ‘bout our nakedness
Inbed dreaming crazy
red and grey school colors
Waking azure and hot day smoking
Navigate sand and high tides
Rocks not ready for spring yet
budding green anyway
Sharpen knives slice thick
dip in egg
Strawberry soup me
on top
Maple syrup messlick away

Shore Leave


Electric pulse turns
sand to glass.
Salt erodes the
Our unchecked
heat devours
clean white sand
now spotted
with refuse–
needles, condoms,
plastic bags,
blackened oily shells.
I gave you depth.
You dredged up garbage.
Storms give weight to water.
While crests lap up
this silent coast
pulling in upon
its shelf.

*Published in the lovely Log II 

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The Wait

vaveylaa_Sitting__waiting__wishing_by_nebulaskinI’m waiting

My existence running away at the mouth with foul words and thoughts of connections lost in the stratosphere of my minuscule patience. I wait and wonder at decisions made while razors slice the dead ends and I’m shiny and moist with electric strands rolling down my back. I wait and ponder thoughts of jumping rope and skipping while hating games and work and making senseless meaningful chatter to complete the wait.

What cents left over when I pay for my day I use to figure out how to end the wait, and is it worth the effort?

Does he know I’m waiting?

Senselessly I wander through my cluttered life, opening doors and closets, catching boxes carefully packed with the past before they fall to the floor and block the door while waiting and wonder what it feels like to want to date and why I long for eye contact when there’s cyberspace and robotic devices and the biggest thrill of my week is hands running through my hair at the salon.

I wait and think should I get massaged and use the last of my savings on closeness that means nothing and why do I wait? Why do I wait to be taken seriously when I want to frolic and play with passion and freedom and doesn’t he know I’m not looking for clutter or commitment?

I wait and fill my time (I have no time).

I wait and my days are filled with waking working lugging learning how to fix another cog in the never ending nightmare of a new server.  I wait for cables and wires and connections and outlets while fitting in new responsibilities with the time earned from those faster connections.  I wait and think – why does it take 45 seconds for Outlook to load and when did 45 seconds become eternity?

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Game Day

I had my coat on
               Ashes, ashes we all fall down
The sidewalk Mica glistened
Inviting trips through rabbit holes

You came down the stairs looking perplexed–
You leaving?

Of course.

The mason jars are empty and the waxing moon
wants me to be alone.
You don’t want this red peacoat on your bed.
It’s old and tired and the button’s loose.

Flickering on and off like those nights in cars and bars and lips that just barely
made a statement.
                 Purple posies we all fall down.

You said – “you’re the only one I’ve kissed”
And it’s a new year today
Tossing dice and losing tights we tumbled
needing water
And I know you didn’t finish

My regrets are for the second coming of the holiday and wishes like scorpion stings –

This song is not to be voiced in the back of your throat.
It’s not to be lumped in the circle with those Ring around the Rosies and the Dancing Nancies
You wish you could be anywhere else but here
Anyone else but YOU

Facing front-to-back, the sun strong through those light curtains
I need shades for this bright morning

Back-to-shoulder I traced my finger down the coil of your Deltoid, Teres Minor (very minor touch)

Parched and dry
Split and splitting

The day broke with pennants and passing balls from one field to the next
Dirty dishes in the sink and I know how to clean my own mess, thank you.

He said “you don’t know how to be casual”
I said “You don’t know how to care”

It wasn’t worth the pennies tossed in the fountain, the copper gleaming from the bottom of the turquoise cement. I reached in and tried to pull it back. My hands got wet and waterlogged and you said this is all about my assumptions?

As if my assumptions were the cause of all deceit and arrogance.

And yes.
I don’t do Casual well.