Mel Belin


My brother and I fought
on the way to school
through mounds of packed snow.
I must've been eight, he ten.
We had to go to the sixth grade teacher,
Mrs. Hennessy, while her class sat
and watched. Short of breath, I made
an effort to show nothing
though on the edge of crying
before the group of big kids,
and this strange woman, heavy, imposing.
She pointed to a row of African masks
on the wall, with faces, thick-lipped, savage.
"If you do that again," she said,
"I'll have them deal with you," evoking,
even as she smiled at her thrust of humor,
a harsh inevitable justice,
and of worlds beyond this small
coal town in Northeastern Pennsylvania,
enclosed, secure, at least
within its own limited brutalities.

Mel Belin
Mel Belin, author of Flesh that was Chrysalis (Word Works 1999), has been published in magazines nationwide. Winner of Potomac Review's third annual poetry competition (1998), he has been a featured reader at many Washington, DC area venues including the Writer's Center, the Library of Congress Noon Series, Borders, Barnes & Noble, and Miller's Cabin. He presented one of his poems recently on a program distributed by National Public Radio.



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Carol Ashworth

E. Louise Beach

Sandra Beasley

Anne Becker

Mel Belin

Rick Cannon

Nancy Naomi Carlson

Norma Chapman

Christopher Conlon

Michael Davis

Martin Dickinson

Jehanne Dubrow

Moira Egan

Sean Enright

Perry Epes

Lillian Frankel

Martin Galvin

Rachel Galvin

Bernadette Geyer

Patricia Gray

Laurie Hurvitz

Tod Ibrahim

Bernard Jankowski

Lisa Kosow

Michael Lally

Hiram Larew

Michael H. Lythgoe

Ebby Malmgren

Dan Masterson

Ryan McAllister

Judith McCombs

Miles David Moore

Daniel Abdul-Hayy Moore

Heidi Mordhorst

Yvette Neisser

Judy Neri

Bonnie Nevel

Barbara J. Orton

Eric Pankey

Jacklyn Potter

Ellen Sazzman

J.D. Smith

Rose Solari

Alan Spears

Gary Stein

Adele Steiner

Mark Tarallo

Colette Thomas

Doug Wilkinson

Rhonda Williford

Terence Winch

Rosemary Winslow

Kathi Wolfe

Anne Harding Woodworth

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