Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Have You Ever Prayed to Cancel Tomorrow? a poem by Andrea Fekete

Because perhaps morning
means signing the divorce papers.

Maybe it means telling your
brother mom has cancer.

Going stag to your
best friend’s wedding.
Or cooking for a 75
guest dinner party
and dear God, you promised
softshell crab.

Sometimes it’s less dramatic.
Sometimes we wish to cancel
the uneventful day after.

The day after say,
your fiancé informs you
you are not—have never been
his only one.

He drives away in the evening,
with only his clothes.
Leaves your recent
engagement photos behind
still in the frames,
ring on your finger.

You are certain you’ll stop
breathing in your sleep
if you sleep at all.
You do neither.
Morning comes anyway,

So you must go about the morning
as if you aren’t smothering
as if you’ve enough air
in your lungs and
enough blood moving
in your chest to pump
your heart.

You must walk
to the mirror, look
at your unwashed face.
Button your shirt.

Food is chalk so you
take sips of water instead.
Slip on heels.
Apply pressure to the gas
pedal in the car.
Sit at red lights.

You must say hello 
to people as
you hurry down the street  
under your umbrella 
because it’s polite. 

Today is a drizzly 
February morning and you 
cannot cancel today 
so you drag yourself 
onward, smiling, 
no one knowing

you carry
ash in your chest 
shards of your translucent
swinging tinkling 
sharp and dangerous
in both pockets.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

DO YOU STILL WISH FOR TRUE LOVE? A poem by Andrea Fekete

"Do you still wish for true love on cardinals, Andi?" a friend asked me.

Red birds are the souls of our 

ancestors visiting us, 
reminding us we are loved when we feel it least, I was told as a little girl. My aunt said to whisper my wishes to them. 
Since age 13, mine was always for true love. I’d ask every ruby-breasted bird on every branch.
Now middle aged, I no longer believe in such miracles. So now, my wish is to know for what I should be wishing. 
And just like at age 13.
a momentary peace, a warm hope, suddenly flutters in my chest, just a flash of red,
leaps with her as she leaves the branch carrying my request to the sky. 

Image from shutterstock

Thursday, March 28, 2019

At Night I Dream I Live in Edinburgh, Scotland: a poem

I sit on my cottage steps 
all morning
drink tea alone
watch pillars of light
crossing cobblestone road.

The sound of Scottish children 
laughing walking to school
and birds. No other sounds.

I do not miss home.

I work in peace planting 
gardens in fenced yards 
for those too old 
to bend their knees 
and elbows how 
still can. (for now)
Carry rails over my shoulder. 
Sip coffee on breaks.

Later in the afternoon after 
the sun flattens orange 
resting wide on my hot back

pound together joints
forcing anger      old anger
          the violence
others planted in the wild dirt 
of my body, embed 
it deep into the dry dark wood 
and leave it there.

I fall in love with the songs 
of locals, sing them at the pub 
for modest pay smiling 
as if wide awake then walk home

after dark to my cottage, 
dirt still under my nails 
and my drunk neighbor’s funny story still 
in my pocket.

I say goodnight with a head-pat
to the old yellow dog 
that lazes in the road 
all day and for whom
everything and everyone
move out of the way

except the scent of heather
resting its soul languid 
on night air.

Then, I sleep hard,
I'm tired and blessedly, 
dream of nothing.

(If you know the photo credit of the above photo of Edinburgh, please contact me so I may post it)


AndreaFekete is a coal miner’s daughter, granddaughter to Mexican and Hungarian immigrants and native of the southern West Virginia coalfields. She is author of the novel of the WV coal mine wars, Waters Run Wild (Guest Room Press 2018) and one poetry chapbook I Held a Morning (Finishing Line Press, 2012).

Her fiction and poetry often appear in journals such as Chiron Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Kentucky Review, Montucky Review, Adirondack Review, ABZ, and in such anthologies as Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods: Fiction and Poetry from West Virginia. (WVU Press, 2017)

Andrea earned her MA in English from Marshall University and MFA in Creative Writing from WV Wesleyan College.She co-edited "Feminine Rising: Voices of Power & Invisibility" with author Lara Lillibridge. (Cynren Press forthcoming April 2019)

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Have you Ever Missed Someone's Voice by Andrea Fekete

Have you ever missed
a voice, one you knew
as intimately
as the sound
of your own breathing
in the cold?

What torture
for those
of us gifted a close
ear for music,
most especially.

Why must I forget
language sometimes?
Staring at a spoon,
for example,
naming it fork
to the gentle chuckles
of dinner guests

while, tragically, knowing
by heart
the voice of someone
who has died

or someone else who feels
just as gone.

Have you ever missed
the voice of someone
you loved more
deeply than yourself

someone absent
due to blameless misfortune
or deliberate cruelty?

Have you ever
found listening
to the professor's lecture
the neighbor's good morning
the officer's question

an impossibility?

Watching their mouths
speak, recognizing the words
but unable to really
hear as your heart

your sharp ear
intrudes recreating the voice
you miss in your mind

each vowel
every consonant
every intonation
in every syllable

every hard 'r' or
soft 's'.

I can hear how
every word I know
in the English language
would sound in his mouth
between his teeth.

Why must I also
recall, deftly, the timbre
of every small noise
he made that said
Me too
I'm sorry
It'll be all right
You look gorgeous
I adore you

instead of storing
more practical things
like where is north
or what is 35 divided by 4?

The Spanish word for restroom.
Where I put my keys
how to forget
a voice I possibly
may have loved
above all other sounds.

Pictured: Andrea Fekete June 2018

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Everything is in the Milky Way, Even Us by Andrea Fekete

"EVERYTHING IS IN THE MILKY WAY, EVEN US." -said in conversation, Ace Boggess to Andrea Fekete

With what should we fill
the Milky Way? Us.
Let's clutter
it like a child's toy-box
dumping in all our
both sacred
and stupid like

my mediocre college
poetry filled
with overzealous
admissions of love
addressed to some dimwitted
guy I probably didn’t                   
(but thought I did).

I'll throw in memories                                  
of that time
I nearly died,
the time I was sure you                              
would kill yourself
but you didn’t.

All our tragedies, real ones                      
and the between-our-ears
ones. Our ridiculous
we used as bridges

the space separating
who we fancied
ourselves to be and who
we really were.

We'll have to make our own
record or they'll be
left of us, see.
We are not

painted on Sistine
ceiling, not us.
We are not             
woolly mammoths
staring nobly
from a block of ice
or New Grange’s
mystery swirl-carvings.

If we were recorded
at all we'd be more like
fern fossils passed

around 10th-grade biology
fumbled by sweaty
hands of bored
teenagers with no
reverence for time,
for life or death.

No, there won't be a record
of us at all. Instead
we will end up in galaxy.
Just imagine!

After we are dead                                        
our atoms release quietly into soft

mere dust traveling, airy
mother-of-pearl clouds

our stories inside
deaths of comets
bursting as new stars

and somewhere the words
to the old wild songs
we once performed
so (over) seriously
we’ll still sing them,
out there.

We will always be,
my old friend, yes, even us
even when we are not.

A previous version of this poem appeared in the journal In Between Hangovers (June 2016)
This poem has been heavily revised.

Photo: Asheville sky. Andrea Fekete March 2019

Sunday, March 10, 2019

The Wrong Dress: A Sort of Cinderella-Story Nightmare

Everyone who knows me knows I live for wearing dresses.

That’s an overstatement but I find a lot of happiness in the "right" dress for an occasion or for just being a tiny bit "extra" going to the grocery store.

Usually, it’s the latter. I don't attend nearly enough "occasions" so I'll flounce into the coffee shop in a polka-dotted dress or you might see me at Walmart wearing cherries. Whatever.

Funeral Parade. September 15, 2018

It makes me happy. I feel like a canvas and what I choose to wear is the art.

I've noticed plenty of women in my (very) small city do this. I love it.

If I’m not feeling well, I throw on a dress and I’m instantly transformed into someone carefree enough to be concerned with frivolities like cute shoes, prints, and meditating over which shade of green doesn't make me look like I have the flu. I become lighter, freer.

That is a thing by the way, the looking like I have the flu. Green does it, mostly.

Fashion is an endless hallway of doors. There are infinite possibilities, all possibilities existing at once and picking that dress or those earrings is choosing which door, which possibility you will call into reality.

And how could you feel suffocated or trapped if you're creating reality?

Like Scarlett O'Hara said, "When I put on a new bonnet, all the figures I ever knew just go slap out of my head."

She was racist but she had style.

Victor Fleming hired God to design her wardrobe.

People look (usually women) and exclaim, "OH MY GOD! I LOVE YOUR DRESS!" I get to reply, "Girl, $20 on Amazon" or "$30 at such and such consignment."

All women who worship at the altar of fashion know the best part is sharing how cheap you got it and...finding one with POCKETS.

When my dress has pockets, I'm suddenly a pretty princess who can carry must-haves like lipstick, a mirror, maybe tissues or you know, Doritos.


Summer 2018
I've been having some WEIRD dreams lately. Last night I had a strange dream about fitting in, artistic expression, and about romantic relationships too.

About DRESSES. Dresses symbolize much to me, mostly ideas and feelings related to independence.

Before I went to bed last night I saw a drawing that tickled me and put it on my author page on Facebook. It was pretty funny.

Drawing by Debbie Ridpath Ohi (

That drawing is me. She's not focusing on getting a prince. She wants more practical wishes granted.

However, I want the party dress AND the book contract.

I just don't need a set of stairs to lose my shoes. I mean, they're suede and they'll get ruined if it rains or something, so I'd better keep them on.

Lately, to help these feelings of failure dissipate, I've returned to my natural state, one of close attention to details that matter only to me: my body, my girlfriends, my new novel, and my poetry.

Plus, we have a book coming out the end of April.

Art is the only thing that can never hurt you, will never leave you, and will always respect you because well, you made it. Plus, it's the only thing that’s ever truly yours.

Unless someone steals ideas from your blog and then it’s theirs.

This does happen to me. I SEE YOU PEOPLE.

But I digress.

Photo Credit: Sam Sarcone, summer 2018
I'm singing here. I'm not mad. That's just my resting bitch face.

I’m pretty sure I had that dream due to my recent feelings of failure. I’ve been lugging around those feelings with me recently.

Those feelings are not light.

Those of us with realistic views of ourselves- meaning anyone without Sociopath or psychopathic personalities- sometimes get that feeling at times, the feeling we have failed or fearing we will.

In my dream, I was invited to prom. I very much wanted to go with him.

I wanted to meet up with my friends and dance, too. I couldn’t wait to see all the other girls’ dresses and show them mine.

Dorito-pockets, betch. 

It sounds silly but this innocuous dream turned into an unexpected nightmare.

I didn't have much time. I was running behind and rushing like mad which in real life stresses me almost to tears.

I hurried through a long, almost hallway-like walk-in closet filled with dresses. I tried on one after another after another.

Strangely, I couldn't see what I was trying on until I stood before the full-length mirror.

I quickly tossed the "wrong" dresses to the side, leaving them crumpled on the floor. Each dress was either so big it would hang off me or so small it looked ridiculous.

But the most frustrating ones were the dresses which fit but were inappropriate for prom. They were way too casual or resembled a costume from Cirque Du Soleil,

Aside: I've never gotten to see it live but if I did I'd wear THE COOLEST DRESS. My birthday is in June, y'all. Just saying.

I didn’t want to wear the zebra dress with the ears and zebra tail hanging from the back. I mean WHAT was that even doing in my closet?
           The above dress is black with some stripes but does not have a zebra tail or ears.

Sometimes I’d find a prom-like skirt with no matching top. Infuriating! Well, really they were more like costumes for a science fiction novel but they were closer to "prom-like" than the camo hoodie and zebra getup.

You can’t really match a formal skirt with a camouflage hoodie. You could but I wouldn’t.

None of them were "me."

I cried to my mom, who was trying to help, "All the other girls will be in gowns, not dresses with zebra tails and hoodies."

I tried on dozens of dresses as I watched the minutes fly past.

"I’ll never make it. I’ll miss it," I lamented. I cried tears. Then, I realized I wasn’t going to get to go. It was too late. Time had run out.

I’m fairly certain this dream was about not being able to be with the people I wished to be with, (the party) an inability to fulfill some role, either personal or professional, because I couldn’t find the right "dress."

Or maybe it wasn't the dresses were "wrong" maybe it was my not being the right shape and size that was the problem. Hmm.

I'm sure "dress" in my subconscious mind is some kind of Jungian metaphor for the manner in which we present ourselves to the world, our sense of self-actualization, self-expression, and our ability to connect with others.

Photo Credit: Dreama Pritt. Barboursville Art Gallery. June 2018. Me connecting with others.

Maybe theses dream dresses were my way of seeking the perfect way to "be" in the world, the way to "be" more myself and I just couldn't find a way to do it.

All my friends and my boyfriend were gathered at a party and I couldn't go. I wouldn't have "fit." All these dresses that didn't "work" surely belonged to others. They definitely weren't for me.

Feeling I couldn't go was almost like not being invited at all. Alanis Morriesette and I both really hate that.
Taylor Books, June 2017

I wouldn’t be understood. What I communicated wouldn’t be authentically me.

I wanted to be a pretty princess with Dorito-pockets NOT a zebra or a weirdo in an intergalactic skirt and a camo hoodie.

I didn’t show up looking ridiculous but worse, I didn’t get to be there at all. But apparently even when asleep, I cope the same way I do in waking life.

The final time I looked in the mirror I had on tights with an ankle-length blue-jean skirt, brown boots, and a blue button-up top.

My expression suggested I smelled a cow pasture and I said, "I don’t look like I’m going to prom! I look like I’m headed to the * * * * * DMV!"

Well, at least even in bad dreams I’m still sort of funny.

My subconscious is telling me: You can't go to prom. Maybe go take care of some practical renewing your license.

Maybe one of these days I'll be in the perfect "dress" and I'll get to "show up" anywhere I'd like to metaphorically be.

For now? I'm writing and being with my girlfriends who keep me sane (mostly).

And I wear a beautiful dress as often as I can.

Now where’s that fairy godmother? I have more than one favor to ask.

Photo Credit: Rose Winland, circa 2017

ANDREA FEKETE is a native West Virginian and granddaughter to Mexican and Hungarian immigrant coal miners. She is author of the historical fiction novel of the coal mine wars, Waters Run Wild (Guest Room Press, 2018). She has one poetry chapbook, I Held a Morning (Finishing Line Press, 2012). Her poetry and fiction appear in such publications as Chiron Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, The Kentucky Review, The Montucky Review, The Smithville Journal, The Adirondack Review, ABZ, and in anthologies such as Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods: Fiction & Poetry from West Virginia (WVU Press, 2017) among others. In 2016, she was awarded a Fellowship by the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation to attend the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. An excerpt from her newest unpublished novel Native Trees was a finalist in Still: The Journal’s 2019 Fiction contest. She earned her MFA in creative writing from West Virginia Wesleyan college and an MA in English from Marshall University. For over a decade she has taught English and writing to college students. She co-edited the anthology Feminine Rising with Lara Lillibridge. (Cynren Press, 2019).