Richard Jeffrey Newman

From a sequence entitled “This Sentence Is A Metaphor for Bridge.”


Goliath Challenges the Israelites (from the Maciejowski Bible)

Strap betrayal’s instrument
tight around your waist.
Wear the narrow grief
you practice in your dreams
like armor. What rises
will define the limits
you can test, will map your cowardice
against the mercies you’ve received.

Drain your glass;
leave it empty on the bar.
The one way in
remains the one way in.
What providence is not
is not to blame.


About the writer:
As a poet and essayist, Richard Jeffrey Newman’s work explores the impact of feminism on his life as a man. As a co-translator of classical Persian poetry, he writes about the impact of that canon on our contemporary lives. His most recent books are Words For What Those Men Have Done (Guernica Editions 2017) and the translation The Teller of Tales: Stories from Ferdowsi’s Shahameh (Junction Press 2011). He is also the author of The Silence of Men (Cavankerry Press 2006) and Selections from Saadi’s Gulistan and Selections from Saadi’s Bustan (Global Scholarly Publications 2004 & 2006). Newman is on the Board of Directors of Newtown Literary, a Queens, NY-based literary non-profit and curates the First Tuesdays reading series in Jackson Heights, NY. He is Professor of English at Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York, where he also serves as secretary of his faculty union.

Image: Goliath Challenges the Israelites by unknown artist. Illumination from the Maciejowski Bible. 13th century. Public domain.