Artwork © Ira Joel Haber


Ward B

She moves my arm
to one side
as though it belongs
to her, sensing a value in it
I never knew how
to possess.

To me it’s a jar
full of blood, but to her
a sacred container
whose wine might spill,
whose sanctity be lost.

After she’s gone
I look at it
reverently, as though
inspecting a slab of meat
in the butcher’s shop
for strange signs of life.

Nothing so far;
maybe it’s down to her,
how well she pours
and how deeply she drinks
from the well.

She doesn’t say her name,
but someone calls her
Katerina, and I like that better
than ‘doc’.

For a deep
unfathomable reason
I believe
she wants me to live.

And for a shallow,
more fathomable reason,
I believe
I need to let her.


Ian Mullins is bailing out faster and faster as the years go by. Pages torn from his latest poetry book Dirty Sweet (Anxiety Press) help fill the holes in the raft, but he’s running low. Please buy a copy to help him stay afloat.

Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, writer, book dealer, photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows both in the USA and Europe and he has had nine one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum,The Albright-Knox Art Gallery & The Allen Memorial Art Museum. Since 2006 His paintings, drawings, photographs and collages have been published in over 300 online and print magazines. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Creative Artists Public Service Grant (CAPS) two Pollock-Krasner grants, two Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grants and, in 2010, he received a grant from Artists’ Fellowship Inc. in 2017 & 2018 he received the Brooklyn Arts Council SU-CASA artist-in-residence grant.