Nancy Machlis Rechtman

Nancy Machlis Rechtman has had poetry and short stories published in Literary Yard, Paper Dragon, Page & Spine, The Thieving Magpie, Quail Bell, Anti-Heroin Chic, Blue Lake Review, Goat’s Milk, Down In the Dirt, and more. She wrote freelance Lifestyle stories for a local newspaper, and she was the copy editor for another local paper. She has had stories and plays for children published and produced. She currently writes a blog called Inanities at .

Maybe In My Dreams

The nights tease and dangle
The possibility of escape
And obliteration
From the mania of the day
While the hours tick by with no relief
And I try what the self-proclaimed experts promise will work
So I turn off the TV
Even though that’s the only thing that keeps my mind 
From going over the edge
Of nowhere.
I even turn off the phone
That keeps me tethered to the world
So I don’t float away
Into the clouds
And end up losing my way
But I’ll take my chances.

We’re told we should be like computers
And shut down
So we can recharge.
But without the distractions
I’m hooked on
Where do my thoughts go
When they’re all jumbled up in my head
Since they always manage to find their way to the forbidden places 
I need to stay away from
When my only companion is loneliness.

So I cheat
And grab my phone with the sigh of an addict
And discover it’s only 2:00 AM
And I fling it onto the floor.

Unconsciousness has become a tangible thing that I seek so desperately
And I watch it ping around the room
Always out of reach.
Every time I blink
It darts out of my grasp
Mocking me.

And as my mind continues going down the rabbit hole
I grab the remote and turn the TV back on
Hoping the banality of the offerings will lull my eyes into closing for a few hours
And let my mind pause
Just enough
To turn off the big thoughts
About the world
And climate
And all the hate
And poverty
And starving children
And dangers
And despair
And then
To turn off the voices that try to convince me
That I’m never enough
And I’m always doing it all wrong
And I’ll never not be alone
Because I haven’t lived up to who I should be.

But I try to persuade myself
That maybe in my dreams
I can work on all of those things
And figure it all out
If only I could sleep.

The Dance

Alone I dangle
From the arthritic limbs
Of the ancient tree
In the corner of the Universe.

Like a marionette
I dance
To the familiar melody
Yet it changes every time
But I always know the steps.

My feet never touch the ground
My hands only touch the strings
When I fear I might plummet
And shatter into a million pieces,
And my heart is never touched at all.

Do I pirouette only for the Puppetmaster
Or do I have a say
In what music is played
Or which composition is on the menu today?

I can’t reach my pocket
For the quarter
I want to slide into the jukebox
So I can press B3
And maybe find my release.

Instead I paste on a smile
Like Pierrot
So that my pain elicits laughter
And all that matters
Is keeping the world entertained
For a few moments of anesthesia
And sedation.

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