readings/appearances books poetry about audio/ site map submit Tea Leaves: mothers & daughters links/contact readings/appearances

Tea Leaves: a memoir of mothers and daughters by Janet Mason (Bella Books April 2012) is now available -- click here for more info

Tea Leaves: a memoir of mothers and daughters by Janet Mason (Bella Books April 2012) is now available -- click here for more info

“There is something here for everyone who has ever loved someone else or plans to. I highly recommend “Tea Leaves” just because it is so real and so beautifully written.”–Reviews by Amos Lassen

check out Janet Mason's author blog

read Janet Mason's latest piece in The Huffington Post --Chick-fil-A: What Would Gandhi Do If He Were Gay? ('s) features Philadelphia Poets 2009 poets -- Annie Rachele Lanzillotto and Lili Bita

click here to read to read a woman alone poems by Janet Mason -- first place winner in the Fourth Annual John and Rose Petracca and Family Award from the 2009 issue of Phila Poets

click here to read Lunar Eclipse No. 9 -- an essay by Janet Mason that is published in Philadelphia Poets 2009

Hitching To Nirvana, a novel of midife and adolescence by Janet Mason is now available on-line and from bookstores


Philadelphia Poets journal

Carytids at the Acropolis -- Athens, Greece

Photos by Janet Mason

Philadelphia Poets--2009, Volume 15

from the Foreward....

Every year when I start accepting poetry and begin inputting it into the draft of Philadelphia Poets next issue, I have no idea if there will be a theme or what that theme might be. Eventually, though what often appears to be a miraculous process, a subtle thread appears that joins it all together.

--Rosemary Cappello, editor

The Caryatids, classical stone pillars carved in the shape of women, hold up the porch of the Erechtheion, an ancient Greek Temple on the North Side of the Acropolis in Athens...The mythology of who the Caryatids represents varies, from maidens to the Goddess, to women who gathered nuts, and to women doomed to lives of hard labor. When I saw them, I felt that I was witnessing my own strength....

--Janet Mason, on the cover photo



















Philadelpia Poets 2009

Lili Bita is a poet, actress, and musician whose writings have been anthologized and translated into many languages. She is the readings/appearances of many books including Sister of Darkness.


Here in this cradle, this grave
this scooped-out gully shorn of growth
this great body of the kouros lies.
Fruit trees bend over him
their heavy wealth.
The black-hooded horse
turns the yoke of the well
a clock that tells no time.
Falling apples
the dry cough of birds
the percussion of a waterfall
chime the toneless centuries.
His room is simple, unadrobed
as befits a young man's gravity.
Roofless, so that his gaze
adjusts itself to the infinite,
the glitter and size of the abyssal night.

Unclasping your hand,
I climb the stone steps
to where the naked body
lies like a spent athlete
laureled with victory, avid
for still wilder triumph.

The leg is severed
at the knee.
I sink my fingers
deep into the cleft
feeling the hard fracture
of the marble
lovingly I sculpt
the perfect body
the massive stiff shoulders
the mound of the pectorals
the hard clump of sex
winnowing away the centuries
that separate us
pinching and caressing
sucking welts to the white surface
like buried fruit.

Dusk falls in the quarry.
The workers leave their tools,
belt their robes, and walk back to Naxos,
and in the hovering dark
I come again
to bruise the chastity of stone
with the hunger of my human flesh.


Lili Bita
Bala Cynwyd, PA
Translated from the Greek by Robert Zaller


lesbos -- sappho's cliffs

a woman alone -- poems by Janet Mason























































































































































































































































































Annie Rachele Lanzillotto is a Bronx-born private-pilot lesbian poet whose performance works can be seen on You Tube and through her website


Manhattan Schist

New York has a destiny of glitter. We're built on it.
Born of it. Born of glitter. You see this?
This is Manhattan Schist.
This is why we can build high into the sky.
This is why cranes thread the sky hoisting steel up into clouds.
C'mere, you want to touch it?
It's cool. Press it to your forehead.
Smell it. It's alive. Breathe it in. Pass it around.

450 million years ago
the East Coast slammed in the Atlantic sea floor
and the sand and clay
dove nine miles down into the very alive bone marrow
of this earth
hot marrow
where the sand and clay
mixed with quartz and feldspar and mica and hornblende
quartz and feldspar and mica and hornblende.

Mica, from the Latin micare, to glitter.
Mica is atomically flat, and alive.
Mica loves water.
Mica loves the sea.
Mica fostered life forms before cell walls existed
and thousands of degrees of heat
and megatons of pressure
and Voilahhhh!
Out of this glittering womb gets born the metamorphic rock:
the Glittering Manhattan Schist!

Here on the Bowery it's 260 feet below the surface.
At Ground Zero and midtown it's only 18 feet down.
That's why we build there high into the sky.
It comes up downtown
and dives deeper in The Village
and comes up in midtown
dives down again
and surfaces uptown.
At 120th and Madison it's three stories high like a whale
breaking the flat-as-earth sea.
In Inwood there's caves.
Downtown we had rocky bluffs that were razed
and flattened from the 1700s on.
It's a skyscraper beneath skyscraper.
The strongest rock in the world

Let me tell you why I'm like Mica.
It's great to go to Sloan-Kettering all the time;
the past 25 years, I average 60 visits a year.
And the great thing about going to Sloan-Ketting all the time
is they turn you inside out.
And when you deal with your blood and bile
and vomit and shit and chemo is a rope
and radiation is pulled through you
you turn inside out.
Your crust goes to your core, your core to your crust.
And you lose all your surface accoutrements
and when you got nothin' left
you find your inner glitter
like the buried sun.
You find
your inner glitter.

This Mica I believed in as a kid.
I stared into the sidewalks that sparkled at night
you've seen them
the curb jumps up at you.
I followed the glittery spark internal light
like the buried sun we mistake for gold.
New York glittered wherever I stepped.
The Sun's hands had a place to sit as if some Goddess
had split on each stone.

Sparks fly into the night
like silver fish
the sidewalks pulse and buckle
and I could feel it. I ran over the coursing waters' hot molten
glittering womb that is home.
My home glitters.
Glitter is my home.


Annie Rachele Lanzillotto
Yonkers, NY


amusejanetmason logo