Cindy Hochman







What I Would Do With Your Secret




If you tell me your secret . . .

I will keep it under my derby hat

I will keep it under my green beret

I will tuck it under my satin pillow

I will dissolve it under my hungry tongue

I will mix it with my errant blood

I will shoot it into my impatient veins

I will shoot it up to bloody Mars

I will comb it through my golden hair

I will shove it under my bitten nails

I will place it inside Pandora’s box

I will stuff it into my Burberry boots

I will pour it into my vodka flask

I will stick it into the thorn in my side

I will whisper it to myself at the end of the day

I will recite it in my devout prayers

I will lay it down on a wooden bier

I will shape it in my careful hands

and make it into a glorious poem



To My Handsome Lover

Did Michelangelo ever paint the moon?

And, if so, did he capture

the pristine chapel of your face?

(previously published in the 2011 Brevitas event book)





Facing the allegro moon with a goblet mouth of restless kisses, I am dreaming the breathless dusk with a pillowed head of clocks & daggers, watching the silent guards of black caves tracing midnight’s shorn & sheltered face, while ancient tombs of thought screech like chalk across the sandpaper surface on chopped chords of dissonance.

(previously published in The Elements:  Scars Publications and The Stray Branch)


Losing My Mother at Age 5


Then God told me to say goodbye. And she was gone in a cloud of blonde silk. While I, in all my gingham, spanked the air and sunk into the ground. I needed to be rocked, but she was too busy going from crutches to wheelchair to death bed to final home. She was too young and I was too young. Mother, you were a cut finger, a quick departure. Bionic goddess with legs in chains. I can tell you that there really is such thing as a death glow — the gorgeous marble eyes at the moment they turn to stone, the blue breath, the veins pale as grass. Leaving me to stand alone in the twilight’s last weaning.

(previously published in Möbius, The Poetry Magazine)




Now I know I was more to you than a doorjamb,

a garden tool, like a rake or a hoe,

a shadow on the farthest wall

or a single stone on someone’s grave.


I was more of a thrust in your belly,

a karate kick to your groin,

shattered glass at the curbside

or, maybe, a candle in your soul

The Primal Scream


Laughter died when it was too afraid to live

but even when fear took it

to the edge of a cliff

it clung to a broken cloud

by threads of itself.

When the quagmire of troubled youth

combined with Einstein logic

it formed a feeble waif,

jumbled, kaleidoscoped, hardened, and trapped

between carousels, ponytails,

and the grown-up on the other side

When the median line grew crooked and thick

curtains turned to walls

and walls into graves

but the “I” still breathed and clawed with passion.

When I held the verdict of “yes” versus “no”

in my etherized hands

I knew

that born-again laughter was only as far away

as the “I” will push it

(previously published in Marymark Press Broadside and Voices International)












Cindy Hochman is a proofreader/copyeditor and legal transcriptionist.  She lives in Brooklyn, New York (USA).  She is editor-in-chief of the online poetry journal First Literary


Review-East ( 


Her poems have been published in, or are forthcoming in the New York Quarterly, Lips, CLWN WR, and the Cancer Poetry Project Anthology.  Her book reviews appear all over the place.  Her poetry has recently been translated into Turkish.  Her most recent chapbook is The Carcinogenic Bride.  In her spare time (when there is any), she listens to music and drinks wine.



Links to interviews Cindy Hochman conducted on Poetry Thin Air






A review of her chapbook that Patricia Carragon wrote for Gently Read Literature and Goodreads:


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