Pearl Stein Selinsky


Pearl Stein Selinsky was raised and educated in New York. She continued her education in California. After she retired from teaching in the Los Angeles School District, she moved to Sacramento, where she earned her Master’s Degree in Creative Writing at California State University, Sacramento. While there, she won First Place in both the Bazzanella and Room of One’s Own competitions, sponsored by the English Department. In addition, she has won a number of prizes in poetry competitions, and has served as a judge in such competitions, as well. Her work has appeared in Vintage 45, Poetry (Chicago), Ekphrasis, Poetry Now, Poet’s Guild, Zambomba, 33 Review, The Prairie Star, Nostalgia, Mediphors, Poetry Depth Quarterly, Tule Review, Rattlesnake Review, and others, as well as in anthologies including Only in Her Shoes, To Honor a Teacher, and The Sacramento Anthology: One Hundred Poems. She may be reached at

VICTOR SELINSKY attended Otis Art Institue and received a Master’s Degree in Art from California State University, Los Angeles. Prior to his retirement, he was a high school art teacher, as well as an instructor of figure drawing at Pierce Community College in Los Angeles. He has exhibited drawings and paintings in both Los Angeles and Sacramento, including several solo exhibits and numerous invitational group shows. In recent years, he was an Elderhostel teacher in Southern California, providing instruction in drawing and art history. He continues to pursue his many interests in the local Sacramento Arts environment.

Unfortunately, Vic passed away April 25, 2006. In her grief, Pearl wrote a chapbook, Vic & Me, which was published by Rattlesnake Press in January, 2007. Here are two poems from that collection:



Pearl Stein Selinsky Poems


how to tally my
survival skills,
to know
what clamber-grab
at mountain

dizzied, looking
down to where
I’ve been…

look only up
to see the way…

and reaching,
time to time,
a hand,
a shoulder…

taking hold until
the next
effort up
when I must
my own weight

regardless of
whatever waits


I watch a stately goose
parade before
her own reflection
on the chrome bumper
of a truck.

No sound. Just fixed
to that feathered sight,
her own lonely self,

the mate
crushed and trashed
by traffic months before.

She persists, believes
that it is him she sees

and like so many widows
who speak to photographs,
keep clothes and closets,
a dedicated mausoleum—

this goose, who mates for life,
will not admit to any other
beyond her faith.

She simply walks and waits.


SpiralChap Poems by Pearl Stein Selinsky


The year the amaryllis
never bloomed,
children didn’t send cards
for Mother’s Day
nor birthdays nor for any

Partners rumbled off
to their own private
no notice
simply gone.

on a spectral plane
of nowhere,

those waiting knew
the sour taste
of dwindled
thin across
the far horizon line,

each solitary
each, loving still,
knew within
what love is.


She watches from the wall
where we hung the etching
of her seamed face
five years ago.

Eighty-year-old rheumy eyes
stare from darkened caves
sunk in wrinkles, deep
and corrugated, fold by fold,
as on a tortoise-neck.

I love that face, her chin
resting on her hand, knotted
bun of hair, almost Arlésienne
in style, hint of ribbon there.
Pensive, in a nimbus of
tranquillity and, glowing
from those eyes, a hint
of wisdom only age imparts.

She stares at me
as she did for him that day
and, through her modeling years.

When he first sketched her,
his age nineteen—and through
all time in drafty studios,
each artist working
as the model strikes a momentary
pose, each racing in the allocated
span to paper-place a face,
a torso twist, to make her his
unique vision unlike any other
in the room…my man who
caught her so, who drew her
many times through fifty years,
who saw her model as a girl,
who watched her age…
who set her kindly on the page,
endowing her with beauty
which transcends the cruel cuts
of growing old…








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