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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 10: October 2021
Poem: 125 words
By Madeline Artenberg

Rhinestones and Memories

I gave you away to Reminiscence, my favorite 
store in SoHo, long out-of-business. Now, I see you 
in a new second-hand shop, half-hidden 
under a pile of other rhinestone purses. 
“Hello, old friend.” 

Remember how we’d bounce from kiss to caress 
at Studio 54? I’d wear those bright purple, 
elephant-bell hip huggers. They always did the trick: 
By 4 AM, you’d be stuffed with numbers. 

I still wear bright colors. I see your once-
flaming-fuchsia suede has worn 
to barely pink. Both of us are scored 
with lines, but hold spirit enough. 

I take you in my arms, unclasp you. 
Oh, strumpet! Inside, your glory’s 
unfaded and ripe! Unfolded, 
I too still flush, awakening 
the rose. 



Publisher’s Note:

Learn more about the Reminiscence store in a blog entry by Jeremiah Moss (10 January 2013) at Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York (aka The Book of Lamentations: A Bitterly Nostalgic Look at a City in the Process of Going Extinct):

Madeline Artenberg
Issue 10, October 2021

Before falling for poetry, Madeline Artenberg was a press-pass-carrying photojournalist and street-theatre performer. She has been co-producing the Alternative New Year’s Day Poetry Extravaganza in New York City since 2002.

Her work has been published in, among others: Rattle, Mudfish, theravensperch, The POET, Caprice, Literature Today International Journal, Absinthe Literary Review, Skidrow Penthouse, Pudding House, Salonika, Vernacular, and Ducts.

Her awards and prizes include:

  • Mudfish poetry prize: finalist (2020)

  • Best of the Net: poem nominated by Poets Wear Prada (2020)

  • Highland Park Poetry Challenge: honorable mention (2017)

  • Margie, The American Journal of Poetry contest: semi-finalist (2005)

  • Poetry Forum contest: 1st prize (2003)

  • nycbigcitylit/Lyric Recovery contest: semi-finalist (2001)
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