James B. Nicola


One and Another

1. Long and Short of Love




2. Another Affair


Who? —….


Only I

Only I
Saw the fly
Flitter by
The actor’s eye

Saw him flick it with a finger
Saw the thing fly back and linger
Make him blink and make him twitch
Most would think he had an itch

He never dropped a line or cue
For that is not what actors do
But focused on the space between
On the objective and the scene

When the fly leapt to my lap
I slew it with a sudden slap
The actor heard but was not riled
Just looked my way and smiled

“Only I” first appeared in Stage to Page: Poems from the Theater (WordTech Communications, 2016).


James B. Nicola’s poetry and prose have appeared in the Antioch, Southwest, Green Mountains, and Atlanta reviews; Barrow Street; and Light, garnering a Dana Literary Award, two Willow Review awards, eight Pushcart Prize nominations, and one Best of the Net nom. His collections are Manhattan Plaza (2014), Stage to Page (2016), Wind in the Cave (2017), Out of Nothing: Poems of Art and Artists (2018), Quickening: Poems from Before and Beyond (2019), and Fires of Heaven: Poems of Faith and Sense (2021). His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice magazine award.