Alison Luterman | The Sun Magazine #2

Alison Luterman


Alison Luterman lives, works, and coaches other writers from a hundred-year-old house in Oakland, California. For the past few years she’s been learning basic music theory and how to play piano and sing. She’s slowly making progress.

— From April 2024


When I was young, years ago, canoeing on the green / Green River, with my young first husband, / I wriggled out of my shorts, eased over the lip / of our little boat, and became eel-woman, / naked and glistening, borne along in the current.

December 2019

Sometimes The Dream

My student blushed all over his bald head / as he confessed, laughing, / “I have those adultery dreams — you know, the ones / where you wake up in a cold sweat: / Thank God, thank God, / I didn’t mess up my whole life!

March 2017

A Visitation

It was very kind of my ex-husband, / dead these dozen years, / to show up in my dream last night.

November 2016


I need a hug from you, from behind, as I’m standing at the kitchen window, washing dishes and looking at the one pink-flowering branch left on the peach tree.

August 2015

Morning Song

Morning: fire of purple princess blossoms, / toddler pedaling furiously on a tricycle, / and the man unlocking his fix-it shop on the corner / with its hand-painted warning sign: / ALL MY STUFF IS NOT WORTH YOUR LIFE.

May 2015

The Empty Dress

March sky the color of smoke; / Carla’s red hair blazed, a torch song of hopeless hope / as she powered her wheelchair through the Vintage Fair / to help me find a wedding dress.

September 2014

The Witnesses

I could hear the Jehovah’s Witnesses before I saw them, / two black women dressed in black, / conferring politely on my porch steps. / I ran to the door to head them off.

July 2014

Old Paint

Sometimes he seems strange to me. I notice that his hair is thinning in front, that it poufs up a little, which makes him look like an aging cowboy.

April 2013

Because These Failures Are My Job

This morning I failed to notice the pearl-gray moment / just before sunrise when everything lightens

June 2012
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Feral City

My husband, Lee, was the one who heard the abandoned kittens piping and squeaking like an off-key orchestra composed entirely of piccolos and penny whistles. They were hidden in the overgrown weeds of the front yard, and it was raining. There were six of them, looking like featherless baby birds.

May 2012

White Lady Of Once A Week

The child lolls half-asleep in the front seat. / “Why do it start and then stop?” The rain, she means. / “The clouds are banging into each other,” I tell her, / which is what someone told me when I was her age, seven.

March 2012

Citizens Of A Broken City

She’s shuffling around the lake in flip-flops, / pregnant belly hanging / over the open strings of her sweat pants, / and she’s shouting into her cellphone: / “You just don’t get it!”

February 2012
What Do You Think? Has something we published moved you? Fired you up? Did we miss the mark? We'd love to hear about it. Send Us A Letter