Maxine Chernoff

Maxine Chernoff Poems

Miss Congeniality

Even as an embryo, she made room for "the other guy." Slick and
bloody, she emerged quietly: Why spoil the doctor's best moment?
When Dad ran over her tricycle, she smiled, and when Mom drowned
her kittens, she curtsied, a Swiss statuette. Her teachers liked the way


A film is always like a book and not like a conversation.
— Christian Metz

As I saw your face nearing
my face, snow fell through

Lost and Found

I am looking for the photo that would make all the difference in my life. It's very small and subject to fits of amnesia, turning up in poker hands, grocery carts, under the unturned stone. The photo shows me at the lost and found looking for an earlier photo, the one that would have made all the difference then. My past evades


The cinema is a specific language.
— Christian Metz

What the body might guess,
what the hand requests,

[without a listener]

a voice speaks

to rheumy stars

deadpan witness

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Maxine Chernoff Biography

Maxine Chernoff is an American novelist, writer, poet, academic and literary magazine editor. She was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and attended the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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