About rchess

Richard Chess, poetry editor, Zeek 

Richard Chess is the author of three books of poems, THIRD TEMPLE (2007), CHAIR IN THE DESERT (2000), and TEKIAH (1994), all published by The University of Tampa Press.  He directs the Creative Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.  He also directs UNCA's Center for Jewish Studies.

A Poem by Robert Manaster

By November 27, 2008

The Beginnings of Ritual   When God intrudes from within A story, as in the ordering Of unleavened bread, bitter Herbs, and the roasted lamb, When God’s telling-about the Seder Delays the Angel of Death And preserves a memory, we … Read More


By November 20, 2008

Atonement There is Betwixt Light and Darkness To be a we, we must include that which we have banished– the transgressor, the excommunicated. Can be neither community or person without our ex–punged, tracted parts down to the smallest part must … Read More


By November 13, 2008

A Summer Sonata I bathed in fresh, clear waters, I saw my white feet through a bright, green stream. I walked home barefoot through a thick forest, The forest breathed heavily and intoxicated me sweetly. I emerged into a wide … Read More

POEM: Secret Places of the Stairs

By September 4, 2008

Telling secrets in the secret places of the stairs: Fingertips, like lighted candles, reaching out, from the dark (O my dove, thou art in the secret places of the stairs) reaching out from the clefts of the rock, from the … Read More


By August 8, 2008

(I DID NOT KNOW, MY LOVER) (IKH HOB NIT GEVUST, MAYN LIBER) I did not know, my lover, That with slow, longing fingers I etch you into my poems. Now they have the heavy gleam Of your eyes, the sharp … Read More

POEM: Prayers to John Grisham

By July 31, 2008

                On this flight to Pittsburgh the man next to me reads the latest thriller with lips aflutter. He reads with Talmudic fervency divining the permanent in black and white. I look half-eyed … Read More

Poem: “Miriam and Her Brothers”

By June 26, 2008

MIRIAM AND HER BROTHERS And the Lord said unto Moses: ‘If her father had but spit in her face, should she not hide in shame seven days? Let her be shut up without the camp seven days, and after that … Read More

POEM: Isaiah Interviewed: An Excerpt

By June 19, 2008

Isaiah Interviewed: An Excerpt Did I see the throne before the royal funeral or afterwards? I guess I never really saw the throne in my vision. The folds of the gown obscured the sapphire. If indeed it was sapphire. I … Read More