30
May

One Poet’s Paradox – Rick Stephen

One Poet’s Paradox

I put words to paper
in relentless attempts
to persuade you
I am no fraud

But how can I
sway you when
I fail to convince
even myself?

Endless words
penned countless times
to prove that which I
can’t accept myself.

2 comments

29
May

My Dead by Tim Nolan

tim-nolan-298x450American Life in Poetry: Column 583
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

At some moment every day I call up a memory of one or another of my family members who have passed on, so I was especially taken with this poem by Tim Nolan, who lives in Minnesota. His forthcoming book is The Field, (New Rivers Press, October, 2016).

My Dead

They grow in number all the time
The cat, the Mother, the Father
The grandparents, aunts, and uncles

Those I knew well and hardly at all
My best friend from when I was ten
The guy who sat with me in the back

Of the class where the tall kids lived
Bill the Shoemaker from Lyndale Avenue
The Irish poet with rounded handwriting

They live in The Land of Echo, The Land
Of Reverb, and I hear them between
The notes of the birds, the plash of the wave

On the smooth rocks. They show up
When I think of them, as if they always
Are waiting for me to remember

I drive by their empty houses
I put on their old sweaters and caps
I wear their wristwatches and spend

Their money. So now I’m in six places
At once—if not eighteen or twenty
So many places to be thinking of them

Strange how quiet they are with their presence
So humble in the low song they sing
Not expecting that anyone will listen

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24
May

Micropoetry – 5/24/2016 – Rick Stephen

girlwindowshe waited for him with
an abiding patience
yet he had worlds
to conquer
of which hers
was but one

6 comments

4
May

They Dance Through Granelli’s – Pat Emile

American Life in Poetry: Column 580
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Pat Emile is Assistant Editor and Jill-Of-All-Trades for this column. Were it not for her help I couldn’t keep these weekly selections coming. Here she is in another role, as a poet, stopping in a little food market and noticing things the way a poet should notice them.

They Dance Through Granelli’s

He finds her near the stack
of green plastic baskets waiting to be filled
and circles her waist with his left arm,
entwines her fingers in his, pulls her toward him,
Muzak from the ceiling shedding a flashy Salsa,
and as they begin to move, she lets
her head fall back, fine hair swinging
a beat behind as they follow
their own music—a waltz—past the peaches
bursting with ripeness in their wicker baskets,
the prawns curled into each other
behind cold glass, a woman in a turquoise sari,
her dark eyes averted. They twirl twice
before the imported cheeses, fresh mozzarella
in its milky liquid, goat cheese sent down
from some green mountain, then glide past
ranks of breads, seeds spread across brown crusts,
bottles of red wine nested together on their sides.
He reaches behind her, slides a bouquet
of cut flowers from a galvanized bucket, tosses
a twenty to the teenaged boy leaning
on the wooden counter, and they whirl
out the door, the blue sky a sudden surprise.

3 comments

     

 
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