Bring your poetry notebooks, your stuffed manilla envelopes overflowing with pages of your scribbled verse, your favorite anthologies, song lyrics, writings by your favorite poets and authors – it’s all open mic tonight. Come and read.
Monthly Archives: March 2008
From Some Elsewhere
In the dream you have of the dead, he says to himself, they come back and you’ve five minutes to spend with them, to ask of your life together, to ask why the heart is sometimes but not always a bitter root. It is night now, he says, and it should be better at this hour because the alleyways narrow and music carries beyond the rooftops but in the same dream the dead sit at picnic tables and eat cold sandwiches and drink wine intended for others.
It is an effort simply to arrive and ask open questions, isn’t it, for anyone, let alone they who have come from deserted places, where memory is an empty ledger, and if we do not hear it is not for a want of listening. So far from silence, where will you place your hands? What one wants is sliced from the throat and placed in a small wooden box alongside a frayed ribbon, playing cards, nails, a shard of blue glass. An awful sea, distant every time, and the name that finds it, elsewhere.
Richard Deming is a poet and a theorist who works on the philosophy of literature. His poems have appeared in such places as Sulfur, Field, Indiana Review, and Mandorla, as well as Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present. He is the author of Let’s Not Call It Consequence (Shearsman), about which Susan Howe has written, “Deming restlessly calculates the split between promised and actual experience. The poems in his impressive new collection balance at an edge of danger syntax can only shadow.” With Nancy Kuhl, he edits Phylum Press (www.phylumpress.com). He is currently a lecturer at Yale University.
“My theme for the night will be determined soon. I think it will be a surprise. I am thinking about a random ordering of readers. I wish I had a big wheel to spin. Might be names in a hat. Poems about sadness and loss? (See below) Maybe we will start with those. ” – Terry McLain, host for this do-it-yourself open mic.
Two WNPS hosts have lost a parent this past week and we propose reading a poem or two about mourning, and remembrance. The poetic community of WNPS sends its best regards and condolences to both Victorian Munoz, and Ernie Daruka for their recent losses. Our best to you both.
Charlie Rossiter —>
by Charlie Rossiter
Long sleeved shirts, steel-toed boots,
protective glasses and hard hat in
summertime Baltimore 100 humid degrees
walking the edge of coal fields where
buckets take two ton bites to move coal
from barge or train car to great bins or
conveyors where it travels up and
over to other belts and finally into
blast furnaces that make the steel.
Showering sparks and workmen
shadowed by molten metal look
heroic on tv screens but what
the camera never shows is
sulphur stench and acid burns,
hands flattened in train car
couplings, broken bones
from crane falls, death by crushing
when someone forgets for a moment
and goes down between barge
and pier, friday night
parking lot six-packs and fights
at neighborhood carry-outs
that cash the paychecks, the way
coal dust won’t wash out and
most men’s wives make them
burn the clothes
WHAT PASSOVER HAS TAUGHT ME
by Dan Wilcox
that when we gather at the table the door must be open and a
…….place set for even godless goyim like me
that the bitter reminds us of how sweet desert will be
that we must repeat the words we have been taught before they
……..are forgotten or forbidden
that Springtime however green is dipped in tears and the
……..mortar of monuments is mixed by human hands
that we must learn to answer the questions the children ask
that when we are summoned & ordered to bow we must stand and
……..confront the Pharaoh
not for us, but for the first born
if not our own then for those of others.
* previously published in “The Night We Danced With the Raelettes” 60 pages, hand-sewn with spine – $14.00 To order on-line go to: http://www.foothillspublishing.com/2007/id176.htm
Charlie Rossiter, NEA Fellowship recipient and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, hosts the audio website poetrypoetry.com. A widely published poet, his work has been featured on NPR and numerous statewide public radio networks. During the `90s he hosted the Poetry Motel TV program, still seen on cable stations in some parts of the Northeast. His chapbook, What Men Talk About, won the first Red Wheel Barrow Prize from Pudding House Press.
Dan Wilcox has been a central figure in the Albany, NY, poetry scene for decades. He is a widely-published poet, who has pleased crowds from coast to coast with his insightful, political, and highly-charged poetry. As a photographer he has amassed the world’s largest collection of photographs of unknown poets.