Poetry Section: Power Poems

T.S. Eliot wrote, “April is the cruellest month, breeding/Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/Memory and desire, stirring/Dull roots with spring rain.” And with no disrespect to Mr. Eliot, we here at Write From Wrong have to disagree–any month filled with poetry is perfectly pleasant to us.

If April’s showers drive you inside, we hope these poems–by Simon Perchik, Erren Geraud Kelly, and Ricky Garni–will keep you dry and occupied.

Peace, love, & line-breaks,
Siobhan Watson
Poetry Editor

Erren Geraud Kelly

Birmingham, Alabama

i found a coffeeshop
across the street
from the bus station
and i’m wondering
how far is the jail where dr. king
wrote his letter?
i’m 7 hours from nashville
and all the towns look the same after a while
a friend i met on the bus
offers me paper
but i don’t need it
i can write on anything
even the back of my hand

i tell the woman sitting across from me
after you’ve suffered a few losses in your life
you learn how to handle it better
but it never goes away
i miss daddy and roderick

death and love
those losses hurt equally
like a stake in the heart
it never goes away

it’s only appropriate
i’m heading to nashville
my life feels like a johnny cash song
a tale of southern gothic
i know i’m still in the south
cos i can still smell the pines
and see the wide open roads
in st. peterburg, florida
a nine year old girl
heard gunshots
and threw herself in front of her mother
recreating that scene from the movie “crash”
she thought she had the invisible cloak
that would protect them
she made herself a human shield and caught a stray bullet

she was to meet
with her principal for breakfast
in honor of making straight a’s

and i wonder when dr. king or rosa parks
woke up some mornings
was the last thing they ever thought about
was making history?

Disco Retro

i loved the music
though seeing people
born when carter was president
made me feel old
my price for being big
and black
was getting mistaken repeatedly
by ms. dkny blondie
for a security guard
i’d stand against the wall
the groove jumping inside me
until ms. blondie
tapped me on the shoulder

“c’mon dance with me
you know you wanna do it.”

i tried to tell her genetics
weren’t kind to me
but she smiled sweet
and grabbed my hand
and away we went.

Author’s Bio:
Erren Geraud Kelly is a poet based in New York City, by way of Louisiana, by way of Maine, by way of California, and so on. She has been writing for 21 years and has over three dozen publications in print and online, in such publications as Hiram Poetry Review, Mudfish, Poetry Magazine(online) and others. Her most recent publication was in “In Our Own Words,” a Generation X poetry anthology; she was also published in other anthologies such as “Fertile Ground,” “Beyond The Frontier” and others.

She recieved her B.A. in English-Creative Writing from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She also loves to read and to travel, having visited 45 states and Canada and Europe. The themes in her writings vary, but she has always had a soft spot for subjects and people who are not in the mainstream.

Ricky Garni

Sub

There I go again
using the word
WHOM correctly

a thousand leagues
under the surface
of the sea

where the men are
oily, swarthy
and quite frankly
do not give a darn
if I say who or whom
and do not shy away
from telling me so

in fact, they rather
enjoy telling me that
they do not give a darn
which one I use

When they die, I will
miss them. When I die,
who will they miss?

**

Hostage

I never held an old person hostage
of course what I really mean is that
I never held an old person in my arms
I don’t think that most old people appreciate
hugs. I try to respect that. But most old people
do not like to make a scene and therefore
you never really know. If I live long enough they
won’t wonder about me because I am a hugger.
I will hug everyone naturally and with ease.
I will not say: stop taking me hostage
nor will I eat with my mouth open
while praying for rain.

Author’s Bio:
Ricky Garni has been published in MuDjoB, PigeonBike, Disingenuous Twaddle, VIs a Tergo, Quite Curious Literature, Rufous Salon, Guerilla Pamphlets, Used Furniture Review, Perhaps I Am Wrong About This World, and a host of other deliciously named periodicals.

Simon Perchik

*
Under this fountain, half graveyard
half shoreline where her name
washes up the way each mourner

comes by sea, drops anchor
and the small stone holding fast
as if spray makes the difference

–you come here to crouch
though there is nothing to begin
except waves :night after night

eaten away by footfalls –what’s left
is the climbing splash
millwheels will wring from riverbeds

–with just one stone you let go
and the sky sinks to the bottom
that already left for here.

*
Up was never the place, this bulb
brought down by the same gunfire
flickering for years on the ceiling

though the room stays empty
grieving for a side door to open
on where the sky used to be

–what you hear is a jacket
moving closer to the watch
still on your wrist reaching around

in your throat and overhead
you can hear its minutes
seconds and you count out loud

as if one sun still touches another
breaks apart in midair
colder than no place else or darker

–you hear the breath
that can only exhale, the gust
held close, frozen to your hand.

*
Between each breast a darkness
clean to the bone –always a shadow
the way all love notes are folded

over and over till all that’s left
is the paper the nights are written on
half moonlight, half that black ink

the sun knows by heart :a wound
still fresh, flowing forever
as memory and stars carved out

shredded for one constellation more
that once belonged to the Earth
and always in place –between your breasts

trees grow, shaded paths and the scent
from when a shovel digs another heart
for another tree –you still use those
hearts

as if night after night the sky
has not yet grown over
and even in the dark its stars hold on.

*
You return with the pieces
the way each rock
needs more time, a place
close, almost your breasts
still heating the Earth
that asks what day it is

–it’s Spring and your headstone
erupts with sunlight
though there’s no fruit
struggling to open –only rocks

spread out, waiting forever
to blossom as your arms, your eyelids
that weigh nothing under ice

–you are covered
with a tiny sky
that has your patience
your restful thighs

–you become invisible
except for the grass
and the breeze from nowhere
after each try standing still
as if you were still frozen
were already too far behind.

*
You brush the way ink
falls apart on a page
though your hair never dries

folded and unfolded, over and over
till an old love note arrives
in the crease you can’t see through

already a floodgate
and across a river
that is no longer walls

or their shadows –you are washed away
by the lingering caress
your foot leaves underneath

as gravel :what all words hold back
when they say it was long ago
and her name as if she was here

in writing and with a simple splash
surrounds your still warm arm
already in two, half you, half everything.

Author’s Bio:
Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The New Yorker and elsewhere. For more information, including his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” and a complete bibliography, please visit his website at http://www.simonperchik.com.

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