Poetry Section: Page-Turning Poetry

This month’s poetry will take you across the US and into international waters, too–poets inspired by the places they are, they places they’ve been, and the places they have yet to visit. While Kelly’s collection masterfully bounces from Louisiana to Oregon, Parrish’s gives an intimate glance of his favorite “Watering Hole”; Gilbert’s gives readers a “23 Fitzroy Road” rooted firmly in time and space, countering Majkowski’s almost determinedly unfixed, dreamlike look at a relationship.

Enjoy these, and enjoy your summer travels to neighbors’ houses, across state lines, internationally, and even through dreams–just remember to bring these poems along with you.

Siobhan Watson,
Managing & Poetry Editor

Poems by Erren Kelly

Crawfish and Gumbo
and the thermometer jumps
like a jazz piano riff
and women bare legs
to the delight of
men and mosquitos
and i twirl you around
to the zydeco
beat
and i want to tickle you
like you tickle the
ivories
like praline candy
you are sweet
your hair sizzles
the color of summer
heat

Coffeehouse poem #10
a woman’s legs
no matter what the length
are endless
they start at the ground
and go all the way
to heaven

Portland Oregon ( Winter Solstice )
soul stirring in my body
is not my own
during the solstice
my skin vibrates like
jimi’s stratocaster strings
and i get goosebumps
i am a merman
swimming in his
sound

if eric clapton is god
it’s only because jimi hendrix
made him in his own
image

Longing
is seeing you in starbucks
red hair resting on your shoulders
like a flag at half mast

is bluer than any note
herbie hancock pulled
out of years

is walking by your building
imagining another man’s hands
on you
knowing they’re not mine

is seeing you walking the streets
along
and wishing i was by your side

is handing my soul to god
for another chance
to get it right

Author’s Bio: Erren Kelly is a poet based in New York City, by way of Louisiana, by way of Maine, by way of California, and so on. He 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 other publications. His most recent publication was in In Our Own Words, a Generation X poetry anthology; he has also been published in other anthologies such as Fertile Ground, Beyond The Frontier, to mention a few.

Boe Parrish

Boe Parrish
The Watering Hole

There is a third place where wise men still gather, to talk and to share and just sit and chatter.

Solve all the problems that come from the crowd, in an hour or so as we debate them out loud.

Wisdom is found in this group so diverse, a teacher, a preacher, a mentor, and worse,

a lawyer in whom we all can poke some fun at, but a loyal and true friend that we all take our turn at.

Honesty, openness, candor and questions, are many of the items that nab our discussions.

As we sit in the Shoppe and enjoy the menu, we’re sharing our joys and prayers at the venue.

Reading the paper or describing a book, harassing the ones who will take a look,

at the laptop or email with today’s technology, or the cell phone that rings in the midst of theology.

Politics and religion offer heated debates, as we share from our hearts and eloquently state,

our passions and pains from our lives often heard, that perspective from others is a valuable word.

Yankees and Red Sox is just one more topic, we often refer to till some make us stop it.

Our college athletics is another deep passion, we’re proud of our orange and in love with our crimson.

When sickness occurs or tragedy rocks, the first ones responding are our friends from the shoppe.

With compassion and grace and willing to serve, understanding with life there will always be curves.

True friends are so few and priceless for sure, but the ones that we value are the ones that endure.

As God up above allows our lives to connect, we should enjoy all our friendships only he can direct.

So as we gather for coffee or bagel or lunch, remember our maker may have a hunch,

of setting the table for more than we plan, as the steps of our lives are controlled by his hand.

Author’s Bio: Boe Parrish is and Oklahoma-based poet and the chairman of Corporate Care, Inc.

Poems by Ken Gilbert, a.k.a. jacob erin-cilberto
just a poem away

it’s a very long way
to the perfect poem
like the road to perdition
there is too much sorrow to bend
the lines in the eyes break apart
soaked pupils don’t learn their lessons
but immediately espy the next heartbreak
within the blink of a second

the pen reacts, the ink gets hot
and flowing
the fingers holding it sweat
the poet asks forgiveness
for what he is about to do
and then the street in front of him curves
the woman appears accessible
as an abstract painting
so he begins to touch the page
thinking the words may draw him closer
to some semblance of salvation
or another wasted day in school.

23 Fitzroy Road
i wonder if sylvia read her birthday letters
from ted
blew out her candles before succumbing to the gas
her goodbye party filled with the inside frown
of the clown of poetic costume
the blushed cheeks, black eye make-up
the raven clown claws at the last bits of humor in
a circus life

opens her presents
and herself barely contained
wrapped so prettily
divorce papers with a bow so tight
she never unties his poetry from her mind

above the door “yeats lived here”
now under the porch mat, “sylvia died here”
with a little bit of icing dripping from her chin

she gave in
the letters unopened like most of her heart
the invitations spent
never sent and ted’s name crossed off the mailbox.

Before the Loose Leaf Lies Surrender
in old folders
poems like toy soldiers
fight plastic battles
words scripted to a war of roses
like the tablets carried by Moses
speak of “shalt this” and “shalt that”
while a promised land stands aloof
&
true content drains out like fatal drops
in a bullet ridden canteen
themes dry up
&
the battlefield a collage of titles
with no poems left alive
to serve under them—

hello to the breech of cease fire emotions
the war has left us in discontent
let’s put ourselves back in the boxes
the fox holes filled with nonchalance
no place to hide insensitivity
love a broken stone apart
for which there is no purple heart.

Author’s Bio: Ken “fog” Gilbert aka jacob erin-cilberto, originally from Bronx, NY, now resides in Carbondale, Illinois, and has been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. He currently teaches at John A. Logan and Shawnee Community colleges in Southern Illinois, as well as teaching poetry workshops for Heartland Writers Guild, Southern Illinois Writers Guild, and Union County Writers Guild. erin-cilberto has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry in 2006-2008 and 2010.

His work has appeared in numerous small magazines and journals including: Café Review, Skyline Magazine, Hudson View, Wind Journal, Pegasus, Parnassus and others. He also writes reviews of poetry books for Chiron Review, Skyline Review and others, an has reviewed books by B.Z Niditch and musician Tom Maclear, to name a few. His 11th and newest book of poetry, An Abstract Waltz is now available through Water Forest Press, Stormville, NY.

Marcin Majkowski
Miracle Diet

With the same woman
so much time
has passed
I can’t depart
she’s become
my miracle diet
at last

All
those fattening amounts
of infidelity
of absorbed
calories
Slimming down
necessary
helps to avoid
the inevitable
agonies

Its hard however
to maintain
a constant weight
a yo-yo effect
takes place
You
can’t prevent
all the sweetness
exposed around
with haste

There comes time
of afterthought
to once again
take care
of strained health
Naive I am
to think
she won’t notice
the gourmand
around her

Author’s Bio: Marcin Majkowski is a performance/spoken word poet and writer living in Poland; he maintains a blog (http://depechmaniac.bloog.pl/) for his poetry which was voted 7th in the category of Literature “Blog of the Year 2010” by blogroku.pl. He has also published a collection of his poetry (in Polish) called Wierzę w to, co widzę, a widzę, że nie wierzę (in English: I Believe in What I See, However, I See I Do Not Believe).

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