You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2007.

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Other Notable Works by Norbert Krapf, CB Follett and Robert Hamblin.

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Louis Daniel Brodsky-

 

A Failure to Exorcise Demons 

 

The longer he sits, in listless abstraction,

Trying to locate the sun’s core,

In the stained-glass fanlights entrancing him,

The stronger grows his fascination

With dissolution. Soon, his eyes melt

Like candles abandoned by gambolers

Ranting in drunken stupors. They drip images

A metaphor at a time,

Which fall to the paper below his pensive shape

And rearrange themselves, line by line,

In tiny, rhyming, cursive word-chimes,

Which he refers to as “poetic visions.”

 

As he examines the splatterings, for godly signs,

His mind buckles. He’s aware

Of something behind him, a force

Leaning over his shoulder,

Trying to read what his eyes have written,

Share his private insights.

He slows breathing to a cryogenic sleep,

To see if he might recognize his eavesdropper

By his heartbeat. Suddenly, his blood thins;

His skin goes cold as eels. Death flickers

Like a snake’s tongue, strikes. From his wax ashes,

Beelzebub beckons him home.

_______________

 

An Autumnal

 

The nights slowly grow colder.

The old white Gothic manse shivers,

Suspires in shorter breaths,

Fills, each dawn, with a chill

That afternoon suns less successfully reverse,

As September-crisp days

Give way to October’s brittle vapors.

 

This morning, descending the stairs,

I can’t distinguish the floorboards’ creaking

From snapping, cracking joints and tendons

In my bare feet,

Nor am I able to slake the freeze

Racing up my bones,

Through the mazy space between them and their flesh.

 

What a strange, vague shape

My naked body casts

In mirrors I pass, on my way to the bathroom.

In this nexus between dream and dawn,

The demon who’s driven me

Doesn’t seem to recognize his reflection.

To me, he’s pale and frail, a trifle frightened.

_______________ 

 

Resurrection

 

My dormant, torpid body

Stirs from sleep’s vague opiate vapors

And lifts into daylight,

Like a heavier-than-air weather balloon

Struggling to overcome gravity

And gather the most recent readings

On the human condition.

 

Through my eyes’ portals,

Vision enters, oblique and translucent,

As though passing through alabaster corneas.

Unable to rectify the distortions,

My sensors collect raw data

And feed it to computers

Heated for squeezing meaning from sunspots

 

And aberrations in the atmosphere.

Soaring, now, through fog,

Rising, on invisible thermals, into a sky

Whose anodized patina consists of clouds,

My precarious flying vessel

Arrives at its predestined setting.

Breathing at this height is completely futile.

 

I am thrall; all decisions, choices

Are subordinate to an inordinate force

Attaching its apparatus to jacks

Wired psychically to my head and heart.

I float in eternity’s ocean,

A sweet, ambrosial Ishmael-seed

Hoping a hospitable shore will stop me,

 

Plant me in its galactic sand,

And let me grow, through fantasy,

Into a bloom fruiting among other blooms,

In Edenic serenity. Suddenly, I know

Why this altitude is so total:

Dying is 360 degrees;

Forever is the gone soul being drawn home.

_______________

 

An Ode to the Westerly Wind

 

October’s mid-Missouri mornings

Open slowly, day unfolding into day

Like tight-budded sweetheart roses

Wilting over the edge of a cut-glass vase.

 

Their pungent decay awakens me

To my own deliberate breathing, arouses my mentality,

Creates its own occasion for celebrating the senses,

This declining season — God’s most vital climax.

 

Despite His cosmic adoration of us,

Which sometimes assumes inhuman designs

And illusory, unappreciated shapes,

It’s difficult to assign divine wisdom to dying things

 

Or justify mystical intervention

As the given, not a variable, in the providential equation.

Yet without precluding euthanasia, suicide,

And irrational homicidal acts,

 

We must accept that how and when we leave,

Regardless the reason, are neither significant

Nor timely, just predictable within the scheme:

Trees, dogs, grass, water, people,

 

Even mackerel-crowded seas and mushroom clouds,

Disperse, dissolve, evaporate,

And are assimilated into the cycling stream

From whose springs unique currents surge inevitably.

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Louis Daniel Brodsky, born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1941, attended St. Louis Country Day School.  After earning a B.A., Magna Cum Laude, at Yale University, in 1963, he received an M.A. in English at Washington University, in 1967, and an M.A. in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University, in 1968.

 

Brodsky is the author of fifty-five volumes of poetry (five of which have been published in French by Éditions Gallimard) and twenty-three volumes of prose, including nine books of scholarship on William Faulkner and seven books of short fictions. His poems and essays have appeared in Harper’s, The Faulkner Review, Southern Review, Texas Quarterly, National Forum, American Scholar, Studies in Bibliography, Kansas Quarterly, Ball State University’s Forum, Cimarron Review, and Literary Review, as well as in Ariel, Acumen, Orbis, New Welsh Review, Dalhousie Review, and other journals. His work has also been printed in five editions of the Anthology of Magazine Verse and Yearbook of American Poetry. His latest books of poetry include Combing Florida’s Shores: Poems of Two Lifetimes and A Transcendental Almanac: Poems of Nature.

 

In 2004, Brodsky’s You Can’t Go Back, Exactly won the award for best book of poetry, presented by the Center for Great Lakes Culture, at Michigan State University.

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Norbert Krapf-

 

BABY BLUE

 

It wasn’t that the time had

come for us to rip apart.

 

There was no orphan crying

like a fire in the mid-day sun.

 

There was no great kiss-off,

no one-up exchange of  goodbyes.

 

Her eyes were baby blue,

mine were earth brown,

 

we were two planets

that had spun together

 

and revolved around one

another intensely for a time.

 

Then her star had to shine

elsewhere, my planet knew

 

where to stay put, and we

both knew it was all over.

 

But I still love the baby blue

I sometimes see across the sky

 

and hope she likes to touch

the earth on the path she walks.

_______________

 

GIRL OF THE HILL COUNTRY

 

(after Bob Dylan and traditional song)

 

If you’re traveling in the hill country

where woods roll as far as you can see

and the sun sets on the hazy Ohio river,

say hello to a girl I once loved.

 

Tell her I remember that wisp of hair

that trailed across big blue eyes,

the way she would say my name

with a voice that rose like a spring.

 

If you see snowflakes pile on cedar green,

tell me if she still wears that same smile

that makes winter skin tingle when

blood flows oh so slow in your veins.

 

If you see the old red barns lean

in heat where purple hollyhocks stand,

please ask if she remembers my name,

tell her I dream of coming back home.

 

If you’re traveling in the hill country

when yellow leaves fall, remember me

to one who lives there. My lips still

hold the sound of her name like a hymn.

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BUDDHIST BLUES (ON LETTING GO)

 

No, no, baby, I do not want you.

Ain’t no way I could ever want you.

Who says without you I’d be blue?

 

So many women in this world wide & big.

Yeah, millions of women in this world so big.

Who says without you I’d have to go out & dig?

 

Why would I miss the light in your eye?

Now why would I miss the light in your eye?

Who says letting you go would make me cry?

 

No, no, no, babe, you ain’t the one.

Ain’t no way you could be the one.

If I want you, I’m one sorry son of a gun!

 

Why would I miss how you say my name?

No way I’d  miss how you cry out my name.

You must think I’m playing some kind of game.

 

Oh babe, ain’t no way I could really want you.

No way in God’s sweet old world I  want you.

If losing you is going to make me sad and blue,

ain’t no way in God’s sweet world I want you.

_______________

 

THE OTHER SIDE

 

B for KatherineB

 

My father’s waters were sometimes troubled

and my mother would try to keep them calm.

Sometimes she was our bridge to the other side.

 

My waters are sometimes troubled

and you try your best to keep them calm.

Sometimes you are my bridge to the other side.

 

Your waters are sometimes troubled

and I try my best to keep them calm.

Sometimes I am your bridge to the other side.

 

When a woman plays a piano,

sometimes she tries to keep us calm,

sometimes she tries to stir us up,

 

and whenever she lets her fingertips go,

she takes us beyond where we have ever been,

and she is our bridge to the other side.

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THE DAY JOHN LENNON

 

–for Monika Herzig and her family, after

hearing her arrangement of “Imagine”–

 

The day John Lennon…

we were living in Germany,

had recently adopted a baby girl

from Colombia, and were happy

even though I was laid up in bed

with a painful sinus infection.

 

The day John Lennon…

we did not listen to the news

on the radio or turn on the TV

or talk to any friends on the phone

or neighbors in the apartment building

because I was sick in bed and we

just tried to take care of ourselves

and nurse our little world back

to routine health so we could

get ready for Christmas in Germany.

 

The day John Lennon…

it was the 8th of December,

the feast of the Immaculate Conception,

a holy day of obligation for Catholics,

but we did not leave our apartment

and I made it no farther from the bed

than to tiptoe to the bathroom

or to the kitchen table to sip

a bowl of chicken noodle soup.

 

The day before John Lennon…

our dear friend in New York

who was planning to visit us

when the German winter was over

went out and bought a Christmas tree

that she propped in the corner

of her studio apartment.

One day later she wrote a letter

in which she told us she would

not be able to put one single

ornament on her Tannenbaum.

 

The day after John Lennon…

I went in to work, stopped

to buy a newspaper, and read

the headline boldly proclaiming

that John Lennon had been…

When I reached my office,

I picked up the phone, dialed

our apartment number, and told

my wife something terrible

had happened: John Lennon had been…

“That’s not supposed to happen,”

she said after a painfully long silence.

“No it isn’t!” was all I could add.

 

All day after the day John Lennon…

all I could hear was the tune

and the lyrics of a song I loved

in which John Lennon tried to imagine

the kind of world I wanted to give

to my daughter, and now that she is

26 years old, I still hope and pray

that our children and hers will dream

and that we can learn to live as one.

 

*All these poems appear in the CD Imagine-Indiana in Music and Words, with Monika Herzig.* 

 

Links to buy:

 

http://cdbaby.com/cd/krapfherzig

http://www.krapfpoetry.com/herzig_krapf/herzig.htm

http://www.myspace.com/imagineindiana 

 

Norbert Krapf, a board member of the Etheridge Knight Festival who lives in Indianapolis, is emeritus prof. of English at Long Island Univ. His poetry collections include Somewhere in Southern Indiana and Looking for God’s Country (Time Being Books). Forthcoming are Sweet Sister Moon, love poems and tributes to women (WordTech Editions), New & Selected Indiana Poems (Indiana Univ. Pr.), and the forthcoming jazz and poetry CD with Monika Herzig represented in this issue, Imagine: Indiana in Music & Words (Acme Records). 

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CB Follett-

 

Making Time

 

Take a little time to gaze out the window.

Watch the blue jay try to be a humming bird,

to snatch a seed trinket from the junco’s feeder.

Watch a young raven hunker in the Monterey cypress

as crows dive on him, over and over

and he awks his annoyance.  Notice

that the monarchs are back on the butterfly bush.

Take time to watch the garter snake wriggle

below camelias and under baby’s breath.

This is enough.

This may be the best there is.

That and Ursa Major steadfast above,

the moon pulling the tides in and out:

those in the oceans,

those in our bodies.

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What the End Is For

 

Let the sky grace through canopies of leaf,

let the songbirds acappela. Monkeys

that scatter through branches, let them

drop the husks of unknown nuts.

Let the parrots flash a rainbow

just at the corner of your eye. Let Apollo,

boy with a brace of horses, let him

yank his blazing star across the heavens

douse it in the sea at end of day. Let the darkness

 

settle like coal dust, the same dust

that caused my grandmother such grief,

let the darkness dip in from the east

and pull the country after it, let the birds

find roosts that seem to them safe,

let the owl stir as hawks dip to rest

and the whipperwill ruffles his nightwings.

 

Let the vultures gather in their favorite trees

made guano-white, let their trees shine

like many moons swaying.

Let voles and weasels begin to stir, let me

begin to wind down with soup and warmed bread,

let the dog curl up by the fire, and the cat

open her sloe-yellow eyes, stretch out her claws.

Then let us move toward rest.

_______________

 

Unfamiliar Stars

 

There is something comforting in unfamiliar stars.

No shapes dragging us into old tales of a hunter

and his dog, no crab, no winged horse, no Polaris.

Here boats follow a star low on the horizon,

here clumps of palms anchor small motus like a string

of jade stones. ‘Sorry, Mr. Moto, no two motus are alike,”

says Tom, puzzling over which speck of land

signals the channel thru the reef.

 

Overhead the moon is whispering through clouds

that later will spill down our hatches

onto our sleeping heads full of sea turtles with quilted shells,

but now the moon rises out of her flounces and reveals

a missing forehead and crown.  A partial eclipse

has caught us unaware and lopped off the top into shadow

like knocking off the tip of a soft boiled egg in its cup.

 

Moon, slowly regaining her loss,

throws her powerful gaze down our mast and gleaming

hardware, down our whitened pontoons to pool over

the pale water like spilled cream.  We are sitting at the bow

talking in low voices, occasionally humming,

looking for familiar star clusters.   There is a kite

and the scorpion taking up the entire western quadrant,

its claws, its long curved tail.  We’ve claimed a part

of this alien sky.  Below the gentle slop of our bow on water

sleep the animals and fish of the coral, their colors

dulled by midnight, not even the moon can paint them now.

 

This morning, we drove over the hills of Raiatea to the ancient

temples of the Murae, stones and formations that cover

the bones of their ancestors.  Land meets water here,

where frail canoes once set off for Samoa and Hawaii, with casks

of water and only the Orient Star by which to steer.

Their arms, strong and oiled-sleek, dug in the oars

across an open ocean toward unknown islands “They are

our cousins”, says Michele, “We are all polynesian.”

 

Next month from all the islands, New Zealand to Hawaii,

will come the long canoes for the Racing of the Tribes.

Beneath the breadfruit, gliding over the rays

and reef sharks, they will noisily race

singing in unification.

Michele looks out to sea, and back,

back into the flickering lights of history.

 

*”Gathering Henry” has been previously published two years ago by Comstock Review.* 

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Winner of the 2001 National Poetry Book Award from Salmon Run Press, CB Follet has had poems published  by Ploughshares, Alligator Juniper, Calyx, Americas Review, Peregrine, The Cumberland Review, Rain City Review, Ambit (England), The MacGuffin, Snowy Egret, Birmingham Poetry  Review, New Letters Review, Psychological Perspectives, Without Halos, The Iowa Woman, Heaven Bone, Green Fuse, Black Bear Review, among others.   I have been in many anthologies; received contest honors in the Billee Murray Denny, New Letters Prize,  the Ann Stanford Prize, the Glimmer Train Poetry Contest and several contests from Poetry Society of America among others.  Five poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Poetry Prize plus an nomination as an individual poet..

 

Five collections of poetry, the most recent Hold and Release, 2007. I am editor/publisher of ARCTOS PRESS, including the anthology, GRRRRR, A Collection of Poems About Bears; publisher and co-editor of RUNES, A Review of Poetry, 2001-to present.

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Robert Hamblin- 

 

WINTER STORM WATCH

 

All day the sleet

has fallen,

almost invisible,

but when I step outside

I hear its busy rattle

on the ground

and feel the icy spikes

against my hands and face,

driving me back inside

to join you at the kitchen table,

where we sit with cupped hands

around mugs of hot chocolate

and watch the birds

and squirrels quarrel

over the feeders

scattered about the deck.

There are worse ways

to spend a winter day.

In fact, I rather hope

the prognosticators are right

and the sleet will turn to snow

and the snow will continue all night,

blocking the streets

and shutting out the world

so tomorrow, again,

we can sit at the kitchen table

with hands cupped around mugs

of hot chocolate,

watching the birds and squirrels. 

_______________

 

THIS FALL DAY

 

Windblown

leaves scurry

across the street

like a large covey

of small quails

racing after

the mother hen,

and then,

in the mere moment

of a passing car,

rise into the air,

fully grown,

on the rich flurry

of fluttering wings.

 

I catch my breath

at the sudden surprise

of such instant

transformation,

this poignant image

of time remembered,

time denied,

this fall day

pressed down

to essences

like the knowledge

of the heart’s

abiding happiness

in the rush

of the shifting season.

 

Such beauty,

such truth,

that, walking on,

I feel no regret

that the quails

have once more lighted,

brittle leaves banked

and silent

against the savage curbs.

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POEMS

 

They don’t announce

themselves,

like signs saying

Construction Ahead

or Beware of Dog.

And no matter

how hard you try,

or wish you could,

you can’t make

them happen,

like reservations for dinner

or road stops

on vacation trips.

 

We no longer believe

they come from God,

a divine breath

transforming the poet’s mind

and voice

into an aeolian harp.

Yet there is still something

incalculable and magical,

even if not quite divine,

in the mystery of composition;

and the imagination,

whether skydiving into space

or spelunking through the dark,

remains a brave and faithful

human companion,

and for some,

as necessary as breathing.

 

Poets, live in unexpectedness.

Only the keen and believing eye

sees a sudden symphony

in the flight of pigeons,

knows the thunder of sunlight

splashing against their wings.

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DREAM WEAVER

 

Somewhere today in north Mississippi,

still cruising the narrow blacktops

that wind and loop and crisscross

before they collapse into a rutted field road

leading to a dirt yard,

an abandoned barn,

and a frail, unpainted farm house

anchored to the ground by a tv antenna

tilted like a broken promise,

is a pickup truck named “Dream Weaver.”

 

I saw it once,

limping along Highway 45

just below Booneville,

before it turned off the main road

and disappeared, heading God knows where—

its oversized cab, short bed,

warped frame pointing the front wheels east

and the back ones west,

its magical name, relic of some grander day,

stenciled across the tailgate

on a field of rusting, mud-splattered stars,

its driver no one I knew,

or everyone.

 

The day was early summer

after no spring at all,

a day of untinted blue sky

and sunlight as thick as honey.

Passing cyclists sliced the wind

with lovers laced to their backs,

and at every stoplight

beautiful young women dawdled

behind the steering wheels of convertibles.

Children frolicked in every park and yard,

and old men lounged on courthouse benches,

hawking and spitting their ancient grief

into the bright, splendid air.

 

With one self I drive on, duty-compelled

toward an appointment in Tupelo,

but with another I turn back to follow

the Dream Weaver.

I see him, home again, sitting on the front porch,

strumming a guitar, dreaming in song.

Tonight he and his lover will lie

on a blanket beside a lake.

When he comes to her he will bring

the moon riding on his shoulder,

and her fingers will pluck stars from his hair

and give them back to him as eyes.

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Robert Hamblin is Professor of English and Director of the Center for Faulkner Studies at Southeast Missouri State University.  A native of Mississippi, he is the author of three volumes of poetry, From the Ground Up: Poems of One Southerner’s Passage to Adulthood; Mind the Gap: Poems by an American in London; and Keeping Score: Sports Poems for Every Season.  He has also written a book about college basketball and co-edited twelve scholarly books on William Faulkner. 

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Masthead

Editor, Lisa Zaran

ISSN: 1095-732x

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2007

January - Roger Humes
February - Jimmy Santiago Baca
March - Graham Burchell
April - Ruth Daigon
May - Anne Fraser
June - Corey Mesler
July - Scott Malby
August - James Keane
September - Maurice Oliver
October - Robert Pinsky
November - Louis Daniel Brodsky
December - Bill Duvall

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2008

January - Kelley White
February - L. Ward Abel
March - Maura Stanton
April - Dr. Charles Frederickson
May - Peter Magliocco
June - Penny Harter
July - Gary Beck
August - Jéanpaul Ferro
September - Fish and Shushan
October - Kenneth Gurney
November - John Gallaher
December - Carmen Alexandra

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2009

January - Karen Rigby
February - A.D. Winans
March - Donald Illich
April - Stephen Ferreira
May - Tracee Coleman
June - Ernest Williamson
July - Sally Van Doren
August - Nanette Rayman Rivera
September - Gianina Opris
October - Judson Mitcham
November - Joel Solonche
December - Peycho Kanev

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2010

January - Louis Gallo
February - Buxton Wells
March - Labi Siffre
April - Regina Green
May - Howard Good
June - Carol Lynn Grellas
July - William Doreski
August - Sari Krosinsky
September - Ben Nardolilli
October - James Piatt
November - Robert Lietz
December - John Grey

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2011

January - Robert Philbin
February - iolanda scripca
March - Tad Richards
April - Katie Kopin
May - Jacob Newberry
June - George Moore
July - Rae Spencer
August - Jim Richards
September - Antonia Clark
October - Tannen Dell
November - Christina Matthews
December - Charles Clifford Brooks III

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2012

January - Anniversary Issue
February - Jim Davis
March - Ivy Page
April - Maurice Oliver
May - Lori Desrosiers
June - Ray Sharp
July - Nathan Prince
August - Robert Klein Engler
September - Jenn Monroe
October - John Grey
November - Andrea Potos
December - Christina M. Rau

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2013

January - Maria Luisa Arroyo
February - Journal on haitus

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2014

April - Rebirth
May - Timothy Walsh
June - Brian Fanelli
July - Carol Smallwood
August - Elizabeth P. Glixman
September - Sally Van Doren
October - Sherry O'Keefe
November - Robert McDonald
December - Gerry McFarland

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2015

January - James Keane
February - Liza Hyatt
March - Joseph Reich
April - Charles Thielman
May - Norbert Krapf
June - Lynne Knight
July - Sarah Brown Weitzman
August - Tom Montag
September - Susan Palmer
October - Holly Day
November - A.J. Huffman
December - Tom Pescatore

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2016

January - Richard Perin
February - Linne Ebbrecht
March - Sheri Vandermolen
April - Molly Cappiello
May - Caleb Coy
June - Paul Lubenkov
July - Domenic Scopa
August - Adam Phillips
September - Timothy Gager
October - Bruce Lader
November - Holly Day
December - Al Rocheleau

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2017

January - Robert Lietz
February - Jocelyn Heaney
March - David Brinkman
April - Lana Bella
May - Kaitlyn O'Malley
June - Ruth Kessler
July - Chanel Brenner
August - Darren Demaree
September - George Moore
October - Joshua Medsker
November - Ralph Monday
December - Howie Good

Confirmed Featured Poets – 2018

January – Simon Perchik
February – Julia Travers

Artwork

Image of bird by contemporary artist, Courtney Smith
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