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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

52 POETRY... #52poetry A Complete List


My New Year's Resolution for 2011 was to read 52 books of poetry. One book for each of the 52 weeks! I am pleased to say I have completed my goal! I wanted to share the list of all the poetry books I read for this personal (and public,Twitter updates) reading challenge. There are some great books on this list and some amazing poets that I was unfamiliar with. I will analyze the list later. For now, I'll just enjoy the satisfaction of fulfilling a New Year's Resolution. Usually they have perished by the third week in January. Perhaps this year's goal of losing twenty pounds is possible after all ?

Addonizio, Kim Tell Me
Addonizio, Kim Linger at the Starlite
Armantrout, Rae Versed
Berry, Wendell Farming, A Handbook
Brown, Jericho Please
Brown, Ray I Have His Letters Still
Bukowski, Charles War All the Time
Carty, Jessie Paper House
Collins, Billy Horoscopes for the Dead
Cushman, Stephen Riffraff
Dargan, Kyle Logorrhea Dementia
Dawes, Kwame Hope's Hospice
deNiord, Chard The Double Truth
Dickman, Matthew All- American Poem
Eady, Cornelius Hardheaded Weather
Fairchild, B.H. Usher
Finney, Nikky Head Off & Split
Gay, Ross Bringing Down the Shovel
Griffiths, Rachel Eliza Miracle Arrhythmia
Hayes, Terrance Lighthead
Hicok, Bob Words for Empty and Words for Full
Hodgen, John Heaven & Earth Holding Company
Jackson, Gary Missing You, Metropolis
Jackson, Major Hoops
Jackson, Major Holding Company
Johnson, Douglas P. (editor) Broken Circles
Kistulentz, Steve The Luckless Age
Komunyakaa, Yusef Warhorses
Laux, Dorianne Facts About the Moon
Limon, Ada Sharks in the Rivers
Mali, Marie-Elizabeth Steady, My Gaze
Mali, Taylor What Learning Leaves
Manning, Maurice The Common Man
Medina, Tony My Old Man Was Always On The Lam
Meitner, Erika Ideal Cities
Murphy, Peter E. Stubborn Child
Nezhukumatathil, Aimee Lucky Fish
Olds, Sharon The Gold Cell
Padgett, Ron How Long
Pastan, Linda Queen of a Rainy Country
Paul, Bradley The Animals Are Gathering
Pollock, Iain Haley Spit Back A Boy
Powell, D.A. Cocktails
Sayers Ellis, Thomas The Maverick Room
Schultz, Philip The God of Loneliness
Suarez, Virgil 90 Miles
Szymborska, Wistawa Here
Trethewey, Natasha Domestic Work
Turner, Brian Here, Bullet
Turner, Brian Phantom Noise
Wojahn, David World Tree
Wood, Susan The Book of Ten

Sunday, December 4, 2011

LIFE WAS A BEACH


It was the days before SPF 30 and worries about cancer.

Summers meant swimming, wave riding, sand castles.

Catching blue claws by the pilings with two paper cups.

Handball with a pinky ball, Frisbee artistry with a Whamo,

watching old guys play quoits, Canadians playing bocce,

college kids from Maryland with their lacrosse sticks,

or Natives practiced pitching shells into holes in the sand.

Some wore cut off jeans with thick leather belts, others

insisted on wearing Birdwell’s or Ocean Pacific trunks.


Gorgar pinball, Galaga, and air hockey in Frank’s Playland.

Pennsylvania Dutch root beer, crinkle cut fries in little red

checked paper boats with flat wooden two prong forks,

fifty cent hot dogs, frozen Cokes from Clark’s, then on to

miniature golf at the foot of Jackson Street with windmills,

statues of seals, keeping score with stubby green pencils.

Hole in one on the last hole got you another game free.


Next door was Sid’s Place, later it was called Carney’s,where

music blasted, people drank and laughed loudly all day long.

No need for shoes or flip flops, we walked bare foot and used

painted white lines to avoid the burn of Beach Drive’s asphalt.

We’d lie on the jetty’s hot black rocks to dry off and daydream

out loud, wondering how we could keep this up for the rest of

our lives. But we knew it’d end, because summers always do.

DAYS ENDED ON THE FRONT PORCH


waiting for the nightly call of “Supper’s ready”.

November meant gray hooded sweatshirts and

cups of black coffee. Talking with you on the phone

you told me how dark it was already at home and I

realized how far west I was with daylight hanging on.


Some days the sky turned orange or purple, a few

hours later stars shined brighter than ever, the night

so dark you really can’t see your hand in front of you.

Some nights made me think about how I got there and

I’d tell you I didn’t know how good life was back then.


But that’s not true. Sadly I was like the so many others,

worrying about how things always have to end instead of

enjoying the moments. Twenty years later, I’m on my own

porch with a cup of coffee looking up at the sky, thankful

for where I am, all that I have, and for moments like this.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

THE FARMER'S STORY


The greenhouses are gone now and

I see many new buildings, but the shed

next to his parents’ house still stands.

Boards are busted, some rotten, all of

them have changed to shades of gray.

A flickering shop light was always on and

there never was a door to you could close.

For years, an engine block caked in oil sat

in the corner. Pick axes, tractor tires, hoses,

disc plates, pipe fittings, welding tanks, boxes

of fertilizer mix, buckets of bolts, nuts, screws,

and nails littered the shed’s grease stained floor.


He told me many times about the move back

to Tennessee with flat bed trucks loaded down

by rhododendrons, nursery supplies, azaleas.

He’d talk about that first season of farming,

fifty acres and a mule, and how at the end of

harvest- the mule died. Then he’d laugh loudly.

The tomatoes were packed by hand, wrapped

in newspapers. They thought about quitting.

I asked if they’d ever knock down the old shed

and he said he couldn’t do that, because we

all need to be reminded of how we got started.