Deerbrook Editions has published Maine writers for going on 20 years. This video gives a short hiton each author and shows book covers. Go to Deerbrook Editions for more info, or to order a title, and remember, shipping is free in the USA.
Deerbrook Editions has published Maine writers for going on 20 years. This video gives a short hiton each author and shows book covers. Go to Deerbrook Editions for more info, or to order a title, and remember, shipping is free in the USA.
In Poisons & Antidotes, life is inhabited by things that kill us and things that save us. But it’s never black and white, because poisons exist on a continuum, each increment representing some gradation of toxicity. Sometimes poison is clearly recognizable; other times it sits side by side with the innocuous and the borders are blurred. In this collection, poison is a metaphor for the degree of human connectedness to the world. The delirious voices in the poems are trapped in their own subjectivity, unable to see beyond their own strange stories. Just as poison becomes less virulent across the continuum, the poetic voices acquire a gradual awareness of themselves in relation to their world. By the end of the collection, it is as if human experience also exists on a kind of continuum. The expression of this vast range of experience—with all its subtleties, contradictions and ironies—is the antidote to human disconnectedness.
Many of the poems in Andrea Fry’s new collection Poisons & Antidotes elicit a frisson as the poet, clear-eyed and with precise description, depicts plants, situations, or people, where the extremes of beauty and toxicity, allure and danger mingle and test us. As a practicing oncology nurse, she looks at life without sentimentality but with intense compassion, knowing that while there are no simple choices, it is the ambiguity of life that makes us fully human. Using her medical training as well as her extensive knowledge of the natural world, Fry with deft language creates pictures and tells stories that provoke our emotions and linger in the mind.
—Peggy L. Fox, President and Publisher Emerita, New Directions Publishing Corp.
Caution: this book may upend your expectations about what is fit subject matter for poetry. From mothballs to toxic machismo, Fry takes on the perils that lurk in the dark corners of the world and brings them into the light of frank consideration. These poems have their “arrows of truth” aimed straight at you. They will reshape your thoughts. They may deepen your insights. With larger doses, your imagination may experience an expansion. You may feel yourself craving more and more of the poetic artistry of Andrea L. Fry. You’ve been warned.
—Jeanne Marie Beaumont, author of Letters from Limbo, Burning of the Three Fires
Many of Andrea Fry’s poems have become my favorites, e.g., “The Renderer” and “The Secret.” I don’t know if these are the Poisons or the Antidotes of the collection. I just know they are poems—startling, fluent, and precise. They avoid overdosing us with sweetness, but they are deeply heartening. This poet seems to think (and I agree) that accurate observation is better for us than sweetness. So is humor. So is love.
—Sarah White, author of Iridescent Guest and Wars Don’t Happen Anymore
The 16th century physician-philosopher Paracelsus famously wrote, “All things are poison. The dose alone makes a thing not a poison.” Advanced practice oncology nurse Andrea Fry is the poetic voice of Paracelsus in the 21st century. Poisons & Antidotes is not just a work of medical humanities. Fry uses her clinical skills to diagnose and treat the human condition. Her dosing is measured, exacting, and precise. At times witty, at times disturbing, these poems span the countryside and the city, exploring innocence and shame, delight and pain, the sublime and the mundane. Fry is an important new voice in American poetry and Poisons & Antidotes is required reading for anyone serious about poetry.
—Daniel P. Sulmasy, MD, PhD
Acting Director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University
The wind in these eloquent, elegant, tensile poems is present as spirit, of course; as spirit it can manifest as the longing or fate of the body (it expires), as intellectual momentum (it inspires), as power for social justice (it aspires). In all these modes, L.R. Berger both controls the energy as form, and honors the charge of the moment through perception by brilliant perception, breath by mortal breath.
In this beautiful new book, words are unusually alive and active in the poet’s capable hands. A whispered finale meaning finally, a riff on up, and an exploration of the letter P : these are among the linguistic players that address both personal loss and political realities, which L. R. Berger explores with searing honesty, emotional depth, and lyric grace. No precious word is wasted here; you will read carefully and gratefully, and want to read again.
L.R. Berger’s work has been supported by The National Endowment for the Arts, The PEN New England Discovery Award and The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. She was Visiting Artist at The American Academy in Rome, and has been granted residencies at The MacDowell Colony, The Blue Mountain Center, Hedgebrook, Wellspring House and The Hermitage. Her collection of poems, The Unexpected Aviary, received the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry.
The quality of persistent attention in Berger’s work constitutes, I think, the heart of the poetic act. It matters that her attention is paid to such endangered objects as human love and the extra-human natural world; to the intricate connection between our conduct of love and that imperiled world.
—Mary Baine Campbell
Sufficient Emptiness is Marjorie Power’s new collection of poetry.
Sufficient Emptiness holds life’s contradictions in balance on the fine edge of language. With elegance and grace, Power captures moments of connection and reverie. With sly wit and savvy insight, she meditates on history, memory, and art. This is a collection of those “hushed thefts” in life that change us, as well as a roadmap of how to traverse the journey. Sufficient Emptiness is more than a book, it is the balm we need for the wound of these difficult times.
—Amy Wray Irish, author of The Nature of the Mother
Marjorie Power holds the camera like a visionary filmmaker, moving deftly between voices and locations, narrative and form, twists and omissions. Each poem in Sufficient Emptiness speaks its own distinct language as it explores its poem-world, whether it’s a family raising chickens, a landscape defined by a dominant tree species, or the reappearing face of a lost woman. These poems offer mysteries and questions without oversimplifying answers; they are not just about what we see and remember, but how we see and remember.
—Amy Miller, author of The Trouble with New England Girls
Marjorie Power is one of my favorite poets writing today. Her words, themes, and visions transform time and space and carry us back not only to her past, her family, and the people she has encountered on her journeys, but to our own past, family, and people whose paths crossed ours for a moment, a season, a lifetime. This collection also focuses on the natural world we all live in, forcing us to acknowledge our impact. The poems are powerful, usually brief, and razor sharp. They linger in your mind like crystalline visions.
—Chris Helvey, Editor-in-Chief, Trajectory Journal
With wry wit and keen observation, Power navigates a complex, ever-changing, often crazy world with grace and insight. Pointing her lens at the ironies of aging, the vagaries of grief, or losses endured by the natural world, she reframes the ordinary and the mean. She invites us to linger in a deeper place.
—Linda Strever, author of Against My Dreams
J.R. Solonche’s poetry, is well, praised by many, the likes of Stephen Cramer, Michael Meyerhofer, and Ricardo Nirenberg, to name a few. Also widely published in mags and journals for decades, J.R. has a unique perspective on many things usual, and unusual. Let the poems speak. See more about his books here.
The Porch Poems received Best Indie Book
But read this endorsement and watch the video below.
William Faulkner is famous for mining “his own little post stamp of native soil” for what he called “the old universal truths.” In Chestnut Ridge , Dawn Potter is following Faulkner’s wise path, giving us a polyphonic portrait of southwestern Pennsylvania in an impressive range of voices, pitches, and forms. She starts with the region’s tragicomic history—“the undiagnosed roads littered with sorrows”; “the pale and ruminating / heifer”—moving gradually through time to the present. All along, mining the full possibilities of persona, our intrepid author takes possession of her own origins as melancholic witness to a bygone America whose history it would be a terrible mistake to lose. This sad, moral, and really smart book is essential reading for anyone interested in hearing a master poet sing an indispensable bereavement song.
The press is going modern with promo videos. We’re just getting started, but here is one to check out. As we get further along, the videos will become more focused on books, authors, or events.
Toni Ortner was an English teacher at the University of Connecticut, Monroe College, and at Bronx Community College, as well as at various high schools in New York state.
She has had 26 books published by small presses. Her most recent is Daybook II by Deerbrook Editions. She lives in Vermont where on the fourth Sunday of each month from 5- 6 PM, she hosts the Write Action Radio Hour on l07.7 FM and interviews writers and has them read their work. She is Vice President of Write Action which is a nonprofit group that supports writers in New England through a variety of events. Her recent work can be seen at vermontviews.org at Old Lady Blog along with reviews of her published books. She gives readings in bookstores and libraries in Vermont and New Hampshire.
Toni Ortner’s Daybook II is charred in the rubble of memory, and the surreal runs through it. Like Anna Kavan’s Ice she gives us a disturbed interior landscape that haunts our visions for the future with lamentation and dissonant song.
—Terry Hauptman, author of On Hearing Thunder, The Indwelling of Dissonance, and the Tremulous Seasons.
Mimi White has published four books of poetry. Her chapbook, The Singed Horizon won The Philbrick Poetry Award, selected by Robert Creeley. Her first full-length book, The Last Island won the Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Poetry. Her poems have appeared in dozens of journals including Poetry, FIELD, The Seattle Review, and Stonecoast Review. She has been awarded fellowships from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the Vermont Studio Center. After teaching for many years in a variety of settings she is now hosting “pop-up” poetry conversations in libraries wherever people wish to come together to read and enjoy poems. Mimi White is a longtime resident of Rye NH. Mimi was also Portsmouth, NH Poet Laureate.
Her latest collection from Deerbrook Editions, The Arc Remains, is superb. It is available on the Press site.
The big news is that Mimi had a story in the New York Times Home section about being a grandparent during the pandemic.
Poems in this book have previously appeared in Rivertalk, Verve, Cedar Hills Review, Brick House, Daybreak, Prophetic Voices, California Quarterly, Stepping Stones Magazine, Rise Up Review, and Stand Magazine.
These are some of her poems in Daughter of the Rain
Gail Gauldin Moore was a voiceless poet all of her life, having had writer’s block for over fifty years. She finally starting writing after a vision of a strange animal emerged from a cave and began shaking off its wool.
She was a licensed therapist for over thirty years, received a certificate in Theological Studies from Sewanee, University of the South, and was an adjunct professor for The University of La Verne.
She thinks poetry should strive to remain what it was once thought to be, “the highest of the literary arts” and likes this summation of the poetic process by Galway Kinnell:
“On some hill of despair
the bonfire you kindle
can light the great sky;
though it is true of course,
that to make it burn,
you have to throw yourself in.”
These days . . . oh these days. Some days can’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, but then it slowly comes to me. Boiled egg and toasted sprouted wheat bagel. And now poetry month is gone. Before it ended as a door shuts, I felt that I did not do enough for poetry. Then I thought, my poetry month lasts all year long.
So now, since more than a dozen new books sit on the shelf from last year and the new year, and though more are in the works (plans being what they are—uncertain as ever) it is time to ‘get the word out’ for all you stay-at-homers.
Some poems from Sarah White’s new book. Enjoy – available now here
Iridescent Guest is the third book by Sarah White from Deerbrook Editions. As with most titles, previews can be found on issuu.com
Sarah White is also author of The Unknowing Muse (Dos Madres Press, 2014), Alice Ages and Ages (BlazeVox, 2010), Cleopatra Haunts the Hudson (Spuyten Duyvil, 2007), Mrs. Bliss and the Paper Spouses (Pudding House chapbook, 2007), and a lyric memoir, The Poem Has Reasons: a story of far love, on-line at http://www.proempress.com. She is co-translator of Songs of the Women Troubadours, Bruckner et al., (Garland, 2000). She is Professor Emerita of French from Franklin and Marshall College, and lives in New York City.
Iridescent Guest – stunning, glinting. Striding out of the ordinary, these poems shimmer morose and joyful, ominous and light-hearted. Sarah White surveys our perilous, our exquisite world with a solvent “personhood” sans ego and pretense. The Iridescent Guest brings great self-knowledge to bear in her bouquet. . .presents no small effort of stretching and reaching to the limits in order to wreathe masterfully, both the consolation and the forlornness of our mortal coil. This guest pays homage to the art gods, the kitchen gods, and to the children — silver, mutable, delicate. . .solvent and sure.
—Karen Garthe, author of the hauntRoad, The Banjo Clock, Frayed Escort
The latest titles as of April are two new poetry books.
A Rising & Other Poems by David Sloan.
A graduate of the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFAPoetry Program, David Sloan teaches at Maine Coast Waldorf High School in Freeport. His debut poetry collection—The Irresistible In-Between—was published by Deerbrook Editions in 2013. His poetry has appeared in The Café Review, Chiron Review, Innisfree,Lascaux Review, Naugatuck River Review, New Millenium Writings, and Passager, among others.
He received the 2012 Betsy Sholl Award, MWPA Maine Literary Awards short works poetry category in 2012 and 2016, The Margaret F. Tripp Poetry Award, the Goodreads Poetry Contest a third time in July, 2015, Maine Poets Society inaugural award 2018, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Also now available from April, The Porch Poems by J.R. Solonche.
J.R. Solonche has been publishing poetry in more than 300 magazines, journals, and anthologies since the early 70s. He is the author of Beautiful Day (Deerbrook Editions), Won’t Be Long (Deerbrook Editions), Heart’s Content (Five Oaks Press), Invisible (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize by Five Oaks Press), The Black Birch (Kelsay Books), I, Emily Dickinson & Other Found Poems (Deerbrook Editions), In Short Order (Kelsay Books), Tomorrow, Today and Yesterday (Deerbrook Editions), True Enough (Dos Madres Press), The Jewish Dancing Master (Ravenna Press), If You Should See Me Walking on the Road (Kelsay Books), In a Public Place (Dos Madres Press), To Say the Least (Dos Madres Press), For All I Know (Kelsay Books), The Time of Your Life (Adelaide Books), The Porch Poems (Deerbrook Editions), Enjoy Yourself (Serving House Books), and coauthor of Peach Girl: Poems for a Chinese Daughter (Grayson Books). He lives in the Hudson Valley.
Expanding on the post, The year in books, this post will give some details about books fresh off the presses. (Links provided to book pages for ordering, shipping in the USA is free)
First, the Maine Poet Laureate’s new title, How to Start Over, poems by Stuart Kestenbaum, includes some experimental poems using source words supplied by others (loosely might be called found poems). The cover features art by Susan Webster entitled, The letter A. Stuart Kestenbaum has other books from Deerbrook Editions.
Next is Daybook I by Toni Ortner. This is a deluxe volume at 7 x 10 in.
Toni Ortner is a poet and author who lives in Brattleboro, Vermont. She has 16 books that have been published by fine small presses, 14 of which are poetry books. She is Vice President of the Write Action Board that supports writers in New England through readings and other events. She gives readings at Vermont libraries and bookstores and reads at the Brattleboro Literary Festival. Her work has appeared frequently at vermontviews.org and she has had numerous articles published in The Commons. You can read endorsements where her book is available here on the press site
Third is a new book of poems, Chestnut Ridge by Dawn Potter. Chestnut Ridge is also a deluxe volume in 7 x 10 in. format.
“Dawn Potter’s rich and remarkable Chestnut Ridge gives us voices and artifacts tracing the development of southwestern Pennsylvania, from 1635 to 2013—from missionaries to racial conflicts, mining disasters to the way changing times can leave us adrift. Potter makes history alive and compelling.” —Betsy Sholl
Dawn Potter directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching. She is the author of eight books of prose and poetry, and she lives in Portland, Maine.
Over the past year, from last spring until the current spring, Deerbrook Editions has been working on nine new titles. Most of which are available if only from the press Website, but many are at the distributor, and on amazon. Most of these have come out since last fall. Last fall On The Badlands Of New Times, by Paul Bamberger of New Hampshire, appeared.
There are four new Maine authors in this group (if you go back a bit more into 2017 there are more, Combed by Crows by Dennis Camire, and one notably Lesser Eternities by Jim Glenn Thatcher, a finalist in the Maine Literary Awards for poetry).
Last spring two Maine authors appeared, Leonore Hildebrandt’s poetry Where You Happen to Be, and Margaret Yocom’s erasure poetry, KIN S FUR (ALL KINDS OF FUR),
Many of these books have been reviewed.
This new year two more Maine authors have new books coming out, Say What You Can, poetry by Elizabeth Tibbetts, and The New Plantation: Lessons from Rikers Island, creative non-fiction/memoir, by Jason Trask. There is also Maine author Dawn Potter with a new book of poems currently in prepress titled Chestnut Ridge.
There are still more books in the works for this year. One book of prose poems by Toni Ortner of Vermont, Daybook I, a deluxe size 7 x 10 format has just gone to press.
More poetry from other places include, What Lies Beyond, poems by Judith Farr of DC; Came Home to Winter, poems by Judtith Skillman of Washington; and Tomorrow, Today, and Yesterday by New York author J.R. Solonche.
To visit the Website and see what is available click here. A similar post has click on covers linked to pages, as well as drop down menus and an index.
I wanted to put this out there, a friend and author’s post of one of McGrath’s poems which spurred me on to look him up. It is the kind of thing the internet is good for, and what writing is good for, we get curious, we get inspired, we read, write and teach. It is in the blood of a creative. So here is Pauls post of Tourists at Ensenada.
You can also find some of Paul’s work there as well. He is prolific in posting poems by great poets and he occasionally posts his own poems from his book.
Paul Bamberger, is, by the way, a serious poet in his on right. His book, On The Badlands Of New Times, published last fall by Deerbrook Editions, is, as Keith Badowski, Editor of Brick Road Poetry Press, says, ” . . . a collection filled with powerful poetry which depicts some of the most painful truths about our world.”
Now, here is a link to Thomas McGrath on Poetry Foundation.
Lastly, it is a new year and Deerbrook Editions has new books coming off the presses. Here is a link to a few. There are more on the way, and you can browse the menus and posts to learn about the writers of Deerbrook Editions.
A review of Timothy Ogene’s book of poems appears in Glasgow Review of Books that speaks of the possibilities in the title, the questions, and difficulty in the condition of being as the other, from away, as some would say. There is a certain retrospect found in the state of looking forward, perhaps while looking backward we find our truth by disambiguation.
Alison Graham’s review is welcome as a sensitive look at the language and dynamics in these poems.
Published in 2016, Descent & Other Poems was included on Australian Book Review’s 2016 Books of the Year list, as well as gaining an honorable mention in the 2017 Glenn Luschei Prize for African Poetry.
Endorsers have said Paul Bamberger’s book is “filled with powerful poetry . . . ” and, “Some of the most intelligent and challenging poems I have ever read . . . ”
Here is one poem from the beginning of the book:
Preludes To The Past
caught in the last improbable light of the pretty hour
nerve endings of paradox hum destiny’s long shot
tomorrow’s brilliant rational truth’s sharp tongue
swing of axe shadowing its own to and fro as desert
traveler crosses the slow red decay of dying sun and
small lie howls there is always something in it for
you but we who harvest wildflowers on the dark side
of the moon have our own brothers to keep
what studies we are slow steppers looking for caution
sign dreamers of lilies in shock time blind to
evening’s tomorrow no more than what meets the
eye no walk arm-in-arm dream lowered into the
dark what could have been
what are we thinking this no rags to riches story
no home sweet home let’s go home baby no sweet
dreams we got it made baby nonsense and the long
haul’s what brought us to this street multitudes
scavenging among the well-fed dogs old men pacing
cluttered rooms running out of time losing their
timing making no sense of it joyless hearts riding
their shadows down to where the rattled bones are
laughing door left ajar
and from the unlucky we steal long shots to pay off
the junkyard dog bone has its use
Here is a poem from the new book Where You Happen to Be by Leonore Hildebrandt.
In her new book Leonore Hildebrandt explores the power of place to inform, humble, and inspire our human experience.
One author said this for the back cover: In Where You Happen to Be, Leonore Hildebrandt writes of “discern[ing] layers / of sound and scent,” of probing “the human dilemma / of purpose and failure.” The poems in this collection assume this task of recognition and discovery.
Here is the opening poem from a fine book- Francis Blessington’s book Poems from Underground.
Poems from Underground is an outstanding collection, well deserving a place on any adequate shelf of contemporary poetry. T he whole book gives pleasure and stimulation. Francis Blessington brings fresh insight to every subject he touches, with a rare mastery of imagery and metaphor. Great art can inspire him (Goya’s Prints), but so can the sordid (Cockfight). His control of free verse forms is admirable, as well as his handling of traditional meter and rhyme, so well displayed in his memorable translations from Baudelaire and Mistral.
—X. J. Kennedy
Here we are in “a post-truth world” . . . a complicated world of media outlets, on the air and online, where rhetoric, jargon, imagined conspiracies, lies and deception permeate, leaving us to weed through with our educated mind and common sense, in search of bits of gnosis.
Lovers of poetry and literature in general, weed no further. There is nothing pretentious about work that is made with a love of creativity, essential observation and experience, and full with imagination.
Deerbrook Editions has a pile of new and recent titles, some which might fit into your idea of “arts and entertainment.” Because we know that there are many generations and types of readers with varying tastes, we offer most titles in a quality preview form on issuu.com, and most of these are embedded on book pages on the press Website.
Then if you find something interesting, remember that shipping is free in the USA.
It’s Poetry Month all year long at Deerbrook, and now, new books out, and more in the works.
And thank you to all visitors, likes and followers of this blog. Hoping to post some interesting poetry in the coming weeks.
SOON IT WILL BE SPRING
Soon it will be spring.
Do you know how strong spring is?
Do you know how strong it is to do what it does?
Of course you know.
You have seen spring before.
You have watched spring at work many times.
How it has to have the strength of a thousand winters
to wrestle winter to the ground,
then strangle winter with its bare hands,
then smother winter with whatever it finds at hand,
with snowdrops and crocus, to be certain,
then dig winter’s grave deep in the ground,
so deep in the ground that winter will not stir again
until next winter.
And it has only its bare hands, mind you, with which to do this.
Tell me, have you ever dug a hole with your bare hands?
I don’t mean a hole for a tulip.
I mean a hole big enough to bury winter in?
This is how strong spring has to be.
And spring does this all alone.
It gets no help, not from us.
No, not from us who merely stand around, cheering.
J.R. Solonche (110 Poems, forthcoming in the near future)
Check out the flip-thru preview and read a few poems.
Praise for Where You Happen to Be from Dawn Potter:
In Where You Happen to Be , Leonore Hildebrandt writes of “discern[ing] layers / of sound and scent,” of probing “the human dilemma / of purpose and failure.” The poems in this collection assume this task of recognition and discovery. Gently, and with a great and detailed patience, she walks us through physical and emotional landscapes, narrating travels that feel both in and out of time. “The living,” Hildebrandt writes, “inherit the world’s blindness— / so much of it, they get blissfully drunk.” Yet as her poems celebrate and mourn our blindness, they also remind us, again and again, of the power of resilience: “Let one lake rest on another.”
Descent & Other Poems also was listed as a favorite on LitHub.
Lots of recent titles of interest; check out the backlist post on the site. Also many titles have previews of several pages on issuu.com which provides an excellent interactive catalog.
If you visit the site there are several menus for looking up titles, and most pages include reviews and endorsements about authors and titles, as well as embedded previews from issuu.com. The above link goes directly to all the currant previews.
When you order from the press Website in the USA you get free shipping. Usually sent media mail you get what amounts to a discount of about $2.60 off the price of a single title. Other presses often add shipping to the price of the book. It’s our way of saying thanks for ordering from the site. Also, please note that with PayPal you do not need an account with PayPal, you can use the card of your choice.
Upon Hearing that “Bread is the Way Sun Enters Our Body” by Dennis Camire
I feel this need to knead on my knees
And praise the daily “tran-sun-stantiation”
Of sun into whole grain calories via
T he Holy ghost of yeast. And kudos
To pepperoni pizza dough now morphing
Into these acned teens of Helios
While the bread sticks become nothing-less
T han batons of this God-force handed off
To hungry loved ones so, in mere contemplation
Of a “single grain of whole wheat,”
T hey might finally cross the
Finishing line into the divine!
Oh yes, bless the shamans of our bakers
Keeping those stone oven temples’ fired
To coax golden Goddesses inside honey wheat
To continue illumining the skyline of every slice!
And after we caffeinate conversations
By singing how each sweet portly, pastry
“Is just sun made up in so much make-up”—
Or by declaring “the solar flare of each éclair”—
Or by shimmying in kind to “the northern lights’
Cosmic cursive espied in the marbled rye”—
Consider, finally, the sourdough’s soul’s
Own second rising when musing
How that same sun beams through
T he doughy body’s own celestial abode
So our neurons feel the same heat
As those distant rings of Neptune do—
And our membranes glow for the same reason
As any of the solar system’s marvelous moons—
And sun, bread, and body s are now just one
Heeding us, surely, to feel the vitamin d of delight
As her hand, say, alights and tans your thigh—
Or to know the solar radiation of a soul
So freely giving love over to your blue being—
Which fathoms, now, how that sacred moment
Of silence before breaking open the loaf
Is heightened by looking into one another’s eyes
And recognizing all the sunshine in disguise.
Poem videos can be seen on the book page above.
Beautiful by Martina Reisz Newberry
for my Aunt Jan who is . . .
Beautiful isn’t it,
the way some beaches are sand
and some are small, smooth rocks and
the way the water bends like molten silver
when the weather is hot and
it’s late in the afternoon?
the way the sky tears down the middle
for lightning and mends again later on
how breath turns white in the cold and
how the world’s roads move across the land
no matter what
Beautiful, isn’t it,
the way love rhymes with glove and
silk rhymes with milk and
rage rhymes with cage?
the way the light stays on and on
during the Summer months and
a different kind of
when Fall makes it fade early
the cleanliness of bones in moonlight
when the desert is silent and without wind
the cool rind of a honeydew melon
and the perfume inside it inviting taste
the way a woman hums to herself
while she gets dressed and
sighs one hundred sighs
when she undresses
the accident of passion,
the brush of hands, then mouths,
then bodies doing more than brushing—
flesh on flesh
to music older than the stars
the smell of soap
and burning wood
and frying onions
and a diner far up the road
that you didn’t know was there
Beautiful, isn’t it,
the smooth red bark
of the manzanita plant and
a long teardrop earring
that touches a woman’s neck
and how Beautiful
a full cupboard
jars of delicious things
There is the Beautiful
with perfect pink shrimp surrounding
and the Beauty of buttered potatoes
Beautiful the strange trailing roots
of water lilies and
the zippers on dark leather jackets
of the two-headed saint and
the red satin lining
of the box it came in
a new book, a new shirt,
new sheets, a new pen.
the lover that used to matter,
the one that matters now,
and the ones that never mattered
a pain that stops,
a cut that heals,
a scar that was earned,
a hand sitting in for
your mother’s hand
a dance, a smile sitting in
for the ones your mother
could not give
Did I say how Beautiful
is the purity of a
man’s shaved head
or the long, dark hair,
a man might have—like
a river down his back
a drinking glass so clean
it looks like water
a runner, a cyclist,
a childhood that might
never have been but was
the way you read
or hear this poem—
your eyes wishing
wanting this to be one thing
that will not be content,
that will not be captured.
I would give up all the words in the world
but not words that open doors
to unknown rooms.
I would give up all the rooms in the world
but not this room
where I heard music for the first time.
I would give up all the music in the world
but not this music that holds all the light
I have ever seen and all the light I have not.
I would give up all the light in the world
but not this light that makes me reach
for a pencil to write words.
by Joan I. Siegel from Archaeology, Deerbrook Editions 2017
LUCID DREAMING by Martina Newberry
Sometimes my dream life
is a euphoric slumgullion
of rock and roll and Milky Way
candy bars and 5-dollar-99-cent champagne.
I can’t find a place to recover
or the right role to play.
You’re so cool
and I have so many questions to ask you,
“How did you get so cool?
I’m wrapped up in countless failures.
I’ve got Spanglish in my ears
and Ebonics in my nostrils—
shouldn’t something brilliant
and memorable come from that?
I’ve fallen in and out of love
with myself a trillion times,
bought the vitamins,
played the jukeboxes,
lost my keys, dumped my quarters
at the Laundromat and still…and still…
I have eaten scrambled eggs
and cotton candy
and desktop computers
and felt-tipped pens
and straw hats
and bath towels.
I know some lyrics to some songs,
a line or two from some movies, still…
In the old days, I dreamed myself new
every month or so. Oblivion was far off
and I could show substance and testament
so earnest, it would make your teeth ache.
I dreamed myself with wings and webs of silver,
dreamed myself diaphanous, icy.
Sarah White is also the author of Wars Don’t Happen Anymore (Deerbrook Editions, 2015) reviewed in American Book Review