The Family Muse by Sarah White

The Family Muse by Sarah White

          Pity the Muse
in our house: Mother’s
paintings hidden in the attic
like clandestine Jews.

a seldom-tuned piano,
refusing the arpeggios
of “Clair de Lune”

a teenage boy reciting
“Gunga Din” complete
with Cockney sounds—You ‘eathen,
where the mischief ‘ave you been?

. . . I ‘ope you liked your drink,
and he dies—
me laughing, lurching
from the room, vowing
to become a poet

and show my own book
to my brother,
who would never look:
“Poems make me feel
like a boob.”

But wait. Once, he and I
took a class and shared
a set of soft pastels.
He fashioned me an easel
I could balance on a table
and it all went well.

The Muse—that floozy
friendly with Debussy—
saw what we could do, us two,
and was so surprised
she swooned
and dropped her harp.


Nominated for a Pushcart Prize. This poem appears in to one who bends my time by Sarah White.



What I would Give Up

What I Would Give Up

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

New food coming off the presses

A passing by Joan I. Siegel

A Passing by Joan I. Siegel may be atonal and therefore a well seasoned feast.

News update: These authors will be reading  January 28.
Time is 7 pm.
Place is Morrison Hall, Orange County Community College, 115 South Street, Middletown, New York.

Deerbrook Editions announces

A Passing by Joan I. Siegel, coming soon in 2015.

“Siegel’s book is a meditation, a held breath, a chord lingered on and released, the silence eloquent as the music. In these poems, memory both preserves and fails, distorts and clarifies. She meets small deaths (a hummingbird, a cat) and large (her own loved ones, and victims of war and the Holocaust) with a steady gaze. But there is also the cherry blooming outside the window, Degas’ dancer, a child’s new language that sputters off your lips and drops / ripe as a juicy pear in my lap.”

                                           —Mary Makofske

“The poems in Joan I. Siegel’s A Passing offer startling bardic moments. In a poem’s anguished speaker, a sudden transcendence takes place. In the reader, a sudden awakening ensues from a window’s shocking brightness, or a subtle memory of a window, or the profound emptiness of molecules that never touch.”

                                             —Sandra Graff, author of This Big Dress

Siegel is recipient most recently of Poetry Quarterly’s Rebecca Lard Award, and previously New Letters Poetry Award and Anna Davidson Rosenberg Prize. A finalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize, she was an International Merit Award Winner in Atlanta’s 2014 International Poetry Competition.

Jaon is also the author of  Hyacinth for the Soul (Deerbrook Editions, 2009)


Beautiful Day by JR Solonche
Beautiful Day by JR Solonche has delight and sorrow insights and more.


Beautiful Day by JR Solonche, also coming soon. A new author to Deerbrook Editions, JR Solonche’s Beautiful Day is a delight as well as it may be conundrum, for JR’s skillful introspection plays with the commonplace while illusively serving up poetic truism.

Preview some poems  that appear in Beautiful Day on Mudlark

“The spirit of Horace, the melancholy of time slithering away and turning all to dust, tempered with art, wit and good grace: Solonche’s is the Horatian spirit for our time and place.”

                —Ricardo Nirenberg, editor of Offcourse

“When his daughter poses a most difficult question, the father in one of the poems in A Beautiful Day, responds, I’ll have to get it right. / I’ll have to clear my throat, sigh as wise people / sigh before I say . . . Solonche the poet, like Solonche the father, neither sidesteps the crucial questions of the day, nor pretends to have the perfect answers. He sighs and crafts his way with words of care, of wit, of artistry.”

                                   —James Penha, editor of New Verse News

“Solonche possesses a deadpan delivery that delights in unexpected twists and word play that can turn deadly serious. He’s equally expert at both narrative and lyric, and the ghazals alone are worth the price of admission.”

                                                     —Mary Makofske, author of Traction, winner of the Snyder Prize

» Seeing the Arabs through quack spectacles | Djelloul Marbrook

» Seeing the Arabs through quack spectacles | Djelloul Marbrook.

Review: Djelloul Marbrook’s Brushstrokes and glances

Review: Djelloul Marbrook’s Brushstrokes and glances

Teresa Giordano
December 8, 2010

I envy Djelloul Marbrook and I am grateful to him. I envy his ability to inhabit a painting, to leave a dark state of mind and enter a world that transcends our own sometimes frightening often banal world. I’m grateful that his talent and grace grant me access to that world through his book of poems Brushstrokes and glances. Art for Mr. Marbrook – particularly painting – is not merely a collection of objects to be admired. Art is a place that beckons; paintings are to be visited – as alive and dimensional as a mountaintop, a city street, or church or temple. As in those places we can order our lives in front of a great work, find meaning in brushstrokes. As he says in Picasso’s bull: We need a museum to show us/we can unbind our captive lives. Djelloul Marbrook’s triumph is not only that he can experience art the way most of us cannot it is also that he can articulate his vision and share it in this beautifully crafted book of poems. Brushstrokes and glances is an invitation to “lift the curse of containment” (see A naming spree). It is an invitation well worth accepting.

A thank you to Teresa Giordano for these words that speak to, at least for me, the metaphysical experience that is poetry and art; painting, writing, music; the creation and the receiving.