Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Poet's Corner

-Image courtesy of Fashion Abuse
by Marcus Jackson, from Neighborhood Register. © Caravan Kerry Press, 2011.
—to Nicole

Finished early at the library,
          I strolled Canal Street to fill
          empty hours
before we'd meet home for dinner.

          Late-winter light sneered,
          reluctant to leave
the streets, bargain tables
          with t-shirts or imposter purses,
          jewelry coves
where gold necklaces refracted
          from squares of scarlet felt.

          All down Mulberry, arched
garlands of festival bulbs
          shined champagne.

          From Italian restaurant stoops,
waiters with handsome accents
          lured tourists by describing
          entrées like landscapes.

At Ferrara's dessert café,
          the wait bent
          halfway up the clogged block.
I whittled inside, browsed
          glass cabinets of cookies,
          yellow-shelled cannolis,
cakes displayed
on paper placemats
          that looked like lace.

I arrived 40 minutes late.
          You balanced, hand
          against bedroom door-jamb,
pulling off your office heels.

          Once you noticed the bakery box
          under my arm, your face calmed—
my earlier whereabouts
          evidenced in sweetness
          we would fork from the same plate.

This is a great little poem. I love how the first four stanzas start out slowly, just snapshots and observations from a lengthy stroll, and then in the final three stanzas we get a series of images that hone in on something very personal. Still, until those final few lines, you get the sense that the whole thing is centered on the narrator.

But the last stanza turns the aimless loafer into a romantic hero. It suddenly becomes a statement about a couple’s intimacy. And those last three lines are worth the price of admission alone:

“my earlier whereabouts
          evidenced in sweetness
          we would fork from the same plate”

Very good, no? Have you had your socks knocked off by a good poem lately? Share them in the comments.


  1. Yes, I was recently blown away by this:


    aside from faith,
    as far as you know,
    you will never have another heart.
    better to grow the one you were born with.
    fill it with blood & love. risk.
    let the strange world sneak inside.
    accept all of life in your chest.
    death is the end of percussion.
    breathe deeply, the music
    will function. listen close.
    freedom thaws in your ribcage.
    dance with vehemence
    to feel its fast-pumping.
    tempt two lips to greet your throat
    & take note: your racing pulse
    will laugh & kiss back. god is strong
    in the clock of your desire.
    every tick, my friend, divine
    confirmation: you are alive. beat. yes!
    you are alive.

    by Lenelle Moïse

  2. I had to look up Anahata, but that's some good stuff, Eugene. Thanks for sharing. Some great lines in there, and I love the rhythmic ending.

  3. First time poster here at your blog --- please keep it up! I'm enjoying the reads.