RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – Nov. 18, 2015

November 19, 2015

My Old Friend Lou

Milton Ehrlich

Every time I walk to the library
I pass my old friend’s house
who doesn’t live there,
or anywhere anymore.
The house looks the same
except for the lawn,
now emerald green,
neatly mown and trimmed,
devoid of former brown patches,
crabgrass and dandelion.
Orphaned, a deprived child,
a recycling pioneer, Lou saved
bits of string and everything
he could scrounge, shopping
at yard sales for his wardrobe,
furnishings and mounds of tools
piled topsy-turvy in his musty shop.
He had a clip on toothpaste,
insuring no paste was ever wasted.
His rusty van with over
three-hundred-thousand miles
no longer sits in the driveway.
Now a new family of kids are jumping rope,
and careening back and forth on skateboards.
I’d always stop to say hello and watch
him tinker and putter around,
tightening spokes on a Raleigh girls bike
he claimed was easier to mount since he retired.
We used to bike ten miles every other day,
20 years or more, riding round and round
a park exactly ten times measured by clothes pins
he’d shift back and forth on his handlebar.
As he aged and lost most of his friends,
he’d turn around to look, joking,
“The Grim Reaper might not be far behind.”
He insisted we bike home up the steepest hill
to insure our heart muscles would stay strong.
But days before he turned 80,
in a Cialis induced euphoria,
the Grim Reaper caught up with him.
His heart shattered like the watermelon
that fell off the rack on the back of his bike
when a bungee broke on his way home
from the market one scorching July day.

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WCW – Ana Božicevic

November 17, 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015, 7 p.m.

Williams Center for the Arts
One Williams Plaza, Rutherford NJ

Plus the words of William Carlos Williams
and open readings from the floor


Contact: John Barrale – john.barrale@gmail.com

Born in Zagreb, Croatia, Ana Božicevic emigrated to New York City in 1997 and studied at Hunter College. She is the author of several chapbooks, including Morning News (2006) and Document (2007). Her first book-length collection, Stars of the Night Commute (2009) was a Lambda Literary Award finalist, and her second book Rise in the Fall (2013) won the Lambda Literary Award. Božicevic has worked for the PEN American Center and the Center for the Humanities of the Graduate Center, CUNY.

From A Kind of Headless Guilt Emerges

And now it’s time. To use vague holy-man speech, like: I am

another face in your hand, the face of your eye — wing-surrogates, the word bones—

it’s time for afternoon, them white-blank architectures.
No, veil. Nothing’s glistening. Christmas, Christmas. It’s time

for you to forgive me: I was forced to eat valises
that wouldn’t close by themselves—

that was just a dream, good morning:

regurgitate the stars and the soot



November 16, 2015

The Magic Circle returns to GainVille Café on Friday, Dec. 4 for our fifth annual salute to the great bassmeister Jaco Pastorius, featuring PETE McCULLOUGH, VICTORIA WARNE and the maestro himself (via YouTube). Featured poet will be KEN VENNETTE, whose work has appeared in The Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow. There will be an Open Mic for poets afterward.

GAINVILLE CAFE, 17 Ames Ave., Rutherford. 7 PM.

$7 donation includes coffee/tea and dessert.

(201) 507-1800


RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – Nov. 11, 2015

November 12, 2015

Riding Parallel

Janet Kolstein

I’m looking out the window of a car
and imagine I’m on a horse
galloping alongside the vehicle,
and jumping over obstacles
hard by the road.

Bushes, signs, fences, billboards.

If the hurdle’s dangerously high
and threatens to clip
the horse’s limbs,
my mount sprouts wings
and becomes a Pegasus.

Now, I could add a soundtrack
to my wild, untethered side.
Let’s start with “O Fortuna”
from Carmina Burana.
I lament the wounds
that Fortune deals.


RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – Oct. 28, 2015

October 29, 2015

Crows in the Rain

Richard Greene

I’ve always wondered what birds do in the rain.
Surprisingly, I’ve never seen.
Today I noticed a cluster of crows
hunched stoically (I imagined)
in a tree,
a cold November downpour
running down their backs.
One was clucking faintly
as if in misery.
Now I don’t much care for crows,
but seeing them pelted with icy water
gave me a shiver of sympathy,
and I wanted them to be
somehow immune
to the wet and cold.
They must be, I thought,
or they wouldn’t be sitting in a tree.
But then where would they sit,
those shifty, thieving,
suffering fellow creatures?


RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – Oct. 21, 2015

October 23, 2015

Calling the Jinn

Zorida Mohammed

I hear the words “Jinn, Jinn”
as I’m falling asleep.
I sneak out of bed
and creep behind the house in the dark.

I’m struck to find my father
standing by our lime tree
so laden with limes the branches
are reaching for the ground.
His white shirt glows green in the dark,
almost the color of the Jinn’s eyes.

Our biggest and bossiest rooster
is lying dead at his feet,
next to a bottle of rum.
My father calls “Jinn, Jinn.”
He calls two or three times, and steps back
to look at the sky.

I imagine the Jinn
the shape of a big black cape,
his only discernible feature
his glowing green eyes,
swooping in any minute.

My father’s name was Alladin.
Our lamp had no magic.

The Jinn never showed.


GV – Claudia Serea’s New Book!

October 23, 2015

The Magic Circle returns to GainVille Café on Friday, October 30 to celebrate the publication of Claudia Serea’s fine new book of poetry To Part Is to Die a Little. There will be an Open Mic for musicians prior to the feature and an open mic for poets afterward.

GAINVILLE CAFE, 17 Ames Ave., Rutherford. 7 PM.
$7 donation includes coffee/tea and dessert.
(201) 507-1800.


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