RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – Aug 17

August 18, 2016

Red Wheelbarrow Poets
Poem of the Week 8/17/2016

Arthur Russell

Summer Solstice, 1974

On West 36th Street,
in the strange, back apartment
over the wholesale button shop
you took me home to,
and pissed with the bathroom door open,
and returned to bed when we
should have been dressing to go,
the dirty window blurred
the crazy view up the air shaft
to the top of the Empire State Building,
while the radio insisted
that its love was like a ship on the ocean,
and my cheek lay on your thigh.

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – Aug 10

August 11, 2016

Red Wheelbarrow Poets
Poem of the Week 8/10/2016

Janet Kolstein


In captivity, she sailed down the Nile
far, far away from her home
and across the Mediterranean Sea,
Africa behind her, Marseille ahead,
the first giraffe ever seen in France.

A sight of wonder and delight
the moment her hooves touched land,
she walked to Paris to be
another jeune fille
in the king’s menagerie
in the Jardin des Plantes.

A star, an oddity, an obsession,
alone in her sphere,
she would live out her life
in solitude
among the hundreds of thousands
who came to stare
and buy wares with her likeness.

Was there a man, woman, or child
who pitied her plight,
looked into her unguarded gaze and wondered
if giraffes can dream of herds on savannas
and other long necks to nibble
and twine?

(A gift from Muhammed Ali Pasha to King Charles X, Zarafa (“lovely one”) landed in Marseille on October 1826 and inspired “giraffemania” until becoming passe. She died in 1845.)

Blog – http://redwheelbarrowpoets.org (187 followers)
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WCW & National Translation Month – Carmen-Francesca Banciu

August 6, 2016

Wednesday, September 7, 2016, 7 p.m.

Williams Center for the Arts
Cinema 3

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


Carmen-Francesca Banciu was born in Romania and studied religious painting and foreign trade in Bucharest. As a result of being awarded the International Short Story Award of the City of Arnsberg for the story “Das strahlende Ghetto” (“The Radiant Ghetto,” 1985), she was banned from publishing her work in Romania. In 1991, she accepted an invitation extended by the DAAD Berlin Artists-in-Residence program and came to Germany. She was a writer-in-Residence at Rutgers University (2004-2005) and at the University of Bath in 2009. Banciu currently lives in Berlin and works as a freelance author and co-editor of the multilingual e-magazine Levure Littéraire. She is the author of four novels and four collections of short stories. Her work draws from the experience of writing under Communist dictatorship and from geographic and linguistic migrations. Her new books, the poetry collection Leichter Wind im Paradies and Mother´s Day—Song of a Sad Mother, were both published in 2015 by PalmArtPress.


Last night I forgot to close the lid of the rubbish bin.
The ants appeared in front of me.
They have built an ant road. They crawl up to
the rubbish in a thin line.
Still no road below.
I close the lid and break the road.
Some ants are locked inside. They
will be taken to the rubbish dump. On the other side
of the village. Where the rubbish containers sit.
Far away from here.
Will they find their way back to the house?
Will they create a new home?
Will other ants accept them?
Adopt them?
Or will they be lost in foreign lands?
I keep the lid closed.

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


RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – Jul 27

July 29, 2016

Return to Eastern Europe

Claudia Serea

Come to Baba, little girl,
says the old hag

and spreads her flabby thighs,
revealing her vagina

equipped with three rows
of sharp teeth.

Blog – http://redwheelbarrowpoets.org (185 followers)
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GV – Anton Yakovlev and Pete McCullough

July 24, 2016


The Magic Circle returns to GainVille Café on Friday, July 29 at 7 PM as we continue our eighth year of great poetry and music. Exciting news: Rutherford’s own PETE McCULLOUGH will be bringing his standup bass to perform. Also exciting news: ANTON YAKOVLEV will be our featured poet and will debut his latest chapbook! Open mic follows.

Gainville Cafe
17 Ames Ave., Rutherford. 7 PM
$8 donation at the door includes coffee/tea and dessert
(201) 507-1800


RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – July 20

July 21, 2016

John Barrale

I remember the bittersweet smell
of my mother’s lipstick
melting in its gold cartridge
when we went to Coney Island,

and how the glossy burst of sun was like a poster
when we walked out of the subway station—

and how, riding home, I slept
in her suntan-oiled arms,

and the smell of the sea,
so old and fertile,
rose like a ghost
from the sand-wet bottom of my pail,

and how after she died,
the lonely cigarette and onion sweat
of my father
would wake me
for school in the morning.

Blog – http://redwheelbarrowpoets.org (160 followers)
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WCW—Sharon Mesmer

July 20, 2016


476558_10151065359287802_509981710_oWednesday, August 3, 2016, 7 p.m.

Williams Center for the Arts • Cinema 3 • One Williams Plaza, Rutherford NJ

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

Sharon Mesmer is an award-winning poet, fiction writer and essayist. Her newest poetry collection, Greetings From My Girlie Leisure Place, published by Bloof Books, was voted Entropy’s “Best of 2015.” Previous poetry collections are Annoying Diabetic Bitch (Combo Books, 2008), The Virgin Formica (Hanging Loose Press, 2008), Vertigo Seeks Affinities (chapbook, Belladonna Books, 2007), Half Angel, Half Lunch (Hard Press, 1998) and Crossing Second Avenue (chapbook, ABJ Press, Tokyo, 1997). Her awards include a Fulbright Specialist grant (2011), a Jerome Foundation/SASE award (as mentor to poet Elisabeth Workman, 2009) and two New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships (2007 and 1999). Her essays, reviews and interviews have appeared in the New York Times, Paris Review, American Poetry Review, and the Brooklyn Rail, among other places. As an original member of the flarf collective, she read her work at the Whitney Museum in April 2007 (in the “Flarf Versus Conceptual” event), at the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis, and as part of National Public Radio’s “Studio 360” program on January 23, 2009. She teaches in the undergraduate and graduate programs of New York University and The New School.

From “Stupid University Job”

I thought I had it bad
until I met that handsome Scottish man
whose parents tried to make him spontaneously combust
by feeding him haggis laced with gunpowder
and making him sleep in the stove.
Instead of an ear, he had a shiny, snail-shaped ridge.
I guess we all have our tragic flaw.
Mine is like that of the naked man
who holds up a sign that says “I’m naked”
and runs screaming through the park.
My handlers say I’m difficult,
but don’t you believe it.
My soul still radiates a luminous intensity
despite this stupid university job.


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