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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – October 17

October 19, 2017

Poem of the Week 10/17/17

Mark Fogarty

The Love Song of J. Donald Trump

I did try and fuck her.
I moved on her like a bitch
but I couldn’t get it done.
And she was married, too.
She’s now got the big phony tits and everything.

I better use some Tic Tacs
just in case I start kissing her.
You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful—
I just start kissing them.
It’s like a magnet. Just kiss.
I don’t even wait.

When you’re a star they let you do it.
They let you do everything.

Grab ‘em by the pussy.
You can do anything.

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GV – Pamela Hughes

October 13, 2017

The Magic Circle returns to GainVille Café on Friday, Oct. 27. Our poetry feature this month will be PAMELA HUGHES, who is launching a book on the Meadowlands. Musical guest features the return of THE FIRE CATCHERS. The Red Wheelbarrow Poets’ Bring-Your-A-Game open mic features poets and musicians rocking the mic.

$8 cover includes coffee/tea, dessert

GainVille Café
17 Ames Avenue
Rutherford
201-507-1800

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – October 10

October 13, 2017

Poem of the Week 10/10/17

Mark Fogarty

At the Grave of Meriwether Lewis

The monument is too tall for the clearing.
There was no one there to remember,
The day I came, no one to remember
But me. I have just come from the cabin where he died
One black night on the Natchez Trace,
The postal road through Chickasaw land.
There are only two rooms in it,
A little too confining for my taste.
He had one. He paced up and down it
All night, his soul calamitous,
Thinking at the last Captain Clark
Would come to rescue him, to partner
The calamity of depression doused with laudanum.
Shit, you might as well throw gas on a fire.
He talked to himself, the others say,
Until the dawn came and he took out his gun.

He was a Hero of the Revolution,
Calm and resolute in the woods and the wild,
Nervous and done for in the cities.
He was the very hand of our democratic spirit
Reaching across the big unknown of the continent.
Chintzy Congress made Clark
A Lieutenant to his Captain, to save a few nickels.
Lewis never told his men Clark was anything but
His co-equal, since he knew that to be true.
Only one man in his charge died,
Of a burst appendix. Only one Indian died,
Stealing horses. And when it was time to choose
A winter camp, Lewis looked around at those
Who had rowed up an irritable river
And portaged over a spot that was blank on their maps,
Two hundred fifty forlorn miles of mountains,
And decided each had earned the right to vote on it.
The men all voted. Sacagawea, the Native woman,
Was the first woman to vote in America.
Clark’s slave, York, was the first black man
To vote in America.

They got to the Pacific at a place so bleak
It was called Cape Disappointment.
I followed them there, and wept to find
The end of the road was a gun-gray ocean,
A bitter wind that used the drops of rain as a whip.
It’s called now, I kid not, Waikiki Beach,
To prove that the god of liberty has a sense of humor.

Sacagawea died young. There’s no place to mourn her.
Rising waters washed away her sturdy bones.
Stouthearted Clark brought up her orphaned son.
Of the stories of York, I like best
The one of how he got his freedom,
Went back upriver to Indian Country,
Got him four wives.

I make out America as bipolar as Meriwether was,
Swinging from the grand to the odious,
From a Hero of the Revolution to the Antichrist.
We cut deals with the Indians and burned them every one.
We prospered on the backs of the abomination of slavery.
Sacagawea was the only woman to vote for a hundred years.
We badly need a few more Heroes of the Revolution.
You can still sign onto the captain’s manifest, venture to the lands
Where the Indians need houses to live in.

My mother was born in a year women could not vote.
She lived long enough to vote for a black man.

Lewis was thirty-five when they buried him
In a small clearing near the cabin where he died.
He died of an insanity that I understand.
I followed him across the country and back
To an empty spot in the woods.
I guess he’d have liked the woods,
Guess he wouldn’t mind the loneliness.
It would take a lot to confine his roving spirit.

Once I thought I caught a glimpse of him,
In a daydream, in the corner of my eye,
In Oregon, near the Dalles,
In a boat coasting down the Columbia,
The current finally in his favor for a while.
.
I wish I’d had some laudanum to pour out on the ground.

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – October 3

October 5, 2017

Poem of the Week 10/3/17

Russell Francis

More Steam

In the “Heart of America-66” I, the brigand, tell my tale
in Pirates Cove; near Robins Reef, they sing to Valhalla.
I, brigand, tell my tale of you.
Those were times told by few here; I toiled.
Sweat-stained hands hard on course and stay the helm.
America, you sweat me hard those years. Heat.
The heat is hot, your engines roar, more steam!
If this place be Hell, if Hell I live, more steam!
Boilers pant and mud plates scream, and the capt’n rings down.
More steam! I hold the helm and answer true, more steam!
Men go mad, and death takes its due, and engines roar all pride
taken to Valhalla.
For pride, I broke your back; I broke your heart; I stole your soul.
More steam!

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Blog – http://redwheelbarrowpoets.org (239 followers)
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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – September 26

September 29, 2017

Poem of the Week 9/26/17

Della Rowland

Riding With Will

In a fever,
we cram into Will’s little red car —
him, Martha, and me in the front seat,
Sarah and two others in the back —
our squeezed-in elbows poking out the windows,
bound for a cowboy store where he’s sure
we’ll buy a hat, maybe boots.

Will pops the clutch,
leaving babies and children behind, playing
in the yard, all over the yard,
patting soft dirt into piles,
making perfect sentences as only children can,
scooped up by grandmas and uncles and who-all else
when we lurch off fervently,
bucking down the driveway
toward our hilarious destination only Will knows where
while the radio blares “Listen To The Mockingbird”
and the wind rolls through the rolled-down windows
and our waving hair,
and Will hunches back and forth over the tiny steering wheel
whooping and swerving down field-flanked roads,
beating the big trucks to the next intersection
every time.

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Blog – http://redwheelbarrowpoets.org (238 followers)
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GV – It’s Here! Red Wheelbarrow 10 Launching

September 22, 2017

The Red Wheelbarrow 10, with the work of more than 50 writers, is launching at GainVille Café on Friday, Sept. 29! We will have an open reading from poets in the anthology, and since it is our 10th anniversary issue, you do not want to miss it! We’ll start things off with musical guest THE ELECTRIC POET GATHERING featuring George Pereny.

An $8 cover includes coffee/tea, dessert

7 PM, GainVille Café
17 Ames Avenue
Rutherford
201-507-1800

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – September 19

September 21, 2017

Poem of the Week 9/19/17

Milton Ehrlich

The Woman in a Negligee

wears an elegant outfit,
decolletage, with a thigh-high split.
I’m almost 17, making a delivery
during the war for a local drug store.
She pays me with a big fat tip,
invites me in for a yummy taste
of blueberry pie she’s just baked.
She tells me her back is in pain—
do I have time to give her a back rub?
Her stereo is ablaze with the vibrato
of Edith Piaf while she offers me
a sip of homemade wine, brewed
by her husband before he left.
I sit on her sofa and wonder:
Is this a fantasy I’ve had on my delivery route?
Are we both phantoms in a mutual dream?
We both seem to savor the mystery
of the perfect moment—no dialogue necessary.
My body and soul is willing
in more ways then I care to say.
It’s the very best blueberry pie
I’ve ever tasted, before or since.

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