RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – June 12

The Fence of My Indifference

Arthur Russell

When your difficulties jump the fence of my indifference
and I awaken to thoughts of you in dirty bedclothes;
when I look at my fork of food and cannot eat it

and draw ballpoint hash marks on the breakfast paper,
and say your name out loud in the shower,
and later pull weeds as if to clear a landing place for you,

but you don’t come, I recall how we ran down the ramp
to the lower level of Grand Central, and I drew your shadow
in pencil on the whispering wall, but none of that reaches you.

Today, I write the word “hand,” and a hand grows from the paper.
I draw a picture of a hand, and a hand rises from my shading.
I say the word “hand,” and my hand comes down on your shoulder

in the hospital room, and you turn from your silence to see that
I have jumped the fence of my indifference into your difficulties.


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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – June 5

Eulogy for Eleanor

John Barrale


I was twelve; she was eight.

My mother forced me to go— her funeral mass

was a sad storybook on a Sunday morning.

The night before her coffin floated

in a forest of flowers and ribbons.

Under its closed lid, I imagined her head

resting on a satin pillow—

jewel-like, exact

and delicate.

GV—Loren Kleinman



The Magic Circle returns to GainVille Café on Friday, June 4 at 7 PM. LOREN KLEINMAN will be debuting her fourth collection of poetry, Stay with Me Awhile.  She also has a new poetic memoir coming out. JOHN BARRALE will be our guest host. The Red Wheelbarrow Poets’ Bring-Your-A-Game open mic will follow. $8 cover charge includes coffee/tea and dessert. 17 Ames Ave., Rutherford, NJ. 201-507-1800.

RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – Mar. 9

The Golden Ratio

Janet Kolstein

It starts with scribbles
and spins into an empty circle —
with two dots and a small arc,
the marks say someone.

Arms and legs may be depicted
sprouting from the head,
or, from a vertical line,
defining the body
of humankind.

With more circles, more lines,
more dots of various size,
a family is drawn.

A big blob colored yellow radiates lines like limbs.

A family must have a place to live,
so a squarish shape is made. With a door. A window.
A chimney with smoke.

What’s a home without a tree? A blue sky?
Grass to connect us to the ground?

Flowers bloom into bloated hearts
and names on paper.
Stars. 3-D Boxes. Eyeballs.

We doodle hair-dos, clothes, guns and cars.

The golden ratio,
and one, two, three-point perspective
emerge from fancier tools.
Symmetry assumes importance —
abstraction with allusive hues,
personal views.
From “I can’t draw a straight line,”
to eyes that follow you around the room.

How do they do that?

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – Feb. 17

Magnetic Roots Still Hold Me to the Ones I Love.

Zorida Mohammed

Dada, the day was still as we stood in the backyard.
You’re telling me about watering the cucumber vine
that had spread out on the young bamboo you’d cut for it.

The vine is full of yellow flowers,
reminding me of an Indian bride.

You are talking about going to the hospital,
but I can hardly hear
or comprehend your words.

The world around us is circling above our heads.

I remember thinking it was you
rolling across the sky as thunder
when lightning flashed.
I knew it was you
because you were never home
when it happened.

You left your books and Gandhi glasses.
Your toothless earthy smell stayed too.

When I saw you again,
you had a bruise on your right brow
where you’d fallen out of the hospital bed.

It was the first time I heard
my father cry.

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WCW – John J. Trause

Wednesday, March 2, 2016, 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


JOHN J. TRAUSE, the Director of Oradell Public Library, is the author of three books of poetry and one of parody, the latter staged Off-Off Broadway. His book of fictive translations, found poems, and manipulated texts, Exercises in High Treason, is forthcoming from Great Weather for Media. His translations, poetry, prose, and visual work appear internationally in many journals and anthologies, including the artists’ periodical Crossings, the Dada journal Maintenant, the journal Offerta Speciale, and The Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow. Marymark Press has published his visual poetry and art as broadsides and sheets. He has shared the stage with Steven Van Zandt, Anne Waldman, Karen Finley, and Jerome Rothenberg; the page with Lita Hornick, William Carlos Williams, Woody Allen, Ted Kooser, Victor Buono, and Pope John Paul II; and the cage with the Cumaean Sibyl, Ezra Pound, Hannibal Lector, Andrei Chikatilo, and George “The Animal” Steele. He is a founder of the William Carlos Williams Poetry Cooperative in Rutherford, N. J., and the former host and curator of its monthly reading series. He is fond of cunning acrostics and color-coded chiasmus.


I am an Owl
Do not Howl

I whisper

Contact: John Barrale –

Workshop Poem – Nov. 12, 2014

Wayne L. Miller


orange juice yellow beets brown bread
once more she sets the table

arranging dishes
placing napkins

forks spoons knives
centering chairs by placemats

then placemats by chairs
tureen vegetable soup steam

cold salads covered
no grapefruit spoons or fish forks

yet again
she checks the simmering roast

reverently adjusting burners
almost hot enough

for bellies full
of memories

to start with
blue corn chips green salsa black olives

inviting me she
touches my shoulder

Workshop Poem – Oct. 22, 2014

Bob Murken

Appalachian Trail Shelter: Late Winter Afternoon

Focus as you tent the twigs
above the little yellow beech leaves –
only that and nothing more.

Take off your gloves,
tear loose one match
and strike it.

Cup it till it flares,
protect the flame until
it grows,
the tiny glow
against the whiff
of thready smoke
that means you failed.

Now cherish what you have
and feed it,
snap the crispy tips off branches,
place them gently where they’ll catch,

then wait.

The smell of fire,
small and welcome,
satisfying, says “I did it!”

Silhouette and flickerlight begin
to dance up on the logmade shelter wall,
become a weaving, waving dance done just for you,
evoke the rush and relish of the primal human triumph:

you defeated all the cold and dark outside where no human is for miles

save you and you alone.

GV – RWB poets read, Victoria Warne plays

On Friday September 5, 2014, Mark Fogarty, the host and producer of the GainVille Café Reading Series, will feature readings from the poets published in Red Wheelbarrow # 7. If you aren’t able to attend the launch on September 3rd please join us on the 5th. If you’ve already read on Sept. 3 come to GainVille and you can read the poems you didn’t have time for at the September 3rd launch!

Musical guest will be Victoria Warne, a guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter who has performed extensively in the New York Metropolitan area. She has recorded with Danny Gottlieb, Spyro Gyra’s Julio Fernandez, and even shared the stage with legendary jazz great Billy Eckstine. She has recorded 2 CDs as a leader, Live At The Savoy and Fluorescence.

The GainVille Café is located at 17 Ames Ave., in Rutherford, NJ. The festivities start at 7 p.m.

A $7 cover includes coffee/tea and dessert.

Copies of Red Wheelbarrow # 7 will be available for purchase.

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