GV – Poetry Book Launch Plus The Return of Chelsea Carlson

April 24, 2017

Join the Red Wheelbarrow Poets for music and poetry Friday, April 28!

PAMELA HUGHES will be launching her new book of poetry Meadowland Take My Hand.

Our musical guest will be a favorite young troubadour of ours, CHELSEA CARLSON, making a return appearance with a new CD in hand.

The Bring Your A-Game open mic follows.

$8 cover includes coffee/tea, dessert

GainVille Café
17 Ames Avenue


RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – Apr 18

April 20, 2017

Poem of the Week 4/18/2017

Arthur Russell

At The Car Wash

At the car wash, at dawn, the darkness of the plant was almost
suave, a midnight bathroom trip of shadows
along permissive walls.
Sometimes, the dark had a pilot
flickering in the hull of a heater,
exit sign, canvas towel bin glowing in the pallid
grey of skylight. Every morning
for five years. Eighteen hundred mornings,
or we would hear an air leak or water
drip while walking back with our coffee cups
gimbaled between index and thumb—things
we’d need to fix before we opened — and then,
at the electric panel, the knife switch
took a palm to throw, the sequence
of circuit breakers, compressors and fluorescents
satisfied the order etched in our knowing,
and Alan went to hang his army field coat,
and I walked the wash tunnel, collected
license plates and other parts from yesterday,
charmed by rust that bloomed like frost overnight
on the polished steel-plate flooring and washed
away each morning, and Alan came
to grease the bearings, and the white grease pushed
the greasy water out, and, raising garage doors
to put out the signs, I saw the light’s progress,
the men arriving, trash cans
empty, money for the register,
hanging card of pine trees in the booth, the tape loop
in the customer walkway selling hot wax to no one.
And then we opened, and the cars came, and the people
nodded to us and stood with crossed arms, watching
steam, vacuum wands,
mats flung sideways to the mat rack for a rinse.
And even as we watched, our lives peeled
back one day’s layer, shed and
new exposed tomorrow’s boyish, delicate skin
towards evening.

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – Apr 11

April 13, 2017

Poem of the Week 4/11/2017

Susanna Lee

Three Poems for My Father


My Dad Might Die Today

My dad is drinking no water.
They are keeping him “comfortable.”
My dad might die today.

I plan his obituary.

I wish
I had paid more attention
when he explained to me
how to fix a Delta faucet.


The Day

The day my father died
hasn’t happened yet.

The horses walk along this fence
at sunset.
What is their destination?

Are they hospice horses,
trained to entertain
those waiting at death’s door,
who might want more?

If I open these French doors,
will anyone notice?

Could I catch a beautiful horse
and ride it over the hill
into the sunset?



a boat on water
is easy.

a hospital room . . . into a cove,
and a hospital bed . . . into a yacht,
and a push-button call device . . . into a captain’s wheel
takes some navigation.

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Video of Andrei Codrescu at the Williams Center, April 5th, 2017

April 12, 2017



April 12, 2017

Jim Klein, David Crews, and Chelsea Jackson read poetry
The Spondees play music
An open mic follows

The Meadowlands Museum and the Red Wheelbarrow Poets are celebrating National Poetry Month with an afternoon of poetry, music, and open mic.

April 22, 2017, 2 to 4PM. A reception with refreshments will follow and copies of the poets’ books will be available for purchase.

The Meadowlands Museum
91 Crane Avenue in Rutherford

The Meadowlands Museum is home to the William Carlos Williams Room, the first permanent exhibit dedicated to the poet-doctor’s legacy.

Jim Klein’s books include Blue Chevies (White Chickens Press 2008), To Eat Is Human Digest Divine (White Chickens Press, 2010), a chapbook, Trinis Talk Like the Birds, (Errant Pigeon Press, 2011), and two forthcoming volumes this year. More than 100 of his poems have appeared in literary magazines, including Beloit Poetry Journal, Berkeley Poetry Review, Poetry Now, Unmuzzled Ox, and Wormwood Review, among others. He was a finalist in both the Anthony Hecht Prize (WayWiser Press, London) and the Sawtooth Poetry Prize (Ahsahta Press). For more than 10 years, he has led weekly poetry workshops in Rutherford, NJ, and edited nine issues of The Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow, the journal of the Red Wheelbarrow Poets who have held monthly readings since 2005.

Also reading are David Crews, author of High Peaks (RA Press, 2015) and Circadian Rhythm (Paulinskill Poetry Project, 2014), and Chelsea Jackson, graduate student in Drew University’s MFA Poetry Program.

“The Spondees” will play music and an open mic will follow.


RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – Apr 4

April 6, 2017

Poem of the Week 4/4/2017

Arthur Russell


This is how the blood swept through the village
of my mother’s brain when she woke
at the start of the hemorrhagic stroke
that shoved aside her loves and prejudice
together with her subtle fashion sense,
and every index of the orderliness that she professed.

Feeling hot alarm behind her ear,
she pushed the button on the life-alert lanyard,
and the nurse’s voice came louder than expected
from the nightstand terminal. I wonder
whether my mother tried to joke with her,
as if to shield the nurse from worry,
as she might have done if my sister had called
on a plain Wednesday;
or whether the flood of blood
had announced its bad intention so doubtlessly
that pleasantries she otherwise insisted on
gave way to frank admission of intimate fear.

The terminal nurse would have stayed with her
until the ambulance arrived, encouraged her
to drink some water, put her keys in her purse,
and unlock the front door now in case,
as it did, it got worse.

And worse, as who she was, and where,
blew black across her mind:
the pantry cans and boxes, row on row
that marked her place, her library of linens;
handbag hooks behind the bedroom door;
perfume bottles bottled up and senseless,
utility bills and annuity statements
in colored files in the lower, left-hand drawer
of the desk that faced the Intercoastal Waterway
blew black across her mind;

the boy with the cleft palette who called her Tulip,
the cigarette ashes they tipped in her girlfriend’s shoes,
the green and black tiles in Sylvia’s bathroom;
laughing at a comic in the Catskills with her sister,
and the fake fox fur that her husband banished from his car,
and the bitter refrain of marriage blew black;
the part of her that liked butter cookies and hot black coffee
and crossword puzzles blew black across her mind.

When we arrived that afternoon
like three un-Magi,
children, grown, with failures of our own to tend,
to find her washed up on that hospital bed,
with breathing tubes and a wedding ring,
and monitors creating the illusion of the life
that had already tumbled from her body,

my sister at the bedside held her hand,
IV and all. I took pictures of the names
of drugs written in marker on the velvet bags;
and my little brother, in a folded forward slump,
sat in a chair, further from the curtain, and cried.

And so we attended till the hospice lady came,
and then, we were ourselves again.

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – Mar 28

March 30, 2017

Poem of the Week 3/28/2017

Janet Kolstein

The Bright and Shadow Years

When The City was new to me,
I swung Chagall-like through the streets,
coffee shops, nightclubs,
and one-of-a-kind boutiques,
as if strangers were accessories
to my fantasy.

Sometimes, I was a lonely mouse
in a Twinkie factory,
hustling around the pine floors
for crumbs and a foothold
in the post-industrial door.

I had to find a job, a new job,
a society of apple-picking experts,
a hand-painted company of cards,
an historic date, fleshy and ripe.

Dirty pay phones reached their pinnacle.
Go-sees and meet me’s
with cherry-red canticles,
the libertine’s sewer breath
perfumed as ambition.

Invaders flashing smiles
were unsure of what to do,
leaning into the gilded lanes
on the oily fluid of rapid change.

How is it after years spent running
for a bus, a taxi, a subway,
a dollar, a dime, a dream,
I finally became concerned
with the pace of my slow ascent,
and barely even made a dent
in the vaulted ceiling.

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