RWB Workshop Poem of the Week—Nov 13

Claudia Serea

Windy nights are like alcohol

They both bring back the past
in sips and blows,
both make me dizzy,

And, of course, the wind doesn’t speak to me,
and the leaves don’t gossip
in a foreign language,
but still—

On this windy night, I walked out of the bar
where we went for drinks for my colleague Steve
who’s leaving the office,
and where I found myself telling Sam
the story of my life, over Heineken,
from Romania to the United States
(short version, because he asked,
and you should know that Sam and Steve
are half my age,
and charming).

So I realized I drifted through life
sometimes with eyes closed,
other times, wide open,
and, in rare moments, seeing it from above,
understanding it
with a dizzying clarity.

I left the bar with the distinct feeling
I’m drifting again,
eyes open.

Left and right, people rushed, laughing,
chatting on the phone,
not seeing,
engrossed in their own screens.

The night was windy
and charged.

A Chinese woman passed by
with a blanket over her head,
pushing a loaded cart
with two big sacks of cans
hanging on its sides,
contorted wings.

And her small eyes met mine.

I’ve seen
what you’ve seen,
they said.


Blog – (263 followers)
Facebook – (432 likes)
Twitter – (108 followers)

RWB Workshop Poem of the Week: Nov 6

Arthur Russell

April Was Fatal For Jesus, But Not For Me

The seasons are not my metaphorical daddy.

The wine-dark leaves of cut leaf maples
spread like a king’s robe on the wet lawn
are not a sign the end is near to me.

I give not the slightest shit
that hardened winter buds
on the slender branches
of a sapling oak
are promises to some sad soul
that spring’s rebirth
is ’round a few months’ corner.

I do not believe
in cherry blossoms clustered
in the climate-varied air of April,
or that any kind of thaw
implies any other kind of thaw.

We are not babies.
We are disappointed people
like to die.

I don’t need summer days
on Vineyard beaches
swimming through my lover’s legs
in sunlit surf
to make me see the truth.

The caveats are ample as a bedspread
without the sweetened lemon suffrage
of an August afternoon.

March is wet and cold,
and so’s your mom.

Go ahead, I dare you to correlate
the weather that eleventh
of September with the outcome.

Seasons are the guy who swears
he didn’t fuck the maid.

And whatever I say about the seasons
goes double for the daffy crap
imputed by the lovelorn mass
to morning, noon, and night.


Poem of the Week email subscription…

Blog – (263 followers)
Facebook – (432 likes)
Twitter – (108 followers)

GV-Jim Klein book launch—Nov. 9


The Magic Circle returns to GainVille Cafe Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 PM for the launch of Jim Klein’s new book THE PREEMBROIDERED MOMENT (Errant Pigeon Press). Musical guest will be Joe Jacovino.

The Red Wheelbarrow Poets Bring-Your-A-Game open mic with generous reading times follows. $9 includes coffee/tea and dessert.

17 Ames Ave. Rutherford, New Jersey tel. 201-507-1800.

Read excerpts, details, and advance praise at Errant Pigeon Press:

RWB Workshop Poem of the Week—October 30

Zorida Mohammed


Her father missed no chance to spit in her face.
She glared at him, speechless.

Her mother fed her money,
lots of it, on the side.

She stole from her parent’s store.
By the time she was 18,
her tiny frame had ballooned to 300lbs.

She slipped into denial.

Everything worthwhile was unreachable.
Self-loathing was the only knock she embraced.

Chaos was where she thrived.
She developed a knack for it.

She ate to tamp down something that she could not put her fingers on.
Sleeping was her 2ndfavorite thing.

She lived in her id.

She visited the Louvre several times
because it was the thing to do.
It was a listless chore
because no man was on her arm.

Forever in debt,
she learned to return the things
of fleeting happiness.

She managed to stay at 126 lbs.
for years after surgery,
but the pounds, all of it,
crept back ever so slowly.

For twenty years, she’s been picking the droplets
off her face and parking them in sunlight.

Cake and candy,
nay, sugar,
is still her daddy.


Poem of the Week email subscription…

Blog – (263 followers)
Facebook – (432 likes)
Twitter – (108 followers)

RWB Workshop Poem of the Week—October 23

RWB Workshop Poem of the Week—October 23

Frank Rubino


And how do I define ‘pretty good morning?’
Picked the wilted cilantro leaves
off the cuttings in the water glass.
A bee kept approaching, hovering.

When I stepped back, it sampled, found no
pollen but then came back again, so I wondered about
the bee’s value system, how it kept getting fooled
into thinking the cilantro was a flower. It flew off.
I picked some yellow arugula leaves from the planter,
the driest ones, but all the rain lately means
the leaves aren’t seared by drought, so why yellow?

And how do I define ‘bad year?’ The year
2012. Gil, Gloria, and Dad died.
Fallen trees, pulling down lines, breaking houses:
Sandy left us without power for weeks. It was cold,
greasy and always twilight in the house.
That was the year, too, when Ryan
suffered their most acute
body dysmorphic disorder.
Oh back in that bad year 2012,
my father looked at my thirsty tomato
plants, and he advised scribing
irrigation ditches in the dirt. They had yellow
leaves like this arugula.

One finch keeps returning, the brave one
with the scruffy head. He learned I would
not hurt him and stayed faithful all week long
while I filled the seed dish, and it incited
various disputes and squabbles amongst established friends.
And some of those bird friends did not return though I poured
Kaytee Wild Finch Blend, and the Mourning Doves
declined, perhaps got tired of winning?
(They are the biggest, and they push the others away.)

Wrote my poetry. This has to be included as a good
activity, but why I value it I have never known,
as why any creature values existing over not.
Is that a cricket chirping to Bose, Satie’s Gnossienne?
Here we are in this house made of popsicle sticks.
I’ll get up. I’ll walk. I don’t know why on earth
I headed for the room I’m entering.


Poem of the Week email subscription…

Blog – (263 followers)
Facebook – (432 likes)
Twitter – (108 followers)

WCW—Susana H. Case on November 7

Williams Readings-Nov2018-SusannaCase.indd

Susana H. Case’s poems use wit, high-energy cleverness, joie de vivre, and a certain daredevil sensibility to shine a light on some of life’s most harrowing rites of passage and most difficult questions. In equal parts–and often simultaneously–entertaining and devastating, these poems are as archetypal as they are personal, thoroughly riveting no matter what culture or mindset the reader or the listener may be coming from.

Please join us on Wednesday, November 7th, 2018, 7:00 PM at the William Carlos Williams Center, One Williams Plaza in Rutherford NJ.

Please note: There is an open mic with generous reading times.

You can follow everything about the Red Wheelbarrow, its events and poets at these sites:
Blog –
Facebook – Twitter – @RWBPoets.

RWB Workshop Poem of the Week—October 2

Mary Ma

My Hair Is Long Again

Two lanes to my right,
the driver of a Nissan
rolls down their window
and flips off the car behind them,
flips off the entirety of Route 17 North.

I haven’t been alive in 6 days.

Have you ever had flashbacks?

Not memories, those are
wispy small things.
Even the strong ones aren’t sentient. They’re so willful.
They reek of choice.
They can have color, sure, but never touch.

No, touch belongs to the flashbacks.
Rug burn over and over again.
The carpet was white and clean with large loops,
I played with the loose ones,
if anything is real.

My hair is long again and I’m pulling it back because you always have to clean up after.

I can’t sleep any more or see anymore or breathe any more.
It’s so hard to stay put,
but a middle finger on
a highway
grounds me.


Poem of the Week email subscription…

Blog – (263 followers)
Facebook – (432 likes)
Twitter – (108 followers)

GV – It’s Here! Red Wheelbarrow 11 Launching

Front cover_2018-RGB

The Red Wheelbarrow 11 is launching at GainVille Café on Friday, September 28, 2018, an event hosted by Mark Fogarty. Mark hosts the GainVille Cafe reading series and is one of The Red Wheelbarrow’ three managing editors.

The feature at both launches is all the poets we are publishing. As your work is in The Red Wheelbarrow # 11, we would be delighted if you join us and read from your poems that we’ve published.

Each year’s Red Wheelbarrow spotlights and presents an in-depth look at the poetry of one of our community’s members. We are very excited and happy to announce that The Red Wheelbarrow # 11’s featured poet is Jim Klein. It is a delight and a true honor to showcase Jim’s work this year. Jim is a true poetry hero, the father of our Red Wheelbarrow community, and a master poet at the top of his game.

An $9 cover includes coffee/tea, dessert.

7 PM, GainVille Café
17 Ames Avenue

WCW-Roger Sedarat

Williams Readings-Sept2018.indd

September is National Translation Month! Join us at the Williams Center to celebrate. Our feature this month is the Iranian-American poet and translator Roger Sedarat who will present a dramatic performance based on his recent poetry collection Haji as Puppet: an Orientalist Burlesque, which interrogates and challenges the western gaze toward the Middle East.

For over 15 years, Sedarat has been performing poetry and translation as Haji, a Persian punk persona based on the 19th century stereotypical picaresque British novel The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan by J.J. Morier. The translation backstory of this novel has real relevance to Sedarat’s Haji project. The first translator to bring this novel into Persian actually re-appropriated some of the Orientalist depictions. To this end, with Haji, Sedarat attempts to expose American assumptions of Iran and the Middle East. This promises to be a fun and memorable show not to be missed!


“Not since Ali Hakim, the Persian peddler in Oklahoma!has a minor Middle Eastern character lit up the grand stage.
—Roger Ailes, Former Fox News Chief

“Heh heh heh. Heck of a show!”—George W. Bush, Former American President

“O, O, O, that Rumi rag. It’s so erotic. So exotic!”—Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran

“With so much trouble in the region, it’s great to let go and laugh at it all.”—Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State

Join us on Wednesday, September 5, 2018, 7:00 PM at the William Carlos Williams Center, One Williams Plaza in Rutherford NJ.

Admission is free and there is an open mic with generous reading times.



Summertime equals a hot time at GainVille Café Friday, Aug. 16! We will have back Rutherford’s own jazzmaster with his EIICHI YAMAMOTO DUO. And we will have a special feature, a tribute to poetist (poetic vocalist) KAREN GIBSON ROC presenting her videos and poetry. Plus, THE RUTHERFORD RED WHEELBARROW 6 is back from the printer and looks fantastic! Copies will be available for sale if you don’t want to wait for the official launch Sept. 4. 7 PM, 17 Ames Avenue, Rutherford NJ. $6 cover includes coffee/tea and dessert. GainVille Café

%d bloggers like this: