Posts Tagged ‘poem’


RWB Workshop Poem of the Week

August 17, 2017

Poem of the Week, 8/15/17

Zorida Mohammed

If I Died Today, I Would Not Mind


I am sitting on my kitchen porch steps amidst my flowers,

in high summer, as peaceful as Ferdinand the bull.

The red dahlias that have survived many winters tower over me.

Bronze maple leaf hibiscus, as well as ordinary ones of different colors, surround the porch.

Echinacea have lost their rosy pink petals, and rounds of dark, spiky seeds

now sit atop the tall stalks waiting for whomever will eat them.

Bleeding hearts, with their ferny foliage, live in the shadow of the blue columbine,

the seeds spilled from its papery pods into the surrounding soil.

The irises and lilies are all strappy leaves;

their stick-like green stalks are all that’s left of their blooms.

The lady slippers, grown from seeds snuck in from Romania

by a friend’s mother, are so prolific I weed them like weeds.

The geraniums and snap dragons require frequent pruning to keep up their show.

The oleander cuttings that I’ve stuck into the composty soil

have sprouted new growth. The plant given by a friend

will now be potted up to grace the home of another friend.

Numerous other flowers are being short- changed and will go unnamed.


WCW – National Translation Month: Martin Woodside

August 12, 2017

Wednesday, September 6, 2017, 7 p.m.

Williams Center for the Arts

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


Martin Woodside is a writer, translator, and founding member of Calypso Editions. He spent 2009-10 as a Fulbright Fellow in Romania. Martin’s work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including The Kenyon Review, Asymptote, Guernica, The Cimarron Review, The Brooklyn Rail, and Poetry International. Martin’s published five books for children, a chapbook of poetry, and a full-length collection of poems, This River Goes Two Ways. He edited Of Gentle Wolves, an anthology of Romanian poetry, worked with MARGENTO to translate Gellu Naum’s poetry for the English language collection, Athanor & Other Pohems, and contributed to Ruxandra Cesereanu’s anthology of contemporary Romanian Erotic Poetry, Moods & Women & Men & Once Again Moods. For more, visit

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – August 8

August 12, 2017

Poem of the Week 8/8/2017

Della Rowland

Her Green Dress

One month into the marriage,
they were penniless in Music City, where,
with such wealth in his hands and throat,
the marital mattress should have been stuffed with bills,
the larder shelves laden with more than one can,
and he himself cream risen to the top.

He should have had piles of chips,
but he’d been a big deal in a small game
and, what with his delicate temperament,
would only wait,
guitar in hand and drink on the table,
for others to discover his worth.

So he slept and practiced all day,
drank and gigged all night,
when he gigged.

She was a poet,
but found a secretary gig on Music Row,
typed all day, lines not her own,
and still wrote after work.

He never washed one dish,
made one bed,
rinsed out one tub.

He spent her grandpa’s silver dollar
on a quart of beer and a pack of Pall Malls.

He proudly stood by a friend, kicked out by his wife,
gave him pieces of their cheap but complete
silverware set, her mother’s pitiful wedding gift
that she could ill afford.
He disregarded the miscellaneous silver
in the same drawer
that she used in her first apartment
before she married him with all the expectations of art.

He wrote her a song without lyrics,
a melody that echoed her name.
One afternoon, he turned to her mother.
“I wrote a song for you,” he smiled,
and played her name.

He, who had nothing to spend,
was spendthrift with her.
He, who had nothing to give,
gave her away.
He, who had nothing to lose save his pride,
could not save a silver dollar’s worth of marriage.

The day she walked out,
she was wearing the green dress
she had made for their wedding.

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – August 1

August 4, 2017

Poem of the Week 8/1/2017

Claudia Serea

Ode to beer

Beer the color of summer,
dusk-colored beer
with golden feet
and foamy beard,

blue-collared beer,
and filling,

and gregarious,

and cool,

here’s to you.

I love you more than wine
because you’re cold
and clear,
waiting on ice
on a hot day
with, or without shade,
with, or without a lime,
or a beach.

Because wine is pretentious
and water too plain,

and you’re humble,
and taste of grain.

Because nobody writes you odes
although you buzz,
pop, and fizzle,

and rise from yeast
like life.

Because your name is simple.

Because you hail from Mesopotamia
where Gilgamesh drank you
with Enkidu.

Because you’re best sipped
in the haunts of the Old City,
on a terrace in Bucharest
or Madrid,

with a brother
or best friend.

Here’s to you, old god
who takes the tiredness away
after a long day walking,

who takes the years
we’ve been apart away,

and makes us young,
happy again

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – July 25

July 27, 2017

Poem of the Week 7/25/2017

Della Rowland

Some Moment Shining As Your Hair

What came together,
some moment strong and careless as your arms,
to overthrow my admirable adequacies?

What perilous relinquishing,
some moment green and hungry as my fears,
allowed desire to be my need?

Some moment,
small and covert as your moustached mouth,
made a song my heart beats out
in its unmeasured time,
despite the truth —
relentless as suspicion,
resourceful as a fantasy —
that all its red and silver lyrics
would both warm and disquiet you.

I think what came together once,
some moment shining as your hair,
will never wane
and will require surveillance,
a constant steeling against
some moment blind and glorious
as your eyes.

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WCW – Pamela Hughes

July 25, 2017

Wednesday, August 2, 2017, 7 p.m.

Williams Center for the Arts

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


Pamela Hughes is the editor of Narrative Northeast, a literary and arts magazine that supports diverse voices and visions, the arts in New Jersey, and the environment. Her full length collection of poems, Meadowland Take My Hand, was published by Three Mile Harbor Press in January of 2017. Her poetry has appeared in Literary Mama, Thema, The Paterson Literary Review, The Rutherford Red Wheelbarrow, The Minnesota Review Isotope: A Journal of Science and Nature Writing; The Brooklyn Review, PANK Magazine and elsewhere. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College, where she studied with Allen Ginsberg. Visit her at or


The cold this first fall
Like when we first fell

In love, the light still
Warm but the wind chilled,

Like a fresh cube dropped
In the great blue drink

Of sky, stirred by some
Round god for us edged

Now to bear it, life
On life, as we knifed

Through thick groves of graves
In search of a way

Out, the gate now closed,
Our steps all but one.

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – July 18

July 20, 2017

Poem of the Week 7/18/2017

Arthur Russell


I love my guitar, but I haven’t learned
to improvise.
However you conceive
of boundaries on the other side
of which something like my facility in speech
would begin to emerge in music, on guitar,
I’m just a trained monkey.

I can muck around with volume, rhythm,
syncopate a song, but when it’s my turn
to take a solo after a chorus,
the scales that match the chord elude
me, or I need to start at the tonic
or I’ve lost the beat, which is so not me,
or I simply have nothing to say.

I stopped writing this poem
the last two days to take out my guitar. I can’t believe
I would need to write a
about a problem that clogs my music.
That’s like complaining to your mom about a bully.

I took out Jobim’s Corcovado for which I have a nice arrangement.

This doesn’t sound like poetry, does it?

I figured out the keys
it moves through, worked the scales in those keys up
and down the fret board,
and found snatches of melody to dip
into when I got to those bars.

God, this is killing me; it’s so embarrassing.
My music-literate friends
would read this and say: “What an idiot!”

After two days, I had nothing but
the arrangement I’d worked out six years ago.
Then I went back to this poem.

I hate
the way it feels to hate a thing I love
because it won’t give me the thing I want from it
the most.

That last stanza
gave me no trouble.

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