Robert Graham Stritch – My Own Things

Robert Graham Stritch performed at the Sixth Biennial Conference of the William Carlos Williams Society, held at William Paterson University. His song “My Own Things” uses lines from William’s poems as lyrics to a beautiful melody.


RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – June 17, 2015

Zorida Mohammed

Escaping To The Ravine Again

The humdrum meaningless shit I had to do
over and over and over again.
My poor little life was choking to death
under kids I did not make, and the yoke
that grown ups in poverty foist on their kids.
The drudge work would not be so unbearable
if the folks in charge did not dog and kick you
for not doing it the way, the only way
one of them would have done it.

Anyway, here I am at the end of my career,
and I’m in the ravine again,
chasing fish on the internet, not fish,
but any article that catches my fancy
while paperwork waits—
the endless pile of paperwork.

I have to duck out to keep my sanity,
to free my brain, drown it in the ravine,
so I can last the rest of the day.
I do it between scheduled clients.
I make a beeline for the internet ravine,
flowing with all sorts of small fry life,
snippets that I can trap and tap into immediately,
a little mystery, learning something new,
propping me up, drinking ravine water,
internet-water delaying me
from getting back to the endless noting
and documenting.

and all other projected psychic apparatus,
reside in the body, the whole body,
not only in that pile of grey, grey matter
housed in our heads.

It reminds me of Indians toting cow shit
to purify their dwellings.

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GV – Six-Year Celebration for Magic Circle

The Magic Circle returns to GainVille Café in Rutherford, NJ on Friday, June 26 for its six-year anniversary! There will be cake!

Our special musical feature will be Rutherford bass maestro PETE McCULLOUGH doing a solo bass recital. Pete’s just back from a nationwide tour with Streetlight Manifesto and he’s all warmed up and ready to go.

Our special featured poet will be BOB MURKEN, a member of the Red Wheelbarrow Poets’ writing workshop, who has been published in our anthology and elsewhere.

The Red Wheelbarrow Poets’ Bring-Your-A-Game open mic will follow, with generous reading times.

17 Ames Ave., 7 PM.
$7 donation includes coffee/tea and dessert.
(201) 507-1800.

RWB Poets at the NYC Poetry Festival, 7/26/15

The Red Wheelbarrow Poets will be reading at the NYC Poetry Festival on Governor’s Island. Join us on Sunday, July 26th, 4:00pm at The Chumley’s Stage. This is our second year at the festival. Claudia Serea will host. Our readers include Zorida Mohammed, John Barrale, Mark Fogarty, Anton Yakovlev and Wayne L. Miller.

Many other groups will be reading on three different stages between 11:00am and 5:30pm during Saturday and Sunday.

Travel directions here.

Birthday Sonnet – Matthew Rohrer

Morning bombed out car
smell in the neighborhood
chocolate and almond croissant
when everything else is closed
your new earrings pull down
your ears you are shy like they are
restaurants are too fussy
you just want blue sky
in a little circle overhead
with me it’s all the same
overcast days always turn me on
like Paris you are beautiful
though you’ve been around awhile

Matthew Rohrer

MATTHEW ROHRER featured at the Williams Center on April 1st, 2015. He has graciously contributed this poem. Matthew is the author of several books of poems, most recently DESTROYER AND PRESERVER, published by Wave Books, and SURROUNDED BY FRIENDS, forthcoming in April 2015. His poems have been widely published and anthologized, and he is the recipient of the Hopwood Award, and a Puschcart Prize, among others. He lives in Brooklyn and teaches at NYU.

WCW – Douglas Goetsch

Wednesday, July 1, 2015, 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

Contact: John Barrale –

DOUGLAS GOETSCH is the author of seven volumes of poems, most recently Nameless Boy (2015, Orchises Press). His writing has appeared in many of the leading journals, including The New Yorker, Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, The American Scholar, The Southern Review and Best American Poetry. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, a Pushcart Prize, and the Donald Murray prize for non-fiction writing. He resides in New York City, is a renowned writing teacher, and is the founding editor of Jane Street Press. Visit him at

from Joe’s Tax

Are we ever more innocent than when doing taxes?
I’m not talking about how we rob the country
by deducting the case of Alpo we bought on Take

Your Dog To Work day, but just the helpless
look on our faces, the week-end in early spring
we’re hunkered down at a desk or kitchen table

strewn with receipts and instructions
from a government so much bigger than us,
hovering in space like a circle of priests…

Submissions for RWB #8 open until July 31st

Dear Poet,

Just to let you know, this year’s Red Wheelbarrow (Volume 8) is now open for submissions. We plan to publish and release Volume 8 on October 4, 2015. Our reading period ends on July 31, 2015.

Our submission guidelines are simple: we are looking for previously unpublished poems.

We also require that you’ve read poetry as a featured poet or at the open microphone at either of the following reading series venues: the William Carlos Williams Center in Rutherford, NJ or at the GainVille Cafe in Rutherford, NJ at any time from October 1, 2014 through July 31, 2015.

Please Note: reading at the Red Wheelbarrow # 7 launch in September 2014 or at the GainVille Cafe in the September 2014 Red Wheelbarrow # 7 launch party does not make a poet or writer eligible to submit work to Red Wheelbarrow # 8.

You can submit up to 7 poems, and/or 2 short prose pieces Poems can be of any length, style or genre. Prose pieces should be no more than two pages long. The work that you submit does not have to have been read at either of the above venues. We only ask that you as a poet or writer have read at either venue as a featured poet or open microphone participant at any time during the period October 1, 2015 through July 31, 2015.

How to submit: send an e-mail entitled Red Wheelbarrow # 8 Submissions followed by your name to Attach the poems that you are submitting for consideration to the e-mail as a Word document. The only acceptable file formats are Word 97-2004 (.doc) or Word Document (.doc.x).

Please do not paste your submission into the body of the e-mail. Please see Format for Submission Document below for how to present your work. We ask that you follow this format so that all work submitted will be viewed for consideration equally by our editorial staff. Following our format will also avoid any delay necessitated by having to re-contact you.

Simultaneous submissions are OK. Please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.

To Keep It simple: Do not send a bio or other information at this time. Just send your work. If your submission is accepted for publication, we’ll ask for bio info prior to publication.

Best Regards,
John Barrale
Managing Editor

Format for Submission Document:

Your name should appear only once at the top of the document.

Submit each poem with a page break in-between poems, but in one Word document. Example: Percy B. Shelly
“Ode to a Moonbeam”
” Skylarks”

Use Times New Roman as the font. Text size should be 12.

The only acceptable Word file formats are Microsoft’s Word 97-2004 (.doc) or Apple’s Word Document (.doc.x).

Attach your submission document as a file to an e-mail entitled Red Wheelbarrow # 8 Submission – followed by your name.
Example: Red Wheelbarrow # 8 Submission – Percy B. Shelly

* For Prose pieces: please follow the same format.


Marisa Frasca

        Marisa Frasca read this gripping poem during her recent feature at GainVille Café. It tells a terrific and horrific story of a Sicilian woman giving premature birth caused by bombs falling from an American air raid in World War II (the Nazis controlled Sicily until 1943). Raffaela is increasingly distraught as the runtlike baby will not nurse and is in peril of dying and she has no outlet for her milk. What I really like is the turn Frasca gives the poem at the end. The woeful story devolves into a whole series of positive things about the world, the yang to the desolate yin of war. She has told me, btw, that Raffaela is her mother and the runt her brother, who survived his difficult birth and is still alive today.—Mark Fogarty
Raffaela at Eighteen

Raffaela hid under the olivewood
                                   Farmtable made by ancestor sweat—

Squeezed hard her ears and legs
                                   But the bombs, the dread, the labor pain
Could not hold her firstborn in
He flew out from under the table’s woodgrain
                                   Weighed less than a head of cabbage
Raffaela later said her boy resembled a ferret—
                                   Hair covered all except palms and soles
Her husband kept the runt swaddled in gauze and total darkness
                                   Inside a cotton-covered dresser drawer
When his eyes rested—a moment of freeze—he asked his wife
                                   What is this thing?
More bombs fell on Vittoria’s rooftops—
                                   Stampedes and shrills stormed dustclouded streets
Mediterranean sea lanes opened for an Allied Armada of 2,590
And The US Liberty hit by enemy bombers exploded off Gela in l943
Raffaela’s back let down, but her silk-soft nipples could not
                                   Coax the limp mouth to eat
Some neighbors abandoned their homes, others sought shelter
                                   Through half swung doors
Raffaela sat silent and cross-legged, keeping vigil by the drawer
Eventually she rose
                                   There was sunlight in the courtyard
And a German rifle tracking movement from a tree
                                   All Raffaela could do is urge and urge
The bitch with litter—
                                   Could she borrow one hungry pup?
                                   Could it suck and suck until blood oozed
                                   Until its teeth erected her human nipples like cathedrals?
All she knew is somewhere a world away was no mania to destroy
But to feed—none whimpered and whined from hunger
Women drew water from wells to quench a stranger’s thirst—
                                   Garlic, onion, drying figs hung on kitchen walls
Somewhere frugal hands mended socks and celebrated love—
                                   Infants nursed and slept in cradles
Wind carried sounds from nearby villages
                                   Of men and women churning wheat
And delicate saffron crocus poked through black lava,
                                   Orange calendula grew in open fields
Where cows with thick hides and swollen udders
                                   Shook away bullet-ridden parachutes
And falling bombs
                                   Like flies

“Raffaela at Eighteen” has been published in 5 AM and also in Marisa Frasca’s collection Via Incanto: Poems from the Darkroom from Bordighera Press.

GV – Sonnets and Irish Fusion

The Magic Circle returns to GainVille Café in Rutherford, NJ on Friday, June 5 for the launch of MARK FOGARTY’s two new books of poetry: Sun Nets and Continuum: The Jaco Poems.  Sun Nets are short poems that catch the light, while Continuum collects a series of a dozen poems about bass legend Jaco Pastorius.

Our musical feature will be Irish piper BRENDAN FOGARTY.

The Red Wheelbarrow Poets’ Bring-Your-A-Game open mic will follow, with generous reading times.

$7 donation includes coffee/tea and dessert.
17 Ames Ave., 7 PM.
(201) 507-1800

RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – May 13, 2015

Richard Greene

Listening to Fats Waller

I think
this was the music of my mother’s youth.
She danced like a flapper, I suppose,
something it can be hard
to imagine one’s mother doing,
but she showed me the Charleston
when I was in my teens.
We danced it the only way you can,
mother and son,
between the sofa and the baby grand.

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