Posts Tagged ‘Williams Center for the Arts’


RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – April 17

April 19, 2018

Poem of the Week 04/17/18

At His House

Arthur Russell

She slept in the car,
under two coats,
half woke cold wondering
whether to go in,
hiding from him and the chill
with reasons banked like drifts
and snow clumping on the window
next to her face.

He saw the car
from the second floor
bedded down in snow,
no footprints, and she wasn’t
in the spare room, the windshield
covered; he stubbed
his cigarette and went down.

Snow on the window screens
made the square grid show;
she opened the car door and blinked.

He opened the door, waited
for her to come, rehearsing,
by slight movements
how he would open his arms
to her.

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – April 10

April 12, 2018

Poem of the Week 04/10/18

Maggie Amanda Jones at 104

John Barrale

She remembers Nantucket Island when it was the true heart
of her clipper ship captain, his ways set and weathered,
like the gray boards and red brick of the house they shared.

She misses him, still keeps his oil-skinned slicker on the hook
where he hung it to dry, a bulky thing— yellow-colored,
blonde like him.

He is in the small things: his meerschaum pipe
with the carved, bearded face waiting
like the doily on the parlor chair— its weave finer
than the best net, something she crocheted
as if to catch the Bay Rum smell from his hair.

Their house is a maze now, become so in a matter of fact way
when last year’s confusion struck— her stroke a slap
that said sit down.

She is slow. Her pride, like her chair’s wheels,
stubborn as oxen and often stuck in the rug’s pile,
or the floor’s warp—places where she, deer-like,
had once stepped lightly.

Maggie still remembers the hero uncles lost at sea,
each a tale told at midnight by dead aunts
who stare from painted portraits,
their whispers sea swells and dark knots
scattered along the parlor’s pine panels.

The aunts wear bright bonnets in morning sunlight,
and beg a smile when she passes, dear sister friends
who sit with her for breakfast tea by the fire.

She smiles, runs her hand through thinning hair.
She is old, very old, older than they once were.
Her ways simple —Sunday afternoons
one sherry glass set on the table not two.

But she is still alive, quietly enduring,
like her neighbor’s promise kept for sixty years—
not to cut the shared yard’s oak.

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – April 3

April 4, 2018

Poem of the Week 04/03/18

Love me

Claudia Serea

With gusts of wind through lace curtains
and white bed sheets,

love me with water,
endless spring rain,

love me with chocolate
and champagne,
fill bathtubs, tunnels, and pipes,

love me like fire,
blindfolded and light,

like a rock concert
in a burning library,

like a bullet train leaving the station
with cellos and violins—

love me like ghosts in the old palace,
with hammers and swords,

love me
like war,
with dust, tanks, and humvees,

crunch me between your teeth
like a rose stem,

love me like a bargain,

like barter, give me your heart
and I’ll give you rice
and a chicken for it,

love me like the sun loves the moon,
and soup the spoon,

love me like a breeze in your hair,
love me like your breath,

like all life
and all death.

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – March 27

March 28, 2018

Poem of the Week 03/27/18

Condo Pool

Janet Kolstein

Leaning back in the hot, bubbling water,
he looks at me with steamy eyes,
his face flushed, his hair wild
and curled like Gabinius.
“I admire you,” he says,
“So many people don’t come down
to the pool, but you do.”
“You are an inspiration.”

Really?, I murmur.


Thank you for nothing. Thank you
for lacking the facts. Thank you
for ignoring my questions regarding
the locker room renovation. Thank you
for replying to my email with
Thanks for doing the little scuttle dance
when I try to speak to you,
for your condescension
wrapped in bonhomie.

I turn to walk away
over the perforated plastic mats
at the edge of the indoor pool,
the sun barely making it out
of the scrim of winter clouds,
and I wonder if the lifeguard
is going to open the door for me.

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – March 20

March 23, 2018

Poem of the Week 03/20/18

Speedy Motherfucking Gonzales

Claudia Serea

Rung like rags,
we climb aboard,

little life left
in these body carcasses,

juiceless lemons
after making lemonade
all day.

But this driver was bit
by the bat from Hell.

Hunched over the wheel,
he’s the hawk
of the highway.

If I weren’t so tired,
I’d let out an Arriba, arriba,
ándale arriba!

when the bus flies
onto Route 3,

from the city in flames.

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – March 13

March 14, 2018

Poem of the Week 03/13/18

She’s Not My Woman, No One Would Possess Her

Bill Moreland

She left a broken home broke,
scavenging around the Big Apple,
squatted in the Chelsea Hotel,
and feasted among the art elite.
She dined with Dali who let her hold his jewel-encrusted cane.
Indeed, he dubbed her the ‘Queen of Rock and Roll.”
Gaia told her Dali never let anyone hold his pikestaff,
that she should feel special.
Special, still she didn’t give a shit.
For they were poseurs slumming,
she was slummed.
They sought in her inspiration for art,
but she was art inspired.

She’s not my woman, no one would possess her.

Pre-punk with the heart of a lion,
crude and rude with a pink streak in her spiked hair,
she had radar for bullshit, and called it out of hiding.
Once, she stood between a gun and its target
until the barrel was lowered, ashamed.
Naked, she climbed a street pole reaching for the some truth in its light,
was saved by a black saint,
and followed the sound of a Gabriel’s horn
bounding and rebounding
in the alleys of Alphabet streets, graced.
She ran door to door barefoot, pounding,
alerting the junkies and the whores in a burnt out building
burning once more.
She felt rewarded, when in its charred remains,
she found a perfect pair
of dancing slippers.
She was fucked up and fucked over,
guided by a steel weathervane still,
pointing her on a righteous path.

She’s not my woman, no one would possess her.

Then we met, and loved, and fought with vigor.
We dared to up it up
a notch.
“If you thought you had courage once,” she said,
“be responsible for three hungry babies.”
The sleepless night will kick the covers off the bed,
in there is a fear not greeted before.
There is no fake in the ache of this woman.
There is no tame in unbridled love.
There are no half measures in the full cup of motherhood.
There is no losing a battle
when winning is the next day.
Going it alone is child’s play.

Children playing children’s games carried its own heavy load
of laundry, and groceries, and ass wipes, and patience,
with dreams supplanted
while they dream,
listening to her read;
“And hand in hand,
On the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon…
They danced by the light of the moon.”

She’s not my woman, no one would possess her.

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RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – March 6

March 8, 2018

Poem of the Week 03/06/18


Arthur Russell

What it means to join a team who’ll have you
is that, holed up in a city job,
suburban mall, or dried and hollow log,
you’ll find a fellow who can help adjust
your grip or stance or attitude, suggest
a change of method or remind you,
when you’re all used up, that days are only days,
and misses are forgiven on the dugout steps
by rubbing someone’s head.

I have such a team assembled
on my book shelves, all around
the outside of my room, immune to time
and quick to stay asleep until I call them,
and difficult to reckon then because they never
stop believing in themselves
exactly as they made themselves, and each
is only with me for as long as I can give them
what they wanted all along,

and this I only do in shortened stands
by writing in their margins like the 6th grade boy
who wrote I love you with a felt tip pen
on Hollis Seidner’s hand
in the schoolyard near the cyclone fence
around the unused flower garden
just outside the kindergarten.

Some, I never knew except in runes,
some, in offices, on college afternoons,
where thoughts wore fenders to protect
their brittle hulls, but we never did go far enough
because they never loved me well enough.

It always was for love, though unlike life,
where wanting more than people have
to offer is a barrier,
in books, where adamantine
is a virtue, relations take a subtler course,
and patience grows in silence
where the ever-present present lands me side by side
with time’s most prickly souls, where I’m happy,
both myself alone or wearing someone’s jersey.

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