Monday, March 21, 2011

Poetry Reading April 2 at Fremont Public Library

We wanted to let our readers know about an excellent reading in April, featuring two of our past chapbook finalists, Dennis Caswell and Joan Swift, along with one of our founding editors, advisory board member Peter Pereira.

This is yet another terrific reading in a series curated by Don Kentop, and will be held on Saturday, April 2 at 2:00, in the sunny basement of the venerable and charming Fremont Library.

Just to whet your appetite for these very talented poets, we would like to feature a poem by each.

Please do not miss Peter Pereira's gorgeous poem, "Magnolia Blossom," featured this month in Verse Daily.

From Floating Bridge Review 3, here is a poem by Joan Swift:

Sand, Rose Petals, Bones
Joan Swift

I stand with my feet in the sand
beside the river, knowing the drought
has brought the two shores closer,

looking between my toes for withered
rose petals, for the white talcum
of your ashes so heavy I saw them drift and sink

like a scarf pulled down in a strong wind.
It was your wish,
this very river, this kind of strewing..

The fracture line between air and water
is only a furrow, always changing,
the plow of separation pulled by a single animal.


We featured a booklength collection of poems in Floating Bridge Review 3 by Dennis Caswell and Sharon Cumberland. Here is one of Dennis's poems from that amazing collaboration:

The Heroes
Dennis Caswell

When word got out about Superman, especially the part
about how smartly Lois fills out a sweater, they began
showing up
from every planet in cosmic tarnation:

the Man of Water, who can take any shape,
the Man of Smoke, who floats like hot snakes,
the Man of Rubber, rebounding off walls,
the Man of Stained Glass, reverent and lustrous,
the Man of Feathers, hopeful, always hopeful.

Whatever their powers, they all have the same need to use them,
to wait for the moment of utmost helplessness
before revealing themselves to be

the Man of Pudding, gooey and sweet, or
the Man of Leather, who smells good and wears well, or
the Man of Oatmeal, who’s bland but helps you to purge, or
the Man of Bamboo, who you can’t get rid of, or
the Man of Chalcedony, who has the power to intimidate
those who don’t know what chalcedony is.

They’ve come to our planet in search of some evil to thwart,
some goodness to rescue, a place where their powers
are rare enough to be valuable.

There’s probably one where you work, sitting through meetings
in silence, head down over the copier, disguised
as a Man of Earthly Concerns.

They’re always disguised, these heroes. The one thing they fear
is the loss of their secret identities, so they’ve studied our habits
and learned to live among us.

You see them in grocery stores, pretending to toy with a melon,
when really they’re maintaining vigilance:
ever alert for the cry of distress

that will send them bursting, chest first, through their drab
to stand in spandex splendor and show the astonished earthlings
what heroes are made of.

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