April showers us with new poetry and fiction by Cameron Gearen, Damien Healy and Donal Mahoney.
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I’m currently reading a very interesting bio of Cleopatra, by Stacy Schiff, who also wrote a fine biography of Ben Franklin. She has range.
Cleopatra is a difficult subject for any biographer, but Ms. Schiff does a good job trying to sort truth from legend, and admits when she can’t be sure about certain events or years in the life of the Egyptian queen. We know when she is speculating, unlike many biographers. She actually tells us.
Through page 142, Caesar and Cleopatra take up the majority of the book, and it’s fascinating to discover the various intrigues in play. Opinions differed wildly about Cleopatra’s role, who seduced whom, who manipulated whom, etc. We know that one very famous Roman, Cicero, thought poorly of Cleopatra, but Ms. Schiff shows that he probably … Click to continue . . .
Little lake earth’s thimble glacial sink take my ache take the torn girl the grieved woman buoy her children there where the loon calculates its catch where the pickerel jumps and the pocked surface splits or reflects Black Mountain I can’t contain all I’ve got to carry let me leave it to your silt muck reeds and granite to your white lilies and their leeches to the streams that feed you deep pond stay close today I’m counting on your volume your powers to dilute to be your gracious self to ask no questions pond absorb receive ripple then that lovely silence will you take a few of these troubles pond and positively drown them?
That’s when blindness set in. Silent movie. I knew all those door hinges, their capacity for swivel. Ceded my sight to the cornice’s stare. Do you know yourself a vision veiled? What the throat felt: need clamping (his) / a … Click to continue . . .
Sleep without dreaming, For fear the dreaming may bring her back. A motionless snooze, Congealing everything within a trance. Slumbering eyes fully open, To keep succubus at arms length. Lethargic stillness, Brought on by umpteen apparitions. Insecure rest, Owing to unrequited adoration. Wayward napping, Interrupted with unwanted visitants. The night terrors which haunt me twenty-four seven.
Spirals in squares, Confined to overgrow the pedestrian walkways of life. Burrowing knee deep in a chipped teacup, Excusing misinterpreted foliage for the inconsistencies of its shape. Dredging through filters of fermented rotting undergrowth, To find bliss in a sprout of new life, new beginnings and the promises that we haven’t lost all. In the season of well intentioned nurturing, Sprinkles of infused verve eclipses every failed beginning. The man-made structures scaffolding for nature’s opportunistic refugees. What is lost by man is reclaimed by tenacious Mother Nature.
In the summer of 1956, any Saturday at midnight, especially when the moon was out and the stars were bright, you would be able to see Grandma Groth sitting on her front-porch swing waiting for her son, Clarence, a bachelor at 53, to make it home from the Blind Man’s Pub. He would have spent another evening quaffing steins of Heineken’s.
Many times that summer before I went away to college, I’d be strolling home at midnight from another pub, just steps behind staggering Clarence. But unlike Clarence, I’d be sober so I’d always let him walk ahead of me and I’d listen to him hum “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” Sometimes, very quietly, I’d join in. I don’t think he ever heard me.
However, on the last Saturday night that Clarence and I came down the street in our odd tandem, I didn’t see Grandma on her swing even though the stars were out and … Click to continue . . .