November 1999 Café Society's Poetry News Update
Do you have any poetry news or comments for the Readers' Letters section? If so, mail me on the email link at the bottom of this page. Competitions and calls for submissions can be announced here free.


Barbara Crooker

The author of more that 600 poems published in over 70 anthologies and prestigious magazines, Barbara Crooker's work has made her one of Pennsylvania's favorite poets.

She is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Creative Writing Fellowships, five residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and a prize from the NEA.

A three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize, she was nominated for the 1997 Grammy Awards for her part in the audio version of the popular anthology, Grow Old Along With Me--The Best is Yet to Be (Papier Mache Press).
See also publisher's websites for more on Barbara:
Miller's Pond and H&H Press

Poetry L & T: When did you first start writing poetry, Barbara?

Barbara Crooker: I think I've always written - I was one of those children who wrote and illustrated stories in a notebook, the sort of experience that seemed to be common among the interviewees in the new Bill Moyers "Fooling Around With Words" that was shown on American PBS recently. I'd call it "falling in love with words." I was a big reader - my parents were always sending me outside to "get some fresh air", and so I'd slip a book under my shirt and climb up and hide in the big willow tree out front so I could keep reading). I did then (and still do) love to read the dictionary - on this segment, Robert Pinsky (America's Poet Laureate) told Moyers that he liked to do this, and Moyers looked at him like he was from another planet. "Well, Bill," Pinsky said, "it takes all kinds, right?" When I was in high school, I wrote for and was the editor of the school newspaper, and I majored in English as an undergraduate, where I took a creative writing class. I didn't actually attend it, little snot that I was, just handed in the assignments via a friend. So I really didn't get started until I was in my late 20's, with a small child, going through a divorce. Part of this was because although I'd taken courses like "Contemporary American Literature," I was pretty much unaware of what LIVING contemporary writers were up to. My ex had left some of his books behind, including a copy of "The Eagle," a little magazine from Mansfield State College in northern Pennsylvania. I read it and was blown away by some of the poetry, especially that of Diane Wakoski, who I thought in my ignorance was an undergraduate. Perhaps if I'd realized she was a famous writer, I'd have been intimidated, but I read her work and the accompanying interview over and over, and tried to figure out how she got from A to B. So my first adult work was based on hers, although if you saw the early poems side by side with Diane's, I think you'd be hard pressed to see the connection. But for me, it's definitely there. It's still pretty much one of the ways I work - I read a lot, and if something strikes a chord, I try to see how I can incorporate that technique into my own poems. Right now, I'm fascinated with "the turn"; how poems that start out in one direction have a subtle change that transforms the poem so that it ends up in another direction altogether.

Poetry L & T:What themes most inspired you in the early days?

Barbara Crooker:I think the themes of love and loss are those which have always engaged me, just the subjects for approaching these themes has changed. Early on, I wrote a lot about family - the birth of my children, those short precious days of babies and toddlers. I was home with young children, and that seemed a natural progression, but I was/am also interested in how we all are connected, the extended family of friends and neighbors. I also wrote about home - where do we feel at home in the world - and garden. What's outside our walls: nature and the outdoors is important to me. And I wrote a few political poems using themes from the women's movement, the anti-war/anti-nuke group, and the arising awareness of ecology. My recent writing on the theme of time and how there's never enough of it comes largely from discussions with my middle daughter away at college via e-mail.

Currently, I'm still writing about love and loss via these subjects: love in a long-term relationship (there are many poems about falling in love, but not so many about staying there), maternal grief (I lost my first child, and have written other poems and series of poems on/for friends who have lost children), breast cancer (another series, on losing a close friend), and living with a family member with a difficult disability (our youngest child, 15, who has autism). I've also been writing about the different aspects of time, the transience of our short lives. And I've written a fair number of poems on women and sports (canoeing, playing baseball, ice hockey, running) and another group of poems about paintings (I minored in art history - reading books, looking at pictures, my favorite things). So in some ways, I've continued to be engaged in similar themes as I was 25 years ago, still writing, until I get it right.

Poetry L & T:My favourite poem of yours is "Because The Body is a Flower", from your chapbook "In The Late Summer Garden". Is it a particular garden that this chapbook celebrates, or do you love gardens in general?

Barbara Crooker: "In the Late Summer Garden" is a collection of poems about time. It's growing late, and life is the garden. The poem "Because the Body Is a Flower" is set in the Impressionist Claude Monet's garden in Giverny, near Paris. There's a wonderful story about that garden - Monet planned it so that he could paint it, in varying light, in changing seasons. After he died, it wasn't kept up, and the plants went wild and weeds grew rampant. Recently, it was reclaimed and relandscaped based on those paintings. So art imitated life which imitated art. But the rest of the garden poems are indeed my gardens in rural north-eastern Pennsylvania where I live, with a huge bank of rosa multiflora, a large sour (pie) cherry tree (which was supposed to be a dwarf), and as big a vegetable garden as I can have, living on a hillside. I also have an herb garden, a raspberry patch, small beds of perennials, and perpetually dirty fingernails.

Poetry L & T: Your poetry seems to me to celebrate the earthy sensuality of nature, as well as the music of the English language. Do you sometimes feel a sense of having a mission to show people the glory of nature through writing poetry, or is it an instinctive process, for pleasure?

Barbara Crooker:Thank you, thank you, for your kind words. "Mission" might be too strong, but I do feel poetry comes out of the deep places, where we are in touch with our selves and our senses, and nature is, I think, the place where we are most alive, most tuned in, where we feel the sun on our arms, smell the scent of phlox rising from the woods, hear birdsong and crickets instead of the constant drone of TV, the buzz of fluorescent lighting. I think our modern world with all its gadgets: e-mail, voice mail, call waiting etc., has, ironically, made us less in touch with each other rather than the converse. Yes, e-mail is fast, but it's gone with the flick of a keystroke, while a letter is something you can hold, feel the deckled edges of the cream colored paper, see individuality in the handwriting, the choice of ink color . . . . A letter is something you can keep. I saw some pages of "The Scarlet Letter" in Hawthorne's study in Salem, MA, and got chills. I can't imagine doing this over a computer screen or printout. Part of why I write, I think, is to say (to myself as well as others), "Wake up, wake up. Don't sleepwalk through your life; it's all we have, this one short life. Don't miss a thing."

Here's the end of a short poem on this topic: ("Why Write?")

"But still, I was here, on this rock,/ this shaley hillside, violets blooming/in the grass, for a short time. I suffered,/I lived, I loved in the face of everything,/and I have to write it down."

Poetry L & T:There is a marked contrast of lifestyles your poem "My friend E-Mails That She'd Like to Quit Her Job, But She Doesn't Have Time". You mentioned "poetry's lonely offices" in that poem. Do you enjoy the quiet life of a writer, or do you sometimes wish for a more conventional job?

Barbara Crooker:This poem did literally come out of an e-mail exchange with a friend from college. I was pointing out some of the downsides to choosing time (not having a 9-5 job) over money. "Poetry's lonely offices" is an allusion to "Those Winter Days" by Robert Hayden , where it ends, "What did I know, what did I know/of love's austere and lonely offices?" I don't wish for a conventional job at all, and I'm quite happy with the trade off of less money, fewer things. I actually like to shop in garage sales and thrift shops, grow my own fruits and vegetables, bake my own bread, and I'm not at all lonely working at home. Still, with a child (with significant needs) at home, there aren't enough hours in the day, and so every eighteen months I apply for a writing residency at a colony so I can work all day and into the night. I dearly love my family, but I would also be a good hermit (as long as I had a good supply of books). P.S. - My friend did quit her job, and has never been happier.

Poetry L & T:Who is your favourite contemporary poet?

Barbara Crooker: Here, in no particular order, are contemporary poets whose work I love, and who I'd advise, or rather, urge, new poets to read. All of these writers have had some degree of influence on my work, and I buy their new books as they come out: Sharon Olds, Harry Humes, Adrianne Marcus, Paul Martin, Marge Piercy, Charles Wright, Christopher Buckley, Bruce Weigl, Dorianne Laux, Len Roberts, Linda Pastan, Maxine Kumin, Mary Oliver, Gerald Stern, Billy Collins, Stephen Dunn, Stephen Dobyns, Marilyn Hacker, Jonathon Holden, Fleda Brown Jackson, Alicia Ostriker, Philip Levine, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Betsy Sholl, Katharyn Howd Machan, Julia Kasdorf, David Citino. When I was looking through my books to compile this list, it saddened me to realize that there are also those who are no longer contemporaries, as they've passed over, like Jane Kenyon and William Matthews, and so cannot be on my list (and there will be no new volumes).

Poetry L & T:I notice from your website that you are bringing out a new book soon, MOVING POEMS, written in 1998 and published by Camel Press. I would like to know more about that.

Barbara Crooker:Well, that's a long, sad story. This book was taken by a small press in Oregon in the early 1980's. It's a short collection built around the themes of the emotional toll moving takes on the family, and its attendants, grief and loss. Initially, I heard from the publisher once a year or so about why he hadn't gotten around to it yet. When five years went by, I informed him I was seeking a new publisher, which I did - but now the same thing has happened, except that I do hear from Jim Hedges at Camel Press once a year. I have a whole folder full of the most entertaining excuses. Frankly, I'm so far away from this material, both in subject (we moved a lot early in our marriage because of my husband's work, but have been here for 20 years now) and time, that it doesn't much matter to me if it ever comes out.

Why don't you ask me how difficult it is to publish a book (either chapbook or full length) these days, AND how even getting published sometimes doesn't get the work out? This latter part refers to my book, Obbligato, from Linwood Publishers.

First, it came out two years later than the publicity that was announced, and some of my readers sent checks and never received books. I later had to fill these orders out of my personal copies after the book came out, and I only filled those who sent me notes - this may have happened to others, too. Then he never sent out most of the flyers advertising the book, even though I supplied him with labels. Eight years later, he has had a stroke, and is unable to work, so I have ended up with the rest of the press run, and am now trying to sell/distribute work that is over ten years old, when I'd rather be focusing on current things. What a frustrating situation!

And a full length book? - Let me briefly answer the question I posed: With over 700 poems published in magazines, anthologies, college texts, and chapbooks, I am finding it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get a first full length (over 48 pages) book. I've queried around, but nearly no one is reading unsolicited manuscripts. I've entered and am continuing to enter the contests, where I've been a semi-finalist, finalist, runner-up many times. I think my tombstone may read "Always a Bridesmaid." But I am nothing if not persistent, and will continue to revise and resend, because what's the alternative?

Poetry L & T:What inspired your poem "Nearing Menopause, I Run Into Elvis at Shoprite?" (featured in the Iowa Press Boomer Girls anthology)?

Barbara Crooker:This poem gestated for quite a long time. Some years ago, there had been a television special, later made into a video, of Elvis's great performances, which took me back to the reasons I loved him as an adolescent, all that sex and danger (even if I didn't really know what it was all about). Then there were the Elvis stamps issued by the US Post Office - they had a contest where you could vote for the old Elvis or the young Elvis, fat or thin , Las Vegas or Tupelo, white fringe jumpsuit or black leather jacket, and it occurred to me that Elvis (or our lives) could be edited, like a manuscript or a photo album, choosing only the best parts. I'd asked for a copy of this videotape for Christmas, but my husband bought the audio version by mistake (turns out to be a good one), so I took it along with me to a writing residency at VCCA (The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts), where I had to listen to it on the car radio (a search of the house didn't turn up a working cassette player--we are really technologically inept here), writing like crazy, while a herd of cows looked on. The grocery store incident really happened, except that I shop now at a Food Giant instead of Shoprite (which I chose for a more universal sound) - I heard "Unchained Melody" and flashed to the performance on that video. Elvis is really fat, and looks unwell--he has to be helped over to the piano. But when he sings, his voice is as true and pure as ever. Such an terrible waste.

A further note is that like many baby boomers, I grew up with rock and roll, the music of rebellion, and it's a bit of a shock to realize I'm now on "the other side", the "parental authority side." I chose the names of the groups for their sounds, ("Smashing Pumpkins, Crash Test Dummies") rather than for their music. The only current music I don't like is rap, and I'm ususally tuned in to an alternative /acoustic college station, which IS the music my daughter likes. We went to Lilith Fair together the first summer it toured, and I went down to her college to see Saffire, The Uppity Blueswomen, with her.

Tying the poem into menopause came naturally because that's where I am in my cycle of years, and it seemed like a good point to reflect on music, aging, and the body. This poem also appeared in "Grow Old Along With Me/ The Best Is Yet to Be" by Papier-Mache Press, and its audio version was a 1997 Grammy Awards finalist in The Spoken Word Category. Although Hillary Clinton won, for 15 minutes, that was the nearest I'll ever come to being a rock star, and it was thrilling.

Poetry L & T:Do you feel that the Internet is a good place for poets to be published?

Barbara Crooker:Truthfully, I don't know that much about it. I'd much rather page through a magazine that click away with my mouse, and I don't like the ephemeral nature of the Internet. The few publications I've had on the Net have been reprints of print publications, and I didn't get any feedback on them. The one site I do like is Poetry Daily - always good poems, plus I've "met" new (to me) writers and new magazines by reading the notes that come with them.

One other reason I'm not wild about the Internet is that I love the very physical nature of the printed word. I love the way books smell, the way the paper feels as you turn the page. I love the gentle riffle of the turning page. I write with a roller ball pen and yellow notepad, and don't use the computer until I've done many drafts in longhand. There's something about the connection between the mind/hand/paper that isn't there with the computer. I also love the permanence of books, and feel the Internet is a place for ephemera, for the momentary, the fleeing - all the things I hope that poetry is not.

Poetry L & T:Do you think that newsgroups and message boards can help poets to develop their skills?

Barbara Crooker:Again, I don't know that much about this. I belong to a Women's Poetry discussion group, but I don't have time to participate much, and usually just read (which I believe is known as "lurking"). The conversations here are always lively, but other than pointing new writers in different directions by reading the recommended books, I'm not sure how much help this'd be. I did also belong to CAP-L, the Contemporary American Poetry List, but it was largely a group that discussed theory and poetics, which aren't topics that interest me much. I think a beginning writer would be lost there.

Poetry L & T:Finally Barbara, what advice would you give to a promising poet who wanted to improve enough to become successful?

Barbara Crooker:Become successful?? In America, at least, "successful poet" is truly an oxymoron. If you mean become published, the best advice I can give is to study what's out there by buying sample copies (support the small presses!) of magazines you'd like to submit to, and see if your work fits in with what they like.

If successful means writing the very best you can, I probably having nothing new to add to what's already been written on this subject, but here are my two cents:

Open your eyes.
Be alive in the world.
Read poems everywhere, in magazines, books, anthologies, the Internet. The two R's are Read and Revise. My poems go through many, many drafts, hoping to look effortless and spontaneous, but they're not. Don't rush your work. Let it rest in "a dark desk drawer" as Donald Hall has said, until you almost forgot you wrote it, so you can go back and revise with a hard cold eye. If a poem isn't working, set it aside. Sometimes, say, a year later, you go back and realize what it is you need to do/where the poem wants to go. Sometimes it was there all along, but you couldn't see it. Ask yourself, as William Dickey does, "Have I done everything this poem requires of me?"

Save cut lines that you still love to possibly use in new poems (okay, okay, so I also have a drawer of old shoulder pads). Trust your senses. Open your heart. "Spend it all." (Annie Dillard) This would be my biggest piece of advice to new writers: Read as much as you can. Find poets whose work you like in magazines, search out and read their books. Read widely and deeply.

Poetry L & T:Thanks for the interview, Barbara.

Barbara Crooker: Thank YOU, for asking such good questions, and for giving me this opportunity to talk about my work.

Includes audio recital

detail from The Water Lily Pond with Japanese Bridge, 1899, Claude Monet
© Barbara Crooker:
Because The Body is a Flower

Walking in Monet's gardens at Giverny,
with my husband of eighteen years, down a path
of pink tulips in a drift of forget-me-nots.
The whole garden, in fullest bloom:
poppies, peonies, lupines, a rainbow of iris.
The willows bend their green veils
over the waterlily pool. We stop
on the footbridge, framed in wisteria:
waterfalls singing with bees.
How we forget to love one another,
in the tangle of everyday life.
Let us lie down and love, here in the flowers,
kiss my skin, for it is petals, the velvet falls
of iris, the heart of the peony, its voluptuous
curves. Let us become flowers, casual
and gorgeous in our brief hour, in this
iris-scented air, this light of cut glass
and fine wine, for already the petals
are starting to fall, they cover the ground
in a dusting of snow.

Click here to download zipped WAV recital of this poem

This WAV is also available soon from
Barbara Crooker's website

© Barbara Crooker: A Woman is Pegging Wash on the Line She is hanging the sheets on rows of rope, hitching them down with wooden pegs. She might be pinning clouds to the sky. They billow and snap like spinnakers. She is bending over the willow basket, Pegging up sock sock undershirt sock sock boxers sock sock bra. She knows the use of the singing line sure as any fly fisher. A family of underwear soaks in the sunshine, bleaches and whitens, like the Day of Redemption. On the outer circle, the dark and the heavy, denims and flannels, arms and legs free to dance a reel and a jig to the fiddling wind. When the breeze dies down and shadows lengthen, she reels them in, pulling and tugging. Squares the corners. As she hefts the basket, she smells the sun’s hot breath, fresh cut grass, lavender and thyme. She sees the evening star rise over her roof and she brings her cargo in.
© Barbara Crooker: Nearing Menopause, I Run into Elvis at Shoprite near the peanut butter. He calls me ma'am, like the sweet southern mother's boy he was. This is the young Elvis, slim-hipped, dressed in leather, black hair swirled like a ducks backside. I'm in the middle of my life, the start of the body's cruel betrayals, the skin beginning to break in lines and creases, the thickening midline. I feel my temperature rising, as a hot flash washes over, the thermostat broken down. The first time I heard Elvis on the radio, I was poised between girlhood and what comes next. My parents were appalled, in the Eisenhower fifties, by rock and roll and all it stood for, let me only buy one record, "Love Me Tender," and I did.
I have on a tight orlon sweater, circle skirt, eight layers of rolled-up net petticoats, all bound together by a woven straw cinch belt. Now I've come full circle, hate the music my daughter loves, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, Crash Test Dummies. Elvis looks embarrassed for me. His soft full lips are like moon pies, his eyelids half-mast, pulled down bedroom shades. He mumbles, "Treat me nice."
Now, poised between menopause and what comes next, the last dance, I find myself in tears by the toilet paper rolls, hearing "Unchained Melody" on the sound system. "That's all right now, Mama," Elvis says, "Anyway you do is fine." The bass line thumps and grinds, the honky-tonk piano moves like an ivory river, full of swampy delta blues. And Elvis's voice wails above it all, the purr and growl, the snarl and twang, above the chains of flesh and time. As seen in the Iowa Press anthology: BOOMER GIRLS


Dear Poets,

This issue I was delighted to have the opportunity to interview Barbara Crooker, which I had been wanting to do ever since Julie Damerell very kindly sent me a chapbook of Barbara's, "In The Late Summer Garden", which I enjoyed very much. There is an audio recital, included with the interview, taken from an exciting cassette of live recitals, kindly sent to me from Barbara.

The November theme for the poetry section is "Gardens". Thank you to all contributors.

The theme for the December 1999 issue will be "Surrealism". I would be glad to hear from surrealist poets with both serious or humorous poems on this theme. If you wish to contribute, send a small picture of yourself and a brief biography to do with poetry, work published etc., with your contribution of up to three poems. If you don't want your photo used, why not send a small illustration.

Any comments on this issue or back issues can be emailed to me on the link at the bottom of the page. Please indicate whether you would like such comments to be included in the Letters section.

Best Regards,


The November poetry theme was inspired by Barbara Crooker's poem
"Because the Body is a Flower". Many thanks to this month's contributors.

library picture: mignonette

ELISHA PORAT, the 1996 winner of Israel's Prime Minister's Prize for Literature, has published 17 volumes of fiction and poetry, in Hebrew, since 1973. His works have appeared in translation in Israel, the United States, Canada and England. The English translation of his short story collection "The Messiah of LaGuardia", was released in 1997. His latest work, a book of Hebrew poetry, "The Dinosaurs of the Language", was recently published in Israel.
He was born in 1938 to a "pioneer" family in Palestine-Eretz Yisrael (pre Israel); his parents were among the founders of Kibbutz Ein Hahoresh, a Kibbutz on the Sharon plates near the city of Hadera. Today Porat, devoted to the community ideal, still make his home near the original tent erected by his parents back in the early 30s. In 1956 Porat was draft into the IDF (the Israeli army) and fought in three wars: the Six Day War in 1967, the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and the War of south Lebanon in 1982.

Short anthologies from the author's works:
Ariga: 4 poems by Elisha Porat
poems and short stories.
Unlikely Stories: Elisha Porat feature
poems, fiction, interview, reviews.
The Poet's Haven: Elisha Porat
poems, fiction - scroll down to P for Porat
Funky Dog Publishing: Elisha Porat
collection of poems.

The Fragrance of Mignonette
© Elisha Porat
translated from the Hebrew by Vivian Eden, 1999.

"Until I smelled the fragrance
of the cut grass, I didn't believe
I was home again." said the young soldier
back stricken from the battle on the Canal.
And I, who was stricken after him, fifteen years
after him, did not believe I had risen
from my bed: drunk as then climbing
to the clay hilltop, flattening myself
on its grass. And reviving in its
good warmth: like a child coming back
wrapped in the sweet fragrance of Mignonette.

The lost Son
© Elisha Porat
Translated from the Hebrew by Asher Harris

He came back, but he came like a stranger
He came back, looked about and did not
Recall, for to him, all appeared estranged:
The house, the yard, the narrow lane.
Their memory sliced through his heart,
Cut, and he who survived and was favoured
Came back; and he who had sworn back there
That nothing would he forget, estranged though it be:
A dirt path, and the barren field and the ditch
At the edge, and the Lemon tree with its bitter fruit.
He felt that his absence was almost ordained:
To come back at last, to come like a stranger
With a shadowy memory that was not estranged,
And an unravelled thread of burning desire
That will never more be made whole.

[email protected]

JAN SAND, poet and illustrator from New York, is a regular contributor to Poetry Life & Times. and the newsgroup alt.arts.poetry.comments. A great deal of his work is about animals, or science fiction.

To see more of Jan's poems, visit the November '98 issue of Poetry Life & Times, and scroll down past the Editor's Letter.

© Jan Sand

She sits there, like me, stuck in this damned garden.
Angry at the monotony, she doesn’t like the beasts.
They’re not careful where they shit. Her eyes harden
When she looks at them, then at me. The feasts
We could have! She thinks of porkchops. Hell! They’re my friends,
Although she is something special. So are they, in their way.
More trusting. Open. Good, and simple to their own ends.
She makes me tired. I rise, stretch and yawn, to hear her say,
"Here," with smile and open palm, "Have an apple."

[email protected]

Keith Hendricks

KEITH HENDRICKS Keith Gabriel Hendricks was born October 6th, 1969, in Washington Courthouse, Ohio, the United States of America. He matriculated from The Ohio State University with a BA in 1993 and MFA in 1996. His poems have been published in Yefief, Tight, The Wayne Literary Review, Time of Singing, the Penguin Review, The Presbyterian Record, and Sisters Today, also the April 99 issue of Poetry Life & Times, which includes an interview.

Keith now prefers Bourbon to Scotch, and Shakespeare's histories to his tragedies.

© Keith Hendricks:
Cain's PreMeditation

spilled genealogical genocide. Across seed,

a billion gallons of blood presage sinners' fountain.

Nebulous sperm invited descendants into Eve's ill womb in us.

"For how can one die with Sage in his garden."

Look at the face on a milk carton.

Apprehensive abortions appraise Abel's fratricide;

Good died, upraised, and the Evil tree sighed.

Hawk and Dove, Eden's siblings,

surveyed the predestined descendants' cybelline

Anno Domini, erradicating the pinnacle,

as Ruth, exogamous daughter, marries Israel from the penal colony,

Creation, descended of sarcifice.

Can erratic, omninous heretics grieve vice?

In the shade of syphillitic gallows, Saducee

Rachel extorts mandrake's ressurection odyssey:

Christ, Son of Man, exceeds Adam, Son of God.

Since seminal exactitude's erect,

Heed Janus, genii; Solomon's audacious erotic seducees

tumble tumenescent arias. Ogles fade

as knight gallants feint criminal counts

via jocund treasonk, assented by Cardinal Sin's

Byzantine bed, scented subliminal A to Z.

Silhouette peasant, abreast the sighing bounce

of semen eyes, oppressed the cyan shade.

© Keith Hendricks:
Aspiration Detours Terraced Eden

Yes, man,

Will's constriction, the virginal threat,

dangles graves to heal generous seed.

Scorpion's canticle scarfs the voice

carving a yawning partisan.

A shout away, an urgent contraction

bedews the hewed, tattered, torso.

Gregarious surfaces and slender cylinders

enshrine slanted tears. Terrorist

spidersilk connects Golgotha

to worship's ceiling; a tower trickles

through vintner's fingers.

Context tethers womb to Heaven.

[email protected]


STIRRING: an online collection showcasing the brightest of the web's burgeoning poets.

One of the editors, Erin Smith, emailed me recently about this site and I enjoyed looking through it. They accept poetry, prose and plays.

Send your submissions to Erin Smith on: [email protected]

Hi Sara, Love your site.. saw the article in The Mirror.

I've sent you a couple of my "easy reading" poems and would love feedback.

Best regards,


Back Issues of POETRY LIFE & TIMES:

September 1998

October 1998

November 1998

December 1998

January 1999

February 1999

March 1999

April 1999

May 1999

June 1999

July 1999

August 1999

September 1999

October 1999

Mail me on: [email protected] with any poems, comments for the letters page, news about your poetry site, or forthcoming poetry events.

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