“A slew of mopeds
came round our neck
of the woods, high-muck-a-muck
coterie nightly,” she said.
How elegantly rich girl whirled
her thick hangout & friends
from her tongue! As if
her skirt of words was to top
my shiftless account of summer:
three local wimps from church group
rolling resin from the flowering tops of hemp,
sharing icebox-pilfered beer & lament
with me & my proximity of blood
as heat wave drove us to blacktop,
grammar school playground our digs for querist
adolescence after dark.
Two-toned twine of events,
woven stoned & plastered on the fringes
of dare & dare not to grow up.
I suppose all towns had’m:
elementary school brick of spies
dividing the privileged from the ruck
to discover, uncover the self. Truth.Bits of downtown taint, wired on suburban luck.
I Envy Them, His Mutilated Art
Objects take on different occupations
under the blue studio grass light. By blade & whetstone
multifaceted tackle obscured in a scuttle
of liquid glitz becomes a victim of the stiletto.
The carving of a morning watered down with
prolix rain slobbers over the vicinity
of plate & goblet. What I hold out for him.
My heart thumps as he thrives & sculpts
out a living: a bleating strum-
puppet frazzled from his fray of chipped prizes,
kitsch among the ruins of rainwire.
I tremble in marble gardens
a cool kind of labor-daughter,
clingy in a charitable sense. I assist his half-art,
its leprosy I love,
the abundance, the reckless breakage.
A cracked bust soaked over, glad for a cold snap
bends to the broken lamb deciding its limbs.
The stunted growth of sculpture attempts
to solidify him.
Hurly-burly fragments of cement often lament,
but I praise my elephantine god who outshines all constellations.
Under a convent of stars, let everything break. I’ll carry his name,all flax & floss, & exult in my gain. Marred beauty’s loss.
I’ve been ruined for years
by the excursions of trespassers.
Once gloss, begrimed.
Once supple, hardened.
A hurricane razed telephone wires
so the town got a couple of men right on it.
Till then, no messages squeaked through
and a drought of stray hearts sought asylum.
I didn’t care.I’m just that gray stone over there or over there.
I’ve misplaced time.
I look for you in a moribund afternoon
sewn into daylight savings. When
the light wanes from the earth’s outline
I look for you in a moribund afternoon
while engaged in prayer. Late to bed,
the light waned from the earth’s outline,
my body is half awake.
Engaged in prayer and late to bed
I search for six months ago
in the pocket of a clock set back.
I search for six months ago
in the dense grove of your lifetime
in the pocket of a clock set back
with thoughts of seeing you again.
In the dense grove of your lifetime,
sewn into daylight savings,
thoughts of seeing you againmisplace time.
Symphony of Myself
An instrument strung in detention.
In word, susurrant.
This composition trembles something
glowing. Shy maybe.
Childlike and ego-wasted.
I conduct a prize-worthy
piece only I heed. Attempt the triolin:
three-stringed melody ablaze.
The confession of a chord
fizzles out the quartet.
Can someone deck out this moment in a tux?
A long glimmering dress?
Comes a generosity in my state-of-the-art
precinct of flux
as I dispatch notes hired by me.
I am the ovation I crave
nightly.Musical chasm I graze and erupt.
*with Poet , Editor and Publisher Michael Dickel*
…has yet to be told in its current unfolding.
But here is a bit about our name, “is a rose press.” It comes from Gertrude Stein. Here is what Phrase Finder (UK) reports about it:
A rose is a rose is a rose…
The line is from Gertrude Stein’s poem Sacred Emily, written in 1913 and published in 1922, in Geography and Plays. The verbatim line is actually, ‘Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose’:
Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose
Pages ages page ages page ages.
When asked what she meant by the line, Stein said that in the time of Homer, or of Chaucer, “the poet could use the name of the thing and the thing was really there.” As memory took it over, the thing lost its identity, and she was trying to recover that—”I think in that line the rose is red for the first time in English poetry for a hundred years.”
Stein was certainly fond of the line and used variants of it in several of her works:
– Do we suppose that all she knows is that a rose is a rose is a rose is a rose. (Operas and Plays)
– … she would carve on the tree Rose is a Rose is a Rose is a Rose is a Rose until it went all the way around. (The World is Round)
– A rose tree may be a rose tree may be a rosy rose tree if watered. (Alphabets and Birthdays)
– Indeed a rose is a rose makes a pretty plate. (Stanzas in Meditation)
The University of Pennsylvania Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing provides these additional citations of the phrase:
When I said.
A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.
And then later made that into a ring I made poetry and what did I do I caressed completely caressed and addressed a noun.
“Poetry and Grammar,” Lectures in America (Boston: Beacon Press, 1985), p. 231.
Civilization begins with a rose. A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose. It continues with blooming and it fastens clearly upon excellent examples. (As Fine as Melanctha)
Lifting belly can please me because it is an occupation I enjoy.
Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.
In print on top. (Bee Time Vine)
Now listen! I’m no fool. I know that in daily life we dont go around saying is a is a is a Yes, I’m no fool; but I think that in that line the rose is red for the first time in English poetry for a hundred years. (Four in America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1947).
Writing is my true passion. I grew up in a household with parents who were in the arts, and there was a vast library in my home which, at the age of four, I became smitten with. My mother taught me how to read at age 3, and had signed me up to four memberships to kids’ book clubs, where I received books in the mail monthly. At age six, I was picking books off the shelves, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poems and Edgar Allan Poe’s. To me, at that young age, the poems seemed to double as mini stories and I attempted to make sense of these little tales. In my free time up until I started publishing my own poems, I’d write.
I am grateful to all the editors who have published my work, and who have nominated me for Pushcart Prizes, The Million Writers Award and a Sundress Best of the Net award.
My work is published in scores of magazines, to name some, A Gathering of the Tribes, Cafe Review, Cimarron Review, Cincinnati Review, Columbia Journal, Evergreen Review, Gargoyle Magazine, Live Mag!, Long-Islander, Pank, Passages North, Portland Review, Seattle Review, Verse Daily and so on.
My first novel called ÜberChef USA (Spork Press) is available in bookstores worldwide and on Amazon everywhere. My poetry collection, More Than Moon, was a National Poetry Series finalist, and is published by Is a Rose Press. Currently, I live in New York City where I have featured at such venues as KGB Bar, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, New York Poetry Festival, New York Public Library, Parkside Lounge, Pete’s Candy Store and Three of Cups Lounge.
At the moment, I am writing a second poetry collection called Night of the Manhattans. The aesthetic is the antithesis of my first collection. More Than Moon was written at a time I needed to write it. I was living in Switzerland and felt isolated from the literary scene in the United States. As foreigner in a conservative country, I felt a sudden loss of control, self, and freedom, so most of my poems were written in formal verse, to indicate I needed something secure and constant in my life that I can control. I poured a lot of emotions in those poems, which tend to be abstract poems. I wrote this way as a device to disguise myself and those around me in the form of objects as a means of distancing myself from a lot of emotional pain. To shed myself into numerous personifications. After moving to New York City, and joining the literary scene, meeting fellow writers and publishers, I felt a sense of liberation. What held me down in Europe suddenly released me in my own country and I wrote out of a freedom for life, love and all that I experienced in a joyful way. In Night of the Manhattans, the poems rolled out in a stream of consciousness kind of way, detailing my adventures and unabashedly reveling in self-love and in a self-congratulatory fashion, I don’t see too much of that in poems, and there certainly was none in my last book. For both books, I do not believe in fastidious revising. I let the poems flow out and leave most of what is on the page as it is. In my experience, the more I revised, the more I came away from myself, my soul, so I don’t. I let the poems take care of themselves.I am also writing a second novel called The Rock Star and the Girls Who Loved Him. This is a hero-worship story to illustrate how famous people, in this case, the world’s most famous rock star, is deemed a commodity, symbolizing our society’s fascination with celebrities and the addiction one has to power. The loss of self and resignation to fans. Sadly, the book also illustrates how we measure our self-worth compared to our heroes’ success.
Mbizo CHIRASHA( Time of the Poet Republic Curator) Author of a Letter to the President. co-Authored Whispering Woes of Ganges and Zambezi. Co-Edited Street Voices Poetry Collection (Germany Africa Poetry Anthology). Co- Editor of the Corpses of Unity Anthology. Associate Editor at Diasporia(n) online. Chief Editor at Time of the Poet Republic. Founding Editor at WomaWords Literary Press. Publisher at Brave Voices Poetry journal. Curator at Africa Writers Caravan. UNESCO-RILA Affiliate Artist at University of Glasgow. 2020 Poet in Residence Fictional Café. 2019 African Fellow, IHRAF.ORG. Project Curator and Co-Editor of the Second Name of Earth is Peace (Poetry Voices Against WAR Anthology). Contributing Essayist to Monk Arts and Soul Magazine. Poetry and writtings appear in FemAsia Magazine ,Wrath -Bearing Tree, Inksweat andtears journal , One Ghana One Magazine, Ofi Press, World Poetry Almanac, Demer Press , Atunis Galaxy poetry online , IHRAF Publishes , The Poet a Day , Bezine.Com , Sentinel UK, Oxford School of Poetry Pamphlet , Africa Crayons, PulpitMagazine,Poetry Pacific, Zimbolicious , Best New Poets ,Poetry Bulawayo , Gramnet webjournal, Diogen Plus , Poeisis.si , Festival de Poesia Medellin and elsewhere .