January 14-20, 2013: Elizabeth Marchitti and R.S. Carlson

Elizabeth Marchitti and R. S. Carlson

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Elizabeth Marchitti

Bio (auto)

Elizabeth Marchitti is the wife of John, the mother of four grown children, and the grandmother of eight. All of them from time to time have appeared in her poems. She has been a finalist in The Allen Ginsberg Contest, sponsored by Passaic County Community College three times, and her work has been picked as Editor’s Choice several times. She has read at various venues in the northern New Jersey area, including the Ringwood Public Library and Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, N.J. Her poem, The Music Tree, won First Prize in St. Catherine’s (Ringwood, N.J.) annual Art and Poetry Exhibition in 2010. The poet’s mini-chapbook (eight poems), In Praise of Stillness, won First Prize in Bear Publishing’s chapbook contest in 2011. Pause . . . And Begin Again, a chapbook of twenty poems, was published by Northwind Publishing in 2006. Elizabeth will be eighty-two in March of 2013.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by Elizabeth Marchitti and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

On the Subject of Gabardine

To sit in sunlight with other old men,
hands curled in our laps . . .
like birds that now and then
fly up with our words . . .
casting a shadow over our pants legs, gabardine . . .

from Gabardine, by Ted Kooser

Old women don’t wear gabardine,
well, maybe if it’s polyester
and comes in a dark color.
We don’t sit in sunlight
with other old women,
legs uncrossed and
hands on our knees.
We’re probably at home,
emailing our grandchildren in college,
or maybe browsing in Barnes & Noble,
looking for that Barbara Kingsolver novel
that we somehow missed,
or that book of poems
by some old poet, now gone,
who had a lot to say to us,
or maybe having tea with old friends,
gesturing with our busy old hands
to emphasize a point.

Originally published in The Paterson Literary Review,
Issue #40, 2012

R. S. Carlson

Bio (auto)

R. S. Carlson, of La Verne, CA and a professor of English at Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA, served with the US Army in Quang Tri Province, Viet Nam 1970-1971. In recent years, he has made several trips to China and Southeast Asia with various aid agencies, and has led intensive English workshops for Chinese teachers of English in Guangdong and Xinjiang provinces. His poetry has appeared in Poetry/LA; Northwest Review; The Texas Review; Birmingham Poetry Review; Poet Lore; The Cape Rock; The Hollins Critic; The Nebraska Review; The Hawai’i Review; Phase and Cycle; The Lucid Stone; Lynx Eye; Viet Nam Generation; Sunstone; The Panhandler, Limestone Circle, The Listening Eye, Praesidium, The Chaffin Journal, Slant, Illya’s Honey, International Poetry Review, Poem, and other literary magazines, print and online. Carlson’s poetic journey with family and friends through Alzheimer’s, cancer and spiritual quest, Waiting To Say Amen, is available from Lulu.com, Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble, in both print and electronic formats – i-book and e-book.

The following work is Copyright © 2013, and owned by R. S. Carlson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Dear Guest Speaker

Thanks for a fascinating presentation, and
thanks for the email address, although
I’m afraid I can’t follow your instructions precisely
for continuing exchanges on the subject matter.

If I may quote you, you told us,
“Send your questions and comments to myself.”

I’m afraid I have to send my comments and questions
to “you” at your email address.

When I send anything to “myself,” it comes right back to “me.”
My wife can send things to “herself,”
and my brother can send things to “himself”
and we can share emails among “ourselves,”
our friends can send things to “themselves,”
and you can send whatever you want to “yourself,”
to have it come back to you,
but despite all the possibilities of “carbon copy”
that isn’t carbon any more,
and blind carbon copy
that hides addresses but blinds no one,

none of us can send anything to “myself”
and expect it to get to “you”
unless we send it to “you,” too.

How May I Help You?

I’m looking for a light green shirt.

Regular cut.
Regular collar. No button-down.
Extra large — 17 ½ – 34/35
Wrinkle-free/no-iron fabric.
Solid color or vertical pinstripes OK.

Been looking for years.
My old light greens are wearing out.
Fraying collars.
Fraying cuffs.

And no, no thanks.

Not that third-week-in-the-compost-pile green.

Not that not-quite-so-fresh-anymore-horse-manure green.

Not that hosed-off-the-autopsy-table-just-last-night green.

Not that we-lost-the-contract-for-the-Botswana-submarine-service-camouflage-uniforms-
and-have-to dump-the dye-lots-somewhere-somehow

Got anything in a light turquoise?

Or a pale seafoam?


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