November 16-22: Poetry from Paul Corman-Roberts and Penelope Blair

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Paul Corman-Roberts

Paul Corman-Roberts is the author of the full-length poetry collection “Bone Moon Palace” out this Winter from Nomadic Press. He is also the author of “We Shoot Typewriters” (Nomadic Press 2015) “Notes From an Orgy” (Paper Press 2014) and “19th Street Station” (Full of Crow Chap Series 2011). He is an original co-founder of Oakland’s Beast Crawl Lit Festival, due to return in 2021.

The following work is Copyright © 2020, and owned by Paul Corman-Roberts and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Having Assembled a Sonnett

The assembly line will not be audited
today, no, not even inventoried
this Wednesday for Wednesday is the day
we loll about the workstations
look cross-eyed at managers and
prospective new journey folk.
Don’t even think about asking us
to fulfill some arbitrary quota
where is my acknowledgment line or
why isn’t there a contributor copy available?
Today the assembly line suggests
you find another axe to grind your ego
and not worry so much about iambs
which you can have back tomorrow.

Penelope Blair

Penelope Blair has lived in the USA since 1975, and is a dual citizen of both US and UK.  She has worked in many areas of Mental Health support and Early Education, especially working in the field of supporting caregivers of very young children and their families. Penelope haas raised two children and lives in the Bay Area, San Francisco.  She returns to the UK to garden a woodland and coastal garden whenever possible.

The following work is Copyright © 2020, and owned by Penelope Blair and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Cat Still Waits

You’d be right to think that a half-decent poem
might be born of this, another, debacle.
An election with no clear winners, especially for
We the People.
More than half of us can’t behave decently;
A rabble in the streets, armed and forcing entry.
Count the votes, no! stop the vote.


The system demands patience.
The three-way structure gives us a three-legged stool
Unsteady, and rocking; uneven legs on uneven ground.
What do we see for sure but a population
Not willing to give ground, to build consensus
Or even co-exist. Them and us. Offend and defend.


So I write my poor poem, a stream of unsettled,
Unhappy, agitated thoughts for you
And know I could, or might do better to describe
the revolution, the payback for slavery,
The fires in the cities and in our disheveled country.

I smell smoke lying heavily in the morning fog.
I hope the whales still swim south
And a dappled sun will rise to lift my soul.
I hear a bird sing its repeat over and over.
A mouse still steals from the bird table
While the cat still lies in wait to pounce.