April 15-21, 2019: Poetry from Richard Widerkehr and Erren Geraud Kelly

Richard Widerkehr and Erren Geraud Kelly

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Richard Widerkehr

Bio (auto)

Richard Widerkehr has two books of poems, In The Presence Of Absence (MoonPath Press) and The Way Home (Plain View Press), along with three chapbooks and a novel. He earned his M.A. from Columbia University and won two Hopwood first prizes for poetry at the University of Michigan. Recent work has appeared in Rattle, Writer’s Almanac, Verse Daily, Crab Creek Review, Arts & Letters, Atlanta Review, Natural Bridge, Raven Chronicles, and others.

The following work is Copyright © 2019, and owned by Richard Widerkehr and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Two Truths, One Lie:
A Counselor On 4-South Speaks

In Times Square, I gave this young kiddo
seventeen dollars, almost all my cash.
He said he needed cab-fare so he could get
an operation in New Jersey on his testicles.

Near Honolulu I soared on the back
of a dolphin over blue-green water,
the sharp hill of Koko Head,
the round haunch of Hanauma.

Sometimes, when I work on this unit,
the charge nurse has me sing songs to calm
things down. Tonight, I sang Here Comes
The Sun
for Carlos in four-point restraints.

My sister walks six miles barefoot
to her bank. Chloe doesn’t take meds,
can’t be detained, no danger to self or others.
I haven’t sung for her in forty years.

Now, since our father died, she says
her phone’s bugged. Chloe has a roof,
enough food to eat, we think. She looks
and smells like a street person.

If anyone asks for seventeen bucks cab-fare,
so he can get an operation on his balls,
I’d say, Here’s three bucks for the train.
Is love stronger than death?

Tell me the truth, tell me a lie.


Erren Geraud Kelly

Bio (auto)

Erren Geraud Kelly has been writing poetry for 29 years. His work appears in numerous journals and literary magazines in print and online, throughout the United States, Canada and around the world. Kelly recieved his B.A. in English–creative writing from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He is the author of the poetry collection Disturbing the Peace (NightBallet Press, 2012). Erren lives in Boston.

The following work is Copyright © 2019, and owned by Erren Geraud Kelly and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Stranger In Moscow

Moscow is a long way from 
But America will never
let her children go hungry
and the song plays again
as men sit at the table
in the community kitchen
searching for brotherhood
we still believe in democracy
though hackers crown our
I tell a friend about a russian
poetry book, i downloaded
on my tablet
i wonder if anna karenina
could spit rhymes on point
and look cool in bling ?
i pray to god daily, but i still
believe the election was
but he’s just a man,
we are a country
i won’t allow myself to
be blinded by the bling
of the christmas lights
and black friday specials
i know who i bow to
i hear the song again
as i walk the streets
of moscow
i let the rain pelt me
it feels like diamonds
a comrade walks by me
he speaks to me in a 
" moose and squirrel "
it feels like home

—For Andy

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