week of May 21-27, 2007
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Jack Conway teaches English at the University of Massachusetts and Bristol Community College His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Antioch Review, The Columbia Review, The Hiram Poetry Review, Rosebud, Yankee, Rattle and the Norton Anthology of Light Verse among others He is the author of several books including, American Literacy: Fifty Books That Define Our Culture and Ourselves (William Morrow, 1994)
The following work is Copyright © 2007, and owned by Jack Conway and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
The Life Cycle of General Tom Thumb
A Short History
General Tom Thumb was born in 1838 and died in 1883 He became a world renown circus performer He married Mercy Lavinia Bump in 1863.He was two feet, nine inches tall.
I once lived in a house directly across the street from the Tom Thumb Museum located in Middleboro, Massachusetts A plaque over the door read: Midgets are the last to know when it’s raining and the first to know when there’s a flood The museum was destroyed by fire.
Tom Thumb is Born
Tom Thumb Comes to a Startling Realization
Tom Thumb Runs Away From Home
Tom Thumb Joins the Circus
Tom Thumb Goes to Paris
Tom Thumb Gets Married
Tom Thumb Dies
Me Free At the Tom Thumb Gravesite
I know that if I
spread you open wide
and stick my tongue inside
your sweet cream
surprise to me I will eat you slowly
and lick your sides You’ll crumble
on my sticky fingers Long after you’re gone
the taste of you will linger on.
Sandy at the Beach
The first time I kissed Sandy at the beach,
Brewster State Park, 1963, I was standing knee deep
in the fresh water pond at dawn We conspired to slip away that way
before anyone else knew we were gone She was tall and blonde and bronze,
her skin was warm and I was cold as ice She kissed me twice Somewhere in a parallel universe where Time stands still
I am still standing still, knee deep in that pond
waiting for her to press her mouth on mine
and feel her shiver innocently beneath my touch.
I am a seventy-five year old mother of four, grandmother of eight, wife of John, my personal patron of the arts My work has been published in Breath and Shadow, Lips, The Paterson Literary Review, The Journal of New Jersey Poets and Sensations Magazine My poems have been finalists in the Allen Ginsberg Contest sponsored by Passaic County Community College in Paterson, New Jersey several times On October 7, 2006, I read from my new chapbook Pause and Begin Again at the Walt Whitman Poetry Festival in Ocean Grove, New Jersey John and I live in lovely Totowa town in northern New Jersey.
The following work is Copyright © 2007, and owned by Elizabeth Marchitti and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
Reading Jane Kenyon At Bird-In-Hand P.A.
From Kenyon’s Poem “Let Evening Come:”
“God will not leave us comfortless Let evening come.”
Let early autumn sun shine through
windows surrounding the new indoor pool,
the enormous hot tub, almost still, no sound
Except for hum of heaters, hum of filters,
here in the splendid solitude of this room
with not one, but two indoor pools
Huge hot tub still, as jets stop churning,
dust gathering on its surface Ceiling fans turn swiftly, sending
warm air down to the surface of the pool
Let the pool surface stir ever so slightly,
from the breeze of the fans, from
the action of the filters below Let there be peace,
The glow of late afternoon sunshine
on potted plants, dieffenbachia and tall palms,
in the pretend-tropics of this enormous room
Let there be no thought of tomorrow,
neither of the workaday world back home
nor of the threat of cancer, of dis-ease, nor
unease of regret for things that cannot be undone
Let the wind blow through the golden leaves
of autumn, seen through tall windows,
caress the rusty gold of one huge oak
in the distance Let the sun shine on green grass,
One crow calling from a treetop, cows
that meander slowly in a far off field,
the black horse trotting so smartly on
the road, returning his Amish owner to his farm
Oh, Jane, you were so right:
God will not leave me comfortless–
let winter come.
Previously published in Elizabeth’s recent chapbook–published by Northwind Publishing of Red Bank, New Jersey.