February 6-12, 2012: Michael Estabrook and Garth Pavell

week of February 6-12, 2012

Michael Estabrook and Garth Pavell

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Michael Estabrook

Bio (auto)

Michael Estabrook is a baby boomer who began getting his poetry published in the late 1980s. Over the years he has published 15 poetry chapbooks, his most recent entitled “When the Muse Speaks.” Other interests include art, music, theatre, opera, and his wife who just happens to be the most beautiful woman he has ever known. They both live in Acton, Massachusetts.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Michael Estabrook and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Old Uncle Gus

Old Uncle Gus
died finally at 94,
after having
spent the last 14 years
in bed
with a broken hip that never

he lived so long
because his heart & lungs
were strong, he’d been a
bicycle racer
in his youth.

I went to college near
where Uncle Gus lived,
& stopped by now & then
to visit him
in his quiet back room,
windows wide open,
sunlight shining in
on his clean white sheets.

we’d sip tea & talk,
his bright gray eyes staring out
into the yard
at the squirrels & blue jays,
at the pots with colorful flowers,
& he’d
tell me their names in German.

Greenwood Lake

we were too poor
to have vacations when I
was a kid

but once we drove all the way
to Greenwood Lake
stayed overnight in a cabin
with screen doors
in the front and the back
a long dark hallway yawning in

I caught three
threw them back

climbed with my brother
over boulders and rocks
and into trees
collecting pine
and stringy empty birds’ nests

but what I remember most
was Dad looking so thin, thin
as a matchstick man,
there beneath the mountains
sitting up
on the hood
of his shiny ’56 Buick
one last smoke
before the long
long ride
back home

Lost Room Dream

Even after decades
I still have the same old dream.
College, final exams.
I cannot find the exam room for my economics class.
In fact, I had forgotten to attend classes all semester long.
But now finals, must try to take them.
But cannot even find the room.
Up and down the stairways, wide and sunny,
back and forth down the hallways, narrow and dusty,
peering into rooms, rows of desks,
windows, chalkboards, stacks of test booklets.
But nothing is familiar. I cannot find the room.
Years later in real life I returned to Louvain, Belgium,
where I had attended, but not completed, graduate school.
The classroom had been there in the same place
since Andreas Vesalius, 400 years:
an ancient stately room of learning
along a cobblestone street. But once again,
like in my dream, I cannot find the room.
I cannot find, the room.

Garth Pavell

Bio (auto)

Garth Pavell’s poems recently appeared in The Writing Disorder, THIS Literary Magazine, SN Review and The Battered Suitcase. He works for a nonprofit in New York City.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Garth Pavell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Secret To Happiness

The secret to happiness plagues me
You said as we shared a triple chocolate death
Cake inducing us into beach chairs awed by the sun

Appraising your life’s dream is bad
For the circulation, I managed to utter
Like a formidable limerick tantalized with itself

But love’s danceathon was taking its toll
You declared in a sleepy summer dress
That did indeed suggest in no uncertain terms

My packed pipe with its mysterious smoke
Deemed life a soup that tastes better once it’s stirred
You took my bait-like breadstick and chomped

With great hedonistic care academically caning
The behind of your mind into submitting itself
To master the art of moving inwardly onward



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