The Low Country Shvitz
Poems written in Savannah, Charleston, Asheville, and Charlotte
Ain’t Got No Press / May 2023 / Paperback / Ebook / 276 Pages
Rick Lupert’s 27th poetry collection and latest humorous travelogue written in Savannah, Georgia (where ghosts inhabit the poems), Charleston, South Carolina (where the lady who gives out cookies is among the nicest people you’ll ever meet), Asheville, North Carolina (the east coast’s contribution to “weird” cities), and Charlotte, North Carolina, where ducks and frogs roam the streets without a single care. Join Rick and his mostly willing travel companion Addie as they explore all there is to do, see, and eat in the south. You’ll eat biscuits. You’ll be in the spot where the Civil War started. You’ll wander through “Chicken Alley.” Stow away on this hilarious, poetic vacation. It’s much cheaper than buying plane tickets.
“The Low Country Shvitz is a poetry travel diary with the Lupert clan, as they move through Southern towns filled with history; skeletons are literally hidden in the floorboards. But the present is also loaded; gun violence is “the jazz of terrorism.” Lupert’s acute observations and fierce wit are staples throughout, as is the constant delight he takes in making Addie, his primary travel companion, smile.”
Author of “Holiday in the Islands of Grief”
Rick Lupert brings poetical justice to southern hospitality in these new juicy and rocking poems about Savannah, Charleston, Asheville, and Charlotte. He’s sipping Sweet Tea, savoring biscuits, avoiding falling in the Savannah River while watching fireworks, learning all about pimento cheese, dungeons, dolphins, pecan pie, and navigating the Blue Ridge Parkway and its endless overlooks and more in places I’ve never been (and sometimes never heard of) and I’m from the south! Rick is the ultimate host of travelogue poetry and it shows in this book since he can now properly use “y’all” in a poem and discovered the best thing about touring Biltmore House is the wine tasting and cheese straws. If you’re planning on visiting the not-so-deep south, pop this book in your suitcase for a humorous, hearty, and insightful poet’s take with poetry on places you should go/eat/stay in these quintessential southern cities. This book is the perfect blend of poems from the low country to the high country and reading it is certainly more fun than herding cats or blessing anyone’s heart! Rick brings the humidity not the heat to this new book of poems and you’ll adore it. I sure did.
Author of “Welcome to AshVegas: Asheville Poems,”
“This Space Available,” and “Swim”
Poetry from The Low Country Shvitz
I Want to Get Wet
We dropped Jude off at camp two days ago.
There’s a consistent quiet in our house
which I appreciate, but am not used to.
We saw a picture of him wearing white
with his arms around similarly dressed teens.
This is the time when their arms start
to get busy with each other.
We’re hoping to fly away on Sunday
(It is Saturday in case you’re making a timeline)
but there are tests to be done, and,
depending on their results, we may
cancel everything. Jay, who lives in Chicago
and is afraid of holes, says their camp requires
you to be six hours away in case it all goes to hell.
Savannah, Georgia will take longer to return from
in case it all goes to hell.
I’m praying for Georgian rain
to land on my head.
When Addie packs
it’s a multi day affair
involving fashion shows
and endless decisions.
When I pack, I throw
some of my shit into
a suitcase a few hours
before we leave and
pray to God I can buy
a toothbrush in Georgia
in case it all goes to hell.
Much of this experience will be spent
determining whether it’s spelled shvitz
While we still don’t have an answer
it has been put forth (by me) that
you know a word is Yiddish because
it sounds made up, but somehow,
you automatically know what it means.
Fourth of July on the Savannah River
It’s not my first river
or my first Fourth of July
or my first combination of the two.
We’re an hour early because
you never know with crowds
and tall people.
Addie reminds me fireworks
happen in the sky and no one
is as tall as that.
We try to remember
all the cities where we’ve
experienced this day.
Boston, of course, Paris
which was a non-event for the French.
A couple of northeastern cities
maybe Hartford or somewhere
in New England. Once in
Allentown. This day happens
wherever you are in the world
whether or not I am wearing my
American flag underwear.
In Our Hotel Room
When the air condition turns off
the light in the middle of the room
lights up like lightning.
This causes no great concern
because the lightning we’ve been
has yet to cause me any problems
so why would a much smaller version
located in this room be an issue?