Praise for Trash Picker on Mars

My first poetry collection has just been published by Aldrich Press (an imprint of Kelsay Books).TWARONITE COVER 1 (2)

Read an advance review: “The poems in Trash Picker on Mars, as the title suggests, range from the concrete to the abstract, from Pascal to mythology, from the homeless, represented by weeds, to a trans-gender person in a gym. What stands out in this collection is Twaronite’s attention to the details and textures of ordinary life as he presents us with reminders that the ordinary—the working man, the sleeping woman on the train, are not to be forgotten when seeking the sublime.  In “The Container Store” the poet longs for “just the right vessel/to store your thoughts/and emotions in safe/and accessible places”—a wish many of his readers will certainly share.”

Nancy Owen Nelson, PhD, author of Searching for Nannie B: Connecting Three Generations of Southern Women.

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Advance Review of Trash Picker on Mars

TWARONITE COVER 1 (2)Written with wit and compassion, Gene Twaronite’s amazing poems give readers a whole new view of many ordinary experiences of our culture. Nothing can ever be seen the same way again. A few lost keys “Scattered across the pavement/they lay, like shiny petals/plucked from their flowers” become windows into their imagined former owner’s soul. In “Mannequin,” Twaronite’s compassionate view of what was once a semi-human form now become only “eyeless sockets in an empty face–/all that remain of the life/she once possessed” and manage to suggest the way we are all seen by corporate commercial interests. With metaphors embodied in gritty, graphic images, Twaronite sometimes makes astonishing hairpin turns of meaning in his poems as he does in “Trash Picker on Mars,” where this planet seemingly “defrocked of its canals/and green men by Carl Sagan” ends up to pose a chilling potential indeed.

Susan Lang, Faculty Emeritus at Yavapai College and author of the novel The Sawtooth Complex as well as a trilogy of novels about a woman homesteading in the southwestern wilderness during the years 1929 to 1941.

My first poetry book Trash Picker on Mars, published by Kelsay Books, will be coming out in late September.

Trash Picker on Mars

My first poetry chapbook Trash Picker on Mars has just been accepted for publication late this year by Aldrich Press (Kelsay Books imprint). Though the title poem is science fiction, most of the other poems address more general themes, including nature, religion, mythology, popular culture, and feminism, liberally sprinkled with the usual dark humor. The poem “Trash Picker on Mars” first appeared in the online journal New Myths. You can read it here  https://sites.google.com/a/newmyths.com/nmwebsite/poems/trash-picker-on-mars

Trash Picker on Mars

In the dim time before dawn
the woman clamped her metal
fingers over a beer bottle.
Her buckets overflowing with
litter from a dying world,
she sat and stared at the
alien landscape of asphalt.
The stars had all faded
except for the one red light
of Mars still defying the sun.
The woman smiled at the
mythical planet now
defrocked of its canals and
green men by Carl Sagan
and the Legion of Reason.
But still she dreamed.
In her electric cart she glided
over the red-gold deserts
of ancient Barsoom—
past  the fairy towers
of Grand Canal and the
monoliths of Helium where
a once great race of Martians
lived, played and died—
filling the canyons of
Valles Marineris with the
excess of their empty lives.
Out of habit she picked up a
fluted green shard, then
laughed and flung it along
with her buckets into the
trash heap of lost Martians.
Through the dark grottoes of 
Great Rift Valley she roved to
the shores of Mare Sirenum,
whose salty crust reminded her
of past ruins and distant times
when she could still cry.
For a moment she stared at the
sun, weak and small as it
rose above Olympic Mons,
igniting her in a ruddy glow.
She was the Princess of Mars
and there were still a few
unhatched eggs inside her.
And at the edge of
Candor Chasm she
bared her heart to the
silent, scouring winds.
Then into the dawn
she drove to begin her
new race of Martians.                                                                       © Gene Twaronite 2013
(Originally published by NewMyths.com April 2013                                      https://sites.google.com/a/newmyths.com/nmwebsite/poems/trash-picker-on-mars)