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Welcome to my writing blog. Here you will find my latest stuff as well as books, short stories, essays, and poems written and published over the past forty years. Please note that all material is copyrighted  Gene Twaronite and The Twaronite Zone. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given with specific direction to the original content.

Poet Responds to Greta Thunberg’s UN Speech

I had to share this eloquent poem by Rimas Uzgiris, published by Rattle in its weekly “Poets Respond,” in which poets respond to events of the previous week. Being Lithuanian-American, I was especially moved by the fact that this Lithuanian poet who teaches literature and creative writing at Vilnius University wrote this poem in response to those who mocked Greta Thunberg’s Climate Speech, including many in his own literary community. His poem eloquently captures the anguish of those of us who see climate change as the chief moral issue of our times. In the words of Greta, “How dare you?”

“Mortal Danger” and Two Other Poems Published

My poem “Mortal Danger” and two other poems were just published here at The RavensPerch. At the end of the poem, go to “Next” in the right hand corner to read the other two poems.

Gene Twaronite Reads at Peregrine Book Company

Photo by Tom Brodersen

Here I am reading at Peregrine Book Company in Prescott, AZ. The video includes two short poems. The first poem (“All That Was Needed”) is based on a quote from 1984 by George Orwell. Watch the video here.

New Poems Published in Sky Island Journal

Two of my new poems have just been published in the beautiful Sky Island Journal. It’s an online literary journal with 45,000 readers in 145 countries. If you scroll down, I’m the fourth writer listed and you can read each of my poems as a separate Word document. https://www.skyislandjournal.com/issues#/issue-9-summer2019/
Cheers,

Perceptible Increments

When I first started writing this poem, I had no idea where it would take me. I knew only that I had to follow. It showed me the way to write about something I was afraid to address in my poetry, even though it is an issue I care deeply about. Read it here:
http://sisyphuslitmag.org/2019/04/perceptible-increments/

Time for Sale

My new poem “Time for Sale” was just published in Sky Island Journal

A juvenile Allosaur
skeleton arched
as if to freeze its
soul in lethal leap,
a mammoth’s bones
slathered with
lacquer to gloss
over empty halls,
a 52 million-year-
old bird with
every feather intact
looking as if
at any moment
it might fly again,
or further back still
a mega stone panel
from Paleozoic seas
filled with trilobites
writhing in such
profusion it’s hard
to believe they
wouldn’t live forever—
it’s all for sale at
the Fossil Show—
just run your card
and buy a piece
of time to press
like a fetish
against your soft
flesh as you dream
of eternity.  

First published in Sky Island Journal,
https://www.skyislandjournal.com/issues#/issue8-spring2019/

Flowering Means Nothing

the horticulturist replied as
I pointed to the flowers
atop a crested
saguaro cactus
I had tried to save,
its life now oozing away
from bacterial necrosis within.

But tell that to a bee
who greets each flower
she meets as if
it were the first
or Mexican bats 
who migrate
a thousand miles
to lap the sweet nectar
from agave
and saguaro blossoms
or the young woman
whose first flowing blood
marks the opening
of her new life
or the young country
where democracy
once bloomed.

First published in Tipton Poetry Journal Issue #40 (Winter 2019). See page 11.



A Blank Page

A poet faces the great unknown empty.

If I put a word here, say
for instance, extravagance,
how would that look? Or
if I gave it a whole line
e  x  t  r  a  v  a  g  a  n  c  e
like something that fills
the sad space in your life
by pumping itself up  
to seem important.

What if I put in a long pause…?
not because I need to,
but to make you stop and listen
for whatever comes next as if
the words held sacred truth.

What about all that space
along either side of this page?
               I could
               pull it in
               like so

or take it all the way out to the farthest reaches of space
just because it is there and I can.

Does it matter what I say here or how?
Do words depend on me to give them life
or do they possess lives of their own?
Do they rise and go to work each day,
and come home again to sleep at night?
Do they aspire to perform great things,
to come together with other words
in poems and speeches for the ages?
Maybe in the meantime I should
give them something to do,
some little task around this page
to make them feel useful.

to fill this void today,
would it be a tragedy
if I left it empty?  

From The Museum of Unwearable Shoes (Kelsay Books, 2018)