A former out-of-print bookseller, I have always been fascinated by the descriptions used to sell books. I have observed that, as the rarity of the book increases, so does the flowery language dealers employ in seeking truly stratospheric prices for them. And I decided that there might be a poem there. The result is this poem you can read here: http://star82review.com/7.4/twaronite-assemblage.html
By Gene Twaronite
I can take you further than a ship. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The Little Prince
I liked him from the start.
People don’t stop and talk
with snakes anymore, especially
about things that matter.
He wished to go home to
his little planet and the vain
silly rose he loved
more than life itself.
He asked me about my poison
and thought I was his savior.
But I wanted only to tell him a story
to live in for a time and forget.
He tried to make me bite,
but I slipped past him in a yellow flash.
I saw him faint and fall to the sand.
But he did not die.
He thought his body was
too heavy and his planet too far.
He thought he needed poison
to leave behind his mortal shell.
But he had everything he needed,
right there inside of him.
As he made his little planet live for me,
so he made it live again for himself.
And you don’t need a snake for that.
First published in New Myths https://sites.google.com/a/newmyths.com/nmwebsite/poems/the-yellow-snake
I Just finished rereading Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic tale The Little Prince. It is a book I have returned to many times, and I always find something new there. To those who think of this as merely a story for children, think again. It is a story that works on so many levels it defies classification. If you have somehow made it into adulthood without ever reading it, I urge you to find a copy before it is too late and you lose all connection to your childhood and turn into a fossil.
Here’s a poem I wrote after my recent visit with the prince:
My planet is a trifle bigger than
the one the Little Prince lives on.
Instead of just three, it has
a dozen volcanoes which erupt
in iridescent salute every time I
visit and never need cleaning.
Mine has a waterfall that falls
straight up into the sky where
the stars are always laughing.
There are baobab trees by
the score with roots going
deep as they please without
breaking up the place
and not a single sheep
to menace my one silly rose
visible only with the heart
who speaks to me when I’m sad.
And one yellow snake
when I want to go home.
First published in the literary journal Star*Line Fall 2019
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?”
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.
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.
A powerful poem that reminds us that we are all Americans.
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/
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:
My new poem “Time for Sale” was just published in Sky Island Journal
A juvenile Allosaur
as if to freeze its
soul in lethal leap,
a mammoth’s bones
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
First published in Sky Island Journal,