Here’s a new YouTube video of me reading my poem “The Glad Sounds of Eating” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7p7NhW6MDs
To eat is human, for it is then
that we are truly revealed,
putting our mouths around
what will become ourselves.
Yet how rarely is it depicted in art
in full gaping, masticating detail.
Instead, we get paintings of fruit or soup cans
or people gabbing around a table
while ignoring gustatory delicacies in plain view.
You would think Edward Hopper could have
shown the two women actually
eating some chop suey.
And would it have killed Norman Rockwell
to include among those grateful Americans
gleefully greeting their turkey
a chubby little boy in the corner
stuffing his face with dinner rolls?
All those paintings of the Last Supper?
Forget it. There’s nary a nibble,
not even from Judas before heading out
for the evening.
Thank goodness for Bruegel
who knew a peasant wedding feast
when he saw one, with real people
chowing down and licking their fingers.
You can hear the glad sounds of eating.
But there is no joy in Goya’s
Saturn Devouring His Son,
as a wild-eyed Saturn grasps his son’s body
like a Big Mac,
its pale limp buttocks
hanging below white knuckles,
to take another bloody bite.
I guess that’s why Goya left his painting
not for show but on the plaster wall
of his dining room
and why so few painters
elected to portray the darker things
that go on at dinnertime.
First published in Better Than Starbucks: Poetry and Fiction Journal, May 2021 https://betterthanstarbucks.wixsite.com/may2021
Hello, Poetry Fans. I’ve added some more videos of my poems to my YouTube channel. You can view them here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeWF_NGRUvaYrsLurYc6p7g
If you enjoy them, please share and/or subscribe. More to come. Stay well.
First we must learn
to read the signals
then record them
in neural maps
of the self
to tell us which
emoticons to use
Some things are
easy to read
like two old friends
anger and fear
who barge in
and never want
we learn to read
more complex signs
as the map grows
bigger and the self
moves out into
We learn guilt
noting their every
and suppress them
when the cost of
We learn what
love is by
the marks it
leaves on us
We learn to
feel the pain
and how to
make it ours
We learn to
the gentle rap
And I will learn
when you are gone
to tell me
what to feel
First published in The Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Issue #2 https://issuu.com/jlederman/docs/j2_final?fr=sM2EyZDI5ODMyNzU
Two years ago, I was sitting in a crowded rooftop bar in Manhattan (sigh) when the bartender leaned over to tell me I was her doppelganger. I had to quickly access my memory banks to make sure I had the right meaning. It’s not exactly a word I hear a lot, especially when it’s from a young woman referring to me. I dedicate this poem to her, in hopes she is well wherever she may be. You can read it here on page 5 of the latest issue of Tipton Poetry Journal, where it has just been published https://issuu.com/tiptonpoetryjournal/docs/tpj45
My new poem “Hopper’s People” was just published by the online literary journal Hawaii Pacific Review https://hawaiipacificreview.org/2020/04/13/hoppers-people/#more-72123
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
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.