g emil reutter

Tricks of Light – New and Selected Poems by Thaddeus Rutkowski

tricks

By g emil reutter

Thaddeus Rutkowski is a man of small town America and a man of urban America. His poetry is written from the lens of his unique experience in both places at a time in the nation when small town and urban are in constant conflict. Yet, Rutkowski is not in conflict as he equally embraces both in his poetry in honest, forthright and at times humorous verse. He is an observer of life and these poems are the embodiment of what he has witnessed and thus an immediate connection with the reader and we are better for it.
.
He tells us in the poem, One-Tenth:
.
A Chinese philosopher said:
“Live to an old age.
There remains three-tenths that cannot be known”
.
I am on my way to old age, I am still studying,
And I don’t know one-tenth of what can be known.
.
I inch ahead, adding, bit by bit, to what I know.
But as I add, other things slip away.
I hope I add more that I lose.
.
Who knows? Maybe the sand in the hourglass
is running out faster than I’m replenishing it.
There isn’t much I can do about that,
except to turn the hourglass over.
.
He writes of riding his bicycle in Manhattan and of people yelling for him to move out of the way of their cars, tells of us his daughter’s marathon run, of his wife and him dumpster diving for candles from a corner shop. He turns to the rural in the poem, Farmers and Dove, of the harvest of corn by the farmer, husking as they travel in a small pickup and of the Dove on the wires above, cooing, For those of us who know what’s missing, the sounds of the bird remind us of what’s lost. And again in the poem, Claw Marks:
.
The trunk of this beech tree
is scored with dents just far enough apart
.
to indicate fingernails, or an animal’s nails,
or the claws of a bear, hungry for beechnuts.
.
The small, oily nuts, covered in burrs,
will help sustain a bear through winter.
.
The nuts are high up in the tree,
but a bear is a good climber,
.
with claws that can pierce the bark
on a smooth, iron –like trunk.
.
The bear is long gone. It’s winter now,
too cold for bears and other hibernators.
.
The bear’s marks remain in the bark,
at just the right distance to mark its reach.
.
Rutkowski the observer is clearly evident in the details in this poem, description of the iron-like trunk, oily nuts covered in burrs, the trunk scored with dents just far enough apart. Although the bear is gone, the reader can still see the bear in the tree.
.
He returns to the urban in the poem Noise to my Ears. Of the street musicians who populate subway concourses, of how he admires their talent, that they make him happy and of the posers who randomly blow in horns or beat on drums until he feels trapped in the unpleasant. In the poem, Hit Again, Rutkowski writes of his adventures riding a bike in Manhattan and the indifference of a cab driver who he has encountered:
.
I drift to the left to avoid a biker
coming the wrong way, toward me,
and a car hits me with its side door.
It’s a yellow cab that was speeding past
as I drifted toward it.
.
I hear and feel the impact against my arm,
And I think, “”Not again”
It is the second time
I’ve been hit in a couple of weeks;
the first was on my other arm.
But I can use the arm that was hit now.
I can lift and move it. I feel nothing
beyond a dull pain in the elbow.
.
I see the cab has stopped.
Maybe the driver heard the impact, too,
and wants to see if I am all right,
or maybe he has stopped for a traffic light.
.
Tricks of Light is an eclectic collection of poems about family, about life in the city and life in small towns. It is a collection of poems about the forgotten, the found, of birds and fisherman, of loss and aging and of nature.
.
Yellow-Green Hills of Pennsylvania
.
The mountains—the hills really—
are yellow-green, in transition
from bare trees to leafed trees.
I don’t know how long this color will last.
If I were fishing now,
I could walk to the water and cast my line
without getting it tangled in leaves.
If I want to see something distant, a house, say,
I can see it through the trees.
These yellow-green constellations
are only buds, and when the sun hits,
the whole mountain lights up.
That is, assuming the mountain—a hill, really—
is not covered in fog.
.
You can find the book here: Tricks of Light — great weather for MEDIA
.
g emil reutter can be found here: https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/

.

.

Coronavirus – Recommendations for Quality of Life

cor

As we find ourselves in the middle of the pandemic, here are some suggestions/ recommendations to get through the day.

  1. Keep informed, but don’t be consumed by the 24 hour news cycle. Limit yourself to an hour or less a day of cable/internet news reports. Stay safe and follow your city/state guidelines and orders. Above all don’t be foolish about your health.
  2. Read literature. Order new books, read books from your library. Keep occupied.
  3. Read on line poetry/literary magazines. Take the time to enjoy the art of others.
  4. Respect spacing in the home. Give others in the home enough space not to make them feel confined. On the other hand when the time comes have family discussions.
  5. Order groceries and have them delivered from your local markets. From what we have learned there is up to a five day wait for deliveries.
  6. Keep your necessary medication in stock.
  7. Check out movies on antenna provided television or streaming services. There are some good films out there.
  8. Check out YouTube for poetry/literary readings. Here are our recommendations this month for you to have a look at: https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2020/03/20/poetry-videos-to-get-you-through-the-weekend/
  9. Meditation, prayer, yoga, treadmill workouts, walking outside at safe distances all enhance your quality of life. Stay healthy both mentally and physically.
  10. Above all, be responsible. Don’t put others at risk. Call friends and family and remember to wash hands & keep six feet apart from others. If you have to go out then wear protective equipment and hopefully the curve of the virus will flatten.

With much love to all,

Diane Sahms and g emil reutter

North of Oxford

Poetry Videos to Get You Through the Weekend

We searched YouTube for some of the poets we have published and our staff over the years to provide you with some live readings to enjoy during these turbulent times. We hope you enjoy!

.

 

 

The Bloody Waste by Red Focks

bloody waste cover

By g emil reutter

In The Bloody Waste, Red Focks captures the complexity of the new United States. The novella is driven by a cancer diagnosis of the main character, Greg Redford. There is nothing cliché in this novella. Focks uses the diagnosis as a back drop to issues from health care debt, inter cultural marriage, homelessness, drug addiction, of a family scraping by under the radar and generational political conflict within families. His characters are fully developed and tension drives each and every page.

Greg’s wife, a Mexican immigrant ironically named America is a strong female, the mother of two who deals with Greg’s light hearted reaction to his diagnosis with strength and worry. Greg’s step son is a DACA child and when his America First parents visit, she confronts them and to their shock calls them racist, not in a bitter manner but a matter of fact manner that they deny.

Focks beautifully captures the love between America and Greg as well as the interactions of their family, Nehemiah who has only known Greg as his father and the newborn, Poetry, who drove Greg to disavow drug use.

Focks artfully utilizes flashbacks to tell the backstory of Greg’s struggle with drugs, homelessness and hoboing across the United States to Arizona. Equally he captures the strength of America, his wife who gave birth to Nehemiah as a single mother abandoned by the father of her child. He meets his wife while working as a vendor on the streets of Phoenix, an immediate connection and soon they are living in a trailer on the outskirts of society, married, raising a family. They get by selling artful tee shirts on line.

Focks use of language is sometimes gentle, often harsh and in the use of this language reflects the struggle of everyday Americans. The Bloody Waste lays bare the struggling working class of America in a time when the 1% consolidate wealth leaving the majority on the edges of the American dream.

You can find the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Bloody-Waste-Red-Focks/dp/1734440988/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_2?keywords=the+bloody+waste+by+red+fochs&qid=1584623814&s=books&sr=1-2-fkmr2

 

g emil reutter can be found at: https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/

.

 

Wherever I Look I am Never There by Allen Brafman

wherever
.
By g emil reutter
.
Allen Brafman is a poet of careful observation. His poems are quiet yet all have a strong undercurrent of passion of life and death. In the poem, Mirror, the poet reminds us how we carry with us all those who came before:
.
This is my father’s beard
His face has become mine
My grandfather
chuckles inside the parlor mirror
His hand comes forth
He is about to pinch our cheek.
.
A poet of deep reflection Brafman holds his memories close in what appears to be a simple poem yet is complex, the poem, This Morning:
.
I found our first kiss
forty some years, hundreds
and hundreds of times
remembered, lost
.
in the breast pocket of
a denim shirts, back
of the closet, shirt that
just about fits me again
.
On the surface it appears to be a memory of a first kiss, but it is much more. The poet writes of a love of forty years, a memory that comes to him often over the years only once again to surface when trying on a shirt from the back of his closet. A gentle and beautiful love poem.
.
The poet tells us in the poem, Birds Thick as WaterEach newly acquired loss/added/to all the losses/ lost and tallied before. He is a poet who writes of the reality of loss and what it means to those left behind such as this from the poem, Lost and Found:
.
I don’t want to
talk about people
.
I’ve spoken to on
the phone who
.
died before I
got there
.
This poem reflects the stark realism of life. It is not adorned in fanciful words, it is simply the truth, blocking out of their departure and our final destination.
.
Brafman treats us to a beautiful surreal poem, Butterfly’s Child with haunting, majestic imagery.
.
A yellow butterfly lifts a little
girl from the front yard
to a forest of marigolds burning
.
In a third-floor window box. Explosive
winds hurl the butterly off
course,  put a cinder in the child’s
.
eye. The child falls back to the yard, free
of the butterfly, the rain that follows.
Fed by water, flame that can never
.
extinguish, she has become the daughter
of that butterfly, large black eyes
growing on yellow wing ferociously
.
she sometimes flutters
.
Brafman writes of a panhandler as a carnival barker in the poem, Playing the Odds. He tells us of a drunken escalator in the poem, Attacked from Within, and in the poem, Time is not Enough, he writes Lonely as a bar stool/in a crowded bar. There is nothing stale about this collection as Brafman fills his poems with fresh imagery. In the first stanza of Anna, he returns to stark realism of what we all know to be true on the subway:
.
That woman’s
talking to herself,
don’t let her
see you
looking at her,
she might
start talking to you.
.
Wherever I Look, I am Never There is a collection of poems that reflects life in realism, at times surreal. Of love, of loss, of the lonely, of family, of the will to go on. Brafman gives voice to those who live on the edges, of those departed in sometimes gentle and stark observations of a poet who loves life and those he encounters.
.

.

g emil reutter can be found here: https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/

.

House on the Edge of Town and Other Stories Just Released by Alien Buddha Press

house cover amazon

Alien Buddha Press has just released, House on the Edge of Town and Other Stories by g emil reutter. This short story collection is his first release of fiction since 2014. The book is available at this link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1651393575/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1578180105&refinements=p_27%3AG+Emil+Reutter&s=books&sr=1-1&text=G+Emil+Reutter

 

What others have to say about House on the Edge of Town and Other Stories

“g emil reutter is the real deal. The authentic voice of weird and wild America. reutter’s stories are vivid and unforgettable. His prose is dazzling”

                                    – James Vincent, editor In Shades Magazine.

                                    – Marina Esmeraldo, creative director In Shades Magazine.

“Tight. Real. This is how g emil reutter solves the style of melodrama in House on the Edge of Town and Other Stories—with a huge dose of insight for those who fall through life and those who barely escape. Even if they are to blame in this world of blame, House on the Edge of Town and Other Stories will make you wonder how in one paragraph, or one page, or barely more than three, you are absorbed to the point of forgetting you are reading a story, the verisimilitude so real you might consider these characters could live on the next block over, that is, if you are observant enough to care. But you care about the women and men in these stories who barely scrape by, and you don’t forget them. g emil reutter tells it like it is. House on the Edge of Town and Other Stories is one of a kind.”

Sandra Fluck, editor The Write Launch Literary Magazine- bookscover2cover, LLC 

“Life jumps off the page and kicks you in the face. Its bitter taste blends with slight optimism, turning you into the right direction. reutter gives you life as it is, without makeup or glitter and leaves you to think over what is and what could be.”

Roxana Nastase Author of A Churchgoing Woman

Editor, Scarlet Leaf Review 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1651393575/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1578180105&refinements=p_27%3AG+Emil+Reutter&s=books&sr=1-1&text=G+Emil+Reutter

Big Headed Anna Imagines Herself by Stephanie E. Dickinson

big head

By g emil reutter

We are introduced to Big Headed Anna at birth. Her child mother, boy bodied suffers in child birth. Her baby’s head so big that Anna’s feet were roped to free her from the womb, upon looking at her the young mother fled. Anna took to a cow when left for dead, survived to go on. Or so it is imagined by Anna.

Dickinson has crafted a series of flash fictions that chart the adventures of Big Headed Anna through time and space, of viewing the living and dead, of the life of an outcast from birth who encounters a wide array of characters. Imagined or real? For many who take the time to read this vivid collection, who have suffered from the cruelty of human kind there will be no doubt that the life of Anna could be real. Dickinson’s use of flash fiction to tell the story is simply brilliant as are the images and metaphor that populate this collection.

From Big-Headed Anna Believes Herself as a Strange, Beautiful Name:

“I am eleven years old today and hungry since I ran away from the other place. If I cut my eyelashes there would be no feeling. I would have to move my ear lobe between the grist’s flint or the tip of my nose to understand about touch. To show you how orchids thrive in snow and spongy soil, an earthworm loses its head and grows another. Tallow, bone flesh. My neck thinks of me as its lily. Wandering toward the French Quarter under talon of moon, I sing in a beautiful whisper. Hush little brittlestar who lives underewater. My big head hides under my bigger hat. I shiver listening to the river, the cotton barges.”

Big Headed Anna suffers the indignity and violence of rape, unable to see her attacker, a bag covering her head. And when she gives birth, her child stolen from her, carried away her only comfort is knowing the child has a normal head. Many of the flash describe her efforts to find her child.

From Big Headed Anna Listens to the Last Sound in the Grass:

“I am braised with malaria and yellow fever, and I sink deeper into the bittersweet. I am haul and lumber. An unmarked grave on Rampart Street where traveling workers make prayers has seen my child alive. A raven brings them bread and flesh. The lost Creole spirits sheltering them on houseboats tell me to lift the tablecloth where oysters are set down with comets.”

Dickenson has weaved these stories together as a master quilter, each strand interwoven, each resulting image full of color and metaphor. The stories take place between 1900 and 1933, a harsh time in America, a harsh time for those who appear a bit different from the majority, a harsh time for the poor during a time of exurbanite wealth and decline. Although dream like in its presentation the supporting characters are developed with words and images reflecting a beauty and realism to this work. Yet like a master quilter, Dickinson has created a body of work in this collection always with an underlying love for its central character.

You can find Big Headed Anna Imagines Herself here: https://www.amazon.com/Big-Headed-Imagines-Herself-Stephanie-Dickinson/dp/108723655X/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1572125064&refinements=p_27%3AStephanie+E+Dickinson&s=books&sr=1-1&text=Stephanie+E+Dickinson

g emil reutter can be found here: https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/

.

 

.