g emil reutter

Intersection on Neptune by Donna J. Gelagotis Lee

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By g emil reutter
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In this time when many in the United States have forgotten their lineage, of how they came to be in the United States, along comes Donna J. Gelagotis Lee to remind everyone of the immigrant experience, of native born children who have lived lives that those who came here hoped for. Intersection on Neptune brings us into the urban layering of Brooklyn, of family, of Coney Island, to family life and as she writes in the title poem, the country’ pivot point. In the second section the reader is transported New Jersey, the burbs, farms, and shore, of Seaside, of pastures, horses and trails even of a man making deliveries of eggs. Gelagotis Lee brings us into the rest stops, ballgames, writes of the pay phone and a homage to Trenton. She has had a lifelong love affair with Brooklyn and New Jersey. Her poems are blunt and truthful such as this in the second stanza of From a Rooftop in Brooklyn:
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Today, a sea of brick
buildings combs
the grey air,
green parks pushing them
aside, schools still
straining to meet
the goals of a touchdown
democracy. Silver birds
cluster like butterfilies
as they eagle-sweep over the
land they know, past faceless
windows, a country
below.
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So in the midst of grey air, brick, faceless windows she gives us hope, Silver birds cluster like butterflies.
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These poems by Gelagotis Lee read as a documentary of the American experience with love, family, of the difficult times, the good times. She captures the urban, suburban and rural experience in poems that will stay with you long after the read. Intersection on Neptune reminds us of from where we came, that the United States is a place that new arrivals can accomplish much, it is not an easy ride here, but you can make it.
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I end with the title poem that captures so much.
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Intersection on Neptune
               –Neptune Avenue, Brooklyn
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The sea smell rushes
in on a sudden breeze, like
that vehicle that veers into the space
just as someone pulls out. Older
couples, hearty Jamaicans,
Yiddish accents: land of Immigrants;
watch them claim it—
Chinese, Russians, ladies with thick
jewelry, men with yarmulkes;
the elderly line up at the strip
mall to trade stories, their props
canes and old-world hats. Yellow
lights let you cross only to the island.
Sirens interrupt talk. The sea breeze inter-
venes. The walk to the boardwalk is short.
But here, at this intersection, we
Have gathered, where the city turns.
And we find a parking space,
Crowded, a little tight, but afterwards
it’s enough; we all fit.
We smell the sea, the kosher bakery.
Our house is a high-rise
Our horizon, the Verrazano and the Empire
State. We’re on the finger
of New York City –the end
of the subway line, or the beginning—
the city starts and ends here,
on the country’s pivot point.
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Eating Raw Meat and Other Nuances of Life by g emil reutter

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Eating Raw Meat and Other Nuances of Life has just been released by Alien Buddha Press.

What Others Say About Eating Raw Meat and Other Nuances of Life 

“g emil reutter writes the poem the way I like it – sharp, detailed imagery, paintings in black ink carved into the page – the minutiae of life under the microscope. There’s clarity and depth here in this book but there’s power too – the power to move the mind and the soul. These words are fine words. My kind of poems. They should be yours too.” -Adrian Manning- Poet and Publisher at Concrete Meat Press

“Beneath dark shadows of maples, this watcher observes unnamed strangers and lovers beneath a generous moon, sympathetically and precisely with the eye of an oil painter.  The night turns to day, the seasons change, and the cycles renew.  A fine collection for any palate”. – Russell Streur –  Editor, The Plum Tree Tavern

In Eating Raw Meat, g emil reutter proclaims, “I stand on the rubble that is left / of the American dream”; looking out from that prospect, he tells us, “I think of the hard working class.”  Yet, even as these poems show us hard labor and trashed dreams, reutter affirms how close attention to those lives and to the natural world serves to redeem us on this “beautiful brutal blue planet.”  “I work the / garden the way I work a poem,” he tells us; and, centered among existences, “I … listen to what they say, watch what they do and write what I can.” This attention results in poems of integrity and of beauty: “rhythm / of rain, cadence of thunder, lyrical / hissing of wind.”

-Nathalie F. Anderson – Alexander Griswold Cummins Professor of English Literature and Director of the Program in Creative Writing – Swarthmore College

Check out the book here: Eating Raw Meat and Other Nuances of Life

https://gereutter.wordpress.com/about/

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Witness in the Convex Mirror by Eileen R. Tabios

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By g emil reutter
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Eillen Tabios is a prolific poet and editor, with over 50 collections notched on her belt, she continues to inspire with her ability to cast new light into the world of poetry. This past May, TinFish released the collection, Witness in the Convex Mirror. The concept to create poems beginning with the first two lines in each poem from Ashbery’s poem, Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror.
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This was no small task. We are fortunate that this project was developed by a poet like Tabios. She is the ultimate crafted poet whose hard work, insight and passion for the written word flows throughout these 135 pages of poetry. She begins the collection with The Song of Space.
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We set out to accomplish and wanted so desperately
to see come into being our corralled chords
disciplined into the sublime—it is otherwise impossible
to heighten cathedrals into a space where supplicants
will feel their smallness, thus, comprehend they are not
gods.
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Later in the poem she writes:
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I opened my eyes to
a rainbow settling itself upon my chest. I looked at this
odd light and whispered, “I’m no pot of gold, dear
Parmigianino”.
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The images of the heightened cathedral, smallness, comprehending they are not gods and then the fresh image of a rainbow settling itself upon my chest, simply beautiful.
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In the poem Civilization and Inheritance she tells us, like yellowing leaves on shrubs tentative/ before marauding birds. One’s beak/ flashed open to reveal a dangling worm— / surely imagination need not be radicalized/to fortell the fodder’s fate.
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In the poem, Integrity, she opens once again with two Ashbery lines and then brings us to unexpected places:
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The surprise, the tension are in the concept
rather than its realization. In this way, integrity
is possible as, like Picasso, we break into
irreparable fragments the image that assumes
it bespeaks the reality of psychology. To see
that woman sleeping amidst laundry piled up
in the corner of a room, her fingers trapped
in the pose of folding her master’s shirt, must
be to become broken witness—if not, integrity
becomes a dream trapped in a mirror. Only
the broken can muster the ability to howl
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The use of two of Ashbery’s lines to begin new poems is bold and courageous. Tabios has never been a poet to conform, she shatters the mirror. Its shards of images and words, both beautiful and harsh, of the comfortable and uncomfortable glitter like diamonds spilled out upon the floor. The book is divided into five sections. Abstract Expressions, The Sheriff’s Advice, Cubism of Color, Scars and Excavated Tankas. Each section is an honest reflection of the world we live in.
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Euphemisms for Mortality
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And swerving easily away, as though to protect
what it advertises, the gaze bypasses the age
of beams and leaded panes—no one wishes
to look at the old unless they can be elevated
by euphemisms. Say, “antique.” Say, “powerful”
Say, billionaire.” Say, “convex” for widening
the gaze when focus means the revelation of
mortality. You wake up one morning and, unlike
yesterday, the hand is spotted with dark spots,
the jowls hang, the breath catches on the third
step, and the prodigal child is at the door
with hand stretched for any inheritance. From
that point onward, everything you muster on
the piano shall be nostalgic and poignant. For
novels, you return to the Russians—at least
they live again when your trembling fingers
open their books. But you suspect no one will
read you, and you professed your entire life
that you are a poet. Damnation: I am a poet!
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You can get the book here: Witness in the Convex Mirror
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g emil reutter is a writer of poems and stories. His most recent collection is Stale Bread and Coffee
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Live at Cafe Improv

Our contributing editors recently performed at Cafe Improv in Princeton, New Jersey. Here are the videos and we hope you enjoy.

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