Friday, July 2, 2010

Poetry Tips: Heat Wave

I don’t know about you, but heat and humidity have been nearly insufferable here in Florida. This week is about poems regarding the hot summer weather, too hot? Not hot enough? Just right? Wherever you are, take your inspiration from the temperature!

Good luck to all who try it, please drop in again next week….

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Anderbo Open Submissions

Straight from the source:
Poetry - submit up to 6 poems

Send submissions to

A submission may be sent in the body of an e-mail and/or as an attachment in any common file format such as doc or rtf. Mac users, please be sure that your doc files are readable by PCs. No docx files, ever. And please, only one story per submission. Poets, we require your poems to be in the e-mail, or together as a single attachment. Simultaneous submissions OK with notification. If you don't hear from us within a month, let us know.

Good luck to all who submit, please stop in tomorrow…

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Poems Found by Poet Hound
Page 5, Mike White’s “Nascar”
Medbh McGuckian’s “Painting By Moonlight”

Thanks for clicking in, please drop by tomorrow for more Open Submissions…

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ed Galing's Lower East Side Poems

Ed Galing was born in New York City in 1917 on the lower east side, hence the inspiration for this collection of poems. While being widely published in magazines and small press venues he also enjoys playing harmonica. Lower East Side Poems was published in 2008 by Propaganda Press and Ibbetson Street Press, respectively. This collection is dead-pan and delightful to read. He speaks of childhood and also what it is like to be 90-odd years old, and I have to admit it is going to be difficult to narrow it down to just a few poems to share with you all but I will do my best:


My mother used to say
“Ich gay tantzen.”
(I am going dancing)
In the Jewish
it sounds so
honey clear,
“ich gay tantzen”
I am going
all my life
it seems as if
I have always
been dancing,
sometimes a
slow waltz,
other times a tango,
sometimes i Fox Trot
and when my
wife and I were
together we
did the Jitterbug,
“Ich gay tantzen,
Look at me
in my old age
my wife has
departed before
my tears spill on
my pillow each night,
where has everyone
“ich gay tantzen.”
“ich gay tantzen.”

This is a poem that not only tugs at the heartstrings but it allows the reader to paint a picture of Mr. Galing’s life from generation to generation of family who love to dance together and the loneliness of his best partner now departed. Simply put, this one shot an arrow through my own heart.

Day’s Work

if my father taught
me anything
it was how to exist
where existence
was hard to do.
and where every
breath of air
in our lower
east side building
was filled with
the acrid odor
of rotten vegetables
that most of us
tenants ate, when
we could afford
to buy the left-
overs, from the
pushcarts on orchard
oh, the rabble, oh
the stench,
oh the jostling
and pushing of
so many of us
as we walked along
pavements so crowded
that we had to almost
walk out into the middle
of the street…
my father made life
as endurable as possible,
by wearing the same clothes
all year round, and when they
his needle and thread would mend them,
he ate little, mostly potatoes,
which gave him that round little
belly, and portly gait,
and he busied himself around
the apartment we had,
my mother in the kitchen,
making food on the coal stove,
learning how to squeeze beets
to make borscht,
and me in my six year old wisdom,
learning how to steal an
occasional apple from the
pushcart outside…
all in a day’s work in
those days.

What I love about this poem is that it is conversational in style. I can hear Mr. Galing’s voice telling the story as naturally as any storyteller would only it happens to be in the form of a poem. The content is eye-opening in that a child would have to steal to fill his belly and to have a father that did his best to provide but could barely do so. It’s a wonderfully told story.

The Warehouse

this is my first day in
this nursing home,
my son said, dad,
this is the best place
for you right now,
yeah, sure it is…
just because i had a
small stroke at eighty
he puts me in here…
well, i can’t blame him,
he is sixty himself,
works night and day,
he can’t take care of
me, especially now…
dad, he says, soon as
you get better, you
can come home with my
wife and me
yeah, crap too… it will
never happen…
anyway, now that i am here
in a wheelchair, i have a
roommate next bed, a big
black guy who snores all
the time,
and the hallways are full
of screaming alzheimer
people, and broken down men
and women who each live in
their own hell… i call it a
warehouse for old people,
before we di…
once you get in here you
don’t come out…
(they say the food
ain’t bad here…)

I was an Activities Director of a long-term care facility (fancy way of saying nursing home) once upon a time and many of the residents expressed exactly what Mr. Galing says here, and his experience with his son is one I saw repeated often. I knew I had to share this one with you all just so you may have a glimpse into such a life in such a place. His dead-pan perspective is right on the money to me, and it’s a poem I connected to personally and felt was worth everyone’s time to read.

Diner Blues

used to be
i would go to this diner
not far from my house
and have a
lunch or breakfast
and my wife
would be sitting
across from me
and it felt good
just lie it
should be when
you got some
buddy with you
to enjoy life
like it should be,
but just when you
get to know what
it’s all about,
it’s over
kids gone
wife gone
you wonder why
you are still here.

so now i sit alone
and watch the
young couple in
another booth
she smiles
her eyes are gray
i can see them
because i am right
in back of them
and she is facing me
and looking at me…

i feel like crying
i want to make love to her
i drink my coffee
and keep my thoughts
to myself.

This poem is also another that tugs at my emotions. As Mr. Galing remembers with longing he also sees his past being relived in a younger couple and in his wistfulness also feels a familiar attraction to the young woman. It’s a well-done natural transition from longing for his wife to the feelings brought about by the young couple and then to the woman.

There are about a half dozen more poems I would love to share with you but you ought to know that Mr. Galing also has a blog with more of his poems which you can find here:

Also, if I shared too many poems, you would not be as inspired to acquire a copy of this poignant collection for yourself. To purchase a copy of Lower East Side Poems for a mere $5.00 (not including shipping and handling), go to:

I hope you’ve enjoyed these as much as I have, thanks for reading and please check in tomorrow…

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Voice Box

This amazing site has a variety of poets whose work you can listen to from the Bay area, check it out at:

Thanks for clicking in, please drop in again…