Over the years, I’ve had numerous conversations with other poets, and more than often, Simon’s name is mentioned. His poems are staggering in volume, unique in voice and perspective, jarring, earthly devoted, and remarkably lovely.
As a nod to his oeuvre, I constructed a poem, utilizing only the first lines of a Simon Perchik poem, including the title (also, a Perchik first line). Here is the entire poem:
They were reaching for their mother’s breath
Wherever I turn the air needs water
and in the dark my pillow, abandoned
stone, stone, stone, not a drop
again, the sky rubbing against my legs
all the pieces must be found, make
this cup half ecstasy, half adrift
With those hefty walls a bank
even this tree :a stranglehold
And the dead can’t wait, they crouch
as if its stream would slow
What a long way- they know
this bridge as if before its crash
(all words excerpted from Simon Perchik’s Hands Collected: The Books of Poems (1949-1999)
(only first lines used to construct entire poem, including title)
And today, April 8th, I read Simon Perchik for National Poetry Month:
Robert Vaughan reads Simon Perchik’s poem, * from Hands Collected – YouTube
When is the last time you took a train? Had an unexpected picnic? Read a poem that took your breath away?
I read the title poem, which I find so playful, humane, and deep simultaneously:
▶ Robert Vaughan reads “Sun Bear” by Matthew Zapruder – YouTube
On April 7 (today), I read Natasha Tretheway’s “At Dusk” by Natasha Tretheway. This poem is in her collection called Native Guard:
▶ Robert Vaughan reads “At Dusk” by Natasha Tretheway – YouTube
Do you ever wonder who you are calling home? Do you ever take the time to be called? If so, to whom? How so?
Red Dragonfly Press: THE BOOK OF WOMEN by Dorianne Laux
Dorianne, for those who don’t know her, is a wizard! She is simply one of the best poets I know, and I consider myself so fortunate, my life has transformed as a result of every interaction we’ve had. Happy Poetry Month to you, DL, and may you always feel loved.
Here, then, is “Woman in a Bar” and enjoy: Robert Vaughan reads “Woman in a Bar” by Dorianne Laux – YouTube
Have you ever been in a bar? How about Fozzie’s? Boy Bar? King Tut’s Wah-Wah Hut?
When is the last time you sat in a bar, and were completely captivated by someone else? What happened?
The Frog.” Hopefully you will enjoy it! I love and miss you, Andrea and David!
Today, for National Poetry Month, I am going to read Rigoberto Gonzalez’s “The Strangers Who Find Me in the Woods.” (Perhaps this is why those latino towns in California came to mind?) Enjoy!
▶ Robert Vaughan reads “The Stranger Who Finds Me in the Woods” by Rigoberto Gonzalez – YouTube
Do you like getting lost in the woods? What did you find last time? Was Hansel or Gretl with you? Did you come across a wicked witch?
Process – Olentangy Review
Thanks so much, Darryl and Melissa, for this generous opportunity.
Also, deep thanks to Ben Tanzer, the guest editor last October at Necessary Fiction, where “Seven Shades of James” first appeared.]]>
amphibi.us. Shannon published some uniquely experimental and strange poetry at his site. Recently I went online looking for it, and discovered it no longer existed. I was really bummed! I’d often include amphibi.us in my quest for some reading inspiration. One of my poems Shannon published, “Semaphones,” I also selected for Microtones:
I come from steel, bolt,
twine, bales of indifference,
swells of turpentine.
Broken bells, misfires at
semaphores. Shrieking hearts
grind open moors.
Twisting tides train
moon in motion. Scurrying
sideways, crabs flee ocean.
You find me flinging
misshapen flocks as you
bridge closer filming shocks
And here is another poem of mine that Shannon published at amphibi.us:
Still, the Clouds
Kelly tells me tonight
Erik leaves for Minnesota
this Sunday. Immediate relief,
exuberance. Later deep pain
registers regrets. What have
I done? His
wavering like weather.
A rare shimmer.
Still, the clouds;
still, the rain.
Thanks so much Shannon, for always supporting my work. I hope you are still writing, and crafting your poems and I want you to know I wish you all the best!
Songstresses: Moving Lyrics Into Poems. The project originated a few months ago when writer Joseph Quintela asked several friends to contribute to his Working Definitions project. You could select any word, (sometimes he would provide a list), and re-define them using poetic terms. Then, JQ created a Word Poeticizer, in which you could select a line, or phrase, or a lyric (I used several for Songstresses), and feed them into the Word Poeticizer, and out popped a completely different poem! Then I edited, and re-edited, altering the phrases and embellishing to make them “my own.” And voila! I hope you enjoy “Aretha,” and thanks editor Mike Joyce for the incredible support, and Felicia Simion for the lovely accompanying artwork:
Aretha by Robert Vaughan | Literary Orphans
Also in the Wordsworth issue, my good friend John Riley reviews Microtones, with aplomb. Very grateful to John for this:
A Review of Robert Vaughan’s Microtones by John Riley | Literary Orphans
And while you are here, check out stunning and diverse writing by Amanda Deo, Misti Rainwater-Lites, Matthew Burnside, Tantra Bensko, Kenny Mooney, Joel Kopplin and more:
Photo Content Page: Wordsworth | Literary Orphans]]>
Gone Lawn Journal, thanks to guest editor Yarrow Paisley. There are several other talented writers in this issue, including Berit Ellingsen, Stephen Ramey, Nicolette Wong, Neila Mezynski, and many more. Featured artist is Pd Lietz and painting is called Maelstrom:
The five pieces I’ve published are:
The Hazards of Moving in With a Couple, A Wonderful Life, Dirty Laundry, Mercy, and Nuts: Gone Lawn 11 : Robert Vaughan
These are pieces I am considering for my upcoming full length book, Addicts and Basements, from Civil Coping Mechanisms.
Robert Vaughan – Olentangy Review
Today I was happily informed they’ve added a Marketplace tab to their incredibly supportive literary website. My book, Microtones, is mentioned, along with other published writers and authors, Walter Bjorkman, Jane Flett, Bob Eckstein, Marcus Speh, and Bill Yarrow:
Marketplace – Olentangy Review
Thanks, Darryl and Melissa for your unwavering support!]]>
An observer would have
thought her unsuited
for that frame.
I wondered why my
parents kept the photo on
the piano. She’d died over
ten years ago. Died on her
own, by her own stupidity.
A visitor would have
thought her adorable,
Unable to see the contagious
recklessness. Unable to see
the damage she inflicted.
How my family came undone.
I slip her photo into
the desk drawer. Underneath
a stack of report cards.
[This poem is from Microtones by Robert Vaughan
Červená Barva Press, 2013]]]>