National Poetry Month: Simon Perchik from Hands Collected

handscoll   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?        ]]>

National Poetry Month: April 6 & 7

Unknown 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: Unknown-1 ▶ 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?  ]]>

National Poetry Month video: "Woman in a Bar" by Dorianne Laux

Red Dragonfly Press: THE BOOK OF WOMEN by Dorianne Laux lg_laux_cover-1326776205   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?  ]]>

National Poetry Month: April 3

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?    ]]>

Two poems and a nod

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: Semaphores 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. Inconsistent. 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!    ]]>

"Aretha" and Microtones review at Literary Orphans

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 issue #11

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: Issue #11 Frontispiece 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.  ]]>

"Leaving" and Microtones at Olentangy Review

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!]]>

"Legacy"

Legacy 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, precocious, serene. 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]]]>