Formal & Rhyming Poetry

   with Vera Ignatowitsch

This month we are fortunate to offer two poems submitted by Michael R. Burch, editor of The HyperTexts.

The City Is a Garment is an ekphrastic sonnet that imbues a city with vivid life, turning in the final couplet as night ends.

For All That I Remembered brings to mind Christina Rossetti’s ‘Yet if you should forget me for a while, And afterwards remember, do not grieve’,  painting the beauty of lost love with sensual intensity.

The City Is a Garment

 

A rhinestone skein, a jeweled brocade of light,—

the city is a garment stretched so thin

her neon colors bleed into the night,

and everywhere bright seams, unraveling,

 

now spill their brilliant contents out like coins

on motorways and esplanades; bead cars

come tumbling down long highways; at her groin

a railtrack like a zipper flashes sparks;

 

her hills are haired with brush like cashmere wool

and from their cleavage winking lights enlarge

and travel, slender fingers ... softly pull

themselves into the semblance of a barge.

 

When night becomes too chill, she quickly dons

great overcoats of warmest-colored dawn.

 

Michael Burch

Originally published by The Lyric

For All That I Remembered

 

For all that I remembered, I forgot

her name, her face, the reason that we loved ...

and yet I hold her close within my thought:

I feel the burnished weight of auburn hair

that fell across her face, the apricot

clean scent of her shampoo, the way she glowed

so palely in the moonlight, angel-wan.

 

The memory of her gathers like a flood

and bears me to that night, that only night,

when she and I were one, and if I could ...

I’d reach to her this time and, smiling, brush

the hair out of her eyes, and hold intact

each feature, each impression. Love is such

a threadbare sort of magic, it is gone

before we recognize it. I would crush

 

my lips to hers to hold their memory,

if not more tightly, less elusively.

 

Michael Burch

Originally published by The Raintown Review

Michael R. Burch’s poems have been translated into nine languages and set to music by the composers Alexander Comitas and Seth Wright. Burch’s poems, essays, articles and letters have appeared more than 2,000 times around the globe in publications which includeTIME, USA Today, BBC Radio 3, The Hindu, Kritya, Gostinaya, Light, The Lyric, Measure, Angle, Black Medina, The Chariton Review, Poet Lore, The Chimaera, Poem Today, Verse Weekly, ByLine, Unlikely Stories and Writer’s Digest—The Year’s Best Writing. He also edits and publishes www.thehypertexts.com.

 

Contributor Dusty Grein's haunting conversation:

Loud Today

a terzenelle in iambic pentameter

 

The voices in my head are loud today,

I plug my ears, but still I hear them talk

Oh please, oh please just make them go away!

I thought that maybe I could take a walk

That they would quiet down and let me think

I plug my ears, but still I hear them talk

I’m trying not to let my spirits sink,

These voices drowning out my fervent plea

That they would quiet down and let me think

I hear them use my mouth. That wasn’t me!

Oh please help me ignore their foul demands

These voices drowning out my fervent plea

I hang my head, then fiercely wring my hands

As they tell me to do such evil things

Oh please help me ignore their foul demands

Pure misery their constant echoes bring,

As they tell me to do such evil things

The voices in my head are loud today,

Oh please, oh please just make them go away!

 

Dusty Grein

 

Autumn Daybreak

 

Cold wind of autumn, blowing loud
At dawn, a fortnight overdue,
Jostling the doors, and tearing through
My bedroom to rejoin the cloud,
I know—for I can hear the hiss
And scrape of leaves along the floor—
How may boughs, lashed bare by this,
Will rake the cluttered sky once more.
Tardy, and somewhat south of east,
The sun will rise at length, made known
More by the meager light increased
Than by a disk in splendor shown;
When, having but to turn my head,
Through the stripped maple I shall see,
Bleak and remembered, patched with red,
The hill all summer hid from me.

 

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950)

 

The Thanksgiving Turkey

 

 The turkey shot out of the oven

and rocketed into the air,

it knocked every plate off the table

and partly demolished a chair.

 

It ricocheted into a corner

and burst with a deafening boom,

then splattered all over the kitchen,

completely obscuring the room.

 

It stuck to the walls and the windows,

it totally coated the floor,

there was turkey attached to the ceiling,

where there'd never been turkey before.

 

It blanketed every appliance,

It smeared every saucer and bowl,

there wasn't a way I could stop it,

that turkey was out of control.

 

I scraped and I scrubbed with displeasure,

and thought with chagrin as I mopped,

that I'd never again stuff a turkey

with popcorn that hadn't been popped.

 

Jack Prelutsky

 

Jack Prelutsky’s first book was published in 1967.

He has published over seventy books of poetry.

“Your pleasure knows no limits,
Your voice is like a meadowlark -
But your heart is like an ocean,
Mysterious and dark.”

                           Bob Dylan