Archives for posts with tag: New Jersey

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MOON HAIKU
by Matsunaga Teitoku (1571-1654)

Many solemn nights
Blond moon, we stand and marvel…
Sleeping our noons away. 

PHOTO: The moon rises behind the helicopter from the original Batman television show, which people can ride at the New Jersey State Fair, Saturday, June 22, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J.  (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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THE K-MART IN WEST ORANGE
by David Tucker

I walked into the K-mart in West Orange, New Jersey
to waste some time, avoiding my work at the paper,
letting lunch hour go another hour on a Friday afternoon,
and found the place almost empty, slow as weather,
a museum of itself. Three or four customers
wandered the aisles unhurried considering
the ninety-nine dollar suits and the death of god
or lifting the arms of fall jackets hung in rows
of moody browns and blues, thinking
what good is the death penalty. Clerks read newspapers
and talked in a listless hum, offering solutions
to the gas crisis while leaning across counters,
bright shirts labeled Clearance, whispered
when I walked through them, the jewelry bins
shined in late afternoon sun, calling there is still
time to buy something that will change your life.
At the concession stand a ragged customer
in a dirt-shined suit chewed on a chocolate donut
and sipped black coffee, looking past the parking lot,
carefully considering his choice for secretary of state.
A few more shoppers were getting out of their cars,
a child straggled along from a hand
And the heavy grandmother who ran that little
dining section stared at a wheel of hotdogs
that turned under yellow baking light sweating
beads of fat and Elvis sang his heart out
on the muzak spool to the people in the hour
that seemed it might never end.

Photo: Interior of a 1970s Kmart, from The Grand Emporiums: The Illustrated History of America’s Great Department Stores by Robert Hendrickson (available at Amazon.com)
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(Photo of David Tucker in the newsroom of the Newark Star-Ledger byKeith Meyers for the New York Times, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Read an article about the author at nytimes.com.)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Journalist and poet David Tucker grew up in Tennessee. He earned a BA at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he studied with poet Donald Hall. Booklist critic Donna Seamanhas described his poems as “deceptive in their sturdy plainness . . . inlaid with patterns as elegant as the swoop of swallows, and images as startling and right as a cat’s bowl of milk shimmering as its ‘moon god.’” His debut collection, Late for Work (2006), was awarded the Katharine Bakeless Nason Prize by judge Philip LevineDonald Hall, a former US poet laureate, appointed Tucker a Witter Bynner Foundation Fellow in 2007. A newspaper editor for more than 25 years, Tucker is an editor for the Metro section of the Newark Star-Ledger newspaper, where he was part of the team that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting. (Source: poetryfoundation.org)

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teenagers down the shore
by win harms

memories of the ocean
sweet spring sweat trickles down my forehead
the sand stings my legs, as a crosswind
creeps up from behind
the salty sea is cold, numbing my bare feet
i hear my friends giggling ahead
and i laugh for no reason at all
you look at me and smile that secret smile
and for one moment we are alone in this
i can’t remember the taste of you
but i know i’ll understand you again
i get higher with the thoughts of days to come
we are sleepy with excitement
last night is so incredibly far away
we were older then, parading like sophisticates
we are young again, spinning in the sun
the past doesn’t matter and
the skeletons don’t feel like dancing
i am mapping out my life
and i want to see you there
with your eyes sparkling like the sea
we walk the boardwalk with the wind in our hair
creating everlasting impressions in time

Photo: “Summer Down the Shore” by funflash, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. (16×20 metallic prints available at etsy.com)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: win harms is a poet living in France with her professor husband. She hails from the state of the cowboy poetry contest, but she has lived pretty much everywhere, including many psych wards, and considers herself a survivor of the struggle. The chaos has ceased and now she spends her time doing needlepoint and laundry, but longs to share her words with the world. As of last year, she left her roaring twenties, and is now feeling fecund and free. “Teenagers Down the Shore” and other poetry by win harms appears in the Silver Birch Press Summer Anthology, available at Amazon.com.

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THE K-MART IN WEST ORANGE
by David Tucker

I walked into the K-mart in West Orange, New Jersey
to waste some time, avoiding my work at the paper,
letting lunch hour go another hour on a Friday afternoon,
and found the place almost empty, slow as weather,
a museum of itself. Three or four customers
wandered the aisles unhurried considering
the ninety-nine dollar suits and the death of god
or lifting the arms of fall jackets hung in rows
of moody browns and blues, thinking
what good is the death penalty. Clerks read newspapers
and talked in a listless hum, offering solutions
to the gas crisis while leaning across counters,
bright shirts labeled Clearance, whispered
when I walked through them, the jewelry bins
shined in late afternoon sun, calling there is still
time to buy something that will change your life.
At the concession stand a ragged customer
in a dirt-shined suit chewed on a chocolate donut
and sipped black coffee, looking past the parking lot,
carefully considering his choice for secretary of state.
A few more shoppers were getting out of their cars,
a child straggled along from a hand
And the heavy grandmother who ran that little
dining section stared at a wheel of hotdogs
that turned under yellow baking light sweating
beads of fat and Elvis sang his heart out
on the muzak spool to the people in the hour
that seemed it might never end.

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(Photo of David Tucker in the newsroom of the Newark Star-Ledger by Keith Meyers for the New York Times, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Read an article about the author at nytimes.com.)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Journalist and poet David Tucker grew up in Tennessee. He earned a BA at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he studied with poet Donald Hall. Booklist critic Donna Seaman has described his poems as “deceptive in their sturdy plainness . . . inlaid with patterns as elegant as the swoop of swallows, and images as startling and right as a cat’s bowl of milk shimmering as its ‘moon god.’” His debut collection, Late for Work (2006), was awarded the Katharine Bakeless Nason Prize by judge Philip Levine. Donald Hall, a former US poet laureate, appointed Tucker a Witter Bynner Foundation Fellow in 2007. A newspaper editor for more than 25 years, Tucker is an editor for the Metro section of the Newark Star-Ledger newspaper, where he was part of the team that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting. (Source: poetryfoundation.org)

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THE GULL
by Madeline Tiger

The huge grey gull
over the Jersey Turnpike
steely as Amtrak

crosses long above this
congestion, soars
toward the seashore

his wings waving slowly

His beak points beyond
our dull metal,
grey as we’ve made him

He’s traversing our lines
of bright cars, hot motors
rushed and stalled
in their own fumes

Far up he glides, he is
pointing to shining water,

to the waves that glisten –
ripples, breakers
with fierce bursting crests—
and when he squawks out there,

his cry leaves a whiteness
in the mind of the driver

…From The Earth Which is All by Madeline Tiger, 2008 (featured in the New York Times article “Selected Works by New Jersey Poets,” 1/2/2009)

Photo: “Seagulls at the Jersey Shore” by Amy Pospiech

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teenagers down the shore
by win harms

memories of the ocean
sweet spring sweat trickles down my forehead
the sand stings my legs, as a crosswind
creeps up from behind
the salty sea is cold, numbing my bare feet
i hear my friends giggling ahead
and i laugh for no reason at all
you look at me and smile that secret smile
and for one moment we are alone in this
i can’t remember the taste of you
but i know i’ll understand you again
i get higher with the thoughts of days to come
we are sleepy with excitement
last night is so incredibly far away
we were older then, parading like sophisticates
we are young again, spinning in the sun
the past doesn’t matter and
the skeletons don’t feel like dancing
i am mapping out my life
and i want to see you there
with your eyes sparkling like the sea
we walk the boardwalk with the wind in our hair
creating everlasting impressions in time

Photo: “Summer Down the Shore” by funflash, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. (16×20 metallic prints available at etsy.com)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: win harms is a poet living in France with her professor husband. She hails from the state of the cowboy poetry contest, but she has lived pretty much everywhere, including many psych wards, and considers herself a survivor of the struggle. The chaos has ceased and now she spends her time doing needlepoint and laundry, but longs to share her words with the world. As of last year, she left her roaring twenties, and is now feeling fecund and free. “Teenagers Down the Shore” and other poetry by win harms appears in the Silver Birch Press Summer Anthology, available at Amazon.com.

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MOON HAIKU
by Matsunaga Teitoku (1571-1654)

Many solemn nights
Blond moon, we stand and marvel…
Sleeping our noons away. 

PHOTO: The moon rises behind the helicopter from the original Batman television show, which people can ride at the New Jersey State Fair, Saturday, June 22, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J.  (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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THE GREEN CROFT
by Barbara Eknoian

I’m sixteen working at The Green Croft,
a family inn, green-shuttered,
four stories high
right on Lake Hopatcong.
On the porch every night after supper,
my friends and I rock back and forth
in our chairs like old grannies
while the rich kids
whiz by in their speedboats.
Across the lake, the Bon Air Lodge
is lit up like an electric power plant.
We hear music from their band
and wish we were older to venture
across the River Styx Bridge
to attend their big Labor Day bash.
On our porch, the ancient jukebox
houses only one modern song.
I play Elvis’s
“I want you, I need you, I love you,”
over and over 
pining for a boy back home.
 
One night, Charlie, a guest who looks
like a forty-year-old bookworm,
sits at the upright piano playing,
“A Whole Lot of Shaking Going On”
 as good as Jerry Lee Lewis.
Guests push the Ping-Pong table aside,
start to rock ‘n’ roll. 
Peter the waiter tries to pull me up
to Lindy, but I’m too shy and say no.
He grabs Kathy, the waitress,
flips her around like the “Swing Kids.”
I sit there and feel the floorboards
vibrating beneath me
as Charlie bangs the piano
and pumps the foot pedal below.

Illustration: Vintage postcard “Lake Hopatcong”

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Congratulations to Barbara Eknoian — author of poetry that appeared in the Silver Birch Press SILVER ANTHOLOGY and the Silver Birch Press GREEN ANTHOLOGY — on the May 2013 release of her novel CHANCES ARE.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: It’s the l950’s. Thirteen-year-old Susie Di Pietro lives near the projects in New Jersey. Bookies stand on the corner by the candy store and sound like characters from Guys and Dolls. Everyone plays the numbers, even young Susie. Throughout her high school years, she’s painfully aware that her pal, Ginger, and she are wallflowers. Susie shares her romantic tribulations, her trials with her teachers, and funny incidents that happen to her while she is growing up. Chances Are is a charming coming-of-age novel that will take you on a nostalgic trip: dancing to Johnny Mathis, Elvis, and The Platters. It will trigger fond memories for some readers of their teen years, and give younger readers a picture of that special era, “The Fifties.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbara Eknoian lives in La Mirada, California, with her extended family. Originally from New Jersey, she was forever homesick until she joined Donna Hilbert’s poetry workshop in Long Beach. Barbara was the first recipient of the Jane Buel Bradley Chapbook Award for her collection Jerkumstances (Pearl Editions). A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee for poetry, her story “Crazy Mom” was featured in the 2009 6th Annual Emerging Voices Group Show produced by Sally Shore‘s New Short Fiction Series.

CHANCES ARE is available in paperback and Kindle editions at Amazon.com