Winter 2012

Table of Contents - Vol. VIII, No. 4


Poetry    Translations    Fiction    Non-fiction    Reviews   

Gary Blankenburg



The Pulitzer Prize Poet With a Funny Name

While civilizations come down with the curse,
Snodgrass is walking through the universe.

-- From "These Trees Stand..." by W. D. Snodgrass

He once told me that both he
and his new fourth wife
thought one of my poems

was “simply delicious.”
I remember the poem
was about a wife

Telling her husband
that he was
in all likelihood

a paranoid schizophrenic.
In that poem the husband
responded, guardedly,

that he was divided
on that issue. Funny,
how of all the poems

I sent him over the years
that one struck home.
Now, the poor fellow

is dead. But if
you meander through
a stand of trees
and listen carefully,
you will hear his spirit still
walking through the universe.



A Real Poet

For Mark Sanders

I phoned a young poet friend
and asked him what he was up to.

He said, Well, I’m eating a baloney
sandwich, drinking a glass

of whiskey, and washing out
my good shirt in the sink

with dish detergent
because I have a reading

in the city tonight. I said,
You’re living the poet’s life.

You stay poor, stay lean, stay hungry,
shun the successful, keep at the work.



Poetry Reading

For Richard Sober

It was his graceful

the ease at which
he found himself

when so intoxicated,
with the audience—

that endeared him
to me immediately.

Besides being a poet,
he was also a painter.

One of his paintings won
my heart

because it had
blue chickens in it.

After his reading,
he gave away his art—

lovely, flowing abstracts
sprawled on flimsy paper.

When he scattered them
about the room

they fluttered, then paused
for a moment

on the still air.



Bird, Book, Daddy, Bye Bye

For Moira Egan

The words came to the girl in order—
bird, book, Daddy, bye-bye—
a foreshadowing each of things to come.

Bird—the feathered thing—
who lit upon the window sill—
who fluttered away at his own whim.

Book—spread across her Mommy’s lap—
magic words, pictures, and sounds—
closed at bedtime with a “sleep tight.”

Daddy—comes when he pleases—
so smart, so handsome, the Irish poet-man—
Daddy—goes when he pleases.

Bye-bye—the hand open, then closed—
open, then closed—bird fluttered—book shut—
and Daddy long, long gone.



Chris Toll, R.I.P

October 1, 2012

Chris Toll, beloved
Baltimore poet,
died unexpectedly

on September 27
at age sixty-four
home alone.

His memorial was today
on his birthday.
I think Chris would

have appreciated that—
the rotundity, the circularity,
and, of course, the irony of it.

And so
the tribes
gathered and scattered

poems for him
as they came
and as they went,

although Chris
might have enjoyed
balloons and party hats.


© Gary Blankenburg


left button              right button

Poetry    Translations    Fiction    Non-fiction    Reviews   

Website Copyright © 2012 by Loch Raven Review.

Copyright Notice and Terms of Use: This website contains copyrighted materials, including, but not limited to, text, photographs, and graphics. You may not use, copy, publish, upload, download, post to a bulletin board. or otherwise transmit, distribute, or modify any contents of this website in any way, except that you may download one copy of such contents on any single computer for your own personal non-commercial use, provided you do not alter or remove any copyright, poet, author, or artist attribution, or any other proprietary notices.