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Poetry Breakfast

Beginning March 20th, 2016 Poetry Breakfast will once again serve a little poetic nourishment every morning. Start your day with our new expanded menu. Poems, of course, are our specialty. But we will also be serving a fuller menu that includes poetry related creative non-fiction such as letters to and from poets, essays on poetry, and anything else that might feed a poet and poetry lover’s soul.

The Known Earth – A Poem by Penny Harter

The Known Earth

Used to be flat—any horizon a cliff over infinity.
And then the revelations of circles, orbits, spheres
upon spheres, stars and planets hurtling through
the heavens like embers spitting from a dying log.

Each winter my elderly neighbor’s garden grew
oaktag stars, orange and yellow pointy things
painstakingly traced and cut by her trembling hands,
then mounted on sticks among dormant rose bushes.
After her death they flamed fiercely above the snow.

When the dead breathe their last, those atoms rise to
surround the known Earth as it rotates in place around
a black hole. The smoke from my father’s cigarette
surrounded me as I lay full-length on the back seat
of Betsy-car, our 1940s Chrysler sedan, staring at
the moon riding with us down some rural highway—
a familiar smoke that merged with the hypnotic hum
of the motor, the strobe of occasional streetlights.

Show me the way to go home,
I’m tired and I want to go to bed,

we’d sing as my father flicked butt after butt out
the car window. Those flickered like dying stars
along the road’s edge, leaving in our wake tinder
for a field, sparks for a forest, and wads of paper
and shredded tobacco bleeding into sunrise.

 

 

About the Poet:
Penny Harter’s recent books include The Resonance Around Us (2013); One Bowl ( 2012); and Recycling Starlight (2010; reprint 2017). Recent work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in a number of journals, including Adanna, Persimmon Tree, Rattle, Tiferet, and Tattoo Highway, as well as in numerous anthologies. A featured reader at both the first (1985) and the 2010 Dodge Poetry Festivals, she has won three fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts; the Mary Carolyn Davies Award from the Poetry Society of America; and two residencies from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts ( January 2011; March 2015).

 

Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round.  See our Submission Guidelines page for details on submitting your work.

Start your morning with a nourishing poem.  Follow us on  Twitter, Facebook, and  Tumblr,  and enjoy a new poem every morning straight to your feed.

Open letter to Dymel – A Poem by Trace DePass

Open letter to Dymel

i’ve asked too much of the sunset.
but, that wasn’t my only sin.
it started when i was six and boy
was an arbitrary thing.

time – a construct, or figment of imagination,
affected by elevation.
the top bunk paused time, is what i’m saying.
at least for me, that’s what it did.

i wouldn’t know what it did for Dymel.
he, the other one
of the setting, sun, by my lap
he now moon across

and he cosmos for me. stars got jealous,
when i laid me down to, a lucid, sleep.
i don’t know why i have this fond.
i was going just thru my compartments.

i miss that.
back when my body didn’t come with rules,
innocence was still innocence
and stuff. remember?

it was when time was real real slow
and impossible never forbade us.
ain’t no mountain was high enough.
it’s funny:

the higher we go, harder it is to truly breathe
as if we were really getting closer to heaven.
i’m close enough to taste when god gave me
Dymel and begged i repent for my identity.
i knew that night was too good to be true.
but, i remember the sunset.
although, she may not admit it,
i knew God better when i was that young.

 

 

About the Poet:
Residing in Queens, NY, Trace DePass is a student at Brooklyn College and the 2016 Teen Poet Laureate for the Borough of Queens. He received a National Gold Medal from Scholastic for his writing portfolio, “Black Boyhood,” wherein one piece was published in Scholastic’s Best Teen Writing of 2015. Trace is interested in cultivating conversations on queer black masculinity through prose, poetry, & playwriting.

 

Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round.  See our Submission Guidelines page for details on submitting your work.

Start your morning with a nourishing poem.  Follow us on  Twitter, Facebook, and  Tumblr,  and enjoy a new poem every morning straight to your feed.

Discussion with a Science Teacher: Fish in the Anus – A Poem by John Dorroh

Discussion with a Science Teacher: Fish in the Anus

Mister, is it true that a fish can live
in a cucumbers ass? and I
didn’t know that cucumbers
had assholes. I’ll never eat those
again, Mister.

Yes, it’s true. I read that a certain
small fish in the Gulf of Cortez can
and does spend part of its life
in a sea cucumber’s anus. A
sea cucumber is not the same
thing that appears in salads.

Oh, that’s good. Can you help
me find a picture, Mister? I
need to write a report for my
science teacher, and I wanted
something really cool.

Well, I think you found it. But
be careful how you write it.

What do you mean, Mister?

Don’t copy word-for-word
and don’t use “ass” or
“hole,” especially together.
Your teacher may
not approve. And include
where you found it on the
internet. That’s called your
sources.

Mister, do you think that
there are other animals
that live in other animals’
body parts?

Yes, indeed. There’s a bug
in her ear and butterflies
in my stomach.

Thank you, Mister. You are
a nice man.

Good luck with your report.
And remember, no assholes, okay?

 

 

About the Poet:
John Dorroh taught high school science for 30 years and met students wherever they were and helped them to discover their gifts. He used writing and reading-based strategies to help them learn science concepts and principles. John has a book of micro-fiction, about 30 science diddies, and several poems in various print and on-line publications.

 

 

Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round.  See our Submission Guidelines page for details on submitting your work.

Start your morning with a nourishing poem.  Follow us on  Twitter, Facebook, and  Tumblr,  and enjoy a new poem every morning straight to your feed.

The Hinge – A Poem by Sergio A. Ortiz

The Hinge

Forgive
the craft
of pouring myself
into pitchers.

Water
cannot tolerate thirst
for long periods
of time, the thirst

that invaded my home
during the years
of submarginal
words.

Burglars
burned down
the charity bazaars
and school libraries.

Now my son
will inherit
a handful of ashes.

 

 

About the Poet:
Sergio A. Ortiz is a gay Puerto Rican poet and the founding editor of Undertow Tanka Review. He is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016 Best of the Net nominee. 2nd place in the 2016 Ramón Ataz annual poetry competition, sponsored by Alaire Publishing House. He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems, Elephant Graveyard.

 

Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round.  See our Submission Guidelines page for details on submitting your work.

Start your morning with a nourishing poem.  Follow us on  Twitter, Facebook, and  Tumblr,  and enjoy a new poem every morning straight to your feed.

Dyslateral – A Poem by Sonja Johanson

Dyslateral

Never really could tell which way people meant.
I understand the concept, I truly do, but which
foot to kick the ball with, which way to turn at
the second light, which column in the paper – I’m
not ever going to get it. Do you mean from your
side looking at me, or from my side looking at you?

I could tell you if you really meant vocation or
avocation and when to use whom instead of who;
could determine by smell if there was enough salt
in the sauce, could choose the exact shade of green
to match the wallpaper, but there was only half
a chance I would pull the lever you wanted me to.

My sister was fine with it. She would give me driving
directions saying “my way” or “your way” to guide
me. Now you’re trying to get me to a place I’ve
never been, and I’m looking at the road, but discreetly
rubbing my middle fingers, feeling for the callous I got
on my writing hand, back before we had computers.

 

 

This poem was originally published in Trees in Our Dooryards, Redbird Chapbooks. http://www.redbirdchapbooks.com/content/trees-our-dooryards

 

 

About the Poet:
Sonja Johanson has recent work appearing in the Best American Poetry blog, BOAAT,  Epiphany,  and The Writer’s Almanac.  She is a contributing editor at the Found Poetry Review, and the author of Impossible Dovetail (IDES, Silver Birch Press), all those ragged scars (Choose the Sword Press), and Trees in Our Dooryards (Redbird Chapbooks).  Sonja divides her time between work in Massachusetts and her home in the mountains of western Maine. You can follow her work at www.sonjajohanson.net .

 

 

Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round.  See our Submission Guidelines page for details on submitting your work.

Start your morning with a nourishing poem.  Follow us on  Twitter, Facebook, and  Tumblr,  and enjoy a new poem every morning straight to your feed.

Beach Dweller Manifesto – A Poem by Leah Mueller

Beach Dweller Manifesto

I hated the close of the year
before it ever became
popular, believing the digits
themselves to be ominous-

a number left behind
vanishes into sea,
while a bottle emerges,
containing words
of imminent promise.

I stretch my arm forward:
the bottle tumbles past, followed
by another, until I give up
the catch, and the hunt.

By the end of every year,
I’m ready to begin again.

Facing the winter
with four pairs of new socks
and my eroding good looks,
I push my chest forward
and laugh. They will never stop me.
Let them try.

 

 

About the Poet:
Leah Mueller is an independent writer from Tacoma, Washington. She is the author of one chapbook, Queen of Dorksville, and two full-length books, Allergic to Everything and The Underside of the Snake. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Blunderbuss, Memoryhouse, Outlook Springs, Atticus Review, Sadie Girl Press, Origins Journal, Silver Birch Press, Cultured Vultures, Quail Bell, and many others. She was a featured poet at the 2015 New York Poetry Festival, and a runner-up in the 2012 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry contest.

 

Poetry Breakfast accepts submissions of poetry and poetry related creative non-fiction year-round.  See our Submission Guidelines page for details on submitting your work.

Start your morning with a nourishing poem.  Follow us on  Twitter, Facebook, and  Tumblr,  and enjoy a new poem every morning straight to your feed.

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