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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.

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George Bishop

Passing on Grace by George Bishop

Passing on Grace
by George Bishop

The word and the act at dinner became unclear—
the goodwill of allowing everyone equal portions

seemed more meaty, the secret recipe of something-
battered fish closer to the prayer we all prayed

differently. If you kept yours open you could watch
each eye making corrections beneath lightly veined

lids, weighing something, spices maybe. Once, over
dessert, someone even asked me if I believed God

could change His mind—ghost-quick I began
sniffing through my bible backyards where the dog

inside has always buried such bones. Not sure,
I told him without telling him as he told me

he wasn’t sure what he meant, passed on grace,
said some things could’ve been better. I wanted

to know what they were but knew translations
are all that reach us, hearsay our hidden selves

speak. A god-nod filled my heart like a well
deserved belch, heaven moving away in perfect

circles of empty plates. Breakfast soon, eggs up
making more perfect circles, and there’s obedience

at a cave wall painting fire to stone, blowing it
for words. Praise the birds in the morning, all

the sounds they have for light, all the light
in their sounds. Amen.

George Bishop’s latest work appears in New Plains Review & Lunch Ticket. New work will be included in Naugatuck River Review and The Penwood Review. Bishop is the author of four chapbooks, most recently “Old Machinery” from Aldrich Publishing. His full length collection, “Expecting Delays” will be released by FutureCycle Press in 2013. He attended Rutgers University and now lives and writes in Kissimmee, Florida.

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Cleaning Up by George Bishop

Cleaning Up
(away from the shelter)
by George Bishop

After dinner, after the good hunt has gone to bed,
I think about how easy it was to pass on a few things,
how No and Thank you had that momentary flavor of friends.
I also remember how my tongue used to lick the air under

bright signs, how the neon felt dripping down my cheeks

as another homeless night drew near. I’ve been around
when dinner cancelled itself, known the dinners between
dinners, heard voices try to find the pitch of my dead mother.
I’ve come home for different reasons, washed up for hours.

George Bishop’s latest work appears in New Plains Review & Lunch Ticket. New work will be included in Naugatuck River Review and The Penwood Review. Bishop is the author of four chapbooks, most recently “Old Machinery” from Aldrich Publishing. His full length collection, “Expecting Delays” will be released by FutureCycle Press in 2013. He attended Rutgers University and now lives and writes in Kissimmee, Florida.

Barrier Island by George Bishop

Barrier Island
after a sudden loss
by George Bishop

I know the absence, the gravity
of everything unoccupied, missing
shapes that were shaped so much like
you, the permission to shift blame
seemed a given—forgiveness felt
close, close as it can come before
it can’t be trusted, believed only

by its maker. Each day an oar floats
by from the other side, fingerprints
pressed in the grain, and you know
someone’s circling somewhere
getting used to the idea of breathing
without taking a breath. The sand’s
open to every empty page, the urge

to write something drying on your
tongue—you want to describe
the bridge before it was became
unsafe, it’s wooden frame, single
lane and no weight limit. It’s hard
living when we have to leave
everything that healed behind.

George Bishop’s latest work appears in New Plains Review & Lunch Ticket. New work will be included in Naugatuck River Review and The Penwood Review. Bishop is the author of four chapbooks, most recently “Old Machinery” from Aldrich Publishing. His full length collection, “Expecting Delays” will be released by FutureCycle Press in 2013. He attended Rutgers University and now lives and writes in Kissimmee, Florida.

Climbing the Stairs of an Old Hotel by George Bishop

Climbing the Stairs of an Old Hotel
by George Bishop

This was no hotel—not then and barely now. The freight
elevator, the only elevator, says so. So—I take the stairs.

At each landing I sense a fire door opening somewhere
without opening. Something’s always following you,

but this was different like dormant genes taking shape,
ready for some changes. I’m sure. Sure as I was when

I turned away from the elevator opening in the lobby,
seeing only the toothless mouth of an old man coming

in and out of a coma. Sixth floor—the last floor. The halls
speak of truckage, other traffic patterns. The door’s open

when I reach the room. Out of breath, I notice how bright
the lights are through the crack, that the indoor-outdoor carpet

is mostly outdoor, pieced together like neighborhoods no longer
safe. As I tried to imagine where the continental breakfast was

being prepared, I realized it had been years since I felt this
at home so far from home, so happy room service was dead,

overwhelmed that there was no chance in hell for a wakeup call.
I’d sleep—dream of taking the elevator just once. Just once.

George Bishop’s latest work appears in New Plains Review & Lunch Ticket. New work will be included in Naugatuck River Review and The Penwood Review. Bishop is the author of four chapbooks, most recently “Old Machinery” from Aldrich Publishing. His full length collection, “Expecting Delays” will be released by FutureCycle Press in 2013. He attended Rutgers University and now lives and writes in Kissimmee, Florida.

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