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Poetry Breakfast

Serving 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 book reviews to feed poets' and poetry lovers' souls.

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Max Reif

College – A Poem by Max Reif

College
by Max Reif

1.
When I think of how ignorant my parents and I were
about what college was for, I shake my head.

2.
That was after the war
between “The-State-U-Was-Good-Enough-
For-Me-And-It’s-Good-Enough-For-You” (Dad)
and “Ivy-League-Bound-Or-If-Not-
Somewhere-Just-As-Expensive” (Mom & me)
3.
(won by the latter)

4.
& paid for by Dad

5.
sigh

 

 

About the Poet Max Reif:
Somewhere after my breakdown from psychedelics as I turned 21, and my first book, I had a spiritual experience, which turned a key to Poetry! My insides, my formerly Verboten insides, had opened up, opened to the sky, and there seemed no limit to joy, both in expressing my own heart’s perceptions and longings, and in taking in the miracles of what others hearts had penned. In the nearly 1/2 century since then, the “limit” seems to be reached at times, the motherlode dry. But as a friend of mine, a great singer-songwriter named Jim Meyer, has written, “Life has its ups and downs./ Love sinks, and sometimes drowns./ But though the heart feels out of bounds/ within it love is flowing.” The infinite depths of the human heart, it seems, can never be exhausted. Nor can Poetry.

In Travel – A Poem by Max Reif

In Travel

how certain
objects become
like organs of
the body—
wallet,
zipper-folio
with passport,
visa, money,
cell phone (ears
and mouth—
though different
in that one
need not
constantly monitor
the heart to beat
or the lungs to breathe—
they are more
like small children who,
if they stray too far,
will be lost,
and you
will, too.

 

About the Poet:
Max Reif has published three books of poetry, Canticles for Meher, Every Day Music, and Journey from here to HERE. His forthcoming book of stories, Toward an Interior Sun, is being published by The Mindful Word. He has also just recorded a CD of songs, titled The Wake-Up Man. His poem, “Jazz Kahuna”, which appeared in Poetry Breakfast, has been nominated for a 2016 Best of the Net Award. He lives in the San Francisco bay area with his wife, Barbara.

 

 

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.

Childhood Prayers – A Poem by Max Reif

Childhood Prayers

Yes, as a child I prayed,
because the nights in bed
were long and dark
and the days
had already shattered my mind
into gleaming fragments
moving quickly upon
a flame of fear.
Yes, I prayed
into the darkness,
for there were holes
in the safe world
and even my parents
sometimes became
strangers in the house.
I tried to hold our family
safely in my arms
so that it would not shatter too,
along the fault lines I knew,
and leave me all alone.
I prayed and never thought
these prayers trying to find
their way upward through thick
layers of tangled, textured shadow
were answered, but it may be
the prayers themselves were
the answer needed then.
 

 

About the Poet:
Max Reif has published three books of poetry, Canticles for Meher, Every Day Music, and Journey from here to HERE. His forthcoming book of stories, Toward an Interior Sun, is being published by The Mindful Word. He has also just recorded a CD of songs, titled The Wake-Up Man. His poem, Jazz Kahuna, which appeared in POETRY BREAKFAST, has been nominated for a 2016 Best of the Net Award. He lives in the San Francisco bay area with his wife, Barbara.

 

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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.

Slightly Ambivalent Homage to the ’60’s – A Poem by Max Reif

Slightly Ambivalent Homage to the ’60’s

Crucible in which we burned,
smelted like alchemical alembic,
stinking as we purified.
What strange mutations
we became, hoping this
was metamorphosis,
not metastasis!
Each saw
a shining kingdom,
and each conspired
to get there
any way he could.
Some did not
survive the effort.
Some lassoed a vision
and pulled it to Earth,
only to find it empty.
Some died in jungles,
Some got mired
in jungles of the mind
and then
went underground
and disappeared,
detoured down to Hades,
only one day
to push up from
the Earth again,
small, bright shoots
of green
 

About the Poet:
Max Reif has published three books of poetry, Canticles for Meher, Every Day Music, and Journey from here to HERE. His forthcoming book of stories, Toward an Interior Sun, is being published by The Mindful Word. He has also just recorded a CD of songs, titled The Wake-Up Man. His poem, Jazz Kahuna, which appeared in POETRY BREAKFAST, has been nominated for a 2016 Best of the Net Award. He lives in the San Francisco bay area with his wife, Barbara.

 

Photo by

 

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.

Magic – A Poem by Max Reif

Magic

It must be some kind of sorcery,
how we all dip into
the same alphabet-palette
of 26 letters,
and one man comes out
with word-paintings
that create phantoms to fear,
while another’s words point to
the infinity of the gorgeous sky,
and of human possibility.

 

 

About the Poet:
Max Reif has published three books of poetry, Canticles for Meher, Every Day Music, and Journey from here to HERE. His forthcoming book of stories, Toward an Interior Sun, is being published by The Mindful Word. He has also just recorded a CD of songs, titled The Wake-Up Man. His poem, Jazz Kahuna, which appeared in POETRY BREAKFAST, has been nominated for a 2016 Best of the Net Award. He lives in the San Francisco bay area with his wife, Barbara.

 

Photo by

 

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.

Best of the Net Nominations – 2016

Poetry Breakfast would like to congratulate the following poets.  Though it was difficult for us to choose only six poems to nominate for the Best of the Net Award, we narrowed it down to these:

Birthday Present by Joan McNerney

By the Time I Got to Dublin by Carter Vance

Gray River by Patricia Biela

Jazz Kahuna by Max Reif

Knots by Nate Maye

The Problem with California by Maggie Rosen

 

Congratulations!

 

Photo by Benjamin Balazs.

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