Publication News: riverbabble 28

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The Apostrophe Blog

Musings on Writing and Life.

Over the years, a number of my poems were featured at riverbabble, a literary journal that unfortunately is no longer online. riverbabble was founded in Berkeley, California in 2002 by Pandemonium Press and published twice a year—once in June, the Bloom’s Day Issue, and once in January, the Winter Solstice Issue. Every month, the Press also curated a reading series at the Spice Monkey Restaurant in Oakland, California.

In Winter 2016, riverbabble published two of my poems, “Before the chainsaw and the chain-link and the backhoe” and “Same As It Ever Was”—both are below.

Same as It Ever Was

The soloing golden gladiolus
bloom is now broken, spent

toppled in wind?
yesterday’s hasty downpour?

while one more solitary
hollyhock rooted to the step

is colonized by
entropy’s invincible rust.

Before the chainsaw and the chain-link and the backhoe

there was an orchard
an apricot tree, unpicked
fruit that dropped to the sidewalk, splat
revelations in each pit
one week, plums
after, the prettiest apples, striped
you wanted to gather
each bushel, usable from those trees
haul pecks to the latter-day hippies
beg them to dry, chutney, somehow preserve
all that ripening, daily going to waste—
too late, the Cascadia Fruit Tree Project
kids gone, ditto their corner-lot farm
uprooted the white
lilacs—now particle boards rise in their place
profligate our dalliance, how it’s always about
exceptional American excess
if there is a god, before she leaves, she is going
to tell us we made
a royal motherfucking mess

The public domain image above is a 2016 photograph by Szilas of an 1888 Van Gogh painting called Orchard with Blossoming Apricot Trees.

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