I have many books to catch up on. But, having read her poems, I can recommend this book before having had a chance to actually read it.
Not only is Jennifer Maritza McCauley an important voice in the world of poetry, she supports other poets with grace and humility. I lack the ability to properly promote this book. I haven’t the words to do this collection justice.
Support this poet, purchase this collection, read it, become inspired, and tell others.
CARRIE DANAHER HOYT is a life-long lover and writer of poetry. It is her humble opinion that poetry is the highest form of human communication. Poems (she says) at once highlight what is unique and what is universal in humanity; the bond between writer and reader is intimate and sincere (kind of like Facebook, only better).
Carrie lives in Massachusetts where she is a wife and mother of three school-aged kids. To pay the bills (as her poems don’t yet do this) she works as an estate planning attorney. Beside family and poetry, she loves travel, volunteer work and concerts.
Mr. Pitchford’s poems bookend our first issue of Twitterization. Normally, we select a poem and work to pair it with a photograph or piece of art. Sometimes we send our photographer/artist to create an image that will compliment the poet’s work. Since Mr. Pitchford’s poems provide an introduction, we chose to work a little differently and sent him a collection of photographs that would hopefully inspire him to write a few poems to close out Issue #1. We were not disappointed. The only change we made was with the image used for the last poem “Purple Pastoral” (at the photographer’s request). Enjoy.
Poetry from Bryan J. Pitchford
Images by Ryan Schaufler
Setting up shop in a condemned building = $0
Board games & puzzles missing pieces = .75¢
Scratch & dent kitchen dishes = $4
Eternal salvation = .50¢
never seen a comet drop out of the sky,
tail of fire burning off the blues,
as it passes through the sun’s eye.
kneel down here, feel
warm, vibrating metal
listen, stories on the tracks
from everywhere and nowhere
man forgot his fear of God,
forgot Babylon and Jacob’s ladder,
erected steel altars to scrape the sky.
lost his footing and fell further than Lucifer.
after the games have been played
and the crowds leave the stadium,
the sky bleeds and light struggles
in the haze. beautiful and terrible
black lightning strikes.
Under the Bridge
they wait in the junkyard under the bridge
praying for new life, new purpose, but
only cannibals come to cut and gut them
until they oxidize and slouch into the dirt
Grandma found an angel in a thrift store.
Soon more angels apparated on her piano,
guiding her students with mæstro-like precision.
Conjuring notes from their wands.
Assembly lines march past brick & mortar storefronts,
corner diners, and row houses sinking into the concrete.
Blue collar men & women leave their children at the gated doors of dreary nurseries.
Guided by pillars of salt & smoke, they trudge on and on wearing grooves into sidewalks.
Factories allow strict 15 minutes for morning cigarettes, 30 minutes for lunch, and 15 minutes for afternoon cigarettes before the final whistle blows.
They buy their clothes once from generation to generation, sometimes passing them down along with their guilt and hereditary ailments.
Trees do grow in concrete jungles, but there are no nests. Birds all flew South the last Winter, and North and East and West in every direction.
Worshipping between adobe walls before there
was ever a roof.
Eating peyote before there was ever bread and
Speaking in tongues to mask their disdain for
one another. The congregation waves and
sways like blades of diseased grass.
Acid melts the landscape and blends the trees
into the buildings and surround sand.
The Lizard King was here twice; once as a child
in the back of the family Buick, and again as
an adult searching for his soul.
Now the tin roof echoes, deflecting the pastor’s
spittle, the fire and brimstone ricochet from pew to
pew drilling through thick and hollow skulls.
Hallowed ground made holier in reverse.
BRYAN J. PITCHFORD earned an MFA in Creative Writing from National University. He is an aspiring U.S. Poet Laureate. Aside from writing, performing, and publishing poetry, he works for the Florida Army National Guard as a Logistics Officer. For more information, visit https://bryanjpitchford.com/.
A working man who no longer knows more than
the work he’s done over a cluster of time,
has now entered a “dog year” of his career
in hope to redirect his point of being without
the rabid effect from Sirius’s bite.
Yet, how can he sell his soul to another company
for equal or greater value than the stranglehold of his master
who groomed him in the new world long ago?
The equity of his indentured service is so close to freedom,
he can’t start over now!
He doesn’t understand a bridge loan towards a new home,
for he has forgotten his natural born blessings
and fears exposure of his calculated sin!
His “what ifs” fly like leaves from an autumn shook tree,
and the sky doesn’t have any youthful heat
to melt the blustery gray flurries that trap him
in a self-raked pile of incapability.
He wishes the parental gods could speak again
upon the rays that once guided him,
but now the clouds shall never break
and his prayers are only showered on his will.
KEN WOODALL has been writing poetry for over 30 years, beginning with creative writing in high school, and minored in English at UW-Milwaukee with emphasis on creative writing.
During college, he was introduced to open mic reading at a number of venues in Milwaukee. He was featured at a popular local venue for the first time in 2006, and has been featured annually since.
In 2007, he began an open “mic-less” night at a coffee house, and in 2009 shifted to another coffee house where he continues to host the venue.