Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A New Jersey Poet

It is very rare that I personally get to know a poet whose work is as strong his Dan Maguire's is. Unkown to the world he mostly tramps around the Philadelphia Area reading at local coffee houses and Taverns publishing the occassional poem in well respected journals and getting to workshop with Robert Bly. Last year he got a little recognition. After a reading a man came up to Dan and asked where he could buy a copy of his book. Dan said,"You can't. I don't have one." The man replies,"You do now." It turned out the man was in charge of giving grants to artists, so my friend got some money to put out a book. Here is a poem from "Somewhere Between" from Brief Candle Press, PO Box 176, Maple Shade, New Jersey 08052.


In early June of 1969,
Matthew Calvin, who lived down the street,
suggested that his wife go out for cigarettes,
even though she had a carton by the bed.
He told her Take at least an hour...

call 9-1-1 when you get back.
There must have been a tiny pearl of silence
as they stood eye to eye, then looked away.
He substituted I'll be in my workshop
for good-bye.

An All-American in college,
a soldier and a sportsman--
now, his business failing,
the claw of cancer taking hold--
he could no longer shake the hands

or stroke the silk. I heard my parents
late on enight, heard my father say
Matt Calvin offered me the shore house.
There was an unfamiliar anguish in his voice.
Both he and Matt were fifty-six years old.

Spring sneaks into summer.
June replaces June.
Today, I saw myself reflected,
not in the steamy haze of shaving,
but clearly, in the full-length mirror

I usually avoid. Graying,
more than just a little overweight,
I stared in silence...at my father.
And I thought of Matthew Calvin,
all those Junes ago.

When Khares of Lyndos completed
his Colossus for the people of Rhodes,
he took his accolades, and went to see
the Oracle at Delphi.
He told the Pythia that he had built

the tallest structure in the world,
he fed the sacred snake, and aksed
his question -- what next?
Climb to the top, she said.
Jump off.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:39 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home