Poetry 365

October 1, 2011

Poet Matthew Rohrer

October is here, and we couldn’t be further from National Poetry Month.  At this point, April is but a speck on the distant horizon, we’ve lost radio contact, and even the most steadfastly optimistic are starting to worry she’ll never return.  But take heart, dear reader.  April may be far away, but poetry never left.  It lives here year round, and to celebrate this happy fact, we’re unveiling Poetry 365.  Each non-April month, this new Off the Shelf feature will highlight a contemporary poet’s most recent work as both prelude and encore to the big poetry party in the spring.  We kick things off with Griffin Poetry Prize finalist Matthew Rohrer’s collection Destroyer and Preserver.  Tender, organic, and unnervingly humorous, Rohrer’s latest “illuminates the modern plight: trying to figure out how to be a thoughtful citizen, parent, and person as the landscape of terror and history worms its way into our everyday existence.”  Check it out, sample a poem below, and make sure to stop back for Poetry 365

Poem for Starlings

When you try to make a joke
in a bank
it falls flat
there’s an armed guard
standing there
wearing sunglasses indoors
but no one laughs
in fact my intentions
are misunderstood
no, no, I am just
going to walk out
the door and come back in
to turn my coins
into paper money
in the sunshine
I’m on my way
with my jacket
in my backpack
and the steel
grates over the pubs
early afternoon
my step as high
as the starlings
bickering in the sky
the birdsong
of the city
and the paper lifting off
the sidewalks
goodbye, I wish
the world were different

Russell J.  (Reader’s Services)

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