Monday, August 25, 2014

Poet in the Loop: John Milkereit

Friendswood Public Library's off the page poetry series presents Poets in the Loop on Wednesday, September 17 at 7pm. Poets in the Loop is a Houston area poetry critique group with published and award winning poets. Join us for an evening of creative and insightful poetry. 

John Milkereit is from Chicago and was a traveling salesperson selling industrial pumps for over fifteen years. He began writing poetry in 2005 after attending a poetry seminar at his local church. Since then, Pudding House has published two of his chapbooks and his poems have appeared in various literary journals such as Big River Poetry Review and San Pedro River Review. Not satisfied with his work in print, he recorded sixteen poems in March at a recording studio and made a download card with a CD version forthcoming. He is currently enrolled in his second year of a low-residency M.F.A. program in Creative Writing at the Rainier Writing Workshop in Tacoma, WA.

Gumbo Season

Dark, glimmering roux, another pot
done for the Super Bowl
ten-count gulf shrimp pinked
and anchored in Houston,
a wave of bayous cutting through spreads
of chocolate greens. I’m an authentic chef
standing in my own kitchen chopping
white onions with naked hands,
slaying celery stalks, hulling poblano
peppers. Today, I sizzle pecan-smoked
sausage and come-to-Jesus cups
of stock. I’m not tenderness, rather more as leather
is standing on a wood-slatted floor, stirring.
I’m on the up and up over okra, a sin
not to have what is rightful. Cilantro is a song
I sing until my arm hobbles away from this spoon.
I’m orthodoxy about a Lone Star’s beer dribbling
into soup. My tongue can’t hitch with sherry.
My head is thick and bursts open, a robin,
yearning for flavor, cradling astonishment
and quiet apertures of those seasons before.
It’s that season again when friends return,
oiled for seconds.

If We Lived at Sarah Oppenheimer’s D-17

you’d paint the switch plates
under the hammered aluminum roof
even though there is no electricity.

Jutting through glass and brick is what broke apart
as if snow fell and drifted against alleyways.

You’d say we’re living under a white, sleek jet wing,
and I wouldn’t disagree.

I don’t know where you’d hang your dresses.
We’ve never opened closet doors together.

Windows, who ever needed windows? You’d want rain
droplets falling onto your face even though I’d spiral
into a weathered personality disorder.

I’d want to ski a slope into the entrance
of your heart, but what I learned in
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin failed.

Every elevator pretends I’m an elephant slowly
descending into corners with busted flaps.

Yet this is where we’re magnificently crashed.

You’d awaken under a rhombus lifting off mornings.
I’d crust open imbedded parallelograms,
and we’d break boundary layers under the long
neck of this swan.

~John Milkereit

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