Books Magazine

Poetry Weekly

By Gabrielscala

The week’s best online poetry with excerpts, links and (occasional) commentary by yours truly. This week features poetry by Marvin Bell, Debra Marquart, Reginald Harris and Jen Benka.


  • “The Book of the Dead Man (food)” by Marvin Bell:

1. About the Dead Man and Food

The dead man likes chocolate, dark chocolate.
The dead man remembers custard as it was, spumoni as it was, shave
ice as it was.
The dead man talks food with an active tongue, licks his fingers, takes
seconds, but has moved on to salads.
It’s the cheese, it’s the crunch of the crunchy, it’s the vinegar in the oil
that makes a salad more than grass….


  • “How Bad News Comes” by Debra Marquart:

A telephone rings
like an emergency
six times each minute
in a room down
the hall. I think
of the one to whom
bad news is coming.
At the market,
she touches fruit.
Driving home,
she strums her fingers
on the steering wheel….read more at The Writer’s Almanac


  • “Normal” by Reginald Harris

walk long enough
with a pebble in your shoe
and walking with a pebble becomes

you no longer notice
the discomfort the limp is just
another thing to live with
pain just another fact of life

until someone you haven’t seen for a time
asks Why are you limping
and you remember ….Read more at Split This Rock


  • “Zulu” by Jen Benka

fasting in milwaukee  hunger strike protesting  investments
in south africa  army surplus jackets and white armbands
what do we want when do we want it  end oppression
pronounced like apart  hate the poet said….


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