Poetry at the Harlow: Ted Bookey, Herb Coursen, Dave Morrison

Ted Bookey, Herb Coursen and Dave Morrison will read from their poetry on Friday, November 18, 2010 at 7 PM. Suggested donation $3. Light refreshments served. For further information please call 685–3636

October Saturday: 1949

When I was seventeen,

the quarterback gave me the ball, and

the hole opened

up, right where it said it would be

on the blackboard.

And I kept on going,

and going. I was an

x attached to an arrow. It was

like making love

to a woman, although I must

admit, I did

not know that at the time. —Herb Coursen

The Power of It

Ruth woke sad today. “Life,” she says,

“has been behaving itself & hopeful

expectations continue, so why now

nameless dread & mope at sunrise?

What is it? What can it be?”

I do not know but I will try.

To help her against it

—whatever it is

I put my arms around her,

Tell her, “What it is, is

there come moments

When it is simply it.”

I say this for myself

As much as for her—

That it is just it.

& it helps. —Ted Bookey

Best Poem

The poet stepped to the
microphone and cleared
his throat. It was his
best poem, he thought;
painstakingly crafted using
an ancient and complicated
Italian form, it laid his
heart open to the listener.

This poem was the distillation
of every poem he had ever written,
an epic that would at last
illuminate his quiet pain, his
soul-ache.

He read the poem boldly,
Simply, the words asking flight
Out of his mouth like swallows
out of a barn; he held nothing back.

When the lovely woman with the
kind eyes approached him, it was
clear that the poem had done its
work; she, the sympathetic listener

now knew his poet’s heart.

They spoke little – there was no need.
After a few glasses of wine she drove
them to her bungalow. Once inside, she
took him onto her lap and rocked him,
cooing and kissing the top of his head.

She led him into a small room, undressed him.
And tucked him into a little bed. She turned on
a bedside lamp shaped like a hot-air balloon that
filled the room with a soft pink glow.

Smoothing his hair, she asked him if he wanted her
to leave the light on…
…tomorrow, he knew, he would have to take a
good hard look at the poem, and make some
changes. —Dave Morrison