The “As We Keep Our Distance” Virtual Poet’s Stage

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Although we are maintaining social distance and staying at home we can still kick off National Poetry Month with a great poetry feature event planned just for you!!!

Join us online as we present 3 outstanding Poets who will be featuring at this online event.

Facebook Event Page:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1976594842484926

Details

Date:  Sunday, April 5th, 2020

Time:  4:00PM EDT to 5:30PM EDT (GMT-6)

21 years and over please

Admission:  Free

No Open Mic for this one

Location: Online – https://us04web.zoom.us/j/502610098

– instructions for first time Zoom users can be found at bottom of this post

Featured Poets

  • Laurel Peterson – Author, Poet, 2016-2019 Poet Laureate Norwalk CT
  • Van Hartman—Author, Poet – Norwalk CT
  • Jane Ormerod—Author, Poet, Founding Editor of great weather for MEDIA – New York, NY

Hosted by Jerry T. Johnson

BIOS

Laurel S. Peterson

Laurel S. Peterson is an English professor at Norwalk Community College and her poetry has been published in many literary journals. She has two chapbooks,That’s the Way the Music Sounds (Finishing Line Press) and Talking to the Mirror (Last Automat Press). Her full length collection, Do You Expect Your Art to Answer? (Futurecycle Press) was released in January 2017. She has also written a mystery novel, Shadow Notes, which is available through Barking Rain Press. Laurel served as the town of Norwalk, Connecticut’s poet laureate from 2016 – 2019.

Van Hartman

Van Hartmann is a Professor of English at Manhattanville College.  He received his B.A. in History from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina.  His poetry has appeared in numerous journals.  He has published two books of poetry (Shiva Dancing, Texture Press, 2007, and Riptide, Texture Press, 2016) and a chapbook (Between What Is and What Is Not, The Last Automat Press, 2010). He lives in Norwalk, Connecticut with his wife, Laurel Peterson. He can be contacted at Van.Hartmann@mville.edu or at van.hartmann@gmail.com.

Jane Ormerod

Jane Ormerod is the author of the full-length poetry collections Welcome to the Museum of Cattle and Recreational Vehicles on Fire (both from Three Rooms Press), and the chapbook 11 Films (Modern Metrics/EXOT Books). Her work also appears in numerous publications including  From Somewhere to Nowhere: The End of the American Dream, Maintenant, Marsh Hawk Press Review, Post (stranger), The Pedestal, Sensitive Skin, and Paris Lit Up. She is a founding editor at great weather for MEDIA. www.greatweatherformedia.com

If you are new to Zoom, follow these instructions

  1. Go to the Facebook Event Details (or the About tab) and select/tap the Zoom link.
  2. You may receive a prompt to copy link, if that happens, highlight the link, copy it and past it in the address field of your browser and press enter (or paste and go)
  3. If it is your first time using zoom,you will receive a prompt that says the download should automatically start – if it does not, just press the download here link.
  4. Once the application downloads, Zoom will start and you will press Join Meeting and you will automatically join the meeting.
  5. If the application does not download, press the “join from your browser” button that is displayed.

Day #42

Day #42

On January 7th, I decided to spend 50 days working on my next chapbook. Today is day #42. I have written 5 new poems since I started this journey.

I pause to remember when I picked up the pen. It was the summer of 1992 when I decided to write for public consumption. I’d always written for myself but after a few writing classes I started looking towards submitting my work. My first poem was published in the fall of 1992. Shortly afterwards, I stopped writing. I was promoted at my day job and took on a 100% travel assignment. I lived on the road, traveling from city to city, sleeping in hotel after hotel all across the USA.

It wasn’t long after that when I found myself living and traveling overseas for nearly 6 years. I came back to the USA, focused on family, raising 2 wonderful little girls and concentrating on my day job career.

In the Spring of 2013, I was home alone. My wife was traveling, the children grown and gone. I was watching a television show, “Elementary”, and the subject matter of that night’s episode’s caught my attention, my thoughts churned, I looked at the junk mail envelopes laying on the floor. ( I normally go through junk mail while watching TV)

I found a pen, picked up the junk mail envelopes and started writing on them. I wrote for 2 hours that night and that is when it all started again. I’ve been writing ever since.

Day #47

Day #47

On January 7th, I decided to spend 50 days working on my next chapbook. Today is day #47. I have been working diligently on a new piece titled “Pillars Salt, Pillars Stone”. I’m submitting it to Rattle Respond tonight. If accepted, rights will return to me just in time for my book release.

I love this piece and I do believe that it represents some of my best work. I did a lot with punctuation in this piece. I normally don’t use punctuation but lately I have been thinking about using it a lot. What really helped me decide was my taking a look at several poems in said magazine and noticed punctuation in a lot of the poems that the magazine contained. I thought to myself, hmmm, perhaps for this journal and others, my lack of punctuation is holding me back.

I tried adding punctuation to “Pillars Salt, Pillars Stone” and I liked how the poem flowed. It looked good. I felt like I was letting the reader know when to slow down, when to pause, when to stop and when to start up again.

I feel like I will be using more punctuation for certain works in the future. We’ll see. I’m done with “Pillars Salt, Pillars Stone” for now. Time to rest. I will rest for a day or two, read someone else’s work while I’m resting, watch one of my favorite television shows, etc. After rest, I will pick up the proverbial pen again. See you at my next post.

Afternoon Lunches at O’Hare

Part VI – Afternoon Lunches at O’Hare

From the Business Travel Log

The cavernous passageway between concourses L and H is vibrant with the movement of people. Business travelers, tourists, airport workers, TSAs, security officers and more flow in both directions. A few talk excitedly as they walk, others walk with earbuds plugged into their ears and some are like zombies, blanked faced, slowly trudging along, staring straight ahead.

I look out the tall, wide windows. Baggage trucks dart around airplanes and food trucks are raised up to aircraft loading doors by heavy duty cranes. Far away at the edge of the horizon, the silhouette of Chicago’s skyline stands tall.

I enjoy afternoon lunches at O’Hare. I remember the time I had meatloaf here in the same spot facing the same passageway and the same tall windows. That restaurant is gone. Another has taken its place and they do not serve meatloaf.

I was quite tired then and I’m quite tired now. Back then I wrote a poem titled “Meatloaf at the Airport.” Right now I’m writing this blog post. History does repeat itself, I think.

“May I have my check please?”

“Thanks for stopping by”, says my server 3 minutes later.

He leaves the check on my table. One sausage dog and a sparkling water for a total of $15.32 reads the long slip of paper.

“I’ll be right back”, he says taking my credIt card as he dashed to the register.

I leave the signed slip along with a tip on the table, grab my bags and I head towards my gate. The dog was good but I miss my meatloaf. I reminisce about the last time I ate here:

MEATLOAF AT THE AIRPORT

I’m eating a late lunch at an airport,

at a restaurant named after a notable, 

noted, well known chef

who deserves redundant adjectives

for the food is just that good.

Maybe it’s not the healthiest choice,

turkey meatloaf wrapped

in a thin slice of bacon,

mashed potatoes smothered

in a layer of light brown, turkey flavored gravy.

 

The meat loaf looked like it was gently placed

by gentle hands on top of the potatoes 

while thin cut, brown coat onion rings

were sprinkled over the layered stack, 

topped with one last spoon of gravy,

just a dripping from top to bottom.

I have prime seating, facing main concourses,

two in the afternoon, prime space,

prime time, prime people watching,

truly, it does take all kinds to make a world.

I peer at the large windows, 

gazing outside, I see several planes

parked at several gates and I think:

it’s gonna be a long ride.

#travellogforatravelblog

#jerryjohnsonblog jtjohnpoet.com