Welcome to Post-weekend Poetry and the one hundred and twentieth poem in this series. This week’s piece is by Michael McGrinder.
Come in, please.
I’d like you to pose for a poem.
Yes, of course, I’m serious.
Would you like coffee?
Black, no sugar.
It’s how I drink mine,
and I really wasn’t expecting company.
Turn to the left—your own.
Now to the right. Back again, just a little.
Right there. Hold it.
This light’s not all it could be.
Your brow furrows
but you have interesting laugh lines.
Your heart is warm
and you’re too serious about yourself.
You take on the troubles of others.
(Take them off, please.)
Perhaps they’re a form of escape.
(Yes, all of them.)
I see you in somber yellows
washes of blue
with small coils of red
hurtling toward the circumference.
Blacks fading to gray. Bold whites.
There’s some nice depth here
without the need for a coherent philosophy.
Your coffee’s cold.
Tomorrow again? An hour later.
We’ll try a different light,
explore a new perspective.
I asked Michael what prompted this piece and he said…
I have spent most of my adult life in the company of artists, and in the art community. Artists always seem to have the most fun, and they can socialize while creating. I have never been an envious person, but this struck me as a desirable situation. I decided to explore it via poetry. I was thinking something lighter when I started the poem, but art is so much more interesting when we allow it to lead the way. I was paid twelve dollars ($12) for its publication, which came as a nice surprise—twelve dollars more than I’ve been paid for some plays. It is now the title poem for a book I am publishing with KDP and with CreateSpace—target date July 2nd.
Thank you, Michael. It was lovely. I can just imagine the poet (you?) speaking.
Michael McGrinder is a veteran of Off-Off-Broadway’s early years, having worked primarily at The Old Reliable Theatre Tavern in New York’s Alphabet City on East 3rd Street between Aves B & C. As a popular actor-director, Neil Flanagan, once said, “It’s easy to find. Just turn left at the burning automobile.” And playwright-actor Jeanine O’Reilly: “No wonder we get such good crowds. Everyone’s afraid to come here alone.”
McGrinder’s one-act play, The Foreigners, was cited by Other Stages as “One of Off-Off’s Best”. His work has also been seen at La MaMa, Miranda, The Playwrights Workshop Club, Bastiano’s Cellar, Gallery Players, Boston Conservatory, and inFragments—the walking tour of the East Village (Peculiar Works Project). His No Saletoured correctional institutions under the aegis of Theatre for the Forgotten with Terrence McNally’s Next. He was, with Stanley Nelson, editor-publisher of Proscenium: The Theatre Newsletter. They were also co-hosts of an early cable public access show called Proscenium, later when Nelson resigned called, Michael McGrinder Presents.
The Old Reliable Press, his newly formed independent press, clearly takes its name from and honors his favorite theatrical venue. He is better known as a poet in England where he lived for several years prior to the Off-Off experience.
Awards include: The Scene Playwright’s Award, Writers Forum Poetry Competition (London), and a USAF Short Story Award judged by Agatha Christie; part of the award included having dinner with that grand dame.
Poet’s Model, a book and ebook of his poetry, will be published in early July, at which time the poems on his blogs will be taken down, though others will go up. You can find Michael via michaelmcgrinder.com and oldreliablepress.com.
If you’d like to submit your poem (60 lines max) for consideration for Post-weekend Poetry take a look here or a poem for critique on the Online Poetry Writing Group (link below).
- and from this blog, advice from Alice Shapiro, Angelita Williams, Cendrine Marrouat, John J Hohn, Kerry Hammerton, Phillip Ellis.
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