Modern Metrics, a rising press for metrical poetry in New York, has just published two chapbooks by very fine poets. These are:
From Prospero at Breakfast by Alan Wickes
ABOVE Placa Real the palm trees nod
like caged giraffes. Pubescent prostitutes,
dressed up in ra-ra skirts and Lurex boots
patrol their pitch. As evening falls an odd
pink light pervades the patched Baroque arcade.
A girl steps from the shadows, face aglow,
like some doomed saint by Caravaggio;
her sallow beauty mocks the drab parade.
Across the faded square a duo plays
upon accordion and clarinet,
up-beat and strangely phrased, ‘Those Were the Days.’
Fooled by the atmosphere of veiled regret,
we quietly deny what we became,
pretending yet, ‘our dreams are still the same.’
North Church Street
From Graceways by Austin MacRae
THERE are no churches here. But folks don’t care.
I love how lives hang flapping on a line,
their threadbare faith a figuring of air;
the man who rocks himself and spies a sign
of kingdom come; the birds that congregate
to plead their case from glittering wires and shit.
I love the drunk who finds his twinkling fate
at the bottom of his pint and swallows it;
I love the kids with whipping sticks in hand.
I love the siren’s scream, the child’s reply.
I love how shelled-out, old Victorians stand
with shuttered eyes, shuddering at the sky.
I love the grave misnomer of this place,
and in it find a certain kind of grace.
You are strongly encouraged to check out Modern Metrics’ website and order copies. The press publishes important poets’ work at its own expense. Well worth the price of your support.