Thursday, August 16, 2012

Two Poems by Jeanpaul Ferro

Southernmost Point


After years in Salina , rain-bands drifting
up north toward New England ,

ten thousand days of the monotonous
green flat of Oklahoma ,

taking my family and driving them south,
as south as one can go in the lower forty eight,

where the road ends and life begins,
the southernmost point of Key West—

At the edge of the sea’s shaking helmet,

where dreams swim beneath the shafts of green
water with the rock hind and the juv fish.

A place where you can see Havana
and the Yucatan Peninsula ,

hurricanes that float as far north as
the Sigsbee Knolls,

up over land into the Mississippi Delta,
past New Orleans and the flood plains,

past the stars one hundred billion light years away,
blue super giants collapsing into neutron stars,

our heads emptying, calmness flowing,
blue, down into our throats,

peace coming, euphoria, something none
of us have ever felt before—

in the north, on the plains,
in the mountains—

skies full of thunder, every thought
I have ever tried to forget:

father’s coffin being lowered
down into his grave,

that car wreck up on Suicide 6
when I saw her arm hanging out,

seeing her leave me like that,

looking at her when she didn’t look like
herself lying down in that coffin,

all the reasons why we leave sometimes,

all those dry silos full of our abandoned
dreams up north.


September Again On East Beach Road

The tourists on bicycles ride half in your way
down the broken up old beach road, these beautiful
seeds floating on high amid the aerial trapeze of

station wagons all packed up,
most of the driveways already empty,
swollen roses broken apart in trails below their vines,
all the golden-red haired surfers arriving in a nick
of time,

a half-moon in the sky like all of this is still summer,
a sheen of August at rest over the uncovered parts of
the lifeguard’s tender body,

broken stars suddenly coming out at twilight,
all these wind sails skating across the flat-blue surface
of Ninigret Pond,

A laughing bald guy from Jersey with spider
eyebrows begins to sit there on East Beach as
he stares out at the ghost of Block Island,

the wind getting colder;
the summer flashing by in the blink of his eye.

Jéanpaul Ferro is a novelist, short fiction author, and poet from Providence, Rhode Island. An 8-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Jéanpaul’s work has appeared on NPR, Contemporary American Voices, Columbia Review, Emerson Review, Connecticut Review, Portland Monthly, and others. He is the author of All The Good Promises (Plowman Press, 1994), Becoming X (BlazeVox Books, 2008), You Know Too Much About Flying Saucers (Thumbscrew Press, 2009), Hemispheres (Maverick Duck Press, 2009) Essendo Morti – Being Dead (Goldfish Press, 2009), nominated for the 2010 Griffin Prize in Poetry; and Jazz (Honest Publishing, 2011) nominated for both the 2012 Griffin Prize in Poetry and the 2012 Kingsley Tufts Prize in Poetry. He is represented by the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency. He currently lives along the south coast of southern Rhode Island . Website: * E-mail:

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