Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Poem by Joseph Lisowski

Laureate For A Day

In the dark
     Last night
           I spoke

                   A poem
                          To my empty
                                Living room
                                       Images and sound
                                            Caused powerful
                                                    Knock outs --

                                                            Punches strong
                                                                  Enough to down

                                                                                I was champion
                                                                                     Beyond tears,
                                                                                          Fears of how

                                                                                                  I aged
                                                                                                             To hold on.

From 1986 to 1996, Joseph Lisowski was Professor of English at the University of the Virgin Islands. St. Thomas serves as the setting for three of his detective fiction novels Looking for Lisa, Full Body Rub, and Looking for Lauren. He is now teaching at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina and directing The Center for Teaching Excellence there. Recent chapbooks include JB, a dialogue in poem form between John the Baptist and King Herod (PoetryRepairShop), Stashu Kapinski Strikes Out (Rank Stranger Press), Fatherhood at Fifty (Tamafyhr Mountain Poetry), Art Lessons (Tamafyhr Mountain Poetry), Stashu Kapinski Gets Lucky, (Pudding House Press), and Stashu Kapinski Looks for Love (erbacce press, Liverpool, UK). (Stashu Kapinski is an amalgam of voices from the Lawrenceville neighborhood in Pittsburgh where I grew up—unemployed steel workers, chronic drunks, disenfranchised immigrants—who, in spite of it all, have not totally given up hope.) 
Joseph Lisowski has lived many lives: as a wide-eyed boy, a keeper of keys, a beach comber… (There are poems somewhere commemorating them all.) Now he regularly bicycles along the banks of the Pasquotank River near the outer banks of North Carolina where he and his wife Linda are both professors at Elizabeth City State University.

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