*Hope by Neamat Haidari. Hope for a better future*
Ariadne’s Notes: On October 11, 1-2 pm PST, we welcomed two important guests to the World Poetry Café Radio Show. Referrals from World Poetry Media Correspondent Melanie Simms. College professor and award winning poet Jerry Wimple share his thoughts on writing poetry and also mentioned that some of his students , when asked how they spent their vacations or weekends answered that they only stay home so that they can be safe. It is so sad that it is unsafe from them to go out except to go to school. It was a fascinating interview and is worth listening to. One of his poems is below.
Unfortunately, the publisher Laurence Knorr was not able to get through but we hope to welcome him at another time. Rounding out the show was an e-poem by Katherine Gordon from her upcoming book Caution, Deep Water and Creative Tips on Publishing from Creativity Rocks by Ariadne Sawyer.
***A reminder that the World Poetry Café is fundraising to keep us on the air. If you appreciate the volunteer work that we do, bringing poets, creators and artists cross the world and want to contribute to keep our 20 year old show on the air, please go to www.coopradio.org and click on members, donations. Please also put in the name of our show so that the money can be credited to our account. WE NEED YOUR HELP! It costs $1,000 per year to keep the show on air and we are all volunteers. In return, you will get two interviews per year and membership on our upcoming WP Media Page. ***
A Pennsylvania native, Jerry Wemple writes frequently about the people and places of the Susquehanna Valley region. His work includes three poetry collections: You Can See It from Here, selected by Pulitzer Prize-winner Yusef Komunyakaa for the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, The Civil War in Baltimore, and most recently The Artemas Poems. He is co-editor of the anthology Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania. His poetry and creative nonfiction work appear in numerous journals and anthologies, and have been published internationally in Ireland, Chile, Spain, and Germany.
Wemple, a Professor of English at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, is the recipient of several awards for writing and teaching including a Fellowship in Literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Word Journal chapbook prize. He received the Dean’s Salute to Excellence for his teaching and scholarship at Bloomsburg, the Bloomsburg University Institute for Culture and Society award for Outstanding Creative Work, and the Jack and Helen Evans Endowed Faculty Fellowship.
Back in the days when your grandfather’s father,
maybe his father, was a young man down at the shore
amusement piers or the scruffy city lots over near
the wrong side of town, they used to call them nickel rides:
steel boxes jacking up and down, bucking around,
make your back feel like it was worked over with crowbar,
your hips like they was smacked with a plank.
Back in my day, word was out about those nickel rides
on the Philly streets. I was in from the country, hard
down by the river and the woods, but even
I knew what was what. Saw clear enough that one day
while stretching my legs near the 30th Street station
waiting in between long-run trains, when the paddy wagon
pulled up and four cops jumped out, jumped a man I hardly
noticed, whacking him good with long sticks. I figured soon
enough that I needed to take a left, cross the street,
head up another, act like never saw nothing, especially
a side-vision glance of him being cuffed and dumped
in the back of the wagon for a nickel ride. That unit
screech-lurching down the street like the driver wanted
to bust the brakes and run out all the gas all at once.
First off, the war on drugs is a concept. There ain’t a war on drugs;
there’s a war on people. All wars have casualties, atrocities.
All wars have losers. Only some wars have winners. Tonight
I see Charm City up in flames. Orange tongues of fire taunt
us from brick buildings. The old people say it’s just as it was
back as the King riot, nearly fifty years ago. They say
the neighborhood ain’t changed much since those days.
We had one good store. Now it’s burnt. Kids too young to remember
Tupac let alone Reverend King dodge in and out of focus,
Jerry Wimple (C) All rights reserved by author.