READ A POEM
POETRY IN THE SCHOOLS
by Charles Malone
This mad openness, 116 voices blooming—no,
bursting into leaf, warming the air in the belly
of the balloon. And then comes ache,
the child’s abandonment becomes my own.
His well-schooled stuckness. Her mom’s
spaghetti. Spaghetti is a word I’ve never used
in a poem before. Your senses coming through mine,
a dash of crushed red peppers. The bright acid
of your grandfather’s tomatoes. There’s a bit of piracy
in this, a touch of nomad. Those beige hotel rooms,
rough interstates, short phone calls. I ask you
to find that killer last line, the can opener,
the heartbreak, the clock and the bell. Signals—
This wild ventriloquism coming to an end.
“Poetry in the Schools” by Charles Malone. Copyright Charles Malone, 2018. Used by permission of the author.
grew up in rural Northeastern Ohio, headed west to the Rockies, came back to the Great Lakes and has loved all of it. His chapbook, Questions About Circulation,
is forthcoming with Driftwood Press as part of the Adrift Chapbook Series. He edited the collection A Poetic Inventory of Rocky Mountain National Park
with Wolverine Farm Publishing and has work recently published or forthcoming in Hotel Amerika, The Best of Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac, The Sugar House Review, The Dunes Review, Saltfront
and Matter: Nomad
. Charles now works at the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University coordinating community outreach programs.
WRITE A POEM
The Oxford Dictionary 2018 word of the year
. See if you can make a poem of that. If not, try some of the runners-up: gaslighting, techlash, gammon, cakeism, overtourism.