"With its diversity of content and poetic form, Rabbit Ears feels more rich and eclectic than any other poetry anthology on the market."
"A smart exploration of the many, many meanings of TV."
The Boston Globe
Austin Alexis Joel Allegretti Aaron Anstett
Quan Barry Ellen Bass Jeanne Marie Beaumont Martine Bellen Aaron Belz Emma Bolden Charlie Bondhus Gayle Brandeis Michael Broder Kurt Brown John F. Buckley
Regie Cabico Peter Carlaftes Susana H. Case Guillermo Filice Castro Ann Cefola Suzanne Cleary Billy Collins Jeffery Conway Nina Corwin
steve dalachinsky MaryLisa DeDomenicis Cat Dixon celeste doaks Thom Donovan Maggie Dubris
Alan Feldman Monique Ferrell Edward Field Annie Finch Stanford M. Forrester John Foy Philip Fried
Jeannine Hall Gailey Amy Gerstler George Guida
Marj Hahne Raymond P. Hammond Penny Harter George Held Matthew Hittinger Tony Hoagland Janis Butler Holm Amy Holman Bob Holman Josh Humphrey Karla Huston
Colette Inez Luisa A. Igloria
Ice Gayle Johnson
W. Todd Kaneko Vasiliki Katsarou Collin Kelley Ron Kolm Dean Kostos Catherine B. Krause
Peter LaBerge Gerry LaFemina Erik La Prade Dorianne Laux David Lawton Lynn Levin Matthew Lippman Timothy Liu Chip Livingston Diane Lockward Roy Lucianna
Marjorie Maddox Gerard Malanga Robert Manaster Stephen Massimilla Chris McCreary Lynn McGee Kelly McQuain David Messineo Philip Miller Michael Montlack Tracie Morris Rick Mullin Peter E. Murphy
Jacob Oet Martin Ott Abiodun Oyewole
Michael Palma Matthew Pennock David Phillips Patricia Polak Stephen Roger Powers
Stella Vinitchi Radulescu Bethany Reid Susanna Rich Steven Riel
Aram Saroyan Jason Schneiderman Steven D. Schroeder Elaine Sexton Ravi Shankar Neil Shepard Hilary Sideris Hal Sirowitz Ellen McGrath Smith Rosalind Palermo Stevenson Terese Svoboda
Aldo Tambellini Tantra-zawadi Mervyn Taylor Maria Terrone John J. Trause Tony Trigilio David Trinidad
Ryan G. Van Cleave Gloria Vando Angelo Verga David Vincenti
Diane Wakoski George Wallace Lewis Warsh Estha Weiner Lauren Wells Marcus Wicker George Witte
Debbie Yee David Yezzi Michael T. Young
Grace Zabriskie Bill Zavatsky
IN PRAISE OF SERAFINO
The sea does not betray the ones it loves.
Beautiful and wondrous creature, how long have you traveled to undertake your labor of mercy?
How is it that you, peerless animal, became blessed? Do angels discuss you? Are you an agent of redemption, the patron saint of the outcast?
Why you, graceful sea beast? On whose command do you act? Do you know why you have the honor of such holy work? Can you teach others to be so laudable? Who will be there to take your place when you leave this world?
Go, you miracle of the water. Encounter no impediment.
THE EMPTY ROOM RECONSIDERED
AS THE INTERIOR OF A PIANO
Think of an empty room. Think of the echo in an empty room. Think of the echo in an empty room as a constituent part of an empty room, like the walls, ceiling and floor. Think of an empty room as the resonant hollow of an acoustic musical instrument. Specifically, think of an empty room as the inside of a piano, formally called the belly.
Choose a room in your home that can be converted with ease into an empty room. Put the furniture in storage or donate it to charity. Relocate the contents of the closet to other rooms.
Install, one-third of the way down from the ceiling, a bridge on each of three walls (skip the wall with the windows). The bridges must span the length of the walls.
Buy piano strings. The standard medium-size piano has 230 strings.
Purchase 460 bolts. Screw two rows into each of the three walls, one row along the top (two inches below the ceiling) and the other along the bottom (two inches above the floor). Apportion the bolts per wall as follows: 152, 152, 156. The top and bottom bolts will serve as 230 pairs and, therefore, must align.
Fasten a string to each set of bolts. Make sure it is taut. The strings of a medium-size piano have an aggregate tension of 18 tons. You will not achieve this degree of tension. Nor will you be able to tune your strings.
When all the strings are in place, toss objects at them. Spoons. Keys. Tupperware®. Run the blade of a kitchen knife along them as you would a stick along a picket fence. Open the windows. Gift the neighbors with your original, atonal and out-of-tune music.
If someone ever asks if you play an instrument, say something like "Yes, I play the guest room."
 A wooden piece that lifts the strings of a musical instrument and, as a result, enables them to resonate.
POEM FOR MARY SHELLEY
Victor Frankenstein assembled his creature from pieces of corpses. This poem is made up of pieces of works written before 1818, the year Mary Shelley published Frankenstein. The cento is meant to reflect her title character's point of view.
Speak, hands, for me!
The awful shadow of some unseen Power
Floats though unseen among us.
I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
Man is all symmetry,
Full of proportions, one limb to another,
A brain of feathers, and a heart of lead.
O misery of hell!
A little learning is a dang'rous thing.
Fire answers fire.
No man chooses evil because it is evil;
He only mistakes it for happiness.
Science without conscience is
But the ruin of the soul.
 William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, III: i
 Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty"
 George Gordon, Lord Byron, "Darkness"
 George Herbert, "Man"
 Alexander Pope, "The Dunciad," Book II
 John Keats, "Endymion"
 Alexander Pope, "An Essay on Criticism," Part II
 William Shakespeare, Henry V, IV: Prologue
 Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Men
 François Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel, translated into English 1653-1694 by Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty and Peter Anthony Motteux
NOCTURNE FOR EDITH PIAF
The accordionist, the gigolo,
The pugilist surely knew:
It all came down to the lights –
The footlights that fawned over
over your delicious agony.
The lust lights of Place Pigalle.
The chaste lights of Sacré-Coeur.
It came down to the heart.
How it fractures like a thrown vase,
Like a lover’s airplane
for which the sky has no further use.
How, in breaking, it is more of a heart,
more than a heart.
Non, rien de rien
Non, je ne regrette rien
We smoked a Gauloise in your honor.
We danced the Apache in your name.
How we envy you, Mlle Gassion.
You had no regrets. But we do.
Of the orchestral
Of the string section's
In his closing decade
For world harmony
(The Poet’s Press, 2006)
From the publisher’s website: "Joel Allegretti, author of The Plague Psalms, has been up to no good since his first book, and this new book goes darker and deeper still, delving into such delicate topics as the Juggernaut, Mother Julian of Norwich, Eurydice as Greta Garbo, Nico, spiders, the Gallows Tree, the horrors of 9/11, and 'Billy the Whore: An Encomium in 9 Infections.'"
These poems are architectures, webs and prayers. Their volatility and wit never harden into irony. Read 'Anointing of the Sick' and then 'Poem for the Apocalypse' for the range this book travels. Father Silicon is a challenge and a thrill.
From the depths to the shallows
It rises and slashes the placid surface with its wake.
Whales will not challenge it.
Lampreys will not feed on it.
It cranes and flails its primeval neck and roars at the moon.
Through the fog it spies another beam
And glides to shore on a current of its own making.
It prostrates itself before the lighthouse monstrance
And worships the Eucharistic beacon.
It retreats in its solitude to the deep,
Traces an arc of dolphins,
Counts the manta rays.
It happens upon a reef and believes the length of coral
To be another of itself. It dances a hopeful courting dance
Until it recognizes its foolishness.
It is its only kind.
Many have named it.
Many have sworn to have seen it.
But the mermaid was a manatee draped in kelp,
And raging Scylla, peril of Odysseus: a squid.
But it knows it is no mere fiction.
By the wreckage of the caravels,
By the bodies warming its belly,
It knows it is no mere fiction.
It listens to the sky and hears thunder
Crash above its crested head.
It unleashes its dreadful bellow in reply,
To dare the sky and, thus, prove to the stars
That it is more than a legend
Or the hallucination of drunken sailors.
(The Poet’s Press, 2000)
From the publisher’s website: "Powerful neo-Romantic poetry evoking the darker side of European history: the Black Death, the Inquisition, the flight of the Moors from Spain. Also includes poems on the Golem legend and the Phantom of the Opera."
WE TELL OF A MORNING
Sad was the morning,
Was the moth-winged morning.
Sad and gray,
Gray as the marble marked
For our markers,
Was the morning,
Was the moth-winged,
And black were our coats,
And white were our scarves,
And black was the melancholy
Which drank us down
And belched us up.
And black was the bark,
The dying, white dogwood bark,
O black was the bark
In the morning,
And black was the color
Of our true love's hair,
The hair of our true
Whom we mourned
In the morning,
Sad was the morning,
Sad and gray
The morning was.