Saturday, November 8, 2014

Poetry Review Special Feature: "The Works" by John Reinhart

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present "The Works" by John Reinhart.  Mr. Reinhart is a former state fiddle champion, state rhythm guitar champion, and one time northeast regional yo-yo champion.  He is a native of Denver.  His poetry has recently been published in:  94 Creations, Apeiron Review, Black Heart Magazine, Dirty Chai Magazine, FishFood & LavaJuice, Interfictions, Liquid Imagination, Poetry Nook Magazine, Songs of Eretz Poetry E-zine, Star*Line, and The Vocabula Review, and is forthcoming in Silver Blade, Grievous Angel, ZO Magazine, and Scifaikuest.

The Works
John Reinhart

Last night I wrote a symphony –
“Corrugated Recycles” I call it –
on the back of a pizza box.

It starts with strings playing pizzicato,
lumbers deep into horns covered in grease,
then cymbals, like giant pepperoni, crash.

The second movement creeps up the side
onto the top: “Cosmic Pizza” is all percussion,
rise and expansion, sustain, rest.

Movement three goes inward,
the most obscure and difficult part,
cluttered with crust and crumbs, real cheese,

stains too dark, too somber for any but celli,
summoning aged wood
like twelve year barreled bourbon.

Finally, up the inside lid, closure,
a simple melody to light the tunnel –
done in thirty minutes or it’s free.

Poet's Notes:  Perhaps it was the fact that one of my students was in the process of writing a symphony; perhaps it was my penchant for digging through garbage and reusing anything of perceived value; or perhaps it was some late night inspiration asleep on a momentarily satisfying $5 pizza binge. The impetus for this poem aside, the basic framework floated in my head for a couple of weeks. I have always appreciated what I read in Word of Mouth about Lucille Clifton, that when her first book of poems was published her children were 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1, and she learned how to compose a poem and keep it in her head until she could write it down. My situation is not quite so populated, but twenty chickens, two goats, a dog, a cat, a duck, and three children, not to mention an active and plentiful garden, plus a full-time job regularly challenge my composition time. So, I pondered. Eventually, I sat down, and those weeks of work spilled onto the paper.

I love villanelles but I find that tercets do not come easily to me. There is an ease about tercets, a clarity, a well worn phraseology embedded in the form. The symphony here flowed from three line stanzas to three whole movements, building toward that thirty minute deadline, empowered by trios, like legions of musketeers or Pythagoreans.


Editor's Note:  I enjoy the humor in this pizza piece (pun intended) as well as its clever elevation of the quotidian.  Good poetry such as this evokes an emotional response--this one made me hungry as well.  "The Works" was first published in 94 Creations #6.

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