Alan’s poem, “Summer Dawn in Kansas City” will be anthologized in the 2017 publication of Kansas Time + Place.
Abacus is Alan’s working title for a collection of published and unpublished poems written over several decades. He seeks a publisher.
Samples of his poetry:
I remove the hook gently as if your mouth
were caught in a lie.
You must have wondered what rare cloud
bellied out into your world,
the smooth dinghy bottom deceiving.
I cut you open for bait,
work along the stripes in your side
for meat that clings to the hook.
A cold morning:
My next door neighbor died in the war,
my brother deserted;
I fish like a crazed sea dog
until the sun disappears,
clouds slice their wrists.
Forgive us, fish, for luring you here.
How can we explain the pride
our lives require?
Summer Dawn in Kansas City
La Madrugada: calm before sunrise,
unblinking eye at the rim
of day awakening with warblers,
a breeze of first color creeps
over stucco, somnambulant gray
turns powder blue.
Wind chimes stretch, yawn,
tree tops nod yes, yes, a yipping
Yorkie wakes two squirrels,
their tails spiral maple bark, argue
and plunge – lawn dolphins –
from darkness into dawn.
A baby wakes in morning shadows.
Buenos dias, noche. Night
forgets we ever dreamed or slept.
The poem “Brownout” was recorded for broadcast by KCUR public radio as part of the WORD project highlighting KC writers.
Visit the feature on Alan and the poem at the KCUR website HERE, or listen below:
The poem “Brownout” appears in the in the Fall/Winter 2014 issue of I-70 Review.
A renga is a five-line poem–haiku of 3 lines + 2 line couplet. Japanese has a 5-7-5-7-7 syllable count for the five lines. American English varies this with some liberties, as shown below. The poem then is passed to the next person (sake is included in the traditional Japanese setting but not here), who composes a poem that responds to previous verse (word, sound, image, or idea). And then the poem is passed to the next writer, to build a conversation. In this renga, seven poets participate: Denise Low, Ken Eberhart, Barbara Montes, GeneAnn Newcomer, Diane Willie, Erika Zeitz, and Alan Proctor.
Read it HERE on Denise Low’s blog.
The poem “Old Highway 9” has been included in the Whirlybird Anthology of Kansas City Writers available from Whirlybird Press.