Tuesday Poems Memories Become and Where Are We Now by James Goertel

Tuesday Poems Memories Become and Where Are We Now by James Goertel

MEMORIES BECOME and WHERE ARE WE NOW from James Goertel’s new poetry collection, Under The Same Moon, connect memories to geography to create a hybrid: emotional landscapes to travel and remember again.

Tuesday Poems Memories Become and Where Are We Now by James Goertel

Charles Baudelaire, by Gustave Courbet


a convergence of a thousand different birds/
in a box

memories become calendars/
without dates or days

in an upper peninsula apple orchard/
low autumn light

almond trees in texas/
shaken bare

dusk-blue humid haze across winnsboro road/
monroe, louisiana

las vegas, 5a.m./
eating pancakes with a stripper

pennsylvania turnpike/
cocaine binge bloody nose

dancing with a nurse/
natchez, mississippi

fargo, north dakota/
-36 degrees flashing on a bank clock

quicksilver reflection of the moon in the pacific/
honolulu, hawaii

memories become maps/
without legend or scale

a collection of feathers from a thousand different birds/
in a box



Standing somewhere in East Texas
Twenty-five years ago,
Opening eyes
That had never really seen the sky,
Had yet to see you.

Standing somewhere in between
And feeling unsure,
On the flat, dry expanse
Of West Texas;

There where there was no use
To wait
On rain to make
Mud of dust
Disguised as permanence

When indifferent winds
Were always
At my shoulders
Turning me this way
And that,

But always to face
Myself again standing alone
And not knowing
When you were
East of me,

When you were
West of me,
Of where we are now
Asking ourselves
Where are we now?

James Goertel. Under The Same Moon

James Goertel. Under The Same Moon


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Born in North Dakota, James Goertel spent twenty years working in television for ABC, NBC, and ESPN, among many others in the U.S. He currently teaches writing at Penn State. Carry Each His Burden (2011) was his fiction debut. Each Year an Anthem (2012) was his poetry debut. With No Need for a Name (2012) and Self Portrait (2013) are his follow-up collections. His debut novel Let the Power Fall will be published in 2014.

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