Sunday, March 27, 2011

Why Is My Lemon Tea Red Jeff Fleming

(Jeff Fleming)

Why is my Lemon Tea Red
Jeff Fleming
Nibble Press 2011

"a delicate
clasping rice
paper wings..."

Love poems and all the different aspects of love; exploring spectacular views, emotions, "tell me, help me
because I can't stop trembling..;" even the lower case used for the poems and larger case for the title, lends
to the purity of what is being emparted:

"Every year on my birthday
mother would dress me
in my church clothes:
little wool suit, dark grey,
black shoes, leather belt,
white shirt and somber
tie, she would lead
me into the living
room, through the kitchen
and down
into the basement.

We would stand
for a moment
beside her hope
chest, emptied out,
she would lift
the lid and usher
me in, "lay down,
hands together
on your chest,
close your eyes."

I would hear
a tiny chirp
as the lid closed,
she would whisper
into the darkness
"this is death,
never forget."

Then she would let me out
take me in a strong hug
and say, "Happy Birthday, son."

Any words i use in reference to these poems seems small in comparison to Fleming's writing,
"from small speakers, filling the room." I'm giving the reader more poems to read because
they say what needs to be said in this profound plain talk poems:

"The ocean had finished
with us, tossing
our alien bodies
back on land
with a last great

we retreated inside
helping each other
out of wet suits
our hidden bodies
gone pink
nipples at attention
in the cool
conditioned air
of our bungalow

I took you
by the waist,
fingers splayed
across goose-flesh,
guided you beneath
borrowed sheets

and warmed
your shivering body
oh so slowly"

Love poems without all the frosting words, phrases I can nibble on; sometimes i laugh
sometimes i cry or feel quiet while the poems pull me in and hug me close. This chap book
is a gift, is humble and scrutizes the love of others as well as self, put succintly.

contact the poet to buy this chapbook a must have.

"laying in bed tonight,
reading Frost by the light
from a small lamp,
I look over and see
your breath and for a moment
I think you have died
and this is your soul
escaping, but no,
it's just December
a recession, and there is no
money to pay the heating
bill or even buy
a little bundle of firewood"

(another sample)

"Stumbling out
of the bar
you see a woman
against your Ford

Taurus, her ass
bumps the grill,
her right hand
flat on the hood.
In her left hand

a cigarette, or
a joint. She
seems pretty
but the overhead
street lights

throw deep
pools of shadow,
your eyes are
beered up.

Need a ride?
you ask, trying
to sound sincere
and suggestive.

She breathes out
a ghost
of smoke,
definitely a joint,
and nods.
Your pulse quickens.
You reach for

your keys and
some clever retort

but the moment
is already over.

My boyfriend,
late again.

You nod, your pulse
finds its regular
gear, your key
finds the doorlock.

Driving home you wonder
iof there was anything
you could have said

to get her back
to your bed, fucking
and somking weed
until dawn's early light."

Irene Koronas
poetry editor:
Wilderness House Literary Review


Ibbetson Street Press

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