Poem-A-Day 2019: Rick Lupert

I may have mentioned this before, but when I lived in Los Angeles I enjoyed some time on the fringes of their thriving poetry scene. One of the poets I got to know out there, whose work I have always loved for its humor and ever-increasing excellence over the years, is Rick Lupert. He has published something like a kajillion books of poetry — all of them so much fun to read — and he created and maintains the Poetry Super Highway and Haikuniverse, two websites every lover of poetry should get to know well.

I’m also really grateful to Rick for making a space in his town for this Houston girl to spend her summers reading her poetry in very cool bookstores and libraries. Props to him also for handling with major defusive charm one of the most obnoxious drunk heckling dudebros I’ve ever encountered in a physical (i.e. not online) public space before, one July twilight at a café reading in the valley.

This poem of his is coming out this May in a collection entitled Hunka Hunka Howdee!

The Mississippi Delta is Shining Like a National Guitar

I’ve never woken up in Memphis before and already
there’s a hangover of sorts. I’m going to need the day

to flush out Los Angeles. First on the docket is
buying a postcard with a picture of ducks on it.

Second, breakfast at a place that chases the sun.
The amount of humidity is fist fighting with the

available oxygen, and we’re putting on all the
loose clothing. We’re detaching our hair from

our heads. We’ve got biscuits in our future,
Addie just wants to rock and roll all night, which

is a hell of thing to see this early in the morning.
We are going to Graceland.

***

Rick Lupert has been involved with poetry in Los Angeles since 1990. He is the recipient of the 2017 Ted Slade Award, and the 2014 Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center Distinguished Service Award, a 3-time Pushcart Prize Nominee, and a Best of the Net nominee. He served as a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets for 2 years, and created Poetry Super Highway. Rick hosted the weekly Cobalt Cafe reading for almost 21 years. His spoken word album Rick Lupert Live and Dead featured 25 studio and live tracks. He’s authored 23 collections of poetry, including Hunka Hunka Howdee! and God Wrestler (Rothco Press) and edited the anthologies A Poet’s Siddur, Ekphrastia Gone Wild, A Poet’s Haggadah, and the noir anthology The Night Goes on All Night. He also writes and draws (with Brendan Constantine) the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” and writes the poetry column “From the Lupertverse” for JewishJournal.com. He has been lucky enough to read his poetry all over the world. You can also find him online at http://facebook.com/rickpoet and http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ricklupert.

National Poetry Month — Day 29

Yesterday I posted a poem by Rick Lupert from his forthcoming collection, Romancing the Blarney Stone. Today I’m featuring another from that collection which I like in particular for its use of very specific imagery to put us into a scene.

 

***

 

Show Yourself Dublin

 

Two days without sleep.
Our feet have quit their jobs.
Potatoes of every kind inside us.
At least three kinds of whiskey.
Dublin is a city like other cities.
They pick up the trash.

They erect their spires.
They move you from one room
to the other if you don’t like the smell.
There are three more days to
come out of your shell, Dublin.
Wake us up. Shine for us.

People have been telling us
not to kiss the stone, but
we’ve come all this way, I feel
we’re going to kiss the stone.
We can no longer see the river
from our hotel window.

 

***

 

Rick Lupert has been involved with L.A. poetry since 1990. He is the recipient of the 2014 Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center Distinguished Service Award and was a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets for two years. He created the Poetry Super Highway ( http://poetrysuperhighway.com/ ) and hosted the weekly Cobalt Cafe reading for almost twenty-one years. His first spoken word album, “Rick Lupert Live and Dead” featuring twenty-five studio and live tracks, was released in March, 2016. He’s authored nineteen collections of poetry, includingProfessor Clown on Parade, Romancing the Blarney Stone (both forthcoming from Rothco Press in May, 2016), Making Love to the 50 Foot Woman (Rothco Press, May 2015), The Gettysburg Undress and Nothing in New England is New, and edited the anthologies Ekphrastia Gone Wild, A Poet’s Haggadah and the noir anthology The Night Goes on All Night. He also writes and draws (with Brendan Constantine) the daily web comic Cat and Banana. He is regularly featured at venues throughout Southern California.

 

 

National Poetry Month — Day 28

My friend Rick Lupert, whom I know from the years when I was teaching in Los Angeles in the late ’90s, writes wonderful, accessible, fun poetry which I enjoy so much. He once wrote me a poem, almost twenty years ago, that was so intentionally terrible it made me laugh so hard I cried. I copied it into a tiny journal where I recorded things that made me tremendously happy.

Today’s poem, “Somewhere Over Canada,” is from his forthcoming book Romancing the Blarney Stone, poems written in and on the way to and from Ireland, last summer.

 

***

 

Somewhere Over Canada

 

It is 7:30 in the morning and my eyes are
staging a revolution of closing hours.

I message Brendan to ask if he is awake
with a quick follow up telling him I am not.

They will not hold planes for tired people.
So if you wish to go to a place that is

different from the place you are in
you will need to defer to the schedules

of others. Behind me they discuss
the size of water bottles. This is a topic

I have nothing to add to. They say this
flight is nonstop but I can’t imagine

any other kind.

 

***

 

Rick Lupert has been involved with L.A. poetry since 1990. He is the recipient of the 2014 Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center Distinguished Service Award and was a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets for two years. He created the Poetry Super Highway ( http://poetrysuperhighway.com/ ) and hosted the weekly Cobalt Cafe reading for almost twenty-one years. His first spoken word album, “Rick Lupert Live and Dead” featuring twenty-five studio and live tracks, was released in March, 2016. He’s authored nineteen collections of poetry, including Professor Clown on Parade, Romancing the Blarney Stone (both forthcoming from Rothco Press in May, 2016), Making Love to the 50 Foot Woman (Rothco Press, May 2015), The Gettysburg Undress and Nothing in New England is New, and edited the anthologies Ekphrastia Gone Wild, A Poet’s Haggadah and the noir anthology The Night Goes on All Night. He also writes and draws (with Brendan Constantine) the daily web comic Cat and Banana. He is regularly featured at venues throughout Southern California.

 

 

National Poetry Month — Day 4

Poetry is in the air, because April.

But as much as people like poetry — and they do — and as much as many people want to write it — and they do — sometimes it’s difficult to find the inspiration. Yesterday I shared a writing prompt. Today I’m going to share lots of them.

Poetry Super Highway, run by the Los Angeles-based poet Rick Lupert (whose work is intelligent and witty and worth checking out), has held a writing prompt-palooza of sorts for National Poetry Month the last few years. Here’s the link to this month’s collection so far; keep checking back every day to see a new prompt each day in April, submitted by their readers. Drop by there and see if something inspires you to jot down a poem, and if it does then feel free to post it here in the comments.

Featured Poet: Rick Lupert

Rick Lupert is a friend of mine who lives and writes poetry in Los Angeles.  A lot of his work is funny as well as meaningful, something I’ve always admired about him.

Rick has been involved with L.A. poetry since 1990. He is the recipient of the 2014 Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center Distinguished Service Award and was a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets for two years. He created the Poetry Super Highway and has hosted the weekly Cobalt Cafe reading since 1994. He’s authored sixteen collections of poetry, including The Gettysburg Undress (forthcoming from Rothco Press) and Nothing in New England is New, and edited the anthologies Ekphrastia Gone Wild, A Poet’s Haggadah and the Noir anthology The Night Goes on All Night. He also writes and draws (with Brendan Constantine) the daily web comic Cat and Banana. He is regularly featured at venues throughout Southern California.

http://poetrysuperhighway.com/
http://facebook.com/rickpoet
http://www.catandbanana.com/

***

August

“August, die she must…”
– Paul Simon

 

I don’t trust August.
After the sweet promise of May.
The deliberate joy of June.

The eye-blink of July.
August wants you to trust it
but pretty soon it slaps you in

the face with September.
You’re left feeling like a
school boy in heat.

Wondering where your
summer underwear has
gotten to.

Oh, August
you are a liar.
You pretend to be summer

but you might as well be
the first half of October.
You’re a broken down

rail car. You’re
rusty and hot, and not
in an attractive way.

I wouldn’t recommend
your affections to a homely tree.
Now that I think about it

July, I’m not sure
you’re telling me the truth either.
I could swear I saw

you and August holding
hands at the stock exchange.
You’re making it so

I got to the store and
the only watermelon left
is a sad one

from the Depression.
I just want it to always be
the third week of June.

I want to still feel
the distant spring on my back.
I want anything that even

looks like a sweater
to be imprisoned in Australia.
Oh, August

you make my face hurt.
My swimming pool melt.
My groundhog apologize

for coming out too early.
I don’t trust you.
Never have.