Saturday, June 24, 2017

Summer Solstice Splendid Wake Poetry Pop-Up

by Karren L. Alenier
from The Anima of Paul Bowles

As the wife fed her cat crab-
meat, the cat that attempted
to walk the ceiling but failed,
the husband tackled the decline
of American civilization—barbarians
populated his tales. If a man cried
out, another lopped off his tongue.
In private, she said TV and
McCarthyism killed the invention
of new games. He just ripped
the caterwauling telephone
from the wall.
                         At a dinner party of all
women except for him, when she
was asked to comment on the world
situation, she excused herself, left
what was tasty and steaming
on the table, curled regally
on a divan like a feline, fell
asleep under an open
                  With its slow white
flakes, snow covered her. Horrified
at her absence, weren’t these women
her friends, he shook her awake—
what game is this? She whispered,
Resistance To Doom. I had to
make room for hope.

Karren LaLonde Alenier is author of seven collections of poetry, including Looking for Divine Transportation (The Bunny and the Crocodile Press), winner of the 2002 Towson University Prize for Literature and her latest collection, The Anima of Paul Bowles (MadHat Press), which was selected as top staff pick by the Grolier Bookshop (Boston) for 2016. Her poetry and fiction have been published in such magazines as: Mississippi Review, Jewish Currents, and Poet Lore. Gertrude Stein Invents a Jump Early On, her jazz opera with composer William Banfield and Encompass New Opera Theatre artistic director Nancy Rhodes premiered at New York City’s Symphony Space Leonard Nimoy Thalia in June 2005. More information at 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Summer Solstice Splendid Wake Poetry Pop-Up

Random Headlines

In a zoo in Morocco,
a child leans, smiling,
against a fence, to pose
with the elephant
who inexplicably hurls
a rock at her head.

The next day,
a man in Philadelphia
removes a storm drain
and jumps. Sucked
ten feet into a sewer,
he miraculously survives.

Unlike the child in Morocco.

Reading headlines each morning
I can’t decide if the news
defies or declares
a random universe,
one without
predetermined years
allotted each life.

Something to consider
as I stand in a cemetery
talking to a stone
on your birthday,
recall the sound of your voice
in the rustle of a Weeping Cherry
hanging overhead. 

"Random Headlines" appears in Jacqueline's book Itzhak Perlman's Broken String, winner of the 2016 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize from Evening Street Press. 

Jacqueline Jules is the author of three chapbooks, Field Trip to the Museum (Finishing Line Press), Stronger Than Cleopatra (ELJ Publications), and Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String (Winner, Helen Kay Chapbook Prize 2016). Her work has appeared in over 100 publications. Visit her online at where you will see that she is also the author of 40 books for young readers including the Zapato Power series and Never Say a Mean Word Again.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer Solstice Splendid Wake Poetry Pop-Up

Your Hands
by Myra Sklarew
                                        for Dan Pagis and Eliezer

You come up behind me. You put
your two hands over my eyes.

“Guess who?” Your warm fingers
on my face. Your voice.

You are taken on a forced march
to the end of your life. A bomb

explodes. You fall bleeding in a ditch.
Your captors flee. You spit up blood.

Benedictine monks open the monastery
door. Come in, they say. At night

you go out to steal food. Soldiers
shoot at you. Barbed wire, even here.

Your name is Eliezer, God is my help.
But this god has gone away

on a long trip. Your warm fingers
on my face. Your voice.

Myra Sklarew attended Tufts University and the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins, and studied bacterial viruses and genetics at Cold Spring Harbor Biological Institute. She conducted research on memory and prefrontal lobe function at Yale University School of Medicine. Her books include collections of poetry, short prose, essays and the forthcoming, A Survivor Named Trauma.

With thanks to Steve Castro and Public Pool where this poem first appeared.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Splendid Wake 5, March 24th at 6:30 p.m.

A Splendid Wake 5 Celebrates Area Poets

Free event on March 24th from 6:30 -8 p.m. in Room 702 of the Gelman Library of George Washington University, 2130 H Street N.W., Washington, D.C.

Join the revelry as we honor several poets and poetry movements who have enriched the DC literary scene over the past 100+ years. We’re proud that the 2017 Youth Poet Laureate of Prince George’s County, Samantha Jackson, and 2017 Youth Poet Ambassador Isaiah Holloway will be joining us this year!

Emceed by Ginger Ingalls, this year’s event includes:

A TRIBUTE TO NAN FRY read by David Fry


STERLING BROWN AND THE HOWARD POETS, presented by Myra Sklarew with Isaiah Holloway and Samantha Jackson. 


KID’S POETRY SCENE, presented by Jacqueline Jules &  Kimberly Schraf


As always, we’ll have time for questions at the end of the event.

Read more about A Splendid Wake on our wiki, housed by the GW Library:

Interested in learning more about the history of DC poetry? Visit our blog, A Splendid Wake,