Wednesday, June 29, 2016

DC Poets: Ginger Ingalls

I Think Of My Father's Tale 

 I think of my father's tale.

 I look at the pregnant
 before me in the cafe;
 the dress,
 and then I go out.

 I look at the progress
 I've made.
 I think of my child,
 and the future being
 in heaven.

 Ginger Ingalls is a poet, actor, and is working toward a healer credential. Her careers of journalism, acting, and craniosacral therapy inform her work. She is passionate about her son, energy conservation and the world we live in. Her work can be found on, and has appeared in Poets on the Fringe and The Federal Poet journals.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

DC Poets: Genevieve Carminati

When Skies Are Cloudy and Gray

Daddy washes dishes and sings like Sinatra:
“When skies are cloudy and gray, they’re only gray for a day.
So wrap your troubles in dreams, and dream your troubles away.”
A wet dishtowel like a sleepy baby
drapes the eggplant-purple shoulder of his t-shirt,
his sweat smells ripe as holy water.
I shell peas at the table.  I pop
open the crunchy cases,
pressing the tiny pads of my thumbs at their seams,
and out burst shiny green pellets
and ping ping ping drop into the bowl,
silver and cold, I hold between my knees.
Remembering another Sunday morning
my honey-hearted surprise when he leapt (sweet tomcat)
into the parlor pumping with the lush blood
of TV organ music
and whirled a mighty polka
across nutty-colored floorboards,
his brown canvas shoes sprouting fluttery pink angel wings,
his workpants flapping like sheets, the air of the full house stirring
with the dizzying force of his dervish.
And how he bowed when I clapped, calling
Bravo! Bravo!
sweeping his hammy arm across the width of his waist,
dropping his head almost to my feet.

DC Poet: Sarah Browning

Names she tried to teach me

Sibilant forsythia, hard-ringed dogwood,
     and this vine: red bead bursting from
yellow sheathing; autumn’s surprise
     she gathered to grace the mantelpiece,
to twine our hearts to hers. I’ve lost
     the name: Bright morning? Mustard
joy? Harvest noon? Burnt breakfast?
     Wandering winter jewel?
Spotting the red and yellow
     caught in November’s edge-of-field
bramble catches me. I could not love
     her enough. Tangle of guilt, bramble
of no name. It comes a few days later:

  Sarah Browning is co-founder and Executive Director of Split This Rock: Poetry of Provocation & Witness and an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies. Author of Whiskey in the Garden of Eden and co-editor of D.C. Poets Against the War: An Anthology, she is the recipient of artist fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, a Creative Communities Initiative grant, and the People Before Profits Poetry Prize. She has been guest editor or co-edited special issues of Beltway Poetry Quarterly, The Delaware Poetry Review, and POETRY magazine.

Monday, June 27, 2016

DC Poets: Richard Peabody


Knows your name.

Remembers your shape.

Amniotic fluid. Pee. 

The ice in your drink.

Returning comet.

Water dancer
 Water sprite.

The Nile. Corfu.
YMCA pool.

Water, which held you up,

slips past your lips
into your gut.

Rain droplets,


Creek water
inside you.

River water
 inside your lover.

Recognizing itself,

the other.

Inside both.

Water breaking,




 Richard Peabody is the founder and co-editor Gargoyle Magazine and editor (or co-editor) of 24 anthologies including Mondo Barbie, Conversations with Gore Vidal, A Different Beat: Writings by Women of the Beat Generation. The author of a novella, three short story collections, and seven poetry books, he is also a native Washingtonian. Peabody taught fiction writing at Johns Hopkins University for 15 years. His new book is The Richard Peabody Reader (Alan Squire Publishers, 2015).

Sunday, June 26, 2016

DC Poets: Kateema Lee

poem where I catch la chupacabra

When I catch him,
I will let you know.

I will keep him in our secret box:
the box that holds some
of Sandman’s sand, the teeth
the fairy left behind,
the words you wished
you could take back,
the lost time neatly stored
in old calendars.

I will muzzle him at night,
feed him milk in the mornings,
let him out to play in the cellar.

He will be our secret,
like most things. 

 Kateema Lee is a Washington D. C. native. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in print and online journals such as PMS: Poemmemoirstory, African American Review, Gargoyle, Word Riot and others.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

DC Poets: Kim Roberts


 Driving down North Cap some afternoons
that vista looks so fake, a cardboard dome
pasted on a summer album’s page.
When Congress is in session, winter nights
they light the topknot, called the lantern—bright
and merry as a party. Dante wrote:
“Cut off from hope, we go on in desire.”
Picabia once said, “The head is round
so thoughts can change direction.” Every Fall,
a plague of crows like freshmen senators
ascends the Hill in dancing shrouds. They roost
among a palisade of narrow spikes
placed evenly amid the cast iron ribs,
and oil their squeaky wings for a new season.

Kim Roberts is author of five books of poems, including The Scientific Method, forthcoming from WordTech Editions in February 2017, and Fortune’s Favor: Scott in Antarctica (Poetry Mutual Press, 2015). She is currently the Artist at Pine Needles Fellow, sponsored by the Science Museum of Minnesota.

Friday, June 24, 2016

DC Poets: Jill Kronstadt

He Draws Me as an Old Woman

How quickly I am taken down.
This August morning sags with
flaccid heat. On the bus, two stops past
Madison, he begins to draw. Blocks of sun
skid over vinyl. Rubber meets asphalt like
sweat meets skin. “Quite lovely, actually,”
he says, as if in apology: meantime,
in his sketchbook, he reroutes my face.
Like fate, he can’t make me beautiful
so he makes me old.

Under his starched hands, his nub of
graphite forms rosettes around my cheeks.
What’s in a face? Three stops more, and he’s
speaking of his wife, his art, the usual;
I’ve achieved a battered peace, which sometimes
chafes and bucks at dusk, and sometimes
wakes in summer with sunlight smeared over
its bare arms, and is sometimes the unleashed
Labrador bounding through your yard with
your sandals in its mouth—but which most days
trudges home like a cow with its bell—

“You won’t like it,” he reports, brandishing
his sketchbook. “It’s nothing like you.”
Eighty years old, he explains, I’m slumped in
my seat, blank as cloth, my thoughts full of
the summer day when the clothes I wore to feel pretty
teased an artist into drawing me as someone
already invisible. From the bus I see
years arranged around me, a certain shade of
sky for discontent, and my umbrella on the beach.
The other woman will undress under its shadow.
My stop is next, and he’s still sketching her:
“A minute more,” I tell him.

Jill Kronstadt lives in Washington, DC, where she relocated after sixteen years in Seattle, Washington. Her work has appeared in Tin House Flash Fridays, Moon City Review, The Los Angeles Review, Sou’wester, and others.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

DC Poets: Maritza Rivera

Two Blackjack Poems:

Cafe Ole

The aroma of coffee
filters in from around the kitchen
brewing fresh grounds for divorce

Written For My Brother

My earth angel sprouted wings
to join our ancestors.
We held hands for the last time.

Maritza Rivera, also known as Mariposa, is a Puerto Rican poet and Army veteran who has lived in Rockville, MD since 1994. She has been writing poetry for over forty years, created a short form of poetry called Blackjack, and is publisher of Casa Mariposa Press. Maritza is also the author of About You A Mother’s War, written during her son’s two tours in Iraq; Baker’s Dozen; Twenty-One: Blackjack Poems. Her work appears in literary magazines, anthologies and online publications.

Maritza is a contributor to Poets Responding to SB1070, a supporter and participant of the Memorial Day Writers Project (MDWP) and the Warrior Poetry Project at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. She was the recipient of a 2012 BID International Writing Fellowship in Bahia, Brazil, attended the 2013 Bread Loaf Writers Conference in Sicily and was the recipient of the 2013 Montgomery County Executive’s Volunteer Award for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities. Maritza has also served on the Board of Directors of Split This Rock in Washington, DC, a Human Rights Commissioner for the City of Rockville. She hosts the annual Mariposa Poetry Retreat at the Capital Retreat Center in Waynesboro, PA, and the annual Mariposa Reunion Reading at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda.

She currently teaches an eight week Conversational Spanish class and a Multicultural Poetry Workshop at the Holiday Park Senior Center in Wheaton, MD.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

DC Poets: Larry Moffi

Rooting for the Underdog at the Orphanage Poetry Slam

Better to drum for the moon by day
Than curse the home you can never have.

There is no wisdom without a child in the house,
The angry poet long dead wrote.

Who shall tire of the moon ever
Refined by daylight’s odd and broken song?

I love this young woman’s reach and welcome
Pulse, the very “come-hither” of a hat-check girl.

There is no single elegance like her’s, no holy
Chant, no rhyme, no slam, no home away from home.

By God, I am no Dad, but how I cheer her
On and steal this lonely part of her that sings.

Larry Moffi is the author of three collections of poems and three non-fiction books on baseball. He is co-founder and publisher of Settlement House Books.
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Monday, June 20, 2016

DC Poets: Denise Folwell

In Goreme

Sitting on an outcropping of rock
Protected by the shade of a small tree
We belonged so precisely to the solid earth
And the distant volcanic mountains
To the hot, cloudless sky

While everything claimed its perfection
And inner and outer somehow merged
I disappeared a little while

With you

Denise Folwell is Professor of English at the Rockville Campus of Montgomery College.  She teaches composition, literature, and poetry writing. She is a founding member of the Peace and Justice Studies Community at Montgomery College. She received both her B.A. in English and Religious Studies and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia.