Perry S. Nicholas
I am an Associate Professor of English at Erie Community College North in Buffalo, N.Y. I have 5 books, 2 chapbooks, and 1 CD of poetry. I am married to Maria Sebastian, a well-known singer/songwriter, and we perform our poetry and music together at many venues in the WNY area. For more information please visit my website: www.perrynicholas.com
Ducks in a Row
I don’t often write long poems;
it depends how you count.
Between the lines is where
we live, not in this town with a lake
and ducks you can depend on,
leaving their patterns on a page
where most people could care less.
Let me peer over your shoulder,
point out punctuation, word choice,
scatter your script across the water,
measure the space between park benches.
I’ll stay here ‘til new rows surface,
work on a more lengthy poem,
if it means a timely return, no matter
how far out the waves greet you.
I choose the clean order of couplets, where
there’s little space for disengaged apologies.
Maneuvering new land, you need to take
your hand, place it on the reins where
you feel most natural, become brave enough
to ride off into bare multiples of two.
Years ago in college, I fell in love with
the typewriter’s clacking, its seemingly endless
corralling of revision. I used it to strip down borders,
move through explanation and unnamable ache,
past gaps youth could never quite grasp, not four
or four hundred years behind Whitman and Pound.
I’ve learned serenity starts in humble pairings,
the ability to accept, at first, the notion of connection,
and that not every poem has to change the world.
©2016 Perry S. Nicholas