Announcing my newest book: SIMPLY PUT, a collection of poetry. It’s a slender volume of a hundred pages, filled with poems selected from those written in the last ten years. They are not divided by those years, but by subject: Seasons Change, About Words, Past Lives & More, and Other Places. My intention is to stir your own memories by sharing mine with you. As the seasons and years change, so do we. New experiences become old memories as we move along in this life we have created. Words sometimes harm us and sometimes encourage us to keep on going in the direction we are moving. Past lives, whether you believe in reincarnation or not, is meant to give you thoughts to ponder. Places leave imprints on us that we carry long after we have left them behind. Enjoy the words I have written for you and for me to revisit time and again.
Category Archives: poetic narrative
Well, it’s finally here and it is a great relief! Writing this book, A Nosegay of Violets, has been therapeutic, sending all those hidden secrets out into the Universe with a refusal of thinking “what if someone laughs at me?” or “what if no one believes me?” or “what will they think of me, knowing of the marriage I was in? “
Those questions no longer hold fear for me. I have survived the marriage and became stronger because of it. I have forgiven myself for decisions I made, (the hardest thing to do) believing they were the right ones to make at the time. And I have forgiven others who did me harm. They were just being who they were. And I had help along the way, from people-sometimes strangers-from friends, from family, and an Angel here and there when no one else was around to show up. WOW!
You’d think those would be easy moments to talk about, but they were not. Fear of rejection held me back. When I overcame that fear last year, I pulled all the scraps of paper with notes jotted on them and poured over my journals to be sure I would get everything right. It meant re-living the entire experience over again and again and again as I wrote and re-wrote and re-wrote. Excuse me, while I allow myself to have this feeling of being wonderful!
This collection of extraordinary poems tells the story of vivid, African-American characters who have passed through the life of the author in a small, rural town in the South. Sometimes they entertain and sometimes salty tears burst, overflowing the eyelid wells, for the terrible tragedy of a life. Park has reached deep into his soul to let you know that these people lived and died and mattered, without any judgment from him. If these characters were not noticed in life, they will remain with the reader for a long, lingering time.
In all his honesty, Park reports on events that happened . . . and didn’t happen. When dreams blossomed with hope for a community and were taken away leaving disappointment for many who worked hard, giving their all, to bring about ideal living. The author exudes love of his community. He shows this caring by continuing to encourage the arts, the love of words and writing to anyone who wants to participate. I love this book.
If you are planning to cozy up with a good book after a day of creating snow sculptures, here is a brief excerpt from THE AFTERNOON CROWD.
THE HORSEY SET
Arlene S. Bice © 2016.1.24.
they came with bruised, calloused hands coarser than sandpaper
to lift a shot of whiskey chased by a cold mug of beer, a reward
for hard work done out in the elements, thanks not given, except
what they gave themselves; not a lot of time to linger; even on
Christmas Day horses had regular schedules to keep and these
workers were there to keep ‘em
they came from all parts of the country, from Canada, and the
Caribbean, landed here in the center of New Jersey, to work on
one particular horse farm or another; how did they find us,
some from the west or mid-west; wasn’t that a
reversal of history?
They came as owners
more on the list
of guys & gals
no shifting duties
either you were good
carrying your own weight or you were out
the owners came more often in the evening, for dinner
when the daytime bar folks did not; or they came for a
few celebratory drinks after the races were over
who I happened to like above others
usually a pleasant fellow
a common sense guy
never nasty or stupid
always came in alone;
this day he came in, dragging
he carried the look of the lonely on him
I knew he was married and I knew not happily
and I knew this day that his trouble was the
wife, not the horses;
a man has a certain look about him when it is
a woman that weighs on his mind; my heart
went out to him as my ears just listened, that
was all he wanted and couldn’t get anywhere
else to go along with his shot and beer
a year later, when he came in our positions were
“good god, you look terrible!” he said, “what’s
happened to you?’ etc. etc. etc.
A bolt of lightning came out of the sky and struck me in the spring of this year. This book is the result of that moment. I have no idea which of my deceased ancestors dredged up these old memories and sent them to me or why it came, but it lifted me out of a gloomy week, filling me with so much laughter while I wrote it and again, when I re-wrote it.
This easy-to-read poetic narrative is of my few years tending bar at the American House Tavern, in the middle of the horse country of New Egypt, New Jersey, in the 70s. I share my take on the people who came into my life at that time, in that place. This is my interpretation of those sitting across the bar from me while I scooted around, pouring beers, mixing cocktails, and playing amateur psychologist, sometimes matchmaker.
The books are being printed up now and available on Amazon in hardcopy and e-mode. If you would like a signed copy, or one inscribed to your best friend, lover, relative, etc. please send $12 (includes shipping) using Paypal or a check in snail mail.
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