Bob Foster
    Bob Foster started out as an actor and a disciple of Katherine Hepburn’s; later he became a maker of documentary films, before finally ending up in poetry. He has been featured around the U.S. over the past 15 years and facilitates the wonderful and necessary Saturday afternoon workshop at Beyond Baroque.
    Bob’s poetry is light, humorous, warm-hearted and spare. He writes about Broadway and Cape Cod and growing up in Boston in the old days and growing older in Southern California today.  He writes about failing marriages and empty nests—but he often courageously works from the point of view of people very unlike himself, and from other times in history or even imaginary times and places. Bob’s example is an inspiring one: he came to poetry late in life but has found in writing an avocation more satisfying than either of his earlier two careers. This is perhaps because he has come to understand that a true poet, writing alone at his desk, almost always in obscurity, has given up any notion of pleasing a public or amassing a fortune or even winning favor among academics or attracting a following among the literati: he writes above all to please himself, sharpen his mind, soak up the flow of life around him, hear the music of his own creations and—as Jorge Luis Borges said—“ease the passing of time.”  This is his calling. Bob Foster has heeded the call and approaches his life’s task with gusto and zeal.


1920: At the Bottom of the Silent Screen*  

Softly, the dark flutes of Autumn
Sound in the reeds.

The Columbine rises, takes off her clothes,
Looks at her body in the pond.

Two white roses strike the water.
She runs to the harboring trees.

Dark hair streaming, a man; his face
casts two shadows; his voice one thought.

 “You are perfumes in the silent night.
           Rise up and live with me
           an inch above that star.”

“My dancing  heart confuses which star.
  But I see in your eyes, an intention.
      
 “I will learn to live in you,
         and where you are empty,
    I will build  a roadway of lightning.”

“So many words to believe, that come
   only from the round of your lips.”

      “Where light invades the night
        of the heart, we will consumate
     love, then sleep like wine in goblets.”
        
  But I have lived in exile of those carnal
  rites.
               “You must of course,
    lie on your back and let yourself drift.
                I will be your guide.”

   The Columbine sighs, sighs, smiles,
           and dreams on.
                                                                            * A cento poem
   


A Dictionary Alice*

               Bird. A phosphamidon bird, circles,
               stops midflight and dances a rustiform flurry.
                         Dives like a truckling arrow, at mistletoe
       eyes in a Kisumu desert.
 
                         Its calefactorious claws hook into the flesh
                         of a screeching, wriggling
                         quagga 
       caught on its dangling fosdick.

       Six quick pecks and the mess is fallacious
       all lictorial fibers,
       finger food
       for the leucotome ants.

       Nothing frontinus about it
       this is a world of Talleyrand wings, 
       hairy harmattans and end-of-the-species
       millesimals, that leave no bones to dig up.
                      
                         I’ll record them all  
       on quadri-syllabic multi-canopic videotape.
       Distribute them free
                         to pseudo-phrenologists, middlesex-ologists,
                         bandana banana parapsychologists.

       Plus a deluxe copy
                         to my undecillion, Alice.
                                                                              

                              
                            *all dictionary words


Shadow in Boston

 Late, lying awake. A mist of booze
 as my father staggers into our four room flat.

Bedsprings, the padding of feet, as Ma rises
and with razor-edge whispers, hustles him
into his separate bedroom, closes the door.
Tiptoes the hall to my room to confirm her
look-alike, favorite son has not been disturbed.

Dressed for Boston High, I walk to the morning
kitchen where she sits drinking tea, looking
sleepless. She rises with open arms. We hug,
too long. We kiss too long, before she backs
away, dabs at her eyes, stares out the window.
Glances back at me only once.

 At sixteen, I stand rooted; my mind revolving,
 my body sparked.

2010 Bob Foster
Bob Foster was a Featured Poet who read his poetry at the December 2010 Second Sunday Poetry Series