Alex M. Frankel
This time at the Second Sunday Poetry Series the featured reader will be none other than Alex M. Frankel who is also the host.  I’ll be reading from my own works.

Ron Vierling My Teacher

Oh the beginning of work! Pouring oil
Into the cold machine. First touch and first hum
Of the engine springing to life!
—Brecht, “On the Joy of Beginning”

First period and you would burst in
with your load of soap opera and grit and love of the times
or pose profoundly by the window in turtleneck and leisure suit
praising James T. Farrell and James Agee
brandishing them in front of our faces
as daylight lit up your head the way it lights up famous men.
Throughout sophomore year you strode in front of the chalkboard
at that private school for the rich
rhapsodizing over Robinson Jeffers, John Dos Passos,
or hovered in the doorway, tall bruised and brimming
with all the Little Bighorns of your past,
all the years of carousing among hobos, deviants, Harvardians and saints
till one morning you couldn’t resist and we watched
as you stood triumphant on your battered desk bellowing Carl Sandburg out to the birds!
What times of electric typewriter smell
and fountain-pen thrill of ink and beginning!

And yet in the very next room
a slender unknown
—Danielle Steel—
was carving away
her chateau of the mind
out of sugar cube,
orchid scent.
We never saw her much,
she was just part-time.

And yet in the back of our class
the calmest craftiest boy
you or I or anyone ever knew
—calculus wiz Ethan Canin—
was slouching and snickering
along with his minions.

Ron Vierling, you must have taught and taught,
decades of it—right?—
lucky like me, like most of us,
reciting your highway and railroad poems
in the back rooms of galleries, public libraries,
no one looking in. . .

 2016 Alex M. Frankel
Alex M. Frankel was a Feature Poet at the June 2016 Second Sunday Poetry Series