Alex M. Frankel
    I host the Second Sunday Poetry Series at the wonderful Café Alibi here in Pasadena. This month, for whatever reason (probably laziness), I didn’t look for a third feature but instead decided to feature myself. However, I won’t be reading my own work! Yes, I do write, but personally I don’t think it’s classy for hosts to read their own work at their own venues—which, in my opinion, is like going to the doctor for a check-up and having him whip out his screenplay for your opinion and evaluation. I believe in promoting the work of others. In fact, I originally wanted to call this series “Unsilenced Voices,” but someone suggested that might be too melodramatic, and, besides, most of the poets who read here are far from silenced voices. Anyway, this afternoon I thought I’d “just” read a few good poems for a few minutes and then get out of the way for our main features. Here is a poem by my friend in England, Ann Vaughan-Williams:  


My sister arrived between my father’s brown
pages, one of us on each arm and hip
in the flower-decked armchair he filled:
yes, I sat in the hair of his arm,

the breeds of the pigs and cattle lit up
as he turned  “The Farmer and Stockbreeder”
tome in his lap, with my bewilderment,
mother absent at bedtime.

My sister was born. Everyone recalled
they made my mother leave the cricket pitch,
drove her to the hospital,
she must have her baby, was caught out.

So there it was not waking to
the snout of the breast
which I’d have snapped up
but it was not decent

to burst upon the white bathroom,
pristine enamel, not just tin,
where she sat on my mother’s white tied apron,
refused the milky taps.

I am very drawn to pigs,
it’s the snouts, like
that first nipple in the white.
I’m for piglets feeding

in pictures, and for real in the long low
grunting dark of the long-boat barn
with the roof of grass that drips
to the ground and holds a world,

its own world grown in the dead grass.

© 2010 Ann Vaughan-Williams 

© 2010 Alex M. Frankel
Alex M. Frankel was a Featured Poet who read poetry at the August 2010 Second Sunday Poetry Series