Lois P. Jones
    Lois P. Jones hosts Pacifica Radio’s “Poet’s Café” (KPFK 90.7 fm), and co-hosts the Moonday series in at The Little Theater in Santa Monica, CA. Numerous publications include Narrative Magazine, American Poetry Journal, Nassau Review, Askew and Antioch’s Lunch Ticket with upcoming work in Eyewear and The Warwick Review. Her work won honors under Fiona Sampson, Kwame Dawes and others. New Yorker staff writer Dana Goodyear selected “Ouija” as 2010 Poem of the Year. She is the winner of the 2012 Tiferet Prize, the 2012 Liakoura Prize and is featured in The Tiferet Talk Interviews which includes Robert Pinsky and Julia Cameron. She is the Poetry Editor of Kyoto Journal and a multiple Pushcart nominee.
     I believe Lois began writing poetry only a few short years ago, not long after hearing the poetry of Verlaine and Eluard. She seems to have gotten the hang of it very quickly and gone from the beginning/intermediate phase straight to Advanced Placement. I first heard her read a moving poem about, I believe, a tree outside Ann Frank’s house. Smart, earnest, creative, deeply spiritual, Lois seems to trust that the minds—and, more importantly, the souls—receiving her words are able to absorb poems that exist on the page with a minimum of scaffolding, fuss or explanation, and yet go for maximum impact. In Lois’s work we inhabit a garden, we could be in the mountains over Maui, something rare considering Lois lives here in the town of Bukowski and his imitators. And yet the writing is never purple, never stale or corny—far from it. But then how can you go wrong if you start with Verlaine?

Late Winter

I like it when you’re quiet.
The way your shadow fills me
with solitude.

With the face of a red hibiscus
overturned into this stream.

The patience of a well worn
bench empty and expectant.

You don't need words
to coax a season.
To translate borealis, kisses

in the archway. The camellia
that tricks you
into thinking it's a rose.

To know me, listen
to nothing. Take my heart
and roll it in your palms.

Here under this lintel
of silence a river birch
shows only skin,

pale as a prayer
and twice as lonely.

Around it, everything
in early bloom.

The World According to Goldfish Vol. 1, 2009

Green sunflowers trembled in the highlands of dusk and the whole cemetery began to complain with cardboard mouths and dry rags.”
–Federico Garcia Lorca

You asked for an R, for the ripening of olives
in your garden, the red-tailed hawk

angling over the road, the path
that took you down and away

from the empty room of the body.
The R of reasons, of the ringing that breaks

in a yellow bell tower – the only sound
after the round of shots that shattered

an afternoon. And the T can only be more time,
time to be the clock or the weather vane,

the twilight through your windows
on the page, your pen once again plow

and the places you took me
where I abandoned faith.

A is alone, how you never wanted it,
preferring the company of bishop’s

weed and drowsy horses—the warm trace
of the lily and a flame

for the night with its black mouth
that sings your saeta.

G is the ghost bird that hovered
at Fuente Grande that you did not wish

to come, for the grave some say you dug
with your own hands,

empty as a mouth full of snow,
as a sky that held no moon that night

only its pure shape to stow
all the names of the dead.

Poem of the Year IBPC 2010 Judged by Dana Goodyear. 
Published in Raven Chronicles Spring 2011, featured in Magma’s monthly newsletter.

© 2013 Lois P. Jones
Lois P. Jones was a Featured Poet who read her poetry at the September 2011 Second Sunday Poetry Series