1919- to present

1919- to present

A Poem by jacob erin-cilberto


1919- to present

 

 

 

i was in City Lights Books

and saw an aging Lawrence F.

sitting behind the counter

with his spectacles

holding one of his old books in his hand

 

absorbed in a "Coney Island of the Mind"

i didn't want to disturb him,

he must be pushing 100 i thought as started to back away

 

he sensed me or had great hearing for his age

but he looked up and smiled,

asked if I was looking for anything in particular

 

i looked at what was in his hands and said

"yes, I'll have one of those"

and then drifted back to my younger days

and those days i spent

at that very Coney Island

 

yet...i don't remember if i had a mind then

probably not,

and poetry was not a glint in my pen

 

but kids are rarely genius

and writing grows as the heart ages

 

so I paid for my book,

thanked the man

and walked out of the store

feeling like i had just met a poem

 

that i could never write.

 

 

9/4/19

© 2019 jacob erin-cilberto


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Reviews

Yes, read Coney Island many years ago . . . was instantly taken. J, this is a great memoir poem. Especially liked your ending.
T
P.S.
Just made a copy of this to hang by my desk. Thanks
T

Posted 5 Days Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

5 Days Ago

thank you, Tom,
j.
I first discovered Ferlinghetti in Poetry Magazine several years back. They ran a feature on his artwork, and it wasn't until later that I discovered City Lights. He has lived fully and busily and is a great example to all of us who want to think of poetry as something beyond a moment.

I love that you end with the idea of 'a poem that I could never write.' Some things feel untranslatable, but maybe we only feel they are and in our efforts to convey that feeling we convey more than we meant or thought we could.

This poem has a grand sense of wonder in the everyday. Surprise is possible around every corner, and, also, there is always someone in their everydayness who can fill us with a sense of grandness without even being aware.

Love the dynamic and language of this, Jacob. We are all just works in progress looking up to someone who is a little bit ahead. That was my take away, anyway.

Posted 1 Week Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Week Ago

i love your take Eilis----yes, he has lived fully...when i first started writing poetry it was back .. read more
jacob erin-cilberto

5 Days Ago

And i also appreciate what you said about all of us being a work in progress...all the way to the en.. read more
Eilis

5 Days Ago

You’re welcome, Jacob. My pleasure. I’m glad my ideas connected
Nice write J. Bookstores like minds go hand in hand, all having treasures within be it wisdom, a story, a life.

Posted 1 Week Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Week Ago

thank you, andrew.
j.
I love that store, how cool would that be? Was just there earlier this year, then beers at Vesuvio. This was wonderful and filled me up with one of
My favorite areas of SF. You are so good.

Posted 1 Week Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Week Ago

thank you for your kind words, Crowley.
j.
The older we get the more wisdom and life experiences we collect help us to define our style of writing.
I know I have come a long ways from the basic poetry I use to write.

Posted 1 Week Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Week Ago

we do get more wisdom...and so good if we use it...
you surely do my friend,
j.
Woah! I think you just melted my head with this Jacob. Never been to coney Island, but I think my mind just went there.
Writing grows as the heart ages is a poem in itself, but then you surpassed that with your ending. My head is officially melted with the thought "did he think he had just met a poem he did write?"
I would say more, but my brin is drabbling out of my oar right now. Superb.

Posted 1 Week Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Week Ago

thank you for your kind words, Lorry,
j.
I love this Jacob I haven’t seen this freestyle write of yours and so used to your metaphors so I was pleasantly surprised loved it like a story thank you

Posted 1 Week Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Week Ago

thank you for your words, Julie.
j.
I had never heard of Ferlinghetti until I read this and having just read 'Don't Let That Horse' I am smitten thank you Jacob. This poem in itself is way up there in the gods as you reminisce and paint this encounter for us in only poetry you can write.

Posted 1 Week Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Week Ago

thank you for your kind review, John,
j.
I had to look up Lawrence F and read a couple of his poems, not being familiar with his work. I also found out about his connections with City Lights Books. I love browsing in book shops and found myself in an Oxfam book shop last weekend, browsing through some very old poetry books. Love the musty smells and coming across other people's notes scribbled in the margins. How true writing grows as the heart ages. Yes when we can reflect on life's experiences for our material. I like where I journied with this poem Jacob.

Chris

Posted 1 Week Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Week Ago

I especially miss Casper the cat...he was part of the experience of going there....
Christine Anne Shaw

1 Week Ago

Great name for a cat. You do love your felines don't you?
jacob erin-cilberto

1 Week Ago

I admit it...yes...
There is nothing like a good book store to browse...especially the old ones...the smell...the hushed sense of
being in a sacred place...a place that readers know intimately.
My hometown had a Carnegie library where I would go spend hours...the building is still there...but it is no longer a library.
I remember my first poem...my father asked if I had written it...I guess he had his doubts.
They have grown increasingly better it seems and every now and then one pops up that's not too bad.

but I understand the feeling like "i had just met a poem
that i could never write."

Brilliant, j. well done.



Posted 1 Week Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Week Ago

thank you, Ted...i imagine your dad would be quite proud of your poetry now...
My dad had man.. read more

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Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on September 5, 2019
Last Updated on September 5, 2019

Author

jacob erin-cilberto
jacob erin-cilberto

Carbondale, IL



About
Originally from Bronx, NY, I live in Carbondale, Illinois...teach English at two community colleges and have been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. Friending works two ways. If we have had .. more..

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