Poetry & More<br> Eileen Albrizio

Poetry & More
Eileen Albrizio
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Winner of the 2003 & 2008 New Boston Fund Individual Artist Fellowships
Awarded by the Greater Hartford Arts Council



Biography












Visit my BLOG and feel free to leave comments or contribute examples of your writing!
You'll find topics like "Taking the Labor Out of Starting a Story"
and information on upcoming events and workshops!




WRITING FROM SCRACTH
A Poetry Workshop
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Praise for Perennials: New & Selected Poems - "Albrizio delves into Brussels sprouts and fluffed pillows, peering past the veneer of domesticity into the cauldron of secrets that seethes underneath. Evolving morality and the diminishment of mortality are explored here with clarity of perception; and a poem like The Thinning of Filomena with its rigorous formal structure, unsentimental outlook, and grace of motion transcends its kin to create a lasting, memorable effect on the mind of the reader."

ó Ravi Shankar, Poet-in-Residence at CCSU - Editor of Drunken Boat - Author of Instrumentality, finalist for the 2005 Connecticut Book Awards



The poems below are from Albrizio's books, MESSY ON THE INSIDE, RAIN: DARK AS WATER IN WINTER,and now from PERENNIALS: NEW & SELECTED POEMS!
Angel photographs are not included in the books.




SMOKE

After fourteen years smoke-free,
I asked my brother for a cigarette.
Hesitant, he tapped the pack
until one filtered tip popped out.

You were watching me,
yet didnít interfere
as I struck the match,
inhaled, then inhaled once more.

Crackling tobacco assaulted my throat,
burned its way to my lungs,
left an acrid aftertaste.
Even sitting I felt dizzy.

My three surviving brothers
and I drew as hard as we could,
hoping to cloud our world
and hide what lay inside.

Itís what we did as kids. We smoked.
They taught me but didnít know it.
A little girl scooping up
smoldering butts dropped in the grass.

I was the only one who quit.
But as we sat outside the hospital
I joined them in one last smoke,
still trying to be like my older brothers.

Somehow, I thought he would join us.
But when I snuffed the stub
he was still dead
and you were still watching me.

Once home, I stripped off my clothes,
washed the stench from my hair,
held you close to feel your breath
prove your life against my neck.
SOMETHING FOR FLORENCE
a pantoum

A milky film over old, teary eyes.
Through the haze she reviews an abstract world.
Clarity held in her lap counting beads,
Florence soundlessly mouths her private prayers.

Through the haze she reviews an abstract world.
A stranger comes, lays kisses on her cheeks.
Florence soundlessly mouths her private prayers
and wonders why her husband doesn't call.

A stranger comes, lays kisses on her cheeks.
Where's Armand? Reply. He's dead now. She cries
and wonders why her husband doesn't call.
A nurse checks her pulse and her morphine patch.

Where's Armand? Reply. He's dead now. She cries.
Tries to stretch her legs but they're hard to move.
A nurse checks her pulse and her morphine patch.
I had the nicest gams in town you know.

Tries to stretch her legs but they're hard to move.
The nurse nods, says she's told her that before.
I had the nicest gams in town you know.
From her chair by the window, I could dance.

The nurse nods, says she's told her that before.
At eighty-nine it's hard to see today
from her chair by the window. I could dance.
She jitterbugs with Armand in her mind.

At eighty-nine it's hard to see today.
Can't dress or wash herself or write to friends.
She jitterbugs with Armand in her mind,
numbed by the anesthesia of the past.

Can't dress or wash herself or write to friends.
Her hands, they're good for just one thing these days.
Numbed by the anesthesia of the past,
there's nothing left for Florence here except

her hands. They're good for just one thing these days.
Clarity held in her lap, counting beads.
There's nothing left for Florence here except
a milky film over old, teary eyes.
A CHILD'S FALL
a villanelle

I remember falling to my knees,
pulled by your hand to pray around the bed.
You wept for him. I didn't say a word.

He was the son impossible to please,
though your efforts were immense, still he fled.
I remember falling to my knees,

throwing a tantrum that you never heard.
Burdened by my life you wished me dead.
You wept for him. I didn't say a word.

As a daughter I never could appease
your anguish over losing him, instead
I remember falling to my knees,

weak from the loss of blood, my vision blurred.
What a selfish little girl you said.
You wept for him. I didn't say a word.

Inflamed by my affection and my pleas,
You snapped and slapped my face and shook your head.
I remember falling to my knees.
You wept for him. I didn't say a word.
THE THERAPIST

When flicking dandruff
from the shoulder of your blouse,
did you hear what I said?
I was certainly on the verge of a breakthrough.
My tears should have told you that.
But you had noticed dandruff
and had to sweep it away.
Running fingers through snarled tresses,
more dandruff fell on your shoulder.
You, of course noticed it,
brushed a palm over the fabric
again and again
until certain all the flakes were gone.
Just as I was about to reveal my fear ofÖ
Anyway, I never did get to that breakthrough
and youíve since lost all you hair.


all angel photographs and poetry copyright © Albrizio 1998-2007


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Eileen Albrizio