May 2000

Wade Newman


Wade Newman is a graduate of Kenyon College where he was the recipient of five poetry awards, including The Academy of American Poets Prize and The Robert Frost Prize. His poetry has been published in dozens of literary journals such as The Kenyon Review, Mid-American Review, Carolina Quarterly, Crosscurrents, Southern Poetry Review, Confrontation, Pivot and Edge City Review. He has been anthologized by the Academy of American Poets in Selections, 1980; New Voices, 1984; The Kenyon Poets, 1989; and The Literature of Work (University of Phoenix Press, 1991). In 1988, the Croton Review awarded him its Narrative Poetry Prize, and in 1992, he received the Ruth Lake Memorial Award from The Poetry Society of America. In 1996, Somers Rocks Press published a chapbook of his poems entitled Testaments. He lives and works in New York City. 

The Man Who Wanted to Be Sylvia Plath    Click to hear in real audio

He tried on your stockings.
They itched and ran.

He sniffed at your panties
And woke up with a cold.

He whittled himself down to your profile.
The moon made his shadow look like a twig.

He kidnapped your children, vowing to raise them.
They left him at the table, pouring milk in their cups.

He purchased a beehive.
By summer it was vacant.

He razored his veins, juggled pills down his throat.
The hospital charged him an arm and a leg.

He planted yew trees in the yard.
The locusts swarmed early.

He followed a corpse to its burial, whispering, "Father."
The rain washed his footprints away with the wreath.

Finally he stuck his head in your oven,
Letting your death sift through his bloodstream,

And vaguely sensed the second thoughts
You lost like a poem as you slept.



Poets    Click to hear in real audio

With just my bucket
I am not a poet
Who can raise his voice inside the orchard.

The poets stand
On ladders
And drop fresh apples from top branches.

I run, palms up,
Below them,
Catching words they banter.

Green or red
Or yellow,
What falls is finely polished.

One believes
We'd worship Winesaps
If our hearts like tongues could taste them.

Another fondles
A Jonathan
Whose rump splits almost humanly.

Both turn golden
As Delicious
In the ripe sun slowly sinking.

They revel like Blake's
Elastic lambs
Or the birds Saint Francis converted.

Perched in the great trees
Above me,
Their small talk sings electric.

Away from the cider well
Where only poets
May drink their fill, I have planted

Some seeds
Of knowledge
Only poisoned apples yield.




Wade Newman: Poetry
Copyright � 2000 The Cortland Review Issue 11The Cortland Review