May 2008

Barbara Schweitzer


Barbara Schweitzer is author of 33 1/3 (Little Pear Press, 2008). She has received numerous prizes for her poetry including a RI merit fellowship. Her plays have been stage-read, semi-finalists, and finalists in Louisville's Humana Festival, the Boston Short Plays marathon, and the Sources Festival in DC.

A Sonnet on Why Write Sonnets    

One writes a sonnet in fifteen minutes
to uncover what one might have in mind,
not necessarily to beat Guinness
Book of World Records, but rather to mine
unknown fields of pleasure buried in silt
of everydayness one lives with without thought
to its harmful effect. Black lung's sad ilk,
cachectic thinking, ruins minds, is that not
true? A sonnet addressed to you may leave
one open to complaint. Someone might say
rhyming words with "you" is downright lazy!
Stu, blue, few, threw, two, queues are easy prey.
No matter. It's great fishing in a mind,
one's own babbling brook bobbing fourteen lines.

A Poem on the Back of a Phone Bill    

The air is swampy
Spanish moss green,
a few counties down
an alligator ate a boy
and now annoys many
men on the golf course.
The fluidity of the spongy
air infects everybody
living here, thoughts
like flies flit across
our minds but can't
ever stay long enough.
I'm writing you to say
I'm coming north next
week, can't keep licking
stamps beside these
thick magnolia leaves.
It's hard and fat and
mean here. The heat
must make it so, or
otherwise snakes and
toads wouldn't be
poisonous. I'll take
the danker climate,
the pallid nights and
odd recessive days.
My eyes are tired
of blinking twice
to wipe the sweat
away. Everything is
a tone away from
scarlet. I want to
come back to gray.



Barbara Schweitzer: Poetry
Copyright ©2008 The Cortland Review Issue 39The Cortland Review