Featured Poet: Andrew Booth, Newmarket
Andrew Booth is a recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire's MFA program in poetry & a current server/busser/baby juggler/all-around-yes-man in Portsmouth's breakfast business. He's trying to learn to play golf (i.e. hit a golf ball) & working on several translations from Paul Eluard & Tristan Tzara between more elaborate chapbook projects. He lives on the Great Bay & considers all the wildlife his pets. He currently has poems on view in InDigest (indigestmag.com) & forthcoming in Hunger Mountain Online.
I wrote "The Specifics" this winter, on one of those days when everything & everyone seems rotten. The weather was terrible. The republican debates were getting full coverage on the radio & hatred seemed to be in full swing-- anti-gay/anti-women/minorities/foreign relations/education/future/past/you-name-it. So I was aimlessly surfing the web, trying to shake the funk off, & found where someone had posted this picture of Neil Patrick Harris & David Burtke kind of pressed together in a garden. Not erotic, mind you, but certainly posed w/ romantic intention. & it struck me. I broke down at my desk & started weeping. & out came the poem. But it came strangely, w/ all the fear & pain & excitement of those first poems you write, the awful ones, when you're sixteen, seventeen, & all strung out on puberty. I'm still not certain exactly how it comes across, but the process of writing it reminded me why I started this endeavor in the first place.
Neil Patrick Harris & David Burtke: Cover,
Out Magazine January 2012
Because one will stand
& straighten the tie of one he loves.
Because he will press his head to theirs
smelling of aftershave & feel his nose
beneath their mouth & feel his hands
against their shirt.
Because of gentleness,
gesture before embrace.
Because of the grip
of their hands, the quiet
seriousness of their faces.
Because the world exists also for them
just as the hedge & leaf pulled
into semi-focus at their chins.
Because it is good to touch; because
there is no evil in love’s manufacture
poised before a breath in the garden.
The distance between hate & empathy
More from Andrew Booth:
For more information, queries, or if you're just in the area & would like to talk poems, feel free to contact AndrewK.Booth@Gmail.com