A Superdry Day

It's raining and a second Superdry store
has just opened in the center of town
and I dip into M&S to get a drink
and overhear the till-man say to a small woman
price of lemons has gone down 3p since last week,
every little helps, love-
a Tesco sentiment, not one of this fine establishment. 

To The Paramedic Scooping Me Into A Body Bag

To the paramedic
scooping me into a body bag after that terrible crash,

sorry that you don’t know my name,
your slaps to my cheek in an attempt
to stir me from my bruised sleep was not enough
of a hit in the face to wake me up and tell you my name.

All you know of me is that I’m five-eleven
with brown hair and bloodshot eyes
and one less shoe than when I began my journey and
in my pockets are nothing except for one receipt
for a Sainsbury’s meal deal I didn’t complete and my wallet.

Open it. Find my name and trace my evening back to
here where I met you and if you look behind that license
and behind that fifty-percent used two-free-cinema-tickets coupon-
a date with myself-
you'll find my heart of the wallet donor card.
Use it wisely.

Look to Mountains, Look to Sea - Ron Singer


Ron Singer's Look To Mountains, Look To Sea is a chronicle of summer sojourns in Maine since 1969. The thirty-one poems are set in two very different milieu; Deer Isle, on Penobscot Bay, and Weld, in the western mountains. The reader will enjoy Singer's vivid sense of place and his mimicry of Maine's acerbic, funny voices. At the end of the collection Ron states:

My wife, Liz, and I have been renting vacation houses in Maine for a month or more almost every summer since 1969, a total of about five years. The majority of these houses have been in two places. For the first two decades or so, we rented eight or nine cottages or farm houses on Deer Isle, an island in Penobscot Bay. After that, we moved around the state for a while, spending several vacations, for example, in a cottage right on the rocky shore of Spruce Head Island, and several in a snug house in an orchard in Hope. For the past thirteen years, we have rented an isolated old farmhouse in Weld, which is in the western mountains. From Deer Isle and Weld come these poems of eastern and western Maine.

The book was nominated for a 2013 Pushcart Prize and named "Editor's Choice" in the Spring/Summer 2014 issue of The Aurorean, a Maine-based poetry journal. A review and an interview by Laurel Johnson can be found at Midwest Book Review. For more information about Look To Mountains and/or Ron Singer head over to his website here.

English/Squash Teacher, New York, N.Y. 1974-2008 - Ron Singer

(part four of four poems entitled 'Colleagues')

Speaking of teachers, jusqu’au bout des nails,
this logo-meister, this master of words,
spouted for fifty years, a language whale.
Through classroom walls, Stentor’s voice could be heard
(though he used neither mike nor megaphone).
“ ‘Dative’? No! Front-leaning rest position!”
the former M.P. would bark. “You morons!”

He’d also bark at himself --“Fat old man!”--
when he became too slow to reach a shot
on the squash court. We played thirty-odd years,
my mentor and I. Knowledge sweetly bought.
His idiom, profane, his thinking, pure,
to our weak pablum culture, a shock cure.
“You slackers will pay. Of that, rest assured!”

Peace Corps Teacher, Ikare, Nigeria, 1964-67 (2 of 2) - Ron Singer

(part three of four poems entitled 'Colleagues')
Amos was shepherd to gleeful sheep.

Professeur jusqu’au bout des ongles, *
he’d supervise the boys as they reaped

the aki apples from the jumble 
of trees in our shared, sand-covered yard.
“O ti lo wa ju (why be humble?),”

he’d say to me, “you have gone far,”
praising my infantile Yoruba.
J.B. was also my translator.

At a slanging match, a big hub-bub
in a dirt yard, one witticism
made the crowd roar. Translated, the nub

of it was, “A vagina famine
has befallen your remote bush town.
Carts carry the penises, swollen,
of your entire member population.”

* a teacher to the ends of his fingernails.