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Outtakes: New and Selected Poems 1975-2023 / Paul Genega

Outtakes: New and Selected Poems 1975-2023

By: Paul Genega

€14.00
With roots in myth and fairy tales, and branches that weave a tangle of hope and horror, Paul Genega brings us “tales      to tell and tell and retell until the telling itself is all you own the only truth worth telling the only truth you know –”His luminous language and deft use of rhythm and rhyme bring us into a very real contemporary world in which gods, princes and witches stride beside us, ...
ISBN 978-1-915022-49-3
Pub Date Friday, February 23, 2024
Cover Image Untitled lithograph by Zora Staack (1910-2001)
Page Count 166
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With roots in myth and fairy tales, and branches that weave a tangle of hope and horror, Paul Genega brings us


“tales


     to tell and tell and retell until

the telling itself is all you own

the only truth worth telling

the only truth you know –”


His luminous language and deft use of rhythm and rhyme bring us into a very real contemporary world in which gods, princes and witches stride beside us, enticing us to leap up and join them. It is “as if dreams could sprout wings.”

Beth Joselow

Author of Begin at Once and Writing Without the Muse


Paul Genega’s poems shed light on the failures of America, the glitz and promise that exist only for a few. In this harsh reality, some lose themselves in perceived failings; others, regardless of race, immigrant status, or sexual preference, live boldly, making their way. In their expert range from lyric to narrative, in the astute way they layer history with the present, and in the way they chronicle the longing and heartache of the lived American experience, Outtakes reveals a brilliant poetic mind at work. This is a captivating book.

Priscilla Orr

Author of Jugglers & Tides and Losing the Horizon


Paul Genega’s Outtakes puts the reader on a great journey. You need to be ready to take this journey, as Genega’s road is not paved with gold; rather, it is a pot-holed turnpike, probably somewhere in New Jersey, late night and full of traffic with wise-assed drivers who’d rather give you the finger as they speed by than wave you into their lane with all the pleasantries. In Outtakes, there are no free passes, so fasten the seat belt, put your hands on the steering wheel, and let Genega’s poems take you around the construction and over a stream as a sliver of sun appears atop the mountains somewhere upstate New York… Outtakes is a standout collection of Genega’s work spanning five decades. It puts Genega in his rightful place as one of America’s most significant poets. 

Paul Rabinowitz

Founder and Executive Director, ARTS By The People

Author of truth, love and the lines in between and The Clay Urn


Paul Genega

PAUL GENEGA has published six chapbooks and six full-length collections, four with Salmon. His work has appeared in journals, anthologies and magazines for over forty years, winning awards from The Nation, New York Quarterly and The Literary Review, and an individual fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.  Perhaps, a portfolio of poems with etchings by Aaron Fink, is in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Harvard Museums, among others. His poem "The Self-Made Man and the Moon" was turned into a robotic theater piece by Barry Brian Werger at the robotics lab at the University of Southern California and toured the US and abroad. As part of ARTS By the People’s Moving Words project, "Pharaoh" was made into an animation by Omar Mizrah and premiered at the Animix Festival in Tel Aviv in 2018. His theater piece Paging Doctor Faustus, co-authored with Patricia Lee Stotter, was performed at the FiveMyles Gallery in Brooklyn in April 2020. Earlier, the Stotter/Genega musical Haven’t We Met? was presented at The Writers Theatre in New York as part of its Developing Projects Festival. Songs from that show were reprised online as Once Upon a Happily Ever After in 2022 by Studio Theater in Exile. He has worked as full-time research assistant to the co-editors of The Jackson Pollock Catalogue Raisonné and as Contributing Editor of The Columbia Encyclopedia. In 2014, upon the death of Antje Katcher, founding editor of Three Mile Harbor Press, he assumed responsibility for the press and inaugurated an annual poetry prize. Currently, he is Professor Emeritus at Bloomfield College, New Jersey, where he founded the creative writing program, served as Chair of Humanities, and taught literature and writing for thirty years. He lives with his husband Jim and their Welsh springer spaniel Chance at the edge of the majestic Hudson in Stuyvesant, New York.  



MOORDENER KILL


moves black in a place which seems sunless

over rock flecked silver white, almost shiny

in the dimness

                          over dams of leaf and twig

churn and rush of it dismantling what was

just built


                 you can see the creek, one bend

of it at least, from the road which leads

to the ramp which leads to the interstate

which can take you so far west you’ll

eventually hit ocean


                                    but you can only

see one crook of the creek where you

stand

           like a secret that stays dark

and where it leads

                               eventually you don’t

know and don’t care

                                     content to let it

mumble in the hollow which unlike

the creek is unnamed, unexplored

unloved


               except for boys like you were

once, come to linger in the shadows

walking wet stones, laughing, slipping in

spinning

                yarns of graves scooped out

of leaf mold

                     quiet men in white shirts

who dust the world with their trudge

the insatiable hunger of oversalted

childhoods crusted on pink tongues

tales

        to tell and tell and retell until

the telling itself is all you own

the only truth worth telling

the only truth you know –

manifest destiny, memoir, grand guignol


* * *


WAXWINGS


and suddenly


three


in the shadblow


as if dreams 

could sprout wings


hoodoo hipsters

in miter caps and shades


feasting on a storm

of blood-black berry


then


just as quickly


gone


vanished


disappeared


like boys 

into men


men into 

war


war into

fog


filthy 

air


* * *


CONFORMATION


for Charles Laughton’s Quasimodo


and for my grandparents Ilko and Tessie

who resisted such voices for the sake of their sons


hard chairs bolted to desktops

fixed rows in cold classrooms

the buzz of dying fluorescents


we want the same for our boys

now, nothing modular or mobile

no coddling circles, open skylights


want them to fidget as we did

lust for sun in schoolyards

know how long a minute can


last, boys who will be boys

to carry on as we carried on

as our fathers did, their fathers


sting of wrong answer

slap of disapproval, shame

like wildfire burning its way


from blush to white heat

boys who will brawl into

streets when the bell sounds


sprint to the kingdom of

tilt spin curl lift whirl, there

to crown in our own image


cruel giving way to cool

the next lord of misrule

a new king of fools 


All of the above poems are Copyright © Paul Genega, 2024.


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