“Each Perfect One is a powerful blend of craft and wisdom. Goldberg’s voice is unique and confident and her skills have been honed over time to make the poems seems effortless . . . This collection, regardless of its size, contains human largeness and a very wide world.”
Cover image: Joan Stuart Ross, Hyphens. Encaustic collage on wood, 8″ x 10″ www.joanstuartross.com.
Published: May 21, 2012 [125 copies]
Ellen Goldberg‘s first book of poems was Meeting Street. She is also published in Naming: An Anthology of Eight Women, Columbia Sun, Silo, Lyric Garden, Calyx, and Windfall. She is a member of the 29th Street Writers and reads her poetry on the group’s CD, This Is the Welcome. She was awarded a Performing Arts in Public Places grant by Portland’s Metropolitan Arts Commission to perform and teach writing in the schools and community. She has performed in and organized poetry events including The Wayback, an annual celebration of women using the arts to help heal from abuse. She works as a child family therapist at CARES NW, a child abuse assessment center.
Redemption in the Year of Inert Gases
It was May and I was failing.
Still, xenon, neon and argon appealed to me.
They lit up a grocery storefront
in the deserted neighborhood
of the periodic table
where it was always midnight,
and the streetlamps had been shot out,
and I’d been dropped off alone,
my thin coat of brains no match for the cold.
The teacher, Mrs. Mishalove,
took pity, gave me a string to hang
in a liquid she’d stirred something into,
not bothering to explain. By the next day,
a stack of clear shiny wafers had crawled
up the string. When I tasted one,
the body of the lord of salt, I knew that
making solid tears would be my project,
and might earn the precious credit I needed.
I guessed that while growing crystals
I had wandered into another class,
the one on weeping—where
I would be happier.
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