Ernest Hilbert Reads from All of You on the Good Earth at the New Jersey Poetry Festival

by on 05/06/13 at 9:07 am

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Photograph by Matthew Wright. Copyright Pub Can Records, 2013.

Photograph by Matthew Wright. Copyright Pub Can Records, 2013.

Sunrise with Sea Monsters

For Ray Harryhausen

“Huge Octopus Topples the Golden Gate!”
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms skulks
Ashore, hearing a foghorn, lonely for friends.
Nessie slips from the Loch to seize a mate.
Swarming tentacles haul great, breathing hulks
From frozen deeps to clutch prey, then descend.
The clumsy frogman from the Black Lagoon
Gazes, glistening, from the giant sail
Of the drive-in screen at nestled, flinching teens—
But these Things don’t belong here and soon
Slink from secured soil, sink in a cold whirl,
Beaten back by ray guns, germs, and Marines.
Sea birds, drunken on guts, hover over
Churned seas, watching for the next poor monster.

Cover to Cover

Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector’s passion borders
on the chaos of memories. – Walter Benjamin

I don’t collect them. They just accumulate,
Tower higher into shoddy columns,
Climbing weirdly like crystal formations
Or pillars of coral. The thought of their weight
Crushes, their coarse traffic of wars I’ve thumbed
Through, their long summers and snow. They weigh tons.
They slide onto the stove, under the fridge,
Into the tub. They prop open windows,
Serve as coasters. They have traveled with me
And slept beside me. They fashion a bridge
To vanished rooms, sorrows, and suns. Lord knows
Why I haul them from city to city.
I slip them together like bricks. They become a wall,
My greed, my fears, everything, nothing at all.

Ernest Hilbert Reads “Sunrise with Sea Monsters” and “Cover to Cover” from All of You on the Good Earth at the Tenth Annual New Jersey Poetry Festival, May 19, 2013

Footage courtesy of David M. Katz
Produced by Paul Fleming for E-Verse Radio

“Sunrise with Sea Monsters” and “Cover to Cover” from Ernest Hilbert’s book All of You on the Good Earth, published by Red Hen Press, Los Angeles, available in bookstores and online

“Double Denim” by Six Acre Lake, used by permission of the artists, from the album Highest of Horses, available on vinyl (in transparent coke bottle green and white marble vinyl) and digital download from, guitar and synth by John S Schlicter, drums by Joseph W. Getz, recorded By Dave Downham @ Gradwell House, mastered By Bob Weston @ Chicago Mastering Service

For more information, visit
Special thanks to Anna Evans, Quincy R. Lehr, and Diane Lockward'

Ernest Hilbert

Ernest Hilbert is founder of E-Verse Radio.

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