New & Selected Work
by Charles Entrekin
Published by Poetic Matrix Press
137 pages, price $17.00
In Listening: New and Selected Work, Charles Entrekin presents us with a remarkable
poetic legacy. Written between 1975 and the present, the poems in this collection
are passionate and darkly lyric. Always grounded in physical reality, they transcend
time and place, revealing both the great and small moments of life as seen from
the perspective of eternity.
— Mary Mackey, The Widow's War
Charles Entrekin was born in 1941 in Birmingham, Alabama. He took his B.A. in English
from Birmingham Southern College in 1964. He left Birmingham in 1965 and lived in
various states (New York, Tennessee, Alabama, and Montana) while pursuing advanced
degrees in philosophy and creative writing.
The Managing Editor of Hip Pocket Press (www.hippocketpress.com ), Charles is also the
author of four books of poetry from which this collection was drawn: In This Hour,
(BPW&P, 1990); Casting for the Cutthroat & Other Poems, (BPW&P, 1986);
Casting for the Cutthroat, (Thunder City Press, 1978); All Pieces of a Legacy, (BPW&P,
Charles' novel, Red Mountain: Birmingham, Alabama, 1965, was published in May, 2008,
by El Leon Literary Arts (www.elleonliteraryarts.org).
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Ohlone Park, Berkeley
We are no longer strangers.
She lies beside me in sunlight,
and already I know her like a memory.
Eyes closed, small veins pulse, eyelids flutter,
and she's freshly fallen into reverie.
Under eucalyptus trees I stare out to sea,
watch as a wooden boat rocks in the waves.
As a tall black fisherman stands,
lifts his catch by the gills.
A big rainbow of a fish,
its tail curls, flesh glimmering.
Across the Bay, the Golden Gate
is washed in pink. But nothing, I think,
is ever as simple as it seems.
Now a giant oil tanker appears,
begins to creep across my view.
Waking, she sits up,
legs straight out like a child, smiles,
burrows in under my arm.
Then, as eucalyptus leaves rustle above us,
suddenly something opens a hole in my chest,
and, to my surprise, I begin to weep.
Sunday, the sidewalk breathes in early morning
heat, and suddenly I hear her making love,
so near I can almost feel her
voice rising an octave. I listen, and
something inside me, a school of fish, abruptly changes directions.
Stepping into weeds, the sunlight
falls through cedars into an open upstairs
window. Strange black outlines, shadows
move in her voice, move heavily within me,
I press closer into the bushes; imagine
the dark wood of her bed, her
multicolored patchwork quilt, her
once ordered room; stand
in knife-like sunlight, knees
deep in the new green
of blackberry brambles,
and oh, to be caught up in the will
of a woman, nest in the debris of another's
life, to let go, float freely in the sounds
of her love making, swim in a voice
that knows how what can be broken
can be made whole again.