Two Poems – Charlie Rossiter

Charlie Rossiter

Charlie Rossiter, a member of “3 Guys from Albany” performance poetry group, hosts the twice-monthly podcast series at www.poetryspokenhere.com. While living in Delmar back in the ‘90s he produced and hosted the Poetry Motel cable tv program. Now, after a stint in the Chicago area, he has returned east to Bennington, VT. He’s read at venues nationwide, including the Dodge Festival in NJ, the Chicago Blues Festival, and Nuyorican Poets Café in NYC. Recent books include All Over America: Road Poems; Winter Poems; Cold Mountain 2000: Han Shan in the City; and Lakeside Poems. He hosts a poetry/spoken word open mic on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Tap House in Bennington (across the streed from Bennngton Pottery).

 

Autodidact

Allen Ginsberg dropped out of Columbia
and apprenticed with his heroes. Rexroth
learned what he learned by reading widely.
It’s a bit like “you are what you eat.”
I’m thinking now of peanut butter and sex
because I stumbled onto Eileen Myles’ poems
twenty years ago. There’s only one Green Car,
but I got a spin on my buddy Mike’s
white thunderbird from that old Hudson.
It was a coast to coast, border to border
joy machine. Quincy Troupe once told me
he had met grad students who had majored
in English and never heard of Lorca which I
find so hard to believe, I can still hear him
saying it, these many years later, and that
makes me think that the best part of being
self-taught is when it comes to whose poetry
you’d rather know, and whose you’d rather not.

 

How to Be An Atheist

Without a god
turn to mountains,
oceans
sunsets
rivers
moments of silence,
quiet thoughts
and wishes.

If you want a Sabbath,
make one
every seven days.

On that day take time
to be better to yourself
than you are the other six.

Be at ease, play music,
write, make food that takes time,
have long conversations,
be more silly or more serious
whatever helps you balance.

When good or bad things happen
don’t thank or beg.
Embrace the mystery,
accept what isn’t known
and what can’t be.