All the Poems I Never Wrote
by jacob erin-cilberto
36 Poems ~ 48 Pages
Price: $15.00
Publisher: Praying Mantis Press
ISBN: 9798854073288
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A famous Bible passage from the book of Ezekiel describes a desolate place known as the valley of dry bones. The bones take on life as divine breath enters them. Empowered by flesh, tendons and skin, they are transformed. All the Poems I Never Wrote is like that. jacob erin-cilberto’s 22nd collection highlights the creative power of a mature poet. Within a remarkable range of subjects, the poet breathes new life into poems that already possessed good bones. Those poems have now been written, and we, his fortunate readers may now partake of that same creative air. The collection is aptly dedicated to erin-cilberto’s personal Muse, that inner spiritual force that imparts the breath of life.


You might say jacob erin-cilberto “Had me from hello,” when I encountered the following line from his poem “the band”: words build their own castles. Indeed, they do. In poems characterized by remarkable word acuity, erin-cilberto, gradually constructs a poetic edifice of life experiences that touched my heart. These poems speak to me where I live.
–Michael Escoubas & Vandana Bajikar, authors of Ripples Into the Light: PhotoPoetry.


jacob erin-cilberto hails from the Bronx, NY. He now resides in Southern Illinois and still teaches at John A. Logan Community College. He has been writing and publishing since 1970; this is his 22nd book of poetry over that span of years. In addition to his current volume, erin-cilberto has published the following poems in Quill and Parchment: "The Thingamagig by the Watchamacallit," (June 2005); "Mustard on My Suit," (July 2005); "Rider," (August 2005); "Facing the Shade," (February 2006); and "Numbered Days," (March 2007). The poet avers that he will write till he drops, or until his fingers can no longer find the keys. 


by jacob erin-cilberto

you were a sonnet
in strict meter,
some beautiful imagery mixed
with comfortable notions of rhyme
because that won’t stray from the truth

maybe a little free verse child
might be rejected
and readers will sense
it was poorly raised
and should have been revised

to fit in
to the structure of what society expects

Oh, I visit your ashes in my mind
and they color my heart with gray spills
I still try to rhyme when I can to please you

I know it does …
but I am out of character
and finally start to wonder

what would Father think of this?
would he appreciate me sowing my poetic oats
in controversy?
would he say I have guts
or lack tact to please Mother?

my strange writing has no siblings
and I have to hide my pen
under the bed
a shadow in the night light.


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