SATURDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: KEVIN VARRONE

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POEM I WROTE SITTING ACROSS THE TABLE FROM YOU
By Kevin Varrone

if I had two nickels to rub together
I would rub them together

like a kid rubs sticks together
until friction made combustion

and they burned

a hole in my pocket

into which I would put my hand
and then my arm

and eventually my whole self––
I would fold myself

into the hole in my pocket and disappear

into the pocket of myself, or at least my pants

but before I did

like some ancient star

I’d grab your hand


(Today’s poem originally appeared on Poets.org from the Academy of American Poets and appears here today with permission from the poet.)


Kevin Varrone’s most recent project is box score: an autobiography, recently published as a free, interactive app for iPhone and iPad (available at the iTunes/app store or at boxscoreapp.com). His other publications include Eephus, Passyunk Lost, The Philadelphia Improvements, Id Est, and g-point Almanac: 6.21-9.21. He is a 2012 Pew Fellow in the Arts, teaches at Temple University, and lives outside Philadelphia.

Editor’s Note: Today’s poem was a recent Poem-A-Day via the Academy of American Poets. As such, it was forwarded to me by doctor poet Jenny Stella, because she thought I would like it. Because of this, I dedicate today’s poem to Dr. Stella.

When I read today’s poem for the first time I was immediately reminded of the poet Nicolas Destino, whose work has been featured here on As It Ought To Be many times. If I were sitting across the table from Nicolas Destino, this is the kind of poem I would like to write for him. Because of this, I dedicate today’s poem to Nicolas Destino.

Today’s piece rides a wave of imagination until it finds a landing pad deep within the heart. First, the day-to-day is imbued with magic when the poet invents a world in which he can burn a hole in his pocket and, through it, disappear into himself. Then love and friendship smile from between the lines when the poet promises the one sitting across the table that, “before I did [disappear] / like some ancient star // I’d grab your hand.”

Want to read more by and about Kevin Varrone?
Box Score: An Autiobiography
Eephus (from Box Score)
Elective Affinities
Books from Ugly Duckling Presse
g-point Almanac from SPD Books

About Sivan Butler-Rotholz

Sivan is the Contributing Editor of the Saturday Poetry Series on As It Ought To Be and holds an MFA from Brooklyn College. She is a professor, writer, editor, comic artist, and attorney emerita. She is also the founder of Reviving Herstory. Sivan welcomes feedback, poetry submissions, and solicitations of her writing via email at sivan.sf [at] gmail [dot] com.
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