Our Spotlight poet for March is Gary Beaumier. A graduate of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in English Literature, he has been a long time poet. His work has been a finalist for the Luminaire Award, and he was a finalist for the Joy Bale Boone Award for his poem, “The Migratory Habits of Dreams in Late Autumn.”
He was a finalist for “Best of the Net” award for his poem "The Rio Grande" and first prize for Streetlight Magazine for "Night Train to Paris." A finalist for the New Millennium Writings for “From Certain Distances in Space I Still See My Brother,” he was recently shortlisted for the Charles Bukowski contest from Raw Arts Review for his poem “Ghosting.” Happy to be a finalist for Wingless Dreamers contest for the poem “The Complete History of Our First Kiss.” He is glad to have it reprinted with Flying Ketchup Press in our 2020 poetry book coming out at the end of this year. His poem, "Night Forest" was selected as a winner of our Love Poetry contest this February!
Find his book of poetry "From My Family to Yours" published 2019 by Finishing Line Press and his second book to be released by early next year with Uncollected Press. Gary says, "I have been a teacher, a book store manager, and a gandy dancer (for one summer a long time ago). I used to build wooden sailboats, and I once taught poetry in a woman's prison. He says he is often found walking by Lake Michigan.
When we read Beaumier's poems, we noticed not only the rich imagery and clear narrative, but the heart and relationship in each poem. His attention to detail creates short phrases that are almost poems on their own: like "little deaths," "listen to mice sing," or "beyond the register of my knowing."
Beaumier speaks to a love that has both sorrow and joy, pain and tears and invites the reader into an unexpected intimacy. Thanks Gary, for sharing your work with us!
If Night So Too the Morning
Did you know I whisper things to you
in the night when you are seized in a paralytic sleep
we are nights conquest in its negligee of fog
night that mimics our finality
Did we defy mortality long ago
with our little deaths
our delicious agonized finishes
I hover my face over you
to match my breathing to yours
and wonder of the course and variance
of your dreams as I whisper
let them commingle --these dreams--
in some recitation of our infirmities
--a weakness here a breakage acknowledged--
this is how night works its murderous ways
we are now with badly mended wings
but I will fly these hours with you
to where night takes us as its downdrafts
smash us to the ground
I whisper regrets with a crumpled face
I whisper love with ashen breath
I whisper lust with a kiss to you hand
and even as the grey dawn creeps
beyond the shuttered windows
and everything is stripped away
It is then we find ourselves new
The Complete History of Our First Kiss
The old trees bend protectively around us
as we rest on the park bench in our winter wear
your faltering mind following
the course of the river
that is close and sure and deep
even now I can still find your younger face
and remember the pillowy softness
of your lips when ours first met
when we became love desperados
for now we will make our way to the bookstore by the famous church
and I will buy for you a neglected volume of stories
that will carry you into the long nights
and when we find a place to take coffee
you will caress the weave of the cover
as I serve your cup with an unsteady hand
and I see there is a little less of you this day
should we weight our overcoat pockets with rocks
and wade into the waters?
it will seem like the most natural thing
we will clutch each other and
let the current spin and dance us as our hats float free
if they find us washed up on some farther bank
will our lips be blue like something that burned pure
and is death just a river that will take us somewhere else?
for tonight though I will read to you to quell your agitations
--words you may still find familiar--
and in not too long a time
when I kiss you again
will you think it’s our first?
Once there was a woman in the night forest
who could hear above the register of most.
She would listen to mice sing in chorus
or coyotes comfort their young
over the flash and rumble of coming weather.
There was the night when I stayed in the garden
late into the hours and you called for me
and together we watched the gods
toss stars across the sky and later
we returned to our bed and I watched you
over the vastness of our pillows
as your breathing fell into a rhythm
and you separated from me.
Have your dreams returned you to a wooded place,
dusted in moonlight, where you keen your ears
to other selves, selves beyond the register of my knowing?