The Poetry Storehouse

great contemporary poems for creative remix

Eric Blanchard – poems

28 February 2014

1. Midwest Mud (with audio by the author)
2. The night could be wrong (with audio by the author)
3. Lonely Spirit
4. Momma Dwarf Has Another Child (with audio by Nic Sebastian)
5. Tracing Snowflakes

25 October 2013

1. Sweet Tea (with audio by Nic Sebastian)
…. Soundscape by Marc Neys (Swoon)
…. Videopoem by Marc Neys
…. Videopoem by Nic Sebastian
2. And God . . .
…. Video remix by Marie Craven
3. Frost on the Ocean (with audio by the author)
4. Old No. 2 (with audio by James Brush)

Midwest Mud

(Read by Eric Blanchard)
download audio The mud seems almost fresh,
but the footprints fossilized
over a long frozen winter, exposed
by ebbing snow.
……………….They were likely left
by settlers moving south, seeking
steady work somewhere in Texas,

where oil has yet to run dry, where
dreams have yet to die,
mud is still soft and squishy.

[published in Issue #13 of Turbulence Poetry – in print only.

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The night could be wrong
(Read by Eric Blanchard)
download audioThe dusk is telling us stories. They are
familiar in some ways, but it seems
the names have been changed to protect
the witnesses. And I thought the wind
was blowing slightly at the beginning
of the one about the boy and his dog.
The creeping darkness called it a mutt.
I clearly remember that the dog was
an Australian Shepard, and the boy
was younger.  He wasn’t looking for trouble,
but the grizzly found him anyway. I don’t
know where that guy came from. That
is not how I remember it. The night
could be wrong about the purple hues.
It might not even be the same story,
if the dog hadn’t saved the boy’s life.
At morning the dog died. Still, in my
mind, I remember a happily ever after. 

[1st place, Ohio Poetry Day 2012 poetry contest #14, “I hate you . . . let’s have a drink”; published in the contest compilation chapbook, Ohio Poetry Day: Best of 2012.]

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Lonely Spirit

While collecting souls,
I stumbled upon the bones
of an old friend. We

lost touch during the
hurricane, when the wind
was blowing and rain

beat against the window.
The lights flickered then failed.
I left to buy whiskey

and a blanket to keep us warm.
When I returned, it was dark.
The door on the porch

was ajar and he was gone.
How his bones came to
lie in the desert, I do not

know. I may never know.
But I drank that bottle
alone, wet and tired.

[published in Issue #13 of Turbulence Poetry – in print only.]

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Momma Dwarf Has Another Child
(Read by Nic Sebastian)
download audio
As if being slapped around and
downgraded wasn’t enough, the “fat asteroid,”
Pluto, has another moon—
barely big enough to spin, yet
pulling weight around her momma’s
midriff. They’ve named her

S/2011 P1, but call her P4 for short.
(All good family names are taken.) Caught
on spy camera playing
between her two closest siblings,
nary a squeak.
She makes it a quartet.

Portraits courtesy
of Hubble Studios.

[published in Issue 2 of Vector Press – in print only.]

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Tracing Snowflakes

My wife is pregnant again,
and I am watching her

as she irons the coarse weaves of my cloak.
I am trying to write, feverishly.

I am Doctor Yuri Zhivago,
and I am in self-imposed exile,

tracing snowflakes on the window.
I am dreaming of Lara.

The Bolsheviks have raided the city
and have purged the souls of the people.

The personal life is dead in Russia.
History has killed it.

I have had my fill of bloodshed.
I have looked at death with wild eyes.

I am coming home to Tonya,
to Lara—

I am coming home. The key
is still where she left it.

[First published in Issue 2 of Vector Press – in print only.]

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Sweet Tea
(Read by Nic Sebastian)
download audio
The Mexican hibiscus grows
wild and unruly and bright green
before it spurts flowers like blood.
The policeman thought it
was pot, because the leaves
look vicious and the neighbors
were smiling. He got tangled up
in the scent and confusion.
He tried to cut it down,
but he could not repossess it.
It makes sweet tea just the same,
as though it were the weed it is—
wild and unruly and green,
with flowers like blood.

– First published in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Number 35, Winter 2010

 Soundscape by Swoon

 Videopoem by Marc Neys

 Videopoem by Nic Sebastian

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And God . . .

rolling around the universe
like a pinball, bumps
off bumpers, rings
the bells, flashes
the light bulbs, spins
out of control, falls
through the hole
past flippers.

And the man
pounds his fists
and kicks at the stars
and the mystery.

The whole thing
goes tilt.

Game over.

– First published in Pudding Magazine, Summer 2011

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Video remix by Marie Craven

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Frost on the Ocean
(Read by Eric Blanchard)
download audio

A hundred or so paths diverged
on a great green ocean,
and looking up toward the heavens, I saw
a thousand more crisscrossing the sky.

Above those were spread
at least a million other paths,
playful and sun bent,
lightly testing the exosphere.

As I stood, pondering whether to swim
or fly or orbit the Earth
chasing starlight,
my cortex went numb.

Frozen at the crossroad
on a brimless sea,
I did nothing.
That has certainly made a difference.

– First published in Pudding Magazine, Summer 2012

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Old No. 2
(Read by James Brush)
download audioThis tiny pencil has seized control.
It guides my tortured scribbling—
a primitive reminder that
even my style is old, archaic, passé.

Why this pencil? And why
not an energy-laden keyboard or keypad?
I will txt my nxt poem on twittr.
omg! r u kidn me?

This pencil is almost alive,
virtually buzzing with vital inspiration.
But it is merely a 3-inch stub, and
the ancient eraser is bare.

I have sharpened this pencil
at least a dozen times with my little Swiss army,
and I have begun to squeeze
rubber from its collar, like toothpaste.

“As long as it breathes,” I whisper.
As long as this gnawed-on pencil
(this forgotten piece of wood) draws breath,
I need not fire, the wheel, sliced bread.

– First published in Pudding Magazine, Summer 2012

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About Eric:

Eric Blanchard grew up in Houston, Texas. He earned degrees in philosophy (B.A.) and jurisprudence (J.D.). Eric has practiced law, written appellate briefs, been editor-in-chief of an international trade law journal, and worked as an adviser for a state representative in the Texas legislature.

Eric’s poetry has been published in numerous literary journals and reviews, both on-line and in print, including Autumn Sky Poetry, Rust and Moth, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Pudding Magazine, Amarillo Bay, Turbulence, and Poetry Quarterly.

He currently resides in Dayton, Ohio with his beautiful girlfriend, her young son, three dogs, and two tiny fish.

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9 thoughts on “Eric Blanchard – poems

  1. Wonderful poems, Eric! Your metaphors are original and tightly constructed. Bravo!

  2. Reblogged this on eric's voices and commented:
    I am very grateful to Nic Sebastian, who reads my poem “Sweet Tea” at The Poetry Storehouse, where previously published print poems go to find new life on the internet.

    The Poetry Storehouse is an effort to promote new forms and delivery methods for in-print poetry by creating a repository of freely-available high-quality contemporary poetry for multimedia collaborative artists. Their main mission is to collect and showcase previously published print poetry.

    The Poetry Storehouse team is a collaboration and remix in itself, bringing together a group of people who have worked together before and who are united in their desire to (a) promote innovation and diversity in poetry delivery methods and (b) broaden poetry’s appeal and audience by facilitating partnerships between poets and other visual and sound artists.

  3. Pingback: Sweet Tea by Eric Blanchard | Moving Poems

  4. Pingback: Letting our children go: an interview with Eric Blanchard | Moving Poems Forum

  5. Bryan M Blanchard on said:

    Your poems have always reached me, wether I laph out load or silently shed a tear.
    Your wordsmithing is obvious and powerful. (sorry I don’t laf much these days s
    o I don’t know how to spell it.)

  6. Pingback: New additions – 11 March 2014 | The Poetry Storehouse

  7. Pingback: “The collaborative process is enriching for everyone involved”: an interview with Marc Neys | Moving Poems Magazine

  8. Pingback: New additions – Jan 2015 | The Poetry Storehouse

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