Saturday, December 10, 2016

Poetry & Portraits: Grades

By Eric Meub


Above the chair’s arm and her perfect card,
his glasses mirror back a blank regard.
She seeks for eyes behind those disks of light,
gold-edged, and lensed in brilliant newsprint white.

He only speaks into the paper, “We
won’t talk about this—” one hand lifting free
to extricate a sail-like page, the other
shaking out the wrinkles, “—with your mother.”

He takes a puff and trains his focus on a
stock result, taps ash from the Havana,
“—or your brother,” as he tries to tease
the fold. “You can’t have all the victories.”

He blows the smoky air and flares a lip.
The silken tendrils rising from the tip
of the cigar now smoking in its tray
entwine the fingers shooing her away.

Copyright © 2016 by Eric Meub
Eric Meub, architect, lives and practices in Pasadena. He is the adopted brother of the artist, Susan C. Price. They respect, in their different ways, the line.


  1. "Grades," what poignant perfection! Thank you, Eric, for gracing Moristotle & Co. with the barely bearable grace of your poetry. For as many consecutive days as I have number of your poems, I could run one daily and readers never tire of their rereading.

  2. The best talent among us. You have published here some of the best poetry I've seen outside of lit texts. Thanks!

  3. Oh, Eric, wherefore art thou, Eric?
        As I've mentioned to you, but not to readers generally, I have been reading Ian McEwan's latest novel, Nutshell, which imagines Hamlet from the point of view of the fetal Hamlet. How like a poem by you are the novel's tonal allusions. For example, unborn Hamlet has come to enjoy the fine wines his mother drinks (and which he can identify from her conversations with her lover Claude, his father John's brother):

    Trudy and I are getting drunk and feeling better...She and I share two glasses of the Sancerre...After a piercing white, a Pinot Noir is a mother's soothing hand. Oh, to be alive while such a grape exists! A blossom, a bouquet of peace and reason. No one seems to want to read aloud the label so I'm forced to make a guess, and hazard an Échezeaux Grand Cru....

  4. Thank you Morris, Vic, Underthebelly, and especially Chuck for your encouraging words. They are so appreciated.

  5. One person I shared "Grades" with didn't respond to it as I expected she would. She wrote me: "Although I appreciate your thinking of me, I wish you had not shared this with me. I have a policy of posting and reading only things that are edifying and building-up, and this clearly doesn't."
        I told her I was sorry she "didn't find Eric's fine poem up to [her] level of edification."

    1. P.S., I bet Eric always thought "edification" meant time off for the editor....