ISBN: 978-1-59948-670-3, ~52 pages, $12
Release Date: March 27, 2018
Release Date: March 27, 2018
Valerie Macon’s poetry has been widely anthologized, has appeared in magazines such as Pine Straw, O. Henry, and Salt, and diverse online venues. Her poetry has been included in journals such as Clockhouse Review, and appears on coffee shop walls. She has won the Gilbert Chapel Distinguished Student Poet award, and several awards from The NC Poetry Society. She has written three books of poetry, Shelf Life, Sleeping Rough (both Pushcart Prize nominees) and A String of Black Pearls. She enjoys growing food for the homeless, teaching English as a Second Language and poetry workshops for seniors.
This book is a nice serving of tasty poetry, full of the realities of life. It’s a case where eating words, the poet’s, is a really satisfying experience. Not only will you find the poet introducing you to soft, sweet peaches but to many fascinating, tough, tangible people. A good read! –Prof. Bradley R. Strahan, Editor of Visions International
The Shape of Today is like Instagram in words. Valerie Macon’s new collection evokes all the senses from “sugar sand” and “a gut-slicked hand” to “Priscilla curtains (that) lift and fall with a breeze.” These real-life snapshots preserve moments worthy of poetry. There’s food for thought here as a woman sorts and gobbles M&Ms, a matron tosses the remains of her Taco Bell feast on the asphalt, workers sweat, and nature struggles. –Nancy Young
Valerie’s poems are loaded with electric ah ha’s that, as one line reads, ooze gold over slow silver. You won’t need money to dream, honey, your mind will dance like calories on fire and you may Change your shoes, change your life as you encounter tactfully massaged working class jargon in verve filled poems that will rivet you . . . like finding a had-to have at an Estate Sale. —Bill Blackley, MD
She rolls a summer peach
in her puffy cream-and-freckle hands
with a firm but gentle squeeze,
fingers for ripeness while the juice
of her stories flows across kitchen table.
Pleased, she pares an unbroken coil
of ruddy skin, sections its gold meat
into dripping wedges, then swallows
them into a stream of syllables,
nectar gurgling in her throat as it
runs into juicy words on their way out.
Morning’s lemon light sifts
through curtains, insists I shake off
sleep. If I snooze I’ll miss it,
as the sun, a fast jogger, will soon
lope high above my east window.
Today, we look at cloud shapes
on fresh canvas sky, Logan and I.
Logan, with his half-child, half-adult
His shirt sleeves, only days ago
it seems, were too long, now
they’re filled with arms, his
untied sneakers stressed with larger feet.
We spot whales, hearts and dolphins—
but these forms linger only briefly
before their shapes shift
and are carried away on a breeze.
A woman walks gingerly to
her table, steaming beverage
sloshes over the rim of her cup
as she slides into her seat.
She announces to her companion:
I got coffee; it shrinks the vessels
in my brain, relieves my migraine.
I embrace her pain,
how we learn over aching time
to shrink our vessels
and carry on the grind.
at the factory that looks like an airplane hangar,
the one that spews a head-spinning smog
out roof ventilators.
They’ve fired up a roaster on the loading dock,
arranged a line of tables under canopies,
a paper towel roll centered on each table.
Workers in brown shorts and tan shirts
kick back, sit on the loading dock, swing their legs,
blow smoke rings, wait a turn at Corn Hole.
Today even the air smells different—
a fever of barbeque, green summer
heat, sweat and sulfur.