Ray Greenblatt

Ray Greenblatt

Ray Greenblatt has lived in New England, the West Indies, and along the Eastern Shore. He has written short stories, essays, and poetry which have been published across the U.S. in periodicals as diverse as America, English Journal, and Joseph Conrad Today.

He was nominated for the Pushcart Prize and won the Anthony Byrne Prize. He was also the editor of the magazine General Eclectic. A teacher for many years Ray Greenblatt has taught writing in the Philadelphia Writers Conference as well as spoken at the John Steinbeck Festival in Salinas, California.


Poems below from Ray Greenblatt’s book: INSIDE THE KUIPER BELT


A naked woman
walks into a room
will she be stoned
                    by Pharisees
will she be ravaged
                    by Cossacks
will she be burned at the stake
                                        like Joan
will she assume an acute angle
          on the wheel
                    as St. Catherine did
(there are not enough lines
          to transcribe
                    all possibilities)

Perhaps she will enter a room
          where an old man
          will drape his coat around her
          for protection
          for warmth
          knowing she can never die
then he will read poetry to her
          till she smiles
          they talk
          have tea
then he will remove his old man disguise
          not like Ulysses
to reveal an equally glorious young man
and they will begin again with parity.


The Barbary coast
is not for couples,
flaccidity of handholding
softness of embrace.
Sun scours all surfaces
sea hard as a tin sheet.
Palm trees plunked down
like scant gifts for orphans.

It’s for a loner
a tough one at that.
Someone who can work his way
across the open square.
Who can filter though a glass
the dust of ages,
hold down a cafe chair
as if it were his vocation.

One who can get info
from fishbone cats
carrion crows on pilings
or a scrawny wind.
Who can find
a shadowed niche to hide in
when a fist comes searching
and bite clean down to tendon.

And all the while
a huge blue eye overhead.


Loud at head of the table
Zeus was drunk again
tossing around his beard
in multiple directions
like an axe-threat;
          the fecund now persimmon-lipped Hera
eternally peeved at step-children;
          hoping to soft-sell his big bro
on another southern deal
Pluto biding his time;
          reddening Ares rising
to take issue again with dad;
          the twins Artemis & Apollo
with giggles and slit eyes
fondled each other under the cloth;
          Aphrodite tidied her hair
in a silver plate
oblivious to all noise;
          Hermes rechecked his mail;
          while Athena edged toward
the long drape-closed window
sticking out an eye to view
arteries and waterfields
hung over by evermoon.

For other contributions by Ray Greenblatt, please follow the links below:

Poetry in this post: © Ray Greenblatt
Published with the permission of Ray Greenblatt