I came across Rose’s poetry years ago when I first joined Goodreads and was instantly drawn to her bold imagery and precise style – Rose makes every single word work hard to earn its place. In recent times I have set myself a challenge – to have one of my poems published in a magazine/website/review that Rose hasn’t already appeared in. It seems that no matter where I look or to which publication I submit, Rose already has poetry published there. To say she is prolific is an understatement. And there is a reason – to have such a quantity of work out there is one thing, but Rose has done it without compromising on quality. She has such a strong voice and I find her poetry grabs me and holds on tight right to the very last word. But don’t take my word for it, head on over to http://houseboathouse.blogspot.com/ and experience the magic for yourself. In the meantime, please enjoy:
I no longer have need for adornments
Correct me. Cut me open
with a heavy pair of scissors,
unfold flesh and bone, lay open my thoughts.
The ones right there on the surface
as well as those so deeply encrusted
you’ll have use your scraper.
Take your red marker.
Cross this and that, strike out
whatever is superfluous.
Render it unreadable.
Cut baroque curlicues, rococo plaster angels,
the nauseous eternal unwinding of Art Nouveau,
or even the deliberate simplicity of Bauhaus.
Let me be stark.
Once the dross is gone, offer
what is left on a chantry,
pristine and tight, unadorned,
for the white condors
on the other side
– Rose Mary Boehm
first published by Off The Coast
Name: Rose Mary Boehm
Location: Lima, Peru
Influences: My early influencers were German, of course. My first poems were written in German. When I ‘graduated’ to English poetry, I began my reading experience with the classics, then Walt Whitman & co, and worked my way towards Raymond Carver and beyond. There are some excellent young poets about. I often trawl the Internet and get wonderful surprises.
Inspiration for this poem: I can’t possibly tell you what inspired a particular poem. Many times they ‘just happen’. This poem is a bit of a lament, an expression of defiance perhaps, as well as a celebration of a new-found freedom. I am no longer young and often find that a privilege rather than a burden.
Bio: A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm, short-story and novel writer, copywriter, photographer and poet, now lives and works in Lima, Peru. Two novels and a poetry collection (TANGENTS) have been published in the UK. Her latest poems have appeared or are forthcoming in US poetry reviews. For example, Toe Good Poetry, Burning Word, Muddy River Review, Pale Horse Review, Pirene’s Fountain, Other Rooms, Requiem Magazine, Full of Crow, Poetry Quarterly, Punchnel’s, Avatar, Verse Wisconsin, Naugatuck River Review, Boston Literary, Red River Review, Ann Arbor, Big River Review, Main Street Rag, Misfit Magazine, Crack the Spine, Crisis Chronicles, Broadkill Review and quite a few others. She has also been published in some print anthologies, including Diane Lockward’s The Crafty Poet. She won third price in in the 2009 Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse (US), was semi-finalist in the Naugatuck poetry contest 2012/13 and has been a finalist in several Goodreads contests, winning it in October 2014.
Copyright for the above poem and image remains the sole property of Rose Mary Boehm.