(Estados Unidos, 1932)
Es un periodista retirado y publicista que llegó a la poesía en su senectud. Desde entonces, ha publicado cuatro libros (The Poem in Time of War , Conflu:X Press, 2004) y está trabajando en un quinto. Es uno de los fundadores del Festival de Poesía de Los Angeles y ex co-director the Valley Contemporary Poets.
La obra de Sherman ha aparecido en más de 40 revistas literarias y antologías (especialmente Poetas de Sam Hamill contra la antología Guerra). Sus premios incluyen 1º premio en el concurso 2003 de la Unión Nacional de Escritores. Más recientemente, fue honrado con el Premio Internacional a la publicación por the Atlanta Reviewe.
EL POEMA EN TIEMPO DE GUERRA
debería despertar a la ciudad gritando ¡EXTRA! ¡EXTRA!
luego susurrar la historia detrás de la historia
como un conspirador. Debería ser corto, incitador,
como el llamado del presidente a las armas;
lo suficientemente suave para una bandera a media asta;
lo suficientemente fuerte para dar firmeza a los afligidos;
lo suficientemente amplio para servir como una bolsa para los
El poema debería llevar la noticia, por cuya carencia
mueren los hombres miserablemente. Es
un resumen en nombre de los vivos, un megáfono de papel
para las voces de los muertos. Debe ser
la última voluntad y testamento del mundo, una lista
de lo que queda. Roba de los antepasados:
Diario condenado de Sassoon y llamado de Auden al amor.
El poema podría ser una receta para la sanación
pero ¿quién podría leer tal garabato? ... o un vendaje
para las heridas, excepto que la sangre
tienda a borrar palabras.
Tal vez todos los poemas de guerra podrían ser cosidos juntos
en una gran manta gruesa que extendamos alrededor
de nuestros hombros, podría calentarnos en noches como esta.
If they could banish Pluto
for being too small, too obscure--
if they could kick him
out of the family
because the name they'd
given him was too underworld--
if they could downgrade him to orphan
condemned to circle
the house forever, peering in
through sun-lit windows
Saturn for his gaseous lack
of substance? Mercury, too hot
to be civilized? Venus
for being suspicously
brilliant or Mars for his failure
to produce the life forms
our comic books promised?
I mean, when they came
to ostracize Pluto--that unseen
star of my cosmos, my
the faceless part of me said
No matter, he was not like us.
But the part of me
that was disowned, designated
as "other", still wears
a yellow star. It orbits
endlessly outside the spheres
of more desirable bodies.
for the system's
purifiers to return
with hounds and flashlights,
searching the night for aliens.
Upsy-daisy you went
light as a laugh
high as my hand could stretch
and sure of the strength
love has given me
I held you there
halfway between sun and safety
so you could see your horizons
Atlas I was and you the world
I carried across the sky like a trophy
all triumph and glitter
you pretending to fly
I pretending to be immortal
till I faltered under the burden
I had to uphold
the weight of your fragility
and lowered you to my shoulder
as I sank to one knee
and saw I was kneeling on clouds
supported by nothing but
fear of failing you
and plummeted from the heights
of the myth I'd made of myself
and you fell from my grasp
and for all my soothing assurances
I could not lift you up.
This poem is not rocket science
yet it, too, is trying to thrust itself out of orbit,
rise into the unknown. It will not,
however, rain missiles on unseen enemies;
nor was it fathered by transplanted Nazis.
Rocket science is what easy "ain't".
Art is infinitely more fragile; builds spaceships
out of spider webs. But it knows
how to mourn those lost in the ether;
it lets us witness their travels through time.
It is not rocket science
but it hitchhikes onto the scientsts' rockets.
When they land on alien worlds
it unveils the beauty under the bleakness;
it transmits urgent reports from the dark side.
Art is the lonely capsule
that wanders through space after the rockets
have fallen away. It is the gasp
of astronauts who've glimpsed a magnificence
science can't name. It is that name.
Even the cone on the ice cream shop's roof
was sexy, how it poked the summer sky,
how the plastic vanilla that filled it
looked so much like flesh.
Even the door's tinkling bells aroused me.
The decor was virginal, the aroma wholesome…
fertile ground for lascivious thoughts.
The girl behind the counter wore a tight-
fitting uniform. She was the flavor of the day.
I ordered rocky road for its manly sound
and the erotic little bits inside.
When the girl leaned over the containers
I froze; when she scooped me some extra
I melted. I paid my quarter
and carried her into the sunlight with me.
I tasted her smile, tongued her lips.
I bit a small hole at the bottom, sucked
her sweetness, licked drips from my fingers.
Her name was Innocence.
Her name was Cherry, Caramel, Butterscotch.
I named my children after her.
From things without value that nonetheless
couldn't be wasted
from thimbles and remnants of cloth
from debris the sky deposited
each time it fell
from unnamable scraps brought home in pushcarts
my forebears crafted a life
I myself am shaped by cracked photographs
fragments of fractured languages
I'm composed of desecrated headstones
and junkyard car parts
and bones that have fallen from my family tree
Everything I've reclaimed from the trash bin
is welded to me
bit by bit I grow
THE LAST TELEPHONE BOOTH
It stood on the corner, a relic
of old movies in which calls
were made behind tiny closed doors,
spoken in private.
Behind its fogged windows,
silence, except for graffiti
that spoke a language
alien as the words I heard
on the street, the jabbering
of cell-phones and psychos,
warnings emitted by stop signals.
The booth offered sanctuary.
I entered, squeezed myself
into that plain sight hideaway.
In solitude I listened to wisps
of voices that had spoken there,
heard echoes of coins
that had clinked down the slots.
The receiver dangled as though
the last caller had rushed out
Something stirred in the cord,
maybe a breath exhaled after a long time
on hold. Something spoke
from the world I was connected to.
Hello, I shouted
into the mouthpiece, are you still there?
© 2012 Sherman Pearl