Tag Archives: Mary Washington College

Peeking Cat Literary will publish a new poem of mine

Great news! Peeking Cat Literary will publish a new poem of mine, both online on January 23 and in its next annual anthology in October 2021. The title of the poem is “The Rough, Violet Stone.”

Peeking Cat Literary is the new incarnation of the former Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine, which recently returned after a one-year hiatus with some ambitious new directions. You can find all the details about the magazine’s new era by viewing its October 3 Facebook live event right here.

Thanks once again to Editor Sam Rose for allowing me to share my voice all over the world via this first-rate literary venue! I will be honored to see my poem both in the online magazine and in the print anthology.



“Imagine the Moon as Companion,” by Eric Robert Nolan

Imagine the moon as companion,

and it will bring you ease on sleepless nights.

Smile at its quiet path,

its torpid, bright accord of lighted arc,


as though its delaying were willful –

-its timeless passage ponderous

to pass the time with you.


For if you find the moon familiar,

it will do what all true friends do:

it will ever smile back.


And, no matter what the world’s disorders,

what woes will weight your days and bind your nights to waking,

what griefs will clamor after you at night in heavy voices, as laden refrains in your heart,

what other departures, when lights you know in other hearts revolve and fall away in their own other, foreordained arcs,

the moon will always return to you.

The moon is more certain than even your own sorrows.


Think about it.

Light is infrequent in space — in existence.

Think about the unlikeliness of it …

the moon’s honorarium of precious metal,

moving and unvarying among measureless cold spaces to find you as it elegantly burns.


It’s almost inconceivable –eternity is mostly darkness, yet

your little corner of night’s nigh infinite black is made a rare and argent, kindled silver,

meant uniquely for you,

as bright, and nearly as beautiful, as you are.


(c) Eric Robert Nolan 2020

Rudolphous / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Monument to Mary Washington, Frederickburg, VA, circa 1912

So I found a historical photo that was too good not to share.  What you see here is the grave of Mary Washington, George Washington’s mother, in my college town of Fredericksburg, VA.

It ought to look a bit strange to my college friends who remember the site.  What is now known (officially, anyway) as Kenmore Park/Memorial Park was a popular walking destination for students at Mary Washington College.  (This is the site of “Mary’s Rock.”  And if you partied downtown and walked back to campus, chances are you walked past it.)  This site is just off Washington Avenue.  The Gordon Family Cemetery was behind the obelisk.  (The cemetery is pictured at left here — see the low wall — as this picture is looking northwest.)

Look at how small and sparse then trees were in 1912.  (They were pretty big by the 1990’s.)  This is part of a group of public domain images here at Project Gutenberg.  They vary in quality, but some of them are pretty neat.

 

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Throwback Thursday: the Mary Washington College Aubade (1991-1994).

This Throwback Thursday is really just for my fellow Mary Washington College grads — what you see below are issues of Aubade, the school’s annual literary magazine, for years 1991 through 1994.  (They appear chronologically.)  For some reason I thought I remembered that the magazine was published more than once a year, but apparently I was mistaken.  (College was a very long time ago.)

I submitted a poem here only once when I was an undergraduate, and it was rejected (probably with good reason).  It didn’t bother me for long.  I’d like to think that I was a don’t-sweat-the-small-stuff kind of guy even back then.

Aubade was really a terrific lit mag.  You can judge for yourself by leafing through these right here over at the Internet Archive.  The site’s layout and format makes it quick and easy — and they’ve got issues of the magazine from as early as 1971.  Wow.

 

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“The Philosopher,” by Eric Robert Nolan

She’s a painter in oils in the land of the blind —
and a sculptor over the dead.
The deaf will demur to her poetry
while epics roar in her head.

Like Cassandra, who spun futures
so dolefully from frenzied lips,
Her words are as mad to insensate hearts
as sea-sunk towers, desert ships.

Would that I could assuage that hearth
where her discernment smolders —
my hands around the hard and the white
limestone of her shoulders.

(c) Eric Robert Nolan 2020

 

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“Evening Mood,” William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1882

“Contagion is a Despot Poet,” by Eric Robert Nolan

Contagion is a despot poet. It
releases fatal verses from its throne.
Its alabaster palm will lean to sow
what words will wind within their binding strictures

each arriving low, in permanent cursive,
at the many nadirs of pages — each
to immutable conclusion,
to shared, indelible metaphor:

dirges upon April mornings
eulogies at afternoon
rimes to loss at rayless night, as stars,
so slowly overflying a singing, dim landscape of endowed poetry,

are indistinct, indifferent.

 

(c) Eric Robert Nolan 2020

 

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Photo credit: By Helgi Halldórsson from Reykjavík, Iceland – darkness, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33782100

Throwback Thursday: “Spuds MacKenzie” (1987)!

This is just another strange ad campaign from the 1980’s — Spuds Mackenzie was the mascot for Bud Light.   People went nuts for the dog — the campaign spawned a ton of merchandising.  (People in the 80’s got worked up over the damnedest things.)

In the interest of full disclosure, I will confess here that I myself owned a Spuds MacKenzie button at the close of the decade.  I wore it on my dark gray denim jacket — along with a bunch of other arbitrarily selected buttons that I thought made me look extremely cool.  (It was a late-80’s thing.)  Hell, I even wore that jacket-and-button ensemble during the first semester at Mary Washington College.

Weird world — Spuds was actually a female dog.  She was a rescue dog, and she was named “Honey Tree Evil Eye.”  (I feel certain there is an interesting story behind that.)  And Mothers Against Drunk Driving lobbied against the ad campaign as it allegedly targeted children.

 

The Bristol Herald Courier publishes my “Open Letter to President Donald J. Trump”

Hey, guys — remember the “Open Letter to President Donald J. Trump Upon His Acquittal” that I wrote a few weeks back? The Bristol Herald Courier ran it Wednesday as a letter to the editor.

The newspaper is published in Bristol, Virginia, and has a readership of 39,000.  It won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2010.

You can find the letter right here.