Spring 2012, Volume 12

Poetry by Jean Howard

Tourist in Amalfi

Under lemons
the size of swollen fists,
Joseph speaks of Limoncello,
the first dream of the blossom
before its bud reseals.

Olive leaves spike
mats of sea,
slumbering still under the palm
of morning, as the pitted
ledge of Villa Scarpariello
juts stone teeth
into the dough of a cloud.

It’s an ancient jaw, plaqued
with purple morning glory,
gnawing on the eaves of green
where grapes steal bites
of hidden sunlight.

Below, the constant chomp
of waves snap at rocks
and musky grottoes,
as Joseph leans,
his booted feet scraping
on the ancient plaster,
head bent in prayer,
guidebook floating
on his knees.




BIO: Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, performance poet, Jean Howard, resided in Chicago from 1979 to 1999. She has since returned to Salt Lake City. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Off The Coast, Clackamas Literary Review, Harper's Magazine, Eclectica Magazine, Eclipse, Folio, Fugue, Fulcrum, Crucible, Gargoyle, Gemini Magazine, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Painted Bride Quarterly, The Burning World, The Distillery, Pinch, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Pisgah Review, Pinch, ken*again, The Cape Rock, Quiddity Literary Journal, Grasslimb, Rattlesnake Review, Concho River Review, Spillway, Spoon River Review, Willard & Maple, Wisconsin Review, Chicago Tribune, among seventy other literary publications. Featured on network and public television and radio, she has combined her poetry with theater, art, dance, video, and photography. A participant in the original development of the nationally acclaimed "Poetry Slam," at the Green Mill, she has been awarded two grants for the publication of her book, Dancing In Your Mother's Skin (Tia Chucha Press), a collaborative work with photographer, Alice Hargrave. She has been organizing the annual National Poetry Video Festival since 1992, with her own award-winning video poems, airing on PBS, cable TV, and festivals around the nation.