Our next Oh, Bernice! reading is this Saturday! Let’s get the show on the road and introduce you to each of our readers, starting with Bernice’s own Peter Vanderberg!
Peter Vanderberg served in the US Navy for four years and received an MFA in Poetry from CUNY Queens College. His work has appeared in Hunger Mountain, Cratelit, Ozone Park and Modern Haiku among other journals, and is forthcoming in Newtown Literary and Assisi. Peter lives and teaches on Long Island.
Here is a poem by Peter called “Bight”:
Curve of coast; loop in a line.
The language of water always has two meanings:
One soft: my daughter holding the main sheet;
my son pushing the tiller back & forth. The sailboat
on light wind tolerates their energies.
One hard: way to handle wind, meaning way to handle God.
New on my first ship I was told never to trust a bight –
will cut a grown man in half, meaning, imagine what it’d do to you.
Sailing past the Boat Graveyard with my father on the tiller
I have leisure to look at the half-sunk hulls grown
through with reeds, the osprey display his crab atop a channel marker.
There are always two meanings: life & death –
god that we name twice because we have two
identities & neither understands the other.