Nothing in New England Is New

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Nothing in New England is New:  The Poet’s Experiences in New England, America

“Rick Lupert is a writer’s chef. He used to be a writer’s writer. Tomorrow he could be dead. You will be pleased at the way he masterfully sees something and then somehow manages to find a piece of paper and then write down something that is in no way reflective of what he truly saw. He is like a liar and a simile. If you want to laugh, there’s this book or anything on NBC pre-1986.”

~ Derrick Brown

Listen to the online publication broadcast HERE in which Jaimes Palacio and I spoke about Nothing in New England is New, poems we’re read and travel tips shared. Click here to hear it!

Nothing in New England is New is Rick Lupert’s 15th collection of poetry and latest in his poetic travelogue series. This edition takes you through such exotic American locations as Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Salem, Boston and Plymouth, Massachusetts, and Providence Rhode Island where they set the river on fire. Ride with Lupert’s trademark wit down the highways of New England. Unexpected turns will be taken, Ekphrastic Observations will be made. You will laugh. You will question your own underwear. You will want to set your local river on fire. As always, clothing is optional. (200 Pages, Ain’t Got No Press, March 2013)

 


Poetry from Nothing in New England Is New


Location Is Everything

I am seated next to the bathroom door
in the very last row of the airplane.
The door doesn’t quite shut all the way.
This is the greatest day of my life.


A Salute to the Past

for Fred Condo

While driving north on I-287 through New Jersey,
I remember Fred who now lives in San Francisco
and has chosen sides.

It was the era of the bottle cap when men were men
and women were women which I guess you could
say about any era if you think about it.

I was only seventeen then, and other people
were other ages which was fine and all part
of the natural order of things.

Fred once said, “today’s cars are engineered
to get optimal fuel consumption at speeds much
higher than the posted speed limits.”

He said this in an exasperated fashion as if
it was the most important thing in the world.
I think of this and wonder if I am getting

my money’s worth in this mid-size rental car
as I drive the speed limit, not with fuel in mind
but, to avoid entrapment.

I only like to get tickets in the great state
of New York where my uncle the lawyer
can write a letter and make them go away.

I salute you Fred
from the other side of the country.
You have chosen well.


At Colby’s Breakfast and Lunch

I
The sign in the door says No Politicians, No Exceptions.
So I am here to report, America, that my only agenda
is to put coffee inside of me. My pledge to you, citizens
of New England, if you bring me eggs and anadama bread
I will put it directly in my mouth for the betterment of all.
My fellow morning diners, let me into your kitchen and
I will give you my credit card, as long as you promise
to give it back after conducting the transaction which
pays for my meal. The future is ours, Portsmouth.
God bless you, your mighty coconut, pancakes,
your vegetarian sausage. We’re taking back breakfast,
one vittle at a time.

II
Colby’s is slanted.
You feel at any moment you
and your breakfast might slide out
the front door onto Daniel Street.

III

Another sign says No cell phones, be polite.
I try to explain to the waiter I am just writing poetry.
He says it’s okay and tells us the story of the fist fight that
occurred when one patron was furious at a loud woman
on her phone at a different table. He doesn’t like it when
he sees a table full of people not looking at each other.
I spend the rest of the meal staring into Addie’s eyes
and hoping to God I can make the coffee into my mouth
without looking.


Driving the East Coast

is miles of highway surrounded by forests
unlike in Los Angeles where the forests
have all run away from the freeways
like frightened little dogs


At Anthem Kitchen and Bistro, Fenueil Hall

I
The coffee is not strong.
A sugar cube could take it.
Put in milk and it’s like you’re drinking
milk.
This is New England people. Your coffee
fueled a revolution. This coffee is barely
one guy in the back of the room with
his hand raised meekly saying excuse me.
This is the coffee the British would serve
to their enemies. Our waiter apologizes
Explains to us about packets and water ratios.
Brings us a tea box.
I remember something about tea and this city.
I choose one called Awake.
It will do its job until later
when the brewery tour
will put me to sleep.
II
One of the waiters here nervously removes
the coffee cups from the tables.
Says they give him anxiety.
He didn’t get a job at a bar to serve breakfast.
He wants lunch here faster
than a Paul Revere.
Benedicts make him uncomfortable
for the obvious reasons.
III
Addie is in love with her breakfast.
I wonder if she will be thinking of it
later tonight
when the fireworks go off.


Misunderstanding

One store in Plymouth has a sign which says
Ask about enlargements. I go in, have a conversation
and am quickly ushered out.


haiku

Tonight we will sleep
in Providence where they set
the river on fire