Friday, February 8, 2013

John Lambremont. Sr. - Poet

   February 8, 2013

   Here we are on the eve of both Chinese New Year and Mardi Gras, and it is somewhat unusual that both fall so close this year. As a lifetime native of south Louisiana, I've always enjoyed Mardi Gras for its parades, pageantry, and revelry. Most towns and cities have celebrations, and the small-town Mardi Gras celebrations are more family-oriented and laid-back than is the festive frenzy of Carnival in New Orleans.

   Chinese New Year has become part of my life as the result of my 32-year marriage to my lovely wife, Nhu-y, as she and her family are Vietnamese and Buddhists. The Vietnamese celebrate Tet every year for three days, and it is the most important day of their year. Here is an acrostic poem I wrote for the occasion a few years back, when Chinese New Year fell on February 14th, Valentine's Day. This is the first public appearance of this poem.

DOUBLE HOLIDAY (an acrostic) 

Hearts and flowers aren't the only things today, my dears,
Always seems there is more than to what the eye appears;
Prayers are due to ancestors that went before us here,
Peaceful thoughts for them in grace, try to hold back the tears;
Yes, it is the time that comes one time this time of year.

Char the pig on open coals and savor the best slice,
Have a piece with skin attached, the flavor's very nice;
Itsies run around and wave red money envelopes,
New bills folded for good luck are carefully enclosed;
Elders sit on lawn chairs and exchange their fondest hopes,
Sisters watch the gambling games, and teach the kids the ropes,
Everyone is happy, as this holiday's the most.

Now the sun is setting, and I slip out for a smoke;
Evening is beautiful, although it is still cold;
Wishing I could wait here for the rising moon of gold.

Yelps are coming from the house as fireworks begin,
Even longer strings of poppers than I've ever seen;
All are cheering as we chase the bad spirits away,
Really, it's the best way to enjoy this joyful day.

   It has been quite an experience being the "foreigner" in an immigrant family, and has prompted a lot of poems from me. Here's another, which appeared in my first book, Whiskey, Whimsy, & Rhymes (2009), which is available at and most major bookstore websites. This poem was one of the first I wrote when my muse re-descended in 2008:


Lady Buddha rises,
alabaster gleaming
over coi lake reflecting
embers of a dying sun.

Higher than an elm,
her face in silhouette,
her smile is all mystery.

Chanting from the temple,
our ceremony done,
another underway;

Our vegetarian repast
passed among us,
but missing Grandma and Grandpa.

I am the foreigner here,
once shunned, later to become
Uncle John (you know,
the American one).

A monk clangs a bell
to signal the sun has sunk.

The Lady is nearly dark now,
but ever presiding
over these holy grounds.

I slip away to
peruse her majesty,
and in a golden glow,
to myself I say:

'Mom' and 'Dad,'
I took your daughter away,
but that choice was yours.
Thanks for learning to forgive,
for treating your daughter's lover
like a son or a brother;
in return I gave to thee
beloved grandchildren, three.

   As far as recent news goes, since my last post, I have had several poems accepted for publication. My poem "Passages" has been accepted for the 2013 issue of the Indian River Review, the literature review of Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Florida. "Enmity" and "Now Hear This" were accepted for the 2013 issue of The Mayo Review of Texas A&M University-Commerce. Local Gems Poetry Press of Long Island is compiling an anthology titled Retail Woes, which will be released shortly, and which will include my acrostic poem "Quality People Wanted" and my short poem "The Finding." My poems "Still Waiting" and "A Big Land" were picked up by Lost Tower Publications of the U.K. for their upcoming Hope Springs A Turtle anthology; and lastly, "Upon Discovering Your Own Corpse" will appear in Diogen Pro-Culture Magazine of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, late this month. I still have three full-length collections under submission, so please continue to wish me luck.

   This Asian-influenced poem appeared in the fall 2012 issue of San Pedro River Review. Special thanks to co-editors Jeffrey Alfier and Tobi Cogswell.


Two tiny dog lions preside
over my back door, harbingers
of menace to patio invaders, 
refugees of a trailer park yard sale,
burnished brick plastic now blistered 
by years of burning summer sun
and misery-wet winters,
slowly bleached near-bone white,
more than teeth exposed.

They are unremarkable replicas
of their hand-carved hallowed ancestors
seen still in moving depictions of temples,
pagodas, and shrines of Laos or Burma
or my dear bride's Ancien Hue,
set in stone repose at the front gates,
large unarmed guards meant to prevent 
the evil spirits of passing millenia
from entering.

One toils under climbing impatiens,
half-buried in a dead ant-bed,
awaiting their inevitable return.
The other is my smoking buddy,
but tonight his grimace is fixed
on a place somewhere beyond me;
he glares through me soundlessly,
his pug face snarling in ill- 
concealed contempt. I turn quickly
to see what he sees: the fireflies
gathered in late unseasonal swarm.

   Next, we have the second in my trilogy of poems published in Romania in Nazar Look's Extraterrestrial Life anthology:

(from Dali’s Three Young Surrealist Women Holding 
   in Their Arms the Skins of an Orchestra – 1936)         

The bed of the Ulinary is desiccate,
devoid of its black tar flow now drying
in pools atop the surrounding bluffs
and outcrops of boulders and rocks,
a danger still to children and small animals.
The newer moon, so near in orbit
to cause the cataclysmic uprising,
reflects light so brightly that the night
is negated and the stars darkened.

Three Jacceba women, chosen
muses of the Citadel of Ancient Discovery,
are in search of exhibits swept away
by the dark toxic tide, their heads covered
to preserve their hair hues, but breasts bared
to absorb the beneficial moon
radiation, said to be lactary.
Two hold wooden torture instruments
thought to be from the Era of Insanity,
but the amalgahyde of the flood fluids
has rendered both pieces rubbery, while
the alloy sound weapon has brittled,
and will disintegrate when touched.

The third waves to the Sajan’s sitwas
waiting on a nearby ridge, a signal
for them to lower the ropes and nets
from their pulleys.

   Finally, here is installment four in my series about the misadventures of The Holy Grand Poo-Bah, a diminutive despot from a far-away planet:


Grand Poo-Bah still high
on his fat fluffalump,
swaying unsteadily,
already drunk,
inspecting the Boo-pahs
and the Poo ammo dumps;

and then as he lifed
his small Poo-Bah ass,
the great beast’s weight shifted
and shattered his flask.

Poo-Bah’s thigh glass-tattered,
and minding the matter,
he slid down the trunk 
and landed with a grunt.

Bleeding profusely,
his stomach in quease,
he heard one young Boo-pah
just cackling with glee.

They grabbed the offender,
and he went to his knees,
no longer laughing
as he begged apologies.

“It’s all right, my son;
I, too, was once young.”
Then Poo-Bah dispatched him
with a blasting Poo gun.

“Oh, well! What the hell,
I’ve got other sons
from where that one came from.”

   That's all for now. Thanks for reading and for your comments. Don't forget to check out our poetry review, Big River Poetry Review, at

Happy Tet 2013!

John Lambremont, Sr.