Collection Plate By jacob erin-cilberto

Collection Plate

take parasite avenue
drag the curb
your pocketbook will dwindle
your prominence will be docked
you’ll feel like in a bad movie
the extras better actors than the stars
but they have no teeth
so the camera shies away
send money for relief
for these indigents we trip over as we walk
the streets with our gold chains, rings
and things
step around the leper
talk about how sad his condition is when the moonlight
reveals his wounds
stay in the car
on parasite avenue
or it will drag you down
poor will be your new mantra
a nameless citizen sleeping under a bridge
anonymous occupant at the cold, roofless inn
but send money to help these people
as we step around a skin and bones child
the smell a disturbing ambiance
but we’ll bottle it
and refund your conscience
if you send money to help these people
where is that helicopter
take me away Calgon

need to soak this disgust off my body
and out of my mind
but please please please

send money to help these people
and thank God,
we’re not one of them.

By jacob erin-cilberto



jacob erin-cilberto, originally from Bronx, NY, now resides in Carbondale, Illinois.  erin-cilberto has been writing and publishing poetry since 1970.  He currently teaches at John A. Logan and Shawnee Community colleges in Southern Illinois.

His work has appeared in numerous small magazines and journals including: Café Review, Skyline Magazine, Hudson View, Wind Journal, Pegasus, Parnassus and others. erin-cilberto also writes reviews of poetry books for Chiron Review, Skyline Review, Birchbrook Press and others.  He has reviewed books by B.Z Niditch, Michael Miller, Barry Wallenstein, Marcus Rome, musician Tom MacLear and others. Erin-cilberto’s latest book demolitions and reconstructions is forthcoming in late April /early May. His previous three books an Abstract Waltz, Used Lanterns and Intersection Bluesare available through Water Forest Press. His books are also available on Barnes and and as well as Goodreads. erin-cilberto has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in Poetry in 2006-2007-2008 and again in 2010. He teaches poetry workshops for Heartland Writers Guild, Southern Illinois Writers Guild and Union County Writers Guild.

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