Mike Cole

In This Moment . . .

. . . it may be possible
to devise an aria of
what would have seemed
in an earlier context
only dissimilar mutterings
of a deranged minstrel
who had been run down
by the emperor’s chariot
and was allowed to sing
only in the most distant
corners of the royal
cactus garden where
the deaf gardener
resting beside a bucket
of red prickly pears
was moved to tears
by the stories that swirled
in the singer’s black eyes.

MIKE COLE was born in Fresno, California (1948), and graduated from Fresno State College (now California State University Fresno) in 1971 when a Fresno Poetry Renaissance led by Philip Levine was underway. Over a very sporadic 45-year publications history (due to a 32-year public teaching career), Cole’s poems have appeared in such journals as Antioch Review, Beyond Baroque, In the Grove, The San Joaquin Review, Laurel Review, Midland Review, Blast Furnace, and others. One of Cole’s poems appeared in the anthology Highway 99: A Literary Journey through California’s Great Central Valley, published by Heyday Books. Cole’s first book manuscript, The Encyclopedia of Naught, is making the rounds of contests and publishers. He currently lives in the Sierra Nevada Foothills near Yosemite National Park.

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