“As Silver as the Stars You Tried to Rival,” by Eric Robert Nolan

“As Silver as the Stars You Tried to Rival”

world grows
darker in increments,
earlier every evening,
as Autumn’s arcing swallow bends to curve
at long last, rounding down, to the hardening ground, where only brown
leaves outlast November’s burning rug of reds and flaming footprints,
cast-off scarlets,

now giving way
to the gunmetal gray
of winter’s coarse eagle, its ash-gray and annual, slow,
feathered rule of sky ascends hemispheres, its lead belly
groaning for hare or softer birds, its slate eyes searching, yet ridden with hints of silver —

— thin silver threads in the breast of the lead predator,

screaming “December,”
slow, as slow as frost, as cold as loss,
frigid, frigid like a still photo and its forever frozen face there,
black and white, its timeless smile a lie, exposed by common calendars and your indifference.

If those blacks and whites were shaken up in a glass bottle, the jumbled shades under glass might make

— thin silver threads out of memory:

— as silver as the slimming minnows that you kicked
out of shallow water onto sand at 9
with the other boys
birthing, then returning swimming platinum
to the warm-womb mine of that black lake, you knew
that summer would never end —

— as silver as your father’s hair, when you were 13, the last time that you thought
your father would never end —

— as silver as the cross you gave to your first love,
kissing you at 16, there in the stairwell at school.
She laughed at your
accidental piety.
You thought it was a curving swallow;
it was a tiny crucifix.
And you told her
love would never end —

–as silver as the stars you tried to rival, drunk at 21, drunk at Cape Hatteras during the storm, drunk at the face of the Universe.
At “Kill Devil Hills” you balked at God.
The stars shouted with light, the violet-sable sky reeled and vaulted purple-black, interminable, drunk in its excess of self, the rhythmic, clutching sea its unforgiving son.

Your friends
warned you away from the sea.
The curving waves would swallow you.
They warned you, “You get dark when you are drunk.”
“And, besides, you’ll die.”
You laughed and stormed the waves against their wishes.
And you were dark. Your violet-sable heart
reeled and vaulted purple-black. You laughed
and shouted back at the stars,
young-mad and piss-drunk,
the freezing forward ramparts stung you but
you stormed in headfirst, headstrong, and interminable:

this night would never end,
and if it never ended, how could you?

(c)  Eric Robert Nolan 2015, originally published by Dead Snakes 2015



Photo credit:  bigwavephoto / Wikimedia Commons


Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine to publish “Iphigenia’s Womb”

I received some nice news this morning — Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine will publish my my poem “Iphigenia’s Womb” in its upcoming December 2017 issue.  This poem appeared previously appeared in 2014 in Dead Snakes and 2015 in Aphelion.

As always, I am grateful to Editor Samantha Rose for allowing me to share my work with the readers of Peeking Cat.





Poet Jennifer Santellano will read my poem,”hens staring upward”

I received some nice news a little while ago — Jennifer Santellano will record my poem, “hens staring upward,” as part of her ongoing Youtube audio series.  As I’ve shared here at the blog before, Jenny is a poet herself who lends her voice talents to help other independent writers gain exposure.  (She was kind enough this past September to do a very skilled interpretation of my 2013 poem, “The Writer.”)  I recommend that you check out her wonderful audio series over at her Youtube channel.

“hens staring upward” was published previously by Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine and Dead Snakes in 2015.




Publication notice: Poetry Pacific features three poems by Eric Robert Nolan

I’m honored to share here that the Vancouver-based Poetry Pacific published three of my poems today in its biannual issue: “This Windy Morning,” “Redbud Leaves,” and “Delaware Sheets.”  You can find all three at the link below.

“This Windy Morning” envisions a ghost story for my adopted city of Roanoke, Virginia.  “Redbud Leaves” is a very short nature poem I wrote while I lived among the hills of Northern Virginia, and “Delaware Sheets” is a short love poem that  wrote a few years back.  This third piece was published previously by Every Day Poets, Dead Snakes and UFO Gigolo.

I’m quite grateful to Editor-In-Chief Yuan Changming for selecting my work for publication.  The Autumn Issue features outstanding work from 73 poets and three visual artists.





Jenny Santellano will read one of my poems!

Hey, gang — I received some nice news today.  Poet Jenny Santellano has kindly agreed to feature a poem of mine in her ongoing video series.

Jenny is a particularly gracious creative person who allows other poets to benefit from her voice; she reads selected poems at her Youtube channel, which you can find right here.  (Seriously, guys, she has a beautiful voice.)

The poem selected is “The Writer.” It was part of a trilogy of poems entitled “Three Dreamers,” which was first published in 2013 by Dagda Publishing in its online format, and then in its print anthology, “Threads.”  (“Three Dreamers” was also subsequently published by Illumen Magazine, Dead Snakes and UFO Gigolo.)

I’ll be sure to post a link when the video appears.

Thanks Jenny!




Publication Notice: Quail Bell Magazine features “Graceless Ravens Envy You”

I am honored tonight to share here that Quail Bell Magazine has kindly published a poem of mine, “Graceless Ravens Envy You.”  You can read it here:

“Graceless Ravens Envy You”

Quail Bell Magazine is a Richmond-based multimedia literature and arts journal “that explores the imaginary, the nostalgic, and the otherworldly through the highest quality creative and journalistic content.”   It really is a wonderful and unique online periodical, and I encourage you to check it out.

“Graceless Ravens Envy You” first appeared at Dead Snakes in 2015.


Publication notice: Dead Snakes features “Smiling Among Inert Shipwrecks”

I’m honored to report here today that another of my poems was featured by Dead Snakes.

Click here to read “Smiling Among Inert Shipwrecks.”

Once again, thank you to Editor Stephen Jarrell Williams!