Please Hold

By: Muriel Nelson

Please Hold’s scintillant wit and virtuoso imagination enliven and mourn pandemic’s hermitage, its ‘slow kind of rain.’ When ‘you’ve gone a bit crazy…sequestered,’ ‘touch and go’ have lost their meanings, when fear ‘thumbs glissandos/up your bone xylophone,’ gargoyles grow eloquent, God ‘contours love with dark,’ and truth produces its green heresies: ‘When we fall sick, the teeter totters, and weeds inherit the earth.’ As rumors and lies surround us, these eclectic, ethical poems push back–’it’s a shady business, so here come the pines.'”

—Eleanor Wilner, winner of the Robert Frost Medal for lifetime achievement


Winner of the 11th Annual Encircle Publications Poetry Chapbook Contest

“In Please Hold there’s melody, jazzy dissonance, flashes of tonal change, freshness of sound and image. Consider “hummingbirds/ buzz like balloons’ loose lips,” and “what if/ from the ugliest mouth on the corner, love stuck/out its bent lightning tongue?” As old Bruce in “Sonnet on Air” says, “only motion and cognition matter.” Please Hold is full of both, its music alive with the snicker of oboes, inspired puns, silvery thuds, cries and laughter, pain and disconcerting beauty.”

—Patricia Corbus, winner of the 2015 Off the Grid Poetry prize for Finestra’s Window

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