Jerry Wemple, professor of English, has four new poems in the recent issue of the literary Fledgling Rag. The work is from “The Artemas Poems,” a series that is part of a manuscript-in-progress. Wemple is the author of two poetry collections and co-editor of the anthology Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania. He has won several awards from his writing, including the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award and a Fellowship in Literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
Here is a poem from among those published:
Happy as the day
Happy as the day is long, Artemas
begins his stroll each a.m., a’ nine ‘xact,
he claims when asked, though few do. Who would?
Those about know wastrels, and his stale act.
Artemas is the finest fellow in all
downtown. He knows all the old, long-gone stores,
and where each brick used to lie. Still keeps tokens
from the defunct bridge, ready in a drawer.
A broken bird in flight, a stain against
the night sky, that’s what Artemas sure sees
and falls from his perch. He walks until woods
thicken. Notices fences even here. Why? asks he.