by Charles Entrekin
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About the author
Charles Entrekin was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. He took his B.A. in English from Birmingham Southern College, was a graduate student in philosophy at Vanderbilt University and the University of Alabama. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. One of the founders of the Berkeley Poets Cooperative, he has taught at various colleges and universities, and served as the Associate Director of the Center for Contemporary Writing at John F. Kennedy University, Orinda, California.
Charles co-founded three Bay Area-based computer companies, The Application Group, Application Resources Inc., and Convoy Corporation. He currently serves as Director of two internet based software companies, Townsend Technologies and Montclare Technology Partners. He is managing editor of Hip Pocket Press, Chairman of the Board of Literature Alive! and a director of The Entrekin Foundation.
A long-time Berkeley resident, he now lives in Nevada City, California, in the foothills of the Sierras with his wife and children. He is a Yaddo Colony Fellow, and his work has appeared in many small press publications. His previous books of poems include All Pieces of a Legacy and Casting for the Cutthroat.
“The poems hold their localities in a firm hand. The voice is straight forward. The sentiment is like strong drink from a plain man with a clear head…”
– Rod Tulloss, Small Press Review
“Entrekin’s control of sound patterns is considerably more sophisticated than we find among many West Coast poets — it is refreshing to hear a poet who can sing…”
– Jon Ford, Poetry Flash
“These are a man’s poems, about men and women, and sometimes children. Poems that see the distance between what we need in life and what we can get. I love the frankness in Entrekin’s writing and trust its moments of pleasure and hope.”
– Alicia Ostriker, Rutgers University
From the book In This Hour
In This Hour
Even in the fog and dark wind
I can feel the tide coming in,
the steady wash and swell,
and sea salt along the shore,
and I try to make myself empty
to no avail.
Somewhere ahead I imagine
an avenging angel, one of swift
shadow and sure ending, and I can
almost feel its beating wings,
a predator breaking for cover
in full autumn sail.
But for now in this hour
the sea’s lapping continues and
it’s like an animal breathing
against the beach. I listen with each
light touch of the surf, and my hand
moves inside your silence, inside
your life and body’s warmth.
January, The Day You Died
for my first wife, Janice Kirkpatrick Entrekin, 1943-1966
Back and forth to work
reading Wuthering Heights,
on the bus with Catherine
and Heathcliff, umbrellas,
five o’clock faces and I see,
I see you in the street,
wine-colored skirt, blue tennis
sneakers, stepping from the curb
past the corner of my eye — horns
and the open door, rush hour
traffic. Everywhere wet hair,
the black ordinary coats,
a flower store. Never there.
A small dog barks. Distant.
A trick of the mind to see you today
in California, so many years into darkness,
and under the awning, standing
beside a can of white, gold-centered
daisies, I no longer ask why. Rain
dances the sidewalks. It’s Wednesday.
We have nothing to say.
Who sits in my car and tells me
he’s not afraid; twelve now,
he explains how all his friends’ parents
and I think how ferociously he played soccer
today, and suddenly I am afraid.
I don’t want it to happen, for
the coming days of my absence
to become a lost language.
Caleb, listen, I remember nights
standing by your bed before sleep,
before you even knew I was possible,
and I knew for the second time
that I was not alone. And I remember you
on the slopes, skiing, when you,
bending far down into a tuck
as we raced for the bottom, laughed
out loud in the gathering speed.
And giving into it, I went with you,
leaning into the wind.
I will never let you go
out of my life. Listen, Caleb,
just as it was that day,
skiing down the mountain,
even in full flight
a way always opens
at our feet.