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John Roche




"There is a lovely resonance and particularity in these various poems. One's brought home to the physical world again, its daily, relieving insistences.  So a life finds its company, always."

Robert Creeley


"John Roche's  On Conesus traces for us a place he located in his life-journey where the mind's contours could fit, for him, with the spiritual contours of the land and water on which and near which he and his wife lived.  You can trust that vision.  Thus, the silent loss when a beloved cottonwood falls, the poem notes it, and we can feel  its loss for all of eternity, as long as words stand black on white.   A pig farm mentioned in the Maximus Poems is long gone, but the poem remains. Long live the vision of Conesus."

Ed Sanders



Short review of On Conesus
by Levi Asher on his Literary Kicks Site



John Roche lives on Little Conesus Outlet Creek in the Ashantee Bridge/Littleville section of Avon, NY, and teaches at Rochester Institute of Technology.

To contact John Roche - jfrgla@rit.edu


From the Book:

On Conesus

wine glow of
"Indian summer"
afternoon
no wine-dark sea
but sparkling
water and
air that intoxicates
--why "Indian"?
autumnal images
(even John Ford employed)
Senecas once
a lake rich with
northern pike
saltlicks
wild ducks
turtle stones
longhouses on Conesus Creek
(village of old Can-ne-hoot,  Chief Conesus in Hosmer's  Yonnondio)
sheepberries
beaver colonies before the hat fad
fox
bear
panther
wolf
(Did Rushville's "Great Wolf Hunt" of 1811 reach here?)
--reverie broken by jet ski--
stillness returns
even Thoreau had the railroad
reverberations across his lake
--whose lake?
time
aboriginal canoes
time
Mort Zuckerman bulldozers
time
Don Henley concerts
time
All-Aboard!



Wellspring

stream path
from hill
through our
cellar
surfacing
on beach
forms ice-
banked
river
soon widens
into bay
as ice
recedes

we drank from this spring
until January
contractor
broke concrete
of driveway
drilled frozen ground

now we have
chlorinated baths
a mound of earth
an eroding trench

for fifty years
people drank from the well-
spring
within this house



Solar Returns

Day-O!
glistening
island sun

Take a Carnival Cruise
in my li'l rowboat
but it's 40°F.
and the boat leaks

Van Morrison
on the box
"Too Long in Exile"
and
"Til We Get the Healing Done"
for now
thankful
for a wee bit
o' sun
after yesterday's
1st snow
that stuck
barely broke 30°
two layers
of socks
two sweaters
in the house
burning fossils
eating carbs

That old cave mentality
returns
almost enough
to make one
a Republican


ISBN 0-941053-57-1

On Conesus is a 96 page hand-sewn paperback with flat spine - $16.00


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