Persephone Abbott

Posts from the “Poetry” Category

Keith Abbott reading his poems in 1975

Posted on September 26, 2023

I was recently reading some of my father’s poems that were published in a collection called Putty.  And today I found a video on YouTube of Keith reading from this book in 1975. I happen to own the copy that he dedicated to his parents-in-law, Hannah and Lloyd Hansen, in 1971, the year we were living in Bellingham, Washington not far from Tacoma.

Keith, recollections from his daughter

Posted on September 16, 2023

Keith Recollections from his Daughter I am unable to remember when I met my father. He told me he recalled the moment even though The nurse thrust a substance upon his person To keep him (well mustached at 23 years of age) from fainting And falling on the hospital floor in a heap. He admitted he liked both: The baby and the intervention. It was a good day. I remember my father busy in the mornings writing something important. Then he’d come out of his lair for coffee. He was adored and admired for his charm and wit but he also drank coffee. He ground the beans first. It’s not a secret to making good coffee. When I was a young girl, my father…

We’ve been missing you

Posted on September 4, 2023

We’ve been missing you The pews weren’t even half full – “My mother,” HR said to me her youthful words dancing forth from between her painted lips, “Finally saw the light.” I had been on the job one week and listened carefully about a series of step-fathers next to the office aquarium HR again, this time about an interviewee “It’s not that she is too old,” she explained as we stood in front of the dishwasher also seriously in need of an update It reminded me – the congregation trying their hardest to sing the tune, mouths stumbling across the words in the hymn book Here I am Lord My new boss strolled casually behind my chair “We’ve been missing you,” she murmured low…

Cobalt, a poem by Persephone Abbott

Posted on July 24, 2023

Cobalt Twenty kilometers south They closed the factory In 1898 Cobalt I knew it was the farm As soon as I saw it On my left Even though the place didn’t Look like the photographs From 1904 A switch flipped in my mind I turned into the driveway On automatic pilot Cobalt I don’t suppose my great-uncle Would have ever worked In the cobalt factory or the saw mill or the grain mill Even if the mines and the factories hadn’t closed Even if he, at age fifteen, Hadn’t left for america Along with a lot of other Local teenagers holding Tickets to board the Celtic. He wasn’t the type to work in a mine. Yet I still can’t find what he did For…

A Short Story and an Excerpt from Rhino Ritz

Posted on March 22, 2023

“Rhino Ritz is an American Mystery: The Classic American Authors are immortal and living happily ever after in Paris recently relocated in San Francisco – when Sherwood Anderson disappears. Ernest (Rhino) Hemingway & F. Scott (Ritz) Fitzgerald open RHINO RITZ DETECTIVE AGENCY to find him. The plot heats up when Gertrude Stein & Alice B. Toklas are abducted by Japanese terrorists , who force Ms. Stein to write their communique – which no one can understand. Finally, our heroes stumble onto a sinister conspiracy involving the future of American Literature.”

Castor & Pollux

Posted on March 10, 2023

I went to a masterclass the woman said loudly. Do you know that the singers – beautiful voices – didn’t have a clue what they were singing about? The stranger across the table from me frowned in irritation the pages for the synopsis for Act Two of Rameau’s Castor et Pollux open in his hand. The woman repeated what she had already said a little differently this tme but with the same emphasis. Her friends muted friends listened on, holding their drinks and unsure how to change the topic. I stirred sugar into my Concertgebouw cappuccino, a cup small enough to finish in time for the second bell. It’s hard to understand the words the woman said loudly. Just think if a French singer…

Summer Poems

Posted on August 8, 2022

Wee a.m. the cat sitting on my right hip bone kneading my side heavy voice outside drunk, in a language I can’t make out woman-shriek pierces the night dull thumping shirt on shirt half asleep I egg on the fight atta, go at ‘em go my organs under the cat’s administration I hear scuffling Jog my memories: Eight Stops on the Train from Amsterdam Amstel to Gouda = My first year in Holland: I was told that I’d save money if I got off at Amstel and took the metro to the opera house and I can still remember the round face and blues eyes of the person giving me that advice in the Utrecht Conservatory canteen in between sips of bad coffee. —-…