Eric Robert Nolan’s reporting, commentary, and creative work have been featured throughout 46 print and online publications in the United States, Canada, Britain, Ireland, Germany, Australia and India. These include Newsday (New York State’s third largest newspaper and America’s 10th largest), The Roanoke Times (Virginia’s third largest newspaper), The Free Lance-Star, The Daily Progress, The Galway Review, Every Day Fiction and Quail Bell Magazine.
Eric’s writing and photography were also selected for ten anthologies, two chapbooks and six mini-books between 2013 and 2021. He is a past editor for The Bees Are Dead, and was a nominee for the Sundress Publications 2018 Best of the Net Anthology. His debut novel was The Dogs Don’t Bark in Brooklyn Any More, published in 2013 by Dagda Publishing in the United Kingdom.
A Churchgoer Passes My Yard on Sunday Morning
She seems smart and responsible, somehow. There’s assurance in her brisk and purposeful pace, passing in her bright Peach, trim and tailored suit. I see no sanctimony, only commitment to some task. There’s order all about her. I picture parishes of prompt accountants. She has an incongruity with my unordered lawn as she passes in Peach. The high and wild Green is how I ornament my unmarried days. My lawn is in constant apostasy. It has lost its faith in the arrival of mowers and conscientious owners. This morning, my secular pen serves its agnostic art; her spiritual path serves salvation. The high and unkempt grass is my Green aesthetic. Archetypes scuttle like beetles on soil soft and Black — as deep and as concealing as the Jungian collective. Bright dandelions announce themselves in Yellow – nascent ideas pleading to be plucked, as bright as the sun, as bright as the pious’ Peach-colored suit. Each stands over secrets – Each stems up from an interminable Earth deep and vast and dark. Under tectonic plates, magma burns in its belly. In our buried selves — down deep – is there heat sufficient To soften all our stone? Maybe next week I’ll engage her. None of that nonsense about “The Culture War.” We’re both human. We both stand over secrets. Beneath us, miles below, is magma. Red rock runs in bright burning currents. Were the lions facing Daniel any different than the Lion that Auden envisioned in “The Sea and the Mirror,” ever insatiable and ravenous for metaphor? Or maybe I’ll ask her about the snake that troubled Adam. It spoke, didn’t it? Were there verses in its mouth? Did its tongue hint at inner dichotomies? Might it have crept down from The Tree of Knowledge onto a poet’s lawn to catechize slyly in rhyme? In both our souls or muses, we stand over secrets; we both concern ourselves with serpents, and magma burns in our hearts.
Skin and circuitry, Metal and flesh. Her dreams of childbirth were Relentless, recurring. Push, push, push Said a midwife’s mechanical voice. Fluorescent lights flickered, Then murmured discordantly. Coarse starched sheets Scratched her knees, and then Machines hummed in corners. She pushed. The product of her womb was hard — Edges and angles Against her inner thighs. And at the end of that difficult birth, looking down, She saw coils and coils of bright copper wire. By day, she was a secretary. People liked her. Not enough, though, For Valentines, dates, anniversaries. With furtive eyes, she observed All those little moments That enchant a common life. So, she only worked. Phone, file, phone. Push, push, push. At times, she imagined her womb As a gestating clock. Its meticulous gears Marked the passage of time. Batteries moved her limbs, her veins Were wires under her skin. She hid circuits behind her eyes. Electricity riddled her brain – Warm lightning. Returning home one night, She passed a factory on her right. Its smokestacks vaulted like turrets. The lights Were crackling stacked stars. Its fence hummed. The smokestacks Exhaled rhythmically Push, push, push. A metal shed was there – She imagined it held A piston-beating heart, A muscled metronome – Life in a bright steel box. Arriving home, her spine Tickled with current. She reached her garage and parked. Blue sparks Danced in her sinuses. Push, push, push, Said a mid-wife’s mechanical voice. She pushed some oily rags To seal the open spaces Beneath her garage door. In her brain, Machines hummed in corners. She pushed the car’s ignition. The air there nourished her, then. The carbon monoxide Push, push, pushed her. She shut her eyes. Her gears slowed softly.
Amity in his veins, The gray, aging bureaucrat Lit a cigarette. He spied ice on a window frame. How unlike its blue-cold form Were the words of industry – warm. Like sunlight on a monument, The vivid hues of a flag, Warm – like the ringing endorsement Of a product or a plan, Like the gaily colored covers Of an annual report, Warm – like the newly dead.
4 thoughts on “Eric Robert Nolan”
Amazing & outstanding.!! 📖
Thank you so much, Scott!
Thank you so much, Scott!