it dials the dead, who , of course, don’t answer ,
but on its little screen you’ll see
a wisp, a mist, a mini-nebula,
cohering to an almost-face
hovering over an almost-body,
which will persist so long as
you keep the phone open, placing it,
perhaps, on a shelf in your house,
making for an instant shrine,
while you use your regular phone
to conduct the business of life,
keeping the new one for quick getaways,
to longing, to remembrance.
ALAN HOLDER has only published one poem,and that was many years ago, in a little house organ. So while he is virtually brand new as a published-poet wannabe, he had a long relationship with poetry as a teacher of it (40 years) and literary critic. (His last book was on meter, though he doesn't touch the stuff himself.) He's been a retired English professor for several years, during which he served on his town's planning commission, and wrote many articles on the environment for the local newspaper. A relatively recent widower, he is currently doing some tutoring, mostly of high school students, and working as a volunteer with 4-year olds in a nursery school.