PHILLY POETRY LOVE-IN// Charlie O’Hay, “Halos”

Our last nomination was given by Kelly McQuain and because he has a ridiculous amount of publications to his name, you might as well visit his website here. He’s an writer, artist, and a CCP Creative Writing professor. He nominates Charlie O’Hay’s “Halos” and says, “I’ve only gotten to know Charlie O’Hay a little over the last few years, but that is enough time to convince me he is the unsung poetry hero of Philadelphia’s dirty and broken-down streets. His poems hit you the way a bad pothole might hit your car tire–an unexpected jolt, something that breaks you down, leaves you momentarily deflated, makes you wonder where you were going in such a hurry not to notice things.

“But before they are over, Charlie’s poems pick you back up again, “sing arias” to you; they set your shoulders on a new frame. Charlie O’Hay doesn’t overlook things. An avid photographer, he’s trained his camera on Philly’s homeless population for many years. As a poet, he’s trained his eye on even more: fatherhood, sobriety, and the grace it takes to survive this world.”


Credit: Patrick (Typography Shop)

Credit: Patrick (Typography Shop)

On my best days, I don’t unwind
I unravel, like a thin rope of steam from horizon-bound ships
Or the hopes of bums searching payphone coin returns
for slot-machine victory.

On my best days, I let it all go
The way a hard summer rain can sing arias against the glass
Or the wail of a train unseen strings miles between was
and will be.

On my best days, I am drunk
On fog and running through blue alleys hanging halos
from streetlamps. Perhaps you’ve seen my work—
been kissed in its light.


We would like to thank all of our nominators and poets for a great NaPoMo this year! Thank you for sharing your awesomeness with us!

PHILLY POETRY LOVE-IN// Pattie McCarthy, “Matins”

This nomination is from Jenn McCreary, a Philly poet who edits for ixnay press, a publisher of new and experimental writing. She says: “Pattie McCarthy‘s full-length collection, bk of h(r)s, is my comfort book– steeped in things churchly & mundane. This, her first, & flawless, execution of the manuscript-as-project, is always in my bedside drawer, my own prayer book. For its beauty, for the precision with which she merges the medieval & the modern, a practice which has refined in her subsequent — & also, truly gorgeous — books.”


Thank you for sending this in, Jenn!

Apiary xoxo

PHILLY POETRY LOVE-IN// Gina Myers, “for n & k”

This poem was nominated by poet Thomas Devaney, most recently author of Runaway Goat Cart (Hanging Loose, 2015). This is what he has to say about Gina Myers’ work: “Gina Myers’ “Hold It Down” for N& K is affirmation from the bottom up. To be held down in every way one can be held down and back, the pressures are real. The heart and poem are pushed against. But there are other moments. Holding it down is an idiom for survival, even more so than holding it together, but that too is what Myers is doing, holding it together: in a poem, with a friend, in a song.”

Here’s a fantastic interview with Gina Myers talking about her work. To learn more about her, here is Gina’s website.

Otis on vinyllarge
carries from
the barn. Blessed
is this day. The camera
captures us youthful
& triumphant.
Blessed be this day,
a celebration
of friends coming
together. Last night,
surrounded by
those I love, I had wanted
to read Berrigan’s
“Words For Love,”
but I didn’t want to say
the heart breaks, even though I know
it’s true & the breaking
can be a good thing
sometimes, like the way
my heart shatters
a little each time
I think of my friends
& how lucky in life
I’ve been to get
to know them, to have
had the time to laugh &
drink & dance & to argue
& feel hurt too.

[Continue to read here]

Thank you to all writers and nominators for contributing to this years NaPoMo!

Apiary Mag xoxo


PHILLY POETRY LOVE-IN// Charlie O’Hay, “Halos”

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