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.”
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!