Radio Dreams, Beth Anne Royer

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Radio Dreams, by Beth Anne Royer (2004)

Radio Dreams Copyright 2004 by Beth Anne Royer

Poet Bio
Beth Anne Royer

Sample Poems
It's the Fatty Things I Love        A Romance        Divine Intervention
How Men Underestimate the Power of Peanut Butter


Poet Bio
Beth Anne Royer Beth Anne Royer currently resides in Providence, Rhode Island where she makes postcards, dreams of getting a good dog, and lives with three boys. She received a B.F.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College in 2001. Since graduating, she has taught art to young children, worked as a secretary in the orthopedics department of a hospital, taught composition to college students, and briefly attended graduate school for poetry in Miami. Upon realizing that she was prone to skin cancer and that Miami was a strange and lonely place, she returned to the cold Northeast. She was a Bucknell Younger Poet fellow, received an honorable mention from the Academy of American Poets Prize at Florida International University, and won high distinction in poetry from the writing department at Emerson College. She enjoys bicycling, being crafty, and having mixed feelings about author photographs.


It's the Fatty Things I Love

My large grandmother, dressed in crinoline,
bowls in the New World like a pro,
tells folktales about lean times
when fat children were boiled for food.

She feeds me coconut cakes, butter cookies
& Belgian chocolate, then offers whole milk to wash it down.
A thin slime of fat coats my mouth.
She cackles joyfully: You will be a fatty soon, Muschka!

She pinches my thigh, eager for the fruits of her labor,
she desires a round granddaughter.
How the old women here sing more heartily
the songs of revolution than the children; is it because these ladies
enjoyed a lifetime of delicacies fried in lard?

Copyright ©2004 Beth Anne Royer
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A Romance

He found her in a tiny fort in a sycamore that overlooked the East River.
Unsurprised, she handed him a cup of sun tea.
He thought, sipping it, love was warming his insides.
The river was cloudy.

He made her a tiny blue bird from objects found in his aunt’s basement.
She called it swell then tugged off the beak.
She was 5 feet tall, sharp around the edges,
and smelled of castile soap.

They discovered an old opera house and scaled the wall,
jumped through a third story window & explored.
He found a hunk of metal that she took a shine to
and because he liked her crooked teeth
and the dirt under her nails, he let her have the thing.

He intended to make small nature-themed dioramas for the rest of his life.
She wanted to live off the refuse of others
and was enamored with the hulking brick buildings of industry.
She loved his open face, but the waxy softness of his hands concerned her.

She skipped class to build a boat from foam and plastic.
At school, smoking a cigarette, he heard her in the bushes
whistling “Row, row, row your boat.”
He followed her whistles to the river.

He got in her boat & rowed. When they floated beneath the highway,
she said stop. On the concrete underbelly, from a brown bag,
she produced a bottle of wine and two roast beef sandwiches.
He ate a bite of the red red meat and felt the red dye #2 rush to his head.
I love you, he said. She giggled then said, Simmer down, boy.

Copyright ©2004 Beth Anne Royer

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How Men Underestimate the Power of Peanut Butter

When my granddaughter asks
Who is Marilyn Monroe?
I head upstairs
for a Life Magazine
with Norma Jean on the cover.
Days later, I emerge from the attic
clutching the thing.
Kim squeals with delight
& begins thumbing the pages.

Months ago my neighbor,
sick of my pet rats,
tried to get my house condemned.
She was a twig of a woman,
brittle as old hard candy,
so she called the authorities.

The fine men
of the health department
came with clipboards and a plan of action,
they came to destroy my dear rat children.
But I had enticed my babies
with tubs of peanut butter
only minutes before the knock at the door.

As the men searched the grounds
for evidence of excrement and decay,
my little ones snacked in a tiny crawl space in the cellar.
Kim rubbed their furry bellies.
How men underestimate the power of peanut butter!

Copyright ©2004 Beth Anne Royer
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Divine Intervention

Cruising up US-1 in Hollywood, Florida
I am slowed by a late model Honda
with a huge muffler and a remarkable
inability to accelerate.

When the opportunity arises,
I switch to the left lane and pass the Honda,
but looking right to check out the slow driver
I am astonished to see TV magician

David Copperfield flipping me the bird
and in the next moment,
waving his hands fantastically as my car stereo
and gorilla dashboard ornament disappear.

Replacing the stereo is expensive,
and at the installation shop, I ponder
how Copperfield went from dating Claudia Schiffer
to driving around in a rusty foreign car.

Two weeks later I am crossing Collins Avenue in South Beach
when J. Lo and Ben Affleck drive by in a Dodge Colt.
They are blasting Dolly Parton on the stereo
and drinking Slurpees. I wonder what’s going on.

Meanwhile, my white trash cousin calls to report
he has a new Benz, and the Haitian couple down the street,
who last week were tooling around in a Gremlin that sounded
like a lawnmower, are driving a Bentley.

Copyright ©2004 Beth Anne Royer
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