Get To Know – Anthony St. James

Boy-howdy, this guy is something else.

For The Rabbits

We Say…




Hailing from Pennsylvania-via-Baltimore, Anthony St. James is a songwriter who has been performing since back in 2008, touring across North America and Europe despite not even having an album to his name. That all changed in October last year when Anthony teamed up with Crotalus Records (US) and Aldora-Britain Records (UK), to release his debut collection, Songs of Anthony St. James.

Anthony’s music falls into the classic story-telling tradition of folk music, nodding to the likes of Justin Townes Earl or Sturgill Simpson, with his ability to take minimal instrumentation and sketch it into vivid images of lives being lived on the edges of the mainstream. Discussing his inspiration, Anthony describes his music as a celebration of, “the lonely, desperate, and the down-but-not-quite-out”. Recorded in his makeshift basement studio with what he describes as the essentials; guitars, bourbon, and a declined invitation to his twenty-year high-school reunion…

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Triggers on the Gardening Tool

like swords to plowshares,

we no longer use these words 

to cut. 

our wits, sharpened

to peel back

layers 

of self-harm.

onions making me tear up

without knowing why.

Amid these sandy seaside columns

I remove my hand

and with a look back

throw my lot in

as the land 

furrows behind me

the saltiness

peppering my past

losing its flavor

working this potter’s field.

Forest for the Trees

I could not tell you the amount of time 

the sun

shone on that spot

each day, hidden away

this hidey-hole

the thoughts and fears

of squirrelly ten-year-olds

whose only misgivings

are for the rain

washing 

away 

that which we did not expect

as we speak of such sins

never knowing

the words to utter

but let the rain

just fall

Circling the Wagons

McGuffin’s got nothin’

but to propel

this darn

campfire yarn

done spun

from

a deserted 

ice cream party

at the Just A-OK Corral.

Thumb and finger

circling back around.

Your release

to the great halfpipe

in the sky

consequently coincides

with the remastered

Tony Hawk Pro Skater.

Games we used to

play

at being adults

someday, having to grow up

yet

let

it languish

for twenty-some 

odd years.

360°

circles back around.

Hanging back, you

duck out early

as was your habit.

No need to be the center of attention:

that was Bob’s job.

Puff, puff, pass.

It’ll circle back around.

Longing 

to pick it back up again

where we left off

nostalgia

welcoming

with open arms

carrying me

drunkenly

to sober up

in the pokey.

The missing windows

of last night’s 

bar fight,

whites 

in my beard

stragglers no more

reflected in 

the boarded up plate glass

you escaped from.

Rowdy crowd

circling around back.

Awake

and baked,

the hardpan

blazing already

at this time of day.

Feet of clay

I didn’t think

I’d have been caught

in this time-sink

drink tank

quicksand

of a calamity

I’d never prepared for,

dusting off these

trailing 

wailings

dry gulch parched

and perched

a vulture

waiting 

for my demise

circling back around.

Circling the Wagons first appeared in Daily Drunk Mag’s “Nostalgic AF: A Video Game Anthology”

edited by Nick Olson

You can read the rest of the poems here

Or you can support the poets by buying it here

Kindled

stacks of notebooks

like cordwood

fending

off the cold

paltry fire

barely big enough

to keep my fingers warm

so i can write

and count the pages

as they flutter

into the fire.

via negativa (for us)

The admin of the poetry newsletter

posts his name

and address

in the email signature

dry

droll

“Daring” 

Dave Bonta

Podunk, Penna.

An invitation

beating down his cabin door

but much gentler 

these poets

oh, they know it

they just don’t yet know 

how to learn 

at the foot

of this towering

mountain

hermit.

Pilgrimage

for his presence

and the wit

unsure

what to make of it.

the muse and I

the muse and I

are having yet another

state of the union

addressing

affairs of the heart.

she has spread out before me

love letters

my chest so full of pride

the intoxicating scents 

waft, slipped into

envelopes

moistened with her tongue.

no longer do we speak the same language

which threatens

an already uneasy alliance

backroom negotiations

the players

have changed

but this cold war

has never ended

temperature 

kept well below freezing

pen, hovering above the page.

a dream i can’t recall

I adore this.

musings and mishaps of an unconditional lover

a dream i can’t recall
9 November 2018

in autumn we embrace brown
but in the spring we will it away

in spring it’s all promise of green
watching whiskey melt the ice
rust colored trees, matching the burlap wrap
the tonic to settle the nerves
The uncertainty of love

tonight we embraced for the first time
for three years I waited for those arms to wrap around my torso
hoping for a peace to settle on our hearts
a false pretense worn away

if the color brown had a smell it would be this:
sun setting on your commute
darkened dinners with the furnace running
breathe caught in the crisp chill of forgiveness
the promise of another season

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