photo by Rebecca Earl
Alexandrina Sergio’s My Daughter Is Drummer in the Rock ’n Roll Band offers a rich variety of moods ranging from jubilation to sorrow: we are presented with the rollicking high spirits of the book’s first section, “Old Lady Gone Bad”; the utterly honest and deeply moving poems of the second section, “To Dare Love”; and finally, the more somber poems of loss and mortality in the final section, “All that Remains.” Always there is a delicious mixture of mood: the sad poems contain moments of wry wit, and the overtly humorous or raucous poems contain deeper undercurrents. This is a book for all seasons of the heart. About the book, Honor Moore has said, “There’s a rock and toll, rip-roaring buoyancy to these poems. Oh with what panache and grace Alexandrina Sergio transforms and celebrates her every day!” Doug Anderson has commented that “Sandy Sergio’s poems are vigorous and celebratory in the tradition of E.E. Cummings.  From God on the radio to blessed bikers, eros is twinned with monsters under the bed, and ribald humor with the ashes of dead lovers. These poems are bright in a dark time.” For his part, Rennie McQuilkin has commented as follows: “After the high spirits and spitfiring in the first half of My Daughter Is Drummer in the Rock ’n Roll Band, the depth of emotion in the book’s second half is all the more profound.”
cover photography by Gillian Burdett

Alexandrina Sergio traces her passion for poetry to her Irish mother’s habit of mixing in the works of Celtic poets with bedtime nursery tales. William Butler Yeats and Little Red Riding Hood equally inhabited her childhood. As an English teacher, Sandy coached prize-winning student poets. Subsequent careers as executive director of a community-based mental health agency, director of a philanthropic foundation, and consultant in philanthropy encroached on poetry-writing time, but retirement has allowed broader opportunities for writing and reading her poetry. Her work has been published in a number of journals and anthologies and has twice been performed by a professional stage company. Her awards include first place in the 2007 Connecticut Senior Poetry Contest and second place in the 2008 Dorman John Grace Contest. She lights up at the sight of a microphone. Sandy and her husband, musician David Sergio, have four children and three grandchildren. They live in Glastonbury, Connecticut

 

Click here for sample poems and drawing.

Click here to view Alexandrina Sergio’s upcoming events

Click here to read ancillary material in the Seminar Room

Click here to enjoy Alexandrina on YouTube (reading in a bar during one of her drummer daughter's gigs).

BOOK STATISTICS

ISBN 978-0-9817883-8-8
Length: 104 pages, 6" x 9" paperback 

$18.00 USD per book

plus 6% sales tax (CT only)

Shipping and Handling (First Class/Priority): $5.00 for 1 book, $8.00 for 2-4 books,
$10 for 5-7 books, and $12 for 8 or more books

International Shipping and Handling: $9.00 USD for 1-2 books, $12.00 USD for 3 or more

 To order, send check payable to Antrim House for book/s, sales tax (CT only) and shipping:

Antrim House, 21 Goodrich Rd., Simsbury, CT 06070

 

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HONKY-TONK HEART

Truth to tell
I’ve never worn one of those
promise-filled, one-shouldered
blouses.

Never slipped my toes in and out of those
no-back, bad-girl
shoes.

But I can size up a fella,
calculate how I’d
unbutton his shirt,
button by button,
undo that silver buckle.

I think about it
just sittin’ here in
my suburban skirt,
flippin’ the pages of my
Book-of-the-Month.

You’ve read enough to know that
every Honky-Tonk Woman’s got a heart.

I’m here to say that
every heart’s got a
Honky-Tonk Woman.

GOD’S IN THE RADIO

God’s there in the radio
talking to you and me.
You ain’t never gonna find him
by staring at the TV.

Now his radio of choice
is the one that’s in your car
’cause that’s where you get to thinking
that Hell can’t be too far.

You’re drivin’ down the interstate
or on some muddy track,
all tense from peering through the fog,
aches creepin’ up your back.

A friendly voice might ease the pain
so you twist the radio knob,
then scan through all the stations
for the one to do the job.

Then out He comes a-singing
about your lover lost,
about the pain you feel inside,
about its searing cost.

And whoever’s vocalizing
you just know is channeling through
God’s heavenly message, blessèd grace
and comfort meant for you.

Some’ll say that you’re just hearing
a redneck picker’s story
but who’s to limit where God’s found
and how He shares His glory?

STACY THROUGH THE DOORWAY

The doorway
is like a cloud,

a dirty hanky cloud
that creeps across the summer sky
while you wait,
impatient for the sun to emerge
and bless your world.

The doorway is
any portal through which Stacy might stride:
the folding door of the Greyhound,
the entrance to a rendezvous restaurant,
the mouth of an airplane tunnel
disgorging bedraggled mommies with wailing babies,
grandmas and grandpas in Tilley hats,
lipsticked babes in leopard prints,
and, if all goes well,
Stacy.

Keen eyes and hard-life lines
tell tales unheard
what with the dazzle of blush and sparkle and glow
and I’ve-got-a-secret smile,
and the hair
tossed and tumbling,
red and brilliant.
Stacy is like the sun!
(Stacy is like the rain,
rain in its darkest muttering iteration,
rain that, no malice intended, stings and chills you
only because that’s what rain does.)

So there you are:
fiddling with napkins and forks, or
stiffening your knees in the airport or
on a platform, wiggling fingers grown itchy
around the stems of wilting flowers
while you watch the conductor lowering
tots and handing down fragile ladies,

until...
Until like when from within a cloud comes the sun –
The Startling Flaring Warming Suffusing Sun –
Stacy Comes Through The Doorway.

Stacy comes through the doorway
and once again there is
Redemption
Salvation
and the world is warm
with the thrill of
Stacy Through The Doorway,
the thrill that happens every time
because
you’re never really sure
that she’ll appear.

When she doesn’t,
it breaks your heart.

And when she does,
it breaks your heart..

NEAR ENCOUNTER WITH A QUEEN

I didn’t say “Hello. Great shoes.”

An arresting presence in the Goodwill:
blossomed cloche captured blond curls,
slinky skirt defined narrow hips,
caressed lily-stem legs.

I didn’t say “Hello. Striking hat.”

Draped in unsettling sexuality
she strolled jeweled belts, sheer blouses,
picked, viewed,
Adam’s apple constricted, jaw squared.

I didn’t say “Hello. Finding anything good?”

Exotic flowers must be cultivated
should they dare to grace
the nodding predictability of
suburban gardens.

I wish I’d said “Hello.”

ISLAND AFTERNOON

You smile, murmur: So this is why
we came to this sunlit place?
The tufted spread makes creases on our arms and faces
in the island afternoon.

We barely sense that a bird has darted in one window
and out the other,
not even pausing in his yellow flight to judge the drowsing two
who could right now be handling bright fabrics or turning
African dolls
at the dockside stalls.

The mountain switchbacks deliver up the exertions
of canopied taxis
crammed with swimmers clutching totes and towels and goggles,
adventurers prepared to leap down at road’s end
to become one with the bluegreen waves.

Echoes of unassertive construction make chorus with the island dogs,
daytime roosters answer bleating goats
and crisscrossing all, the rumble of motor launches
taking bearded Englishmen back to their tall masts.

You stir, touch me,
and it’s enough to know that
the astonishing harbor with its amazing sails,
the transparent sea gleaming with blue-striped fish,
the rum punch at the beach bar
and even the marketplace vendors in their brilliant crocheted caps,
await below, ready for us whenever we arise
this island afternoon.

ALL THAT REMAINS

After Tante Betty died
the nephews came in Oliver’s mustard-colored pickup
to take away her things.
The furniture and dishes were left for the renters
but the boys put old sheets down in the truck bed
to protect the bright fabrics brought from her stall in the market.
All the same broad, fringed cut,
they were beach skirts for the young girls, sarongs for the women,
and for the gray-haired ladies
Tante Betty would drape the flowered lengths on frail shoulders
and advise, “For de night breezes. So pretty.”

The nephews took them back home and passed them out to
the mothers, first, then the sisters and girlfriends, then the
cousins and teen-aged daughters.
Some were wrapped around slim bodies; others were hung on
the cement walls of this or that island house.
One was held close by a girl
who brushed her cheek against the soft pink and lavender.

ASPERGILLUM

“They sprayed holy water on the bikes and the bikers
with their aspergillums, the metal [shakers] that are
dipped into vessels of holy water.”
Hartford Courant, May 24, 2008


The priests and deacons
whirl their aspergillums,
bless the bikes,
shower each gleaming machine,
each studded rider
with prosperities of
Clear Sky,
Smooth Road,
Safe Journey.

Were I allowed an aspergillum
I would leap, dance it about you,
command its baptism to inundate you
with remembrance of
teen boys who whistled when you walked by,
your fold-out honeymoon apartment,
a first paycheck red coat,
what you had for lunch,
who visited today,
my name.

This denied,
I would bend, fold my hands,
beg the waters at least to touch you
with gentle fortunes of
Clear Sky,
Smooth Road,
Safe Journey.

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