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Robert Milby
Ophelia's Offspring

I seek to question the validity of acceptable, safe
forms of modern poetry studied at universities today.
                                                                         -Robert Milby

     "I know the passionate lover of fine style exposes himself
      to the hatred of the masses; but no respect for humanity,
      no false modesty, no conspiracy, no universal suffrage will ever
      force me to speak the unspeakable jargon of the age,
      or to confuse ink with virtue."
                                                               -Charles Baudelaire, 1821-1867

                                                                        (trans. Jackson Matthews)

Click Here to Read a Review of Ophelia's Offspring

From the book:

The New Face of Poverty
                                     -for Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke

While children go to bed hungry in America, young bourgeois women are buying overpriced handbags, expensive collars and sweaters for dogs; taking them for teeth cleaning, feeding curs costly, fortified food for healthy muscles and shiny coats.
The new face of poverty is the old face of poverty.

While children in cities, rural proletarian trailer parks, and reservation penury, are eating cereals with rat hair and aspartame, young men-under the mesmerism of affluence, are pimping their rides(not by working at used car lots) and donning their carnival cap and bells, sweating in sweatshop crafted surrealism.
The new face of poverty is the old face of poverty.

Children are left behind the gates of surrogate inculcation while parents are chained to career indenture, they'd never dreamed of during loud music, when kegs ran over the cranium of re-socialization and apt confusion at university halls of moaning.
Even today, Richard Cory flutters pulses, passing by clerks walled up in a Walmart as their kid's teeth go the way
of the workhouse.
The new face of poverty is the old face of poverty.

From vineyards to fields, from factories to urban soup kitchen-bohemians join migrants and vagaries of vagrancy on board a conductorless train, stopping to pick expired jars and cans out of dumpsters, as young mothers and babies silently watch.
The new face of poverty can talk on cell phones from a cell of mounting late charges and dress as streetwalkers while passing notes like vouchers where no child is left behind in the deceptive preparation for police state.

Woody Guthrie would make a fortune in re-issues, but the best voices of resistance are either paid off to keep their mouths shut or long dead, because the new fact of poverty is the old trap of poverty.  The second battle of New Orleans was lost,
not to a hurricane, but in its service as a portent. The new face of poverty has been manufactured and preserved since the days of the hoovervilles and subsidized co-dependency.

Media sponsors Medea; inspires millions to surrender money for calisthenics on treadmills to appear young and maintain prepubescent faces at forty-five, as adolescents and teens are exploited and molested by corporations and social engineers.
Charles Dickens merely visited America, but was interviewed by a poor poet.
The new face of poverty is the old face of poverty.
The new face of poverty…lurks in every community,
For the new face of poverty is a project of the
New Amerikan Century.

Robert Milby, of Florida, NY has been writing poetry for 20 years and reading his impassioned work throughout the Hudson Valley, NY and beyond, since early 1995.  

He has been published in Home Planet News, Hunger Magazine, Will Work For Peace, and many other anthologies and magazines.  He hosts 6 poetry reading series in the Hudson Valley.  Robert is a listed poet with Poets and Writers, Inc.  He was the invited poet at SUNY Oneonta, in March, 2003.

His spoken word cd is entitled: Revenant Echo (Sonotrope Recordings, 2004)

He writes for The Delaware and Hudson Canvas, in Bloomingburgh, NY.  Ophelia's Offspring is his first book of poems.

Ophelia's Offspring
is a 56 page hand-sewn book with spine - $13.00



To order through mail click here.

 Review of Robert Milby's  “Ophelia's Offspring”

                                                                 by Steve Hirsch

With blinding dactyls and breakneck pacing percussive; long, long, passionate breaths of staccato juxtaposition snowball as you are pulled forward by this poetry into Robert Milby's unique world of seamless extended metaphor with a gothic flourish. His is an elegiac invocation of political conscience that resonates with a sincere call to arms, and to magick, recalling great classic artists like Van Gogh and Beethoven, evoking glorious times gone by and yet wrestling with the fierce, complex angel of modern idiomatic psychologies. The sky alternates quickly between light and dark as days and centuries fly by in this space, moody and resolute in eerie contrast, resonant of Blake and Baudelaire in its transcendence of death but not darkness.

From “Stanley Williams, Twelve Days Before Christmas”

“The actor…believes in Death.
The actor…does not believe in Redemption.
Do the American people?”

Milby's pen is the staff that pushes your boat across this river Styx; the vivid purgatory he invites you to is indeed preferable to being cast out alone in this illogical, mysterious and difficult America he decries. You come to trust him as your friend and tourguide to a world where such forebodance can not be rationalized but must, ultimately, be resolved in the rich natural world he exalts as our once and final refuge. Robert Milby is the rare poet who will plant his feet firmly in front of the barreling train of social injustice and political obfuscation and scream into its oncoming beacon with a pleading defiance, his “anger at an unjust system”, holding the torch of pure memory higher in the fog, to remember ourselves before all that would impel us to forget.

“What great retribution Death enacts, for daring to be born!”

Among my favorites in this collection is the piece titled “Van Gogh”.

When the oils ran out, he flung the canvas into a bog,
retrieving it when the spirits left him alone, lost and hungry.
Strong coffee will kill youth's kiss but tobacco is a demonic mistress.
He was light! Vincent's Fire in spring birth!

Milby is elevating the great artist along with his misery; as he does with his own angst and awe in so many of his poems.

There are poets who leap from bridges to chase the light and stop the light.
Some painters pick out a tree at high speeds.
Several with gun, gas, or poison…
Beyond consumption and Syphilis-Van Gogh chose a pistol,
using his crimson elixir for his final canvas shroud.

Always returning to death and renewal, these poems move quickly through their dark seasons but always bear fruit in conscience, a coming to terms with the hard realities of current world affairs, and, possibly, redemption.