Shelly Rodrigue is a poet from New Orleans, Louisiana. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Holy Cross and is currently pursuing an M.F.A at the University of New Orleans. Her poems have appeared in Guide to Kulchur Creative Journal, The Borfski Press, Fourth & Sycamore, and Ellipsis. She is the 2017 recipient of the Andrea Saunders Gereighty Academy of American Poets Poetry Award. When she is not writing, she enjoys playing guitar as well as kayaking. She is the former rhythm guitarist of New Orleans funk-rock band Pulp Deception. Currently, she teaches English as a Second Language to children in China through an online platform. She also works as an ethnographer for U.N.O Chart.
From “The Fisherman’s Son”
Swearing suited him, the captain
of the trawler, Silver Spoon.
Just like his father, the skipper of the Bender Rover.
Reluctant in telling the vessels’ origins, modest
in both mind and money, but never mouth,
teaching me phrases like fuck that noise and
celery is for rabbits and goddamn Californians.
You’d never guess he was an engineer and a gentleman
or he didn’t stink of Bristol Bay under that seldom beard
with eyes bluer than the waters on which he sailed
and sunny, blond hair drunken with excess daylight.
From the Contributor Commentary
The subject matter of my poetic craft is obsessions. Often, those obsessions
are the intricacies of the characters I interact with daily. Friends and family, beware! I like to write about what strikes me most in a person, which is frequently dialect and mannerisms. In my poem, “The Fisherman’s Son,” I’ve attempted to capture polar extremes as juxtaposed in my friend’s personality. The pendulum swings between crude and refined, troglodyte and gentlemanly, in a way I find oddly endearing as I celebrate the strange and humorous relationship we share. Many of my poems follow in this fashion. I take what I love about whom I love and immortalize it because I feel the world needs to know these things. There are gems in little moments, and it is these I wish to preserve in my work.