Poetry // Brass Rail
A native New Yorker, James Penha has lived for the past quarter-century in Indonesia. Nominated for Pushcart Prizes in fiction and poetry, his work has lately appeared in several anthologies: The Impossible Beast: Queer Erotic Poems (Damaged Goods Press), The View From Olympia (Half Moon Books, UK), Queers Who Don’t Quit (Queer Pack, EU), What We Talk About It When We Talk About It, (Darkhouse Books), Headcase , (Oxford UP), Lovejets (Squares and Rebels), and What Remains (Gelles-Cole). His essays have appeared in The New York Daily News and The New York Times. Penha edits The New Verse News, an online journal of current-events poetry.
Of the poem Brass Rail, James states that it is:
‘...a coming-of-age narrative which focuses on the growth of a protagonist, or in this case a speaker, from youth to adulthood. It is a poem of germination where the last two lines make clear the central metaphor, of a teen developing from a shy individual to a young man with a voice, a bold and celebrated voice of his own’.