House of the Tomato

If a woman wants to be a poet, she must dwell in the house of the tomato. -- Erica Jong

Regional website for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, in partnership with the Reader's Loft.

GREEN BAY / NORTHEAST

Celebrating, sharing and inspiring poetry throughout Wisconsin.

IMAGINE Poetry Reading

  • The Reader's Loft 2069 Central Court, Suite #44 Green Bay, WI 54311 USA

FEBRUARY: For the Love of Poetry

Sarah Gilbert & Mark Falcone

Sarah Gilbert Sarah Gilbert returned to writing poetry in the midst of two decades of Lynch Syndrome cancers.  A chapbook of her cancer poems, Tendril, will be published by Finishing Line Press in January 2015. Her work has also appeared in Fox Cry Review, Wisconsin Poets Calendar, The Healing Muse, Your Daily Poem, and Sharing Widely Living Deeply.  She serves as a regional VP for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and hosts a reading series at Copper Rock Cafe in Appleton, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, three cats, and one old dog.

Sarah Gilbert

Sarah Gilbert returned to writing poetry in the midst of two decades of Lynch Syndrome cancers.  A chapbook of her cancer poems, Tendril, will be published by Finishing Line Press in January 2015. Her work has also appeared in Fox Cry Review, Wisconsin Poets Calendar, The Healing Muse, Your Daily Poem, and Sharing Widely Living Deeply.  She serves as a regional VP for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and hosts a reading series at Copper Rock Cafe in Appleton, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, three cats, and one old dog.

Why I Pulled My NG Tube at 4 a.m.

Because the institutional wheels
turn only upon doctors’ orders.
Because I could not bear
the six hours till the doctor came by.
Because that foreign presence
in my nose and throat
caused undue suffering,
gripping my voice,
casting out sleep,
and didn’t prevent vomiting.
Because I knew from experience
that I was better now
that this pain was unnecessary.
Because I have learned
to listen to my insides,
I sent the young nurse out
of the room, peeled back the tape,
and slid that sucking snake
up and out.

-- Sarah Gilbert

Mark Falcone Mark is a South Philadelphian, born and raised in Little Italy of that city. As an elementary school student he loved Chemistry, reading college chemistry books in 7th grade and developed an elaborate chemistry lab in his home basement performing experiments beyond anything done in a high school chemistry class. He became a teacher with an  M.Ed  teaching psychology, theology and music on the secondary level for 18 years, and 5 years on the Collegiate level. He was Chairperson at Combs College of Music in Philadelphia student teacher supervisor for state certification for teaching in the Pennsylvania school system. He has  Doctor’s degree in music composition from Combs College of Music. He was a member of the Pennsylvania Poetry Society with poetry published in numerous Poetry Anthologies. His first published poetry book is Fiery Mouthed Dragon published by Dorrance & Co. Philadelphia PA  in 1975. While living in Baltimore he founded a poetry club for local poets, teaching members to write in various forms and critiquing poetry of club members. He has had Poetry readings in Philadelphia and vicinity for other poets and journalist. He also  had a poetry club in De Pere, giving readings at St. Norbert Abbey and the De Pere Library.  He is also a member of the Academy of American Poets which helps upcoming poets to get their works published.  He has been recognized by the Academy of American poets as a contributor by fostering contemporary poetry.  He has put some poetry of his own and that of Emily Dickenson to music.  He presently is retired, devoting his time to composing music, writing poetry, updating his knowledge of science, spirituality and theology. In his free time he has kept companion parrots for the past 44 years.

Mark Falcone

Mark is a South Philadelphian, born and raised in Little Italy of that city. As an elementary school student he loved Chemistry, reading college chemistry books in 7th grade and developed an elaborate chemistry lab in his home basement performing experiments beyond anything done in a high school chemistry class.

He became a teacher with an  M.Ed  teaching psychology, theology and music on the secondary level for 18 years, and 5 years on the Collegiate level. He was Chairperson at Combs College of Music in Philadelphia student teacher supervisor for state certification for teaching in the Pennsylvania school system. He has  Doctor’s degree in music composition from Combs College of Music.

He was a member of the Pennsylvania Poetry Society with poetry published in numerous Poetry Anthologies. His first published poetry book is Fiery Mouthed Dragon published by Dorrance & Co. Philadelphia PA  in 1975.


While living in Baltimore he founded a poetry club for local poets, teaching members to write in various forms and critiquing poetry of club members. He has had Poetry readings in Philadelphia and vicinity for other poets and journalist. He also  had a poetry club in De Pere, giving readings at St. Norbert Abbey and the De Pere Library.  He is also a member of the Academy of American Poets which helps upcoming poets to get their works published.  He has been recognized by the Academy of American poets as a contributor by fostering contemporary poetry.  He has put some poetry of his own and that of Emily Dickenson to music.  He presently is retired, devoting his time to composing music, writing poetry, updating his knowledge of science, spirituality and theology. In his free time he has kept companion parrots for the past 44 years.

The Purpose of a Pet

My best friend stands before me
upright, with a arrogance
that depicts complete independence
and freedom, with an air of
defiance to submission to anyone.

While exchanging glances
I try reading his mind, but
sometimes never realize
how badly I’ve failed
at this game.

The frightening feeling hits me,
that my friend is capable
of reading my mind, with greater
accuracy than I have ever
possessed in reading his.

He can read my emotions,
knowing all my moods, while yet
maintaining his own feelings 
and reactions.

Yet, when he is frightened,
immediately he comes to me
for comfort,
when threatened he comes
for protection,
when lonely he comes
for attention,
when depressed and rejected 
he comes for affection.

This makes me feel prized and
special, giving me a sense of
comfort, a feeling of being
wanted and needed with a special
affection directed to me alone.
We comfort each other.
My friend has evoked all the
natural beauty of my mind,
emotions, and feelings, giving me
the freedom to express them to him,
without any fear of ridicule.
He has freed my emotions from
the prison of inhibition.
No one would ever believe the
depth of personality that lives
within such a feeble structure;
a mere handful of feathers and flesh.
Yet, who is able to share with me,
his sense of warmth, independence,
security, freedom and affection.

Now, I search for people who will
let me share with them
this newly found self.

-- Mark D. Falcone

© 2017 House of the Tomato