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Vermont college-student poets gather to read

04.09.15
By: Mark Tarnacki
Troy Millette

Troy Millette '16

Saint Michael's College students Troy Millette '16, Filip Deptula '15 and Jaimee Deuel '15 were among 14 Vermont college students from six institutions participating in the 1st Annual Intercollegiate Poetry Reading at Fletcher Free Library in downtown Burlington the evening of Wednesday, April 8.

Professor Greg Delanty of the Saint Michael's English faculty said he invited the three based on their strong work in his poetry classes at Saint Michael's.

Millette, a junior English major from Fairfax, VT, says he read his original poem "Holden Caulfield" for the event. "I have written approximately 50 poems, and became interested in poetry after one of my high school teachers lent me a Billy Collins collection," he said.

Filip Deptula

Filip Deptula (photo right) is a senior economics major from Haskell, NJ, who says he became interested in poetry through listening to music, particularly folk. "There really is a lack of exposure to story-telling and emotion conveying through poetry in the U.S., and there is virtually no exposure for adolescents, juveniles and teenagers. But music is a great medium of expression for writers, and the transition from music to poetry and vice versa is very easy," Deptula says.

"St. Mike's has introduced me to a small group of people who share a similar passion for words. The school has grown my interest in the art, and solidified my involvement in it permanently," Deptula says, adding that he writes poetry in spurts but has composed enough poems to lose count.  His favorite poet is Jerry Murphy.

Deuel is a senior English major from Lake Luzerne, NY.

Other student-poets came from Champlain College, Johnson State, Middlebury, Norwich and the University of Vermont.

Following are the original poems that Millette and Deptula, respectively, read at the event:

Holden Caulfield – by Troy Millette

I could clear the back wall—

If I wanted to.

 

Peel back the glossy skin,

and wipe every bitch or goddamn

from the page.

Rewrite my saga as a saint.

 

I could pull my flannel cap over my brow,

and catch the Amtrak to the city.

 

I could walk through Central,

and find a lonely bench to keep company.

Watch the ancient carousel spin.

 

Then—

(when no one's watching)

I could pull the plastic stallion from his post.

 

Ride him down Broadway…

Up the new 91…

Into the country…

 

Find an empty field,

where the quiet young congregate,

and catch them

just before they reach the edge

of the rye.

 

After a while,

like a local,

I could disappear down Main,

leaving nothing

but a trail of dust.

 

I could live in seclusion,

like Salinger incarnate,

and speak only

to the portraits on the wall.

 

Utter one final sentence,

find my rightful place on the shelf,

and put myself to rest.

 

If you really want to hear about it

you know where to find me.

 

First Day of Poetry Workshop by Filip Deptula

 You told me that it is your addiction –

that you ingest it every morning

thickly spreading it over your morning biscuit,

adding it to your second cup of coffee,

with lunch and before dinner,

and sometimes after sex.

 

It's the kind of habit

that causes inflation of the brain –

that quickinstant dizziness –

leaving you light-headed

while you snort lines of it

amongst the ozone molecules of the stratosphere.

 

It causes bears to scratch at hives.

It convinced the dodo bird it can fly.

 

It‘s the Italian mob, full of wise guys,

strapping on the cinderblocks to your feet,

and it‘s the ripple of the splash

as you drown in the Long Island Sound.

 

It‘s like shaking hands with God

or whatever clichéd epithets

the rest of the fizzle fried fanatics are calling it–

them picking and choosing whichever

culturalistic messiah to praise.

They store kilos of it

in great, dimly lit, dusty halls of Acadmeia

and each day they strip, lash and crucify It,

melting the hard, dark, inky substance

and injecting it with queer significance.

 

But if I could be blunt:

if you want a life of glory, fame, women, vice and money,

I'd stick with cocaine.

 

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