This Small Breathing Coincidence

 Paul Terranova

This Small Breathing Coincidence by Paul Terranova is the newest poetry chapbook published by Parallel Press. Through his poetry, he marvels at the wonders of fatherhood, at the “small / breathing coincidence of dust and / love asleep on my chest in the spinning / infinity of our living room.” His work also celebrates the little moments found in everyday things: fellow subway riders; early morning trains; and the pre-dawn “moment the moon lay itself down and opened its crescent arms to the gods.”

Paul Terranova lives with his wife and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin, where he works as a community center director. Paul has worked as a youth organizer with immigrant youth; a tenant organizer in low-income housing; a refugee job developer; a public action organizer with the United Farm Workers of America; a volunteer with children living on the streets of Cape Town, South Africa; as well as at most every job one could hold behind a counter.

Paul earned his master’s degree in adult education and community development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and his bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Illinois. He studied poetry with Michael Van Walleghen at the University of Illinois, and his poems have appeared in Wisconsin People & Ideas (formerly Wisconsin Academy Review). This is his first chapbook.

A review of This Small Breathing Coincidence appeared in the online issue of Verse Wisconsin in fall 2011: “His poems touch a chord because he so often locates the mundane place from which they start: a question asked by a child, a glimpse of the moon while shoveling snow before dawn, a church built of Legos, or an embarrassing moment at a poetry reading. Through straight-forward language and a storytelling kind of free verse, he transforms the commonplace into little gems of wonderment.”

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Two Trees

Two trees lean
elbow on shoulder like
cocky teenagers in a
black and white picture.
Ignoring the low traffic buzz
of a million bees heading
to work and black flies circling
like taxis, they watch us pass,
tourists who won’t last
much longer than
our footprints.