This article is over 5 years old

Voices and Verses

National Poetry Month: “Because You Requested Poetry About Jimi Hendrix and Eggplant” By John Milkereit

The Houston poet reads a psychedelic poem, written for friends.


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>
“The kind of poetry I write is freewheeling…What inspires me is life around me.” – Poet John Milkereit

In this sound portrait, John Milkereit describes how poet Billy Collins and how being an engineer have influenced his poetry, and he reads his poem, "Because You Requested Poetry about Jimi Hendrix and Eggplant."

A resident of Houston’s Montrose area since 1991, John Milkereit is a poet and rotating equipment engineer for an engineering contracting firm. His poems have appeared in various literary journals including San Pedro River Review and the Texas Poetry Calendar. His chapbooks are Home & Away and Paying Admissions (Pudding House Press, 2010). He recently completed a low-residency MFA program in Creative Writing at the Rainier Writing Workshop in Tacoma, WA. His full-length collection of poems, A Rotating Equipment Engineer is Never Finished, was published in March 2015 by Ink Brush Press.


Because You Requested Poetry About Jimi Hendrix and Eggplant

A dream must exist,
one about walking under
the flesh of a purple sea
soft and bitter.

The trip is rich and salted.
The sky acts funny as clouds
resemble five-lobed corolla
and shadows of birds oil across

whatever spell is mashed into this
brain dish. Backstage a riff plays,
the air cries out the yellow flower's
amplified release which begins the

stew of awakening in you
drifting onto an island
pollen-blotted and curried
for lavender.


This poem was published in A Rotating Equipment Engineer is Never Finished and is reprinted with permission by the author.

To learn more about this series, go here.

Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Senior Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

More Information