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Before and After, The Metamorphosis of a Poet: Linda Kleinbub reads from Cover Charge


Some paths leading to the craft of poetry are certainly paved with serendipity. Take for example, Linda Kleinbub, who, in a round about way, came to poetry by going on a reality TV show called Ten Years Younger. Married with two children, Linda went on the show saying she wanted to go back to college, but she didn’t want to be the “old lady” in the classroom. Ten Years Younger gave her a $25,000 cosmetic dental makeover and then sent her to Christie Brinkley’s dermatologist, Dr. Patricia Wexler. After her makeover, she did go to Queens College for a library science degree. Her thesis was a case study of Poets House, where she met W.S. Merwin who encouraged her to take writing workshops there. Finally, she decided to get her MFA and attended the New School. The rest, as they say, is history. Cover Charge, her first book of poems recently published by Autonomedia, was twelve years in the making. Her poems do what they are supposed to letting us see the uncommon in the common, and out of the ordinary what is beautiful with simply spoken well-chosen words that are memorable. Linda Kleinbub reads nineteen of these poems in the Vimeo below. Enjoy.



Here are four poems from Cover Charge that are read on the Vimeo. Listen and read along.


Markings on the Wall

Astronomical charts:
born under a moonless sky
cosmos ignited the pyre.
Daddy said it was so hot
Earth could’ve been on fire.
Funny how we let
ghosts of childhood
hide out in bedroom closets.
Imagination carried us to
Jupiter and beyond. But we
looking over our shoulders.
Marked time on the moon before
night rolled to dawn.
Oxygen in our blood
purple galaxies and meteorites: our thirst.
Revolving on this planet
synchronicity brings us
together in one
universe tilting this
vex of harmony.
Weekend warrior extracting
xenon from the night sky
your lantern is fueled by yellow
zinnia flowers.

Be My Garden

I need to cleanse myself
dig myself into the dirt
sleep with daffodil bulbs
breathe earth.

I remember where last season’s tomatoes grew
where the strawberry patch sent its runners
through the hot peppers and the eggplants.

I need to feel you again
to know you
like I know the dirt in my garden.

I’ll rake last season’s leaves from you
fertilize you, rejuvenate you.

I want to introduce you
to the praying mantis and the ladybugs
so, they can defend you from parasites.

I want you soil ready
so, I can dig my hands in deep
plant a fragile seedling
water it, watch it grow.


Prell shampoo you
left in my bathroom,
even after I asked you
to take it with you.

I don’t know why
I’m telling you this,
now that the green shampoo is gone-

I have to confess,
I saved a lock of your hair
sometimes I take it out
it smells like you.

Sunken Ship

fog made of salt
tears of mermaids

voices rising from deepest sorrow
carry me towards daylight

fuse myself whole again
wipe my tears with beach fire coals

lose me on the shoreline
let me become food for seagulls


Cover Charge is published by Autonomedia. You can check it out here:




Linda Kleinbub



  1. Ron Kolm

    Wonderful poems! Linda Kleinbub’s book is a marvel!

  2. Madeline Artenberg

    Linda Kleinbub’s poems will transport you!

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