Talking Political Writing, Post-Pandemic Arts, and Finding Home with R.M. Engelhardt

*An Interview With Thom Francis of The Hudson Valley Writers Guild.

R.M. Engelhardt started sharing his poetry at local open mics in the early-90s and has since been a driving force in keeping the poetry and spoken word alive and well in the area. He has hosted a number of readings and events over the years and continues to welcome writers new and old to the stage.In this clip, Engelhardt reads “DeGeneration” at the Borders Open Mic on January 25, 1995. This poem was recorded for the CD, “Volume: A Compilation of Poets, Live”, produced by Mary Panza and Steve Clark chronicling the poetry scene at the time at such venues as the QE2, Margarita’s, and Borders.We talk about political poetry, what the arts community looks like in a post-pandemic world, and how he landed at Lark Hall for his monthly open mic.

I’m Just A Writer




When all this horror ends. Death ends from this virus. When we have thrown all the walking talking garbage, excrement out of our Whitehouse, the lunatic sociopath and all his corporate friends and buddies. When we as the people who have the true power learn that we cannot trust let alone ever again follow both monied Republicans nor Democrats because of their complete incompetency during this time of mass desolation and we have finally renewed our freedom, re-established our Constitution and our liberty and have put in change/elected intelligent, experienced & actually educated and smart people whose job it will be to repair and heal all of the monsterous actions that Trump and his cabinet have done to our country, world and environment … our people and our nation then maybe one-day when I am very old I will start writing poems about beauty, love, nature and maybe even flowers. But until that day comes I will with all my heart and all my soul write poems that are true and I will fight the powers that be until this vision this hope finally comes true and becomes a reality. So until that day I will not change nor accept the condition of this country or world and neither should you.

Because America my friends is in ruins due to the fault of one single insane individual and we know what must be done whether your conscience chooses to accept it or not. For we have been used, lied to and betrayed. Thousands are now either unemployed or dead. And this is unforgivable.

So will you just watch all this happening from the comfort of your living room? Or are you a real human being who believes that this world should be safe and free for your children and many generations to come?


I’m just a writer.

But what are you?

~ R.M. Engelhardt

American Poet

IMG_20190929_230826_453AMERICAN POET




I awake
In 2019

A Dream

That is




Is one
Fucked up



I choose
To go back
To sleep

Wake me
When the
To life

The living

Wake me
When the

Once more

When all the
World becomes

A whisper

In a dead man’s



~ R.M. Engelhardt



I Hear America Screaming

I Hear America Screaming
(Inspired by Walt Whitman)

I hear America screaming, the varied lies I daily hear,

Those of politicians, each one singing their own tune   for each and themselves alone,

And in the background;

The soldier crying  as the doctor measures his amputee  leg,

The businessman singing  as he makes his fortune off others misfortunes and then sails off & away to the Bahamas,

The single mother asking what she shall feed her starving children, praying every night

The  old dying man mumbling, sleeping on the park bench, with no place left to go

The last animals dying as they breathe in the toxic fumes as they fall from the trees and wires

The union man’s song, the blue collar worker on his way in the morning,
Just to find the factory closed down

The beautiful singing of the daughter, or of the young wife taking care of her mother in her final days because she couldn’t afford a hospital at home

Each American singing what belongs to him or her and to none else, and never believing in sharing

For this day is what belongs to the day—the night always another beginning

Truth screaming with open mouths against an America in it’s very last glories and days

~ R.M.





This poem, ain’t about you.

And this poem ain’t about a raging heart
Or a saving grace.

This poem has nothing to do with the blues,
Robert Johnson, the devil or even
All the saints.

And this poem has nothing to do with the paranormal,
Demons or the neon electric lights of
Near death, deadly dead cosmic experiences,
Jesus Christ or his brother
Fred, candy, the shadow government,

Or “You”


This poem is a song
This poem is not a song

This poem
Is a riddle
This Poem is a revelation
For the false.

That has nothing to do with you,
Or your limited level of reality, non reality,
War, baseball or boxing, peace summits
Criticism Or the never ending war of

Good … Versus Evil.

That you are truly, afraid to fight.

No. Nope.

This poem ain’t about you,
not about you at all.

Because this here poem
Is all about “Soul”

An extinct & isolated species that’s
Connected, Interconnected & Intertwined
And Living Complete & Inside and Amongst the Cosmology
Of a Hundred Thousand Billion Stars.

And something that “You” Will Never Get,
Or ever understand.

Because this poem
Is not all about “You”

This poem
Is about “Soul”

That thing that you can never have
Or get which just like imagination
Escapes you just like honesty
Fame or the verses

That fall onto the page, like love.

Because you see it’s
That song inside your deepest depths
The heart that keeps you going, fighting

And truly “Alive”

Each & everyday

And that something
Which you must earn.

So this poem
Sure as hell
Ain’t about “You”

This poem
Is all about the parade of souls

That just keeps on passing you by
Without notice.

All the souls

Smart enough,

Not to follow



R.M. Engelhardt

Occupy, Or Under The Hunger Moon …

Occupy Movement, Hunger Moon Poem By R.M. Engelhardt

In early evening,

Jupiter in the sky, 

Hunger moon tonight.


The wolves 

Of wall street



Each generation

Under any


Monarch or 

King, Politician

Or snake.

For history

Just seems to be

And never change

A wolf, a dog 

Chasing it’s own tale

Into devestation


In early evening,

Jupiter in the sky, 

Hunger moon tonight.

As all the people,

Tents are forced 

To leave 

With their statements



And yet?

Who ever said



This world

Or universe

Was ever


In early evening,

Jupiter in the sky, 

Hunger moon tonight.

Where we all starve

For a better way,

A better life.

Usually realizing

The fates of Rome


Our kind

Far Far

Too late.


R.M. Engelhardt 2011