April is the month long celebration of poetry. Join me and other poets at these events:
Sunday, April 10, 1 p.m. at the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery, 7 Canal Street, Westerly, Rhode Island
Friday, April 15, 7 p.m. at Byrd’s Books, 126 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel, Connecticut
Saturday, April 23, 2 p.m. at the Minor Memorial Library, 23 South Street, Roxbury, Connecticut
Support the arts and poetry in your community. Participate in other events and activities.
Thanks to Peter Everett and all the students from Housatonic Community College for inviting me to speak and sharing their ideas about point of view, perspective and crafting a voice in poetry. Special thanks to my former student James Novoa spending your day off with me and for snapping a few pictures. Videos to come.
I had the pleasure of reading at the Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford yesterday, May 15, for the Riverwood Poetry Series. Joining me was poet Jasmine Dreame Wagner. It was so great to meet her and get to know her work. Both of us were invited and introduced by my good friend, David K. Leff, host of of the evening’s events.
Last August, I spent three wonderful days at the Wellspring House in Ashfield MA. I’m grateful to have had the space, time, solitude and solace, which allowed me to finish the manuscript for Reconnaissance.
or geraniums, depending
on if I call it by the number of stalk –three –)
or by its potted home: –one – white enamel
ridged like waterfall rocks)
whether it is coming or going.
Likely, someone has turned
the thinnest frond
toward the light
of open window; someone has filled
the pot with too much water.
The Phillis Wheatley Room
My poem, “What Jodie Taught Me about Tattoos” is featured on Homebound Publication’s website, promoting the release of Reconnaissance and celebrating National Poetry Month.
Jodie had a beautiful spirit, and though she had gone through a lot in her life, she made laugh and smile, and made an otherwise uncomfortable freshman year of college tolerable. Her family continues her memory and honors her with the Jodie S. Lane Public Safety Foundation. Please read about their work and the mission to improve public safety and and education about stray power lines.
What Jodie Taught Me about Tattoos
—for Jodie Lane
She could not be buried,
her father told her,
with ink scalpelled into skin,
defacement of the body
prohibited by Jewish law.
With spider legs painted
around skull’s demon visage,
she wore hers without apology
under stringy tank tops
and the ripped sarcasm
of baggy sweats around
a petite frame. She confided
obsessions over cigarettes
blurred into the falling leaves
of freshman year laughing,
never telling stories
of spiders or skulls, not minding
the sunflower I chose
for my own mark. We wanted
to ink into the eternal, forge
the intransient specter
of adulthood with scars
of our own making.
The last time I saw her
we sat for coffee between
darkened booths at the local
diner. A postcard sent
from Texas came a few years
later and then abbreviated
obituary lines stapled
between the alumni magazine,
accident walking dogs,
voltage engraving her body
with ungrounded shrieks
through a Manhattan sidewalk.
East 11th street is pocketed
with sewer drains and manholes,
and a street sign marks
the site where she fell.
I stare up into the permanence
of the story, one I kept hidden
in the flower on my shoulder,
the rumor of loss now etched
in visible lettering across
an overcast sky, persisting
beyond a combustible
and porous layer of skin.
Another successful release of Groundswell, the University of Bridgeport’s Literary Magazine, featuring poetry, fiction, photography, and drawings by UB students, including a pool of very strong Creative Writing Majors. This year’s editor, Jose Cabrera, served as emcee for the release party.
Thanks to faculty advisor Eric Lehman for promoting and reading from Reconnaissance.
Photos courtesy of UB.
Head over to Homebound Publications for all you need for National Poetry Month, and get ready for Poem in Your Pocket Day. Here’s a selection from Reconnaissance and my little son, Django, who inspired the poem:
Look for Reconnaissance in paperback and ebook, on Amazon, Kindle, and Nook or ask for it in your local indie bookstore.
Justifying the Ways of Animals to God
Having little or no knowledge
about the fall of man,
the boy approaches the ringneck
with the zeal of a crusader
without pausing, as there is
nothing eternal to consider.
The confession had been shed already:
flaky, transparent skin hidden
beneath a rug in the unheated summer room—
the yellow necklace collaring
a brand-new black form.
The saga unfolds quietly
unaided by the dramatic pauses
of scripture nor capped off
with sermons on forgiveness.
The bite is swift, but not final:
there must be suffering.
Rebellion, pride, seduction—
these do not enter the minds of snakes
and a cat cannot tell a fallen angel
from a demon dancing
in the living room’s haloed light.
My author copies of Reconnaissance arrived today. Order today from Homebound Publications and your own copy will be on its way in no time. Thanks to Dick Allen, John Surowiecki, Audrey Henderson, Diane Donovan for their advanced reviews and cover blurbs. Click here for the press release from the University of Bridgeport.
To get a jump start on National Poetry Month in April, and to celebrate the upcoming release of Reconnaissance, check out
After Making Love to Lord Byron
on the Morning of My Thirty-seventh Birthday
He left me once the broken blue
of dawn came through the window, . . .
* * *
Click here for the full poem. Order the full collection today and get it shipped two weeks early.
The poem was first published in issue 2 of Garbanzo Literary Journal
Press release from the University of Bridgeport.
Order my latest poetry collection Reconnaissance ahead of the release date and get advanced shipping from Homebound Publications. Official release is scheduled for April 7th.
Here’s a teaser: This “reproduction” was made in 6th grade. Pretty good for an up-and-coming art thief. Order your copy of Reconnaissance and see how the painting finds its way into the collection.