should tickle us silly, each bright syllable
a spandrel, a mountain summit, a new planet
swimming into its ken, so perfect
you couldn’t possibly have written it. [read more]
Like most people, I wear many masks: husband, father, poet, teacher, skateboarder. I go through phases and this blog has tracked them off and on since 2009. It’s a mixed bag, but hey so is life. If you surf around the archives you’re likely to find an old post I wouldn’t have written today. Others, I might. People change, and opinions and interests change with them.
I’ve been interested in poetry since I took a (disastrous) intro in college. A few years later I discovered Hart Crane among the dusty alphabets at the Gotham Book Mart. You know how that goes; as Rilke put it, “You must change your life.”
I’ve been writing and publishing poetry – with some hiatuses – since about 1998. My first poems came out in the now-defunct journal Pivot, and more recently my work has been featured at Ligeia, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Rivet and Furious Gazelle; others are forthcoming at Italian Americana, First Things, Free Inquiry and Loch Raven Review. (You can find a list of my publications here.) My first collection, Unburial, came out in 2019 with Kelsay Books. My second collection, Still Life with City, is forthcoming – sometime this year – with Pski’s Porch.
I don’t care for labels or schools of any sort. I’m interested in getting into the poem, walking through an unmarked door and seeing what’s inside the room. Re-arranging furniture, so to speak. If that gets done with rhyme and meter or without it doesn’t interest me. I think Dylan Thomas once said that he’d do whatever he had to to get what he wanted from a poem. I think that sums it up nicely. If you’re surprising yourself as you write, you’re probably doing it right.
Unburial | Kelsay Books