Toll Taker 47 was inspired by a glorious moment of serendipity experienced by one of my daughters. Hog Heaven was inspired by a radio conversation about eating. Jack And Jill: The Final Chapter came to me from out of nowhere while I was riding on the New York … [Read more...]
“A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.” -Robert Frost
For me, it’s more like a tickle in the nose. I know I’ve got to sneeze, and when I do, out comes the poem. My best poems start as scrawls on restaurant napkins, or on a pocket notepad buried in the glove box of my car. And sometimes, in the shower, when I have no way to write it down.
Here are some of my poems. Click the titles below. Be sure to check out a collection of my poems in my book, Gig at the Amtrak, at “Books & CDS” link above.
“When you finish a poem, it clicks shut like the top of a jewel box.” -poet Kenneth Koch
Grandfather is about my paternal step-grandfather, who was my best friend when I was young. Reunion was inspired by a huge January snowstorm a few years ago, and a girl I had a crush on in high school. Bunky Hipple (that was really his name) was sort of a legend in my hometown, … [Read more...]
I wrote this poem after reading the following in the September 1995 edition of Jazz Times. Used by permission. "I had a conversation with Hank Mobley before he died. Hank was a very prolific writer, but most of his songs were in different publishing companies, they’re all over … [Read more...]
Leaving Pedro In was written immediately after the Boston Red Sox lost the American League Championship Series to the New York Yankees in 2003. Goodbye Curse was written the morning after the Red Sox won the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals in … [Read more...]
Seven Steeples was written after a long walking tour of North Adams. Empty House was inspired by a vacant blue tenement house I saw in a rundown neighborhood. Elderly Housing was written while I was sitting across the street from a former Catholic School. Sprague's referred to in … [Read more...]
Kitchen Helper was inspired by a conversation I had with a woman in North Adams who was waiting for a bus. Things That Aren't There was inspired by a number of conversations I had with people who told me personal stories about the effects of a huge urban renewal project in North … [Read more...]
From 1996 until 2004, the Appalachian Bean Cafe (called "The Bean") was a remarkable social institution on Main Street in North Adams. It was the perfect place for a writer to hang out and get to know the city's "old-timers," who were there every morning, and just about everyone … [Read more...]