Thursday, April 2, 2015

This One's for Tara

That's Tara, seated on my right.
Last month, I was honored to be the featured author at the Fitchburg (MA) Library's Author Night. The moderator was a fine young woman named Tara Dugan, who, as it turns out, is a distant cousin... although I'm still not sure how. Despite any genetic connection she may have with me, she did a great job.

After the talk, she mentioned that she enjoyed reading my blog posts. I thought she was just being nice, since it had been nearly a year since my last post. I had decided to let the blog sink into even deeper oblivion. But when she started talking about specific topics I'd written on... well, she inspired me. So thank you, Tara. This first "return" post is for you.

Since it's National Poetry Month, I thought I'd post a one-sentence poem I wrote a few years ago. I invite anyone who happens to see this entry to post one of your own originals in the comment section, or to share a poem that has special meaning for you. Here's mine (and I hope Blogger doesn't screw up the enjambments):


While I was revising a poem that sucked, my long-dead
mother and not-as-long-dead father visited to remind me
that writing was the fast road to starvation and to ask
what I was doing
in the Express Lane

by writing poetry; after all, being Irish was not a divine right
to sing the blues, especially since I was given Middle America,
hours of humid afternoons to float like an astronaut 12 feet
above the drain
of Lakewood Park

pool, red-and-yellow autumns, and scratchy sittings on Santa’s lap
at Higbee’s, where afterwards we’d have a cool chocolate frosty
in the basement and watch the ladies browse blankets and punch
pillows and why
did I feel it necessary

to use words like suck anyway but back to the main point, which was this:
I was not going to find what I was looking for in words, no one ever does,
especially those with real responsibilities but never mind, it didn’t much matter
since I never did
much listen anyway

which is okay, they said, we’ll stay here—in the dress you’ll remember
from the picture, the suit you’ll recall from the smell—silent, quiet as mice,
while we lie with our hands softly at our sides as we ever so patiently,
ever so eagerly,
wait for you.