|The study in my old cottage on Myrtle Street|
As I mentioned in the blog’s opening post, these poems are “old”—the most recent one is either “Asleep at the Wheel” or “Frankie’s Flight,” either of which may have been completed as late as 1990 after I’d already left Charlottesville for San Francisco. The oldest is “Dogs as Chorus to the Late News,” which was mostly written in Burlington, Vermont in 1982 when I was still an undergraduate. I’ve matured & composed better poetry since those days, but I think the overall quality of the poems justifies making them public, & the best of them (while far different from anything I’d write these days) are strong poems in their own way.
My days in Charlottesville, Virginia were formative. Not only was I fortunate to have two very good teachers in Charles Wright & Gregg Orr, but I was also fortunate to have formed friendships—initially based on writing, but ultimately based on much more—with a handful of dear people I still call friends today. & there are others from those days who have passed inexorably out of my life—sometimes to my great regret—but those experiences have also shaped me. I know two things: you can’t go home again, but paradoxically you also may continue to return emotionally to a place. Sometimes that’s a grave liability; at other times, a mere fact. These poems are the almost tangible residue of many experiences—tangible & imaginative—that were once practically real.