Wednesday, March 14, 2012


The study in my old cottage on Myrtle Street
& that concludes Nightingales in a Stateside Zoo, both the book & the blog. All the poems have appeared here in the same order as they appear in the book. This blog will remain intact, tho “shuttered,” as the saying goes, in case anyone would enjoy reading the poems in the future.  Thanks to the readers who did stop by to read & comment during the blog’s active period. Comments will still be taken, but all comments will be moderated from this point forward simply to keep spammers out of the stream.

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.

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