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What that boy wrote...

From the author's introduction to His Modest Debut: Poems 1970s - 1980s


"In the 1970s and early 1980s I did poetry: some good, interesting, fun, some just promising. Pretty much all I wanted to do was get good at poetry, so I read, I studied, I talked to some other poets, I wrote and wrote and wrote, and wrote some more.


I drafted in longhand, late at night, over and over again, writing, re-writing, polishing. Sometimes I typed them up on the old Underwood and mailed them off to little magazines. I wrote them in diners and coffeehouses and bars; on galley tables in fishing boats, in a shotgun apartment in New Orleans where it rained. I tried them out on deckhands and community college teachers and restaurant workers, on undergraduates and fruit pickers, and even a few Doctors of Letters. Everybody was kind, everybody was encouraging. Some people who I thought knew something said, "Pretty good, kid, stick with it."

So... self-published in 2017 through Amazon, let's just go through the book, go down the list, and see what you like.


RE this little piece, I was pretty sideways to the contemporary current... even then. While (some) of my contemporaries were writing praises to Mao Tse Tung in 1973, I was writing about Mycenaeans... in Eugene, Oregon, of all places...


In the Mycenean high chamber,

mottled in pattern,

the house-snake’s new skin

glows. Access through crevices,

coiling round amphorae in the dark,

seeking mice deeper;

weaving back upstairs to the warm fleece

and meditative human caress.


- mid '70s, Eugene



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