Recently, a number of my poems have appeared or are forthcoming in highly respected literary magazines, including Twyckenham Notes, the I-70 Review, the Broadkill Review, and the White Hall Review.
My poem Pale Pink Taxi Garage, Croton, went live today on the website of White Walll Review. The poems in Twyckenham Notes, Lansing and Sitting on a Guardrail in the Shadows of Early Morning are published on their website and include audio renditions. My poem The Road from Millerton appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of the Broadkill Review. The work In the Tire Shop is scheduled to appear in a print issue of I-70 Review.
Meanwhile, my short story Gran Fury is set to appear in October in the online magazine Juked.
The story behind Gran Fury is interesting. The title, as some may have guessed, is taken from the Plymouth model manufactured in the 70s and 80s. To me the name was always evocative, and I took to noticing how beat the surviving cars seemed to be—a kind of irony on wheels. The vehicle first came to star in a poem of mine by the same name. Years later, I had the idea of how the poem itself could be repurposed in prose as the opening of a short story. The rest of the piece practically wrote itself. Since then, I’ve used at least two other poems as the basis for short stories. It’s nice when your work keeps on giving.
Tire Shop and Sitting on a Guardrail were both inspired by the same subject: a Hispanic man I observed, yes, sitting on a guardrail, waiting for the tire shop he worked in to open. He and his situation (as I imagined it) held my attention for months, as I passed him daily around ten-to-eight in the morning. He was always sitting idly holding a brown lunch bag. I had been in that tire shop and had also observed workers returning home after their shifts, their clothes almost completely blackened. I knew how hard the work was and how cold the drafty garage was in winter. I imagined that he might have been from a Central American country, come to the states to work and send money home to his family. So, fairly or not, I fictionalized a character based on him. I know there are some who would criticize me for making assumptions. But this is what writers do. They observe life and make up stories based on those observations.
I’ve also recently had poems published in Waymark, a magazine published by noted poet Roger Aplon that I and my longtime poet friends Joel Scherzer and his wife, the late Robbie Rubinstein have appeared in often over the years. The magazine publishes many of the poets who are members of CAPS, a literary organization that sponsors regular readings in New York’s Hudson Valley. At the same time, Waymark has included a number of writers who are part of the Pueblo Poetry Project, in Pueblo, Colorado. In addition to Joel and Robbie, the magazine has featured the work of PPP writers Tony Moffeit and Kyle Laws. I’ve had the pleasure of participating in PPP readings several times over the organization’s 30-year history.
Your poetry conjures up such vivid imagery in my mind, Allen. I enjoyed reading Pale Pink Taxi Garage, the personal nature of this one is one aspect that makes it so compelling. Lansing, and Sitting on a Guardrail also evoke a time and place I can feel. I have spent time in both Lansing and Catskill. Where can I read Gran Fury? Incidentally, the car I learned to drive in was my father’s 1965 Plymouth Sport Fury.
Keep up the great work. Congrats on these publications!