Recently, a number of my poems have appeared or are forthcoming in highly-regarded literary magazines, including Constellations (The One-Time Grandma), the British magazine Seaside Gothic (What Happened When We Emerged from the Ocean, Anyway), and Slipstream (An Accidental Song for the Sacred and the Profane).
While I don’t have the rights to reprint most of these poems at this time, I think the stories behind them make for good reading, nonetheless.
The stories behind two of these titles surround my experiences as a four- or five-year-old boy.
In The One-Time Grandma, I recall sitting on the floor at age four with this gauzy image of my father’s mother craning down to greet me, offering a toy truck with wheels that rolled, filled with hard candies. Mysteriously, it was the only time she visited us. I never did learn why.
In An Accidental Song for the Sacred and the Profane, I’m playing in the little backyard of our two-story house in the Bronx, surrounded by brick apartment buildings. It’s a warm day in spring when I notice this beautiful woman in a diaphanous nightgown slowly brushing her long red hair at an open second-floor window, not 30 feet from me. What was a boy of five to make of such a sight? At the same time, an old Jewish man is davening at an open second floor window of another apartment building. When such a devout man is davening, he rocks to and fro while singing prayers, “nasal strains rising and falling and rising again.” Thus, An Accidental Song for the Sacred and the Profane.
In addition, I’ll post the entire poem What Happened When We Emerged from the Ocean, Anyway in a few days.