AS A CONFESSION OF THEFT

All along, I’ve felt a ping of guilt when taking time to write poetry or fiction. As if I’ve been stealing from others, even when I was living alone. Rubato, in Italian, means theft, although in music it’s applied as a way of making a phrase more flexible and ultimately sensual. And here it enters, as a dimension of my life journey.

What, then, is honest and what comes across as fake in a deep desire for love and affirmation?

I’ll let these poems sing and shout and lament on their own. I’ve somehow survived their transitions.

~*~

For these poems and more, visit Thistle/Flinch editions.

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WORKING THE ODD HOURS OF EMPLOYMENT

Have you ever worked the night shift? Or weekends? Or holidays? Or even the very early morning?

Oh, if you ask, “Which night shift – the one till midnight or the one that begins then?” – more compactly expressed as second or third shift – you already understand.

These experiences infuse the poems of my Night Owls & Early Birds collection. It’s a world apart from the conventional work world that has nights and weekends and holidays free.

~*~

Night Owls 1

For these poems and more, visit Thistle/Flinch editions.

OF THOSE EMPLOYED THE OTHER HOURS

Sometimes Night Owls & Early Birds show up on the same shift. Not everyone, after all, works the standard 9-to-5 weekday.

Police, firefighters, hospital nurses and doctors, paramedics, retailers and restaurant staff, truckers, airline personnel, railroad crews, actors and musicians – the list continues.

As I newspaper editor working nights and weekends, I could spot them all, even when they seemed to be playing hooky in midday.

These poems arise in that awareness.

~*~

For these poems and more, visit Thistle/Flinch editions.

MONUMENTAL ERRORS

As I would have said at the time: Note to folks living below the Mason-Dixon Line: It’s time to remove the Confederate monuments. They look too much like a sore loser.

Let’s remember, those shafts (at least the ones I’ve seen) have to be offensive to every descendant of every slave in America.

Think of all the German-Americans who never erected Kaiser monuments in honor of their dead kin. Japanese-Americans who could have placed Hiroshima/Nagasaki reminders. Italian-Americans, with Mussolini railroad efficiency. Vietnamese, Native-Americans, French?

It’s one thing to respect the dead, but this has felt defiant. From my view of history, it was a rich man’s war fought by the poor who continued to suffer poverty long after. Including many of my ancestors.

Now, what do I make of the statues of Civil War soldiers found on every town green in New England?

The wounds linger, don’t they.