Monday, June 2, 2014


"My soul is constituted of thousands of images I cannot erase...I'm a grainy old, often silent, often flickering film," Charles Simic writes in his book, The Monster Loves His Labyrinth: Notebooks. This line spoke to my condition when I began writing my latest book of poetry, available on Amazon in a few days. Departures is the name of this volume, and a few people have asked me if the title indicates I intend to throw away my pen, or computer, as the case may be, and hang up my poetry hat. The answer is "no," as I'm already settled on The Mountain at Sewanee, Tennessee, working on another volume.

Departures explores the lives and departures of loved ones—parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, grandparents, an infant nephew, memorable teachers, godparents, musicians, an old friend—the faces of people who have passed on and left their imprint on my life...and about whom I often dream. The book is dedicated to my friend and mentor, Darrell Bourque, former Louisiana poet laureate and author of Megan's Guitar and if you abandon me, who read the original manuscript of Departures.

I know that I just published a book of essays entitled Porch Posts with Janet Faulk-Gonzales, but Departures has been waiting in the wings for some time, and since I had a painting for the cover that my brother Paul rendered a few years ago, the book almost birthed itself and begged to be "out there."

An example from Departures entitled "Sister's Blue Baby:"

the only boy among three girls
was buried in blue satin

in a tiny steel box
that held the porcelain body

and a heart that struggled
against death

before his time;
his crippled valves

leaking a love
never expressed...

and only his mother felt.

I hope that those of you who read my work will take a look at those people whose "points of departure felt...the faces appearing often enough...[have left] enough of themselves with me."

Departures also available online at If snail mail is your preference, send orders to Border Press, PO Box 3124, Sewanee TN 37375, along with $12 plus $4 for shipping.

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