This month Tom Spence has contributed tidbits of his writing life. Tom lives south of Buffalo with his wife. Together they live “with fowl, horses, dogs and fences and off the grid which does much for their self-esteem, but it is expensive.” He is a retired teacher and has been a transit worker (NYC Subway) and restaurateur (Buffalo). Tom writes, “Self-promotion is a young man’s (woman’s) game. Old men—short-timers-- of frail ego, should just write, and hope not to repeat themselves too often.” The tour that Tom gave me through his life shows me why we poets enjoy writing and reading poetry and why we relish getting to know more about our fellow WyoPoets. Here’s Tom – self-promoting away.
I like to write poetry to squeeze new meanings out of old words that might speak with my voice.
I like to read poetry because much has been said but little said well; still, I am surprised by how much seems to have been well-said.
Every time the sun sets and long blue shadows layer the draws in Powder River Basin, I foolishly believe that it must be the first time anyone has witnessed the event – subjectivism in the extreme. I don’t write about it; I write about the reasons I don’t write about it.
I have a fondness for form, sometimes. I am suspicious of free verse. I am suspicious of the strictures of form, sometimes, and yearn to be unencumbered.
I like syllogisms.
I write every day. This is not self-discipline any more than inordinate thirst unstoppers a flask.
Sonnet for GGM
We were reading about Solitude
of the century variety.
We should have known about decrepitude,
and about time’s impiety.
For in eternity, a hundred years
isn’t longer than a single day,
and almost capacious for our fears.
We were distracted, while he slipped away.
Our solitude has suddenly turned chill.
Still gypsies come to tease our disbelief
and tell us that it’s best to fill
a void with laughter rather than with grief;
harness up the time, both soon and late,
and for a Hundred Years to celebrate.
Here, WyoPoets asks its members to summarize their writing lives, poetry backgrounds and inspirations. We hope that if you are not a member you will think about joining. If you are a member, this is a chance to learn how other WyoPoets’ members get their poetry onto paper. Submissions receive only minor edits. Each poet’s voice clearly shines through. If you would like to share your poetry experiences, email Myra L. Peak for details.