Tom Spence lives in Buffalo and found time to let us into his life.
I read and write poetry because I believe we humans are born with syntax perplexing us. As we form language, we inform our perception of the world. As we use syntax to describe our perception we re-form the world. Rules for this game are not fixed. No topics are forbidden. No one is keeping score. It’s fun. Everyone wins.
I’ve been reading and writing poetry since grade school. My sister and I spent afternoons reading out loud whatever we had from my father’s or grandfather’s eclectic collections: Badger Clark, Rudyard Kipling, Longfellow; later, Keats, Elizabeth B. Browning, E. E. Cummings, Robert Frost. We wrote a lot of doggerel when we were young. We imposed it upon unsuspecting audiences. Unfortunately, she is dead, but I persist.
Every time I hear a great lyric sung (Hart, Sondheim, Harburg, Comden, Berlin, etc.) I wish I had been a lyricist. I sing in the shower.
I am inspired to write by contradictions, ironies, discoveries, doubts, and wit. Getting from here to there is only fun along the way.
I write every day, hundreds of words. If I am not working on something I feel bereft and lonely. My desk is a mess. My computer files need attention.
I write formal verse, informally. I am always aware of form. I write plays with music. I write a lot of fiction. I am opinionated, but mostly tolerant…, and occasionally insufferable.
From Tom’s work, he shares:
I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like
Is universal and facile.
It’s not very much different from riding a bike,
But infinitely larger the hassle.
I’ve been growing up for a very long time;
I have plenty of plans, that’s for sure.
Should I get grown up before I die, I’m
Afraid that will be premature.
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.