Epigraphs serve as touchstones, little guidances, a way of tuning in to the work at hand. They’re like the musical hummings our grade school teacher would make as she sought to get us –40 or more untalented sixth graders–to sing in harmony, to launch us into song. Some will appear at the beginning of the… [Read More]

Iowa Writer’s Workshop

In Surviving Literary Suicide, by Jeffrey Berman, a work in which the author touches on Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath and William Styron, Berman quotes Key Redfield Jamison, who wrote An Unquiet Mind. Jamison’s research showed a 38 percent incidence of manic depression among students at the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop, while less… [Read More]

What is Consciousness?

CONSCIOUSNESS, SOUL RETRIEVAL, WILLIAM BLAKE / GLORIA AKASHA HULL / ALICE WALKER and THE COLOR PURPLE Again, it’s a work in progress. As it takes shape, it goes through a variety of forms and, at times, in my mind, becomes something of a collage. In the beginning there was this amorphous, ever-expanding thing… notes notes… [Read More]

From Beyond the Grave, the Podiatrist Counsels his Son on Prayer


So why can’t the dead counsel the living? In Blake, A Biography by Peter Ackroyd, the author writes, “Blake had told her [Catherine, the poet’s wife] that he would never leave her, and indeed she saw him continually when ‘he used to come and sit with her for two or three hours every day. He… [Read More]

A Work in Progress


In the same way God is in the Cracks: A Narrative in Voices (Black Moss Press, 2006) is sequenced to form a book-length narrative, one “best read in the order printed,” I am planning on doing something similar with Dr. Sward’s Cure for Melancholia. The characters, Dr. Sward (a podiatrist), melancholic son, and even the… [Read More]

Why write?

What do I have to say that’s new? What do any of us have to say…? “There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will… [Read More]

Soul Retrieval

collected poems cover

As I understand my Russian-born, life-long Republican father, we have an inner self and that “self” can be shattered, as when we are in some way violated, with the result that one can literally lose one’s mind. Think Post-Traumatic Stress. The working metaphor for this work in progress is soul retrieval, locating and recovering what… [Read More]

Dr. Sward’s Cure for Melancholia – posting #1


Fri., Nov. 16, 2007 – Dr. Sward is a Russian-born podiatrist who died in 1982. My father, he is the primary speaker in God is in the Cracks, A Narrative in Voices (Black Moss Press, 2006). In a review of The Collected Poems (2004), from which many of the father poems are reprinted, The Globe… [Read More]