Brown Betty

With this current round of novel edits winding down I’ve been getting back to poetry. First putting together sets for my two (so far) up coming summer features. I aim to make them both different and to have mini-chaps books to sell of the pieces  I do. For the Art Bar feature I’m focusing on down east/childhood material I’m calling Brown Betty.

April was poetry month. I didn’t try this year, as some did, to write and post a new piece every day. I wrote something nearly every day though. Some was work on Lazarus Kiss, some work on my novel about coal miners (Coal Dusters) and even poetry.


My current poetry project, other than getting things ready for features & open stages, is to do a series based on the titles of the essays of Montaigne. I read the essays over the past couple of years – they do go on. I really enjoy working with prompts and as there over 100 of these essays I have prompts to keep me going for a couple of months. The pieces will be based on title only, not on the content of the essay.


Reading them once was enough. Here’s one of them:

Of Sorrow (2)


those moments when we glanced

across a subway track

opposite directions

that frequently converged

paths that will no longer cross


missing you

yet still seeing your wave

as you get in the subway car

or I get in mine

a frantic little dance

not caring who sees

or perhaps caring who saw

wanting them to see   to know

you were willing to look so silly

at your age

at my age

showing a world of strangers

that we care for each other

across a the subway tracks


different platforms

different directions

paths that will never

cross again


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