The spring '98 collection is titled "Sketchbook". I wrote these poems as quick glimpses (i.e. sketches) of people and things around us. No, this collection doesn't have the serious introspective qualities of "Water's Edge", the winter '97 collection. Some of the "Sketchbook" pieces are almost irreverent, others are more philosophical. They are a journey through change: Change of subject matter, of surroundings, and, just as important, a change in my own style of writing. After "Water's Edge" I was ready to do something different. Being exposed to local poetry readings also made me appreciate poetry that is specifically written to be read aloud to the audience. A lot of my newer material is written for that purpose, so even if you read it to yourself quietly, you'll know it's been safely tested on a live audience!
"Sketchbook" includes a series of poems I wrote purely for enjoyment while on vacation in Florida. I named these "Oceanside" and numbered them from I to XII in the order I originally scribbled them on the writing pad I was carrying the entire time I was there.
I don't know what will come next, but as always, it'll probably be different.
melancholy I'm sure you've known someone who can "wear" their mood like a beautiful item of clothing.
anonymous Threading your way through the indifference of strangers.
in flight I kept being haunted by the word "flight." It can mean running away. It can mean the act of flying. Flying used to be glamorous once - for centuries before we acquired the ability to fly, we admired birds in flight, afterwards we admired pioneer aviators such as Lindbergh, Earhart and Glenn. We may still admire anyone who gets to fly on the Concorde, but most flying experiences aren't pleasant. We get herded into flying cattlecars that arrive much later than planned at airports that resemble bus depots. I tried to capture all of these images in this poem - The running away, the disenchantment but also some of the glamour. It can be read from the bottom and working your way up, just like in flight. (The SR-71 is an Air Force reconnaissance plane built in the 1970s and is still the fastest, highest-flying airplane ever built.)
Oceanside II (Colors) I really did think this was an original thought. My cynical self wouldn't let me turn it into a serious statement, though.
Oceanside III (falling), V (Leann), VII (Vanessa) - impromptu odes to girls on the beach, many of which lived in the extremely crowded and noisy Room 106, two doors down from my where I stayed at Panama City Beach, FL.
Oceanside VIII (jellyfish), Oceanside IX (Loon) - quick glimpses at life on the beach.
Oceanside X (footsteps) I wrote this to a friend when I realized, not only was I doing what she'd been doing, I've also been to similar places.