I wrote my first poem on March 10, 1973, when I was 19 years old. That was a
special time for me. In 1973, I decided to switch majors from marketing to English because I believed that one should do what he loves and then concern himself with money. Twenty-eight years later, I know that I made the right decision. How remarkable that as teenagers we make so many decisions that will affect the rest of our lives. (Consider, for instance, unwed teen moms who remain strapped to their children and never develop themselves, or boys and girls who enlist in the military and in combat lose life or limb or mind. Of course, good may come from such decisions as well.) The poets who moved me back then included cummings, Dickinson, Ginsberg. Now I read Dunn, Kinnell, Olds, and Warren, among many others. Moongate's own Janet Buck and Duane Locke have also inspired me.
I began writing poetry because as my former teacher and well known poet Grace
Schulman said, "Words are a wonderful way to know life." How I agree with that simple yet deep observation! Sometimes I still get mad at the world and turn my back on poetry--my own and all others. But this anger is short lived, and I return to poetry. When I write essays, I find myself working; when I write poetry, I find myself breathing. Painters (e.g., Chuck Close, Audrey Flack) and musicians (e.g., Alicia de Larrocha, Marcus Roberts) also challenge me to write poetry. This may explain why I often hear that my poetry is too abstract--I try to describe color and music, which defy the literal..