You're my favorite horse
dedication, acknowledgements, thanks, contributors
the love of my life, my best friend, my pillar
To Dan & Bia, Adam & Jenn
the next generation, love you—it’s your turn
To Mom & Dad
the Greatest Generation embraces mishegas
To Alan & Lynne, Renee & Marshall, Scott & Harriet
so blessed to be your little brother
Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following publications in which these poems or previous versions first appeared or are forthcoming:
Alliance for the Arts - Broadsides Poetry Off the Shelf 2016: "Old Country remedies”
Alliance for the Arts - Broadsides Poetry Off the Shelf 2017: “An Assignation with Death”
Boston Literary Magazine - "Balance"
The Broadkill Review: "Quảng Ngãi Café" and "Frog and toad are friends"
Dual Coast Magazine: "At sixteen on a balmy August day,"
Eunoia Review: “Wallpaper peeling above the headboard”
The Gulf Coast Writers Association Poetry Contest: "Acceptance" - Second Prize
Mulberry Fork Review: "Uncle Louie and Simon Bell”
OVS: “How to tell my dog I’m dying, v. 1”
Poetry Quarterly: “An Assignation with Death”
Radius: "Frank Stanford sitting on a cumulonimbus near the gate that bypasses Purgatory"
Sanibel-Captiva Islander: "Memorial Day" and "The new plot”
Soul-Lit: “how to tell my dog I'm dying”, “The penultimate optimist”, and “St. Louis heat burst” as “You didn't say no”
Strange Poetry: “CANCER SUCKS! (yeah—I know that’s “trite, overused”. Bite me.)”
The Worcester Review - Winner of the 2017 Frank O’Hara Prize: "Skating on the edge of flesh”
I have many people to thank:
John Hodgen—mentor, friend, teacher. Thank you for your patience and grace. You taught me how to find out who I am as poet and gave me the confidence to grow.
Janet Shainheit, David Thoreen, Cathie Spingler, Jennifer Freed—fellow members of John’s workshop. I learn from your poems and your approaches to writing. Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your work, for your insightful feedback, for your friendship.
The writers in Sanibel Island Group #3 and the poets in the Tuesday Night group at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers—thanks for giving me a home in SW Florida. Appreciate your diverse voices and senses of humor.
Nerissa Nields—for fine writing retreats, for introducing me to talented and inspiring writers, for your friendship, ADKNorthampton-St. Pete. I bring poems with vexing subjects to Big Yellow and they get written.
Jane Ellen Ibur—my sister-in-poetry, college classmate, companion seeker, Sestina whisperer, truth teller, bravest cowgirl, pockets filled with shells and similes.
Robin Stratton—friend and publisher, nurturer of new writers young and old, chaser of dreams fulfilled, literary light, beloved by community for kindness and support. Thanks for believing in me.
Jennifer Colella Martelli—appreciate your perspective and skill as an editor. You challenged me (what more could I want?) and elevated my poems while devising the ideal sequencing to tie their themes together. Much thanks.
The Hangover Hour at Nick’s-Worcester—the funnest poetry venue in town. Thank you Dave McPherson for creating a home where words, performance, mayhem, and solemn hilarity blend into one smooth cocktail (have Sean pour a double.)
Worcester County Poetry Association—our community is diverse, healthy, riveting.
In Memory of Dan Lewis— generous, kind, graceful, courageous. A fertile poet without contradiction, Dan exuded presence: a body that accentuated, a voice that thrilled the room.
Carle Johnson—Dean of Worcester poetry. Thanks for your gracious welcome to all poets. You help us grow by offering wisdom and perspective. No one will ever shoot with a teddy bear better than you!
Anne Marie Lucci—a light, an angel, finest famous baker of hermits. Thank you for encouraging poets and giving spoken word a home.
Kristina England—how does one woman finish so many tasks with aplomb and finesse? Thanks for your friendship, advice, and kindness.
Sotirios Sam E. Lalos—you have a warm heart, a keen eye, and discerning ear. You are a valued friend and confidante.
Don White—hey buddy, thanks for laughing at my weak jokes. Your friendship and support is a true joy. Appreciate your willingness to join me in following a philosophical artery until it is tied off and begging for mercy.
Chloé McFeters—guide to those who seek healing, model of courage and determination. Your big heart leads us to renewal. Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to C is for Courage.
Jessica Jacobs—in appreciation of an invaluable manuscript consultation at the Sanibel Island Writers Conference 2016.
In memory of Marsha Kunin—my companion in art, literature, poetry, and the nature of existence. Thanks for laughter wrapped in pathos.
Thaddeus Clay Jones & Joseph Chiuchiolo—any lies we tell are true. Thanks for 50+ years of friendship, adventure, and levity. Gee, we’re old fogeys.
Clan Webster—it was real and is real.
Cover design: Minnie Cho, FuseLoft LLC
Author photo: Kristen LeClair