Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pushcart, A New Book, Trivia, and a Loss

Late again!  Now that there’s little nip of autumn in the air and the school year is back in full swing, it’s time for an update.

The big poetry news is that I’ve been nominated for a Pushcart Prize for my poem, “Postcard to the Ex”, which appeared in this year’s issue of US 1 Worksheets.  (Click here to see it on their webpage.)  It’s my second Pushcart nomination, and even though I now realize that there are probably a couple of thousand nominees each year, it’s still quite an honor.  It would be even sweeter if my poem made it into the annual Pushcart Prize anthology, but I’m not holding my breath.

I’m planning to publish a new chapbook by next month - it will be a collection of sonnets and other 14-line poems titled "Twenty-four by Fourteen".  I plan to have it out just in time for a reading sponsored by my publisher, Maverick Duck Press, at 7:00 on Friday, October 19 at The Daily Grind in Mt. Holly.  If you’re a local friend or acquaintance, come on out for what I hope will be an entertaining evening.

It seems I’ve become a bit of a legend at my local Mexican restaurant and watering hole, Tortilla Press Cantina, where they have a weekly trivia (“Quizzo”) contest.  I’m a trivia fanatic, and I’ve won a few prizes there playing solo (usually against several teams of two to four people).  At one point, one of the MCs dubbed me “Bruce the Shark”, and the name stuck as my “team name”.  I haven’t won the last three times, but my “consolation prize” last week was that one of the other teams named themselves after me, something like “Was Bruce at Shark Camp All Summer? Welcome Back!”  (I took a bit of a hiatus during the summer.) That was nice of them, but they didn’t win that night either.

On a sadder note, I lost a longtime friend to cancer a couple of weeks ago.  I’d known Bill since just after college – his girlfriend and future wife Marlene was a classmate and good friend of my wife’s.  We shared many good times together over the years, the most significant being their only son, and our second son, who were born just days apart. Bill was a taciturn, laid-back, genuinely nice guy who shared my love of music and the Phillies – I watched them win their first-ever World Series championship in 1980 on his TV.  He is the one who took a spring training trip to Florida to see the Phillies play in March.  I will miss him.  I’ve been writing some poems about this lately, like this one:


You walk down the long hall for the last time.
Framed photographs hang on both walls -
your memories lined up as a gallery.
When you reach the other end,
your picture will hang there too.

Finally, to lighten things up a bit again, here's an educational and entertaining animated video about the metaphor, narrated by one of my favorite poets (and people) - of course I'm talking about Jane Hirshfield:



1 comment:

Mad Kane said...

What a wonderful remembrance poem. So sorry for your loss!

And congrats again on your other delightful news.

Madeleine Begun Kane