Dorsey: Beginning of an eraWritten by John Dorsey | | email@example.com
When I started this column I told you my story, how poetry how poetry first came into my life and its impact on everything that I am. I ended that very same column by telling you that now it was your turn, and I meant it.
I would like to tell you about the upcoming Toledo Free Press Star poetry page.
After a conversation with Editor in Chief Michael S. Miller at the most recent ACGT Art Walk, it was decided that we would provide a forum for the literary community, locally and beyond. What form will the page take? I don’t know, exactly, that’s the exciting part. It’s really up to you. I do have a few ideas. I’d like to do regular profiles on area poets, interviews, pieces on upcoming events, book and magazine releases and reviews, theme pages … but most importantly I’d like to publish your poems. They’ll have to be short, at least small enough so I can fit a few on the page; I’m thinking 10-20 lines, though I won’t rule anything out.
I’d like to start with a piece by Jason Hardung, one of the poets in the Zygote in My Fez festival, Aug. 6 at the Collingwood Arts Center, co-sponsored by www.zygoteinmycoffee.com, www.redfez.net and Toledo Free Press. Hardung may not be from our fair city, but let’s hope Toledo gets under his skin and he never wants to leave.
‘The Way Things Shine’
Walking through the alley
Behind the Elks Lodge
Trying to avoid the people on the sidewalk who
Hold hands and point at architecture who
Only worry about interest rates
Whether their eggs are organic
And if the weather will cooperate with their plans
When a guy wearing an old army coat
A sleeping bag strapped to his back by a shoestring,
Afro matted into uneven dreads
And four teeth left, all gold, stopped me
I prepared to say I didn’t have any money
Or cigarettes, because I really didn’t
He shook my hand never moving from my eyes
I asked what was wrong and he said,
There’s something special about you
Is that good or bad, I asked
All good my man, it’s almost like you shine
I told him thank you but I don’t feel like I do
Of course it was a ploy to soften me up
It had to be, strangers don’t say stuff like that
He was still looking at me
Mouth open, eyes fixated like he saw a ghost
I started walking away
Wondering if it was true
Positive he’d call me back
Positive he would ask for something —
He never did.
— Jason Hardung
Hardung live in Fort Collins, Colo., and is the author of several collections of poetry including “The Broken and the Damned,” published by Epic Rites Press in 2009. He has read his work at a number of different venues.
I’m going to start by asking for poems about Toledo; tell me a story, good or bad. Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time … keep your pencil sharp.
John Dorsey resides in Toledo’s Old West End. His work is widely published and he has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize several times.