I used to be a poet…

Back in the day, I used to write poetry. That was my thing. It started with lyrics back in my rock n roll days [insert uncomfortable “really?” chuckle here], then when that turned into a flaming wheelbarrow full of turds and blame, I changed gears.

I was pretty ok at it too.

I met some amazing people along the way, read at a few steady open mics and events. Knocked back drinks with a Poet Laureate. I’ve even had some of my work published in a few anthologies and magazines.

I wrote scores of poems in various styles in order to find my voice. But I found it, by golly, and once I did it was off to the races. I was a poet! I was the dude who saw the world differently just like everyone else! I wrote the words, felt the angst, drank the bourbon. I even tried a trilby hat for a short stint. I had something to say about the world—about us—about being a working class zero with a lofty sense of indignation. I wrote some good shit from time to time, if you’ll allow a bit of bragging. But after a while, everything I wrote sounded like the other thing that I wrote. Different but essentially the same message. I thought I was going to be one of those lifer poets, having something to say about the ever changing world. Turned out, once I said what I unwittingly set out to say, I was done. Strange part was, it felt alright. It made sense. What I wasn’t feeling too peachy about was the question “what now?” burning in my head. My friend Shannon said, “you should try your hand at fiction. I’d love to see what that brain of yours concocts.”

Thus began my journey as a Merchant of Fiction. That journey started off rough and without any lube. But that’s a story for another filler post—I mean–time. Another time.

The point of this post is to give you, my four readers, a bit of where I came from. Also, a warning that between my Small Bastard Stories™ posts I might throw a poem or two up. Something from various stages of my time as a poet. And yes, that’s me in the feature image reading to a held captive—I mean captivated audience—at the old Canvas Gallery in Huntington, NY.

Baby-faced and angsty as all get out. Adorable.

-PH

 

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