It was a tremendous launch for the Suffolk County Poetry Review 2016 at Dowling College in Oakdale.
The poets in attendance that read were nothing short of awe inspiring.
And I am so very proud to have been published amongst such talented and creative scribes.
My piece “Careless Eyes” was chosen to be a part of the second ever Suffolk County Poetry Review and I am humbled and truly moved that it was.
I submitted a few pieces, but this one has more significance to me than most.
It is something I wrote about after suffering a traumatic brain injury that has drastically impacted my life, and in turn, my writing for nearly two years now.
I attended the event and read my short piece “Careless Eyes” aloud.
My Mom and Dad and my young niece – an intelligent poet of nine years of age (who is already reading and enjoying Walt Whitman; I mean how cool is that?) were there to witness it.
The piece, as you will see by the picture here, is short.
I told the poets in attendance it would be a short read, but I wanted them to get the most out of it; I urged them to look on it in there books, as this poem is every bit as visual as it is audiological.
It was my great Creative Writing professor, and a Poet Laureate in his own right, Ed Stever, that taught me the power of a visual poem, that a poem could have no bounds on the page, and that it could in an abstract or specific way have visual stimulus other than the words.
In the class there was a piece in the shape of a smoking cigarette that shook my brain out of its norm in a very, very good way.
What do I mean when I say visual?
Well, my favorite poets of T.S. Eliot and Ginsberg made way for another, one ee cummings, who refused to even punctuate his name and whose words became art on a page.
Those of cummings are visual, as is “Careless Eyes”.
Why does that matter?
My short poem reflects my transformation from an author reading, writing, and editing an average of 1000 words a day for many years and then was struck by a car and unable to type even a simple good morning without inverting letters and words due to cognitive and visual sufferings from my brain injury.
After so many years, typing a sentence, let alone a piece in any medium, took 100 times as long to accomplish as I continually wrote it wrong; every day I wrote one of my best friends ‘good monring’ and grew angry, despondent, depressed and a myriad of emotions at this battle that was my livelihood.
For anyone that has ever dealt with a traumatic brain injury, and that includes a bad concussion, this piece is for them.
My words start off working until the HIT on the page. And then you get a glimpse of what is has been like for me for nearly two years now.
It hurts, but I fight to get through it.
Nearly a year to the day after the car accident, I had to write this poem. I had to. I cannot explain that other than saying that I had to.
It was difficult but it lives now forever in great company of poets from Suffolk County, Long Island, New York, and these talented individuals have inspiring pieces that fill the volume.
My piece is but one tiny part in this anthology, but I am utterly grateful to be a part and for “Careless Eyes” to be the one in there means the world to me.
I dedicate the poem to my love, my wife, Cassie, without whom I would have been lost to this, the past year plus.
I have turned the tide and started on my journey. Words and Worlds hang in the balance and I am writing it all down before the RJ Tower! Read about my newest novel on CyberwarSeries.com