Saturday, February 9, 2019

Poem From 1978 Chapbook

New Facebook entry - on facebook there are some wonderful photographs of the Dime Store from the poem I had in the chapbook Tapwater - the poem called Kite.  I placed a photo of the poem among Facebook Comments.  

It has been over forty years (1978) since I published this poem in a chapbook called Tapwater. When I got copies I carried one over to the Proctor Ten Cent Store and gave them one, at the counter. There once in a while were errands to their store. The store actually stopped being in business. I do not think anyone could imagine it not being there. That it would be a bicycle shop, wonderful, it was a bike shop where I could take my bicycle in for the check over and for repairs.

Soon I must recognize the time at the computer I share...Maybe I can share the photographs.  The Facebook discussion included many comments about the store, which provided so many great times.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Remembrance Event About Gwen Head

Cover of Program
From Floating Poetry
Gallery 1979

Wednesday Open Books in Seattle hosted a remembrance event about Gwen Head and her press Dragon Gate.  I brought a memento and spoke briefly with Sharon Bryan and Marlene Blessing.  Some of my comments:

Gwen Head and I first met forty years ago, in summer 1979.  It was at the Floating poetry gallery on July 12,  1979.  For five years after graduate school I had been a self-employed poet, and I lived in Tacoma, my home.             
My father and mother lived in the house where I had been a child.   On March 22 my father had a slight stroke. 
My mother kept a daily diary.  She writes that she came home to find a note from him that the ambulance was taking him to the hospital. 
I kept a week-at-a-glance, where I note that he telephoned me about this, and I got in touch with my mother later.
My mother had performed on that day in March with a women's singing group.   She was their piano accompanist.  She visited the hospital often,  I went with her after church on Sunday. 

A day or so after my father was brought to the hospital I kept an appointment to see Suzanne Ferris of Sea Pen Press about publishing.  I rode the train to Seattle with a friend and her son.  We saw daffodil fields, I think Suzanne Ferris met us at the Railroad Station, we also saw the cherry blossoms at the U of Washington Quad. 

My mother cleaned my father's room and I helped.  She needed to turn the mattress and dust and sweep for him before he was allowed to go home.  My mother was 68 then and my father was 77.

July 12, 1979, a few months later, Suzanne Ferris had made a broadside of my poem “Patchouli” for the Floating Poetry Gallery.  Pieces from the Floating Poetry Gallery would appear later at Seattle businesses.  I felt concerned privately that the show might have been a chance to show a 1968 painting on four by six Masonite that was stored in my parents’ upstairs.  I had painted two pieces on Masonite that summer I was home from University of Washington.  But one reason I lived in a small apartment was that I wanted my parents to not be upended by my noise and activity.  I felt shy at the thought of the disruption of lifting the Masonite painting down the narrow stairwell that turned twice between the bottom and the top. 

Also represented at the Floating Poetry Gallery were, Sharon Bryan, according to the program, and Gwen Head.  Gwen Head had three poems featured in The Floating Poetry Gallery.  And Sharon Bryan also had a poem in The Floating Poetry Gallery.

A letter from Gwen Head in December 1979, reintroduced her plan to publish books.  Gwen Head brought her press Dragon Gate into existence.  In 1979, in notebooks where I wrote poems, I began first efforts on the poem, The Gord Family Orchestra, about my mother and her piano talent.  In 1981 as I finished the poem I showed it to Gwen Head.  I remember her suggesting that I should write another poem, to go with it, about my father.  I wrote the poem, and both poems appeared in a second book Gwen published by me, Shelter, in 1985.

I was happy to give my parents copies of these books, with the poems about them.