title: introduction

These poems were written over a four year period between 1969 and 1973. I did not record exact dates for any of them; I rewrite a lot, so their composition was spread out over weeks and sometimes months.

During this time I was struggling through my first two serious romantic relationships, one right after the other. Writing provided some small relief from the anxiety and disappointment I felt. The mood of this work as a whole ranges from tentative optimism to despond and bitterness. A glimmer or two of acquired wisdom shows through here and there.

I would like to say I eventually found my way out of the gloom that is a dominant theme of the poems presented here. And I did get out, from time to time. Sadly, the tone of what I wrote thirty years ago resonates all too clearly for me today. Their resurrection herein, therefore, does not seem out of place.

Personal pathos (or bathos, as some would have it, I’m sure) is often an excellent source of motivation for writers. Whether these fruits of my darker humors may be of value to the reader it is not my place to say. Reading them over now and putting them down on paper once again has been cathartic for the author, at least. Not a complete loss, then.

Most of the illustrations included here are derived from photographs I took around the same time I was writing the poems. A few came somewhat later. Photography, of course, is another excellent means of expression. The pictures were scanned into a computer and rendered in Adobe Photoshop to prepare them for this publication.

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