Bio Note: My writing life continues to encompass poetry, fiction and nonfiction. In poetry, my most recent big project was a modern ottava rima version of Sir Gawain and Lady Ragnell, for a theatrical presentation. And the short lyric as much as I can. In fiction, my novel about Dr. Watson and Bat Masterson is with an agent--wish me luck. In nonfiction, I continue to work on my huge project in progress: Listening to Prestige, a history of jazz in the 1950s and '60s, seen through the prism of Prestige Records. In visual art, I have returned to an old love, after a 40 year hiatus - making hooked rugs.
Inside the House
the women they are really interested in are inside the house the house is shaking maybe percussion inside or seismic tremors outside, they know where the calm places are, where they can stand, what they can touch if the evening gets that Cuban edge, maybe they’ll go in anyway inside the house are the women they are really interested in
Ghazal for Pat
When we breathe together, nothing has a name. Now only steel guitars can say your name. They showed me a room; it was round, and had no doors. When I asked for the key, they told me it was your name. A rich man approached me (through an emissary, of course). I was in default; he planned to repossess your name. A poor man sent you a message on an oil-soaked rag: He had written a thousand versions of your name. I went to the desert; I laid my head on a tufted knoll. All the prairie dogs in Arizona know your name. At evening I was naked. It was cold, but I didn’t care. The moon slivered through the prism of your name.
Stripped of Context
Stripped of context, a poem wanders through dim light as a socketless eye mounted on stork legs, weaving like a sailor. But it won’t last. Already tufts of hair push out, then genitals. Grass is growing, in tufts as well, through cracked sidewalks, broken bottles, the bad part of a city. The streets are narrow, Light’s angles jagged, places to hide. The poem finds a pair of plaid baggy golf pants. It’s developed a waist and arms, tapered fingers, a mouth that smiles at hard things, gapes at soft things. The sidewalk’s gone from shards to crumpled concrete, then to rutted dirt, a grassy way through fields of dried cornstalks picked bare by wild turkeys and migrating geese to a small town where the sidewalks are slabs of bluestone. The poem settles. It finds work in a store: knickknacks, antiques, curios. It marries a girl with pale eyes. She has a past, but they never discuss it.
©2020 Tad Richards
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