What a great time I had. I did not produce much publishable poetry, but the experience with Gabrielle Calvorcoressi was tremendous!

I have been working on rearranging my chapbook, still workshopping one on one with Hal Sirowitz and Minter Krotzer, and writing a non-fiction flash for a contest (which will grow into an essay and then on to a memoir). Here is something I just began working on. It stems from a real childhood memory and grew from an email of an older gentleman’s comment about his first kiss at 10 years old. How can one call that a first kiss, when it was not mutually wanted.

Was It? My First Kiss

It wasn’t warm in the way

you might desire; no warmth,

moist or red, and squishy tickles

coming from the belly.

Some say gut feeling of love


is like butterflies in spring.

Moving about flower to pollen;

it tongue like proboscis

uncurls from the chin

and drinks offered nectar.


I tasted no living idiom

as my own plunged in.

My lips pressed firmly

to another’s. Practicing

plastic teddy bear affection


on cold nights. My sister

still makes fun of me.

She enjoys taunting woe;

it made for good habits. Ask

my intended how I fair.


If one recalls it coming

in a ripe age of innocence

unexpected causing bewilderment

surprise on the afternoon breeze

then how could one say


it was love’s new call.

A first kiss should be mutual

a moments surge caught slowly

taken in like a fine wine

swallowed not spit


to the ground. A tango;

from across the room glances

bodies glide and pull together

a hand on the waist

the other cupped gently.


Grow old together

never stop hearing music

as you dance each day.

And every time your face meets,

the kiss is always a first.