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I've Started My Book Launch Countdown

I've finished my final review of my book's design and galleys and sent off my notes to my Lucky Press publisher. Next steps are sending out review copies, getting back comments and hopefully some good blurbs for the back of the dust jacket, and then the book's Mother's Day release. Right after that I have my first scheduled book signing - May 12 at our local Manhattan Beach bookstore, Pages, and a promise of an interview in our local newspaper, Easy Reader, around the same time.

So, in the meantime I'll post a few of the poems that are interspersed throughout. Here's "Leaving the Hall Light On," originally published by The Muddy River Poetry Review under the title, "What Is Loss?"

Leaving the Hall Light On 

I lose my keys or sunglasses

and find them in my hand all along.

I lose my little boy in the department store

and he pops out squealing with laughter

from under the clothes display,

I lose important papers

and find them

in the stack of other papers on my desk.


I didn't lose my son, Paul.

Paul is dead.

Death is forever.

There's not a chance of finding him.


The light I've left on in the hall for him

every night since he died

doesn't show him the way back home.

There are no more piano gigs out there for him.

The Sunday paper entertainment guide

doesn't list his name at any jazz club.

He can't join the young guys at the Apple Genius Bar

and help people solve their computer problems.

Paul would have loved that job.

He was made for that job,

but he checked out too early.

The new meds and surgery for manic depression,

the new information about mental illness

are not for him.


Why do people refer to death as loss?

Maybe just to encourage

people like me.

Maybe just to keep me looking for him.

Maybe so I can pretend he's still out there.


Maybe that's why I long to mother

the strong young men at the gym

who hardly notice me

and the bright ones at work.

They are the right age.

They have the same look.

They have the same appeal.


Every time I see a young man

with close-buzzed hair,

well-worn jeans,

a white t-shirt, and a black jacket,

sitting outside of Starbucks,

sucking on a cigarette,

every time I see a skinny guy

walking fast across the street

carrying a brown leather bag over his shoulder,

I look to make sure.