(Right now, I’m focusing on my memoirist work that I’ll call, simply, “Pictures of Tommy” -- mostly about my psychotic brother and his legacy. It touches on my fears, too. Here’s the part that I talk about my experience growing up, and some of the factors contributing to my early teen breakdown. . . This is the painful stuff for me, bad choices, stupid moves. . .)
Here’s an old poem I wrote from that time about Tommy and Northern Boulevard:
ODE TO NORTHERN
Can’t you hear? It’s
I tell you it gets soothing, like
Whiskey or gin or that stuff
Your shrink told you to take
Because you became
You’d sit in a diner
-- On Northern --
Scornful mockery on your face
As was the fudge from the top of your
Super-deluxe Ho-Jo Ice Cream Soda,
So you sit in your house
Until you can’t stand it
But there's nowhere else to be
So you listen to
NORTHERN BOULEVARD NOISES
-- and sleep in your dream.
Anyway, it went something like that. And similar poems, plus my magnum opus, “Quasi-Cinematic Phantasmagoria” won me a poetry award in high school, one I didn’t even know existed. I was surprised and pleased to win. . . how nice. The award was a hardback copy of William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, which I only got around to reading once I was studying to be a certified High School English Teacher in Connecticut. It’s a bizarre and complex work. . . what a strange choice for the Salmagundi Poetry Award!
Anyway, before Tommy started writing poetry, I’d done it. Maybe that’s why he got so mad at me when I wouldn’t do comprehensive literary analyses for him of his poems. . .