Dreaming of poetry

In the summer of 1984, I had just returned to San Diego from Santa Maria, Calif., and I was writing poetry like mad.

I desperately wanted to be published, and the leading poetry magazine in town at the time was “We Accept Donations,” published by Forrest Curo and Ann Halter Jones.

I showed Forrest some of my poetry, and he was unimpressed (politely so). I was a modernist and he was definitely a post-modernist, and even though I had not yet studied the differences in college yet, I could see we each took very different approaches to poetry.

I preferred my style, but I was willing to experiment.

So, I read a few issues of “We Accept Donations” and got a feel for the kind of poetry Forrest preferred, and then I dashed off “We all need dreams.” The poem, literally, took me less than 15 minutes to write and I never revised a word. It was purely an exercise in imitation and, frankly, it’s never been one of my favorite poems.

But Forrest loved it. He accept it for publication, along with a couple of poems he previously rejected, and he accepted a couple more poems from me in the next issue (which, if it wasn’t the last issue of the little magazine, WAD folded soon after that). And publication resulted in an invitation for me to “headline” a poetry reading at a small La Mesa bookstore, which marked the pinnacle of my poetry career.

BTW: I do accept donations, if you feel so inclined … tip jar to the right.

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