DSC_0004This is the first time you’ve been interviewed as a poet—and it’s a self-interview.

I know. It’s weird.


Try to get past that and tell us why, having been a musician all your life, you started also to write poems.

Back in high school I pursued both music and poetry, but I matured far more quickly as a musician. So I went to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, then to New York to become a freelance drummer and percussionist. The beauty of freelancing, for me, is in the variety of musical styles I’m asked to perform in while collaborating with players who provoke me to make contributions I would never come up with on my own.


By Mark Belair


The radiator
has been cold for quite
a while and no sooner do we
put our sweaters on than we hear,
beyond our reading, a low, deep, faraway
snap, cool as the cue that comes from the fingertips
of a leaning-in bass singer in a doo-wop group, then more
snaps rise closer and higher in pitch, like other crooners creating