Early Work

I wasn’t always the chipper, long-winded novelist you know today. No, sir. Let’s take a look at my oeuvre, shall we? Beginning at the beginning…

Not many people know this, but I planted my literary arts roots in poetry’s rich soil. My first collection, “Poems” (1983, Pinecrest Elementary Press) explored the sonic influences in my life. In it, I used traditional forms, such as the quatrain and the limerick. The my choice to include the logo of heavy metal band Twisted Sister’s on the cover, announced the rebellious spirit on display inside. Behold:

Poems cover

Very few writers at the time (other than 24 of my peers given the same assignment in Ms. Wroge’s class) were working with the Cinquain, with its accumulating heft and the bold announcement of its final,  one-word line.

Poems 1 Cinquain 800

But it is in the quatrain, the story poem, that my novelist leanings first emerge.

Poems 2 Quatrain

You can see how the establishment was not ready for my renegade stylings. The press’s editors tried to inflict order, with such rigid formalities as apostrophes for possessives. With a single exclamation mark, one editor sought to mask my threatening assertion (“the same thing will happen to you”) with a falsely cheerful vigor. This dissension would define my early years as a poet.

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