Kirby Congdon

Kirby Congdon found his calling in the time of the Beat Movement, his poems being published by the New York Times, The New York Herald Tribune and the Christian Science Monitor as well as countless small-press outlets. While influenced by the assertive stance of a new generation in literature, he preferred to set aside the spontaneous approach of his friends and use his work as an exploratory tool in establishing the new identity of his times as well as that of his own maturation. This search was incorporated in 300 works which were compiled in a bibliography by a Dean of the English Department at Long Island University in his retirement and made available in hard-back with an extensive addenda by the literary activists of Presa Press through their skills achieved from the University of Michigan and their own experience which commands a movement in itself of contemporary literary action. Congdon’s work in poetry covers innumerable treatments of countless subjects in single poems, long treatments on a subject, and many collections of both serious thought and imagination through not only the poetry but through essays, plays and ruminations. Named the first poet laureate of Key West, he received a standing ovation for his reading honoring this position and was the featured poet in a festival celebrating Frank O’Hara in the New York region. He was also asked to read his work as well as give a talk on the country’s national poet laureate, Richard Wilbur, at a seminar honoring that man. Currently, Congdon is working on an autobiography and a collection of complete poems.

Dec 152017
 
Yard Waste

by Kirby Congdon……. Raking up the past in dead piles of withered leaves, we dance around the little sins we missed as that song of grief we sing becomes a pagan howl of rectitude to redeem whatever victories we did not win. So losers begin their lives again and watch the trash bags almost burst their straining seams as perfection’s world unfolds in listless imitations of those dust-laden dreams which younger men in their routine on garbage trucks lift on up with weightless ease.

 December 15, 2017  Posted by at 12:52 am ~ Column ~, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Dec 082017
 
Previews of Exhibitions at the Gildea Gallery

by Kirby Congdon……. The Gildea Gallery has been promoting solid work by experienced painters and sculptors. We have now three distinctive artists this season in a joint show opening on December 11th, 6 to 8 p.m. Suzanne Donazetti works on copper, putting a subtle wave vertically on her sheet of metal juxtaposing her control over this shape with a vast checkerboard of small squares each one tinted in overall patterns of closely related tones. The three-dimensional effect not only gives depth to the surface but gives [continue reading…]

 December 8, 2017  Posted by at 12:23 am ~ Artists ~, issue #246, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Dec 012017
 
Hanging Around

Hanging Around I haunt the old place, like any fool, chin up, head high, charming, debonair as I watch my glass of ginger-ale grow warm, and then go stale. I catch my breath at your silhouette when I forget that I can’t as yet. So I pretend in front of friends: no one’s aware this is the end of our affair. Only fools could think I cared. Kirby Congdon

 December 1, 2017  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #245, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Nov 242017
 
For Sir Robert Antoni

For Sir Robert Antoni Troubles recovered are victories won as any struggle provides the hope of continuing on. We were there when “there” was then as here and now, our names remain, when all is done, beyond the gloomy stare of judgment’s sun. The trampled weed, the fallen tree, let us feel survival’s thrill as we finish all the odds and ends we had begun and still engage in what we share: a single chance at life’s deep need to give or get, not just [continue reading…]

 November 24, 2017  Posted by at 12:33 am Issue #244, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Nov 102017
 
Keeping Track

Keeping Track I try to cross the tracks as the engineer honks his horn. “Get out of the way,” he calls. I watch my step to arrive upright on the other side. “You don’t count,” the engine warns. “I know,” I, resigned, respond. Safely on the other side, I feel the rush of wheels roll on by. The engine, disappearing, cries, “Count, count, count. Count, count, count. “Next time, stand your ground, “Only heroes overcome this trip’s sound “of Grind, grind, grind.” When the tracks [continue reading…]

 November 10, 2017  Posted by at 12:42 am Issue #242, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Oct 272017
 
Storm

Storm The cast iron statue of an athlete stood firm against any reckless lack of care. Its heavy weight assured us nothing sturdy fails. Beauty glows whenever even strangers’ eyes or a sculptor’s hand prove it’s there under the shallow surface of distress. Our lives still remain beyond catastrophies when, anonymous, all we knew lay aimless, beyond repair, across the floor. Identity, for the two of us, even now, with only ruins to clarify the world that was, has no need for names. Mind and [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #240, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Oct 272017
 
Book Review:

by Kirby Congdon……. Blue Collar Review Vol. 20, Issue 4 (Summer 2017) Several names are familiar. This means, for them, writing poetry is an addiction. That’s my kind of poet. The definition of it all gas to go back to Lucretius. We’re not sure why it works, but we know when it does. Mary Franke tries some experimental phrasing with contemporary references. “I’m letting it ride. My life I mean.” Don Narkevic’s “Elegy for a Seamstress” ends with “After a prayer they …. decide whose [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #240, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Oct 272017
 
Hazel Griffiths Showing at Gildea Gallery

Hazel Griffiths Gildea Gallery 522 Southard Street 5:00 p.m., Friday, 27th October (through November 7th) by Kirby Congdon……. The movement in our society toward women’s rights appears continuous with the exposure of public bullies in business or politics. A more voluntary action is often found in creative work. Hazel Griffiths’s paintings, “Dreamlands and Soulscapes” (using encaustic wax) at the Gildea Gallery (on Southern Street, near the bank, between Simonton and Duval) reflects this freedom. Her paintings are bold and imaginative, holding our attention. Her technique [continue reading…]

 October 27, 2017  Posted by at 12:10 am Art, Issue #240, What To Do No Responses »
Oct 132017
 
Gay Murders

by Kirby Congdon……. The front page of The New York Times for Friday, September 29, 2017, had this headline: Bullying Seen as Prelude to Classroom Stabbing, with the subtitle, Death in Bronx School Defies Drop in Crime. A reader might have assumed we were pretty well beyond this kind of behavior, but I guess the Bronx cheer of razzing someone with your tongue belongs where it came from. During the Great Depression there is this poem, “Geographical Reflection” by Ogden Nash from his book, Hard Lines [continue reading…]

 October 13, 2017  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #238, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Oct 062017
 
Bach & God

by Kirby Congdon……. Mr. Marissen gets a couple of ideas off his chest before we get into his project. His Preface states, “This book is scholarly but not devotional.” Page 2 of the Introduction asserts, “I am an agnostic.” The subject of all the essays is the text of Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantatas, their history, translations, interpretations and grammatical definitions. The language is English but the reader’s knowledge of German, as well as access to recordings, can be helpful. The librettos of the cantatas may discriminate [continue reading…]

 October 6, 2017  Posted by at 12:16 am Issue #237, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Sep 292017
 
Cricket

by Kirby Congdon……. Cricket Carried in the spin of earth’s dogged days, allowed to see the space of time in an eon’s length, I heard a cricket sing to entice a mate. That brave thread like the spread of a spider’s web, made the starlight ring as even silence sang among neurons engaged in errands quickly sent to the inside depths of my singing head. Kirby Congdon

 September 29, 2017  Posted by at 5:21 am Issue #236, Kirby Congdon No Responses »