Nov 102017
 

Key West Poet Laureate Kirby Congdon (Photo by Richard Watherwax)

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 end in a final crash,
my wrist watch, silent, here and now
counts the time that’s left
to be alive, alive, alive!

Kirby Congdon

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
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.


 November 10, 2017  Posted by at 12:42 am Issue #242, Kirby Congdon  Add comments