Another full disclosure, Scott is the publisher and editor of Main Street Rag Publishing – so he published my first collection of poetry. But even if he hadn’t, I’d say these things about him.
One of the attributes I admire about Scott is his honesty. One never wonders what he thinks about in politics, about life in general, about one’s poetry. Scott will be respectful, but won’t sugar-coat critique. Poets need that kind of honest feedback in order to write better. And he’s down-to-earth enough that he also expects that kind of honest feedback for his own work.
He’s generous when it comes to fellow poets and poets just getting started, encouraging and supporting through open mics and readings.
His love and admiration for his wife, Jill, is evident in just about every conversation.
All of this makes for amazing poetry, and Scott’s is. He minces no words when skewering politicians – though he often adds a bit of humor. His images are clean, with no unnecessary fluff getting in the way. When he writes about his motorcycle, it’s like riding with him in a sidecar – because Jill will be on the back! Scott’s recollections and reflections of growing up in Pennsylvania leave no doubt in the reader’s mind that the steel mills forged the poet who writes about them.
From Steel Womb Revisited, published by Main Street Rag Publishing, posted with the poet’s permission.
I like a town
with horse shit
right on Main Street
and a hitching post
in front of City hall.
of big city pretense.
From Balancing on Two Wheels, published by Main Street Rag Publishing, posted with the poet’s permission.
On Central Avenue
Latin rhythms mamba
from the cab of the truck
ahead of me.
Several Hispanics — Mexicans,
I think — sit shoulder to shoulder
in the front seat, two more are
packed with the tools in the back.
The music is light, energetic,
and though I don’t know
many of the words, they dance
in the air with a joyful sound.
The young men in the truck
wear shirts soiled from sweating
beneath an intolerant sun, they
don’t notice me watching them.
I don’t know much about Latin music
or Espanol, but I know about sweat
and hard work and how a full day in the sun
can drain the life right out of you.
But that lifting rhythm speaks to me, it
bridges the barrier and resonates more than
the Mercedes man in the lane beside me
who shapes his lips to sing the blues.
Two Travelers – for Jill
She holds to me as if
she thinks I’m going someplace,
as if these two wheels could
take us somewhere mythical
and leave our responsibilities
at the curb.
She leans with me
as I speed through the turns,
tightens her grip and tucks
her hands in my pockets
when a winter breeze
bristles our resolve.
on warm country roads,
she lays her arms out,
winglike, as if speed
or force of will could
lift us off the pavement.
We embrace our freedom
with codependence — two travelers
entangled in a journey, searching
for the sign post, the star,
the driveway that leads
to the promised land.
On Central Avenue was previously published in Slipstream.
I was thinking I wrote my first poem at 6 years old—in first grade—for my first grade teacher, Ms. Barber—who happened to have also been my mother’s first grade teacher. It was about a robin. I’m not a person who likes to lose or likes to be corrected in front of a class. You know how young kids are—especially when a 6 year old is willing to debate his teacher about the physical activity of birds because he got a question wrong on a multiple choice test. But then I was thinking, Do they actually have multiple choice tests in first grade?—So maybe it was second grade. Anyway—it was a lo-o-o-o-ong time ago.
Scott co-hosts a monthly reading with Jonathan Rice, Third Friday Reading Series, held at The Third Place in Charlotte.