I am excited to announce the publication of my first collection of poems, "Circling Venice."
Here is the marketing blurb ...
A stunning first book from Frank Kearns. A private life revealed in quick snapshots that mirror adolescent America’s mythic migration westward in the 70’s. His long time west coast home differs from the places where he began, changed by one simple act of will: “Cars were the way out…I started the car.”
Kearns writes with a laconic Yankee directness of his journey, and in his orbiting perspective he gives us stops in time and stops in places. “Always the woods,” he says of his New England childhood, “hilly, laced with decaying stone walls, glades of sunshine, pockets of cool cool dark.” Once in the Venice of “the people’s parks and food co-ops,” the unexpected courtship of a muse illuminates his poems.
If you are curious, previews are available on Amazon.com ... but contact me and I will make sure you get a copy!
The large shade tree that darkened the front yard
offered cool solace to restless youths
who straggled down the sidewalks and alleyways
and opened the creaking gate
at the bulls eye center of the counterculture,
where restless Midwest runaways, pauper musicians,
bikers, authors, old Jewish pensioners
and wizened beat poets basked
in the summer sunlight, sandy beaches
and run down bungalows.
We were bleeding internally.
David could feel the blood filling his head
from the rat-a-tat of weapons
on the nightly evening news, his only relief
fast walks, head down,
through long painful nights,
then back to his job at the aerospace plant,
and Michael couldn’t stop his knee
from jumping as he sat, up and down,
the jungle always in his mind,
the night he and a single black pajama guy
scared the shit out of each other as they
locked eyes for an instant and slowly
backed their way out,
and now his knee kept jumping and his long
blond hair flowed in heavy waves over his shoulders
and he lived with all these other folks even though
he really didn’t like hippies and
he talked of Canada all the time.
One roof kitchen rules,
criticism meetings stolen from Mao
that didn't go over too well with Michael,
but he sat there and took shit
and dished it back to all those who left their
breakfast bowls in the sink, and all this resulted
in a schedule for cooking dinners and a
kitchen devoid of dirty dishes
and floors that got swept up now and then.
One roof where the passing parade
drifted in and out and we didn't
have to leave the house because the world
came to us with political perspective and
mystic meditation and sex and friendship
and love and alliances and plans for
People's parks and food co-ops
and lay-out work for the local paper,
where the world came to us
with distractions and temptations,
Brown Sugar blasting in the large back room,
bodies shadows in the dim light
up and down to the driving beat of a Saturday night.
The tide ebbed and the stragglers slept
on a Sunday morning as we sipped our coffee
and spun our narratives,
every story full of motion,
every path leading here,
this timeless instant in the living room,
David, Michael and the rest of us