From Rochester Radar, October 6, 2017:
Jerome Daly has found that since he began writing poetry, his perception of the world around him has changed. “I spend more and more time being in the moment,” says Daly, a recent graduate of the MFA in Writing program at the University of New Hampshire and 2017 recipient of the Dick Shea Memorial prize in poetry. “I never know when a certain angle of light, or sudden strange sound may either trigger a memory or make me think of something that may actually have nothing to do with the event that had just occurred, and then wonder why this happened.”
This inclination toward free association also shapes Daly’s writing process. “Most times I have no idea of what will present itself when I approach a blank page,” he says. “When I first started writing, I found this unsettling, but now, I get excited at the possibilities of what may come. Sometimes I may have a general idea, but that can change very rapidly once I'm in the process of creating a poem.”
Daly’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gamut, Leveler Poetry, The Chaffey Review, and the Long River Review.
AS A CHILD
I always wanted to be Evel
Knievel. Flying at high speeds over cars,
buses--canyons. Not understanding the
complications of bones broken multiple
times--the eventual pain that sets in
and stays like a handprint pressed in
fresh concrete. But to wear that jumpsuit
with blue stripes and stars! Not like the one
Elvis wore in the 70s with the rhinestone
belt buckle, bloated, with sweat licking
his sideburns, singing to crowds of older women
who kept the icon of a Velvet Elvis
painting in their smoke-filled living
rooms. Viva Las Vegas! As a child,
I always wanted to be like Steve
McQueen. Riding a Triumph motorcycle--
being chased through fields on-screen.
Or, racing through the streets of San Francisco,
a green Mustang outmaneuvering bad guys
who were right on his tail. A scene I can watch
over and over. But not like his last days,
when he went to Mexico for mesothelioma--
hair greyed and over the shoulders, beard caressing
his throat. He took an experimental drug made from
ground up apricot pits--a last ditch effort. Bitter,
something you couldn’t sink your teeth into.
O’Connor, a New York native, recently settled in Rochester after obtaining her Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from the University of New Hampshire. Her work has recently appeared in “The Fourth River,” “Stone Canoe,” “Paper Nautilus,” “So to Speak,” “Arsenic Lobster,” and the “Santa Ana River Review,” among other publications. She is also a former poetry editor of the online literary journal “Barnstorm.”
pOETRY HERE & NOW
Poetry Here & Now is published in Rochester Radar, a special section of Fosters Daily Democrat that is direct mailed to households in Rochester, East Rochester, Farmington, and Gonic.
Poetry Here & Now features the work of poets with a connection to Strafford County. Poems are selected by Katie O'Connor, Poet Laureate of Rochester. Writers of all ages, from beginners to published poets, are invited to share their poetry.
To submit work, send an email containing the following information to
email@example.com or by clicking the button below.
Click on the button above to access the digital archive of each column as it originally appeared in the Rochester Radar.