When Summer Gathered

You can find my poem “When Summer Gathered” at Section 8 Magazine as the August 28, 2015, offering.


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Accepting personal essays about caring for people with Alzheimer’s for planned anthology

Gelles-Cole Literary Enterprises, publisher of the award-winning anthology CHILD OF MY CHILD: POEMS AND STORIES FOR GRANDPARENTS, is now accepting submissions of personal essays recounting a wide spectrum of experiences of people who are caring for, or have cared for, people with Alzheimer’s Disease. We are looking for caregivers’ stories, told with compassion but unafraid to confront the full range of emotional, financial, practical, or spiritual challenges caregivers face–compelling stories, expertly told in 600 to 900 words.

Reading fee: $5.00. Submission deadline is October 15, 2015.


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announce cover

If you happen to be near Woodstock, New York, this September, please stop by the Golden Notebook on Saturday, Sept. 12, when I will be reading new and selected poems at a Woodstock Poetry Society event. The reading begins at 2 p.m.

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Lessons Learned


Chances are you never were a student in Mrs. Levitt’s class.

But you may have known her anyway, if by a different name and in a different place and time. For I don’t know how many hundreds of us, she was that remarkable teacher whose lessons continued to resonate through the decades and throughout our lives. For I don’t know how many hundreds of us, she became a lifelong friend and inspiration.

That’s why, when we learned that her disease was terminal and her dementia rapidly progressive, a number of us created a Facebook BookCoverPreview (2)group called “Mrs. Levitt’s Class,” where generations of her students compiled a sort of accidental anthology as a tribute, and a final “thank you.”

Over the course of her illness and beyond–a couple of years, as things turned out–the Facebook posts accumulated and formed what I think is a remarkable portrait of a remarkable person. Nearing…

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At Paul’s Mall

Freddie Hubbard on the bandstand
blowing away at abstract truth
until up jumped spring
and we smoke the darkness
of Paul’s Mall just as if
it will go on forever—
jazzed breath ascending
endlessly heavenward through
the coils of the flugelhorn—
and just as if one jazzedsex waitress
is still returning to our table
like first light, all lips without sound
when the trumpet washes over
the shape of her words
and we order another round,
another round if only for the sake
of the intervals sculpted by her
wordless tongue and teeth
on this again our maiden voyage.

Copyright 1998, 2014 by Kenneth Salzmann

You can hear Freddie Hubbard’s rendition of “Up Jumped Spring” on Youtube:  http://youtu.be/khby51sf82s

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And when all was done then said,
it wasn’t his flaws that caused
him to disappear.
Often enough he had willed that to be so,
wishing to become as insubstantial as
the bundled absence of all he lacked.
But as things turned out
it was a random strand of virtue
that rendered him invisible.
Ones who should have known better
tugged and teased that thread into prominence,
then magnified it beyond all meaning.
Old friends spoke of strength and courage.
New friends suspected him of gentle grace.
He insisted he stood falsely accused,
Offering his alibi to a myopic mirror
that, upon reflection, denied
any impression of him at all.

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A face that may have been

shadow and flame upon

a pillow of fallen leaves

once when my fingers

traced eyes and lips across the night

until the source of her mystery

burned my flesh beyond forgetting

is now forgotten,

but these hands remember

what it is to touch.



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