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This is my first book of poems, which I wrote during and immediately after college. I was astonished when the University of Missouri Press offered publication, and I still have nostalgic feelings for the young guy who wrote it and his poetry. Individual poems were published, I see from the Acknowledgments page, in wonderful journals fledgling poets like me loved: Epoch, Kayak, Poetry NorthwestPrairie Schooner, and elsewhere. Poetry Northwest awarded me their Young Poets Prize and the Theodore Roethke Prize, too, a very big deal to me. 

Comments and reviews of the book appeared here and there, including one in Kayak (at that time probably the preeminent poetry journal in the country), but sigh, the record seems lost in time. Like so many other things I would name if only I could remember. It would be a long, long while before my next book of poems came out. Reasons for the gap may perhaps be found, if discoverable anywhere, in my memoir Subway to California.

Part of me wishes I had arrived at a different title. I feel similarly when I see photos of me from 1975, when I wish I was not wearing my suede fringe jacket or the black leather vest. But good thing: no phony tail in evidence. The past is always with us, and as Faulkner said, the past is not even past. 

Who knows, maybe one day these poems will appear in a Selected or Collected Poems. I am holding that thought these days as I work on my fourth book of poems. Stranger things have happened. If you are interested, I wrote about some of those stranger things in the books that followed.