when Joe died I was in 5th grade. I have long imagined myself standing next to the big toy at Eagle Creek Elementary, waiting for my parents to pick me up, releeved school was over, but realizing home would have another set of chalanges, at the moment of his death. I know he died in the middle of the night, so I would have been asleep, but the idea of me leaving one sad world for another at the moment he left all together has somehow stuck with me.
Mark McBride shares a recollection of Joe Bolton and a poem by Donald Justice.
As I was working on the umpteenth revision of a poem, I came across Donald Justice’s poem “Absences.” Justice was at the University of Florida while I was there, but I never had him as a teacher. I once tried to get into his class on Hart Crane, but it was already overloaded. There was a poet-student at UF that Justice had championed. Joe Bolton, a young man in his twenties, blond and slender, he used to smoke before entering his class. I got to know Joe because he allowed me to study his poetry class—I was researching how students talk about writing in writing workshops. I interviewed him and recorded him and his students. Bolton was married at the time, and I recall he said his wife was working on a novel. He was more published than any of us, and went on to publish, I think, a book…
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Come late autumn, I’ll wear black leather again,
My grey felt boots make a sound like the perfect crime
Twyckenham Notes is accepting submissions for the inaugural Joe Bolton poetry award. The deadline is October, 20 2018.
Joe Bolton Poetry Award
Left utterly alone, there is nothing
The heart can invent to numb itself.
….. I watch, I
Wait for the mail to come around,
Then stand there disappointed under the sky.