“On Leaving” is up at Olentangy Review

When Darryl Price, editor at Olentangy Review, and an outstanding poet, asked me to delve into the “process,” or what went into writing the poem that he published of mine, “Leaving,” in the first issue of Olentangy Review, my first thought was: can I do this?

“Leaving” is one of the oldest (in time) poems of mine that I more recently published. The original version I wrote at the end of the 1980s, and time, that undefinable entity marches onward, circumstances shift, jobs change, addresses morph; even people deemed so vital at any one time, vary. Some are no longer here.

The main reason I decided to write this is because it scared me. I’m a fiction and poetry writer, this non-fiction stuff is out of my league! But, as my dear friend Bill says, ‘What is the difference between fiction and non-fiction?’ And he’s right! What is the difference between truth and lies? Between what “really happened,” and what “might have happened?” Remember, only you get to decide. This is crucial to bear in mind as a writer.

And so, here is my story “On Leaving”: Process – Olentangy Review

Thanks so much, Darryl and Melissa, for this generous opportunity.

Also, deep thanks to Ben Tanzer, the guest editor last October at Necessary Fiction, where “Seven Shades of James” first appeared.

6 thoughts on ““On Leaving” is up at Olentangy Review

  1. jamez chang

    If “Orange is the New Black” than “Process is the New Pink.” I echo the sentiments of Andrea above. I’m here . And never leaving….like an ox…

    If “Orange is the New Black” than “Process is the New Pink.” I echo the sentiments of Andrea above. I’m here . And never leaving….like an ox…

    Plus, leave it to Megan Lent to ask you such a great interview question: “In your new book of poetry Microtones, you write about leaving. People leaving each other, and people leaving places, and time leaving everyone.” (http://housefirebooks.com/here-is-what-i-remember-most-megan-lent-interviews-robert-vaughan/)

    Maybe that’s just a subset of loss, maybe something different. But I thought it was cool how the poet can sort of respond, with a burst of insight, at something that might be marinating or fueling his process.

    Another great post!

    1. Robert Vaughan

      Jamez, I like this very, very much: ‘If orange is the new black, the process is the new pink.’ Phenomenal and quotable line. And yes Megan Lent was an amazing interview, I so want her to interview every writer or artist I know. Someday you and I have to sit down at a cafe, and really dig into these insights, delve into the creative process itself. Nothing gets me higher than this! Thanks for you!

  2. Charlotte

    Reading the backstory of “On Leaving” was so informative to me as a struggling poet as well as very interesting. I love “Microtones” and it has a home on my bedside table where I can read from it at the end of a long day.


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