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.