Joseph R. Trombatore’s Comments

A circle of angels” is one of those pieces I love to create. I am always reminded of those conundrum recordings of the ’30s. 2 songs on the same side of a 78 recording, not separate tracks, but 2 songs intertwined. This is what I had in mind when “A circle of angels” was composed. They’re like a little tapestry, a painting in words. Something the reader can go back into & hear another song within a song.

“Characteristics of People...” One of several pieces where I borrowed the titles of paintings of my friend Claudio Tortorelli & work them up into a poem. Ever since I started collecting his paintings, his titles have drawn me to compose; many of which seem rather popular with editors & audience alike. My poems have nothing in common with his paintings per se, but his titles do inspire me to create in words what Claudio creates in paint. This particular poem was composed shortly after the passing of my father. When cleaning out a closet I came across a cat-o-nine tail from Buchenwald. He was among all of those soldiers when the gates were busted down. I remember as a teenager seeing actual footage on a PBS special—Dad and so many others at those terrible gates. I said, Dad, that’s you!! He simply said, Yeah, I was there. He never talked about the war...

“I’m letting my hair...” A little piece I wrote in honor of my friend, the late Joanie Whitebird. She was poetry curator of Contemporary Arts Museum, here in Houston, Texas, back in the ’70s & instrumental in publishing some of my earliest work. An amazing poet & editor, I miss her...

“Here.” One of a series of poems that will be published in book form later this year. It speaks of loss; loss & learning curves. Death certificates, lawyers; an emptiness of winter, the cycle of a circle.