In Memoriam
By R L Swihart


Your first cradle—
a chariot of fire

Your first lullabye—
sung by the sea

Toddler's steps—
on the sunny-side of clouds?


Quarter moon
above Venice, CA
A few too many shots
of tequila
Bradbury's Tattoos

As if to hold on
your mother grabbed
the chair arm
while Ramona
twined you
and woodbine
around her bicep


I try never to think of myself as one person. I'm not static. For this reason, and also because I like the "mask of literature" (i.e., what part of this work is him? what part total fiction?), I'm not altogether comfortable with or keen on bios.

Yet all of my work is extremely autobiographical.

Two extremes are embodied in me: the desire to be known and the need for anonymity.

Go figure.

Vitals stats: Born: Jackson, Michigan; DOB: Sept. 24, 1959; Education: variable and ongoing: Engineering (Univ. of Michigan), Theology (Grace Theological Seminary), Near Eastern Languages/Culture, and Education (UCLA).

Rilke's semi-proof of an afterlife. I paraphrase: the lifelong sense of "I'm still learning and therefore any sense of completion must come postmortem."

My beautiful family represents my feminine side: my wife: Ania; and my two girls: Katia (6 yrs) and Nadja (2 yrs).

My current residence: Long Beach, California.

My passions: reading, writing, and travel.

My current mission: teaching math to inner-city Los Angelinos (Thomas Jefferson High School, Los Angeles, CA.).

Influences: mostly dead guys: Samuel Beckett, Max Frisch, Thomas Mann, Tolstoy, Nabokov, Rilke, Celan, et al.

A few of my credits: Electric Acorn, Niederngasse, Adirondack Review, In Posse, The Melic Review, 3rd Muse, Samsara Quarterly, and The Drunken Boat.

A recurrent dream: being elsewhere.


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