The Lilac Years

About the book

The Lilac Years is my eleventh collection of poems.

The title comes from my observation that working titles often turn out to be better than the official titles. As part of that observation, I joked that I should call my next book Fred: The Lilac Years.

Softcover 5.5 x 8.5 in., 216 pages
Alarm Cat Press #ART 75
ISBN: 9780998878140
16 April 2018

Smashwords e-book edition (ePub & Kindle)
ISBN: 9781370817160
30 April 2018

Amazon Kindle e-book edition (Kindle)
30 April 2018

What’s in the book

With the exception of This Is Fifty-three, this is my most ambitious collection to date. Not just because of the length of the book, but also because of the breadth of the material included, and the chances I took with some of the poems. As I wrote in the ‘official’ description of the book, ‘The Lilac Years is a world of (among other things) trains, music, shadows, silence, memory, weather, trees, crows (dead and alive), ghosts, penguins at the Ueno Park Zoo, neon-marker hallucinations, Vasilina Orlova, Jean Cocteau, and Harvey Keitel.’

The contents are divided into five sections:

The Lilac Years Poems that look back at relationships.

Sample poem: Until we both ignite

I don’t need video of the Grand Canyon to have an existential crisis This is the self-indulgent section of the book, where I admit depression and write poems about it.

Sample poem: A ghazal about depression cleverly disguised as a poem about the weather

The little moments Those small moments and introspective episodes that occur in everyday life.

Sample poem: scratch grey scratch | dash-dash-dash

Ekphrasis à gogo part deux More ekphrastic poems, several of which were submitted to a chapbook competition. Since my chapbook was not chosen, I reclaimed the poems for this section.

Sample poem: Survey the damage

Ars poetica and other tales Poems about poetry and writing.

Sample poem: I wonder if Thelonious Monk ever wrote poetry

Places to buy the book

Print edition

Barnes & Noble
Powell’s City of Books

E-book editions

Smashwords (ePub & Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (ePub)
iTunes (ePub)
Amazon Kindle (Kindle)

Order from your local independent bookstore

If you’re not sure what bookstores are in your area, you can look them up by ZIP code on

(Revived 1 August 2018)