Interview with Poet Howard W. Robertson

1) What is the theme of your poem?

Glory as Pindar understood it

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

The beauty of the moment and the pathos of life

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

Since the age of 17 or in other words 55 years

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Walt Whitman

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

Love for my poem

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

I’ve published ten books of poetry and three books of fiction. Also, my one screenplay is titled THE FORGE and has received the following honors:

Bucharest Film Awards – Selected;
Zed Fest – Semi-Finalist
The Monthly Film Festival – Finalist
Chicago Screenplay Awards – Selected
Peachtree Village International Film Festival – Selected
Screenplay Festival – Semi-Finalist
All-Genre Screenplay Contest – Selected
Bucharest Film Festival – Semi-Finalist
ScreenCraft Drama Contest – Quarterfinalist
New York City International Screenplay Awards – Selected
Pitch Now Screenplay Competition – Finalist
Page Turner Screenplays, Feature 100 – Quarterfinalist
SOMEDAY… Screenwriting Competition – Selected
Underground FEEDBACK Screenplay Festival – Semi-Finalist
New York City International Screenplay Awards – Selected
Miami Screenplay Awards – Selected
Beverly Hills Film Festival – Selected
Sunrise International Screenwriting Awards – Selected
Drama inc. Screenplay Competition – Selected
Circus Road Screenplay Contest – Finalist

Logline for THE FORGE: Isaac McClure is caught between his mother’s Ehattesaht world and his father’s Scottish. Born at Fort Astoria in 1824, he conceals his Native American identity to come back over the Oregon trail in 1853. He becomes part of racist pioneer society, is outed by chance, and an intense peripeteia ensues.

7) What is your passion in life?

Breathing

Watch the Poetry Reading:

Performed by Allison Kampf

POEM:

After football practice, Dave Malloy, assistant
coach, was sitting in the office of the coach, Jim
Shelby / I was there as well; I don’t remember why
/ without the slightest warning, zany Dave erupted,
bellowed, slammed the tabletop with both his hefty
hands, ejaculating loudly these impassioned words,
“I want to fuck!” / Malloy repeated this, and Shelby
shushed him, since a teenage boy was present, me /
soon after that, Malloy became the coach at New
Geneva High, our bitter rival, we of Fairfield High /
the summer just before my senior season, 1964, I
had an easy job delivering bouquets, arrangements,
wreaths, and other floral merchandise from Baxter’s
Blossoms, located in Fairfield but providing flowers
for all greater New Geneva / my delivery van pulled
up at New Geneva High one afternoon, and I began
unloading many floral products / suddenly Malloy
was there, just grinning at me crazily, eyes merrily
agleam / we talked a bit of this and that, not even
mentioning we’d meet next autumn on opposing
sides of gridiron combat / early in the New Geneva
game that fall, we punted on fourth down / I was the
long-snapper and could release downfield before the
other guys who had to block first / when the punt
returner caught the kick, I was already nearing him
at top speed / suddenly I caught some stream of
energy (let’s call it Ki) and flowed right through the
running back, depositing his body in a broken heap
at Coach Malloy’s large feet while I just trotted off
unscathed and nonchalant / my soft eyes sensed his
crazy stare and joyous grin directed at me all the
way across the field to what was now the line of
scrimmage / next day in the local paper he was
quoted, “Well, I knew when Douglas tore apart my
halfback early on that we were in for one hell of a
game!” / that was the scene of brutal glory, that
god-given moment, gleaming possibly forever /
Pindar said, “What’s man? A shadow’s dream.
God-given gleaming comes, and life is bright.”