At a 1/2 dozen poetry events, I have been lucky enough to sit at the same table as Tim Nolan.
In baseball terms, its kinda like saying that as soon as I got called up from Triple A, I got to sit in the the dugout next to Rod Carew or Hank Aaron.
I have said it before, Tim Nolan is a complex guy.
Not many Irish lawyers built like a linebacker, take the time to express their thoughts through poetry.
Although Tim works in a white collar world, in my opinion..he is a blue collar poet.
I think his strength is his honest approach.
I'd be willing to bet that Tim has never tried to tempt,bait or sucker punch an audience for effect like so many of us do.
Instead he probably just sits in a quiet space and tries to look at the poems topic from an unique angle...his angle.
One night I was at a showcase where I got to read with Tim and a bucketful of other writers for a Thanksgiving benefit.
Tim read in the lead off spot and got the evening rolling on a good note.
When he was finished, he returned to our table, smiled...and leaned forward and in a hushed voice. He offered me the following advice....
"If you want to be a good poet Danny, first off....a good poet can always read their work a little slower, but when you are writing poems...if you want to write something that everyone will like, you should right for that woman sitting behind you."
Immediately I twirled around and noted that the woman sitting behind me must have been in her late 70's.
"If you can come up with something that inspires this woman, you will be able to inspire anyone."
I've never forgotten those words.
I was so thrilled, not just at the advice, but knowing that Nolan is more than arguably the most accomplished male poet in my state, and yet he took the time to assist some guy who is still cutting his teeth.
His actions speak volumes.
Tim Nolan is a good guy.
Once In New York
by Tim Nolan
Once In New York
I spoke to Greta Garbo—I said—
"Good evening"—she said—"Good evening"
I was a young man-she was an old lady—
but she was beautiful in her actions—
rushing across the lobby—she was as fleet
as a doe-turning in the dark forest—
wary of everyone in the woods—but not me—
she was not wary of me—I was harmless—
Then I knew the quick connection to something
rare and passing—the only living example—
Helen—long after the Greek men found their way
toward home—and tried to remember her voice again.
END OF POEM