Word Flab

Word Flab

I sent a poem to an editor once at 7am before leaving the house for my 7:52am train.

As I boarded the train, my smartphone dinged, it was the editor. He accepted my poem for publication. He loved the piece and he said something to me that I will always remember:

“It’s a good piece, it needs some editing, just a sprinkle of punctuation and cut out some of the word flab and it will be good to go” he said.

I have been cutting word flab out of my poetry ever since.

In a earlier post, I talked about how I write poetry and then I place the work on the shelf for weeks at a time. Well, the first thing I do when I pull my work off the shelf is cut out the word flab.

After weeks of letting the work sit, I spot that word flab right away. It stands out like a wart in a verse, an abnormal growth

in a stanza. So I cut, cut, cut and after I’m done cutting I put it back on the shelf for weeks again.

One published piece of mine went back and forth to the shelf for an entire year. It

went from 3 pages to one page —approximately 34 lines. The word flab was nearly gone. The editors of anthology asked me to cut just 2 more words. I did so —gladly! Out with the

word flab, out with the word flab!

Tomorrow Night

Tomorrow Night – Kraine Theatre

Join Us

Come out and hear 27 poets (including little ol’ me) as we pay homage to Poet Thomas (MAS) Walker on his birthday at:


A Birthday Poetry Party Trip Around the Sun

Sunday, February 9th

Doors open 5:00 PM

Show starts 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Kraine Theatre, 85 E 4th Street

New York, New York (East Village)

Cake & Pizza Poetry Party

$5 Admission

Hosted by Jennifer Juneau and Company


Valery Oisteanu, David Henderson, Big Mike Logan, Dorothy Friedman, Buttered Roll, Jeff Wright, Jerry Johnson, Nancy Mercado, Zev Torres, Gitesha Diana Hernandez, Puma Perl, Annie Lanzillotto, Matthew Hupert, Robert Gibbons, Mitch Corber, Danny Shot, Erik Richmond, Helixx C. Armageddon, Sarah Sarai, Meghan Grupposo, Ama Birch, Eugene Ring, Evie Ivy, Phillip Giambri, Ilka Scobie, Jennifer Juneau, Thomas Walker

Click link for more info:


Countee Cullen

For Black History Month – 2020

I will be posting each day — African American Poets

I Have a Rendezvous With Life

Countee Cullen – 1903-1946

I have a rendezvous with Life,
In days I hope will come,
Ere youth has sped, and strength of mind,
Ere voices sweet grow dumb.
I have a rendezvous with Life,
When Spring’s first heralds hum.
Sure some would cry it’s better far
To crown their days with sleep
Than face the road, the wind and rain,
To heed the calling deep.
Though wet nor blow nor space I fear,
Yet fear I deeply, too,
Lest Death should meet and claim me ere
I keep Life’s rendezvous.