Nice Cover, Huh? The Poetry Ain’t Bad Either
Here’s the story:
The first work I ever published was poetry, way, way, way back in the 1960s. But while it was quite a thrill to see my words in print and I was even paid for the writing, the dollar amount was so low that even as a college student I knew I couldn’t afford to go poetry pro. (Are there full-time professional poets now? Younger than 50?)
So after I got out of school I plunged into a different kind of writing. A ream of short stories, mostly pseudonymous because I wasn’t as proud of them as I thought I should be. Some novels, also published pseudonymously because they just didn’t feel like me. But they did get me into the TV writing business, where I quickly (yeah, sorry about that) discovered that the dollar amount wasn’t only enough for me to be a full-time pro, it was enough to keep me wallowing in Porsches and some pretty damn fine homes.
And I liked what I was creating enough to put the Larry Brody tag on it.
In the early ’90s, however, the liking what I was creating thing ended. Instead of excitement, all I felt was the TV grind, the constant need to fight over every creative decision no matter how big or how small (even though I was supposed to be a writer-producer-showrunner and therefore in charge) became more than I could take.
I didn’t need material things, I needed freedom. I needed my soul.
So I got the hell out of Dodge, leaving L.A. and everything associated with it for the Southwest.
New Mexico! Santa Fe! Taos! With excursions into Utah and Arizona and even South Dakota (because when you’re a Bad Boy, the Badlands sing an irresistible song).
I’d written about magic for much of my life but had never experienced it. Now I was hunting for it. Trying to see if the ineffable was, or could be, real.
Tracking the magic, yes. Best thing I ever did.
Because I found it. On Indian land, mostly. The Santa Clara Pueblo. The Navajo Nation. The Pine Ridge Reservation. The Hopi Land.
A whole different life from the one I’d led. Peaceful and exciting at the same time. Mysterious and frightening and comforting all the while.
After 20+ years of fighting with network executives, studio bosses, line producers, directors, and, yes, actors, over every word (sometimes it seemed like every pause) I wrote, all the stress related to writing vanished, and one day, for reasons I couldn’t pinpoint but which seemed to add up to – Oh my fucking God! – genuine inspiration, I started writing poetry again.
It was awesome.
I woke up early every morning and let the words flow from my fingertips. A poem before breakfast everyday. It wasn’t the work my other writing had become, it was just…singing. Celebrating the life I’d found.
In the ensuing years, I wrote and published 4 thick volumes of poetry. Financially, it was anything but a success, but, oh, was it ever a joy. And messages from readers saying that what they’d read in Kid Hollywood and the Navajo Dog and, later, the other books, had changed their lives as much as the living of the events I was writing about had changed mine sent my spirit soaring beyond the sky .
Even though I didn’t sell many books (this was the era when sections marked “Poetry” started vanishing from bookstores), the books stayed in print. In a few shops and, sporadically, on this website. But mostly as hand-bound editions that I made and gave as gifts to those I loved.
And now my wife, Gwen the Beautiful, is giving me the gift of making my poetry available on a wider scale than before by putting Kid Hollywood and the Navajo Dog up on Kindle. Way to go, Gwen! Oh what a cool technology you are, lovely interwebs!
Kid Hollywood and the Navajo Dog, like most of my poetry, is about the dichotomy between the two lives I’ve led: Those of Television Writer and Mystic in the Wilderness. Lots of triumph. Just as much despair. More beauty…and wonder.
I mean, traveling around with a dog who talks to you (yeah, that would be the Navajo Dog, which really was the only name she ever told me) was indeed my most marvelous experience on the planet. Well, except, maybe, for making love with someone (that would be Ms. Gwen the Publisher) I really do love.
Everything that happens in this book did in fact happen. Every event. Every emotion. Every sign/auger/omen. I’m grateful for the experiences and just as grateful to my wife for putting them out there to share with everyone.
So here’s my hard sell: Run, do not walk, to Amazon and check out the sample pages of Kid Hollywood and the Navajo Dog. And then, if it touches your soul, plunk down that huge sum of $1.99.
Who knows? Maybe reading this will change your life too.
That’s my pitch. Time now to sit back and listen to what the Navajo Dog and Mother Earth have to say.