Joe Somoza saw that I was publishing Glen Sorestad a couple of weeks ago and consequently sent me a few poems to enrich my geezer collection.(No offense as I too am a geezer.) I haven't met Joe, that I recall, though we may have published him in the Rag. I seem to have heard his name in our eclectic poetry community, I am happy to have this work to share with you.

Poignant, perspicacious, and peripatetic, let Joe's poems amuse and awake your inner poet.

In Space


Look at that white butterfly.

Flit, flit among the leaves—

and it’s gone!

Like the Holy Ghost.

Like last week.

I’m still here,

floating among all this,

as insubstantial 

as “substance,”

which is really just

atoms and space.

The bunch of doves beneath

the seed feeder suddenly 

spook and flit away in a chorus of

“oh, my gods!” in bird language—

I imagine.

What else can I do?

Having no handle nor PhD

in physics.

I keep being amused, though,

by what passes

in front of me—

what must be my life.  

* * * *

After A Recent Look Back At O’Hara


You can only be jubilant and boyish

for so long!  For how long?

For as long as you’re alive and walking

on Fifth Avenue, or sitting here

by the tree, watching the birds feed 

on their seed, watching the small, shovel-leaves 

pop out of the tree tips, since it’s March

quickly turning to April.


Quickly turning to April, I asked her,

“how has it been these past 60 years or so 

since we were young in New Jersey?”

But she turned away.  “You haven’t

thought about me in all that time

and I’m old now.  See what you’d done?”


I couldn’t help it.  Time got away from me.

At my desk, or my lawn-table turned desk, 

I look up at the clouds that are 

still there, familiar companions, 

and I hear the morning traffic, as 

always, rush by. 

* * * *

After Reading Robert Creeley


Nothing is as neat

as the words try

to make you say.


They would love it


as syntax, but you—

where in there 

would there be room 

for that?—

(as the words 

would love to say)—

but you,


you have to stand 

up to that, 

but with what?

what but words

do you have

to say?

* * * *


In Joe’s words:

I retired from teaching English at NMSU 22 years ago to have more time for writing and living.  I've published 10 books and chapbooks of poetry over the years, most recently As Far As I Know (Cinco Puntos Press, 2015).  I live in Las Cruces with wife Jill, a painter.


The DitchRider’s Sunday Poem on Duke City Fix is accepting submissions of 3 to 5 of your favorite poems. Please send in a word doc to ; be sure to put DitchRider in the subject line and include a short bio and a few pictures from which I may select.  Please, also, send any links or notices of events in your bio. Your name on the poems seems to be very useful! Thanks in advance from Merimee. I will get back to you within the shortest framework I can muster.

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