Marc Swan

Link to home pageLink to current issueLink to back issuesLink to information about the magazineLink to submission guidelinesSend email to

Painting by Gene McCormick

Sometimes Memory is Enough

       for Huff  12/17/27-2/25/02

On a dusty street
out the second-floor window
of the Bisbee Grand Hotel,
wind creating a tumbleweed dance,
sky that deep blue of a late August day,
I see him walking along,
shoulder length hair
with that widow’s peak,
gray beard— the look
of someone who has something to say.
He may be humming a tune,
but hard to tell from up here.
In no rush it seems—
a man I’ve been corresponding
with through the years,
a good poet from Austin
writing simple words that hold
like Ray Carver,
many others of that time.
Will Inman comes to mind,
James Haining, Louis McKee,
and on the publishing front
Ave Jeanne, Joseph Shields,
and Marvin Malone—
long distance relationships
I developed through the poetry tree.
Limbs spread wide,
some with fruit hanging
just right, others, buds flowering
with a good crop in sight.
My wife says go on down,
say hello.
Being the introvert I am
I just watch him 
pass on by.

Painting by Gene McCormick

Travel Light 

      after Spy of the First Person

I just read Sam Shepard’s last book
for the second time. His words
move with a simmer and boil
along often forgotten highways

that kept me page turning.
Never saw him in person,
don’t go to plays, did read
them and his essays and stories,
watched him in movies,
and Bloodline, a TV series.

How much do you really know
of someone from those experiences?
How much do you need to know?

It’s words on paper that speak to me.
The last chapter describes
an outing under the Strawberry Moon—
two sons push his wheelchair
to a local Mexican restaurant,

not long before his final ride—
the narrator ventures out with family
and friends for an evening of enchiladas,
margaritas, and a lot more tequila.” 

Can’t think of a better way to call it a life—
time well spent, good food and drink, not alone.

Speckled Trout Review fall 2020


Marc Swan’s fifth collection, all it would take, was published in 2020
by tall-lighthouse (UK). Poems recently published in Sheila-na-gig, Gargoyle,
Steam Ticket, Coal City Review, among others. He lives in coastal Maine.