Poetry: Tommy by John Yamrus


know where 
he first heard it 
and he didn’t much care, 
because it 
described him perfectly.
anyone would ask him 
how he was doin’, he’d stop and say:
i started 
out with nothin’ 
and still got most of it left.

John Yamrus’s career spans more than 50 years as a working writer. He has published 35 books (29 volumes of poetry, 2 novels, 3 volumes of non-fiction and a children’s book). He has also had nearly 3,000 poems published in magazines and anthologies around the world. A book of his selected poems was just released in Albania, translated into that language by Fadil Bajraj, who is best known for his translations of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Bukowski, Ginsberg, Pound and others. A number of Yamrus’s books and poems are taught in college and university courses. His most recent book is Selected Poems: The Directors (Concrete Mist Press)