Probably for sure I have been navigating a marine layer all my life, lucky when I dock, grateful when I dodge the rocks.

When I look at this photo of my grandfather I feel apocryphal. Look for the promised land in his eyes. They seem bemused. He lived in Kiev or Odessa. Whose story do you believe?

My grandmother drowned when my father was a boy. He hid in a pickle barrel to dodge the Tsar's draft and swam to Manhattan when his ship came in. Since he didn't have papers, why look for his name? He died bouncing a drunk from his restaurant. He was 57 when I was 11. It's hard to know if he would have cut me the slack to go my own way or if I would have done it on my own. I think I would. Wanderers he and I.

Buddy, portrait painter, so close to alive I had to keep my eye on him. Married my sister. Died at forty two, broke his heart on the dream.

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I got my strokes from school. The more strokes the better. That got me through graduate school, awards, scholarships, prizes, fellowship etc. Lucky for me after looking for myself all over Europe I met Bob Durr -- professor, mentor, visionary, seeker, fisherman, friend. Dumped tenure moved to Lake Iiamna, died ripe and old.

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I stood on my head. I immigrated. I published four books, I started a business, I sold and retired. I published a fifth.

                                    Floundered always.                                                

                                                                        Flounder still. Call my harbour Poetry

poetry

             always

                         safe harbour

                                                             poetry

                                     How do I know?