I want to go to Cuba where the cars
float in the 1950swhere I sometimes
floatin that combination of fear
and floatingas if in a big blue Chevy
floating right through my childhood
and I dont care what anyone says
Ive always had some fondness
for Fidel Castroit seems to me he
was always thinking of his country
and his peopleeven when I listened
on my transistor radio to the sinister
broadcast from Cuba1967a woman
was talking about Child Care Centers
I was sitting on my front stoop
the ear piece in my earthe dusk falling
her broken Englishhow outrageous
Child Care Centersas if I knew
a thingabout the coming revolution.
I love writing poems about memoriesthose small images from the past, that as you consider them, can become a story. I wrote Cuba last summer when I was sitting out on our front stoop remembering another time years ago when I sat outside listening to a transistor radio, searching for overseas broadcasts. The voice of the Cuban woman was coming to me through a thin wire attached to a plastic ear piece. I like the historical goofiness of that memory.
These days, Im reading the Polish poetsCzeslaw Milosz, Wislawa Szymborska, Zbigniew Herbert, Adam Zagajewski. I always am excited to see work by Jack Gilbert, Louise Gluck, Philip Levine, W.S. Merwinmany, many others. As Ive gotten older, I dont worry too much about my writing. If something doesnt work out, Im not bothered the way I used to be. I figure I can always write badly, so writers block is not an issue for me.
Tim Nolan was born in Minneapolis in 1954 and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1978 with a B.A. in English. He and his wife Kate moved to New York City in 1978 where he obtained an M.F.A. degree in writing from Columbia University, worked as an archivist at the Whitney Museum, and read the poetry slush pile for The Paris Review. Tim returned to Minnesota in 1985 and received his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in 1989. Tim is an attorney with the McGrann Shea law firm in Minneapolis where he practices in litigation, including real estate, eminent domain, and construction. Tim lives in South Minneapolis with Kate and their three teenagersElizabeth, Maeve and Frank. His poems have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Nation, and Ploughshares. Garrison Keillor regularly reads his poems on The Writer’s Almanac. Tims first book of poems, The Sound of It, will be published by New Rivers Press in October 2008.