I just now found myself toggling between two web browser tabs, one marking a page about poet Marie Howe the other about singer C.W. McCall. I live in such a netherworld of obscure thoughts that I suspect most typical people won’t know who either of those people are.
Marie Howe is a successful poet who teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and writes beautiful poetry I would like to buy. Her work is clean and easily understood but deep and meaningful. She’s the type of poet I aspire to be, if life affords me time again for poetry.
C.W. McCall wrote songs in the 1970s that were very popular with truck drivers. My dad was a truck driver and I was born in the 1970s ergo, my childhood is full of memories of C.W. McCall. I’m interested in the soundtrack of my youth because I’m writing about it for my second book Lot 109, Tales from the Trailer Park.
Some people might think that a high-falutin’ poetry professor from New York City isn’t as “real” as a country music singer who serenaded lonely long haul truckers. Maybe that’s less of an aspiration than a pipe dream for a little girl who grew up in a trailer park. But C.W. McCall wasn’t all he was cracked up to be. He wasn’t C.W., he was William Dale Fries, Jr. or II if you rather, and he was a successful advertising man who maneuvered a successful TV campaign into a music career. He also was mayor of a small town in Colorado for many years after retiring from his singing career. He was a flim-flam man of sorts, but I suppose in my heart his music still rings true.
In their ways both Howe and McCall are poets, and in my way so am I. Really, anyone trying to figure out where they came from and where they’re going is a poet and a trucker of sorts. Keep on trucking my friends, and Happy New Year.