William Claire



Into how many smoke-stained gin-drenched
back alley low-ceiling joints has he coddled
his old lady, mother, mistress of blurred nights?
Tall, rounder, her skin a polished brown
with an ear open to a gentle,blowing caress;
now all of her fondled: a promiscuous date.
She sparkles as he whispers ardent words
gives her whirl as a warm-up sesson begins
rises to an impassioned pitch as a spotlight dims,
then makes love to her, full-toned, shamelessly,
in stark view of a breathless, panting crowd.

(Blues Alley, Washington,DC)


William Claire was founding editor and publisher of Voyages, a national literary magazine published in DC in the 60's and 70's. He has been a Yaddo and MacDowell fellow and a Rockefeller Foundation resident in Bellagio, Italy. He directed a city-wide festival celebrating Georges Simenon; coordinated the first Folger Evening Series reading, and published books relating to Alan Swallow, Mark Van Doren, and Literature and Medicine: The Physician as Writer (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press). He lives in Lewes, DE, and owns an antiquarian art and book business.


Published in Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 2007)


Read more about this author:
Richard Peabody on
William F. Claire:The Profiles Issue