rich quatrone | if someone were to ask me


what it is i read these days,
i’d say i read ronald baatz.
that’s what i read.
and that’s what i write.
emails, poems, everything
to this guy baatz up
in troy new york.
it’s true, ronald, it’s you
that i read. isn’t this enough.
are you not a great author,
a great poet.
have you not seeped into
my soul and mind and imagination
over thirty years of reading you?
isn’t your writing to me completely
alive and vital and passionate and
brilliant and sad and funny and haven’t
i responded the same, haven’t i given you
so much of myself, my love and fear
and dreams. haven’t we squabbled
like lovers, like brothers, like
the truest of real friends?
so true i don’t read enough books
lately. and for a long time.
i read you.
what on earth will i do when
you leave next week for italy.
it frightens me, i will say this.
you must not, cannot remove
your writing from me during
this most trying of times.

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