From the foreword, Freight Train : Being an immigrant from Spain who spoke mostly Spanish but who wanted to become full-fledged American, I also wanted to make my poems from ordinary, spoken English, without excessively rhetorical devices, the kind of language spoken by my first heroes in America, my uncle Arthur and his buddies who would meet at his gas station regularly to shoot craps, drink Ballantine Ale, and recall their youthful adventures as merchant seamen, the 'real language of men,' as William Wordsworth called it. This would be a natural American-English language that an ordinary American in a heightened state of emotion might actually speak, a language heightened just eugh to draw attention to itself but t so much that it would sound artificially 'poetic,' the kind of language a later hero of mine, Jack Kerouac, used. The Trees Sitting here among my friends the trees, I feel their quietude, the gratitude they show by holding out their limbs, generously allowing the moss to grow on them, and squirrels and birds to build nests in their crowns. They don't seem to mind my sitting here, maybe sensing how much I value their contemplative nature, their general satisfaction with the way things are. Rooted to their one place in the woods, they don't crave something better, r complain about the weather. They stand tall and straight, side by side accepting whatever comes. Joseph Somoza lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico, with his wife of fifty-plus years, the painter Jill Somoza.
Joseph Somoza was born in Spain and grew up in New Jersey, Chicago, and Cincinnati. He retired form teaching at New Mexico State University in1995. He lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico with his wife Jill, a painter.