Todd Moore was the literary prize
Todd Moore was a teacher, outlaw poet and a great story teller. I think all good teachers are outlaws to a certain degree. I didn’t know him as long as some of you but I can tell you we connected. I don’t do that with a lot of people. Maybe it was because we were both former English teachers; maybe it was because our fathers had similar traits. Or maybe it was because he was just a class act.
Going through our emails today I found three poems he sent me I never published. Not because they weren’t good–they all were good but because of my organizational abilities. I thought about running them here today but Todd preferred print. So they will go in the next Rusty Truck Issue 2 or 3 or maybe a chapbook we never got around to doing. He has several poems here and the deuce coupe, so on this day take in a few. He was a friend early on to the Rusty Truck and the Deuce Coupe and he will be missed. When I began the Pushcart process he sent me this:
thanks for leaving my name off the Pushcart list.
i do appreciate it. in my opinion everyone you
nominated deserves to be there.
regarding prizes, i pretty much realized a long
time ago that i wasn’t literary prize material.
i write too many hot button poems to be
eligible for anything.
besides that, i personally believe that i have
made some kind of contribution to writing in this
country but it won’t be until i am safely gone
from this earth that anyone will admit to it.
i think Dillinger alone will guarantee me some
kind of place among the semi immortals or at
least the outlaws. between the two of us
i cdn’t continue to be an outlaw and win a
i’m just two weeks short of my 72nd birthday
and i’d kind of like to end up having won no
prizes. it wd be an honor that both i and
charles bukowski wd share. i also hope against
hope that after i’m gone nobody will offer a
literary prize named after me. it wd be
goddam embarrassing to have won no
prizes in my lifetime and then end up with
some lit prize with my name on it.
i noticed that you kept yrself off the list, too.
which is a damned honorable thing to do.
sometimes not winning a prize carries more
honor with it than winning one.
you are a good one todd.
i couldnt nominate myself
and wouldnt want to–i get a bigger
kick out of promoting others–
i would like to do a book or two
but not in a hurry
re: your poetry–i have not read a dog in the bunch
you continue to outdo yourself–
the honor is when you bow out for someone else
because you would have been on it