Doug D’Elia Reads at Kerouac Event

Doug Reading Poetry
     “Happy, just in my swim shorts, barefooted, wild-haired in the red fired dark, singing, swinging, spitting, jumping, running, that’s the way to live.” That was the writer’s prompt. A line from Kerouac’s book “Dharma Bums.” Jack wrote that line, just a couple blocks from where I live and I’m writing this entry.
     We are from the same province in Canada. French-Canadiens whose parents moved to mill towns in Massachusetts, and we played that silly baseball game with made-up teams and players. We were both drawn to poetry, eastern religion, haiku, and the addictive quality of good booze and exotic scenery. We both lived in the College Park area of Orlando, but our writing styles couldn’t be different. I always felt Jack wrote in a trance like stupor punching at typewriter keys like an underdog prize fighter sensing a decisive knockout while I tend to dance around the edges of the ring.
     The house Jack lived in here in College Park is now home to the Kerouac Project Writer’s in Residence Program. I’ve had the opportunity to write in the Jack’s space, in front of the window that looks out to a backyard filled with lush Florida trees and tropical fauna. This week the Kerouac Project sponsored an event at the Avalon Gallery and I was one of a dozen poets to read at the event.
     I read my poem, “Hey, Jack Kerouac,” which incorporated the prompt from Dharma Bums, and my own additions.
 “…drinking shots of tequila on the roof top
of some decrepit hotel
under a starry Mayan sky,
tracing 242 choruses
of Mexico City Blues
in a trance like stupor
punching at typewriter keys
like an underdog prize fighter
sensing a decisive knockout…”

Come to my Veterans Day reading!


I’ll be part of the team from Syracuse Veteran’s Writers group that will read a piece at Art Rage Gallery on Veteran’s Day, Tuesday, November 11, from 7-9PM. The event is co-sponsored by Syracuse University. The topic is “Moral Injury,” and the event is open to the public. There is no admission charge.


Image of Forever to an Underwood Typewriter

I’m pleased to announce the release of my new book, “Forever to an Underwood Typewriter.” The collection contains 36 poems of diverse subject and nature. Reader’s favorites have been “Crossing Midnight,” a poem that asks the question: if you had but one hour of sight per day, which hour would you choose?   “Dead Witches in Cold Well Water” images of the Salem Witch Trials. “Gratitude Kites,” a poem that explores death, mourning, and gratitude. “Little Warning,” what will you be thinking in those last seconds? “If I Should Pass You On the Way Down,” a story of hope and support. “A West Texas Moment,” explores Native American courage and tradition in a modern setting. My personal favorites are “Lynching Cats,” “Being Ali,” and “I Want to Be Anthologized.”

The collection is available for download at Amazon (Click HERE!) or directly from the author. The price is $7.99 for a download or $9.99 for hardcopy. If you would like to own a copy but money is an issue, please let me know.

Public readings in support of the book will be announced on this blog.

Thanks for your support.


Doug D’Elia


Doug at Woodstock

In July of “69” I came back from the Vietnam Theatre and 30 days later I was on my way to Woodstock, forty-five years later I arrived! The wonderful museum brought back memories and CSN still sound great! To say it was a moving experience is an understatement and the following poem was born there:

Peace of Stone


Polished stone cut

into the earth to tell of it.


On the plains of Montana

where arrows darken the sky

like a murder of spooked crows,

the dead Lakota, Arapaho

Cheyenne, and General Custer

his yellow hair a Coup

on a well-visited teepee.


At Auswitch

a stone erected

between two crematoria,

“Forever let this place

be a cry of despair.”

The stench of death

so violent it will never

be smudged away.


At Hiroshima

vapor shadows

roam in Peace Park

and children leave flowers

and paper cranes on cold stone.


Stone at the Book Depository,

Stone at the World Trade Center,

Stone at the Vietnam Memorial,

and at Woodstock to commemorate

three days of Peace, Love,

and Hope at Bethel, NY.


Where I stand imagining

lines of school buses filled

with children come to

polish stone?


Doug D'Elia meets with Sister Megan Rice

Doug D’Elia meets with Peace Activist & nun Sister Megan Rice.

Written on the 25th anniversary

of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.



Such a tiny man in the shadow of all that metal

each of his hands holding tight to a bag of

produce fresh from the market that he may

never get to eat, his body the only weapon

against such tyranny, climbing onto the metal tank

in the center of Tiananmen Square banging on the turret




Such a tiny man, Thich Quang Duc,

the Buddhist monk sitting lotus

in the center of a busy Saigon street

as his brothers pour gasoline

on his body and lit him afire

in protest of unfair treatment towards

Buddhists by Catholic converts.

His disciplined body never flinching as

his flesh melts away amid the whispers,



Such a tiny woman, Sister Megan Rice,

the 85 year-old Catholic nun that has spent

a vast portion of her life in Africa ministering

to the poor, now sentenced to 5 (to life?)

years in prison for breaching security at

the maximum security nuclear facility

in Tennessee – the makers of weapons

of mass destruction, armed with nothing

more than spray paint and a bible, banging

on the door yelling,




Macabre May, that’s what I’m calling it.

This month’s “Jitter” magazine features my short story, “Eels.” I thought I would give horror a try and while it was fun I won’t be writing it much, too scary!” My Sci-Fi poem, “2-Steps Ahead of the Vapor Line” has been selected to appear in a Sci-Fi Anthology sponsored by the Houston Writers Guild. It will appear later this year on-line and at Barnes and Noble. My tribute to the Salem witchcraft trials, “Dead Witches in Cold Well Water,” appears on-line in this issue of H-ngM-n Press (Hangman Press). The site also includes an interview with the author. A video recording of “Dead Witches” should be on-line at Hangman soon.

Excerpt from “Eels”

“The next morning I saw nothing unusual – no ambulances, police, or yellow tape. I wondered if her body was yet to be found, or perhaps I imagined everthing. Did my neighbor simply bring home a lover that couldn’t get enough of her? Were garbage trucks rattling about in the night? Surely there was a rational explanation?” Excert from “Dead Witches.” “Must be the season to hear the rattle of wagon wheels and tired nags snorting cold air as they trudge through the mud under the weight of condemned witches slouching towards dreary Gallows Hill, where pitch black crows pass the time on wooden crossbars.”

Peace, Doug

View The Hangman Press Website

Read “Dead Witches in Cold Well Water,”


A Thousand Peaceful Buddhas 2nd Printing

A Thousand Peaceful Buddhas final A

I would like to thank everyone who bought or supported my chapbook, “A Thousand Peaceful Buddhas.” The first run is sold out and more are on the way (digital copies available on Amazon). Eight poems from the collection have been accepted for publication and a second book is planned for this summer. Also, a book of my non-military poems is in the works. Some proceeds from the book have been donated to to various Veterans writing groups as well as an organization that removes mines from Vietnam and another that teaches Vietnamese children to play traditional instruments. Thanks again for your support.


Doug D’Elia



Thanks to everyone who emailed to wish me “good luck.” The Intertext reading was a success and I’m grateful to Syracuse University for including me in the program. There were a few wet eyes, but the poem, “Heavy Metal,” is about a disfigured Vietnam Veteran who has decided to commit suicide to Led Zeppelin. 

My mother cries at night, she doesn’t know I
can hear her down here in the basement,
down here in my own private Hanoi Hilton.
My headphones smother my ears
lost in Led Zeppelin played full tilt,
volume up, screaming.
Whole Lotta Love.
“Got a Whole Lot of Love,” baby.
Every night I wire my middle finger
to the trigger of my revolver,
wondering if tonight will be the night
I have the courage to end the pain…

Maria Santana


I enjoy keeping the company of creative people. I find creative energy to be inciting

(like a riot) and often the inspiration for a poem. Maria Santana is a sculptor, and the creator of the amazing clay “Shaman Whistle Women.” The idea originated from the creation myths of her native country, Venezuela. Her woman are uniquely designed and decorated with functional whistles making each piece both sculpture and instrument.

excerpt from “Shaman Whistle Woman.”

The faces of
Indigenous shaman
women agaze through peeled
stick and reed,
shaped in the kiln of the
forest with whistles
angled from heads and

breasts covered with
hawk feathers and
tinted legs
rustling under
pasture skirts the color
of South American
butterflies, lush Amazon
straggly root-grass hair
adorned with
sea glass bangles
and beads
that drip from
curved hips……

See her art at:

Geographical Inspiration

Jack Kerouac's house
March 11, 2014
Jack Kerouac’s house is just blocks away from my winter home in Orlando, Florida.
Orlando was the backdrop for many of Jack’s adventures and it is in this Clouser Avenue cottage that he wrote, “Dharma Bums,” in just 11 days and nights! I’ve written from his space, feeling the energy of his writing passion. I have always felt that each geographical location, be it room or city, influences my writing differently. I would love to hear from anyone who else who has felt inspired in a specific location or venue.