Yesteryear’s Birthday Blues

•October 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Yesteryear’s Birthday Blues.

Wow, incredible poem. Wow!



•April 27, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Rusty Truck


You moved from Honky Tonker
To elder statesman
In a career that lasted over fifty years
With over fifty albums to your credit
And number One hits that spanned five decades

Undisputed heavy weight champion
Of traditional country music
Linked to your idol
Hank Williams

Nick–named “No Show” Jones
For you reputation of not showing-up
At concerts with long battles
With alcohol and drugs

In 1955 you recorded
“Why baby why?”
And I was hooked
As i was with Hank Williams
And would be with Outlaw singers
Willie Nelson, Meryl Haggard,
Waylon Jennings and David Allen Coe

Like Williams you were a purist
Who would never be called a phony
Turning down the opportunity
To cut a  record  with James Taylor
And refusing to meet Neil Young back stage
Saying you did not know them

You sang songs that told the life
Of everyday working men and women

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An interview with myself

•February 17, 2013 • 1 Comment

Hi all. My first post in quite a while. My friend and fellow poet Corey Mesler gave me the opportunity to fill out a self-interview form and get some nationwide exposure by posting this to my blog, so I am flexing my creaky blogging muscles and putting this out there. I hope I don’t sound too much like a dodo. I’m promoting a book that I trust one of three publishers will take and that two have already slapped in the face. But I believe. I have met rejection and I have stood in its face and the tears have only improved my complexion, and so still I believe. I must. Thank you for reading my blog, and please believe with me. This book is a keeper. And here is the interview about it:



What is the working title of the book?

Alarmed in Space and other poems.


Where did the idea come from for the book?

It’s a collection of the best of my work from the past five years or so, titled after the poem “Alarmed in Space,” which is about the problems of language in verse.


What genre does your book fall under?



What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Probably one of the two Kevins — Kevin Bacon or Kevin Spacey or perhaps Nathan Fillion from “Castle” — to play me. To play the female part, the lovely Stana Katic, Kate Beckett on “Castle” or Emily Deschanel from “Bones.” Other parts filled in by my present-day friends. Actually, me and my beautiful wife Trina Allen could probably do fine with the main roles, although we might be a little nervous being ourselves, as our therapists can tell you we are in real life. J


What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

A rich and varied collection of verse by a well travelled poet, spoken from the eyes of experience but with the exuberance of youth, with the war-weariness of age and the optimism of the eternal soul.


How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Years, oh these many years. Some of the poems are from the immediate present, some are quite old. The manuscript is a hodgepodge, as is my soul, as I am.


Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My beautiful wife Trina, my lovely dogs Hamlet and Harriet, and the wonderful, terrible and always unpredictable world around us. Who can wake up in the morning and need inspiration? I have yet to understand that question.


What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It is one of three books — actually, the only full-length book, but I have two other chapbooks currently out there — Maintenance and Death  in its second edition, out on Pig in a Poke Press, and How Love Conquers the World  available on Flutter Press. Google them and find out more.


Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I never self-publish anything. I and most writers am too good for that. I do represent myself, however.


My tagged writers for next Wednesday are:

Hmm. I would think Kevin Ridgeway, Karla Merrifield and Bill Roberts.


New publication and a radio show for Harry!

•November 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

My new book, Retreating Aggressively into the Dark, is now out and available for purchase from Big Table Publishing. If you contact me by email at either or, I’ll be glad to send you a signed copy for the cover price. Postage is on me!

Ears wide open, gang! Harry will be the featured guest on the Joe Milford Poetry Show on Sunday, November 14th at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Sorry for the short notice … this was rescheduled from Saturday, November 6th. Joe Milford hosts amazing poets and poetry shows once a week–prepared to be astonished and amazed.

Poetry news from Calhounland!

•November 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Hello to my friends in poetry!

As we move into November, there is a lot going on, seemingly all of a sudden. But as someone wiser than me has said, sometimes “overnight success” is only accomplished by working hard at something for a long time. At any rate, here’s what’s up.

Much good news
As October turns the corner into November, here’s the good news on the Calhoun front.:

• Caper Literary Journal has nominated my poem “Fever Pitch” for the Sundress Best of the Net anthology.
• Boston Literary Magazine has nominated “Walking Something” for a Pushcart Prize!
• I am one of two featured poets on Rick Lupert’s Poetry Super Highway website the week of November 1 – November 7.
• I will be the guest on The Joe Milford Show on Blog Talk Radio this Saturday, November 6 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.
• My latest chapbook, Retreating Aggressively into the Dark, releases from Big Table Publishing this week.

Call for submissions of poems
I know that there are a number of poets on this mailing list. If I have encouraged you to submit, or if your work has already appeared in Pig in a Poke magazine, please take this as a reminder to send me your best work. Got a good short literary essay? I’ll take a look at that too.

Thanks as always for your interest in my “second career” in poetry and to those who asked to be added to this mailing list. If anybody doesn’t want to be along for this ride, please drop me a line and I will remove you from the list.



Chant of the ever-circling poetry family

•August 14, 2010 • 2 Comments

If you’re wondering, the title is a paraphrase of the last song on David Bowie’s 1974 album Diamond Dogs. It was called “Chant of the ever-circling skeletal family,” but the folks I’m talking about are far from being skeletons, or even deceased, for that matter.

So many times over the past few years, as I’ve become more adventurous sending out my poems for publication, I’ve encountered a feeling of deja vu. That’s because there are certain poets out there who seem to be following each other around from magazine to magazine. I don’t think it’s premeditated, but I do see a trend.

Recently, I had a poem published in the magazine Scythe, and was amazed to see so many people I “knew.” I had published Jessie Carty, Paul Handley, Corey Mesler and Scott Owens in my Pig in a Poke magazine, and had read for Scott’s Poetry Hickory series. And I had been in the company of Howie Good numerous times in various magazines, and had published his work in the Pig too. I’ve come to see Howie as a good luck charm … if I see his work in a magazine, I’m pretty sure they’ll like mine too.

But William Doreski takes the cake. He has some poems in this issue of Scythe as well. He too has appeared in Pig in a Poke,, but there’s a story beyond that. I was doing some casual bedtime reading a while back, and there in a 1989 issue of Third Lung Review were poems by William Doreski and some guy named Harry Calhoun. So we’ve been following each other around for at least 21 years that I know of!

I went to the current issue of The Momo Reader and guess what I saw? My poems alongside those of Howie Good, William Doreski and Paul Handley. Please, guys, people are gonna start talkin’! In another odd coincidence, Tim Peeler, who edited the aforementioned Third Lung Review, was featured with me in a reading in Hickory, North Carolina this past April — and he has poems in the upcoming third issue of Pig in a Poke.

Gives new meaning to the old saying, “What comes around goes around.” I could certainly be hanging out in worse company!

Recent acceptances and publications:
One poem in the Howls and Pushycats blogspot
Three poems in The Experimental Review
One poem in Wild Goose Poetry Review

Thanks for reading … comments always welcome or at least tolerated. 🙂

A new Calhoun chapbook … and other news

•August 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Much good news on this end. First and foremost, my chapbook Near daybreak, with a nod to Frost is now out from Propaganda Press! It’s at the top of page 2, and by ordering from the website you’ll be supporting Leah Angstman and her Alternating Current Co-op, one of the hardest-working advocates of small-press poets in the world.

Special offer for anyone interested: If you email me I can arrange to send you a signed copy for the same price. Only $6.00 and if you order from me, I’ll pick up the postage as well. Either way, I think you’ll like the poems.

Also I have a chapbook called Retreating aggressively into the dark scheduled for release in October 2010 from Big Table Publishing, the chapbook arm of Boston Literary Magazine. I’m really excited about that one, too. And oh, I have two poems in the summer issue, so check that out.

In other news:
Acceptances in Wild Goose Poetry Review and The Momo Reader (five poems).

Publications in Indigo Rising (print) and Orion Headless (two poems). Also, recent publications online at Rusty Truck, Deuce Coupe, The Camel Saloon, Howls and Pushycats, Red Fez and Horizon Review.

My poem “Johannesburg” and a feature article are appearing in an upcoming Concord, North Carolina Independent Tribune poetry column.

And you can listen to my talented wife Trina and I on Lynn Alexander’s always entertaining Blink Ink Fiction show on Blog Talk Radio … we were featured on the July 1st episode. Trina reads some of her great fiction and I manage to spit out one poem and ramble on about our magazine, Pig in a Poke.

Thanks to all for your support and interest!