The Dog Watches and Other Poems


I’ve written poems seriously for a very long time, occasionally publishing them. In the last few years, I noticed that almost every piddling literary journal was doing something that used to be considered sleazy, charging for reading. That was it for me.

But my friend Scott Taylor, a designer and poet himself, was interested in creating and publishing a book of my poems. So I brought together a long poem, The Dog Watches, about the city, and put it together with other city poems. It is now available on Amazon.

The title poem addresses the death of my friend Jon Easley and of the poet Hart Crane, the death of wonder as we age, and the rebirth of it in loss. It’s a poem about San Francisco, New York, and Mexico City.

The title is an homage to my father, Senior Chief Richard F. Hopkins, USN (Ret.), RIP. Dog watches were inserted into the watch rotation to make sure the times sailors and soldiers stand at post weren’t the same every day, thereby avoiding the numbness of routine. It’s the irrational number that squares the equation, the oddness that makes sanity sufferable, the imperfection that creates meaning.


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