Lewis Gardner / Joseph Yeomans

                Lewis Gardner / Joseph Yeomans

JOSEPH YEOMANS is a self-taught cartoonist and illustrator whose work has been commissioned for advertisements and commemorative events. As a painter, his work has been included in group shows in the Hudson Valley area. Throughout jobs and careers as a nurse, teacher, park ranger and truck driver he has done one thing consistently: draw. He can be reached at  

LEWIS GARDNER'S poems have appeared in a number of anthologies and other publications, including more than 60 of his poems and light verse pieces in the pages of the New York Times. A staged version of his poetry collection Tales of the Middlesex Canal, which was originally performed at New York City's Greenwich House Theater by a cast led by Academy Award-winning actor Kim Hunter, has been presented in several locations in upstate New York and Massachusetts.
He has taught writing workshops for New York University and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts Poets in the Schools program. Twice a finalist for the Walt Whitman Award, he is coauthor of the book Children of the Wild, a study of feral children. His play “Pete & Joe at the Dew Drop Inn” appears in Best American Short Plays 2008-2009.

Here are some excerpts from their book "Lunch at the Live Bait Diner"



I'm in the library, trying to read,
which is what I do when I tell my office:
"Working at home today."  It's truly the work
I need to do;  I save 70 miles driving,
each way, by staying near home.

But now one of the singular people
of our blessed town has started talking,
a conversation between two
of his personalities.  I can't concentrate
enough to go on reading.

I don't want to ask him to stop.  What if
he loses control?  What if only one of him
stops talking?  I could ask the staff
to intervene, but I won't risk creating
a disturbance of my own.

There's research I can do, looking
things up, whitout concentration.
So that's what I do.  He goes on talking,
and I go on working, and no one says
what I do in my life is also crazy.


Sounds of Writing Final -3.jpg



You once knew writers at work
by the sound of their typewriters. Daytime
in spring or summer, whote streets
of the West Side and the Village
filled with the music of clacing and bells.

Now there is silence-windows closed
for air-conditioning, computers too quiet
to be heard below.  It may be possible
to compose poems on computer screens;
something in me doubts it.

Yet even quills dipped in ink
and scratching acrosss parchment
were a technological advance over chanting
in firelight-and all for the same purpose:
dispelling fear as the shadows grow.

Business as Usual-2.jpg



A lot of papers today need to be moved
from one end of my desk to the other.
And some of them mean phone calls

and some of the phone calls mean
arguments, persuasion, dissembling.
But that's what I'm paid for.

Outside my window flimsy webs of branches
are starting to turn green.
I think about walking there, watching
the sky, forgetting the time.

That's not what I'm paid for.  





I wish I'd run away with Joey
when I had the chance.

I wish I'd run away with Joey
when I had the chance.

I wish I'd run away with Joey
when I had the chance.

I wish I'd made that investment
or took that job
or seen the doctor
or run away with someone
when I had the chance.

I wish I had the chance
to have the chance to wish

I wish I'd stop regretting
all the chances
and liked what I chose.

Their book is available for $15 at
 Live Bait Diner,
P.O. Box 55, Lake Hill, N.Y. 12448