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My name is Mark Spencer and, off and on, I have been writing poetry since 1977. I was born in Bend, Oregon on February 7th 1959, six short days after the day the music died, along with three of its icons: Buddy Holly, J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper), and Richie Valens. The Eisenhower administration was on its way out, and America was teetering on the brink of another war. A new administration was about to emerge under the leadership of a young Senator from Massachusetts named John F. Kennedy. He would see his country through some of its most volatile times, until his untimely death in 1963. I was raised in a small suburb of Los Angeles called Lennox. Lennox rested between Hawthorn and Inglewood and was in the flight path of the Los Angeles International Airport. My brothers and I would play a game with the approaching aircraft. We would attempt to guess which airline the planes belonged to, before they were close enough to read. The winner, of course, was the one with the most correct guesses that day. I grew up with three brothers: Bryan was closest to me in age, and I was the eldest of the four brothers. Darien came next and my youngest brother Ross completed the quartet. We were close in age, no more than two years and four months apart, but we were even closer as brothers. We were our own best friends, frequently playing together at the park or in the yard. But time passed quickly, and bygone days slipped into the archives of memory, leaving a hole in my heart. The four of us grew up, and traveled different paths, leaving the adventures of our youth behind. Yet, to this day, I find myself wishing for one more game of over-the-line. My parents were, by no means rich. Union politics kept my father out of work for a time, and my mother was forced, by circumstance, to take a job with Polaroid. Somehow we always had food on the table, a roof over our heads, and presents under the Christmas tree. My father was able to build a strong working relationship with a large contracting company and things got much better. That is, until my parents divorced in 1972. I blamed myself for my parent’s misfortune, as many children do, and I retreated inside myself. The following few years were chaotic, I rebelled against the world; so much so that my parents had to ship me off to live with my grandmother. She was the greatest influence on my life at the time, and that experience pulled me back from the edge. The path she helped to put me on opened me up to the world of creativity. I owe her more than I could ever repay. So…I write…not for me, or about me, but for her, and the topics she thought were important. So here we are today, 45 years later, and I’m still writing, still addressing those topics, still weaving a little morality into each poem.

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List of poems by Mark Spencer 4 total

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Strong Legs
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My Last Sunset
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The Selfish Choice
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