Season Tickets

season tickets Season Tickets is a collection of three prize-winning stories and twenty-six narrative poems arranged in three parts to tell the story of a life. "Okies" is the story of a boy's relationship with his illiterate father. In "The Student," a young man putting himself through college by working as a night minister in a wedding chapel reflects on his future when, in the middle of his ceremony, a bride he is attracted to has a seizure and the groom flees. "Seabreeze," set in a convalescent hospital, explores love and commitment when a man is challenged by stroke-induced darkness. Steve Kowit, author of In the Palm of Your Hand, describes the poems in this collection as "crisp, lucid & altogether believable--sometimes hilarious, sometimes chancy and transgressive, often deeply touching." Poems in the first section explore the lesson a boy learns in a group shower, the eroticism of a bowling ball, a mother's religious outrage when the father buys the family's first TV, and a boy's love for a third grade teacher. Poems in the middle section deal with the brittleness of relationships, ineptitude with finding new love, the philosophy of quitting, and fear of ex-wives. The final section celebrates the wisp of understanding that comes with age and praises reference librarians, sushi, a punch in the mouth, gravity, and Friends of the Library sales.

Book Details

Paperback: 108 pages
Publisher: Pima Press; First edition (January 28, 2003)
ISBN-10: 1931638012
ISBN-13: 978-1931638012
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Imagine the luxury of humor, tragedy, sex, adventure, nudity, love, illness and death all in one book. "Season Tickets" by Dan Gilmore delivers just that and more.

This delightful collection of short stories and free verse poetry will capture your attention and guide you through a magical journey of life in the middle lane, veering dangerously close to the soft shoulder.

From the agonizing pain of a young boy witnessing the burial of his mother in "Okies" to the outrageous humor in "Christmas '51" which shamelessly reveals a brief, torrid affair with Aunt Bell's bowling ball, the ride through "Season Tickets" offers an enchanting assortment of emotions and comforting entertainment.

Gilmore's ability to transform nostalgic observations into extraordinary verse is demonstrated in the powerful "My Father's Toolbox" and the disturbing "The Main Event." "Sharing Stars' brought tears to my eyes. Perhaps because I'm a woman. Perhaps because of the brilliance of the expression of love, friendship, loyalty and death laced with the sophisticated wit of the author or perhaps, quite simply, because the essence of this book is life and reality and we can all relate to it.

I'll never look at a bowling ball in the same way again. I'll treasure my past friendships and loves. I have a newly acquired appreciation of gravity, especially on me. Strokes are curable; indifference and cruelty are not. Wow Dan Gilmore, Thanks.


I’m afraid of death—afraid of going
to sleep and not waking up, of taking
a bite out of some sidewalk
and knowing the instant before I die
that people are stepping over me,
of being the source of the odd odor
coming from my apartment.

I have noticed that people who die
are forgotten. My children will remember
a few stories, their children might recognize
my picture, and their children will know me,
if at all, as a hollow square on their genealogical
tree. I worry about the poetry I want read

at my memorial and who will spread
my ashes. I wonder about the people
who might be present to honor my demise.
No, present is not enough. I want fully present
people with sad but enchanted faces. I think
about what I might do to attract more
and sadder people, how I might arrange
to have my memorial video distributed
to those who missed the first show.

I’m concerned about not believing
in an afterlife and stay alert for signs—
a small burning bush, a lost sock
suddenly appearing. I worry
that people who dream up places
like heaven and hell are people
with questionable aesthetics. I don’t want
to spent eternity surrounded by bad taste.

What I really want is my friends,
a small room, some books, writing materials,
and a way to make coffee. Come to think
of it, what I really want for all eternity
is something close to what I have now.