Riding on hurled bones

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Author Tom McCord puts his essence onto the page as he creates poetry.

"I open my heart, it's a way of communicating inside of me," McCord said. "It shows me I discover new things about myself, more or less.

"You can say all you want on one page, a few words can say a million things with a pencil or a pen, and it can open doors with perception."

McCord, 59, has been writing poems for 40 years. "Riding on Hurled Bones" is his first published book.

When McCord was 19 he fell off a cliff, leading to short-term memory loss and physical disability. However, this hasn't stopped him from achieving what he loves to do most — write poetry.

"In a few moments you discover something you didn't know about yourself by reading a short poem," McCord said. "It's a way of sharing my heart; I like to say things differently."

He said poetry conveys a lot in only a few words. In five to 10 lines people can get the meaning. He calls poetry a natural extension of his mind.

McCord said his writing came about full fledged in his head.

"It is something you have to do in your heart, mind and spirit," McCord said. "You got to express yourself."

McCord started writing poetry a little in high school but really started turning them out when he worked at the New Mexico Tech library. For the 20 years he worked at the library he wrote a couple of poems a day. He wasn't serious about his poems being published.

Kathy Albrecht was his boss at the library. Today she is his editor and has collected his poems and assembled them for publication.

McCord grew up in Santa Barbara, Calif. and used to surf three to four times a week, he said. Surfing was a big part of his life. As a surfer he learned how to keep balance, he said.

Today, McCord can be found traveling on his recumbent tricycle wherever he goes, weather permitting.

McCord initially came to Socorro to work for Tresco, and the company met a lot of his needs, he said. Albrecht said at Tresco he still works two or three days out of the week, although now he has retired from the library.

McCord finds inspiration from alternative authors Richard Brautigan, author of "Trout Fishing in America," and poet Gary Snyder.

In "Riding on Hurled Bones," McCord's poetry is arranged in various sections reflecting his inner life. Sections include topics such as "After Falling," "Surf and Seas," "Portions of Praise" and "Longing and Laughter." Each poem within those sections takes the reader to a different time, place and world.

His advice to potential writers is to engage their mind use and their head.

McCord's book launch and signing party will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 9, at the Old Town Bistro, where there will be music, poetry reading and the book on sale.

To purchase his book beforehand call 838-1103, or order online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books123.org.

"If people realize and see that I have overcome a disability, I am using it (my disability) to the best of my advantage and I am not letting it hold me back," McCord said. "The words are from you. The way they come out in poetry is alchemy."