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Welcome to Open Link Night!! You may not remember me. I’m Joe Hesch and I’ll be your jet-lagged bartender tonight.

For whatever reason, I have been a poor colleague for the past handful of Open Link Nights. Lots of reasons, none of them particularly sexy. I’m not on the poetic wagon or anything. But each week I felt guilty as hell for not visiting all of you lovely folks, the rookie and experienced, old friend and first-time linker. For that, I most sincerely apologize.

But here’s a lesson in what may happen, if you wish to really rub elbows with some of the brave and shy poets here at the Pub–you make connections. I know, that sounds so much like “hooking up,” a phrase this geezer can’t get used to.

I mean connections in an artistic and maybe even business sense, which can be a big deal if you plan on taking your work to a next level, as so many here have.

If you want to, and you’re really, really lucky, you make friends here beyond the name under the title of a poem or attached to a comment. The avatar on a site becomes a flesh-and-blood smiling face and a person that extends a welcoming hand, gives you a real live squishy hug, or kisses your cheek.

That’s what just happened to me. Yesterday, I returned from meeting in London (the one with the big clock)ย with six of eight poet friends with whom I am assembling an anthology for publication. You’ll recognize most if not all of them, the poet members of the Grass Roots Poetry Group (GRPG).

Absent, but sorely missed, from the gathering were the wonderful Jacqueline Dick (@fumanchucat) and Marsha Berry (@Marousia). Invading Covent Garden and Buckingham Palace with me were John Anstie (@poetjanstie), Shan Ellis (@Awdures), Quirina Roode-Gutzmer (@denfemte), Abigail Baker (@The_Linnet), Peter Wilkin (@peterwilkin1), and my dearest friend and partner Louise Hastings (@LouiseJHastings).

Okay, lot’s of personal stuff for an Open Link Night intro. But the message is that’s the power of artistic fellowship and collegiality (most-powerfully espoused by my lovely friend Natasha Head) available around the Pub. And if you wish to sit alone and comment or not, that’s cool, too. We serve all who enter these virtual doors. And we listen, too…

Here’s how you can get your drink on:

  • Post a poem to your blog,
  • Link your poem to dVerseย (1 per blog, please) by clicking on the Mr. Linky button below.
  • This opens a new screen where you’ll enter your information, and where you also choose links to read. Once you have pasted your poem’s blog URL and entered your name, click Submit. Don’t worry if you don’t see your name right away.
  • Don’t forget to let your readers know where you’re linking up and encourage them to participate by including a link to dVerse in your blog post.
  • Visit as many other poems as you like or can, commenting as you like or can, as well.
  • Spread the word on the poems you enjoy if you’d like. Feel free to tweet and share on the social media of your choice.

After last week, Joy left the place spotless. Let’s mess it up with a bacchanalian binge of verse. I have some making up to do so clean-up will will be suitable penance.