If Denis Leary seems an unlikely host for Ploughshares' upcoming 40th anniversary fundraiser, take note: The comic, Rescue Me star, erstwhile MTV fixture and Emerson alum was published in Ploughshares as a tender youth. His poems "He weeds the clouds" and "the rabbits" appear in the fall 1977 issue alongside work from poetry titans Charles Simic and John Ashbery and a story from a then-unknown John Irving.
The first poem, "He weeds the clouds," finds a young man reflecting on his father; the second recounts a horrific incident involving rabits and familial dysfunction. It should surprise nobody over the age of 25 that Leary's poems both talk about smoking. Please note the phrases "daddy smoke fantasy" and "flame sandwich."