Taz: The Poet

Inspired as a teenager, Hogan actually did not begin recording his writing until after he returned home from the Air Force in the late 60’s. Training in the martial arts, he found that he needed a creative outlet to help him harness his mind to focus on power and technique. In the beginning, he chose to write simple, short verses of wisdom. He wrote, very often, in a sporadic fashion, redirecting his emotions to his pen. Later on, the short rhymes evolved into deeper collective thought and free verse.

While working as a bodyguard for The Temptations, Dragon’s friends, Bob and Lynette Grande, insisted on compiling the over 150 poems Dragon had scribbled into composition books over the years, into an orderly manuscript. The unpublished volume, Echoes of My Soul, was the result. The book was divided into three sections or chapters. The first section, was simply titled, Something to Think About and included Hogan’s first attempt in 1967 with the poem, The Poor Man’s Prayer, as well as 50 other verses, written over a span of 30 years. The second chapter, Matters of the Heart, dealt with love, heartbreak and separation. While the motivation for some of these heartfelt poems came from Hogan’s personal experiences, some were requested as eulogies for family and friends. Finally, the Grandes’ carefully transcribed some of Hogan’s most powerful work and grouped them in the final portion called Deep Thought. These poems gave Dragon the opportunity to use the poetry medium to cry out against social injustices he encountered, to reveal his own personal memories and to admonish the reader to change.

Without a doubt, Echoes of My Soul, showcases Dragon’s captivating writing style and dynamic charisma. After Echoes of My Soul was completed, Dragon continued to write. His style expanded to include poems that ranged from narrative, lyrics, and elegies, to odes, satires, and the mini-epic, whipping language into intense emotion and gripping his reader to reflect on the phrase Nothing is As It Seems. He ventured to post his poetry on internet discussion boards where he took the pseudonym, “Taz”. His audience liked his descriptive, sensual and sometimes humorous attempts so much, that he labeled his writings “TazTales” and the name stayed. A member of the internet discussion board, Janet Rollins, first took the posts, and compiled them for Dragon in an easy-to-read illustrated notebook. Then, another member, Joanna Smith, went a step further and transcribed the poems from the posts, carefully editing the internet version and compiling the tales into what is now three volumes.

In the Fall of 2000, and again in the Spring of 2001, the poems from TazTales were featured in She Says, a journal of the Women’s Forum of Washington and Lee University. His work also appears in online literary journals such as HiNgE, TimBookTu, GhettoSoul, LiterateNubian, and GotPoetry. Dragon’s poetry website, also called TazTales, was designed and maintained by Marianne Dudley until 2004. It was created November, 2000 by Marva Nelson. The website was number one among the top creative websites for over five consecutive months. While seeing and reading TazTales is enjoyable, nothing is more effective than to hear Dragon actually read the simple, elegant powerful poems about life on the streets, love, and social injustice.