World Gone Zoom

Front Cover of World Gone Zoom

This week’s other featured book, “Day of Days,” by Frank Napolitano, can be found by scrolling down below this post, along with the First Tuesday Replay. Or, just click the author’s name on our Authors page.


THE BOOK: World Gone Zoom: Notes from the American Epicenter .


THE AUTHOR: David Belmont

THE EDITOR: Shawn Aveningo-Sanders

THE PUBLISHER: The Poetry Box (

SUMMARY: A poetic journey through life under lockdown in New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic and the few months following, replete with political commentary, philosophical musings and musical references.

THE BACK STORY: It started as a poem as the lockdown was rolling in during the second week of March 2020 and turned into a diary-in-verse as the pandemic unfolded.

WHY THIS TITLE?: My first thought as “Uncle Andy” Cuomo announced the lockdown was “the whole world’s gonna be on Zoom in a week.” This became World Gone Zoom in homage to Bob Dylan’s album World Gone Wrong.

David Belmont - unmasked

WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? The writing is simultaneously introspective and outrospective, exploring the internal changes that accompanied the radical change in daily life and the volatility of the body politic. It also ties in many musical references, mainly (but not exclusively) from the Rock Era. The author has been a professional musician for over 50 years.


“David Belmont has written a collection of poems with a rock n roll heart, but with bebop wit. The rocker roots are obvious in the epigrams that set up most of the poems, along with pop-up allusions throughout (“i hope we’ve stabbed it/with our steely knives”). Those legacy linkages are followed by arena choruses that are as fresh as newly sprayed graffiti: “coronavirus on tour,” “social distancing on fluid parade.” But what I found especially arousing in Belmont’s latest work is an edginess in cadence and tonality that is like some Dizzy Gillespie solos. (A cool cat like Lenny Bruce maybe, but more spare.) These jab at you (“sports stadiums/now empty foxholes”), unbalance you (“the lord of the flies/family book club”), and open your ears to alternative ways of keeping time (“get tested/quantify/uncertainty”). “World Gone Zoom” performs the pandemic with a musicality that reverberates with both rock and jazz. ” — Don Rubin, Emeritus Professor, Communication, Education, and Linguistics, University of Georgia

“America has gone /from red and blue /to black and blue David Belmont says, and he’s right. World Gone Zoom is a collection of true tales about living in New York City during the time it acquired the name “epicenter.” World Gone Zoom is up-to-date and comes with a soundtrack. Listen to it. Glisten with it. Someday it will be history. We hope. ” — Gary Phillips, Poet Laureate of Carrboro, North Carolina

“David Belmont takes us on a surprisingly heart-warming and heart-wrenching journey through the 2020 pandemic in his book of poems. Throwbacks to other times, other genres, a cacophony of emotions and memories (recent and long past) fill the pages in his sparse and thoughtful verse. World Gone Zoom captures and expresses thoughts/feelings/reflections that we all may have, but gives them the light of day with both poetic dexterity and musical sensibility (and history) making it a true gift to read.” — Cathy Salit, Author, Performance Breakthrough

AUTHOR PROFILE: David Belmont is a mixed media artist, community organizer and lifelong New Yorker. He writes memoir, short fiction and poetry, as well as instrumental music. His work has appeared in The Poeming Pigeon, Wildflower Muse and FishFood Magazine. He is currently co-music director of the Castillo Theatre. He has been a professional musician for 50 years. He has performed at The Public Theatre, the Mercer Arts Center, Max’s Kansas City and CBGB’s, among other venues. His publicly available recorded output since 1999 can be found on Spotify, iTunes and amazon. You can find his blog at:

AUTHOR COMMENTS: The broader social/political/philosophical changes our world is going through – e.g., the unraveling of the ruling institutions, the embryonic development of a new way of engaging/understanding what’s happening – started long before the pandemic (of course), but the lockdown period in America brought some things from behind the curtain and shined a spotlight on them. I attempted to feel into this and give it a voice. The writing is both space/time specific and universal, perhaps unfortunately. And as my favorite mid-20th century philosopher, Lord Buckley, used to say: We are where we jolly well are, now aren’t we?


Go to the link below and click on “Sample Poem.”

LOCAL OUTLETS: The Corner Bookstore, 93rd Street & Madison Avenue, Manhattan.



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Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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