**EDIT: “the angry boy” was also accepted for publication as a reprint, and is now up at Ekphrastic Review (Dec, 2017). Many thanks to Lorette Luzajic! Head on over to ER for some wonderful poems, all of them art-inspired.**
This poem first appeared in RHP Issue 33 (2010). It was one of the first where I received an acceptance that then included a fairly substantial revision via editorial collaboration. Thanks to RHP for the confidence and support!
the angry boy
the angry boy with one hand
will cut you up if you’re not careful
or just because he feels like it
and don’t you look him square
unless you want to fight or fuck
the cogs and screws of pity
just don’t move things around here
The concept was inspired by a self-portrait taken in 2009. A previous version of the poem included the phrase “…lifts the smooth blunt / hammer of his rage…” *:
* Please note, I am not an amputee nor can speak for those who are, nor do I desire position myself in any way that could be construed as marginalizing or ableist. The photo above has not been retouched — it is a trick of the shadow captured by chance that inspired a creative moment for me, moments which arise out of a desire to be more empathetic toward my fellow humans and the variations of the human experience, and to tell deeper and truer stories as best I can.
Poem about growth and becoming with a wine metaphor up at Inklette, Issue #4. Lots of great stuff up there, for their first themed issue. Take a look!
Special thanks to Amanda O’Donoughue Photography for lending her incredible talent to this project by sharing one of her photos to display with the poem. You don’t know it yet, but you need to see her photos.
My poem “You were gone and returned” was included in the “Drunken” theme just released at Eyedrum Periodically, guest-edited by Richard Gess. Thank you, Richard, for including my work!
“The Phoenix Soul honors your daily transformation. Your vulnerable truth. Your grit and your grace. Your gut-wrenching grief and wild joy.” — TPS
Issue 57, “Vibrant Life”, is live and available for purchase. Each issue is a work of art and love, and I’m happy to have been included here. Thank you, Amanda!
Click here or on the image above to visit The Phoenix Soul site via my affiliate link, and click “SHOP” to browse issues. Thank you!
My poem “My Cunt, or Cleanup in Aisle 3” is now up at Rat’s Ass Review as part of their special Love & Ensuing Madness collection. This is a fun little extended metaphor piece I wrote on a lark one day years ago. I’ve always loved it and never thought I would find a home for it — happy to say that’s no longer the case. Thank you, Rick of Rat’s Ass! Here’s the main link to the full collection (scroll down to view all once you get to the page, or browse the list of poets).
Catching up on referencing some of my earlier published work — “The Secret to Befriending Men” and “The Babel Tree” first appeared up at Strong Verse in 2010. Thank you, Strong Verse!
The Secret to Befriending Men
downturned eyes a comfort;
Only the guileless lure —
a whispering croon
unmasked in purpose —
will call him to you.
And when he shows himself,
don’t hold him, but welcome him, loosely —
he’ll come at first by starts
to the acorn meat
crumbling golden in your marble palm,
the cutting shell all gone.
Be true and gentlepatient —
for now he’s downwind, watching.
You can’t smell him,
but he’s close.
The Babel Tree
A grisled tree sits on the spot you were once,
a requiem in the choreography of its limbs.
Leaves like questions lift and pluck at the sky.
I whistle —
the dog comes,
loping out of the long grass,
brown like a gnome and suddenly
I am a sprite of the wood,
still and small against the forest
of this tombstone oak, and
every runnel in the bark spells
a message in some glyphic language
I never learned but half-remember.
And I wonder,
if I whistle for you,
will you awaken
and come loping
out of the long grass, too,
no beckoned dog,
but a homeward, homesick man
with verbless heart and
This sonnet first appeared in print in the anthology “Filled with Breath: 30 Sonnets by 30 Poets” edited by Mary Meriam in 2010. Thank you, Mary! Dedicated to my son, with love.
The Press of Time
First appeared in “Filled with Breath” Sonnet Anthology (2010)
I watch my son, asleep here in his room—
His arm’s gone wide, his mouth’s gone wide; he snores.
His hair’s a loomless, amber bale— not white
like mine was at his age. He’ll soon take flight
from coddled nestling ways, he’ll lose the down
and comfort of his youth—time presses on.
There is no lift in words; I have no right
to use my landbound tongue to speak the light
that splits me in the prism of my core.
With all the atoms in my I’ll adore
him through the thermals and the chartless course
he’ll call his life. For now, I’ll watch the moon
chase pencilled inches up the jamb; too soon,
too soon! There’s nothing empty as a womb.
Many thanks to Bill, Kate and Peacock Journal for the support!
Posted today, “Star-gazing,” “Lie Still,” “To Oregon on Calumny and Beer,” “Terma,” and “While New Jersey was dark.” Collectively, they are two old love poems and 3 old story poems about events either true/factual or true/imagined. Some of the best lines I’ve ever written are in these poems. Thanks in advance if you decide to give them a read!
This poem first found a home in the “Clear” issue of 5×5 Lit Mag (2010, no archive available).
Slight edits were requested, to which I agreed. The published version is shown here.
My Body is an Uncapped Mason Jar
First appeared in 5×5 Lit Mag (2010)
The clear liquid and light of me
is visible to you.
Color presses along my seam,
and I split myself like spectra.
I lift myself, thirsty, to the sun —
my heart, the glint along the edge,
questions the window of my skin.
The distance of my years is soft, unmolded,
like the verbs and pronouns
that spill me into the slow,
free-fall globes of good-bye,
until I am dropping without landing,
and there is light refracting everywhere —
shards of it, and waves —
a vertigo of curvature.
Every glass holds the thought of its own breaking
in its slow and heatmelt atoms,
more fragile than knowing,
and translucent like a warm breath.
My poem came out at Indolent Books today as part of their “Transition: Poems in the Aftermath” theme. Thank you, Michael Broder! Lots of good poems to read there.
“Electoral Pillage” was written in an attempt to process what was happening in our country and in my skin after November 8 of this year.