2 poems — “The Laureate and the Lothario” and “Grand Falls, AZ”

“The Laureate and the Lothario” and “Grand Falls, AZ” are now live in the freshly-minted print edition of The Wildhood Project‘s second volume, your voice in the wilderness.

Thank you so much to Cristina Falcone for including me in this beautiful volume!


** EDIT, April 2018 **

As of this edit, it appears as though this fledgling market has gone defunct (it happens often, sadly). My poems are therefore reprinted below. Hope you enjoy!

The Laureate and the Lothario
First appeared in Wildhood Project (2017)

I ran into James Dickey once
(in a campground, not the afterlife).
The Congressional Librarians—
academics, all—
put up a rally-in-the-woods,
a well-formed senility
Chronus could really get behind.
            *snortchuckle* frogs and crickets
bowled their raucous caucus
into our ears, yeah,
the reckless blood
was in us all
(deliverance from gall).
Guitar tones and trails wound off into trees,
all the options of darkness and firelight,
songteeth wide, the jawing, the brews—
the glories, oh, the stories!

The dandelion head moon
puffed up white behind
its cloudseed blooms—
yeah, all that midnight jazz
the poets write about,
playing their trills and saxy tones
while the jerry-rigging scholars
rocked and rolled their way
into the holy hag stones’
time-hewn silence:
mossed, pitted, and
certain as sex.

Grand Falls, AZ
First appeared in Wildhood Project (2017)

It sneaks up on you in summer.
Driving, you will think you’re in the wrong place,
that this is not the place for a magnificence of water.
There are the known rocks and gravel,
and the long view will be all ruddy brown and hazy,
a martian landscape of high desert under Arizona sky,
which is not a sky but a verb—
the blue a borrowing of depth,
an IOU to the lungless black behind it.

So there is the gradient:
blue to dust-blue to orange to brown,
a paradox of flatness that curves itself
from sun-hot roof to dust-borne wheels,
and you will turn that one corner
near the oddly Bradburian, solitary bench
with the requisite shelter and garbage can,
and you will turn that corner,
and there it begins.

You thought the earth was a table here,
but it was legs,
and suddenly they open and open,
and you are looking down into a scrappy kind of eden,
tough where it’s green, and
where the strange math of erosion
worked its long division with water
turned cocoa-brown from dust.
It’s flowing easily, playfully—
slow and gentle for falls,
on vacation from the flooding spring—
over rocks flat and large enough for sun-bathing.

There are rocks and all the
familiar elements of surface down here,
tumbled among the exposed monolithic mysteries
in this untoward tecton footprint,
where depth is not itself but a verb—
and it’s a secret of the snowmelt,
that it can do this to the earth
the way the outbreath rim of cosmos
can do it to the sky.