Municipal Pool

We could get away by ourselves when we turned twelve,
could necktie beach towels, corsage the octagonal badge, the
get-away made on flip-flops if we lived closed enough.

Alive or Dead

You are either alive or dead
one or the other
there is a clear boundary
distinct like the River Styx


in tender onyx,
under pressure,
the sun spits
it’s splits onto
the ship that
peels like
a croissant.

Love Potion

Deep fried everything, buttered biscuits, hot grits with syrup,
black-eyed peas, corn bread,
bacon drippings collected in coffee cans

Fortune Cookies

Here’s a woman hired to write proverbs
Must be creative, inspired, concise
he who climbs a ladder begins at the first step


The storm didn’t knock out our power,
but left twigs and leaves scattered.


When I kissed
your clavicle, gooseflesh
popped like tiny
naked chicks peeping


“Take your father home,”
says the gravedigger, holding out
a sack of bones. In Mexico City

Native Shapes

The tree detritus falls,
dry and oblique, into piles
on the road that from a distance
look like armadillos, possums, feral cats,


coyote, Cooper’s hawk, flattened feathers
lifting in the breeze. But now, just ahead
in a loud gale of traffic at next tight turn,

Robot Prom

The kids nowadays spend twelve hundred easy
dressing their robots for the senior prom.
All May and June, ballrooms shake as these lumbering
robots dance and cavort, flirt, sneak booze, and,


Do we really need
another Liam, Noah, or Mason?
Emma, Charlotte, or Harper?
(I could go on…)


Sitting in the hoped-for warmth of a spring eve,
unseen jays screech from neighbouring garden trees.

SAT Sestina

The students’ attention span is 3 feet,

a narrow beam 3 feet less than their dreams.

Black Box

evening fare to paris this poem departed years ago nosed
north over rio#s dark lagoon leaving home and coming home

Bomb Lake

Two Taliban brothers huddle in a hand-scraped trench. They fire pot shots
at a passing convoy of eight trucks, plated and squat armadillos. The bullets

leaving empty

Two Buddhas once stood like giants
in the Afghan province of Bamiyan
until the Taliban blasted them down.

It Went On

It went on, they said.
The road to Baghdad,
The one you saw on the news
With the abandoned cars.

New Ways to War

Let’s count coup instead of kill, just a touch,
or sneak into enemy camps, capture a prized
horse, okay, maybe a Hummer can count.


Whether it’s my spit-polished boots, the crease
In my trouser, the belt buckle shine, the helmet
Still unscuffed,

For The Days

We grow inside houses, and remember each spring
how it seeped through the flooring –
bringing such thoughts, a cracking of dust –

Becoming One of Them that I Hear in the Evening

Morning I am myself. I pander out to the pinewoods, perambulate Mooselung Pond. There’s fresh coyote scat, already a mushroom prongs up from it. I gather the canine’s tracks, prints written in mud, read where it came from, where it went. As I process these I am losing part of myself; I try to collect… Read more »


Oh how light the night sky is   sister where there are no clouds Loons wail I’m here   where are you I’m over here the moon hovers in the clear It’s all just shades   sister light blue   aqua   mad midnight how much black or white the way you butter your toast… Read more »

Dreaming Ali

It’s not worth writing down dreams except for the one about Ali early 1970’s Ali white shorts black trim Ali bouncing on his feet like a tapping man can tap bouncing on his feet like a hummingbird can hum sweating through in a one-bulb locker room where the man handlers have handled rubbed down a… Read more »

Debriefing the Bug Guy

How did we come to Cuba from hello? He stood guard at Guantanamo, and before I can pry he points to the treatment: massive canisters marked Ultracide, Maxforce, First Strike, Bedlam. Beads of bait will line my counters, the pump and spray will ply poison borders around my home no bugs will live to cross…. Read more »

Under the Pecan Tree

I first learned the killing will of men when my mother was away in town, and my father was baling hay in a back field beyond the house. The rancher’s boy and I had parked to gather nuts for my mother’s pie under the old pecan tree, where he found a rattler, a diamondback, bigger… Read more »

To Be Human

The Words of Rosa Luxemburg(1871-1919) (a found poem: in Adrienne Rich’s notes for her Collected Poems) See to it that you remain human. There is no special prescription. All I know is once I went walking In the Sudende fields The sunset’s red light was falling On the wheat.

A Found Poem

(in a note from Judith Anne Still) On the other side In the brightness of the room Flanked by archangels We consecrate ourselves with The arduous work that goes Into stained glass windows. One true realization delights As when the sunlight bathes The congregation in silent And astonishing rays.

In the Teeth of Easter

“Save me…from the power of the dog.” from Psalm 22 There must have been dogs circling you, Christ, as you hung on the cross, wild dogs drawn in by the stench of death. They moved slowly along the edges of the crowd, their mouths drooling at the prospect of warm human flesh. But maybe I’m… Read more »


A frequenter of our late streets, This object of scoffing and jeers; When shunned by streams of passers-by, He’d speak to stray dogs and pigeons And stab his fingers at the sky; A sad sight, a nasty bother; A sight-seer of our squalid ways – Sign of sad times, said another; So he was last… Read more »


One lies down in the roadside shade, To rest his head on a stone there; As lark-song scents the summer night, He sleeping sees the spiral flight Of their drops and their scaling wings; Another turns the final blade, Leaves his book with the fallen figs; Leaves the shade of this canopy, This cover of… Read more »