Monthly Archives: May 2013


Random Acts of Cruelty (#7)

I took you to the river
    to show you blood flowing
We dropped a rock in
    and it swept away
You cried
    because the rock had no power
You wanted to build a bridge
    of planks and rope
But I told you
    of the danger of the other side

You tried to skip stones
    but the flinty shale
    cut your fingers
You dripped your blood
    into the river
    and the drops were swept away
On the way back to the car
    I wiped away our footprints
    so you could never return

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Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Uncategorized



Afternoon Ritual                     (published in Abbey–January, 1999)
 (Tea with Kay)

Happiness hides
     in the simple things
     you tell me,
     like in my china
                      tea cup.
I don’t understand
     but I drop
          the sugar cube
               into my tea

and watch the ripples.

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Posted by on May 30, 2013 in previously published




she says I have crazy hands
hands with fluttering fingers
and no direction
hands that don’t understand
logic and solitude

but I have seen my hands
cut an angle into the sky
and cup sunlight
as a gift
my hands have unraveled tangles
her hands created
and have waved in the breeze
like her hair

when she sees my hands fluttering
she wants to smother them
to flatten them out
and calm them down
but they rise up
and, crazy or not,
caress her lovely face

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Posted by on May 29, 2013 in springboards



Sights from an airplane                           (high school)

Munching on lettuce
The turtle of sparkling lights
Blinks at the mosquito-like airplane.
“Well, there go a hundred more hares.”

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Posted by on May 28, 2013 in high school



Tony’s rocks                        (new)

After the first one
He started collecting rocks
To throw at the sky–
Small flinty rocks
To slash at the absolute blue
Then smooth river stones
To go farther, deeper
Powered by a boy’s betrayal.
He hated the quick turning birds
Tracing patterns in the sky;
His feet were heavier than wings.

But they convinced him
The rocks would do no good.

Later, after the next one,
He began bringing home
Large two-handed rocks—
The kind you drop on something
Rather than heave upwards.
His muscles grew strong carrying those rocks.
He figured if he could not rip the sky
He would pound the earth
To bring the sky closer.

But they warned him against that.

So he waited
And collected rocks.

Then, after a lifetime of betrayal and loss
And waiting to throw stones at the sky
He began to build—
Big rocks on the bottom
Smooth river stones
Small flinty rocks–
And he added mud to keep them together.
And he built from the earth
To the sky

A tower

A cairn

A monument

A memorial

And he buried what he needed to
Beneath all of those stones.

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Posted by on May 27, 2013 in new poetry



Sevenling (over chips and salsa and beer)             (published in American Poetry Journal, Winter/Spring 2007)

Over chips and salsa and beer he tells me, “I’m done with her.
I’m done with her pity-me tears,
her call me everynights, her please tell me you love mes.”

Under the table I spin the ring
that encircles my newly engaged finger–

I understand his need to lie.



Baby of Fire

I am born of fire
From the molten belly of
Vesuvius and Etna and
Mountains long gone
Before man developed the language
To name them

I am not a God
Nor an elemental
Nor anything of myth

I am just a man
Like any other man
With atoms in my body
Older than the concept of time
Atoms that the earth’s crust
Spewed up
Millennia ago

I have waited for these atoms to cool
So they could form my crust
My shell
Like the leftover remains
That are mountains and islands

But inside
The atoms still burn

I am born of fire
And though I am not a mountain
Nor an island

I am still lava
Looking for the sea

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Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Uncategorized