Monthly Archives: January 2014


I run my fingers down the valley of your back
Following the dry river of your spine.
Each bone juts out
Like a dinosaur’s forgotten dream
Covered over with your skin.

Long ago
Glaciers must have moved here
To form this magical channel
That now
My tiny, human fingers

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Posted by on January 31, 2014 in old discoveries


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still life                     (published Midwest Poetry Review, 1996)

I lie here
          in your painted anguish,
                    a naked model
                    for you to recreate.
I don’t mind
          the lack of privacy
          but your brushstrokes
                    leave me bruised
          and I know
                    it will show
                    on your canvas.
You like coloring
          your anguish
          with me
                    and I, the model,
                    accept this.

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Posted by on January 30, 2014 in previously published


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When I am younger…
(for Eric D. Nelson)

When I am younger
I will listen
For the singing of crickets
When the sun goes down.
I will dare
To jump rope in the front yard
Calling out
The names of friends.
I will sit in a grassy field
And wonder why the wind
Picks only certain blades
To dance.
I will pick a certain blade
And hold it between my thumbs
And whistle for the wind
To come dance with me.

When I am younger
I will turn over rocks
To find the secret life of worms.
I will carve my height
In the door frame
To measure my growth.
I will read myself to sleep
With a flashlight under the covers.

One day
When I am younger
I will stop
And hear my name
Whistled in the wind
To come dance
To come dance.

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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in old discoveries


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In my mind…

In my mind
All that is poignant has died:
      the silence of the arrow
      as it listens to the wind,
      the starry reflections
      on a crow’s glass eye,
      the lonely strength of a cactus
      in a desert thunderstorm.
My mind has been surrounded
By the birth
Of talk show chatter,
The rainbow reflection
Of driveway oil slicks,
And the beeps of microwave popcorn

I have waited for far too long,
Waited for something I never recognized,
Something to appear bright and golden.
But now I am lost
With only the idea of sunlight remaining.

Yesterday I realized
There is someone out there
Who will dig my grave
And I started writing him a poem
But I could not see anything
Except the shovel and the dirt.

I could not even imagine his hands.

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Posted by on January 28, 2014 in old discoveries


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I am the immigrant child,
the one who slipped into our family
when the borders were down.
I did not know the customs
nor speak the language–
      the shouts and insults
      and pity-me tears
      followed by stammered promises
      of change and love.
As a child
I stood in the corner
failing to adapt myself
to this other country
and hoping
not to be sent away.
They could not talk to me
except in broad gestures
of overdone emotions
so they eventually just
focused on each other
and just hoped I would find my own way.

years later,
now that I have made my life good,
they look down on me,
the immigrant,
the one who refused
to learn our native tongue.

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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in old discoveries


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Discovered thinking of the beginning,
he said, “Now we are essential.
The answer, the change, is to float.
Engage the happy balance
in a world where balance
is continuous.”

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Posted by on January 26, 2014 in springboards


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then why do I call it love?

you have swirled me
into a tiny ball of dust
moving with the gusts of your breath

sometimes I fly through the light
and shine like a little lost feather
or a microscopic world

and sometimes, just sometimes,
you let me land on your shoulder
or your hair
and I travel with you for a day
feeling the power
of your touch

but I always know
at the end of the day
you will shower
and wash me off

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Posted by on January 25, 2014 in old discoveries


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