Senate (Tritina)

Senate (Tritina)

Not imposition, but welcome.  The way
cooperation welcomes coercion, turning the
tenor of the intended phrase, opening

the statement to interpretation, opening
a point without dissension, in the way
of politics, agreeing which fact will shape the

morning, which truth will determine the
next word and the subsequent, as if opening
the issue, claiming to have found the way,

one way, the only, but never actually opening.

* * *

A tritina might best be described as the lazy poet’s sestina, consisting of ten rather than 39 lines, with the end words of the first stanza repeating in a specific pattern in the subsequent two stanzas. The last line includes all three end words.

The patterns:
abc
cab
bca
The last line uses the end words in sequence following the pattern of the first stanza.

This first appeared on the blog in March 2017.

Portrait in Ash

blue-smoke


Portrait in Ash

In summer, sweet crushed ice, and crickets pulsing through the night.

Brake lights, and always the blurred memory of nicotine.

I recall running through the glow, laughing, fingers splayed forward,
and the ensuing sharp admonishment.

Steel, flint and spark. Blackened linings and diminishment.

How many washings must one endure to accept an indelible soiling?

In retrospect, your body still resists.

Lovely smoke uncoiling towards the moon, residue of impurities
and substance. Desire, freed and returning.

You dwell underground. I gaze at the cloud-marred sky.

* * *

“Portrait in Ash” appears in Interval’s Night, a mini-digital chapbook, available for free download from Platypus Press.

Khaty Xiong in The Ellis Review

This poem in The Ellis Review breaks my heart and lifts my day all at the same time.

There are many reasons, known and unknown, as to why I write; I don’t like to think these reasons change necessarily, but rather, amass over time—no, maybe, these reasons refine over time. These days, I am writing a lot of elegies, so if I had to answer in the present, I write because it brings me closer to the dead, and being close to what is no longer animate, in whatever state or form, makes the pain that comes with loss just a little more bearable. Even death welcomes conversation.” — Khaty Xiong

My Poem, “Scarecrow Votes,” is Up at Vox Populi

My poem, ‘Scarecrow Votes,” is up at Vox Populi, alongside Jenne Andrews’ call for revolution. Trump’s horrific separation of families policy must end! Thank you to Michael Simms for responding and publishing the poem so quickly.

The Mathematics of Dying

grackles


The Mathematics of Dying

Always the sense of negation, of winnowing those bits you once were.

The male grackle struts and displays his tail feathers.

Everything slanting towards null, even the treetops.

The female’s smaller body lacks blue overtones.

A misread signal, the unheeded warning, ignored pain.

Counting beaks, adding wings, subtracting heartbeats.

The image I possess magnifies with age, observing protocol.

An annoyance or plague, their song grows harsher with time.

Your eleven shadows still point to the noontime sun.

* * *

“The Mathematics of Dying” is included in my mini-digital-chapbook, Interval’s Nightpublished in December 2016 and made available via free download by Platypus Press in their 2412 series.

dial

June 18

Will the center hold? Read C’s poem for her opinion. I’m uncertain, but have hope.

OPTIONAL POETRY

See the dust
encrusted with dry rock

and you don’t think
flood zone,

water scouring sage brush
instead of brittle wind,

but it’s happened.
Block ice slouches

in the glass, dessert heat
demostrates the facility

of state change.
See a lazy wheeling hawk,

think gyre, gyre,
getting wider–

do things really fall apart?
Or just slump forward

in apathy?
Define a hole:

a lack of matter–
evil is nothing

but the absence
of empathy.

Say evil is nothing, see,
evil is nothing.

The hawk flies off.
Say in Bethlehem,

oh, whatever.
Say a clear blue sky

as if it belies
the existence of rain,

and when that hillside goes
pretend to be surprised–

say it, say it,
it couldn’t happen here.

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Unwinding

Relaxing in a chair


Unwinding

As in a day’s long
thread

or with cold drink
in hand,

glass sweating,
ice

shrinking, a little
sweet,

some salt, her
smile saying

relax, put up
your feet,

I’ll take care
of this,

don’t worry,
tomorrow’s

a full moon
away.

fmoon

“Unwinding” first appeared here in January 2017.