My poems “Ramekin” and “Windows: A Theology” have been published in the online anthology Igxante: An Ontology. I am grateful to editor Kate Morgan for taking these two pieces.
This poem is dedicated to the memory of haiku master and good friend Ron Evans, who provided and sponsored the title for the Tupelo Press 30/30 fundraiser challenge I participated in during August 2015. Ron passed away in September. I miss our pun-filled exchanges, his zany sense of humor and our wide-ranging discussions. Life continues, but the light has dimmed…
Calvin Coolidge — Live or Memorex?
They say the wind in Alvarado bypasses closed doors, slips through
book-laden walls and plate glass and into your dreams where it circles
and accumulates, whirling, whirling, steadily gaining force, gathering
loose pages and errant thoughts and memories too combustible to
burn, ignoring time’s compression and the gravity of dying suns, forever
counting, talking, thinking, looking up and out between the long nights.
unable to sleep he opens a window daring the wind
The 30th President of the United States breathes and writes at the junction
of an invisible house and a wheat field in Alvarado, in the guise of a
74-year old haiku poet. No longer the solemn ass, Cal laughs and speaks
and observes his two birthdays, recalling Harding’s scandals and Dorothy
Parker’s “How can they tell?” with equal relish. Sometimes he dresses
in tails and top hat, and speaks in 17-syllable phrases. Sometimes.
spitting out sake in the shadow’s glare death forestalled
Alvarado’s laureate is leaving it all behind – the presidency, the books,
the kolaches – catching the next breeze out of town, a silver-tongued
dust devil riding the word, spewing puns all the way to Indiana. But
buried in a waterproof box near Oswald’s grave, 314 cassette tapes
capable of shattering crystal carry his voice further than their unwound
lengths, whirring incessantly, celebrating life, praising the long wind.
standing in the sun wisdom blows by no questions today
I’m honored that editor Brian Geiger of Vita Brevis has republished my poem “Bone Music” as an editor’s choice selection.
The transliteration on Chinese-poems.com reads:
Spring sleep not wake dawn
Everywhere hear cry bird
Night come wind rain sound
Flower fall know how many
Hey, did she say what she couldn’t say? Read Stephanie L. Harper’s “Things I Cannot Say” to find out. And her stunning new book is available at a substantial discount during the pre-publication order period.
Things I Cannot Say
Even when you are a one-year-old jumping out of your crib
(you have no particular reason for jumping, but you do it,
& the thud you make that’s loud but doesn’t hurt,
wakes your father, the menacing resonance of whose
footsteps approaching your room overwhelms you with terror—
your own heartbeat surging in your head—which you catalogue
into your infant consciousness as a sense of mortal danger
you will run from for the rest of your life, though you have no
language to account for it yet), you already implicitly understand
that your fear is a thing you must never talk about out loud, for
the only way its malaise living in your veins could feel worse,
would be if the words you formulated & ascribed to its being
resulted in its summary negation.
___________________________________For the same, essential reason,
you still hardly believe the amazing…
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Not Blame Your Pleasure
Because vision limits options, I close my eyes.
Becoming urges patience.
The morning after I didn’t die, I took breakfast in bed.
Arrival stamps the difference between waiting and choice.
Expectation, too, extends its squeeze, rendering sleep impossible.
I ride the bike and go nowhere, or walk steadily, covering the same ground.
Which will claim me first? An occlusion, gravity or unchecked growth?
Anticipation replaces one sigh with another: I have three falls from two roofs.
A friend has named me executor of his estate, and now the race is on.
The path to the void seems straight only near its end.
My ashes will one day soil someone’s morning.
“Not Blame Your Pleasure” first appeared here in November 2015.