My poem “The Bitter Celebrates” is live at Amethyst Review. Thank you, Sarah Law, for taking this piece.
My poem, “Chilled Soba,” has been published by Kikwetu: A Journal of East African Literature. I am grateful to the editors for accepting my poem.
This talk of destiny and exceptionalism and the incessant
push towards terror inflames my metaphorical innards.
Birds may kill, but they don’t practice genocide and never
erase history’s missteps with published falsities; their songs
remain true. Not so with man. What grows importance is
not what you hold but what another has in his grasp, no matter
how tenuous. I think of water and how some would charge
for the right to drink, or withhold it from those who cannot
pay. And air? Whose breath defines the dollar? Or the fear
that a distant neighbor might receive a benefit that you
neither need nor desire. Crows claim territory but roam
with the season, adapt as necessary. While they may provoke
curses in their wake, their damage is temporary and they
don’t poison for profit. If I could leave my post what station
would I accept? Having shared my days with sky-bound
friends, how could I choose another? They sing and swoop
and cooperate among the winds, taking only what they need.
They neither hoard nor covet. They steal but don’t swindle.
Their wings lift no grudges. Even gravity respects them.
“Scarecrow Replies” first appeared in MockingHeart Review in May 2018. Thank you to editor Clare Martin for her generosity and many kindnesses.
What if you close your eyes
and your throat relinquishes
the morning’s bright
fingers, freed from bruises.
Suppose that particular night
never happened, the way
a wave crashing ashore
empties itself and trickles
back in separate communities,
mingling yet aloof, a
diminishing cortege. What
is the question? Take this
spoon. Fill it with saltwater.
Upend it into the pail. Observe.
“Saltwater” was first published in Nine Muses Poetry in May 2018.
My poem “The Theory and Practice of Rebellion” is up at Vox Populi, nestled between Daniel R. Cobb’s essay “Democracy Dies without You,” and Naomi Shihab Nye’s powerful poem “United.” Fellow citizens of the USA, this election will change our lives. Vote!
My poem, “Ghazal of the Half” is live at Manzano Mountain Review. Thank you to editors Justin Bendell and Kristian Macaron for taking this piece.
Scarecrow Sings the High Lonesome
Nothing about me shines or sparkles. If asked,
I would place myself among the discarded —
remnant cloth and straw, worn, inedible,
useless, if not for packaging intended to
convey a certain message, which I of course
have subverted to “Welcome, corvids!” Even
my voice lies stranded in the refuse, silent
yet harmonious, clear yet strangled, whole
and unheard, dispersed, like tiny drops of
vapor listing above the ocean’s swell, enduring
gray skies and gulls and those solemn rocks
bearing their weight against the white crush.
Why do I persist? What tethers a shadow
to its body? How do we hear by implication
what isn’t there? Bill Monroe hammered
his mandolin, chopping chords, muting,
droning, banging out incomplete minors
to expectant ears, constructing more than
a ladder of notes climbing past the rafters
into the smoky sky. What I sing is not
heard but implied: the high lonesome, blue
and old-time, repealed. Crushed limestone
underfoot. Stolen names, borrowed sounds.
Dark words subsumed by light, yellowed,
whitened, faded to obscurity, to obscenity.
“Scarecrow Sings the High Lonesome” first appeared in Crannóg, in June 2017.