Reading “Search Patrols,” I marvel that so much feeling, so many layers, can exist in so few lines. If you have time, listen to the podcast, which includes discussion of the poem as well as Kaminsky’s dramatic reading.
No snakes here,
but a little voice
says the mice
do you prefer,
the one that
on your plate
or the one
under the house
“Politics” first appeared here in January 2017.
Does the peach
in the lure of false
Smiling, you admit pleasure
in assigning lots
to the relief of those
and those whose answers
The freeze is coming,
Let us pray.
This first appeared here in January 2017.
We presume affliction by census,
requires no faith.
Is the roofless house a home? When you call
who answers? The vulture
spreads its wings
but remains on post. Shifting,
I note minute of angle, windage. No
regrets, only tension. Breathe in. Exhale.
“Gaza” first appeared here in July, 2014, and is included in my chapbook, If Your Matter Could Reform.
Nights at the Magdalene Laundry
Waiting, as if it could
be foreseen, as if influence and love
and truth could ease into the conversation,
she pours water into the night’s
mouth. A little longer, says the voice,
and the wind bends the grass,
reaching, without apprehension, a conclusion.
Which is not to claim verity, nor the patience of stone
crumbling along the ledge.
She leaves when nothing remains.
“Nights at the Magdalene Laundry” first appeared here in January 2016, and was subsequently published in The Basil O’Flaherty, in November 2016.
My poem, “Forced to Eat Soft Food, I Consider Options” has been published at Little Rose Magazine.
Forced to Eat Soft Food, I Consider Options
What good is pizza to one who can’t eat it? I’m thinking of a rolled crust
stuffed with prosciutto and parmesan, with onion strands and whole
basil leaves nestled among them, accompanied by a frothy pale ale,
bitter yet smooth and tuned so finely as to flit comfortably between the
notes of a liquid arpeggio. Or if not pizza, perhaps a red chili of braised
and shredded beef seasoned with ancho and chipotle and a smidgeon
of chocolate and beer, simmered slowly and served on the year’s
coldest day in front of the fireplace. I have so much and am grateful
for so little. My clothes are warm and dry, and the eggs I’ve poached
offer me sustenance and flavor and textures wrought of memories
of childhood and comfort, family and treasured books at hand. Then
I think of water and protectors, of standing rocks and centuries of
abuse and neglect and lies bred to fill coffers, and I wonder if we
could pile stones ten horses high around the cowards who spray,
bludgeon and strip search, who fire water cannons in sub-freezing
temperatures, and throw concussion grenades directly at pacifists, all
for the cause of holy oil. What good is pizza to those who can’t swallow?
I fork a bite of egg to my mouth, and choke, but only for a moment.
Written while recovering from abdominal surgery, this appeared on the blog in December 2016 just a day or two after the first draft spilled out. Unusual for me, to say the least, but it was a topical piece. Let us not forget those who stand for us and others.