A Word is Not a Home


A Word is Not a Home

A word is not a home
but we set our tables

between its walls,
cook meals, annoy

friends, abuse ourselves.
Sometimes I misplace

one, and can’t find
my house, much less

the window’s desk
or the chair behind it.

But if I wait, something
always takes form in the fog,

an arm, a ribcage, a feathered
hope struggling to emerge.

Inept, I take comfort
in these apparitions,

accept their offerings,
lose myself in mystery,

find shelter there
in the hollowed curves.

Spring Dawn (after Meng Haoran)



This morning I slept through dawn
and the screeching birds, long
after last night’s wild wind and rain.
But who can count the fallen flowers?


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


This adaptation first appeared on the blog in November 2014.

Journal Publications (March – May 2017)

Links to my publications, March – May 2017.

West Texas Literary Review

Quiet Letter
“Memory and Closets”
“Cutting Down the Anniversary Pine”

LCk Publishing
Sault St. Marie

Rat’s Ass Review
“Sensing My Dismay at the Election Results, My Wife’s Dog Presses against Me”

La Presa
“Even the Light”

When to Say Goodbye

GFT Presents: One in Four
“Scarecrow Believes”
“The Boy Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn”

Echo Charm

Echo Charm

Right on left, or returned

what circles back, unbroken
yet opened?

Your mouth centers me.

Diminished, I rise, listening.

Grass rubbing against grass.
The lizard’s scarlet throat, swelling.

Not refusal, but denial.

Eyes the color of blood.

You practice your words carefully,
repeating each special phrase.

Blood the color of sky.

Sky the color of eyes.

And always the warm shade.

Journal Publications (January – February 2017)

Links to my publications for January – February 2017:

The Slag Review
“Scarecrow Pretends”

Sourland Mountain Review
“I Praise the Moon Even When She Laughs”

Silver Birch Press “Me at 17” Prose and Poetry Series
“Letter from Kansas”

Postcard Poems and Prose Magazine
“Runaway Bus”

Glass: A Journal of Poetry
“What We Say When We Say Nothing”

“Palinode (sol, ischemia, night)”

Steel Toe Review
“How to Do Nothing”
“And All Around, the Withered”

B. McClellan’s Weblog (International Poetry Month)
“From Left to Right I Ponder Politics and Kanji”
A Brief History of Babel”

Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art
“Henry Lee Remembers Grandmother’s Garden”
“What are You Going to Do (Cento)”
“The Draft”
“Diverting Silence”