My poem “Letter to Schwaner from the Toad-Swallowed Moon” has been published at The Hamilton Stone Review. Much gratitude to editor Roger Mitchell for taking this piece.
Directive to the Circumspect Texan
When the vowel trips through the consonant and knots
the tongue, remember this: artifice. A making. In one
hand, a knife. On the table, cured flesh and fermented
products. Imagine uncertain lighting, laughter, a narrow
opening and the uphill walk three days into the parametric
world of occlusion. Tell no untruths. Mention refrigerators
and your proficiency with duck. Admit failure and order
a second pilz. Listen. Discuss heat and issues of space,
personnel logistics and the pleasure of July departures.
Cite advertising and Ashbery. Savor what is rightly not
yours. Embrace inadequacy. Forego dessert. Express
true gratitude. Say y’all. Shake hands. Find the door.
“Directive to the Circumspect Texan” first appeared here in December 2015.
I offer nothing in return, and in offering, receive.
My mouth is a river
whose current bears no words,
but the silence is not of my making.
Notice the streets and their grey
hunger, the rain and the sun
passing by much
as one passes an unopened door.
That question, unvoiced.
That shiver preceding the icy touch.
You may deny my motives.
You may deny my existence and
the very notion of shape unto form.
I offer nothing, and in offering, receive.
“Bandera” first appeared here in May 2015, and was subsequently published in The Basil O’Flaherty in November 2016.
One night exhausts another,
layering sheets and blankets,
wrinkles and folds. Oh, the
body wants to still the mind,
and shedding this weight,
float freely through the night.
Your memory of sleep’s touch
withers as you lie there,
absorbing the fan’s pattern.
How wonderful, then, to finally
drift across the room and settle
in that relaxed corner, among the
cobwebs and shadows and those
frustrated hours now set aside.
I am grateful that my poem “Yellow, Lost” has been published in wildness, Issue no. 10. wildness is an imprint of Platypus Press, which published my work Interval’s Night, a mini-digital chapbook, last December in their 2412 series. If you’re not familiar with wildness, check it out. Last fall Poets & Writers named it in their article Nine New Lit Mags You Need to Read.
“A Word Bathing in Moonlight” first appeared in Eclectica in July 2017.
A Word Bathing in Moonlight
You understand solitude,
the function of water,
how stones breathe
and the unbearable weight
of love. Give up, the voice says.
Trust only yourself.
Wrapped in light, you
turn outward. Burst forth.
“Thinking Music” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
Ghazal of the Bullwhip
Who hears braided tongues lashing the glare still?
The language of pain writhing through white air, still.
Or herding cattle you pop and crack above the horizon,
pastoral and flowing. But sharp, a sonic nightmare, still.
You ask how love blossoms through decades and more.
That look, a caress, the perfect words – all quite rare, still.
Oh to be a larks head knot, strengthening when used.
Delicious hitch, unmoved water, tight square, still.
I fall, you fall. We fall together in pleated silence.
The inevitable loop of the captive’s bright snare, still.
No gods today, but voices trickling through my skull:
Bob, Bob, they say. Not again. Even you should care. Still!
* * *
In response to a comment, Daniel Schnee dared/challenged me three days ago to write a poem about a bullwhip. To make it interesting I decided to combine his theme with my latest enthusiasm, the ghazal form.