Filing

The earth’s core is iron-nickel spinning inside tightly wrapped coils throwing off a magnetic field. Prick my paper-thin skin and lava-blood rises up to fill it in. Call them mountains. Call them islands. Call them cliffs. The ocean out and in while a diver times his entrance. My core is iron-nickel. It’s in the center….

Ten Degrees

The temperature in the reactor is a hundred and eighteen degrees, Precise calculations based on mountains of theory had led us to know the unequivocal optimum for fuel-burning efficiancy. At that temperature an engineer can survive for an hour before they require time-off for relief. Forget your next question about a cost/benefit analysis. Forget your…

By The Third Book Cyrus Begins To Wonder If He Lives In A Novel

Every time scientists come close to recreating the first line of the universe something else breaks. Each of his three wives with the same middle name. As soon as they discover dark matter they find out it’s not that dark. The definition of dark matters change. All those people with alliterative, instructive, character defining names….

What They Never Told

What they never told the innocent who fumbled into the fanning petal of the lotus, soles up to the ceiling, was to forgo homework. Study instead these stretches and bends, focus on learning to fold deeply. * What they never told the misfit besieged by bullies was that the peace he dreamed was common, basic…

A Shell On A Beach

A shell on a beach appears designed, born of intention. Hot springs bubble minerals up in the desert. Wind around a butte creates something beautiful. The land transforms. Go back to the ocean, before that to skies swirling above lakes, sorting ourselves out in our molten youth. Metals to the center, stone on the edge,…

Meditation, 2nd Hour

I stare at this wall and want to know myself. Built-up on beams and dry wall. Plastered over, painted to match. Holes cut out for windows, covered in blinds, filled with panes. Tiny holes cut for cables carrying energy, data, communication. Walls hung with artwork, sayings, photos of a past I must recall. What is…

Dandelions Grow

“It’s too mean,” in a field of green, a little boy refusing to mow screams, “to cut down all the yellow trees. They bring such happiness to me.” “But you know,” his mother scorned, “we can’t let dandelions grow. They’re a weed.” Her flower beds all trimmed and prim. Her roses on every stem, pricker-free….

Convergence, 1952 – Jackson Pollack

Space never knew it was space, faint and light thought no thoughts, could not correlate stroke nor shade. Paint knew but could not say. Yellow fancied the rules between thin and wide. Some spark gave a hint to life. Someone spoke of war, some of scarcity, or sex. What is the stain but the story?…

So Simple It Moves

Recall the clouds when you were six How quickly they would twirl and mix Painting in their whites and grays Setting your imagination ablaze A sea horse kissing a wispy hand A whale on a trophy stand A mother’s arms spreading wide Your old dog Scotty on a water slide You know looking back that…

A Girl In Pigtails

-for Lysa A girl in pigtails sits on a pedestal, her toes dangle off the edge in rhythm except when she stands to skip along the stone’s sharp edge to play pirouette, balance beam. A girl, having never known a lie except perhaps to hide a present or a surprise, never having known a God-promise…

The Entangled Muse

It must have been ’96. A coffee house in Chicago while on spring break. The air was cold tinged and the lake laced still with snowflakes. I saw my bride sipping from a blue mug, manilla pouches in sorted piles by steam at a round table. I crossed the tiles between us. She is trying…

Two A.M.

On the last few stairs you only want for wood flooring, unconcerned if friends like you or the waitress was flirting. Cold slats on clammy skin confirm you’ve got nowhere to fall. Crawl to the bathroom. Hold yourself up by the porcelain bowl. Find the seat to keep your weight. You’ve done something. Prayed too…

Two-By-Four

We stood in the pit of your not yet existence in the mud and wind beside towering piles of two-by-fours on property measured with sticks affixed with pink streamers and said we thought you must be a man. Here, a stud for the pantry. Here a brace for the floor. Men own houses, fill them…

Paella On An Large Hot Ceramic Plate

The perfect recall of saffron, chicken, clams, sausage, oils, and shrimp, the interaction of foreign spices the perfect recall of which would render every other dish inferior, eating pointless. Memory won’t let us be thin, won’t let us be sated by the sex we had last night, won’t recall our losses by curdling our intestines…

Fruitful

Amor can feel like armor, like a suit that suits you, a shield to reason. When strawberries are fresh, the raspberries dark and pock marked and ripe their juice hits your chin as the scents soak your lips. We’re shaped like this, doling pleasure to pleasure. A man with strong hands. An ass that’s a…

One Night In New York City

There’s a red light on a telephone pole along the road where I lived. The nowhere road runs along the river that been since before the before. The river melts from ice in a thousand unsettled towns in the mountains and by the time it winds it’s way to New York City, it’s famous. New…

To Incarnate

This hurts. Each waking morning when the janitor must shutter the theatre, when the plumber must purge the sludge from the pipes, when dancers and audience are thrust into the sun-oven light. Each day to incarnate; a glass of water, a thigh or an egg. Each day to set weight on meat feet, in cotton,…

Duel Addictions

I have two hobbies I seem unable to stop doing. Despite changes in location, situation, despite job and marriage, two addictions I fight with, succumb to, loathe, and enjoy. Neither seems to have any hope of bringing me any money, and both, in their current technological incarnation, require me to sit in front of a…

Beatriz

We had been flirting for months, little gestures between freshmen that made incidental contact in the hallways worthwhile without risking the relationship I was having trouble exiting. One night, studying in the commons, Beatriz suggests we hang out in her room. And I let loose, tell her I would love to, but that my intentions…

The rain is beautiful…

The rain is beautiful softening from snow gentle patter on roof warm spatters on skin flowing body back to birth water in which we were born carry us toward spring land everywhere in song

Ship On Stormy Seas

-after a painting by Ivan Aivazovsky I wonder where the light comes from, not the peek from the ceiling, that could be any orgasm, but the light from beneath that shines as it chills us and chokes. Light from our lantern of surrender. There is no safety. No where to rest in this oak we…

Pet Me

Graham is a very good dog. He wants you to know that when he needs something, that he is a very good dog, an obedient dog, a well-taught dog who is willing to sit posing and ready for whatever treat or reward or filled water bowl or door opening or toy he happens to want…

Being

I have felt the consciousness of my skin slip ever so slightly from its supporting bone. I have imagined my torso and head as a lowercase i appended with animatronic branches. I have sensed myself to be an imperceptibly small light behind the protruding ridge of my ribcage, connecting out through fiber optics to every…

What’d I Say

My room is a mess, growing up, little more than a closet turned on its side and dumped. The floorboards lost beneath a pile of broken plastic and clothes, both clean and dirty. No one ever comes over the play. At the top of her lungs my mother decrees that I am grounded until it…

Fine

It easy, no matter where you move, to find a reasonably good chicken wing, one whose meat is juicy enough, and whose accent is both flavorful and hot without trying to melt your face off. Some are too dry, some are overcooked, and some try to use excess sauce to make up for other inferiorities….

Do It Anyway

I’m sitting in an Ethics in Politics class next to a square jawed conservative Republican, having a debate about the recently elected Bill Clinton’s stance on women in the military. Jack or John or Jake, I can’t remember his name, leans over to me quietly and says, “You know, kissing up to women is not…

The Long Shadows

In the morning an elongated figure darkens the frosted sidewalk ahead of me able in action to leap every bank avoid every drift climb each curb while staying connected at my feet which lift in turn off the pavement with a satisfying sweep. In the evening he lags behind, drags what’s left of my identic…

Orchard

Crisp meat of the tree. Red beating heart of Satan. Lobes of frail white leaves hung heavy from the rain. Knots on branches filling gaps in the sky when we’d look up Laying scattered and bruised on the hard earth after play. Set into rolled paper bags by love’s lunch, and gravity. At rest beneath…

Beginning

Give me an empty room. Give me a new idea. Give me half a dozen people and an afternoon. Give me a goal. Well, not a goal. I am not good at goals, even worse at checklists. But tell me your big ideas so I know what you’re aiming for. Inspire me. I’ll pass that…

It might become good writing

I spent an hour this morning writing. I have this great assignment from a poetry seminar I am taking and I thought I would jump into it. I narrowed down the possibilities to five prompts and went to. With each, I had no idea where to start and less idea where it was going. With…

“I love you.” A definition

Old High German lubōn – to love a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection sexual passion or desire to need or require to benefit greatly from — When I said it, I meant I had lost my mind, that I could no longer think about you…

The Point

The glass cases were built into the wall across from the main gym. Filled to the brim with trophies and plaques honoring students long graduated who’d brought home this or that championship. I was fixated on a basketball trophy draped with a cut net from the sixties when his hand grabbed a clump of hair…

A More Perfect Union

The copy and paste feature on my iPhone is wonky. It’s not a feature from the original OS, and makes more sense on the 3.5 inch screen it debuted on, rather than the huge iPhones and iPads that exist today. It’s hard to select, hard to choose an action, and contains nested menus for yet…

Inaugural

My fellow citizens, today we celebrate the experiment and the journey that is The United States of America. I am honored and humbled to stand before you to add a line in that story, to begin, with you, the work of writing the next chapter. Let us start this chapter talking about success. American individualism…

The Space

It was an argument when I was a kid. After a period at the end of a sentence. Does anyone even care anymore? The distance between this thought and the next. Between the harsh word and the retort. Between the forbidden word and the fist. Between the impulse and the kiss. Between the dump of…

Mano-a-Mano

I am his, mom. His arms. His hair. His aorta. His aroma. This animas-gizmo transmits charisma, charm, thirst, origins, antics… (tho’ not racism, scorn, or machismo) This miscasting, it stings. This arson, it harms. This scorn… I, his cartoonish match in this gnostic saga. This shaman. This artist. I am his scars. His shortcomings. I…

These Dogs

I’ve mused before that my dogs are Buddhas, a not original idea which I copped from Mark Doty about how they live permanently in the here and now, in this very beautiful moment. But, they are also the rascal voices of my head; imps, goblins, the sweet fur incarnate of my monkey-brain. One wants to be loved, not…

Stream

J., the wisest man I’ve known, told me once that he wanted two women, one to write about, and one he could take care of. He talked about being dedicated more to a place than to people, or was it people rather than place. I can never remember. I’ve tried both, loving the location, its…

The Mechanism

Fear nothing more than the focused, for they will be the ones to carry the great leaps and bounds of the species to fruition with their ability to see the distracted rest of us as mere tools to achieve whatever end on which they are fixated and to ignore those things which so fascinate and…

Who Kills With A Gun or A Review of the Unbelievers

I wonder sometimes where the massacre would have started, where people would have hid, which teacher would have stood like a shield and which might have tripped me. The voice of that belittled fifteen year old wonders still about the logistics of gym class, with its locker storage and sheer number of targets, its embarrassment…

What Does It Take To Heal?

The challenge with capitalism is that it is a game of playing the angles. Any edge you can get, be it political, technological, parasitic, personal, or financial the system encourages. Any attempt to even the playing field, to inject some reasonableness is seen as taking away someone’s advantage, labeled as an affront to fairness, an…

Poetry Riddle Incantation Pun

A student struggles with a project-topic, trying to put into words how music says something they feel, even when it doesn’t have lyrics. I love the word round, the word leave, the word still. Round like lips. Round as an approximation of location. Round as in math – ridding oneself of the remainder. We sing in…

The First Technology

The first technology was fire. We have no way of proving that, of course, but also no way to disavow it. It came when a lightning bolt struck a tree and passed from limb to limb until some great ancestor made sense of it. They passed it from limb to limb, warming those in the…

Once

We looked down. Which has many problems with it. First, it isn’t so much we as I, being that there is only one… what would you call it… atmosphere. Although, with the word atmosphere the thought is usually about areas closer to space realms. In reality, what I mean starts at the ground. I guess……

I Keep Remembering

“You’re trying to remember something too important to forget.” – Naomi Shihab Nye I keep remembering ……..(I keep forgetting) some secret passage. ……..(a being in a doorway) Trying to shake loose ……..(from my remembering) the apostles of compassion. ……..(who wanted this world) The words are absurd ……..(I saw you freeing us) poor sticks for spark-making. ……..(your…

Success for X

A friend of mine works for a company I would love to work for. He is not someone you are ever going to see on stage, nor someone who would get chewed out and fired after a product launch. But, he is part of the backbone that holds up that organization. Ok, maybe not the…

The Game as a Game

Professor Benjamin and Professor McNitt would be at each other’s throats, and having them one class after the other could get dizzying. One would tell us the reason a burger in the cafeteria was so expensive was because the college hired a private food services company who had to make a profit. It would be…

Of Flesh and Not Flesh

I’m curled up in the tiniest space in which I can fit. And not fit comfortably, just fit. It’s 1997 and I am visiting a friend in Chicago. I took the bus up along a rumbling highway. No, I took a plane. The space allotted to me is little more than the space for cargo….

Out of Myself

If two cannot be one I’ll meet the day as nighttime. You’ll shine while I take my leave. Wave to me as I pass by completely. While you sleep I’m out on the town drinking of ink and mad at myself. Weighed by love, I’ll never catch up. You do the growing of what everyone…

Getting religion

Back in college we group of friends invented a religion, The First International Church of Funk and Soul. The idea was that if you did these three things every day you would unify and align yourself with the divine forces of the universe. You could touch God. The three things were: 1. Eat good pastry:…

A Favor

If you see me fidget ing, my fingers wound round some un seen object, a silver ring, a rubber band, a drop let of dried glue, ask me what’s wrong. Some thing’s wrong. My fingers are searching for a fix.

Why Washington Square Outshines Anna Begins

Time is an effective filter for art. The stories and manifestos that mean so much on the day of their release wash away. The artifacts that somehow sneak their way from box to box, dorm room to apartment to house, from hard drive to hard drive blossom with new meaning. One of the cool things…

Some Late Summer Days

Some late summer days in the fresh pale evening your garage door snapped shut fillets chopped into chocolate chili you realize you’ve never lived in a world with Janis Joplin. Some late summer days this lapse is okay, call it poor timing, each lover lost in some other year. Some late summer days this pain is the…

Though I’d Rather

I could leap about the room howling, spinning into storms of exuberance, a hurricane laughing. Though I’d rather remind you “It’s raining,” just outside our window, a light dew on the lawn like tears. Softly. Gently. Cool nourishment invisible like breathing. You. Safe, out on a limb, in a nest, curled in my arms. The…

An Observation Of Weather

Back east the day starts out mired in cloud-like blankets, as if it spent the night twisting itself in thunderclouds and great huge swabs of rain. But there is hope that by afternoon when the sun has burned the tops of its biscuits, some clarity and fresh air will break through. Out west, in the…

The Worst Lesson

The worst lesson I ever learned came in sixth grade when Mr. Fabiano, trying to help a nerdy kid get beat up less, taught me the word “stoicism”. No, the worst lesson came when Mr. Hansen, in eighth grade biology, taught us about homeostasis. No, the worst lesson might have been in the Tao, the…

About Your Happiness

Here’s the problem, my friend.  You’ve told me everything about what you’ve been up to and the sum total of it seems to be that you… are not happy.  Now I know you can point to many good things in your life, blessings, gifts, scars well-earned.  You tell me how much you love the crowds,…

Hear

Here I am, up again, my friend, up at some ungodly hour meant more for dreaming they laying out schemes of attack on a day for which I will now be more poorly rested and therefore less effective. Here I am, pondering again without the use of hallucinogens how one might make time travel or…

Why We Lock The Shed

He lies on the couch by the window, supine (blinds spun shut) in the pre-sunrise. What ripens (and rottens) inside ensues in chaos, sharp like pine needles, ever green (giving up little), as in the scents of candles. His penis is a prune, heart in resin, a knot tied in his spine. What sense in…

A Yellow Sun Rises Over A Yellow House

A yellow sun rises over a yellow house. A tree impedes the pristine scene growing from angled eaves. A pair of birds flitter translucent across the rooftop in the beams. The reflection of cars warped in a window. A roof tile loose and peeling. What could be dust or the body of a moth tugged…

Love Light Air Life

For weeks I’ve been wrestling in my head, with the nature of consciousness, and I want you to understand where I’ve come to. If I started talking out loud I wouldn’t be able to explain it, so I am hoping writing it down can flesh out some of it, and give you a peek into…

Desert

Nothing endures. Even bone sculptures become howling and dust. Oceans hold eons-old pirate gold but no one mines the treasures of arid seas until the rains come. Till husks from holds break open, flint and swords, blood and flesh, rusty plugs and oar-locks. Until bundles of hooks on snapped lines reach for soil and light….

L’amour

It’s as if, swimming upstream, I carried with me not just his bushy eyebrows and yellow toenails, but a belt and pair of crooked spectacles, cock- eyed view of the world. Raised too sophisticated to give voice to his dogs and hoses, the martinis and subtle winks he aped from Bogart movies. His urge to…

…Said The Teacher To The Student

What you’ve handed me are seeds. What I want from you are trees: whole groves of oranges, fruit hung plump and bruised from bent limbs. Better yet, hand me these same husks dug up and cut open, oozing with all these possibilities.

On Want

I have tried to write this essay several times. I have failed using flowery language, academic speak, spiritual overtones, and psycho-babble. But it never came out the way I wanted. And that is the point of it. Want. Want is a disease, a psychosis. It is an error of the mind and of the body….

Three Christmases

In the story of the Christ child, today is not the day to think about what happens at the end of the book, but at the beginning. A child is born surrounded by love and prophecy and mysticism. Look around you today and seek that which appears to be the tiniest, the most weak, the…

A Bird In Hand

Memory littered with lust from our twenties when the right beverage could spark a conversation, neck rub to relieve tension, an understanding of struggle. Then, beyond our ego and separation, we knew someone was waiting at a table, sent there by forces greater, having an innocuous latte, shaking sugar packets, fidgeting with a zipper, hoping…

Dig

Play me backwards to capture the slurs unspoken by non-voices who scream insults and prevent me from seeing and seeing me. Dust and scratches on the surface of the mirror I use to get ready to keep the compliments coming from strangers I can not incorporate. Buy therapy. Buy a different outfit to fit in….

Down By The Riverside

As the adolescent creek reached a plateau, we were thrown together, where we played like children, assuming the old spiritual theatre of sex and unemployment, we had invented. Notes we grew up hearing in our separate minds, come together in this tin can band, thawed from ice, tumbling over falls, picked and strummed along each…

No Turning Back

Some stand sure-footed on the hard dry edge, bank on its uneroded topsoil as a platform from which they can dip a toe, safely dangle a leg, place one foot, then two up to the ankles, stand in the fast running rapids of reality, icy stream whipping round their feet. Some ease in to their…

Broken Hearted Savior

You go through life screaming, gladhanding and politicing, piling on lingo to gather votes on the promise some topic with your tonic gets a hearing. I opt out of that logic, coiling, instead like a snake, or a glass of pinot, insistent like a hangnail. You ride first class for the optics. I’m the GPS…

Somewhere, My Love

Somewhere, my love I could love you like it’s 1953 again, or at least like the ’53 I imagine, a colorized version of Black and White America where I’m a diligent worker in the middle-management of a family-owned factory, fretting about helping our neighbors without enough money. I could love you with a kiss at…

Fish

It’s faster than a heartbeat when you look at me, faster than a blink, than my fingers pounding out a text as I drift down retail streets. We should have this out in the same city. You should be howling. Me claiming innocence, you overreacting. Instead the snow’s piling up, each flake attacking. Capitals can’t…

New Rose

Love intensity I once thought A measure of sexy That I am you And you me Before our first date That I know your soul I claim Before your name Love intensity How you tip me Drinking coffee If we never speak Matters nothing Married anyway In our soul-scape Steamed windshield On clean sheets Love…

No.3

In a house of five, allegiances are born and die as quickly as the evening meal is thawed and cooked and eaten. Toys lie black and blue about the floor, love is being offered, on loan, and ignored. In a house of five, someone lays in wait for a party or a date, for a…

When I Paint My Masterpiece

The brush does not move, nor the canvas, nor the wrist of the artist but the sea rippling along the shore of Italy where my great-great Grandmother stands, ankle deep waiting for the pescatori to return home to shore dinghies bobbing along the horizon, her husband, her sons weighted down with work, made dark by…

Float On

Can anyone tell which door we used to get into this room, cause I can’t seem to recall and the walls appear polished seamlessly to a high sheen, the floor and ceiling incomprehensibly far away? I can’t imagine we fell from a great height and survived, nor that we jumped on our own into this…

Giorgio by Moroder

Mom said “Today, we bake a cake.” I was eight, and a boy, and my toys were plastic cast into weapons teaching me to hate, and cars teaching me to escape. She showed me spoons, and cups, and eggs, round bottomed things. Taught me to measure, and the pleasure it takes to create. The batter…

Rockin’ Gypsies

To impress no one, we run to the store for an onion, for salt from the sea, for Kleenex in a box of paisley. We unlocked door to butt- in on a simple question, how one and a half baths become a studio? To impress no one, we set the table with a vase of…

Long Slow Distance

I’ve heard it said, by fellows in tunics and scientist eggheads, that we, meaning all things that aren’t nothing, no things, are made up of subatomic, quantum, finely-tuned strings vibrating, as in a well- translated koan, our unmeaning brought over coherently. If that’s true, then we, a metaphor for four billion years of tuning turn…

Urge v. Will

When I see someone doing something cool or amazing or difficult I have an urge to try that. The urge rises up inside me. I’m inspired. But soon enough that urge fades away. Sometimes I have the urge to go hang-gliding, or to swim/bike/run an Ironman, or to find a racetrack and drive a NASCAR….

So Good

Sung last night, when we pulled curtains tight and blocked each bulb of light from streaking our window. We sang in darkness thick, of sweet lyrics, of wit. This morning late slept so when the rope broke the sun was miles above the horizon, overwhelmed by love strung bright as sweat seeping between clouds. I…

Pompeii

If any control befell us we might first give up the sneeze, it’s strike-like explosion where breath and impulse mix in an inch of choice we seem unlikely to inhabit. We might first give up the in-breath that escapes when a (wo)man well-made up in our head walks, alive and real, in and we prove…

Constructive Summer

Harkin had the worst handwriting and specs as thick as the haze hormones lay on the brain so it came as an epiphany when we discovered he was the delinquent behind the graffiti monsters whose growls were so beautiful our grandparents pooled their trusts to purchase the building and leave it to us untouched except…

Cosmic Love

We thought we knew– in the womb, tied into the heartbeat, tied into the grumble of a belly, tied into muffled voices– the totality of love and being. We thought we knew– after the first fall, first cut of skin and blood, first tumble down stairs, when our parents picked us up for hugs– the…

These Days

On a thick pub tabletop we’ve crammed in as many empty glasses as can fit, as many stories as can fit, drinking to the years since we were sure about what color hair love must have, what dollars and what frames we’d work for. On the gravel outside a four-door sedan by a mini-van. In it…

Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos

The Buddha was born to privilege and died beneath the lotus tree. We were raised in green lush forests of ignorance, our stance on political issues taking into account neither far off nor near history, the world outside our palace, down by the river, in the Ozarks. Buddha was born the day he embraced the…

Art Star

a pond shines – in a hollow inside my brain, besides a hill and lawn – silverly with black carp sucking at sun they cannot breathe in

Jumper

The slights and lack of light embossed on a first grade face are too deep to be placed by just the snarl of a bully casting out by a girl who won’t enjoy kissing for another decade some souls are born under-built for this world as if an appendage failed to grow in some spend…

Video Killed The Radio Star

The final verdict handed down in court today,said death must be administered swift, without delay.“But he’s so old,” his lawyers begged for some mercy,called his client fat and weak and unsexy. With all the bandwidth suckled up by video,the TV sets don’t even play the songs no more.And radio’s just morphed into this other thing,living…

You Know

In the deep blood oxygen deprived morning, blue like a bruise beneath skin, knowing Ptoelmy’s hot body, this world, of which we are just sex, nothing but a fungus filled with seeds of consciousness absorbed by the stomach’s inner lining, I feels still, like the sun rolls back in, always, in a day, or a month,…

Whatnot

In the jungle          a muggy umbrella slumps above the canopy,                    lumber in its soggy blur          feeding equally every germ                    and each gene.   My father          built Manhattan to stay separate                    from the embers of a forest, his sleep daily          deprived by the bugler’s jeer of Reveille.   We’re imbued          with a dank mist that merges…

MMMBop

I loved her lips, honestly, the oligarchy of senses swearing scarlet skin sitting atop organs opened an entryway into other dominions. I’ve sworn since that I sense energy in the mannerisms of mystics migrating by, though my cortex claims plainly this is prejudice playing. The cliffs are distant, as is the kitchen counter, unreachable as…

You’ve Got A Friend

We love the teenager’s earnest first album, unfettered by the lilt of a head at a concert off campus, the flirting curves of possibility. Their flawless lust and heartfelt promise, before the prick of success and nights indulged in rooms they should never lie down in. We love the braggadocio of a world-view cradled in…

Kashmir

i. Mama would remind to scrub behind ears, as if saying some corners you won’t remember need to be cleaned. Papa would decry the Democrats and the Japs, and the schools these days with their coddling ways and the new fangled math. Kashmir— siege at the top of the world ii. Mama would warn not…

Daddy Was A Real Good Dancer

Joe wants to know how old I am (coworker banter). This year I’m three feet and sixty pounds turning in circles of grass stained dungarees. Or sixteen and freed for the next hundred miles by five gallons of gasoline. I’m simple, sun-faced, and happy. This year, I contain the first few moments inside a woman,…

The Downeaster Alexa

Our great uncles had scraped knuckles and loved living in a time and place where each complaint was accompanied by a plate of well earned protein. If they could see us today they’d whoop and holler at the lack of dust and clay we breathe to earn and boil and burn that plate. Our aunts…