Sunday, February 28, 2016

So, I’ve been backsliding (toward enlightenment, perhaps?). Life has been one fire erupting after another the last few weeks, and it’s been difficult to carve out space for poetry. But I started a couple of weeks ago doing a ten-minute free write every morning, just to be writing something. Then I had the idea to make a word cloud out of those free writes at the end of the week. So here’s the one from last Friday. Guess what one of my big current worries is??

Friday, January 15, 2016

And it occurred to her

And it occurred to her as the cold, hard wood of the pew dug into her shoulder blades and pinched off circulation at the backs of her thighs that the Church was not unlike a zombie: all of its parts moving more or less as they should
except for the breath
which didn’t move at all, and the eyes, senseless and stagnant in their sockets. And as the ruddy priest expostulated on and on about sin and grace—but more about sin—she thought:
There must be a way of extracting the necessary meaning for my life that’s more attuned, more innate, more efficacious than fracking through this wasteland.
And her thighs unstuck and rose off the bench, and her feet pivoted toward the aisle, and her legs and torso followed her feet over the stone floor toward the dusty beams of sunlight at the back door. And she pried the door open onto a world of of blue skies and gnats and passing traffic and green grass littered with pale pink blossoms. And the breath of the Earth lifted and swayed through her and filled her lungs and veins from her throat to her toes.
And she swayed with the Breath, and began to dance.

Friday, December 18, 2015

backsliding toward enlightenment

I haven’t been
on my yoga mat for weeks.

I haven’t been
practicing my arpeggios.

I haven’t been
eating my greens.

I haven’t been
doing my Kegels.


It’s all still there.

And there is no
destination. No

There is only new
and new
and new.

Friday, November 27, 2015


If the Buddha were huge
       (or if I were tiny)

I would climb his splayed thigh
       crawl along the hip crease
       nuzzle toward the navel

I got caught under his belly roll

Then I’d wriggle and tickle
       and ride his laughter
       like the waves of the

Friday, November 20, 2015

Are we not those friends?

I ran into my friend at the library yesterday
one of my no-bullshit friends —of course
we were both at the library

She looked ashamed —how

to convey that though I do appreciate
the recognition that shame
is the conventionally expected

response when one runs into someone whose
messages one has not been returning —between
us not


take offense at bouts of anti
socialness? where I have been myself more
times than I can count  —I know

the necessity when emerging from
such bouts of a friend who will pick
up with you where you left off  —with no

punitive throughmotiongoing recompensorial
formalities. Are we not

those friends?

Friday, November 13, 2015

free verse ii

a boundary is not itself
     a prison

Manhattan’s architecture is so
     much more interesting
     than Omaha’s

Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015


The trees are still green but
        yellow leaves are falling
        from them.
Blown by the wind, they fall
        diagonally rather than
They twirl and twirl and twirl until
        they hit the ground.

Friday, October 16, 2015


You and I have now been together long enough to go through three
bottles of tequila
longer than it sounds since
I mean the ones I buy in one point seven five liter casks. Cheaper
per ounce that way
thriftiness my Mormon mother instilled in a home whose filmy
residue still sticks to my skin.

* * *

I know a Honduran woman who has a face that assures
me that existence is ultimately
in the same way that crisp
sweet October apples do. I teach her English with pop songs. She asks if
the ‘ache’ in ‘heartache’
is the same as the ‘ache’ in ‘headache’
I say yes and wince
at the lie. I remember the excruciating
shine over her eyes
when she told me that she has not
been to her own country
for fourteen years
and my mother die three years ago and I never see her again

Where can home possibly be?

I have been unmoored for quite some time now
and you, too, my love
are in

* * *

I watch you in your half-lit living room, dancing around and playing
the bass and I think you’re so sexy but not
the thin, watery, popstar kind of sexy.
You’re the kind of sexy with all the texture and the weight
and the reality of a thick

I didn’t know that you loved Tori Amos so much and your rapture makes me wish
that I had stuck with the piano. I bask happy in your

of sound and vitality

the thought surfaces
like a cockroach
swimming up through sifted flour:

I remember
that one day you will die
and I realize
that I now care about this.

I see it: a slit of the yellow light of Home
falling out of a gray stone wall

and I go in.

Friday, October 9, 2015

free verse

a kite will not fly without
     a tether

shared linguistic roots bind
    ‘free’ and ‘friend’

     and ‘friend’ came first

to be free is only to choose the bonds
     with which
     we will live

without tethers
     we will not fly