31 days of almost 4:00 a.m.

January 31st, 2015

How can one make January wrong
Or night? Just cry. The night
Holding the deadly car
In the selfsame palm
As the innocent star of a man?
Or boiling up a sleepless winter plan
To ruin a good son’s life?
The horror too sublime to pen
I’ve lain in ink the sky
Sobbed into the farthest stars
And not tried to move them.


Perfect Birthday

January 23rd, 2015

Late April sings my birth in a robin’s throat.
Cheery up, cheery oh!
If I am lucky, and I am, it is Sunday morning.

Always, he’s the warm seam along my southern edge.
We wake and doze, dream and wake,
Gaze, blink and other morning things. Our eyes

Sparkle like coffee, like every other minute
Poured by dawn between us
But drawn out slow like gravity’s honey.

We pad around the kitchen. Children rise.
Each hides a poem
Behind a back, waiting for the moment

To show me what new words have come from ones
Who slid from me three perfect songs
I could never write. I sway and hum along.



January 15th, 2015

Given Walden,
I meant to be alone
From age 15.

I didn’t know Thoreau
Burned down a wood
And loved fine Lydian,
Ralph Waldo’s wife,

And walked with her
In his two years
From time to time.

Given weeks alone
At 43, words do not come.
I drive my skin

To work on winter
Break, type
Dates on a form
And see your face

Before I drift,
Swerve to write
A poem.


Winter Solstice Live Radio Broadcast

December 21st, 2014

Please join Liquid Light Press poets M.D. Friedman, Rachel Kellum, Lynda La Rocca & Erika Moss Gordon this Sunday, December 21, 2014 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm, on KFRC Radio’s Poetry Show (88.9 FM in Fort Collins, CO) or…

Stream live on the internet at:


Visit Liquid Light Press poets at:


Shed Dreams

December 13th, 2014

The little shed was a wooden skull
In which the dreams of shovels rusted
And feral cats jumped from shelf to shelf
Chasing brown, white-bellied mice.

Hundreds of generations dreamed
Behind a stack of asbestos shingles—
Of corn meant for hogs, of fantastic forays
To the human house of bounty and heat,

Where heroes lick clean peanut-buttered traps
That snap little necks beneath the kitchen sink.
Less curious mice would tuck their luck
In the shadows of the skull, nibble cat droppings.

Capacious as a mouse’s dream, the shed
Never thought of human sleep, that one day
Its roof would lift, its walls would echo nails,
The sun would finally stumble in and cough.

The cats took off. Who knows when mice move out?
The shed began to dream a man, an orange antique couch,
A chair, a bed, a woman dreaming a head made of mud
She saved from her boots, from her sister’s grave.


Winged Victory

November 13th, 2014

Desktop machines
Print plastic things
You don’t need.

Red rook piece.
Headless sea-soaked Nike.
Semi automatic magazines.

(No homemade AR-15s).
Pentagon-printed beef—
Meals Ready to Eat.


I Would Be

November 5th, 2014

New moon knife
In your red onion
Candied walnuts
Of your moan

Coconut oil
In your thorny palms
Salty seam
Of your longest shore

In your old engine
Of your tiny bones

In your Achilles tendon
Of your mosquito storm


No Question

November 3rd, 2014

The tag on the tea bag said
Where there is love, there is no question.

I asked this morning what huge bird
Threw itself against our kitchen window.

No feathered form hunched in gravel.
The window looked like no sky to me.

The bird did not ask about glass,
Just flew full stop, carried itself off
Like a dark question mark.

This morning I did not ask
About your shining eyes.

You opened them.
I flew inside.


The Shell

November 2nd, 2014

A mother lost in mothering
Ran by the sea. A small girl, perhaps five,
Ran ahead of her. The brown striped shell,
A triton, lay lodged in the shore.
Wet sand sucked at the shell in her hand,
Pulling. The mother was sure
It was hers, her gift from the sea,
Calling her out of sacrifice like a horn.
“Look what the sea gave me!”
“I saw it first,” claimed the girl.
Blind in the deep layer of motherhood,
Newly photophagic, the woman refused
To hand it over like a good mother would.
The child would have to pout.
For thirteen years, the woman kept
The shell on a shelf, reminder
Of her in-winding self, the empty sea
Of her own ear, and didn’t budge
When her growing daughter yearly
Told her who saw the shell first.
The day the girl left home a woman,
The mother packed the shell in her duffel
Like a prayer she would some day hear.


NFSPS Poetry Awards

October 26th, 2014

The National Federation of State Poetry Societies has announced the winners of its 2014 contests. I am pleased to learn that three of my poems were honored:

The Margo Award:
“Tiny Birds,” third place (out of 167 entries), forthcoming in the 2014 anthology, Encore.

NFSPS Founders Award:
And We Will Bloom,” 3rd Honorable Mention (out of 363 entries)

Peace Award:
Practicing English with Geshe-la,” 2nd Honorable Mention (out of 138 entries)

A complete list of all winners can be found here.