Archive for the ‘2020’ Category

In the Study, with the Candlestick

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

“How Parents Can Keep Kids Busy (and Learning) in Quarantine: as American schools close, parents are suddenly faced with the challenge of keeping their children occupied at home.” The Atlantic, March 16, 2020


Light catches in the dusty window, crawls with juniper shadows to night
How slow we can go. How many games we can play in one day, week, months

Cupboard forgotten cards and pawns of childhood, our own, our kids’
Sketch us just so, a study of character, the revelation and concealment

Of hands, the microdistance eyes travel to read motive, intention, alliance
Cardboard arenas of little consequence: what we do, are willing to do

To win, to lose, to anticipate and thwart another’s loss at personal cost
To play and play until everyone wins, everyone shouts YES! at least once


haiku for my love
in the time of quarantine

Saturday, March 14th, 2020

love’s bright corona
our bed a microbiome
touch your lips to mine


poetry is

Saturday, March 7th, 2020

reeds edging the ponds of my life

white blood cells fighting off my death

flock of black words dispersing in the distance

nerves netting a world of fish who can’t swim air



Saturday, March 7th, 2020

Wrapped up in ropey thoughts
on a sea rock
surrounded by swords

limber, limbic
in micromovements
of tension, relaxation

I inch my way out.

29 Feb. 2020

Prop Plane Haiku

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020

softly hiccupping
the small plane skips air pockets
impossible stone

above San Luis
heart slow-leaps the steep Sangres
above Wet Valley

14 February 2020

A Drift of Pigs

Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

In the clearing past the woods
behind our neighborhood, we found
a shot-up car, glass dangling from the
gaping windshield like broken teeth,
a half burnt farm house with canned goods
and fruit preserves still on basement shelves
and outdated, thin cotton dresses in the closet

Better yet, an abandoned barn—full of straw
and a lazy rope— surrounded by a fenced yard
of wild grass and weeds needled through
two jerkified pigs, whiskered leather and teeth
eyes shrunken black

Squeals and groans
slow motion survey of the strange scene
tiptoeing through awful weeds

Who left you in the yard?
Was the farmer’s wife crying?
What is it like to die naked beneath the sky?
Was it night?
Were you hungry?

Yellow spread light across me,
my best friends and the pigs like butter

We moved from mundane mystery
to the stubborn barn door,
ran through the maze of stalls rich
with sweet old stink

Forgetting unlucky pigs, numb
or, perhaps, reveling in our living limbs
despite the pigs, we took turns
with the thick rotting rope, leaped
from the loft and swung
from rafters like promise
after promise after promise, flying,
falling into straw, newborn pigs
stunned by air and gravity
looking up into dust riding light


Three Late Winter Haiku

Monday, February 10th, 2020

The stunted pine shakes.
Perched inside, a mound of snow—
sphinx heart carved by wind

* * *

A fat log burns bright.
Five friends roll six dice and laugh.
Everybody wins.

* * *

Graupel filled footprints
crunching back and forth for miles.
At least half are mine.


On Reading Woolf Again
After 26 Years

Thursday, January 30th, 2020

–for Chrissy Mason, with fondness

Over Thai, bright eyed, Chrissy confessed
she once wrote out every sentence
Virginia Woolf ever penned.
Novels. Short stories, essays too.
The way the nuns would read
fine literature aloud and pause
as pupils scratched down word
for word in perfect penmanship.
The nuns were, I was, laying down the track,
she said, for what a sentence could do.
And now, as I re-read Orlando’s thoughts,
Clarissa’s— gasp at her shilling tossed
into the Serpentine, her never-Septimus
(Clarissa’s double; Woolf’s triple, and mine)—
and think them, I am also thinking Chrissy’s,
perhaps, marveling at Virginia’s odd clauses,
generous commas, semicolon hitches; hooking
coach cars; occupied by well-heeled, awkward
friends; freight cars bursting delphinium;
shadow cargo; centuries of ice coupled
with foiled men waking up as women;
everything pulling on everything else
behind the locomotive of her mind;
riding a rail that will never arrive,
or always; in Vita’s arms; in one of several
lakes; in my hands; yours. Call it luck
to rattle under the warping weight of her,
all of us, every place: her station.