A selected list of previous publications in journals and anthologies appears after the poems.
A Tody’s back feathers are
caped in a green silk fit
for Jackie O, made by Valentino
to go with emeralds, but eats
earwigs, dragonflies, spiders
off leaves or seized in flight.
Red-throated, the size of a
plum, its beak one prong
of a tuning fork. It, too, will go
extinct like Jackie O, like the
beetles, katydids it eats, rain
forest’s insect hum gone dim.
The dragon fish, more snake
than fish, sports overlapping
teeth, a cage of clear spikes like
icicles. Its chin tows a luminescent
lure. Its eyes look white but beam
red light before it strikes.
In the subterranean of the
ego: fissures, so a friend’s
barbed words net me & I
am caught in the sorrow
she has made of denial. A cat
spins to catch its tail on fire.
A fire ant’s signature is a circle,
red, blistered center bulbous as
a pencil eraser. Mapped, a banded
indigo in Ohio, sapphire, azure,
still lives, at thirteen years. His
progeny track the stars to Mexico.
The Harvard Review 57 (2021): 154-155.
(Like “Long Haul Covid,” Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or CFS, is a complex
disorder likely caused by a virus.)
In the sixth game of his match
against Spassky, Fischer made
his move, Queen’s Gambit. Cold,
hyper-vigilant, this was years after,
age thirteen, he had sacrificed
his Queen, in a “Game of the Century.”
At an IQ of 180, frightened, he lived
inside his head; Eidetic Image, second
nature, playing steps ahead, his
imagined pawns, rooks, bishops,
all threats, slid in for the kill.
At fourteen, I tried to make
a Greek red-figured vase,
spun globs of flecked clay to heavy
paper-weights, but read about
red-figured, black-figured, incised
two-handled vessels. Perseus,
Hercules, helmeted like pileated
woodpeckers, launched spears,
wielded shields. The cloaked
Spartan boy, rather than flinch,
let a fox eat his innards. Fischer’s
fox leapt and circled in his brain.
My queens are syringes of red
liquid, a concentrate of B12.
My rooks derivatives of pig’s
liver, brain, heart, in emu oil,
liquid from crushed aronia berry,
powdered French oak in capsules.
Many little pawns I swallow to sleep.
The king: my body. An invisible
virus has an endgame. A doe
slips downhill, ears, pointed
nose, hide gray as tree bark, she
side steps any stalker, becomes
invisible to me, not prey: grace.
American Journal of Poetry Vol 2 (summer 2018)
scroll down to 2nd poem
Poems from Green Target, winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize
Four little pigs ran in an orbit, an oblong
of four tracks, each ringed with a colored
collar, toward a pile of neon Cheetos,
then disappeared into their home trailer.
The caller, a hefty farmer, picked me, said
"You've never been on a farm before in your
life," and he was right. I wanted my piglet
to win, urged her--or him--in the racket.
Geese hustled, orange shoed, then goats.
In the Mother Moo barn--huge, aluminum--
twin calves, day old, collapsed in the hay;
we hoped their mother knew not to step
near their flicked-back ears, their sloe-eyed
wonder. The family wore coats burnished
the color of composted clay. Tiny chicks
hovered under the feathered skirts of a hen,
disappeared there, under their mother,
yellow and black, downy, washing forward
in little waves, toward a dish of dried corn.
Two giant swinging shovels rose up, turned
people inside their cages upside down, fell,
swooped past, dragging screams in a path.
My mother lay content, as if in hay; I put
my head on her stomach, told her to wait
for me to come back. "Just put her in a diaper,"
said my sister, "and tell her not to get out
of bed." I slept on the couch; she rang
a bell when she needed me to walk her
to the bathroom at night. I held her waist,
while she scooted the walker ahead.
The Gettysburg Review 27:3 (2014) 388.
Through crushed August grass
a child's gray shoelace tugs itself,
its tiny pebble of a head triangular,
a wedge, therefore venomous.
Laced through a sneaker's eyelets,
it nips a finger, a tiny prick. One
worries in the mountains. Goldenrod
seeds our heads with bites from some
insect. Meanwhile upright red rod
flowers burn for hummingbirds.
Portable shield on his back, a turtle
labors, feels with splayed paws, shows
off his orange splotched arms, leopard
patterned, bright as marigold, as
oranges bowled all along the railroad,
where a supermarket truck, pulling
across, got its back half sheared off.
Cop cars beetled up and down the road.
A boy on vacation by a lake said, "Let's
go in," but my husband refused. The
boy, and another who went after him,
drowned. Each night of his childhood
my husband dreamed it, woke just
before dying. One's death is the period
that ends the sentence. In Cairo
on the sidewalk they link arms, like
paper dolls I cut as a kid. All at once
a waterfall of bodies bows to Mecca.
The Gettysburg Review 27:3 (2014) 391.
Poems from Kaleidoscope, Iris Press
Blue Rose, for Sheila Jordan's bebop in Provence
Someone's picked lettuce from sunlight,
brined mussels in vinegar and bruised thyme,
to work against the sweetness of smoked salmon,
snipped the heads and tails of four anchovies,
split grey and white, arranged on a plate.
They taste of a concentration of salt
breaking into the mouth. As if their bodies
are permeated by a sea where vessels of olives
leached their oil into the blue
or Tyre's purple, boiled from snails.
Sheila sings as if she has fed off feelings,
her insides transparent. Her voice a fluid.
Like a wound inside my mouth when
a marzipan grape sprayed with color
spurts its brandy.
The blue rings inside me. I am the hood
of a bell slammed by the clapper;
sound shakes, rips
colors and tones, so I see my split selves
come back to rest, cast, and whole.
Brilliant Corners 12: 2 (2008): 5
The Ecology of Atlas, for Sara
Head-dressed in orange down, the color of Georgia,
he wears two white mantles; his feelers splay,
two minnows' fishbones, delicate as lashes.
holds his nine inch spread on four furred nubs
palmed to a leaf, his rear legs tucked under
Four white patches arrest us, the whole
embroidery complex as a Chinese robe, silked
in oranges, whites and greys.
Even his segmented
carapace is eyed on its underside, no part of his
body is not marked.
Under a microscope
his whole cape is mailed with shining platelets,
a roman army's phalanx glinting their shields so sun
becomes a weapon.
Seeing him soaking through his colors
is to learn regard of a small god.
Inside this domed
atrium, steaming with released humidity, in the eighty
degrees butterflies like, morphos glint silver, polished
blue; swallowtails flash emerald glitter.
deliver their reds.
On the undersides of seeded fern,
Paper Kites, a dozen black and white sails hung
upside-down, each in a luff, inflate.
Sulphers make a circlet of flutter around and around
each other, drawing wreaths in the air that show
Like Tinkerbell's sparking wand
they trail pollen, attach themselves one frill to another,
thrift to butterfly bush to bee balm to sedum, soak
So this Atlas, giant in his brown study,
Each Atlas, winged, beating, holds up invisible
circles that link us to each other, lands on us without fear.
The Mississippi Review 37: 1 & 2 (2009): 126-7. (Honorable Mention, Mississippi Review Prize)
My poems have been previously published (selected list) in: Alaska Quarterly Review, American Book Review, American Journal of Poetry, American Poetry Review, The Antioch Review, Arts & Letters, Asheville Poetry Review, The Atlanta Review, Barrow Street Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Boulevard, boundary 2, Brilliant Corners, Broad River Review, Cleaver Magazine, Connotation Press, Crab Orchard Review, Crazyhorse, Crosswinds Poetry Journal, Denver Quarterly, Gargoyle, The Gettysburg Review, Hanging Loose, The Harvard Review, Hotel Amerika, Kakalak, Kestrel, Louisiana Literature, The Mississippi Review, Mudfish, New Orleans Review, New South, Notre Dame Review, North American Review, The Painted Bride Quarterly, The Paris Review, Peacock Journal, Persimmon Tree, Ploughshares, PoemMemoirStory, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Poetry South, Reed Magazine, The Seattle Review, Shenandoah, Southwest Review, Story South, Tar River Poetry, Texas Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, West Branch, Witness, What Rough Beast, Zone 3, and in anthologies.