Wednesday, July 26, 2017

In vino veritas

When commotion starts: kids at play,
I steal away;
A glass of wine in my hand
and disappear into my land
to read poetry.
And calm my mind.

Monday, July 24, 2017


The quality of light from my window is black.
An absence of light.
Cold.  Dark.  Frigid
wind blowing outside.
A single car drives past onto some black road
into the black night
leaving my window behind.

He will never escape the darkness.
He will just drive onward trying to
lose it, but he cannot.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lying with Snails

In a soil thick with snails and rich as grease
I lie alone, untouched, unspoken, waiting for 
the spade.  The sound of the cutting of the earth:
grass ripping, worms splitting open, oozing 
into my surrounded bed.  This dirt, these snails
are my home now.  I am dead to the blue sky,
the white air.  My air is brown; my air
is grease; my companions are snails.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

At the Grave of my Family: Father and 2 Brothers

This is the longest that I've spent with them,
lined up beneath the earth, side by side:
a united family.
This is the closest I've been to them,
all three so near, but 10 feet beneath my feet.
They all felt, at one time or another, that I was
better than them; put me on an invisible
pedestal high above them.
Now I'm above them.  I'm left alone
even though we've been estranged for decades.
I am alone.   It is quite here;
we haven't spoken in years.

I am the last on, penned with a name
that I had to grow in to;
A name that I pass along to my own children,
without strings attached to each letter,
each false memory, family lore that dictated
my behavior.  I.  am.  here.
staring at my name chiseled three times
into granite stones:

Here lies               Here lies               Here lies

I give my sons this name, Germanic and complete:
a name without lies;
The lies they told me, themselves,
the police.

Here lies the end of an era,
a fictional family made up of non-existent birthdays
Christmas cheer, Easter egg hunts, Holy Communion.
I have laid these lies to rest.

I turn around, take my sons's hand and
go home.

Monday, July 10, 2017

A writer with nothing particular to say

Flirting isn't the right word.  I am teetering with the idea of being a writer.  It is unsteady and lonely.  I like to write.  I love to read.  I know that I am capable of penning my thoughts.  I can definitely structure my days (blocking out specific time) to include writing.  Hell, I got my Master's and PhD while working and having kids.  I'm no stranger to late nights.  The difference?  With those, I had something specific to say.  I had a required format to communicate my ideas.  I wrote essays and papers and theses and a dissertation: hours and hundreds of pages.  It was difficult and sometimes I just wanted to go to bed, but the words always came.  They always came.

Now, I journal about my days, copy favorite poems, and every now and then I notice something that I try to fit into a poem.  The words come, but what do they say?  I'm not a pastoral poet.  I am not trying to communicate my love of summer evenings.  I'm no Allen Ginsberg.  I am not trying to describe getting drunk or the misguided politics of 2017.  I'm a dad.  I'm an educator on summer vacation.  I'm a writer with nothing particular to say.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Ornithology, or how to identify your feelings

I am but an amateur:
my Pathos sits in the shade of a pool umbrella
as a yellow-breasted swallow performs
schizophrenic swirls upon
aquamarine translucence.

These are the dimension of love that are difficult:
full commitment to the dive,
then changing your mind abruptly;
Kamikaze Logos - my inward thoughts
performing as a handsome aerialist.

We use science to understand the world,
but I am still an amateur
misidentifying my regrets as I sit
by the pool watching this bird
eat his breakfast.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017


I want to lie on my back in 
the April night and see the stars
without an orange-pink street lamp
blinding my purview.  So, tonight I will wait until
4:00 AM to speak to the sibylline sky, telling
her my regrets as a man, asking for

impermeability and water-tight protection for my sins.
The  cool, black breeze of the morning
washes over my body, lying there on the
capstones, I vacillate silently,
a fire in my head, an ember of hope
in my heart:

I want to kiss the
silver apples of the moon and awaken
to the golden apples of a new sun.