I obviously haven't posted any poems here since starting grad school nearly two years ago. Of course, I can hardly believe that so much time has elapsed so quickly. I also can hardly believe how little I've written creatively since the academic study of literary history and theory took over my life and reading habits.

But in the meantime, I started a more general-purpose blog with my dear pal, R2, appropriately titled: rrrrrrr.org. I've recently posted a few poems there—not new ones, mind you, but scraps and drafts recovered from the dustbin of history (that is, the dusty boxes and folders crammed under my bed).

  • "Derivative" and "Serving Fish Sticks to a Procession of Kindergartners at Covell Elementary," in a blog post entitled "Old Scraps" (August 10, 2013).
  • "Television on Mute," in a blog post entitled, "A Series of Strange Images" (March 17, 2013).
For what it's worth.


Terminal Hymn

The outline of a bright
fish sprawls on the land-
ing strip,

The cadmium lines
of it conduct vectors
and vehicles.

What ichthus
could gain this audacity,
this security


One of myriad constellations
emblazoned on tarmacs
in the Midwest.

Who am I to catch
the declensions
of this, your airspace,

vacant, stentorian.



Put on the slick moss
and cold water.
Lie down in the stream’s center
and be a rock
upon which the waters divide
and then rejoin.

Or be the bird that lands
upon that rock,
ascending at night
with wet feet
to who knows where,
what warm and dirty nest
in trees or caves,
softly breathing,
all alone like the wind.


John Wayne

Like Julian of Norwich knew,
belief is something

you wear—there
but forgotten,

the khaki shoes
of my grandfather,

too tight but I keep them on,
the ancient plaid

and flannel, still pristine,
his bolo ties.

Not certainly for him
a career, simpler

more culinary, perhaps even the daily
bread and eggs

he never prayed over
or thanked

my grandmother for
or completely finished.

Homes and warehouses he built
couldn’t hold him.

His mother looking over
his bones

with the solemn gunfire behind
seemed like familiar war.

So what about clouds
now around the barn?

Wind, stench, dinner
scents all bend

in the bushes at nightfall,
and ancient aquifers

bubble into shale
beneath the lichen

and broken branches
of his apple trees.

My mother’s
father, is this you,

there, climbing in from
the reruns

to take back
your place, your workload,

your clean shirts?


After Bashō

The frog and the pond
in the haiku are in
the haiku.


Earthy Anecdote: An Explication

A good group of good friends in Brooklyn started a blog last summer featuring music reviews, poetry explications, and wonderfully bizarre reflections on science, language, and "Stopping Pleistocene Repopulation!"

As part of an ongoing poetry explication contest, they recently featured my brief, freestyle interpretation of the poem "Earthy Anecdote" by Wallace Stevens. It's whimsical and melodramatic—hope you like it!


Untitled Circulation

A voice in the loaf murmurs of sedimentation,
sandwiches, screech owls. These echoes,
disseminations of sound—owl pellets, oak bite,
mingled blood—the squirrel bone at the center
of the Milky Way spins slowly, ordering the orbits of nutrients.

In my neighborhood, trash is the singularity,
our codex, a double tree-helix marking
out history as yeast, crust, crumbs of the remainder
of spirit, sealed airtight in Tupperware.

Occasionally the helpless rising comes to bubble in our skins,
timorous, hearty, a vitamin lacking an alphabet,
the conversions within or beyond digestion
petrified, then eroded or erupting the processes
of which we know, of cherries, of talcum, of lifespan.

[another old one]