Featured Work

The starlings have migrated to the Publications Gallery, along with the link to Paula Usrey’s always interesting newsletter. Another published poem has also been posted in the Gallery.

Celestial Mechanics was sent (for a number of years) to various literary journals and received more “came close” (like an asteroid?) rejections than just about any other poem I’ve submitted for possible publication. So I’ve decided to feature it here.

Celestial Mechanics

i.

Fruit groves move the wind over pear-colored hills.
Speak of innocence: gold, sun-blushed
peel englobing sweet yet gritted flesh:
each pear is its mouthpiece. But

where orchards usurped oak, Armillaria
fungus takes root

the pickers arrive
by bus, cramped and sleepless
from the Imperial Valley’s

toxic soil. Consider
the bald daughter, her face
distended by prednisone. Smiling.

ii.

Fault the earth; we love
our children

fiercely, demand take me
instead. A father, bereft, chants good-night moon

the thousand one nights
of his son’s life. The boy’s response

if you walk across air
I will become a little sailboat, and I
will sail away from you

 does not cadence on the expected.

iii.

In the rift between them, mother and father,
a child floats

we love as we’re bound to
the earth, by hazard

on a black lake, no lights
on the boat towing her

no lights at all except
the saints in heaven

each on its own ring    within the infinite
armillary sphere

The inner tube she rides
is the startled O of the saint’s mouth
as a dove flies forth

as a cry turns strangely over the water

as her drunk father cuts the boat back around
and bears down upon her

she is the dove.