2012 Chapbook

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Living is the Spin Cycle


48 pages
#' x #" single signature with hand sewn binding
Published 2012

Living is the Spin Cycle

It isn’t actually a wrecked stock car. I just call it
that, the top two floors occupied, and the lower
48 on fire. The mirror on the wall has mastered
the technique of waiting graciously for someone
to appear. Meanwhile, I listen to the insect-like
buzz of my own blood in embarrassed silence.
The only instruction is FOLLOW ALL
INSTRUCTIONS. There are naked women
everywhere. I don't think I'll be doing laundry.


An Industry of Yearning


36 pages
8.5" x 5.5" single signature with hand sewn binding
Published 2012

Rothko, "Violet, Green and Red"

Mornings, as I settle to work, it towers above me, a wordless adv
for vacations from the real: three quadrilaterals stacked upon
each other, faintly ominous and remonstrative.

I contemplate Rothko’s vastnesses. He got it right, I think, the furtive lapse

of one color into another, all that hulking purple brutality
pressuring a swath of dark green and buoyed by a vermillion sea.

Rothko’s sheer gigantism makes me sleepy, or rather, ambitious

in a way I am not. I would rather lash the page with fantastic hues

than with tired, required verbiage. I would prefer,
in fact, to become violet, green and red, create something that did not refer

to anything in the world except the unending, insurmountable well
of colors that heave up from the mind in a relentless tidal swell

containing every human product there ever was or ever will be,
as though all of creation were being hawked simultaneously.

On Any Given Day


44 pages
6" x 5.5" single signature with hand sewn binding
Published 2012

On Any Given Day

A glimmer
on water
or a shadow

drawn up
over the lawn--
all things

now light brushed,
a rumor,

the deft swerve
of a universe
waved through.

Sequences: Dark and Light


36 pages
8.5" x 7" single signature with hand sewn binding
Published 2012

What Everyone in Rehab Knows

That death is metaphor and reality.
So Margo dices her husband's pork chop until

it rolls in shredded waves on his plate, which he
pushes away. "You have to," she tells him. Then,

despairing, "He's losing weight again."

Mike kisses the crown of his wife's head, says,
"Hi, Babe," sits while she finishes her meal in slow-

motion in a wheelchair. He says they live on a lake,
that this winter through binoculars he watched

a goose thrashing, its legs frozen in the ice. Mike
tried but couldn't reach it. Instead he watched bald

eagles alight nearby, wait for the goose to exhaust itself, then attack, one more death observed by

the helpless. 




Includes illustrations by John J. Audubon, Chester A. Reed, Eleazar Albin and Ernest Seton Thompson
36 pages
8.5" x 5.5" single signature with hand sewn binding
Published 2012

Barred Owl

I’m perfectly clear why
I’m called what I’m called
--the dark bars across my chest—
But inside, in my secret heart,
I always think of myself
As a “bard” owl, even though
So far I’ve thought up only
A couple really good lines,
Which I tend to repeat:
Who cooks for-you?
Who cooks for-you-all?

Rockets and Blue Lights


36 pages
8.5" x 5.5" single signature with hand sewn binding
Published 2012

From Rockets and Blue Lights


I can't hold on to quarters,
twenty dollar bills,
the tang of sausage and peppers.

Things pass through me
like the potted geranium did
when the worn wicker seat gave way,

like the babies that tunneled
through the weave and channel
of my pelvis.

They drop, kitten from cat's jaws,
his pants, her stitch,
the first handful of dirt.

So much that's watched remains
unseen like muscle, fern spores
scattering into air,


fresh blood clotting,
or a mare in flight between
hoof beats.

Contoured cup of morning
glory crumples, perfect spiral
of dust disperses

until it seems vision is a trick,
and the hours' varying shades on the lip
of  a vase always around the bend.

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