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EVERY MAP IS AN ISLAND

(after Alberto Blanco)   1 I turned away from the paper spread open on the table and moved into the world spreading out in all directions. At the bottom of the stairs I checked my pocket for keys—then I was down

Shore

(Turkish coast, January 2016) Not stone, among stones, a beach of clunkers sea-smoothed, kidney- sized, head-sized, chest-sized, and some small enough to fit in the palm of the hand. Sea water wrinkles the lapsing edge. Each stone clasps a shadow

In Search of Grace

With slush to ground the Erie trees the yearly pilgrimage begins: Good Friday 5 a.m. “He’s so fine” clock radio alarm for the predawn vespers of monitory sermons and tumbles into pews of backseat condemnation. With our triptiked book of

Calendars Do Not Hold Fortunes

One day you’re old and thankful. One day you’re buying a ukulele and searching for your favorite pen, a notebook. One day, you scream at another driver. One day you open the jewelry box to find the ring you thought

Three Poems

AS IN A SACK held shut by cord, what wasted you, hid in you, fell quiet each day, ready for us. Your pain wasn’t physical, hadn’t taken you. Your body wasn’t yours but a made one. Nothing pierced far enough

Two Poems

As So Often Happens     As so often happens, in the middle of the outdoor concert it started to pour. It was like a sky-wide water balloon was sliced open and rain fell as if all at once, every

Three Poems

From Blue as White (The Book of Margins) by Helga Landauer-Olshvang     Get out alive – spine, spleen, whole fistfuls –away!— of my crimson, partly white (wild) shoulders, elbows, heaping fistfuls of passion, how do I run all this out

DELIBERATE AS THINKING IS THE …

“…has created the type of autonomous picture, which leads, without motifs from nature to  a completely abstract life form…as a Bach fugue is from a carpet.”––Paul Klee   Stepping off the door lintel, down onto the grass as the day

Given Plums

Early July my sister and I filled two sacks of plums from our orchard. We shook each tree until the ripest orbs fell from highest branches, closest to the sun.  The less ripe ones hit hard as hail.  The softer

Maria’s Yellow Coat

I haven’t had a whole lot of what you might call ‘sartorial smarts.’   But outside the café where Maria once sat in her belted yellow long coat there’s an empty chair— this wooden folding chair functioning under the same

FISHERMAN, 50 B.C.

What else would I do on the river but set my nets and listen to old blood-drenched stories, growl as I penetrate her and make a golden son for when I’m gone? Fine, that was then. But on this bank

Thanksgiving Chorus

Kindergarteners beautiful and dumb beam on risers to sing the goofy words their teacher drilled ad nauseam all week. She stands before them now, her soundless mouth stretching every syllable. No one holds hand-cut cardboard muskets as I once did,

VANISHING POINT

It was her voice that made the sky acutest at its vanishing. “The Idea of Order at Key West”.   I learned it in art class, second grade, how to make my crayon portraits of our house, posted by Mother

Of Course

If I wake at 3, ephemerality Is leitmotif.  Small wonder in that, of course: Tempus fugit. The years go hurtling by. Like any other bromides, these became What they are for their truth.  It’s only a vapor, Say, that version

Two Poems

Some Propositions with Children   The child is completely immersed in childhood the child doesn’t know what to do with childhood the child coincides with childhood the child lets childhood invade him like sleep his head falls and he’s adrift