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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 second.

Velvetleaf

Tick of sweet clover, swinecress parasite, did you have a music made you stick to the first warm alien who swung our old scythe through your brome? Our Boy wanting to better scope the renegade deer & private fox, your

The Central

When we were hungry and my mother was abnormally irritated, they’d slide out the top-shelf savings jar and we’d go Out to Dinner. This happened once or twice a year. Small towns like ours had two restaurants: one you could

Two Poems

Winter   Let this winter pass into another winter. No more stately brooding. No bluebird’s eggs. No driven mating or well-built nests. I want the frost to blast the ground forever with every seed or shoot that it conceals. Leave

MORE THAN I CAN SAY

Clewell doesn’t exactly do haiku. –from my introducer’s well-intentioned remarks, exhorting the audience to be patient in light of the characteristically lengthy poems that would soon no doubt be heading their way   Don’t think less of me, but this

CREATION MYTH

We never expected this. Shapes in our shapeless garden. The crude mound we’ve been growing, Dirt, is gone. One of the shapes points to itself, “Willem,” or no, “Phyllis,” it’s hard to understand. “That thing,” you say, “I think that

I Like to Tuck a Leaf

of some bright hue, say burgundy mauve, by example, and it doesn’t have to be perfect—an insect gall or two being fine, one on the top, another on the underside, about half a peppercorn’s size, maybe, and I go placing

Two Poems

Wozzeck   Even the toneless whisper finds its cradle, its home, let alone the marginal harmony so central to our story. Even the clouds as they gather musical weight, the sun a better reason to lie down.  And thus a

Sullen Art

“Someone will write a poem called Charlottesville, describing the car and the woman it killed, and someone else will be moved to consider the separate pain of the driver’s mother; the statue of Robert E. Lee won’t gallop out of

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