Chopping Block Shoals, Kuniyoshi, 1850

sails tearing, stern lights going out
 waves like vermin
overflowing rails and decks
  Yoshibei leaps into the sea

Create Dangerously

“To create today is to create dangerously. Any publication is an act, and that act exposes one to the passions of an age that forgives nothing. Hence the question is not to find out if this is or is not prejudicial to art. The question, for all those who cannot live without art and what it signifies, is merely to find out how, among the police forces of so many ideologies (how many churches, what solitude!), the strange liberty of creation is possible.”

–Albert Camus, 1957

Facing In

The fish in the closet
are wandering

Diamonds have become used to
force feeding

No wonder the stadiums
are turning inside out

I wish to learn how to swallow
this morning blindness

Logger

Logger was published by Work Literary Magazine.

Late Winter

A late February snow has
the near world in its sequester

At Starbucks the barista imitates
a bird calling across the water

The Package

The Package was first published in print by Poetry Quarterly.

The bedspread
has animal dialogs
It shudders and sweats
spreading its fretwork
across the cordillera
The smooth places are made
into mussels and rock crabs
and the hard places are made
into deer and antelope
Leather, pine and sea salt
join with resin and marsh hawks
to make the world we see
From scuffles under the window
comes the light above the hemline
and the occupation of Paris
and Lascaux cave art and the sphinx
tongue as thick as a buffalo
Painted stick dancers
clothed in blood and teeth
and ocher and foam
brought us today, delivered
in a Fedex package:
a dish of blue eels
and ammonites
and slave songs
and mile-deep diamonds
and the lungs of kings

Storm Over Houston

Storm Over Houston was first published by Clementine Unbound.

A shadow props up the gutted barn
where we spent the night.
To be keen all the time–not to swerve,
ten minutes out of every hour,
is enough most days.

A man with boulders in his soul,
a dock trying to hold onto
it’s string of boat horses,
a bone-drenched woman
with praise for a God
who was as stealthy as a barn cat.

Out on the highway
no sound now,
as if someone
had picked them all up
from a skiff with a pruning hook
and put them in a sack.