First Night in The New House, with Full Moon (#fullmoonsocial2015)


First Night in The New House, with Full Moon

The rising full moon fills in
a small cratered crack in the old window

where a stone or BB years ago must
have dug in before reflecting off its loss

As I sit with my son waiting for his breathing
to level into what I know will be dreams

of the many things he will make and be
the moon continues across the sky

and out of the window’s framing (though the moon
in the window cratered out bright and tiny

remains where it is
how like the past sometimes refuses to move)

Of Physics and Publications: Beloit Poetry Journal

First, apologies for my relative absence from this site and yours, with only two poems poking their scruffy heads up over the last five weeks or so. I was in a battle with the laws of physics. More specifically, I was taking a physics course at the University of Virginia. It’s a long story. Okay, it’s not that long a story. It was only because I have lived in this physical world for so long already that I managed to survive, more by wits than learning. At any rate, the transcript for the course is now on its way to my undergraduate home, 28 years after I took my last undergraduate class, to fulfill a distribution requirement unrelated to my field of study. And at some point before the leaves fall off the trees this year, some document attesting to my B.A. in English from Cornell University should actually reach me. What was it like for a fifty year old guy attending a summer course with 18 year old athletes and pre-freshmen?

Long story. But one I’ll tell in time, if there is no more pressing news. But for today, there actually is some news.

During this time of my Sisyphean struggle with inertia, momentum, torque, and midterms, I received notice from Beloit Poetry Journal that they wish to publish a few of my poems.

I am guessing most of you are familiar with BPJ, but if not, feel free to pay them a visit here. My poems will appear in the Winter 2015 issue.

For the moment, I am happily relieved of my recent burdens–remembering the relationship of energy to volts to power to current, and so on–and prepared to get back to writing poetry. I hope you’re still out there to read some, and I will once again be lurking around your own sites to read all that I’ve missed since mid-July.

On a Photograph of Sky on the Surface of a Pond Seen Through a Tree and Therefore, By Extension, On Magnetic Resonance Imaging

On a Photograph of Sky on the Surface of a Pond Seen Through a Tree and Therefore, By Extension, On Magnetic Resonance Imaging 

The thinness of things

is real and holds itself like the only breath
an image can take.

The tree digs through the sky.
On the other side its heart

emerges upside down but still centered
between the branching out

and the taking root. Your life
plunges outward

like a branch occupying space

in a photograph showing neither
its beginning or end

the pond’s surface surely capturing it
somewhere outside the frame

where I cannot see what you see

only the empty sky beneath the tree line
and an image breathing out

to a moment it will never see: a leaf
rippling depth across the landscape



On a long journey. The road darkened like glass
after the candle behind it has guttered.

I met the forest there like a corner rounding everywhere.
Birds who’d never heard themselves before were asking

for their names. Though we could hear the train beyond the ridge
we knew it was empty except for a woman anxious

she’d missed her stop as she dozed. We walked but I could not hear
your step behind me over the sound of the leaves growing.

I am tracking a number in the dark. It keeps changing typeface
to throw me off the trail but it is the only set of tracks ahead of me.

Even as I slow down I am accelerating. Your own footsteps
are catching up to me but I am afraid the number ahead will tire

at last and I will catch it, panting on a hip-high rock among the pine.
I should go back to the woods in the daytime, who ever thought

you were nocturnal, and in the light splaying
among the leaves I am not afraid of numbers.


In the Month of Your Birthday

In the Month of Your Birthday

Mid-afternoon storm hours behind me, on the walk home.
Slight breeze triggers rain in the maple, cascading

leaf to leaf in the layers of small shadowed sky, not a memory
of rain but the actual rain, retained, in the vast shadows, actually

falling, and isn’t memory an actual thing moving in a real space,
and like the rain in this maple, not touching the ground.