Monthly Archives: April 2014

Sunset Over Mountain As Seen Through a Cloud and a Crack in a Windshield

sunset with star break

Sunset Over the Mountain As Seen Through a Cloud and a Crack in a Windshield

Behind the cloud mass the sun is uncoiling and coiling
dragon wrapped around itself spitting fire behind a waterfall

And for a moment as I think of home  it is eclipsed entirely
by an imperfection in the windshield where six months ago

a pebble fell from nowhere as I drove up this very mountain’s
westward spine bounced with a crack, oblivion leaving its mark

A man wise in these things called this a “star break”
and of no danger to the integrity of my vision

Soon sun the mountain will shrug you off you will drop below
the ragged day’s line into tomorrow while I take the only road

I can to find what I left is now ahead of me and waiting behind
a light in windows, laughter drifting through the gap

Translation talk at Black Swan Books


I will be checking out this rather cool topic in my rather cool and little city this weekend. Angela Carter and Stan Galloway are area poets whose work I have enjoyed hearing in person.

Printer extraordinaire Emily Hancock of St Brigid Press will also be bringing copies of the mini-broadside of my translation of Li Ho’s “Sky Dream” for the event. I will not be selling this myself and I’m not sure if Emily has it for sale yet on her site, but you can always write her if you’re interested in seeing more. The poem is printed on very thin Unryu paper backed by grey Magnani Pescia paper, in Bembo typeface. The matting creates the shape of the moon which of course our poet Li would not bother to name in his brilliant and strange piece of verse, and will I think be available in a variety of night-sky-ish colors.

I believe St Brigid Press will also be issuing this poem’s companion translation of Li Po’s work, as well as a few other translations of classical Chinese verse. And of course as I attend this event I’ll be taking with me my time-travelling version of Mei Yao-ch’en, the great 11th century poet with whom I have spent so much time these last few months…




Still Life, Evening with Leaves and Blinding Light

leaves in floodlight

Still Life, Evening with Leaves and Blinding Light


The leaves were not laughing at me
(I could read their minds by floodlight)

In that perfect increment of night
when I loved the moment enough

For it to be my last they did not laugh
when I decreed it irreversible

In the barrel of empty air afloat
on the last black wave taking root

the leaves
did not laugh at me that

laughter was my own  (by
floodlight they can read my mind)

[Readings] National Poetry Month Reading 4/17


I will be one of four area poets reading in Staunton Thursday April 17th at 7pm at The Space, a newly renovated performing arts center in the heart of this great little city’s historic main street. Not sure what I’m reading yet. Any requests / suggestions?

Poem for the Back Cover of a Book

Poem for the Back Cover of a Book


This book does not care if you buy it.
This poem does not care if you buy the book.

Even I do not care if you buy the book.
The three of us have been waiting here

To tell you this, but even more—perhaps
you have just been thinking of that person

Whose love has kept you alive without you
knowing it these many years, perhaps  you

Are remembering that person now.
Are they right beside you, unaware your

Love flows stronger than ever? Have you
not exchanged words in years? We are here

To tell you—put down this book, do not look
back, you were never looking back but always

Straight through the eye of his soul.
Put down this book now and go to him.

Or, if you are still here, at a loss for words,
I will help you. Go buy this book

And leave it face down where he
will find it, and notice this poem,

That is why we are here, after all,
And we will see what can be done.