Conversations (IX) — to duende (via Lorca)
The bed of the earth extends to the ends
Of sheet-swept seas.The reasonings
Of mountains the resting place
For flocks of wishes in the empty trees,
The hollowness of hope their strength
To rise for nights of countless flight.
A rolling vessel rested in a calm, went on
Along the pale compass of your wrist.
It was never lie or lay.
There was never one direction.
Conversations (VIII) — to one haunted by a ghost
The key worked. The locked door opens.
I cannot see the word that troubles you.
Empty bottles line the windows. Looking
Out you are still looking in and the inward
Look is contained and darkens as
Sometimes when a word mispronounced
Shakes its muzzle loose unleashes itself
From its owners’ meaning and ends
Up meaning more as in what I am
Thinking of you away from this ghost
Conversations (VII) — to the distance
Cicadas, deafening in the black oak.
But invisible. Turn the mind down:
It’s a late August still life.
Above the heart’s yard, all my chattering thoughts,
An invisible chorus, can’t travel the distance.
The Bridgewater International Poetry Festival, which runs from January 12-15, 2017 at Bridgewater College here in Virginia, still has a few slots left for poets who’d like to present their work to other poets and lovers of poetry.
I attended the second BIPF in 2015 (it is held every other year) and it was a rousing long weekend of poets of all styles, types, ages, backgrounds, and publishing resumes. A few small press and university presses were there, as was my print-collaborator of choice, St Brigid Press.
It was a very invigorating way to meet nearly a hundred poets from across the country and around the world. Poets were paired together to share a 45-minute slot, and such readings went on in two separate locations, one in the main hall and another in a smaller more coffee-house style setting in the same building.
Check out the link below if you’re interested! I will also be debuting the beta version of a service I call LEAF, where poets will be able to offer single poems to attendees. Many of the BIPF poets don’t have books to sell, and in many cases in 2015 I found myself wanting a poem that was not in one of the poet’s books. It was frustrating when I was ready to plunk down some money on poetry but not get the poem I wanted. So BIPF will be the host of the first test of just such a system, exclusive to the festival’s attendees, to be able to purchase single poems from poets participating in the LEAF beta. More on this in a later post. For now, check out the link, grab 5 of your best poems and send them with a short bio to
There is a small registration fee ($25) you pay from the link below, and more info on the festival can also be found at the site.
Conversations (VI) — to the future
With eyes closed I can hear you smile.
Your voice a place I know my way around.
Woodpeckers say goodnight the strangest way
And other birds of winter appear as singular
Leaves of gray, blue, gold on the trees
We can only see through their nakedness.
I drop your eyelids’ map of dreams:
Everything you are I still don’t know
Runs through my veins
Like the flight patterns of birds
that never have to know the route
Conversations (V) — skin, to skin
I am the space before your voice is heard.
You’re the breeze that remembers every leaf’s name.
I am the weary road you know will take you home.
You are the river that sways the nimble oars.
A raspy sunrise. Whisper pleasant friction:
Your lips’ lines on my palm are not a fiction.
Conversations (IV) — to Dylan Thomas
It’s because I love my love can’t be cut
Like a river by rocks, bent branches swift
Over stone misshapen or promises broken
On swerve. Because I love I love this soul alone
And am given immunity against the foamy drift,
And the heart’s wheel’s rims to resist the rut,
The charter to tax all the pennies of loss,
The unplanted ghost come off the cross.