Published Poetry

WHAT WE NEED

It is just as well we do not see,
in the shadows behind the hasty tent
of the Allen Brothers Greatest Show,
Lola the Lion Tamer and the Great Valdini
in Nikes and jeans
sharing a tired cigarette
before she girds her wrists with glistening amulets
and snaps the tigers into rage,
before he adjusts the glimmering cummerbund
and makes from air
the white and trembling doves, the pair.

In the Home of the Famous Dead: Collected Poems,

U of AR Press, 2015

Scolds

In rooms the color of winter

you encounter your dreams:

the ones that toggle inside you,

the ones that haven't yet found you.

the ones sleeping in closets of houses

you've long forgot.

Against these walls,

they fidget like the wings of a wasp.

And there in a doorway the one dream,

tapping her foot.

The Undiscovered Room,  Tavern Books Press, 2016

The Dress

Well, I'm her mother, and I cannot see it,
that kind of money for one more thing to wear

to the Frostee-Freeze. I guess I might have done

the same thing at her age, but hell, at her age,

I was married and lived at the mining camp

raising two kids, the baby being her.

She put on the dress last night, a strapless thing, slipping up from the bottom and down at the top.

She called Harold, the weenie boyfriend,
to come take her down to the Idle Hour.
Waiting, she crossed her legs and fluffed her hair.

I'll bet she wasn't dreaming of pukey babies
or a man who rolls away soon as he's done,
or once of herself, married willy-nilly,
tomtit for a husband and no money.

It cost what she makes in a week, but she's got to have it.

 

In the Home of the Famous Dead: Collected Poems, U of AR Press, 2015