Saturday, January 30, 2010


Animals leave tracks
and snow melts.
I would be frustrated about this
if I were snow.
Or if I were animals.
Always becoming

Friday, January 29, 2010


Walking on a dead end street
another country calls the bottom of a bag,
I trespass on lawns
past neighbors’ closed blinds.
A hired guard roams in a Dodge.
I keep my eyes on the ground.

Did the Middle Ages ever exist?
There are still castles
and this is their moat.
Here, nothing intersects.

In this place of bottlenecks,
where there is only one way in or out,
there is isolation, then death.

In this place of suspicion
everyone must believe in something.
I believe in nothing
but strangers.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Why write about Yard Work
when there is yard work.
A Bartlett pear tree to plant.

When land becomes Landscape
what happens to the land?

I have never seen a painting of a worm.

This house is a home,
but so what?
At the Horizon
is only horizon.
It lights up twice a day
and is less impressive
than a lamp.

Between the beginning
and end of vision
my son sits
under our new pear tree
and eats dirt.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I was a piece of water in a tank.
There was air above me.
I compressed a little and sank.

From the surface someone dropped
an anchor and gave a thumbs up.
The ocean can’t be bigger than this.

What’s the difference
between to and for?
I guess at equations.

When you speak
I can’t remember if you speak
to me or for me.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


We light candles and are thankful
for the gas stove poaching our eggs.
Some in this city think the end of times
is near and head to Wal-Mart
for two-week supplies of necessities,
as if a fortnight were eternity
and salvation came in plastic bags.
We're not so prepared.

There is no life beyond
the permanent power outage,
except for terriers and pidgeons.
Our basement is no cellar.
We anticipate a few good meals
before our food runs out or spoils.

Monday, January 11, 2010


The world had a theory:

it wasn't getting warmer,

people were getting colder.

Two New Poems

Two of my poems--"Auto-Collaborations" and "From the Adhesive"--were recently published in Free Verse's special supplement "New Voices of New England." Read them here. Scroll down once you get to the page. I'm just after Rob McDonald and just before John Cotter. That's quite a line-up, folks. Thanks to Chris Tonelli for choosing the poems.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


The world came back from the dead to discover
that humans had taken over and ruined everything.
So the world smoked a lot of pot
and wrote limpid little poems about spring
that nobody in the world gave two shits about
but the world wrote them anyway because it made him happy,
and because he was so high all the time
that it always felt like spring,
even when the world had just been dumped on
by twelve inches of snow. The ice trucks came rattling
down the streets of the world, but the world
didn't know it. There it sat, with its Bermuda sandles on,
reclining in its giant beach chair, snow swirling about
its hoary head, and nobody even noticing its decadence.
The newsmen came on and spoke about apocalypse
but the world knew better. He had better know better:
after all, he had been to the abyss and back.
To take a simile from one of the world's best poems,
it had been like swallowing a strychine sandwich
that had been left on the counter for weeks
and then attempting to do jumpingjacks
into socks lined with brass tacks.
But that's the beauty of a simile,
it's always just like or as,
never is. The world didn't really eat that sandwich, fyi.
The poem was loosely based on a real-life incident
involving some rotten tuna salad
and a pair of ill-fitting shoes.


I called my land land
from my cell phone
to hear myself in stereo.
Hello, I said in both ears.
It's me. How are you,
I said. Fine, I said.
The land line beeped
with a call waiting.
I put myself on hold
to answer the other call.
It was my friend in Rome
calling me on Skype.
He had gone there to convalesce
in the warm Mediterranean sun,
and had recently pgraded his account
to call land lines.
I asked how many land lines
he called nowadays,
since everyone was going mobile.
More than you'd think, he said.
I'd think you'd call about three people,
I said. He said, nope. I said,
about five? Wrongo, he said.
Well, how many then, I asked,
but before he could tell me
I remembered about my other line.
Hold on, I said, be right back.
Sorry about that, I said aloud
to myself. But I think I had stayed
on the other line for so long
that I had pissed me off.
I was beginning to apologize
when my cell phone vibrated.
It was another call coming in,
this one from my wife.
Be right back, I said, and clicked
the green phone icon. Hi Honey,
I said. When are you coming home
from work, she said. I don't know,
I said. I'm busy.
My lines have rung all day.
I'll call you back, I said,
and then switched back over
to my first call
where I'd been growing more and more
impatient with myself.
You put me on hold for forever.
No I didn't, I said.
Yes, you did, and you forgot
that I had my friend in Rome
on the other line the whole time,
you big dickhead, I screamed.
I hung up one phone and then the other.
I felt superior, then inferior.


I must remember to turn on the oven
in half an hour, while the bread
is finishing rising, to heat up
the pot that holds the dough.
This poem serves as a reminder.
Instead of jotting on Post-It notes
stuck to the regfrigerator,
I'll post poems to a blog.
The string around my finger.
In the breakfast nook where I type
the penciled bird on the wall is still dead
and there is a German print of pigs:
Marschschwein and Tamworthschwein.
Out the window the neighbor's dog
is pointing at nothing, now barking.
UPDATE: Emily has turned on the oven.