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I say

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (29)

this is me

these words define

my perception

like skin

.

a vague edge

between

what I hear

and what I say

.

if I peel

apart

the wet layers

I find nothing

.

beyond regret

self-flagellation

embarrassment

psychic decay

.

this is me

a bleeding scab of words

clot across my tongue

like worn rags

(February 20,2020)

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first word last word interrupt

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (27)

if anyone speaks

of anything

she might know

some small bit

that might relate

to her

a childhood memory

the center

of a collapsing star

anything at all

sparks her speech

until it is hers

and she turns and

turns and turns

all to her

as if she were

more

than who she is

and knew more

than

what she was

(February 16, 2020)

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Today’s Lesson

“These fragments I have shored against my ruins”

—T.S.Eliot

my students work over the abstract

idea of redemption in three stories

as a preparation for the wasteland

which we will read for the next class

one thousand miles away students

hide as their classmates are killed

and we are told there is nothing

nothing we can do except pray

prayers are useless balms for the dead

and pale recompense for the living

who must clean blood from walls

and mix memory into the earth

devoid of hope near an open door

we are in a hell we have created

(February 14, 2018)

I wrote this two years ago on the day of the Parkland massacre. I think about my students every time there is another school shooting. And there always seems to be another shooting. And still nothing is done. This poem was published by Shantih Journal.

storm surge

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (26)

yet I suppose it could be worse

the tidal pull and push

leaves me stranded

among the dune’s desolation

or drowning beneath the wave’s

cold pulse

                        so I take my meds

for ten years each morning

without fail I perform my Eucharist

without wine or blood or flesh

just chemicals I’m told will save me

from the rising tide

(February 12, 2020)

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belied by circumstance

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (25)

walking the beach

before dawn

before the gulls

pierce

their pointed cries

through the waves’

unrelenting crush

I drown

in the wash 

of noise

my thoughts beaten

calm and submissive

I have no voice

among these voices

they are still

lashed into silence

by the cold waves

the sun’s first

motifs float

along the edge

of the sea

slight pinks

and greens

define night’s end

alone on the shore

I know who I am

without interpretation’s

variance to distract

(February 7, 2020)