Sunday Morning

In downtown Baltimore

Years after he died

Lou Reed sings from the sound system

Of this corporate hotel lobby.

This is funnier

Than it should be.

I am almost sixty years old,

Attending an English teacher convention.

Back in Austin, hours later,

I casually toss herbs into the mortar,

And without thought, begin to grind:

“I don’t want to know…

All the streets you’ve crossed

Not so long ago”

(November 24, 2019)

New Normal


Trouble pulses, like cicadas

along oak branches through

summer’s heat: pervasive

and cold. It permeates

my blood like a poison.

I worry the times — for nothing

can be done – How does one

take on more than one self,

yet again? Don a new mask

to project a calm certainty

when fear’s fires rage and burn?

I have no place to stand with 

surety. Answers are simple

without people’s constraints:

the constant tug and shift,

like the tight tectonic grind

as ground slips over ground.

(April 2, 2019)

Preponderance of the Great


from “Renditions of Change,” a work in progress

I worry too much,

or not enough,

yet do nothing.

Here at home

cats curl

in our laps;

when friends visit,

the table’s full,

laughter and wine

flow unabated.

Far away

along the edges,

below the ice,

cracks appear;

and, the ground shifts

beneath us.

(March 7, 2019)

Our Trespasses

Our Trespasses

From thick decades, 

memory emerges, with 

miniscule shames and sins,

to taunt and accuse again.

Laced like briars between

raw sinew and bone,

the castigating voice

scratches and pricks.

Unable to forget, thus forgive,

all the awkward trespasses

harbored in memory

claw their way free, 

like lizards from eggs, 

hungry and ready to feed.

(January 31, 2019)