What was the best compliment you’ve received?

You’re the teacher I hate the least.

Edges Soften in the Dark

I can no longer see

consequence. I walk home

and everyone has changed.

I feel the same now as

I did when I was nine:

ignorant and naive—

and unaware of both.

Like crows among the dead,

I worry our future.

When I take my glasses

off, rooms blur with motion.

I find comfort in that

like our bed’s warmth after

you have left for the day.

(March 21, 2023)

The More Things Change

In almost-spring, the trees green

the bare branch tips barely while

others feign death like lovers

reluctant to leave bed’s warmth.

I resist most change until

it has already occurred.

It rarely changes that much,

that I must not plan dinner.

Although time’s rituals resist

alterations, the stitches

still fray from everyday use.

I am not much different.

Yesterday was warm and wet;

today cold, windy and clear.


To say

one loses faith,


quite a bit:

foremost one has

a faith to lose,

more so

than just a given.

Variables exist only

the moment before

the dice settle

on the green felt.

A sentence ends

with nothing left to say.

(March 13, 2023)

apostate drift

a falling away





like dandelions

scattered without

tears or toil

until alighting


where always

has been

a beginning

an end

(March 9, 2023)

Preemptive Talk

I know what you will say—

So, I speak instead to change

the direction of your subject

before you think to speak

Too often I use language

as a shield to deflect

the slashing barrage

of each day’s small talk

I natter through scripts

only I can hear, tumbling

variations into possibilities

from the obscure to the germane

Social cliches constrain 

conversation from becoming 

too much to hold us together, 

and too little to tear us apart

(March 7, 2023)

Being There

Along the horizon,

light dusts the sky

in translucent

oranges and reds.

I’m here, not there,

on the back steps

sipping coffee

trying not to break,

and in that moment

remove myself enough

to see the moment

as always enough:

morning light through trees,

with a chorus of birds.

Open Curriculum

I let the cat in—

then let her out once again,

thus my life proceeds

My students read books,

alone with their thoughts each class,

we learn what we do

I must write a poem

I must write every day

Today, this is it

I’ll write a haiku:

they are simple enough, though

simplicity’s not

I have taught for years and years

I’m still not sure what happens

(February 28, 2023)

Prix Fixe Menu

“corpses are set to banquet”

–Ezra Pound

the dead are fed

without fear for

without awareness

without consequence

the dog licks

the negligent’s hand

as easily as

the master’s

the servers smirk

taking the plates


who knows

what is served 

at the end of the day

(February 26, 2023)

juggling knives

I despise my life—

the knife twist memory

each slight

slit across tendons

to fell with guilt

the dynamic

each moment compels

into the next

here now I hold

a third

flick it into the air

to release

with hopeless trust

it will be caught

(February 25, 2023)