Gathering flotsam

The hallway fire extinguisher is named Badger

And the rounded effigies on the first floor vending machine lack 

The appropriate replica for diet coke

So someone hand-wrote the words on a piece of paper and stuck it there

In the rounded plastic

slot signifying all the real ones inside

While outside 

The wind beckons

So real, so deep, night-real, night-deep

The way you might pick up pieces

Of sand dollars along the beach as light falls beneath the western


Counting each–a quarter, a dime, or half-dollar

Fraction of the living

Miracle of ocean, deep and full of

things bigger than us

Bigger than either diet coke or Badger or

The things that would keep a body awake

In the deep

Of night

While outside the wind still beckons

Singing lullabies in siren voices

To the sleepless 



Dear Jason Rosenthal,

Don’t worry–I am not writing to-nor will ever attempt to–marry you.

I read your wife’s letter and I think I have something better than a prematurely offered new spouse.


I will be praying for you and Amy and your three beautiful children.  The ordeal you are all going through sounds scary and harrowing.

So…prayer…prayer to a Person who I believe to be real, eternal and prone to the miraculous.


Nothing is “more”  than the kind of love that…

Confronts death
So, prayer…in the hope that your love with your current wife will last forever.

And the understanding that whatever happens, no wife as wonderful as Amy can be easily replaced.


When “hurt” is a euphemism 

last night I talked 

To one of the many victims 

Of your perfidy 

People who lost 

Because you chose evil

Faithful in small things 

Has always formed the acronym

I use for this well of anger

For when children (very young)

Are hunted prey in the 


I left without you

Even heaven could be 

An old broken-down house

As long as Love

Made a fortress out of

Hard-won pillows.

No band-aid love

these paper cuts

Crass bits of pain

Catch unaware the

fireflies and sparks rising through

Cloud gray skies

Recumbent dragons-rivery road-

rundown house unblinks as the

broken boy steps in front of 

The barreling  18-wheeler.

Call for the medic, the surgeon, 

the poet who can

Conjure words to turniquet this-

No band-aid love-

All wounds and piercing sorrow

You smooth out your own discarded flesh

A coat laid down at our muddied feet

Temporary tomb

Swaddle  the dead

Call gossamer gauze, 

shroud, or interstitial subatomic strings

Cast lots if you will

For his seamless


Paint with both hands

lovely because

it could be

Both an injunction 

or a relationship

We see the artist, forget the camera

Pinpoint of light

Opposable thumbs

Think what this man could do

With a prehensile tail

You and I may see the gift, the illustrated mind

But miss the other

trapped for now

in amber

As though Leonardo or Michelangelo 

Could have been felled by

The medium of genius

I can still see you 

Using the camera as well

to illustrate a trick of flying

Carefully editing  

out the machine 

which drew you 

To this point of before and after

To yet another deus ex

Machina- impossible will be

I pray for you always, brave little bird

Cage of the mind

puff of air

brush-stroke eyelash

Two kinds 

of childhood kiss

(Either butterfly or Arctic indigenous)

Again-could be 

Injunction or relationship-

Both hands

Paint us free.