Online Magazine Publications

2022

“The Flung Man” in The MockingOwl Roost

“Dark Comedy,” “The Birthday Balloon,” “Blood Panel” in Two Hawks Quarterly

“Induction,” “Quiet at Breakfast” in The Indianapolis Review

August 26, 2022: “The Life Aquatic” in The Handy, Uncapped Pen

July ?, 2022: “How Long,” “My Lazy Bones,” “Fall Class,” Game On” in Eunoia Review 

(https://youtu.be/oQrHgqJXpSw)

July 6, 2022: “Charles Bukowski,” ” Fall Class” in the museum of americana

July 1, 2022: “The Geese,” “A Circular Arrangement” in The Broadkill Review

“Mystery Theater” in The Charles Carter

“The Lions of Sleep” in Expanded Field

June 2-, 2022: “Reverse Twilight,” “On TV,” “A Family Portrait” in Otis Nebula

June 16, 2022: “Eight Years Five Planets,” “Hour When,” “Tornado Siren” in Rusty Truck

June 15, 2022: “Black Cat” in Orange Blossom Review 

June 15, 2022: “The Crux” in Post Grad Journal

June 13, 2022: “Amber Alert” in North of Oxford

(https://youtu.be/DAuohuNzFKg)

June 3, 2022: “Lili” in Tipton Poetry Journal

May 29, 2022: “The Crawlspace,” “Maternity Leave,” “The Face in the Tree,” “To Theo, Age 4,” “Waiting Around at Santa Fe Trail Park” in Meridian Literary Journal

May 26, 2022: “The Cough” in LETTERS Journal

May 17, 2022: “New Galleries” in Clementine Unbound

May 13, 2022: “Lava” in The Metaworker

May 9, 2022: “Augury,” “Walking With Omi” in Sprung Formal

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVkH22zT1jg&t=46s)

May 7, 2022: “Floral Pattern” in Bear Review

May 1, 2022: “Flick” in Rogue Agent

April 30, 2022: “Star Dark” in Verse-Virtual

April 30, 2022: “The Other World Is Our World,” “Symptom or Side Effect,” “The Next Flight” in Otoliths

April, 16, 2022: “The Fuss” in Rock Paper Poem

April 15, 2022: “Foreign Tongue,” “In Passing” in Quail Bell

April 11, 2022: “Getting Somewhere” in The Metaworker

April 11, 2022: “The Knife” in New Feathers Anthology

April 1, 2022: “The Bigness of the Herd,” “2022” in The Broadkill Review

March 31, 2022: “Nocturne,” “Pike Place,” “Winter Storm Brain Scan” in Willawaw Journal 

March 11, 2022: “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Share,” “December” in The Handy, Uncapped Pen

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ykAj42x9Gc)

March 8, 2022: “Extra Person,”” Dad Bod” in THE BIG WINDOWS

March 3, 2022: “Origin of Hospice,” “The Mouth” in Woolgathering Review

Feb. 28, 2022: “My Body Is a Commons” in The Coop

Feb. 27, 2022: “Stations” in Nude Bruce Review

Feb. 23, 2022: “T-Shirts,” “Let My Tongue,” “Hiccup Theory” in The Gravity of the Thing

Feb. 9, 2022: “My Father’s House,” “Over My Head” in Yes Poetry

Feb. 8, 2022: “Like Clockwork” in The Wild Word

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddOegqyKGtk)

Feb. 2, 2022: “Abandon” in Rust + Moth

Feb. 2, 2022: “In the Window” in Neologism Poetry Journal

Feb. 1, 2022: “Heliotrope,” “Wayward,” “Bygones,” “Labor Day” in Otoliths

Feb. 1, 2022: “Only Robbers,” “No Way” in Verse-Virtual

Feb. 1, 2022: “Naptime” in MockingHeart Review

Jan. 20, 2022: “No Recollection,” “Labor Day” in LETTERS Journal

Jan, ?, 2022: “Diet,” “Handling Pills,” “Dense Fog” in Scarlet Leaf Review

Jan. 18, 2022: “Hens and Chicks” in VISITANT

Jan. 12, 2022: “Redbeard,” “Says It All” in Poetry Super Highway

2021

Dec. 28, 2021: “My Costume,” “Naysayer” in Sparks of Calliope

Dec. 21, 2021: “Untiming” in Young Ravens Literary Review

Dec. 20, 2021: “Matinée,” “Washcloths” in FS Monthly

Dec. 7, 2021:  “In Its Name,” “Today Is the Driveway,” “Toward and Away From,” “Ugly Mug,” “A Candle, Burning,” “A Crooked Stream,” “Aubade,” “Bedtime Procedure,” “Cops and Robbers,” “Crystal,” “Gospel Ready” in New Mystics

Dec. 7, 2021: “Christmas Tree Lights” in Trouvaille Review

Dec. 5, 2021: “West Virginia” in Ghost City Review

Dec. 4, 2021: “The Branch” in Whale Road Review

Nov. 29, 2021: “Messages from Colorado” in The Metaworker

Nov. 24, 2021: “Neurooncologist” in THE BIG WINDOWS

Nov. 17, 2021: “The Storm” in Oddball Magazine

Nov. 8, 2021: “The Lookalike” in The Metaworker

Nov. 1, 2021: “A Place Between” in The Bookends Review

Oct. 27: 2021: “Shattered Light,” “The Stalemate” in Rat’s Ass Review

Sept. 28, 2021: “The Manger,” “The Rain” in Anti-Heroin Chic

Sept. 11, 2021: “Paralysis,” “Ethan’s Angels” in The Squawk Back

Sept. 5, 2021: “Sound Bites” in The Summerset Review

Sept. 1, 2021:  “Water Curtain Cave” in Shot Glass Journal

Sept. 2, 2021: “The Coincidence” in The Coop: A Poetry Collective

August 11, 2021: “The KRUPS” Red Fern Review

July 31, 2021: “In Room N,” “we ourselves are the big activity” The Indianapolis Review

July 28, 2021: “Repose,” “Literal Light” in LEON Literary Review

July 25, 2021:  “The Clouds” in New Feathers Anthology

July 24, 2021: “Side Effects” in Verdad Magazine

July 15, 2021: “The Hill,” “Smiley Faces,” “The Fountain,” “A Light Existence,” “Warts” in Rusty Truck

July 12, 2021: “IDH Mutation” in Quail Bell Magazine

July 5, 2021: “The Surgeon,” in The Metaworker

July 4, 2021:“The Fly,” “Gutter Babies,” “The Hollow,” “Tornado Siren,” “The Seedlings” in Wilderness House Literary Review

June 30, 2021: “The Stick,” “Strawberry Plants” Young Ravens Literary Review

June 23, 2021: “Handling Pills,” “”Parent Child Interaction Therapy” in indicia

June 18, 2021: “Glioblastoma Facts” in thimble

June 16. 2021: “Air Quality Index,” “HALOS” in Life and Legends

June 14-20, 2021: “Safety Lesson” in Poetry Super Highway

June 15, 2021: “Dying Small” in Noctua Review

June 5, 2021: “The Spider” in Trouvaille Review

June 4, 2021: “Perfusion” in The Metaworker

June 2, 2021: “Harmonic Tune,” “Apoptosis” in Former People

June 1, 2021: “Hello Pediatric Dentistry,” “Hot Wheels” in sleet magazine

June 1, 2021:  “Methyl” in MockingHeart Review

June 1, 2021: “Piece of Mind” in Rogue Agent

May 31: “Gou,” “Selena,” “After Basho” in Verse-Virtual

May 25, 2021: “The Bricks,” “The Problem of My Left Hand” in Open Skies Quarterly

May 24, 2021: “HALOS” in Sweet Tree Review

May 7, 2021: “Zoom Bombing” in Kawsmouth

April 27, 2021: “Carface,” “Just Breathe” in Sprung Formal

April 8, 2021: “Toxicity,” “Declining,” “Functionality” in Brickplight

April, 7, 2021: “Night Feed” in The Opiate

April 2, 2021: “Coronavirus Tutorial” in Tipton Poetry Journal

March 26, 2021: “Stiletto,” “Vector,” “Magnetic Moments”  in The Broadkill Review

March 21, 2021: “Continency,” “Depends,” “Pavers”  in AMP

March 14, 2021: “Temporal” in Poetry Super Highway

March 10, 2021: “Focal Seizures,” “Memory Loss,” “Hey Jude,” “Gravity,” “Imago” in Modern Literature

March 6, 2021: “Inspirational Space” in Quail Bell

Feb. 8, 2021: “Animal Sound ” in Willawaw Journal

Feb. 8, 2021: “Keppra” in The Pangolin Review

Feb. 2, 2021: “Follower” in Uppagus

Jan. 18, 2021: “Rocking the Baby” in Writer’s Block

Jan. 12, 2021: “Dream Poem,” “Death Christmas,” “I Wanted to Write a Poem” in Brickplight

Jan. 10, 2021: “Gadolinium,” “Kansas City Zoo” in The Collidescope

Jan. 1, 2021: “Puncture Wounds,” “Selena” in Madcap Review

2020

Dec. 22, 2020: “Canteen” in The Big Windows Review

Dec. 9, 2020: “What I Call I” in New Feathers Anthology

Nov. 28, 2020: “Frequencies” in Communion Arts Journal

Nov. 4, 2020: “excerpt 4” in Neologism Poetry Journal

Nov. 3, 2020: “Internal Combustion” in Willawaw Journal

Oct. 30, 2020: “Autumn Is Not Desolate” in Tipton Poetry Review

Oct. 29, 2020: “Accidents Happen,” “COVID-19,” “Carnage,” “Cages,” “Tube Socks” in Former People

Oct. 20, 2020: “The Magi” in The Metaworker

Oct. 17, 2020: “Patio Chair” in Cumberland River Review

Oct. 16, 2020: “No More Than” in October Hill Magazine

Sept. 29, 2020: “The Consistency of Snow,” “Tammy Ho Lai-Ming” in New Feathers Anthology

Sept. 21, 2020: “Two Cashews,” “Patio Chair” in Modern Literature

Sept. 15, 2020: “June” in COUNTERCLOCK

Sept. 14, 2020: “Yet Again” in Ghost City Review

Sept. 12, 2020:  “A Lowly Habitation” in Whale Road Review

Sept. 7, 2020: “Water Glasses” in DREGINALD

Sept. 4, 2020: “No Nonsense” in Braided Way

Sept. 2, 2020: “Dido,” “Night Mare,” “Snowmelt,” “All of a Sudden,” “Figures” in The Blue Nib

Sept. 1, 2020: “Wreaths” in Rogue Agent

August 30, 2020: “Floes,” “Far Other,” “Pistachio Shells,” “Red Spider Tick,” “Swinging” in Wilderness House Literary Review

August 4, 2020: “Self-Portrait with Saint Augustine,” “More Wheels,” “The House on Wien” in Modern Literature

August 3, 2020: “The Names of Clouds,” “Homestead” in Rabid Oak

August 1, 2020: “End-of-Life Scenario” in The Indianapolis Review

August 1, 2020: “Due Date,” “Magenta” in Last Leaves Magazine

Due Date

Due tomorrow, Lili brings up
her childhood friend who was two
weeks late delivering a son,
with no rear end, no living breath.

Orange pearl of sunrise
ensconced in pine needles, couched
in dark branches. Theo tests me
by rolling the front of his little tikes

shopping cart over the foot
of Barb’s driveway. Phyllis waves
behind her curb’s barricade
of unraked leaves. A couple strings

of Canadian geese oscillate
above the smoking chimney pipes.
I lift Theo into the basket
of his own cart, his legs draped

over the rim. Doubled over,
I push him home to wipe his runny nose.

Magenta

Stop trying
to make it work.

Don’t try.

It will be all right.

Just melt. Allow your
self to melt.

Be moment,
water. Wait for

whatever: Whatever
knows best.

Bless. Be less.
Be little. Forget.

Death will be like this
forgetting, this

orange blank
behind your eyelids,

serviceberry pink,
almost magenta.

The sapling planted
for my unborn

daughter has berried

in an orchard
in Magenta, the color

of the Battle of I
close my eyes.

July 8, 2020: “Dog Barking at a Squirrel” in Crack the Spine

July 1, 2020: Sameness” in A Mason Street Review Summer Zine   

June 10, 2020: “Dongguan” in 8 Poems

June 8, 2020: “Brain Scans,” “Go, Dog. Go!” “Seattle” in Anti-Heroin Chic

June 2, 2020 : “Apple Cider Vinegar” in K’in Literary Journal

July 5, 2020: “Hydrocodone” in Futures Trading

June 6, 2020: “State Farm,” “Day Without Sun” in Nude Bruce

June 6, 2020: “Cider House Rules (1999)” in Oddball Magazine

June 1, 2020: “Self-Quarantine,” “Repose with Golden Retriever,” “Driveway Rhapsody” in MockingHeart Review

May 25, 2020: “Lift-Away” in HeartWood Literary Magazine

May 11, 2020: “Stay-at-Home Order” in The Opiate

May 8, 2020: “Evade,” “Born in Sin” in Heart of Flesh

May 5, 2020: “Deadbeat,” “Geoffrey” in Sprung Formal

May 2, 2020: “Storm Windows” in Neologism Poetry Journal

April 26, 2020: “Kiddie Pool Baptismal in The Coop: A Poetry Collective

April 24, 2020: “Crucifixion of a Phantasm,” “Infected,” “Burr Oak Woods”  in North of Oxford

April 20, 2020: “Gaggles,” “Hope Chest,” “Tube Socks,” “Eating Snow” in  NEW TEXAS

Gaggles

One or two pinpricks of diamond
glass are all that’s left of the snowbank,
one misshapen stone resting atop the other
all that remains of the limbless man
down the lane. White strands of Moby’s shed
winter coat adhere to the knee
cap of my coveralls. The rattan seat in which I rock
is splitting open, bottoming out.

I hear a flock of geese but look up too late,
too sunrise bleary, to see the long undulating string
slip away. How does old age happen? All of a sudden,
or a little at a time? I raise my eyes and the geese
are gone. The snow is gone.
A lone straggler circling the house, I know
how it feels to be left behind, ghosted
when your whole family goes
out to breakfast.

Hope Chest

After the daylong plunge into dark spring rain,
I settle into wet wicker, an aftermath
of mist, static on my brow, my beard scissored
and buzzed to an undercoat
of pea gravel.

Muted tones of conversation—Barb’s
garage door open, her sister’s drone, boyfriend’s drawl.
A house sparrow shelters in the wheel well
of the white FORD Ranger.

How long, how dark the day dragged on,
Theo butterflying among picture
books, stamped rain puddles in lulls
of downfall, lowered himself like a wildebeest
to drink from the driveway’s
shattered basin.

A Robin with nest stuff in its beak crowns the eaves
above me, then ensconces itself in the crook
of the downspout, lank grasses
draped over corrugated tin.

A single raindrop pricks the back
of my hand. I hear a tapping
and raise my eyes.
Not much to see beyond the shower curtain,
the sky’s prickly screen.

Mariah. Brushing her teeth in sleep
shorts—gone so often
I’d forgotten she was home—ghosts
the second-story window,
tapping the pane. Elderly 24-year-old
spinster, she keeps a hope chest.

In the refrigerator photograph of us as kids,
she’s wrapped her arms
around mine, even then trying
to get my attention, a dirty blonde
lanky goof, I’m strawberry-topped and staring
blackly into the lens. Now bald,
and she’s always dying her hair another color
than she intended.

Social Distancing

Perhaps I, too, cannot be healed
except by believing. March afternoon

bright and cold as a coma, ember
of yesteryear a burnt hole in the seat

of the patio chair. Hay stalks spill
into the grass, shoots of green onion

wagging like antenna over the terracotta
rim of the flowerpot. Sun fevers

my forehead, another symptom,
ensconced in my army green hood

from Beijing. My tube socks beartrap
deep red grooves above my ankles.

My aging gums recede. I kept my heart,
confesses Augustine, from assenting

to any thing. When I find a hole
in my heel, I tear it open.

Fall headlong into the slaughter
of April, the second month

of social distancing. Wind rises,
raises a hand hard against denimed

calves, stitched seam of yellow thread.
Worn out, I throw myself away.

Eating Snow

Sun bears down upon the shovel’s head,
digging us out of a grave
run of cloudy days of sleet salting
the parking lot outside Cockerell & McIntosh
Pediatrics, where our sliding doors
seize up and the van bleeps at us
for our own safety all the way home
after I heave Naomi in her car seat
over the dashboard. My dreams come
readily these nights I spook Lili
in the study. I go into the gas station
for a haircut only to realize I have no hair,
sink my teeth into the éclair my cancer
would kill me for and Naomi raises a cry
out of the dark. Eat snow, my son says,
and he does partake, stealing out the storm
door in his plaid pajama bottoms
to range barefoot across the powdered stoop.
He picks at clumps between January’s
white blade, green blade. No body in the bed
beside me and I climb the stairs to the study.
Twice a night I ghost the study door,
whisper her name over the wheezy chug of the breast pump.

April 16, 2020: “Self-Quarantine” in Lotus-eater

April 15, 2020: “Dissolution” AMP

April 15, 2020: “Bright Ideas” THE RUPTURE

April 13, 2020: “A Group of Whales is Called a Pod” in thimble literary magazine

April 1, 2020: “Wind Chimes” in Rogue Agent

March 19, 2020: “Night Bird Summer Rain,” “Clear Grit in the Grass,” “Gary Snyder,” “Night Winds” in Leaping Clear

March 16, 2020: “First Opening Flower of Youth” in From Sac Monthly

March 14, 2020: “Snowflake Projector,” “Deer Sausage,” “Day Without Sun” in Street Light Press

Snowflake Projector

An orange extension cord draped over the cold
shoulder of the lawn links the glittering
crystal eyeball of the projector

to the outlet. All day it casts invisible snowflakes
over the gables and garage door.
In the wreckage of December—empty culm,

bird bath sucked to motheaten
leaves and shriveled berries, mailbox lolling
in tin metal silence—its light-emitting

diodes rotate in their cast iron socket, their black stake
driven among the oak leaves. Its unraveling
light is unseeable—wasted,

or waiting? After nightfall drags its photographer’s
cape over the house we live in,
we enter the darkness, see the light.

Deer Sausage

I would like to throw my arms
around the creased red neck of the man
who paid my insurance premiums
through chemo and radiation,
but settle for a fraternal pat on the back.

On the road to Le Claire, transmission
towers drape their ledger lines over Iowa
with intervals of turtle doves. Bird nests
clot like blood in veiny branches.

On the road to pay our annual visit,
sleet shakes white pellets, seasoning
the cows that graze with their heads down
in the yellow chapel of the field.

Starry-eyed headlights streak the blacktop,
a blizzard of albino snakes blowing sideways.
After we arrive, Uncle Steve moseys out
in his sweatpants and army cap. I would like a hug

but settle for a slice of deer sausage,
the jalapeño & cheese-spliced
yield of his yearly hunt: four bucks, three does,
a miniature pogrom of dainty rodents
on his iPhone, black eyes glassed open.

Day Without Sun

Fog machine morning
our frog figurine

lounges, snail facedown
in the flowerbed’s

understory of oak leaves,
its whiskers of catmint.

My two-year-old Theo rolls
over the happy turtle

below the blown-out garden
mums. Real oak leaves

dock in mock vegetable
garden slots for rubber

carrot, plastic radish
in the Little Tikes cottage.

Canadian geese, hidden
in cloud, creak

like swings in the playground
of dead infants

smothering the daylong sun.
Somewhere in the white

-out, sirens echo. Silence,
somewhere, is making

a bed for me. Climb in,
says silence, be tucked

in calm, earless. Scrabble
the braille of acorns.

March 11, 2020: “Animal Brain” in Whale Road Review

March 11, 2020: “Postcard with Photograph” in Fourth & Sycamore

March 9, 2020: “Co-Sleeping,” “After the Revolution,” “Food Fight,” “Visiting the Tomb,” “Morning Departure” in Brush Talks

Feb. 24, 2020: “Scrapbook” in The Bookends Review

Feb. 20, 2020: “Taking Leave of a Pesticide Applicator” in Evocations

Feb. 13, 2020: “Father’s Day,” “The Antagonist,” “Folding Clothes,” “Roasted Seaweed” in Scarlet Leaf Review

Feb. 6, 2020: “Hypothesis” in Amethyst Review

Feb. 4, 2020: “What Thou Art to Me” in Bending Genres

Jan. 31, 2020: “IKEA” in The Big Windows Review

Jan. 31, 2020: “Poem in Reply,” “June 8, Still Spring,” “Money” in Shot Glass Journal

Jan. 30, 2020: “buy buy BABY” in Williwaw Journal of Poetry & Art

Jan. 29, 2020: “Antiseizure,” “Bad Father” in Two Hawks Quarterly

Jan. 18, 2020: “Coat Hook” in The Conglomerate

Jan. 5, 2020: “Farewell to Welcome Road,” “Raking Leaves” in Life and Legends

Jan. 3, 2020: “Chrysler Aspen” in Amethyst Review

Jan. 1, 2020: “A Wrinkle in Time” in Madcap Review

2019

Dec. 16, 2019: “Python,” “During the Burial,” “Dreaming of Yantai” in Unearthed

Dec. 15, 2019: “Basketball Tournament,” “Hard of Hearing” in New Mexico Review

Dec. 5, 2019: “Cell Phone Cemetery,” “Sound Puzzle,” “Apple Cider Vinegar,” “Instructions for Coarsening,” in Route 7 Review

Nov. 25, 2019: “The Juicer” in The Metaworker

Nov. 25, 2019: “Dylan Thomas” in Futures Trading

Nov. 21, 2019: “Looking for God,” “What’s Still” in The Other Journal

Nov. 21, 2019: “Newborn Panorama” in Meniscus Literary Journal

Nov. 17, 2019: “The Problem,” “Déjà Vu,” “Cheating on My Diet” in Rusty Truck

Nov. 17, 2019: “Orchid Garden Residence Community,” “First Day in Beijing” in Sweet Tree Review

Nov. 15, 2019: “Wild Oats” in Off the Coast

Nov. 9, 2019: “Blister” in Minute Magazine

Oct. 31, 2019: “Stolen Moments,” “Philosophical Water” in Verdad Magazine

Oct. 29. 2019: “Mother-in-Law” in Oyster River Pages

Oct. 25, 2019: “El Maguey” in 8 Poems

Oct. 25, 2019: “A Monster Calls (2017)” in Nine Muses Poetry

A Monster Calls (2017)

My notebook splits in half. I draw strip
after strip of packing tape just to keep it together.
There’s a utility lighter on the loveseat,
Happy Father’s Day from Theo, presumably,
by way of the bathroom drawer. I borrow
without asking my little brother’s Bosch
electric and screw the blue handle onto the leg
of the swing set. I feel manly.
Lili’s got on her new straw hat, black hair
hanging long over her ears in June sun. I marvel
at the woman and child who are my woman
and my child on the old platform, going down
the new blue slide, how broad my wife’s back is,
how it broadens. I marvel at the weight
she bears, wipe the hot water on her cheeks
with bare fingers, then turn a knuckle to my own
drippy socket as the credits drop like silver
rain over the dark screen.

Oct. 15, 2019: “Cider House Rules (1999)” in The Lieratry Nest

Oct. 9, 2019: “Kiddie Pool Baptismal,” “Paradise” in Arcturus Magazine

Oct. 7, 2019: “Maui” in The Metaworker

Sept. 28, 2019: “Striptease” in indicia

Sept. 27, 2019: “Lightening,” “The Dinner Belle Cafe,” “He Said, She Said,” “The Oneironaut,” “Blessing For an Old Dog” in Sprung Formal

Sept. 24, 2019: “Yellow Sac Journal” in CutBank Literary Journal

Sept. 20, 2019: “Last Evening in June” in The Bookends Review

Sept. 18, 2019: “Hair” in The Pangolin Review

Sept 4, 2019: “Phloxes,” “Methylprednisolone,” “Fetal Doppler” and “Pepper Jack” in Eunoia Review

Sept. 4, 2019: “Silent Partner,” “Kiddie Pool Baptismal” in The Gravity of the Thing

Sept. 1, 2019: “Chiefs Cap” in Rogue Agent

August 27, 2019: “Loadmasters,” “Memory Gaps,” “Mortal Kombat” in Verse-Virtual

August 26, 2019: “Give Thanks” in Clade Song

Give Thanks

Give thanks, green buds
for your hard fuzzy nipples

in the leafless tines
of the magnolia sapling.

Wobble in the shushings,
the sibilants of November breeze

and give thanks.
Among the dogs at noontime,

I would like nothing better
than to close my eyes

in sunlight, feet up on the rim
of the firepit, and let

my body beckon. Let the sunbeaten
side of my head call

to the shaded side, praise
and give thanks for its ghost.

I would like to take
my cue from the cockapoo.

Roll around in crispy leaves,
walk with my incisive shadow

brother in a fountainhead
of yellow sleep.

August 24: 2019: “Warning Label,” “Looking for Things to Do,” “However Rich” in Adelaide Literary Magazine

August 21, 2019: “Yahweh” in VISITANT

August 17, 2019: “Two-Pronged Attack,” “Last Flight Before the Burial,” “Travel Plans” in Sweet Tree Review

August 15, 2019: “Night Trains,” in October Hill Magazine

August 13, 2019: “Last Days in the Desert (2015),” “Men’s Warehouse,” “Learning Curve,” “Shave Gel” in Queen Mob’s Teahouse

August 3, 2019: “Cheese Grater,” “Don’t Even (Think About It),” “Flyswatters,” “Dadgum” in Alba

July 31, 2019: “Journal Entries from Jixian” in VISITANT

July 31, 2019: “Household Idol” in Oddball Magazine

July 6, 2019: “Birding on a Sunday Morning,” “Looking for God” in Communion Arts Journal

July 1, 2019: “Yellow Curry” in MockingHeart Review

June 26, 2019: “Misadventure” in Vita Brevis

June 25, 2019: “Older Brother,” “New Member” in Squawk Back

June 23, 2019: “Crocs,” “Seven Years” in Former People

June 23, 2019: “Visitation” in Heron Tree

June 20, 2019: “Snowfall at the Summer Palace” in Vita Brevis

June 15, 2019: “Burning Coal” in North of Oxford

May 29, 2019: “Kavanaugh” in Glass: A Poetry Journal

May 27, 2019: “Landscape Fabric” in Lines + Stars

May 20, 2019: “Last Evening in June,” “The Sultriness” Heartwood Literary Magazine

May 17, 2019: “Shoveling Snow” in Rumble Fish Quarterly

May 13, 2019: “Carrot Cake” in The Opiate

May 12, 2019: “Trespassing,” “Mississippi Singalong” in The 2River View

April 28, 2019: “Lightening,” “At the Dinner Bell Café,” “He Said, She Said,” “The Oneironaut,” “Blessing For an Old Dog” in Sprung Formal

April 19, 2019: “Preliminary Investigations” in Braided Way

April 15, 2019 : “When the Time Comes,” “Soothing” in The Manyard

April 8, 2019: ECLECTICA Magazine: “Temozolomide”

April 2, 2019: Route 7 Review: “Funeral Arrangements,” “GBM SURVIVORS TO THIVERS!,” “Walmart Supercenter,” “First Snowfall,” “Snow Globe”

Funeral Arrangements

I roll over in the middle of night to scratch out
my dream in the undercarriage of my year-old’s
abandoned changing table, a makeshift nightstand,
Bili-bassinet. Afterwards my head caves in.
I make funeral arrangements, compile the playlist.

Late morning, I fling the snow-skinned lawn chair
into the snow-scabbed yard. I lift the lawn chair
out of the shadow of the house and fling it
into sunlight. With one bounce it’s shaken
almost totally bare a place for me to sit.

Lowering my body into its lap, I notice only
a ramshackle few ice crystals on the armrest, which full
sun rearranges into a pile of tears, globules
of water. Sunlight and snow light form an infinite
loop around me, one feeding into the other

in the damaged circuitry of my brain, overloading
my eyelids. Remember this, my angel says,
when you imagine your funeral so long abiding

in memory of wife or son, dying so very
disgustingly young. Remember you have not lived less
than your survivors. You have lived more.

GBM SURVIVORS TO THIRVERS!

She says her husband doesn’t make it to the bathroom.
She says her husband stares at himself
in the bathroom mirror at midnight. When he comes back,
he just stands there looking down at the indentation
his body made beside her.

Does this mean the tumor’s grown, she asks,
or is it because of the weaning, the gradual reduction
of anti-inflammatories? Out the bay window,
snow is falling. Around the kitchen table,
people chatter about substituting cranberries

for marshmallows in the baked yams, the benefits maple
syrup over brown sugar, and what about fresh green beans
instead of canned? Recipes for stuffed mushrooms,
blending batter for pumpkin pancakes. I sink
into my captain’s chair, cradling coffee in both hands.

Outside the snow shifts like static, the signal interrupted.
People chatter about substituting the chain links
for new pickets. Setting the posts in cement.
Getting started Wednesday. Renting the augur, breaking out
the reciprocating saw. People chatter. Snow unloads

more snow out the bay window, more and more
snow out of the sky’s dark wardrobe.

Walmart Supercenter

Mom takes my arm
in the Walmart parking lot,
walking along the slanted column

of cars in early winter dark
toward a distant spot into which
she slid her RAV4, parking far

enough to silence the inner worrywart.
A seer of wanton doors kicked open
or flung, runaway shopping carts,

a note not even tucked below
her windshield wiper, Mom takes
my arm, my father gone, filing

for divorce in Guam, for no
undivided property, that insidious
double negative betraying

a desire to halve her homestead,
scatter her nestlings
to the wind. Mom takes my arm

and tells me a client came in recently
who had heard the pop, pop, pop!
of gunshots where we were just

digging through a bin of DVDs,
perusing bottles
of body wash. Angels in lime-green

vests ushered her into a back
room to wait the twenty minutes
it took the police to arrive.

First Snowfall

for Po Chü-i

I’ll always remember this
as the autumn I pulled a thousand
acorns out of my year-old’s mouth.
Fingers numb as willow shoots,
you say. I prefer think of mine as a statuary

of blood. It’s hard for me too,
imagining myself with terminal cancer,
which is why I make it my mantra, glioblastoma,
glioblastoma, the way you do the dharma.
But there are worse demons to be left with than poetry.

Dear old soul, ailing Tang dynasty friend,
sun lost and found among passing clouds
child glimpsed in a river of overcoats,
your diminished brightness lets me look
like a child upon nakedness.

Today’s temperatures hover around zero.
Snow’s supposed to fall as they rise.
Even when I write down my dreams on the toilet
at midnight, they dissolve like snowflakes
in the palm of my hand.

Snow Globe

Theo suited up in blue
padded winter coat, zipped
and hooded. Velcroed footstep

space boots from Target light up
in the dark garage. I push
the button and the monstrous

segmented insect wing
of door breaks suction
with the step in which it rests

and rolls its creaking panels
onto the tracks above us. Daylight
replaces the close-knit gloom

of us with the light of our breathing
bodies. An alien planet presents
itself in the square portal

of our shuttlecraft. It’s so cold
the boy has to be taken
by the hand and led into the aching

brightness of snow, some new
world caked and encrusted funnel
of flesh-eating wind.

March 20, 2019: “Paisley,” “Lightening,” “IKEA” in Gravel

Paisley

I lie down in a landscape of tadpoles.
My parents’ marriage bed wriggles
below me. Head-heavy and hooking
aquatic larvae. In the northeast corner

of the house where shadows gutter
in the afternoon, I lie down in the moment
of my own conception. Two-hundred
and fifty million spermatozoa called out,

all to die but the one. My origins are no mystery.
I lie where they lay thirty years ago.
Hairspray hanging in the air where she shyly raised
the hem of her starchy nightgown.

No child should be so imaginative, so entangled
in the macramé of his parents’ marriage,
yet I believe what my father told me: In 30 years,
she never once undressed in front of him.

Lightening

Western sky still gunmetal, a tail pipe
smoking in the Walmart parking lot, its long
white exhale rolling out like an albino dragon.
American crows descend to inspect a Happy Meal,

its limp fries and burger flung out the car
window, crescent bites in the shape of a mouth.
East and west, now and then, I walk home
with my groceries. Sun rising over the golf course,

I walk home. The lightening sky is cerulean,
I say, and salmon, the color of its clouds.
But don’t listen to me. Take care not to step
on the squirrels. Where once you slid the shovel’s head

under their bodies and carried them home,
where once, dear patient, you held the dead in the cradle
of your mind, now take care,
take care.

IKEA

Across the cafeteria, some little boy’s young
mother engages my eight-month-old
in a long-distance game
of peek-a-boo. Families in partitions
around us fork Swedish
meatballs, frozen vegetables, baked salmon.
Dollies rattle plates and silverware to the corral.

Later, slumped over and asleep in his stroller,
Theo evokes passing smiles and matronly
coos while the tree line undulates
in silence, his neck flopped, my glioblastoma
the twinging phantom in my temple, light
touch of the only goddess I believe in,
just the pressure of a fingertip.

In the floor-to-ceiling windows the lighter
ridge of treetops backdrops a darker ridge. Beyond them,
clouds unspindle endlessly across the Kansan sky.

March 14, 2019: “Perceiving Mystery” in Whale Road Review

Feb. 25, 2019: “Workshop” in Yes, Poetry

Feb. 17, 2019: “Why Don’t We All Go Around the Room and Say One Thing We’re Thankful For,” “Collateral Beauty” and “Letter To an Unknown Sender” in Guttural Magazine

Feb. 8, 2019: “Disposable Dogs” in Bending Genres

Feb. 4, 2019: “Vapors” in IthacaLit

Jan. 31, 2019: “Description of a Typical Day for My Continuing Disability Report,” “Haiku Sequence On Dexamethasone” in The Indianapolis Review

2018

Dec. 31, 2018: “Ghost Mall” in Otis Nebula

Dec. 22, 2018: “Lacan at the SSA,” “Phaedo,” “The Pythagorean Theorem” in sum

Lacan at the SSA

Waiting to be seen, I cannot say
I know my name: this, Lacan calls the mirror
stage. Imaginary, I have not yet

entered through the door, not yet drawn a number
from the machine. The security guard has not
questioned me: What brings you in today?

What, indeed, has brought me here? I lie awake
worrying about line breaks and workshops.
At the plexiglass, I fumble bank statements, my spouse’s

paystubs, whisper under the sill, still no employment,
no assets, no weapons of any kind. Unable to recall my Mother’s
maiden name, I exit, disvalued,

undesired, driven by—my Mother,
Anger—the binder bulging with uncalled-for documents,
medical reports, poems.

Phaedo

My dog mouths the tennis ball like a syllable
in black gums, the first syllable
of a poem I am writing about playing catch
with my dog, Phaedo.

Leaf mulch and hay catch in his winter coat.
I snatch the ball out of his mouth
and fling its smudged neon
nap into the sunlight. Phaedo belongs to me

the way we belong to the gods, says Socrates.
Men are possessions, our bodies a kind of prison,
a chain-link fence, and the gods mind
the gates. The gods mind me, my tennis ball

leaping in the faded grass. I know my life
does not belong to me. I know I must chase down
the days of my life and ever so reluctantly
lay them at my master’s feet.

Pythagorean Theorem

Light falls from square windows in the eastern door,
emblazoning parallelograms on the carpet

in the study where I write. Late morning.
It’s always an attempt to see myself in the form of another,

to see the vehicle in the tenor. Doing Algebra 1/2
with my little brother, I relearn Pythagoras:

To find the area of a parallelogram, slice it diagonally
into two triangles. Picture a mountain

mirroring itself in the surface of an alpine lake: Bear Lake,
Emerald or Nymph. To rehearse

for the transmigration of souls, release the lights
from the frames that form them. Open the door to your study.

Dec. 4, 2018: “SAND,” “Vaccines” in Two Hawks Quarterly

Nov. 30, 2018: “First Christmas” in Whale Road Review

Nov. 29, 2018: “Night Clouds in the Black Hills” in CULTURAL WEEKLY

Nov. 25, 2018: “December” in Euphony Journal

Oct. 1, 2018: “Shaving My Head” in Luna Luna

Sept. 12, 2018: “Onesies,” “Wind Chill” in Parentheses Journal

August 15, 2018: “The Way Back,” “The Housefly” in Nude Bruce Review

August 1, 2018: “Inside Voices” in ECLECTICA Magazine

July 20, 2018: “Looking Into The Light” in Bright Sleep Magazine

July 16, 2018: “October” in The Bookends Review

June 19, 2018: “Play Therapy,” “Reading One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish to my Newborn Son while Listening to Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band,” “Reading,” in New Reader Magazine

June 16, 2018: “An Elegy,” “At the KU Cancer Center,” “The Piano Tuner’s Eulogy,” “Day One,” “Baby’s First Ekphrasis” in Wilderness House Literary Review

June 15, 2018: “Slippers” in Edify Fiction

Slippers

During another argument before bed
to the effect that I don’t love you
enough, not as much as you deserve
to be loved, I run around, going
to the kitchen to fetch a glass of water,

microwave your heating pad, always
making up for my lack
of sufficient funds, for your sense
of abandonment. One day you may
recall berating me for leaving

my slippers at the top of the stairs,
for slipping my feet out of their worn
checkered lining for the last time.
You cannot feel it now but one day
you will know I loved you well.

May 31, 2018: “Going Ahead” in Papercuts

May 19, 2018: “Notice of Overpayment” in Apeiron Review

May 8, 2018: “Missing Children” in AMP

May 5, 2018: “Halloween” in MockingHeart Review

April 15, 2018: “Elegy for Yi Lin” in Cha

April 10, 2018: “Dream Entry: Dec. 17, 2017” in Pretty Owl Poetry

March 20, 2018: “Day One,” “Smallminded,” “Waiting” in Leaping Clear

March 18, 2018: “Fathers” in Madcap Review

March 11, 2018: “Ode to My Left Hand” and “The Big Picture” in Black Napkin Press

Ode to My Left Hand

Involuted leaves wash over the doorsill
into my study. Like dead starfish,
their wingtips turn inward, introspective.

My hand would have withered
were it not for you pushing me to fold, hold,
load and lift. My heart
would have dropped out of my chest.

For you, I would fold the spotted yellow
maple into an origami swan,
I would hold open the Rose of Sharon’s green fan.
If only you would allow me to load

my body into the burnt paper boat of the oak leaf
when my work is done, I would lift
my voice to sing again.

The Big Picture

Fallen leaves cover the back patio like puzzle pieces
spread across a table: yellow, red, green,
impossible to say what final image they may
dovetail to make. Only that elsewhere the color is draining like blood
out of the face of this world. All morning leaves flutter down
my pen. The sky is blank, Sunday morning dark,
and the air carries rainwater to the brink
of ice, the brittle teeth of winter. Wind combs
the treetops, slipping chill fingers
through thinning hair. My fingers tinker,
fitting this together with that, in a marriage of opposites.

March 7, 2018: “Poe Poem” in VISITANT

March 3, 2018: “Dusty” in Clarion Magazine

March 1, 2018: “Fetal Movements” in Twyckenham Notes

Feb. 11, 2018: “Heavenly Mountain Road” in Algebra of Owls

Feb. 1, 2018: “Letters To No One,” “BPM” in Shot Glass Journal

Feb. 1, 2018: “Grasp Reflex,” “Hives,” “Mansions” in Gravel

Jan. 24, 2018: “Timetables” and “Nativity” in Fourth & Sycamore

Jan. 22, 2018: “Baby’s First Ekphrasis” in Santa Ana River Review

Jan. 21, 2018: “The Piano Tuner’s Eulogy” in Sweet Tree Review

Jan. 15, 2018: “Rooming In” “SIDS” in The Literary Nest

Jan. 15, 2018: “Baby Basics,” “Onesies,” “Oral Glucose Tolerance Test” in Life and Legends

Jan. 1, 2018: “Day Two” in Edify Fiction

Day Two

Your body and mind are not two and not one.

—Shunryo Suzuki

Let’s hit restart. Let the day
begin again. Reverse the door
I slammed: it is standing open.
I am standing at the door, my body
and mind are not separate, not together.

They coincide. Yesterday I slammed
the door. This morning a butterfly
bats among October zinnias. I listen:
the world is breathing. Leaves clap
above the cowlicked lawn like hands

in an amphitheater. Birds chatter
in the treetops. How busy the birds are
in the morning. Sparrows hop in a bed
of crushed rock, pecking like doomsday
preppers, seeds for the apocalypse.

2017

Dec. 31, 2017: “Unwritten Letter,” “At the Independence Women’s Clinic,” “Ars Poetica with Radiation Mask” in Kawsmouth

Dec. 18, 2017: “Centerpoint” and “Apnea” in Mascara Literary Review

Dec. 16, 2017: “Visiting Pastor McClendon,” “Time Lapse,” “Scavenger Hunt,” “The Robin” in Scarlett Leaf Review

Dec. 14, 2017: “Crickets” in Neologism Poetry Journal

Dec. 9, 2017: “On “Saint Frances Adoring a Crucifix” by Guido Reni” in The Cresset

Dec. 8, 2017: “Gray Scale” in Yes Poetry

Dec. 2, 2017: “At the KU Cancer Center,” “Cross-Examination” in The Lark

Dec. 1, 2017: “Little Star: Week 8” in Whale Road Review

Nov. 29, 2017: “Adverse Action Notice” in Perigee

Nov 1, 2017: “The Swing Set” in The Tishman Review

The Swing Set

Deep in the shade of my third year
since diagnosis, the swing set
rafters web above the blackened
planks. Cicada casings cling
to its undercarriage, their bodies

missing. I can no longer hear them
screaming. The cricket
hums to itself its little lamentation.

Autumn and my bimonthly visit
with the oncologist tomorrow
morning, a wheelbarrow to be pushed
from the wood pile to the back patio,
unloaded and pushed back again.

Oct. 27, 2017: “Astrocytoma,” “Good Morning” in Small Print Magazine

October 18, 2017: “Week 6” in VISITANT

Oct. 7, 2017: “Damage Assessment” and “Intimations of Autumn” in HCE Review (p. 96-97)

Oct. 2, 2017: “Late Evening in Mid-July” and “House Sparrow” in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine

Late Evening in Mid-July

At dusk, Burr Oak Woods brings my wife and I
to the edge of a meadow in which deer stir
and graze as the lights go down.

A pregnant doe raises her head and stares back,
her flanks flecked with starlight, fur coat
imprinted with the constellation of her birth,

the shooting stars of future offspring. White clouds
of Queen Anne’s Lace float around her ankles.
She cannot see herself as we see her.

Beside me my wife glows, wearing my oversized
Symposium blue T-shirt in lieu of maternity wear.
Strands of black hair stick to her sweaty neck.

Oct. 1, 2017: “Diana” in Rogue Agent

Sept. 26, 2017: “Aura” in Roar: Literature and Revolution by Feminist People

Aura

When my teeth gnash and a hand flies
to my mouth, as if to outsmart
the spasm, and my lips
twinge with a phantom numbness,
I realize how little control I have over my life,

how swiftly it could be snatched
like an infant out of my arms,
my unborn son, I imagine, dashed
at my feet, and I feel nostalgic
for the life I live. What I wouldn’t give

to walk one last time with you, my love,
to push our shopping cart once more
in Walmart Neighborhood Market and sift
through a crate of lemons
for the one unblemished yellow rind.

Sept. 16, 2017: “Why I Write” in 1888 Center

September 14, 2017: “Pregnancy Test” in VISITANT

Sept. 1, 2017: “The Sense” in Organs of Vision and Speech Magazine

The Sense

There it is
still, the world where
we’re each other’s,

and the sense that everything
since I let you
leave has been a mistake,

an ice-encrusted rosebud.

Sept. 1, 2017: “Gliomatosis Cerebri” in Edify Fiction

Gliomatosis Cerebri

Threads, like the white vermiculate
roots of the tomato plant
in my Mother’s hands, infiltrate,
filtering in
to my brain substance.

At sunset in her garden, she loosens
the boxed fists of soil, pearls
of fertilizer falling into spaded holes.
Threads of glial cells slip down
into the soil, while the sky darkens

around us. I sit in the lawn chair of my life,
watching her work. The sky comes
into focus: Astrocytes, stars oft compared
to needlepoints, poke
fun at me, the poet, embroidering

their stick figures into the fabric
of my brain: Aries, the constellation
of my birth; Cancer, the unknown,
known—because of its obscured
visibility—as the dark sign.

August 31, 2017: “The Lamp Post” in Right Hand Pointing

August 24, 2017: “Working in Mother’s Garden” in Visitant

August 18, 2017: “Elkhorn Avenue” in Panoply

June 14, 2017: “Enhancement” and “The Hedgehog” in Brickplight

June 2, 2017: “The Best and Happiest Moments” in Fourth & Sycamore

May 19, 2017: “Notice of Overpayment” in Apeiron Review

May 15, 2017: “The Cave” in Hawaii Pacific Review

April 23, 2017: “The Color of China,” “The Bad Parts” in Sweet Tree Review

April 16, 2017: “Afterlife,” “Beyond the Shadow” and “Anticonvulsant: Call & Response” in Communion Arts Journal

April 9, 2017: “Spring” and “Disaster” in Peacock Journal

March 8, 2017: “Salome” in The Opiate

Feb. 2, 2017: “On the Mountain” in Rufous City Review

2016

Oct. 1, 2016: “GAME THREE AGAINST THE BLUE JAYS” in Cider Press Review

Sept. 21, 2016: “Findings” and “At Dragon Bay” in The Wayfarer

: Sept 21, 2016: “Possessives” in Apeiron

July 29, 2016: “The Day of my First Seizure” in TYPO

Aug. 23, 2016: “Long Distance,” “Hari Raya Song,” “In Seoul,” “Good Morning Beijing,” and “In the Beijing Villas District” in Coldnoon

“On Disability,” “Outdoor Wedding,” and “Parable of the Burning House,” in Otis Nebula: July 16, 2016

July 16, 2016: “Doctor’s Appointment” and “Making Faces” in District Lit

July 5, 2016: “The Coin” in velvet-tail

July 4, 2016: “Derivatives” and “The Return Journey” in Sleet Magazine

June 16, 2016: “PLANS” in The Blackstone Review

June 10, 2016: “Autumn Garden” in Cha

June 5, 2016: “The Mississippi” in Shot Glass Journal

June 1, 2016: “The Chair,” “To Be Again” in Two Hawks Quarterly

May 17-30, 2016: “The Grief Counselor” in First Class Lit

March 20, 2016: “Tattoos,” “The Strain” in Referential Magazine

Tattoos

Inklings too flighty to
be embroidered
lift off, slipping out

from under the cuff-
link of my case worker.
Their feathered breasts

thump against
the bulletproof glass
of the box he sits in,

inquiring about
the balance of my bank
account, the contents

of my notebook. My
ballpoint pen explodes
into birdsong.

The Strain

Nine days after Valentine’s,
the wind refrigerates our faces.

Canadian geese abandon the ponds,
and your bouquet rests on top of yard waste.

Broken winter branches raise the dozen roses
whose fringes have only just begun

to blacken, the petals still red,
still straining to be red

always, in the world between us.

END