Girl’s Room

______For George Oppen   A stranger peeked in Plath’s and Dickinson’s windows late at night, and thought, “Man, these are lassie rooms,” and laughed   alone.  Yes, a woman’s room is a girly room, and I hope men know that   the intelligent prostitute will excite a man, a whore not a girl reaching for... Continue Reading →

Simple Clarity

_____For Jean Donnelly Oh, Jean, it’s okay If you do it beautifully,   My name’s rhyme Nothing else should Clarify so simple   The pen’s condensation A long draught The ink’s condescension A first draft   The end product ___begins logic Who creates I know ______I shall meet— The scholars—and The daffodils— At night the... Continue Reading →

Migrant Burden

Migraine headache ___a migrant backache ______from father to son. An American daughter-in-law _____our burden together.   Donna wears her emotions on a flushed pale face washed with ivory cream ___what she brings to the table white rice _________mother taught her to wash and steam.   Her father and brother wonder why I never finished business... Continue Reading →

For an Old Lover

I can see your gaze on the horizon, steady, not like mine as I drive alone glancing at everything ____________________that measures how far I am from home.   The number on the trip odometer is a fraction, nominal in the permanent measurement, scant but significant, vital to the equation’s precision, it itself a testament, _________________as... Continue Reading →

City Lights

.....in the city’s perfect emanation of light                                         -Carolyn Forche   Traffic light _____spotlights __________the hungry man on the corner _____holding a cup for change.   Christmas lights _____bring out his high cheekbones _____ragged pants over thin thighs __________eating into themselves.   Red light district _____nonexistent __________in fishnet stockings _____and black leather miniskirt.   Street... Continue Reading →

How I Became… A Springsteen Fan

It was the summer of 1998 and I was back home from college. One of my good friends, Phil, was back as well from the Army. This already starts off sounding like a Springsteen song. We had a Marine friend, Ian, who lived up in Sacramento about two hours north of us. Ian said he... Continue Reading →

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