New Publication: What Happened on December 21st, 2019: A Retrospective

New words up today on Essay Daily!

…I had been working on an essay about fragments: fragments of bone, fragments of light, and what the space between these fragments can embody. I’m learning to pay attention to these spaces. A lot can happen in the subtext, in the distance between things, in the space of what is left out, in the time between December 21st and March 16th…

Read the full essay

New Publications: Lunar Eclipse off Exit 88 & What Gould’s Magpie Has Stolen

Two poems up now in the latest issue of Minding Naturea publication from the Center for Humans & Nature.

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Cover Art by Courtney Mattison

LUNAR ECLIPSE OFF EXIT 88

Somewhere in Oklahoma,
speeding through scrubby darkness,
we pulled off the highway on Exit 88…

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WHAT GOULD’S MAGPIE HAS STOLEN

For its feathers, the prism of light
that broke its blacks into iridescence…

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New Publication: Ode to a Rock Dove

Published this month in Entropy‘s “The Birds” series

ODE TO A ROCK DOVE
—For JPD

You’re right.
A blackbird taken apart
by a raptor is not the same

as the nestling pigeon,
wet from rain,
run into the

clogged freeway
by slavish,
hulking cars.

And of course it was a pigeon—
rat-of-the-sky,
pest,
dirty dirty bird—

call it
what they will,
you wish the authorities

would restore its name to dove,
dove, with all the potential
of cliches.

For isn’t that part of it?
We are a nation
in love with the idea

of pulling oneself up
by the bootstraps,
even as we call them pigeons,

even as we crush their bodies
as we inch forward dumbly
in our commute of tedium.

This ode is to the bird
that hadn’t yet grown feathers
with which to rescue itself

(and was given
no second chances)
so join me, reader,

with the same empathy
extended to the underdog,
and imagine its life if lived:

Imagine the search
for cold fries under a table
in pursuit of sustenance and survival

Imagine the spin and flash
of emerald and royal purple
in the drive to mate and remake

Imagine the power
of full-fledged wings
in the rush of rising up

up above traffic
up above streets
up above city

to look down on all of us.

Download the poem