& Bless: Poems

I’m afraid to say anything or nothing, I’m white & unalterably broken.

& Darkness Moves In

The dead cowards my parents on a tear through the goddamn fields.

2 B R 0 2 B

All diseases were conquered. Death was an adventure for volunteers.


I don’t want fiction. What I want is truth. Or someone’s version of it.

A Dark and Empty Corner

Human language, Winston thought, was not adequate for spiritual union.

A Dark Place

There was no sense in brushing off or any other civilized thing.

A Dream of Ease

I shoved them one by one, easy as pie yet with care, just shy of mercy.

A Dress Rehearsal for the Apocalypse

History howls for direction so I remind him how the hero was lost.

A Father’s Story

Certainly the ushers who pass the baskets know me as a miser.

A Fragmented Diary in a Fragmented Time

We take our solace, in a time of malaise and mourning, in the close-at-hand.

A Good Woman Blues

You will be a broke blues man with only some story of how you were.

A Heroine’s Primer

Ghosts are real. This much I know. It’s the living that give me trouble.

A Human History in the Wilderness

My grandfather committed my grandmother to a mental asylum.

A Matter of Appeal

Felicia knew why he was there. He was waiting. Waiting for her.

A Model for the Priesthood

Tongue, eye, nose—which has the shortest route to the brain, heart?

A Place Like This

I can see on him how things are changing for and against us.

A River of Stars

For all the stories they’d concocted, the real one electrified them.

A Trout in the Milk

How much simpler and more satisfying was the company of men.

A Vacuum Is a Space Entirely Devoid of Matter

I needed a paycheck a lot more than I needed to be kissed.

A Walkabout in Andrew Wyeth’s Painting and Other Poems

My bike, my skinny body, my pent breath was thrown to the grass.

A. Roolette? A. Roolette?

She remembers that golden ocean, the promise of a whole new land.

A. Roolette? A. Roolette?

She remembers that golden ocean, the promise of a whole new land.


We are going south where I know that my father is going to die.


When he was a child, my father had a cousin who was buried by a plow.

Across the Sea: A Sequence

The stones here carry the island’s low cry inside them. A landlocked grief.

Addendum and Other Poems

The animals are dying. All the beautiful women are dying too.

After Calling Your Detective’s Discontinued Number

I want to say hold these harp strings steady atop the tallest summit.

After Closing Up My Mother’s House and Other Poems

What if my mother could have been happy if I hadn’t been born?

After Noguchi and Other Poems

Crows rasp from branches, scatter debris across unfinished plots.

After the Imaginary Crime

Always I obliged the urban tree, any speechless unblessed nature.