A Blessing

We watched our father chuck her boom box out the bedroom window.

A Childhood in Four Acts

End of October, days recede quickly into night. Leaves fall in slow motion.

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 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 Husband and Father

Frank kept his face blank as he read the orders: Report to Berlin.

A Quiet Patchwork of Slats

Streetlights throw the blinds against the ceiling. It’s 7:00 p.m.

A Soldier’s Lover

We never really had what might be considered a normal conversation.

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.

Adventures of a Would-Be Filmmaker

Since I am in my seventies, it is now or never, and I know it.

All the Trimmings

The old man drinks some more liquor and whacks down two trees.

An Experiment

Even before bills and rent and adultery—you don’t sleep well.

Anchor and Knife

The first time I met you I fought your father in the driveway.


He was gentle and slow, like a blind man washing dishes.


I dream of snakes coming out of me and through the house to find her.

Another Decade, Another Mouth

she was sixteen, and swimming. she was seventy-one, and soft.

At the Sunoco in West Virginia

He doesn’t notice the cop car rolling slow-motion into the station.

Badger Mountain

Keely finally stops crying when they step outside. The shock of cold.


I wouldn’t sleep a second, knowing the catastrophe I’d set in motion.

Bear With Me

Why does she do it? She knows cutting yourself is a joke. Goth, idiotic.

Best Advice

You can get anyone to sleep with you—if you want it bad enough.

Best Advice

Our lives are often shaped by small, seemingly trivial choices.

Best Advice

I wanted from my father what I had never wanted or sought: his advice.

Best Advice

Abandon the idea that arts and sciences are mutually exclusive.

Between Here and Here

My father stood up, unable to choose which one of us to kill first.

Birds of a Lesser Paradise

I looked out at the busy world, and I saw nothing but its ugly bones.


She has wings of rouge on her cheekbones, her beak blood red.