All the Wrecks I’ve Crawled Out Of

I was thinking sex, she was thinking sex, but neither of us made a move.


He longed only for Claire’s strange seriousness, her silent focus.

Amanda Strayhorn, Reverend’s Wife

She countered the reverence of his efforts stroke by stroke, tit for tat.


He fell to the floor and begged the gods. The gods were silent.


Underestimate the beauty in the world and spill coffee down your shirt.

An Ideal Author

I should never have the notebook and the pencil in the right pockets.


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

Ann Beattie

Annunciation of the Self-Enclosed God

It’s another thing to have the beloved hesitate, silent, on the porch.

Around Us

We need a silvery stream that banks as smoothly as a plane’s wing.

As Good as Could Be

I didn’t trust her. Relationships like ours aren’t built on trust.

At Age Ten I Escape from the Work Farm and Pursuant to Court Order, Am Recaptured in a Cincinnati Amusement Park

That’s why Mam drinks whiskey. That’s why he drinks whiskey too.

At Lee

I grew accustomed to seeing the sun rise and set from the school.

At Risk

He’s weirdly hard to pay attention to, even when he’s threatening you.

Axis of Happiness

I hadn’t always liked being around my mother while she was alive.

B.F. and Me

Tobacco and dirty wool, rank alcoholic sweat. I liked him right away.

Badger Mountain

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

Barbie Chang Poems

Some days Barbie Chang wants to hang up her Asian boots.


I could not tell what visions were vanishing in the dying slave.

Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street

Like a ghost, he appeared at the entrance of his hermitage.


Your intelligence and charisma would serve you well in life.


How’s everything? It’s been forever! Things with me are pretty good.

Best Advice

Reviewers are curs and their opinions are not to be taken seriously.

Best Advice

Writing is a subversive activity that exempts you from the rules.

Best Advice

It was the sixties, and I was in
college and incredibly restless.

Best Man

He was making some green by ripping his own heart out.


Betrayal was written on my face, in my eyes, and I knew it.

Beyond the Glass Ceiling There’s Sky

If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.

Bildungsroman, 1999

Vultures liked to perch on the austere ledge outside my window.

Birth of the Hippo

She transfigured into a swallow in flight, or a hippo in the rainy season.