Published Works

He Wore Hats. From Postcard Poems and Prose, 2017

He wore hats, two or three at a time, stacked like shrugs that end arguments when the person on top lays bare the conversation and says so. Pieces of my heart loved him. I felt a smile shaping my face when I stood next to him. I liked the way he lived openly with his complex world. He didn’t simplify, for example, by wearing one hat. He didn’t encourage me to simplify, either. When I looked at him wearing his stack of gray, brown, straw, I remembered the seasons and the way the light changes. A single day is not a simple event. I used to live a day by paring it down to a slice, flinging the rest—flinging and not looking where it landed. Not following its fortunes in the compost, beneath a bush by the sidewalk, in the murk of a battered dumpster, into the black beak of an urban bird. Not my brimmed friend. He took hostage what time buries alive, he saved this stash of days from burning out to a stubbed butt, he stuffed it into a bag and handed it off to me.

From: Dear Traveler (Finishing Line Press, 2021)


                        You are the song of your own making
                                                                        without knowing the notes.   
                        Music rises without tongue
                                                                        no strings no reeds
                                                            the sound begins
                                                as a chorus.
                                                                        Desert winds encircling brush
                                                                                         and spare stalks of grass–
                                                                        how the dry sticks sing
                                                                                         is what the wind wants to know.
                        How do you hear
                                                when even your ears are singing?



We are listening.
A trillion cells
            each one your body
tuned to the critical news
Myriad bacteria, virus dominions
            in the moist cavern of your core
                        on the layered sheath of your skin
                                    secreting signals to your mind
tuned in to your pulse
            resolute, listening
Uncountable mites homesteading
multitudinous pores, loners
                                         listening from caverns
                              stippling your face
weathering wash water storms
                        to quickly crawl forth in darkness
            to mate and retreat to shelter.
Traveler: Your wild life is listening.



What is the role of beauty
                                    in times of misfortune?
Bombs crater the concrete city
                        broken shells on a dry beach
            gouged accretions
                                    await the sweeping away
A bulldozer’s blade:  the victor’s knife.
                        (Bombs can’t help themselves.
                        Salmon spawn surged
                        into designated nests
                        an overwhelming army
                        mates with the target.
                        Hatchlings grimace
                        tumble to the sea; thus
                        terror returns to the stream.)
Some of us who pay for it
            watch on screens
            read, listen to reports.
Where is the measuring stick
                            the newest laser tool
calculating fossil’d hearts
            rivers  weather  oceans  fields?
Others of us
                     grip our bloody hands.

Traveler: We go on we go on
                        (a threadbare sky
                                    holds up the sun)
border beyond border
            the dove’s perfect opalescent egg
            in the jay’s perfect beak
            blasted sand bristles
                                diamond perfect light
broadcasting astonishment across
greater and greater distances.

From El Ojo de la matriz / Eye of the Womb, Vision Libros, 2010

≈≈≈ Gaea

Great Laborer
soft thighed Mother
our breath grew in the cleft of your thighs
our hearts beat to your rhythm
Gaea  glowing beneath the eyes of deer

Our Mother
Our Mother
Our Mother

To find ourselves
we hunt our Mother
gathering seed and flesh
a great mouth opens
to find ourselves we swallow
we stretch, we shrivel, we stink
serene in the fold or her undulant lap

Our Mother
Our Mother
Our Mother

Where are your eyes?
Vision slit through skin
Plump as a ripe berry
Slow as quartz
Harsh, happy, bitter, sure
your heat flashed through ripening cells
splits sleep into offspring
who yowl and split again

Our Mother
Our Mother
Our Mother

We yield to the dark cup
your throne where bodies rest
possessed by your breasts,
an odorous sleep.
Our only task:
to wake from your nurture
bone, fruit, and flesh
bound for the crest of your mountain
wet with desire
that you take us again.



≈≈≈ Gea

Gran partidora
madre de muslos suaves
nuestro aliento creció en la hendidura de tus muslos
nuestros corazones laten a tu ritmo
Gea  que reluce tras los ojos de ciervo.          

Nuestra Madre
Nuestra Madre
Nuestra Madre

Para encontrarnos
buscamos nuestra Madre
recogiendo semilla y carne
abriendo su gran boca
para encontrarnos tragamos
nos estiramos, nos encogemos, apestamos
serenos en los pliegues de su regazo ondulante

Nuestra Madre
Nuestra Madre
Nuestra Madre

¿Dónde están tus ojos?
Visión hendida en la piel
Redonda como baya madura
Lento como cuarzo        
Áspera, feliz, amarga, segura             
tu calor que destella a través de células madurando         
convierte el dormir en progenie
que aúlla y se divide de nuevo

Nuestra Madre
Nuestra Madre
Nuestra Madre

Nos entregamos al cuenco oscuro
tu trono donde los cuerpos descansan
poseídos por tus pechos,
oloroso soñar.
Nuestro único deber:
despertarnos de tu nutrir
hueso, fruta, y carne
camino a la cima de tu monte
mojados por el deseo
de que nos recojas otra vez.