Lost at Home


The walls are comforting.
They haven’t moved
but the furniture
is half gone.
The echoes
knock a sick spot
in my stomach.

I won’t miss
the television.
The couch
can be replaced—
but not you.

Take the pots and pans,
I’m not hungry.


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Shadow of Venus

Screenshot_2020-02-23 Sir Joseph Noel Paton Hesperus, the Evening Star, Sacred to Lovers 1857 [Fine Paintings 50512] - $138[...]

Hesperus by Sir Joseph Noel Paton

Like Venus smiling in the twilight
you’ve cut a shadow across my life—
imperceptible while upstaged
by the blatant sun or fickle moon

but I still feel your cold caress—
your light whispering in my ear—
every cup of coffee, every sudoku solved,
every wipe of the bathroom sink.

What would you think of me now,
now that we’re in different orbits?
Our lives no longer revolving
around each other but in your spotlight

I’m always performing—
just for you.


(That bright star in the western sky for a couple of hours after sunset is the planet Venus. Blow her a kiss from me.)

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Singing Silence

20200224_164601Want to hear someone sing one of my poems? Bre Stephens, the founder and editor of The Dark Sire Literary Magazine, is collaborating with Fernando Fidanza and his project, Old Folk for New Poets, where he writes music to accompany a poem. I’m honored that he chose my poem Silence, from the latest Dark Sire, for his project. Check it out!

Maybe it’s just me being a proud parent but I think he did a great job. I love his accent. This is the first time I’ve heard my words sung to music and it affected me more than I’ll admit. Of all my poems, this little horror I wrote for Halloween would have been the last I expected to be turned into song.

Thank you, Bre, and grazie molto, Fernando!


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Sex in the Sea


(Last night Living Poetry attended the Science Cafe at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The program was called Sex and the Sea: Love Stories, for Valentine’s Day, of course. Watch the show! The poetry starts at around 46 minutes but watch the whole thing to get the marine references.)

Sex in the Sea

Take me to the aquarium.
I love the dim lighting
and subdued sounds.
If they sold wine
in the gift shop,
it’d be better
than a singles bar.

We all know sex in a bathtub
just doesn’t work.
I need somewhere more pelagic
and the oceans are filled
with gametes searching
for a home.

Imagine if we’d made a strange
natural selection in eons past—
I’d carry your eggs
in mouth or belly
or cling to your side
until I slowly dissolve
in your love.

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North of Time,
a Parliament of Stones
marks some green pushing
through the cracked concrete.

This disease tears
rock into sand,
worse than rain
and relentless wind.

The animals came
and went without notice.
Plants too will pass,
with the air and water,

leaving only stone
until immolation.

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The Dark Sire


Poetry’s not all rainbows and spring. The Dark Sire is an online literary magazine for poetry and short fiction in the fantasy, Gothic and horror genres and their Issue #2 is out and it includes one of my poems!

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Best Intentions



Best Intentions

Doc says I should eat better,
exercise more. I know.
I know.

He asks if I remember
what we talked about
last time.

I scour my crusted memory
but these exams blur
together like a field of pinwheels
in a lightning storm.

I suppose I could drink
a little less, leave the bar
before my Honda carriage
turns back into a pumpkin
but why would I want to outlive
my doctor?

We have a nice arrangement—
I visit every February,
listen to his lecture,
feign concern at numbers—
some too high, some too low,
shake hands after he’s wiped
away the Vaseline.

See you next year.

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Practice Fire in the Gyroscope Review


I’m proud to announce that my poem Practice Fire has been included in the Winter 2020 edition of the Gyroscope Review. You can download a free PDF but you’ll want to buy a paper or electronic copy because poetry.


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Online Dating Haiku


Mining for true gold
in online personal ads
all I find — pyrite

(from the Monday Living Poetry Prompt)

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Seven Steps to Writing a Poem


Seven Steps to Writing a Poem

Wait one hour after the sun sets.

Light two candles, left and right.

If your three muses are hanging around
send them home. They’ve done their job,
now they’re just a distraction.

Four mood, put on some music—
instrumental, no lyrics,
at least not in any tongue
you recognize.

Pour yourself a nice glass
of five wine, preferably red.
Contemplate each flame
reflected and refracted.

Think about six,
pour another glass.

Seven— Get to work.


(Inspired by / stolen from Dorianne Laux‘s Ten Tips for Poets: A Prose Poem from The Practicing Poet— Writing Beyond the Basics edited by Diane Lockward.)

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