Poems and Essays Online
- Five new poems in New World Writing Quarterly: “Five-Paragraph Essay on Time,” “From a Line by Stephen Dobyns,” “Cocktail Party, New York City,” “If You’re Planting English Peas,” and “My Brain Says to my Heart.”
- A guest essay on reading Rainer Maria Rilke in a fallow time on Adrian Koester’s blog.
- An essay on the first person “I” in Maggie Smith’s poem “Good Bones” in Poetry Northwest
- Many thanks to Nancy Pearl for inviting me to be on her show, Book Lust. See the 30 minute conversation above, or here
- A two-minute poetry video of “The 90s” by Elisabeth Flenniken won the REELpoetry/Houston TX 2021 Juror’s Prize
- A guest post for the Marshall Foundation and “George C. Marshall (Author of the Marshall Plan)’s Left Ear”
- An essay on the word Patriotism in LitHub
- “Seven Seas” on Verse Daily
- “Instead of Sheep” in [PANK]
- Watch the video poem “Angel” at the Unamuno Poem Project in English and Spanish
- “November Tritina” in Alaska Quarterly Review
- “Helicopter, Chernobyl” on Vandal Poem of the Day
- “A Child’s Book of America” in Moss
- “For Years You Observed Night from a Distance” in Poetry Northwest
- “Our Fathers” in Verse Daily
- “Compare the movement of swallows” in Plume
- “Shield” in All We Can Hold: poems of motherhood
- “Brooding” in All We Can Hold: poems of motherhood
- “Another Letter about the Weather” in All We Can Hold: poems of motherhood
- “Waking Up Strange” in The Seattle Review of Books
- “I Dreamed of Obama on the Night of His First Election” in Plume
- “Thimbleberry” in Orion
- “Augean Suite” along with rare Hanford photos in Poetry Northwest
- “Radiation” featured in The Oregonian
- “To Carolyn’s Father” featured in The Seattle Times
- “Richland Dock, 2006,” and “Richland Dock, 1956,”
- “Museum of a Lost America” and “Deposition”
- “Whole Body Counter, Marcus Whitman Elementary,” “Self-Portrait with Father as Tour Guide” and “Flow Chart”
- “Lilacs” in Cascadia Review
- “1960s TV” in Cascadia Review
- “From a Classroom” in Cascadia Review
- “Married Love,” “Dance of the Hours,” and “Commencement” at Connotation Press
- “Incident in the Park” on the online journal, Plume
- “Natural History”on The Writer’s Almanac
- “Let me sleep 20 more minuets” on The Monarch Review
- Three Hanford poems at DMQ Review
- “Gil’s Story”on Writer’s Almanac
- Three Poems on Word Riot
- “The League of Minor Characters”on Writer’s Almanac
- “The Man Who Played Too Much Tetris” on Reimagining Place
- “Mosquito Truck” in Willow Springs
- “Old Woman with Protea Flowers” in American Life in Poetry
- “Sea Monster” Verse Daily
- “The Sound of a Train” Verse Daily
- “Sotto Voce” on the Writer’s Page at the NEA
- “Woman Reading” at the Poetry Foundation
- Old Woman with Protea Flowers, Kahalui Airport” at the Poetry Foundation
- “What I Learned Weeding” in Verse Daily
- “Conversation with a Sensualist” at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda
from Old French estranger, from Late Latin extrāneāre, to treat as a stranger
So much sadness in two syllables.
To say it, to be mid-saying it,
is to enter from a sunny antechamber
into a corridor of portraits
once dear, now defaced,
hard to look at straight on,
where I linger
(because time stretches inside some words)
studying my past
for clues or any other way out.
Then it’s said and done.
I’m unsure what waits
on the other side of its latch
beyond the silence
that registers at the edges
(from Southern Poetry Review, 56:2)
I enter my childhood home a newly-minted
40-year-old orphan, desiring everything—
rifling through the kitchen junk drawer,
and the auxiliary rubber-band drawer
and the third drawer full of twist ties
and Styrofoam meat trays. I want like a robber
the silverware and the encyclopedia set.
I want my mother’s sense of her own beauty.
I want the sound of the house
settling at night. I’m the baby of the family—
I want my brothers to love me more than I deserve.
I’m taking the sugar and creamer engraved
with Shakespeare: “To thine own self be true”
and “Actions speak louder than words.”
I want the prizes at the bottom
of every box of cereal ever eaten here.
Before we sell the house with its dear ghosts
and take our turn growing old, I insist
on one last game of Risk and this time
I will not cry and will demonstrate strategy.
All I want is what I have coming to me.
All I want is my fair share.
(from New Letters, Vol. 84, No. 4)
For anyone who can’t quite penetrate the eccentricity of Marianne Moore’s poetry, or who misses the deep feeling beneath Elizabeth Bishop’s famous control, I recommend their incomparable letters. Wallace Stevens explains “The Emperor of Ice Cream” and other mysteries, though the mystery of his inner life remains mostly intact. And the correspondence of WC Williams and Louis Zukofsky documents the modernist and avant-garde poetry movements and a warm and supportive friendship.