on creating

everything fades in time, you know
how all was black before your birth
and after—you have nothing else to go on
clinging to every look and gesture
winding yourself into being


not every spark ends in a sun
transcendent, though
your hand is on the work


National Poetry Month is ended, but I still have pages in my Yes-Words journal…



the devil told that lie
we sold ourselves
for work is all and only
guilt comes of pleasure

these things we Should
Should Not be doing
always something looming
over what we’re dreaming now

it rides our joy weary
drives it to the ground

Reverse Psychology

Having given myself permission
to not write
the words don’t spill any more easily

Having given myself permission
to despair
the sodden emptiness doesn’t evaporate
with the rising sun and rose-colored framing

Having given myself permission
to keep my thoughts tied like old letters in a box

Having given myself permission
to stick to what I know
I find the cat has run up the tree
into the highest thin branches
of the thankfully not-too-tall redbud

but I would still need a ladder
and stretched arms and faith

A Simple Project

it will become a thing of utility
again, invisible except when needed;
I’ll put it back together tomorrow

you wonder what on earth I’m thinking, tired
of making halfway, but now I’ve started
I ask everyone who passes if it looks good

(sand, wipe, consider; the first brushstroke
is not always the moment of truth
a new can of paint better than a blank canvas)

the prep is the hardest and most boring
part; at least no tools are needed
for disassembly

having started on a winter’s need for change
I had the blank hours and this idea
overconfident of vision


NaPoWriMo Day 28! Telling a story in reverse.

Two Found Poems

(1) Songs of the Self

Self-preoccupation as art’s raw material:
allegory, ambiguity, blindness
obsession theories. Monophony. Bleak house.

(2) Bookish

When one has lived a long time alone
the world, the flesh, and angels—no
more than leaves of grass
joyful noise:


First, an index poem for NaPoWriMo Day 12. (Index and other phrases from The Creators by Daniel J. Boorstin.) Second, a book spine poem, a bit behind for NaPoWriMo Day 10.