Yellow Jacket Press recently published my chapbook, A Little Book of Light History.
It can be purchased here.

Summer Evening, Hopper 1947

Someone is firing rockets
across the water
too far away to hear.
Each named for a flower,
save one for a flock of larks in flight,
one for an emperor turned dragon.
The lake greedily collects the sparks
in her dark apron then walks to the basement.

A young man and woman have turned on a porch light,
erasing the exploding rockets from view.
She refuses a cigarette. He explains
his temper using words neither of them understand.
His hands flare like chrysanthemums.
Someone ignites the fuse and runs.
Someone stands firm,
testing how closely they can withstand
the phosphor of night.

Post Road, no. 20, Spring 2011

Giant Pumpkins

The neighbor grows giant pumpkins
in his backyard that swell
to the size of Holsteins.
The extras culled, each vine
bears a single fruit
resting on thick cotton mats,
each named for a pagan god.
He tends to them patiently;
times his sun lamps,
trickles filtered water
at calculated rates.
Midday, he erects gauzy tarps
to keep the flesh from scalding.
At midnight, his shed lights
from within and soft music drifts
through the yard. He walks among them,
as a visitor from another continent
wanders in a geologic wonder,
on the lookout for vicious beetles
who come soaring on lapis wings.
Sometimes he weeps quietly
for one god rotting within
or for the moon on orange skin
while his children, exhausted from weeding,

Alligator Sunning

Except for the cinquefoil and coontie,
you are the oldest of life here.
A collusion of dark water and Cambrian leather,

you have immobilized
and perfected the blank stare.
Dim-witted in the sunny mud,

you watched the lizard sprout feathers
and leap for the first time from its heavy limbs.
You watched the Earth re-make itself.

No doubt, every taut curve of your mouth
conceals an ivory of knowledge
I am better off not learning.

As for the time and place of mammals,
you let me pass so close, so close.
Let us agree to disagree

on whose shore this is, whose sleepy
palm this is, whose silver mullet
are leaping so brightly into the air.

Tampa Review 38, 2009

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