MEMORIAL DAY IN THE SHALE FIELDS Families gather at the cemetery of the first Memorial Day to honor fallen soldiers. The carnival’s din white noise in the background. The Governor invokes the Preamble’s more perfect union, America’s freedom, her might, the first woman to have lain an offering at the soldiers’ graves. Since she was … More MEMORIAL DAY IN THE SHALE FIELDS (Revision)
LIBERATED OF THE NOTION The PWA built these roads at a time less spoiled and less equal than our days of white bellicose rage. The wise foresaw collapse in our ceaseless kicking and ripping through the soils’ tissues and the vampiric draining of creeks to feed the furnaces forging the future of the darkly shining … More Liberated of the notion [Draft]
VESPERS IN THE BARRENS [Revised] These hills were carved by Carnegie’s and Thompson’s full ferrous might. The jack and pitch pine’s brown paper needles and rigid brawny cones… I have submitted this poem to a journal so it is incomplete here.
YOU NEVER CALLED ME A COWARD “I want to kiss you.” Guilt demanded my eyes die before your hollowed sockets pleaded with me. The shadow paced us. You ran barefoot through puddles on city concrete. I twirled you around on my arms’ carousel. We drank the soft grapes of our lips. Our fists gripped high-thread-count … More YOU NEVER CALLED ME A COWARD (Revision of Walking into Winter Tide)
VESPERS IN THE BARRENS A century after the magnates chewed the landscape bare, jack and pitch pines festoon the barren’s floor with their brown paper needles and rigid brawny cones. Black bears snap to attention, glare at me with that slack-faced suspicion, bolt and sprint through the understory. When I surmounted the steep hill and … More VESPERS IN THE BARRENS (revised)
VESPERS IN THE BARRENS [Very early draft] Men’s insatiable digging rendered this landscape bare for decades. But now the jack and pitch pines festoon the floor with their brown paper needles, their rigid brawny cones. I’ve walked these paths for thirty years, paths where black bears check my intentions before snapping to attention, bolt, and … More VESPERS IN THE BARRENS
Like many of you, I’m thinking about why Anthony Bourdain’s suicide has hit me. Celebrity deaths—even the deaths of celebrities I love or admire—don’t usually affect me much. But Bourdain has and I think I know why. Part of it is that suicides have affected my life. Four of my friends have committed suicide over … More A moment of reflection on the suicide of Anthony Bourdain