“‘The Sculptor'”


As a kid, I heard and said,

“Take it for granite,” as in

something safe to stand on in

any weather, as in

something that could hold

a phrase forever.


White stone at the quarry turns

the quarry water green

like it’s a deep dish of uncle Franz’s

“champagne deathray” (fizzy

water, chartreuse, and grain).


So much Franz

claims not to remember

but the recipe holds

like chains of nucleatides

or one bone in a tail

hiding beneath the smooth skin

of everyone in the family.

“Le Grand Dérangement”



Moonwoke, I wandered

through the kitchen, the wood

cold as wet grass. I’ve never been

to your muggy NOLA,

but here’s a cup

from some Mardi Gras

you went to before going

without me would make sense

as a thing to get sore at.

Four months later,

and I’ve found the sink.

No cool water was worth this.

“‘Stroom’” (4/4)

stroom 4-1stroom 4-2

I have the right to do this surely.

This feels incorrect and I am frightened

of the lie that may be ready

to fall out from under this aplomb,

but above that I am happy,

I think since I’ve decided this.

We’ll see as always, but for now

life is real and I am so


“‘Stroom'” (3/4)

stroom 3-1

stroom 3-2

be already) you would

be distinct because

the context is different as

well as the expectations. Think

when they called Jackie Chan

the new Bruce Lee or John Mayer

wanted to be Hendrix. (I

know, but still.)


It doesn’t matter. I’m in love.

I convinced myself of this

weighty fact in this shop

while staring at the restroom door.

This will be my finest love

because I am not in love

with anyone, just in love.

“‘Stroom'” (2/4)


it seems like only universal secrets

thrill me anymore and also

a girl two chairs down is reading

a paperback about G-d and LSD and

I am understandably jealous.


There are at least 8 reasons

I will never be my favorite

person, not the least of which

is that he is someone else and died

before I was born, but even if

you were to be the same in every way

as someone else (you could

“‘Stroom'” (1/4)


“Stroom” feels

like a verb, doesn’t it, 

maybe in a Scandinavian language

that might still have a Romance 

influence such that “to stroom again”

would be “re-stroom”

instead of kin

to “wiederstroom”

or something. 



I am in a coffee shop

wishing I’d brought

a book on ghosts or demonology 

or sacred language since

“This Space is for Writing”



This Space is for Writing
To pin this poem to the page
like one example of a beetle
with a thousand variants
to stop its skitter.
A last draft hollowed and devoid
or everything but shell and beauty,
lucky thing. Preserved somewhat forever,
useful until the end of days.
I would buy my lovers ISBNs
if it mattered,
which is usually to say
if it were something I could do.