October 3, 2019

Ash of mountain

Silt river bed in toes

Rain pelting my bare back

I emerge from jungle

Bright light, orange glow

Thick air chokes

Unable to speak 

My eyes blink, water

Voice vacant

Uncontrolled burn

Charred vocal chords

on tape, language stolen by fire

Museum aflame

Heritage lost in...

October 3, 2019

What if I’m so fat I won’t fit through the door?

Will they still like me?

I lost 35 pounds

on Dr. Frank’s protein-sparing liquid fast.

On my way to the ladies’ room

I hear Now, Susanne, she’s lost a lot of weight…

catch the culprit’s eye.

The group shuffles, grins

changes the...

October 3, 2019

Hitting a snooze button

an archaic term, like hanging up or

alack, alee, alow, amain, anent, anon

Freaking-A, Lord, gramercy.

Torturing the dog in order

to trim his nails

buying and applying eye cream,

writing vomit describing cat shit

to my wife, contributing nothing

to anythi...

October 3, 2019

Sonoma   

light rotates

morning to noon

olive branches sway

meatheads in the pool

drink vodka lemonade

bees work the lavender

the wind drops

American flags 

shrug and go limp

children wrinkle

in chlorine

summer moves on

super-moon rises

over rows of grape vines

sign of a good ye...

October 3, 2019

     520 Years after their Expulsion, Spain Welcomes Back Sephardic Jews--

     Philadelphia Inquirer Headline

Should I return to Seville,

where my people prayed, where

dust rustled on winding lanes?

Where keys hung from necks – shekem –

where keys o...

October 3, 2019

In this yellow season

           the first of spring 

the road from Millerton winds

           and winds, an expanse of rolling hills, 

fields beautiful even in their barene...

August 29, 2019

    Balthuzar al-Muhammed tried to lock with the icy blue eyes of the interrogator. But the man, who had never introduced himself, looked just past Balthuzar’s head while asking questions in a monotone drawl. With his finger, Balthuzar rubbed his thin mustache. He was...

August 29, 2019

     “Just saw a UFO,” I told her. I lay in bed with my cell phone pressed to my ear, my eyes full of dazzle, brain running its pragmatic subroutines to make sense of it all.  I wanted to believe but didn’t have the knack. With this, as so many other things, I put my f...

August 29, 2019

     The pickup was loaded with furniture which he planned to sell in town.  He drove slowly down the highway so the canvas tarp wouldn’t blow. There had been some rain that afternoon and he knew the old dealer would pay less if the furniture was wet or in any way dama...

August 29, 2019

       “To look at the river now,” I said.

       “Makes me forget it was a dry river bottom…. We used to run circles in.”

       Brett and I stood on the rusted-over Union Pacific truss overlooking the Ventura River, now flooded from El Niñ...

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Brave: an interview with Nancy Mitchell, Poet Laureate of Salisbury, Maryland continued

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