The Stick Fence in the Photo of a Rural Field in Poland is Like Telephone Poles and Wires in Chicago Suburbs:

"The Stick Fence in the Photo of a Rural Field in Poland is Like Telephone Poles and Wires in Chicago Suburbs:" first appeared in The Dunes Review (Winter, 2012)

The Stick Fence in the Photo of a Rural Field in Poland is Like Telephone Poles and Wires in Chicago Suburbs:

Was it once a hobbled fence
                        cutting across a field,
once a natural, unbound field
                        not even a harvest yet,
or a road, a simple brick road,
            a dirt road, pulling the land apart,
ripping the big piece of land in two,
            in three, in four, once a foot path,
a labor, a way, the tool,
            a method, approach, a word,
once the invention of further division by invention
            that a person would look upon
                        and see where the human
commandeered the landscape, how
            someone took a field and made it a field,
how another set the path apart from
how a tree was made to be contained,
made to be a part
only connected by separation?

What It Was

"What It Was" first appeared in the The Offbeat, 2011

What It Was

What is that, floating in the creek?
I can see it, swiftly passing the trees,
careening along in the muddy flood,
peaked, finally, after today's rain.

At first, I think, shoe, but then shovel,
frisbee, sled, and then maybe just a log.
Bobbing in the fast murky water,
it's indistinguishable, a contorted shadow
taken physical form, caught between
moon beams and flickering fire.

If I run down the hill, to the bank,
I will be too late to get a closer glimpse.
Already, it's nearly to the bridge
where it will disappear from sight.


"Incorporation" first appeared in Temenos, Fall 2010
Read it in the online version of the journal here: Temenos [Fall 2010]


I remember walking to school in winter
along Marian Ave—first up the hill

then down, past the Williams’ house
where, often a deer dangled, sometimes

in front when there was no room
in the back. The trees offered only

a few limbs to bare the corpses, hung
not from the neck but by the hind legs,

gutted and expressionless meat.
My boyhood perversity always wanted

to be a part of the hunt, kill the killed,
make the necessary incision, reach

for the raw heart, hoping
to see it beat, hold it in my hand.

I wanted the taste of flesh, craved
the carnal consumption, vital promise

of strength still running in the legs
of the dead—a primal lust as with love,

only the heart is not a symbol.

The Sky

"The Sky" first appeared in the Literature In Person "Take a Poem to Lunch" series in 2010

The Sky

We instruct bank robbers and kindergarteners
to do the same thing: Reach for the sky,

as if clouds could carry them all the way
to that molten gold lamp called the sun.

Some say it grants wishes or burns them,
depending. Others say: (half warning /

half encouragement) The sky’s the limit,
though we know a sky is but layers of gas

leading out to space where the universe
continues in the absence of matter.

Thus we guard mountains who hide the sun
under their caps, believing one blast

will break the sky open, setting them free.
Thus do ruly oceans obey their teachers,

stretch each wave-arm up on tip-toe, trying
to touch the stars. Thus, even on flat fields,

corn points each ear up, feels a celestial
combination click out its secrets, hides

a golconda of gold in thick leaves.
In harvest, kernel shells lodge between our teeth,

emptied of the sun’s light beamed down to earth.
Swallowing, our heads fall back and find

our hands are still up in the air.