Songs To Make You Feel Safe

Grateful for the Poplar Tree (1988)
Spring is Monolingual (2004)
Choir for Private People (2010)
Tranquil Stoneware Exhibit (2018)

In all songs, time is a vessel.
They mistranslate vessel, in reality, a spoon with a hole.

A heavy bottle of Tormentoso, a solera.
You want to go where you age differently.
The sandpit, or pale-blue slide from then—
do or don’t, you’re unable to die from a stubborn soul’s
      slow passage.

The high wall of memory caves
as …

More In: Poetry


A better-looking version of you 
fleshes out the interesting impulses 
you suppress inside that 
mediocre sweatshirt. 

At last your fantastical love  
scenes receive proper lighting. 
Your meandering dreams? 
Sharpened by focus groups. 


In the urn of the lengthening day
The man who will die on my street
Is walking backward toward traffic

With his shirt on backward,
A bright orange vest, backward, and


Although he stinks,
I love to hold his small
brokenness on my lap,
reeking teeth worn down
on a metal cage to almost
nothing, tongue that hangs
clear out when …

Birds of Illegal Trade

To be a traitor is to trade—
     Take, for example, the blue macaw

of my childhood, traded
     for two rocks of crack

and a dime of blow. My block raided