Because reason is inadequate.


A handful of new poems of mine appear in the current issue of The Hopkins Review:


Best American Poetry

My work has been selected to appear in Best American Poetry, edited this year by Sherman Alexie.

Best American Poetry 2015



The New Criterion, Life and Legends

New work of mine appears in the January issue of The New Criterion:

Nor what we mean

And I was asked to contribute a few poems to Life and Legends, guest-edited by Jennifer Reeser:

Life and Legends


Some Publications

This month I am the featured poet in the current issue of Able Muse, with several new poems and a lengthy interview with David Mason:  

A handful of my poems also appear at Hampden Sydney Poetry Review:

And some reproduced work of mine appears in Sage Green Journal:


Isn't it pretty to think so ?

Fifty-one of the most beautiful sentences in literature:

From Buzzfeed


Nothing natural can make us anything but ourselves.   -- Jack Mueller

Mark Strand

Another great one leaves us.  Safe passage, Mark Strand:

The New York Times

All the Little Places Around Town

With thanks to Rachel Kellum:


Inspiration does exist but it must find you working.   



"Humanly speaking, it is a more important matter to play the fiddle, even badly, then to write huge works upon recondite subjects." —RLS


What hath night to do with sleep ?
                         - Milton

To err is human but it feels divine.  
                                       -- Mae West

The cat is above all things, a dramatist.   
                                             --   Benson

Crows weep for the dead lamb then devour him.
                                    - Italian proverb


Friday Night with Cat

In my lap, fur damp from rainstorm,
I can feel each rib and knob of spine
the skull he pushes into my palm
and the angular chin he extends
beneath my fingers.  If piano keys
had been like Ocho's chin
I could have made music purr.
It is the skull of a cat that sits
on top of the devil's cane.
Each knob of spine is an answer.
Each rib a reason for hunger.
Neither friend nor enemy Ocho
is the cumulative effort of years
to love something that does not.
He will sit forever in the mountain's
sarcophagus, birds and chipmunks
strewn at his feet, each an offering.

                                    - Cameron Keller Scott, from The Book of Ocho


What do we know but that we face
one another in this place ?   

                                                 - Yeats



Gary Snyder

Local poets Art Goodtimes, Aaron Abeyta, Ellen Metrick, and yrs truly, surround poor Gary Snyder.  

The Great Mother

Not all those who pass 
in front of the Great Mother’s chair 
get past with only a stare, 
some she looks at their hands 
to see what sort of savages they were.

- Gary Snyder

A thousand years ago today yesterday tomorrow.


If someone asks
say I am still alive
autumn wind. 

Always a bridesmaid ...

Two years back-to-back:

A new poem of mine was chosen as a finalist for this year's Rattle Poetry Prize:
Rattle Announcement


...Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.



No Tobacco

No tobacco,
no weed,
no meat,
no soda --

goin' yoga.


A visual dictionary:



Penelope Lively

"Beliefs are relative.  Our connection with reality is always tenuous.  I do not know by what magic a picture appears on my television screen, or how a crystal chip has apparently infinite capacities.  I accept, simply.  And yet I am by nature sceptical -- a questioner, a doubter, an instinctive agnostic.  In the frozen stone of the cathedrals of Europe there co-exist the Apostles, Christ and Mary, lambs, fish, gryphons, dragons, sea-serpents and the faces of men with leaves for hair.  I approve of that liberality of mind."  -- Penelope Lively


When Poets Gather

When poets gather in the wood, (no stage, no schmooze, no selling of books), beautiful things happen.

photos Laurie James and Alan Wartes


What a different result one gets by changing the metaphor!
 George Eliot

The summer's coming to a close



Lucille Clifton

the times
it is hard to remain human on a day
when birds perch weeping
in the trees and the squirrel eyes
do not look away but the dog ones do
in pity.
another child has killed a child
and i catch myself relieved that they are
white and i might understand except
that i am tired of understanding.
if these
alphabets could speak their own tongue
it would be all symbol surely;
the cat would hunch across the long table
and that would mean time is catching up,
and the spindle fish would run to ground
and that would mean the end is coming
and the grains of dust would gather themselves
along the streets and spell out
these too are your children   this too is your child.  


Matthew Buckley Smith

"By ‘voice’ I don’t mean the sound breath makes when passing through the organ of the larynx. I mean the sound language makes when passing through the organ of the memory."

An extraordinary essay exploring the subtleties of voice:

Smartish Pace


The difficulty is not to write, but to write what you mean.   -  RLS


On definitions

define, from the French, de finis', to set limitations


A new poem of mine appears in this month's New Criterion:

New Criterion