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Homework

  I abandon my assignment. I will not follow instructions, but sit impassively with the pine trees listening to a distant chainsaw and a dog barking questions. My eyes trace the curves of the southeastern hillsides, remembering the fire and studying the shape of the burn. I will not return at the appointed hour. I walk along the edge of the mountain’s granite apron to the skull of a bobcat, where I busy myself collecting its teeth, fitting them carefully into each socket. At sunset I...

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Reading Mark Strand

  Since Mark Strand died last weekend I’ve been re-reading his poems. Years ago I wondered to myself what his passing would be like. Death seemed to be a constant muse for him. I was spooked by his ability to stare at it in such a sustained, unflinching way. And I admired it. In my youth I couldn’t imagine a more difficult subject. Perhaps that’s still true. Strand seemed to stalk Death as much as it did him. What would the consummation of such a courtship be like? Now he is there. These...

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Become My Body

    I have not blogged in a while because my beautiful german shepherd Saxon died recently. It was sudden. And utterly heart-breaking. The thing about loving a dog is that they make it safe to give your whole heart. And they give themselves to you completely. We human beings inevitably hurt and wound each other… carry resentments and grievances… but with a dog the love is pure and without shadows, and to lose such love is devastating.   Before the Beginning ~ by...

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Storyteller for Hire

  he asks the one about her strengths and weaknesses and she descends in déjà vu her suit’s gray pinstripes unfurl behind her a trail of sage smoke she rides the air currents down soul canyon to the shadowy bottom alighting on a perch of Vishnu’s schist meditating on magnanimity on the steadiness of rock that remembers every story he asks the one about a time she showed resourcefulness and fixed a problem not a real problem but a made-up knot of office consternation he follows with the...

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