Pandemic in Springtime

News on the poetry front: a recent poem of mine was included in “Through the Window, Across the Road”, a publication of writing and art made created between March and July of this year. I’ve posted it below.

Pandemic in Springtime


I awoke on top of a mountain of sadness
With no place to go but down
the vista was splendid and it cut,
like roads winding through a valley of naked limbs
Farmland smeared together through my prism of tears
This is all one long run on sentence
Driving down from the mountain along the edge of a jagged scream
I stay within the lines and I don’t dare veer
Not even for the deer
Not even to stop as I pass by a pen of spring lambs
Pulling with their tongues the last of last summer’s hay


What business is grass, to stain this already strained world
To live so close to the earth, the warmth of the worms’ work gives you life
How is Spring never closed for business? Why am I angry at air?
Feel punished for breathing, for singing?
All I crave between days of snow and silence
Is to inhale the tang of manure
as it lofts downwind from the fields.


Robins fatten up, red bellies bursting with grub
The trading post of my life
Fills and empties with homemade bread, seeds, masks
The economies of connection
banked with coins of despair and dubloons of hope,
A taming of the wildness within,
And a need to be seen
New tulips sway in the breeze
Holding a scent I cannot yet consume.
Sheep in the field

Thanks to the editors for including my work in this edition. You can purchase the folio here.

girl on the platform meditating

girl on the platform meditating

girl on the platform meditating

Seems like ages ago that I wrote this poem, and just as long that Jennifer Karmin put it into action as part of her “Walking Poems” project in Chicago.  It’s recently published on How2.  Check it out.

I know I’ve grown so much as a poet since the writing and submission of this poem, but it still retains sentimental value for me.  I wrote during my brief little tour of New York City in January of 2006.  A country girl from Vermont in the big City for a weekend, I sent short emails home to my friends of my first impressions:

Finally got a taste of a real chocolate souflee, which I'd been dreaming 
about since the dessert party this summer, where it was noticably absent 
from the menu...found myself in an apartment with two guys playing Go, and a 
woman about to leave for Bejing early the next morning.

the smell of take out lingering in elevator carriages, the sounds of 
unidentifiable languages, people so familiar yet not my own. I could walk a 
long time down these hard gray streets before I needed rest. Bent pizza 
boxes, posters weathering off the walls, jewel-colored lamp shades in the 
park, the ghost of myself in the windows I walk past. So much tactile 
sensory information.

I had taken the trip to New York to read at a Kundiman-sponsored event at Verlaine.  I stayed with another Kundiman fellow, Rona Luo.  I had drinks at the Telephone Bar, where fellow Kundis were reading.  We went to Chinatown for dinner and ice creams.

I was broke and dreamy-eyed.  I had been practicing daily meditations on gratitude and love.  And as I waited for the train, I closed my eyes…

Slept in, per Rona's suggestion. Squatted on the station platform and 
meditated in the sun. Gorgeous no jacket day. Perused bookshops, killing 
time before lunch. Mongolian pepper steak, halo halo, Thai iced tea, gossip 
and poetry shop talk with one of the most beautiful women I know.What do I 
want? Someone who is comfortable in his body, and who can cherish mine. We 
ate next to fish the size of my head in their blue tank.

Oh, how young and dreamy I was then.  And in love with every new experience!