Featured Poem: “Recovery & Surrender,” published in Narrative


Recovery & Surrender

And God was in the morning God was.

Speak to me with your mouth closed
the hands are speaking something doing fire and lines.

The next thing was the refinement of the other:
a man tied mouth and tongue to a mute metal chair.

The kitchen around the corner yellow formica
stepping inside there I could see my own painted toes.

Dirt lived on the floor there,
it mingled and multiplied. Rode dangerous rides.

Through the kitchen window there’s God as a line next to the mountaintop.
All the while man tied hums and gasps and chokes and mules.

I wish I could say I didn’t love him
but I love every man as a brother, every woman as a sister.

A television cracked I knew what was on it
something old something sweet something I Love Lucy.

So will you untie me? the man asked, speaking with his mouth closed.

Out there in here God exists in fire and lines.

I had not made those knots.
The man had done them himself, living out his long childhood as an adult.

God was in the house then,
God was surrounding the chair, leaves flourishing from a sickly tree.

I stepped into the kitchen yellow formica table dust floor
where I could hear but not see.

The muteness rose into song, and songbirds, then—
wings tapped gently against the window as they lifted off,
upward into fire and line.




“Where the Place of Kindness Lives,” essay. SAL blog, February 3, 2018.

“Chasing the Storm,” poem. The Meadow, forthcoming, 2018.

“10.10.12,” poem. Hobart, forthcoming, 2018.

“Suicide,” poem. Chiron Review, forthcoming, 2018.

“We Had Been a Way to Catch the Sunlight,” poem. Chiron Review, forthcoming, 2018.

“Now for Getting Out of Denial,” review. PageBoy Magazine, 2017.

The Great Bear,” poem. Pacifica Online, 2017.

“Divorce,” poem. Pleiades, 2016.

House,” poem. The Seattle Review of Books, 2016.

“A Family Meeting Was Called,” poem. Jack Straw Anthology, 2015.

“Noises That Sound like Weeping,” poem. Jack Straw Anthology, 2015.

“In Two Places at Once,” poem. Jack Straw Anthology, 2015.

“Howler Monkey,” poem. Breadline Anthology, 2015.

“Falling in Love,” poem. Breadline Anthology, 2015.

“In Response to the Killings in Gaza, or, Hashtag First World Problems,” poem. PageBoy

Magazine, 2014.

“I Missed,” poem. PageBoy Magazine, 2014.

Falling in Love,” poem. Narrative, 2013.

Recovery & Surrender,” poem. Narrative, 2013.

In Springtime Pollen Blows Across the Yellow Sea,” poem. Narrative, 2013.

I Become a Nest,” poem. The Far Field, 2013.

“The Appointment and the Snow,” poem. Poetry Northwest Community, 2012.

“A Door,” poem. Pontoon, 2010.

“Wondering if I Should Have Said What I Said When I Said, ‘I love you!’,” poem. Cream City Review, 2009.

“What Tenants Leave Behind Haunts Like an Insidious Ghost,” poem. Tusculum Review, 2009.

“I Become a Nest,” poem. Tusculum Review, 2009.

A Door,” poem. Web Conjunctions, 2008.

The World Became Heat,” poem. Web Conjunctions, 2008.

I’m Not Worried and You Aren’t Either,” poem. Web Conjunctions, 2008.

“On the Eve of Your Deployment,” poem. Cimarron Review, 2008.

Getting to Know the Tulip,” comic strip. The Daily Cougar, 2004-2008.

“From One to Another, Another to One,” poem. Lumina, 2006.

“Expatriate in Love,” review. Gulf Coast, 2005.