The Goddess

“No one will listen to me! They keep ignoring me!” My youngest screams through his weeping as he gets out of the pool at the hotel where his five close friends are staying. I feel a wrenching inside – like an organ has come loose. My throat is dry and tight. My chest constricts. It […]

On The Fractured Self

My six-year-old son would like to kill his mother and brother. I get it. Somewhere in my fractured psyche there is a killer. My Calvin was sprung out from him when I was young. But my Calvin and my Killer no longer pull as many strings, I am left now with something like a Whitman […]

Mimus Polyglottos

There is so much to fear. Mainly death, but other things too – divorce, a wasted life, the hatred of your children, serial killers – perhaps just death after all. I stand in my back yard, putting yard trash in contractor bags – seventy cents a bag – bankruptcy, foreclosure, homelessness, hunger, death again. There […]

A Day at the Alligator Farm

We lie in bed together in the dark. Your disappointment rages, so I make an effort. “What’s wrong?” I press half-heartedly. You answer, “you locked yourself away from us today. I feel alone. I am afraid our lives are being wasted.” Earlier that day a brown anole begins to sink to the bottom of the underwater […]

Brother, You Sit Across From Your Repentant Mentor

Brother, you sit across from your repentant mentor – our brother too, in the coffee shop where I write. He tells you about salvation. About the forgiveness of sins. But he does not tell you which sins. Brother, do not repent of the animal. The gluttony, the lust, the avarice, et al. The “deadly” sins. […]

I Am Responsible for You My Brother, My Sister

I am responsible for you my brother, my sister. You are responsible for me. We are one. We are together titanic and easily sunk. But I see myself in you. We have been close friends for as long as I can remember. Oh sister, brother, how we have betrayed one another. How alone we are. […]

My Eyes Open to a Light Rain and Mockingbird Song

My eyes open to a light rain and mockingbird song. In the moment it takes for sleep to fall from the crevices of my consciousness, the world is alien. I have traveled here from a more ordinary planet. How strange that water falls from the sky; that a creature flies around and makes beautiful sounds […]

Let Us Live Intestinally

Let us live intestinally. Our body’s peristalsis sinking the fullness of life down into us. Our villi with their tiny networks of capillaries slowly consuming it, yes, but also repurposing it into peptides, amino and fatty acids, monosaccharides. Let its lipids, proteins, carbohydrates invigorate our noblest selves – not rejecting – incorporating the animal. Let […]

In Praise of This One Breath

In praise of this one breath I sing. In praise of one more moment of life. One more clamping and opening of our chambered hearts. One more white blood cell manufactured in the hollow of our bones. One more second of the thronging earth assimilating with our senses. In praise of this one breath that […]

At 7:00 AM I Hear the Padding

At 7:00 AM I hear the padding of miniature feet on wood floors to my right. It is the youngest. Not yet past the ache of sleep. He sees me working on the couch in the living room, stumbles towards me and quietly throws himself into my lap. My throat tightly chokes back the joy […]

My Mind Will Not Be Tamed Today

My mind will not be tamed today. Scenes keep popping up. An imagined smart ass comment to my boss. A dying Episcopal Church and the sadness of its people who persist in denial. A future RV and life lived in Walmart parking lots across the West. My wife’s recent dream of a pottery studio in […]

Let Us Gather Wisdom at Her Required Pace

Let us gather wisdom at her required pace, not ours. In nature there is often a slow growth followed by an explosion of color – the lily, the agave, the botanical and avian birds of paradise and their millions of years of evolution. So it is with us – creatures of the natural world. And […]

In Praise of the Unloved I Sing

In praise of the unloved I sing. In praise of the drunks and addicts gathering in the circles of seven-step programs. In praise of the ones who do not gather. In praise of the sluts, the whores, and the cum dumpsters. In praise of the public urinators. In praise of self-credentialed secret agents on their […]

Let Us Beware the Impulse to Stamp Out the Light

Let us beware the impulse to stamp out the light in a child’s eyes. The world is more beautiful for children. And we despise them for it. We observe with primal malice their bubbling over of amazing nature facts or the height of their last vertical leap. What the world has ground into us, we […]

Sermon Notes for a Friend (Mark 4:26-29)

We do not find the kingdom of God in the usual places – It is not in Simon the Zealot’s dream of revolution nor in the inner court of the temple upon the altar of the religious elite nor in the smiles pulled taut across the faces of faithful church attenders. No, the kingdom of […]

Dear Old Man Sweeping

Dear old man sweeping the street in front of the Murray Hill Theater, You found it in your body, aching no doubt with age, to wish me a good day in the face of your impossible task – to sweep the street. For where do you stop? Do you not know, do your employers not […]

In Praise of Maggots

In praise of maggots, those illustrious eaters of the dead I sing. For while we destroy the earth, they will persist and feed on the crumbs we leave in our greedy wake. The dead forests turned into dead houses. Dead oceans turned into dead human shit. Dead mammals, reptiles, birds, turned into dead dirt. All […]

In Praise of the Unformed Thought I Sing

In praise of the unformed thought I sing. In praise of its black abyss of potential. In praise of the weakness that keeps me from lifting its trusses too quickly. In praise of the elbow grease I must apply, the cells that must reproduce and die in me, the life I must spend to see […]

In Praise of my Boys Razor Scootering in the House I Sing

In praise of my boys razor scootering in the house I sing. Slowly destroying the hardwood floors. One more thing I’ll have to fix if I ever want to sell or rent this place. Cutting into my equity with every lap around the living room. I could command them to stop, but at what cost? […]

In Praise of the Silent Mystery of Songs Extinct I Sing

In praise of the silent mystery of songs extinct I sing. In praise of their brutal sound – their dead silent blank. In praise of the possibility the ancient rocks will hear again their refrain a universe or two from now. In praise of the possibility they won’t. In praise of the carbon in long-since […]