February 22, 2010

Welcome Readers. This site chronicles the process of my writing as well as showcasing some of it. I write novels, songs, and poems. I’ve written six novels: Joe Island, Blues Pizza, Borderdance, Tesora, Tardy Son, and StringlessTardy Son was a semi-finalist for the Faulkner Novel-in-Progress Prize. Please leave me a comment.

April 17, 2014

Bridging the Gap

David Krancher:

A fine poem from Margot Suydam at http://margotsuydam.wordpress.com

Originally posted on Backwoods Walking:

Celebrating National Poetry Month 2014: A Poem a Day Challenge

Poem a day #17 is a response to prompts from Poetic Asides and NaPoWriMo: 1) Write a pop culture poem, and 2) write a poem in which you very specifically describe something in terms of at least three of the five senses.

I’ve watched Downton Abbey
enough to know that the muddy

scent of  life is more like the way
Thomas Hardy’s dialect describes.

The landscaped park of  television
estates remind me so little of  Tess

of the D’ Urberville ‘s fate, and retreat
to rocky Stonehenge. There I never

got close enough to repose or touch
after I traipsed for miles, harboring

a cold under a windy, rainy sun
from Salisbury Cathedral. There

I took in the full view of what was
built under duress over many years.

A steeple reaching for God.
An ancient bridge to heaven.

View original

April 9, 2014

War-Resisters Memorial, a poem for children


War-Resisters Memorial

Brian extended college into medical school,
couldn’t stand blood, and became a shrink.

Ed, a Buddhist, conscientiously objected—
the board called him a weird cult freak.

Joe left for Canada, played hockey at UBC—
one of 125,000 boys to become Canadians.

Carl never registered, became Carla,
and never came home for reunions.

Johnny shot meth until he went
psycho and dodged sanity forever.

Steve burned his card, won the lottery,
but his father, a war hero, saw courage.

Resisters of the draft voided it in 1973.



March 28, 2014

Dave Got Game, a poem for dunks

Dave Got Game

At 66 years, I go for a walk and
find a basketball. Wind chill = 11.
With gloves on, I play 9 minutes
in the 3rd quarter with 5 points
and a dunk over Kobe, but I
commit 2 fouls and 2 turnovers.
Auerbach takes me out for KC
and I sit the rest of the quarter.

Something bad happens after that
so I cruise to the locker room
on a stretcher. Heart surgeon
says he’s got winners. The
team signs a ball for me.
Globe Sports features
a photo of my dunk. 

March 25, 2014

Raising Brothers, a poem for cheers

Raising Brothers

Forced into fatherhood
at the age of six years old,
because dad mostly played
catch with hospital hands,
I scored no runs at home, so
I got appointed coach for one
four-year-old and one of two.

I preferred the company of
Robert Louis Stevenson,
Jules Verne and Daniel Defoe,
so they weren’t lucky to get me:
I barked—they yipped back,
and they were quite lucky
to live into their teens.
Then I was gone.

To me, college was The Show—
off the fatherhood field and onto
pitches of teenhood and soccer,
beer, pot and girls and dancing and
games of poetry with pot and girls,
a magic bus to Mexico for Olympic
revolutions, and ghosting Kerouac.

It takes me forty years to admit
how much I miss their teen stories:
football teams, Chevys, wrestling girls.
I could not pray enough to keep them
safe from the killing in Viet Nam,
but they stayed alive just the same.
Now I cheer. I remember to cheer. 

March 16, 2014

March 15th, a birthday poem

March 15th 

I remember Emily wrote
hope is the thing with feathers
as I watch a young boy
work on his cross-over.
He dribbles his basketball
on my sidewalk in the sun
on the first day of spring.
He’s clever enough that
I don’t notice at first
he has only one arm.
Wounded birds don’t
know they can’t fly. 

March 14, 2014

Who Is King, a poem for novelists


Who Is King

Freed from military service,
I’m drafted to serve poems
under an evil king in my brain.
I marc
h to war with a king who
bombs my lyrics with sarcasm,
pours blood over my odysseys,
and leaflets me with propaganda
in crisp Tokyo-Rose style prose.

I call for the king of judgment
to heal the razor cut tip of the
bleeding finger I use to write.
If I’m a prince of dance stories,
you’re a king of tuneless songs.
Attack my perfectionism and
judge me as evil all you want,
but lies that tap anger are
always enemies in my wars.
My fist hits only one chin.

Ruler of killing fields of ink,
hear my screaming demon:
if your edits fear extinction,
be afraid for your own life.
If you think you’re king
because I think I’m not,
Kneel down, sir.
Kneel down. 

March 1, 2014

A Marsupial’s Complaint, a poem for mammalians

PossumBath Hanger

A Marsupial’s Complaint 

From ugliest creatures I desire desist—
with eyes like bats and smiles like cats—
don’t shock me with light or buzz me resist,
don’t chaste me with hangers or catch me in hat.

Vacations inward are taken with courage—
human bathrooms risk soaping and scraping,
and for fine food they lack a good forage
with either or both, you saw me not fainting.

I chide you not for hospitality’s lack,
my intended repose made no reservation.
The entertainment’s mine, no comedy black,
Kim, Annie, and David: to meet was elation.

May your breakfast be tasty, mirthful, and wise
for mine was that to see your mammalian thighs. 

(Painting by Anne Abrams)

February 26, 2014

For Em, a poem of resentment

For Em

My cheek burns red from your slap.
No fingers like mine, you say, no lips.
I give them to you like daddy does, but
I’ll run away, too. I’ll run so far away. 

The curse that dooms you to agony,
I know, is not a road to my heaven.
If sarcasm is a verbal road to hell,
I’m closer to it than you can tell.
Solitude is glorious,
loneliness a bore.
Worry hurts more than slaps—
your absence worse than that. 

If words can wound, they can heal,
say people who are not poets.
It’s no secret tongues are weakest
when they try to wag on purpose.
Poets may supply music for lips,
but no kiss is louder than no kiss—
it runs away, too. It runs so far away. 

(Painting by Anne Abrams)

February 20, 2014

A Library Sonnet, a poem for Dark Eyes

A Library Sonnet

My pen imagines congas as it writes,
makes a dance, my ink kicks so high.
I dream imaginary librarians at night
from books known by heart to be sly.

Who protects me from a censor’s knife?
Never were freedom-fighters so sweet
as librarians with thought’s own rights—
citizens think free with thanks to tweet.

My librarian suffers sacrifice to read,
so fiction creates peace from her tears.
Chapters made of bones she pleads
become love stories without any fears.

Does wit make a foolish word wise?
Hope lights imagination, I read in eyes.


February 14, 2014

Kicking Dew Easterly—old poem, new path

Kicking Dew Easterly

You watch me
more than listen as I
mumble in your doorway
failing to explain about
kicking dew easterly, so
I lean over a backpack
to tempt myself
with your warmth.
I can’t say why Mike
left us to go to Viet Nam
and let us get caught in
the crossfire of a letter
whose writer became a
ghost before we read it.
I can’t say why.
This poem is now
our memorial.

I want to learn
foreign road signs for
a reason that becomes
less clear as you squint
me one last smile.
I lose mine as I look away,
not able to resist the madness
that pushes my thumb
into the sky at the on-ramp
to the freeway. 

(Painting by Anne Abrams)

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