Thinking About the Octopus

Published in South Florida Poetry Journal (Note that there is no clickable link to my section. I am listed alphabetically, so you must scroll down to see it. As a bonus, there is an audio link to my reading of this poem.)

—after the film The Octopus Teacher

I’m thinking about how she opens every one of her three hearts,
and all the brain cells in her eight arms,

Read more

To the BRCA Gene

Published in Mom Egg Review (Note that both printed copies and PDFs of this issue are available for purchase at the web site.)

Types of Animals

Published in pangyrus

after Borges

some by branching by bivalve by colony by loping by leaping
some disguised in waiting in watching by blending in motion
some in color in welcome whose wealth was seductions

Read more


Published in pangyrus

Some saw a raven with ruptured feathers.
Some smelled the homeless millions pressed
inside a drop of blood. Some felt dark planets

Read more

How to Make a No-Sew Coronavirus Mask From a Poem

Published in pangyrus
  1. After you’ve read this poem, place it
    on your kitchen table

Read more

The Galapagos Tortoise

Published in RHINO

Here’s a video of me reading my poem “The Galapagos Tortoise,” which was published in the 2020 issue of RHINO.  I made the video in response to a call from RHINO: they had to cancel their release party because of the coronavirus and asked contributors to participate in a virtual launch. I’m joined by one of the giant tortoises from the island of St. Croix.



Green Jug

Published in Rockvale Review

Mother, I’m here with your painted copy of a Cezanne still life
that hangs over the dry sink you bought
with my father years before
I was born.

Read more

Every Second Must be the Duration of Something

Published in Rockvale Review

Begin with light slathering the eel grass
and the horizon, a wide what-if.

Read more

Coming Upon a Young Screech Owl

Published in Threepenny Review

I’d found a young screech owl on the sidewalk a block from my house, its talons sunk, in death, in the nape of a rabbit kit.



This summer I took part in  “Art on the Trails: Unexpected Gestures” at the Beals Preserve in Southborough, MA. Poets were invited to respond to one or more sculptures installed along the trail that meanders through the preserve’s woods, meadows, and pond. My poem “Epoch” was one of two to receive an honorable mention. When I first glimpsed Robert Shanahan’s powerful sculpture “Entelodant” in the woods, adrenalin surged through my body along with the impulse to run from what looked like a giant, very lifelike warthog (on closer examination, artfully made from reeds and brush)! (Entelodant went extinct 65 million years ago.)


The earth collects on all its debts

—Michael Crummey


Beast, with your bronzed fur of reeds and twigs,

your stone teeth, your hooves, stone-cloven,

the stripe of sumac threaded through


your flank. Whorl of your woven ear.

The snarl of you, moving through

the gape of your snout. Bristling


comma of tail where the spider has knit its web.

Entelodont, you are the dark other who makes

the small mammal in me shudder.


You, swept through the Oligocene’s long wake,

peering back, late and strange. We, too,

wear ourselves thin.


When we are as you have become,

who will know us, who will call us

by the hard-washed light of our name?