I remember when dust was more beautiful than substance, something uncatchable, something whisked into cat corners. This was home. This was being a child.  There is a box of in-season lettuce on the sidewalk beside the glass doors of Karl’s Barber Shop. Ladybugs — many — are sitting on the cardboard folds. Do they sitContinue reading “sub.stance”

Ruby, my dear

(Inspired by Ruby, My Dear by Thelonious Monk) She has forgotten the beats of her lightness the circadian rhythm of rest of motion of rest each passing morning presses into her belly and each passing day cinches around her hips and each passing night brails across her breasts and each passing year reaches a suffocatingContinue reading “Ruby, my dear”


Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels Sarah, the sky that overlooks you and me, it opened up again today. The light that fills up the dogwoods is the same that curdles the cemetery gardenias. This has become summer once more, so you probably remember how things are colored, and then erased, without me telling you. We have taken toContinue reading “Appomattox”

The last angel of the Lord

I thought I was kneeling before the last angel of the Lord, knees crimped in a puddle of Oklahoma dirt, feet swole in my least pair of shoes. “I am done being exhausted by you,” I cried out. “I have lived my years as well as I knew. I have worn my face as honestContinue reading “The last angel of the Lord”

The nineth part of a sparrow

(Adult language and sexual themes) Thersites: Lo, lo, lo, lo, what modicums of wit he utters! his evasions have ears thus long. I have bobbed his brain more than he has beat my bones: I will buy nine sparrows for a penny, and his pia mater is not worth the nineth part of a sparrow.Continue reading “The nineth part of a sparrow”

Cinnamon Suites

Suite 1 Evelyn-Jean Jones knows she does not look like that beige-blonde girl on page 28 of her brother’s Field & Stream October issue — the page with the below-the-fold advertisement for Kodiak boots and, apparently, women’s shorty-shorts — the magazine he keeps buried under his collage of college brochures — the brochures he broodilyContinue reading “Cinnamon Suites”


(Adult themes and language) The East Coast light was delivered to them each morning on the cheap. It broke apart between the hand hewn beams Joanne loved so much, and then landed on her old West Coast quilt, miraculously complete. Dawn was the first trick of the day, she said: a ragged little something toContinue reading “soma”

My words

There are some days when I am so tired of the words. My words. Their  looseness, their tightness, their clutter, their chatter, their aloofness and evasiveness, their show-and-tellness, their hip-hoppiness. They’re  too unrefined, too shiny, too abstract, and they float like blots of snow in a Rankin/Bass Christmas cartoon. I want them to be sweeping,Continue reading “My words”

Fifty-four years following an unfinished burial

I. The pigweed is choking out the old summer garden,  and these morning glories have finally figured out  the shortest distance between the dirt  and the kitchen floorboards.    The family pictures, all gone  except for this one of Henry leaning against  Mister Sam’s blue Chevrolet Coupe.  You can see cousin Laurel’s shadow falling acrossContinue reading “Fifty-four years following an unfinished burial”


these there are the scars she said a fleshybrown hook on her belly a rage of adjectives against her skin by hand under shirt under skirt look here where the skin broke at the damages she tolerates for not knowing his rages against the surface part of her, the retractable blade went here, look, touchContinue reading “damages”