Give me a new country

Uncock the gun

Release the bullets

Into the palm of your hand

Put the weapon down

Smash it into pieces

Sown into earth

Like the teeth of the mythical


Pull down the walls

Release the lions

They will feed now

On grass like the Lamb

Who has tamed them

Undo all  the damage

Unleashed by thIs savage

Heart  next to

A river, next to a Tree

At the center of this new country

A free speech issue

A woman on a plane objects to forced proximity to pornography and is told she has no support.  She must endure another person’s objectional material.  Which is, btw, degrading and offensive to women.

No one comes to her aid, and the NYTimes walks on egg shells when they report it.

A respectable American businessman who practices fair, nondiscriminatory hiring and follows his conscience in his business is vilified because he has the temerity to exercise his first amendment right to say he supports a traditional view of marriage.

Guy has a right to talk


The truth is that one of the major reasons the marriage argument is huge and important is that millions of Americans live in fear because of hate.  Hate kills, maims, tortures, intimidates, and dehumanizes people.  Just because of their sexual identity.

No person in this country should have to hide who they are because they are afraid of violence.

No person should be the target of violence because they are gay or transgendered.

We have to start with that.

We have to build from the ground up.

Love requires it.

I broke my own rule

One time in the same week I wrote a letter to someone and a poem to someone else.  Both someones had behaved badly.  My intrepid partner (always the English major) told me he liked the poem more than the letter.

Of course, I thought. Poetry is the marble colonade you hide in when followed by ghosts or splendor.  A letter is an everyday thing.  Too blunt to be art.  But is any of this about Art?

No.  Not really.  It is about sanctuary and splendor.  Borrowed safety and borrowed beauty.

And attempting however obliquely to suggest the existence of Absolute Love.

So I violated my own rule about my other blog– called etiology.  I told myself I would keep etiology free of my obsession with grief and injustice and the anger that follows these things.

I once wrote a poem I cannot see myself publishing.  Too painful, too personal.  I once wrote a letter to C’s prison therapist which simply described C’s crimes from what his victims and witnesses had said.  Just the facts, as they say.  The therapist read it and said he read my anger.


Anger? I thought.  That was just the facts.  I wonder what he would think if he saw my angry letter.


build you a fort

of sheets.quilts



A Comforter Stronghold

pillow masonry

fortifying all our flying


around this cathedral

the artisans, all children

nobody hurt there

not allowed–

the very law of love

forbids it

and all the pain

of our collective


would unravel like a braid each night

healing all these grievous wounds

stones for bread

his conversation with the devil

his last meal

the things He gathers with his hands

broken treasure

if you being evil

He asks

(rhetorically–don’t answer that…)

give your children good things

stones for bread

our history

my dear

my darling

if I could only roll

all the stones away

and find you living

Bread among the stones

bred among stones

my love…


The Sombrero Galaxy

I say

God:  Space Artist

and you respond:


The Universe +



and mergers

of galaxies.”


is another word for weightless


and sombrero

comes for the ancient

word for shadows

and sorrow.

I see splendor in

the arc of the living


you shake your head

and I am inclined to ask whether

you genuinely believe

the Pieta

is just a big rock

worn down by friction?

canst thee see Jesus?

canst thee see the creator?

Michaelangelo amidst the stars.

For years

I have

Had dreams of swimming

Miragy things


The pool will be closed

Or inexplicably elusive

Sometimes I resort to paddling through

The shallows

I interpret these dreams

As desire


To know

That I can find

The girl who like me

Slips through

Both shallows and deeps

The silence and the call

From lacrimal waters