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My Mother’s Smile

From the December 2012 Print Edition

Her hair still hardly touched with grey, and wound in gleaming braids around her head, my mother, who in life was not so given to smiling, grinned in last night’s dream from ear to ear the double meaning of archaic smiles: “I am alive” and also “I am dead.” A snapshot from the Fifties, . . . . Continue Reading »

At the Recital

From the November 2011 Print Edition

Word trickled down the aisle that he had died. My first response: how did they even know? Grief was an afterthought. He’d long been gone; had only just sufficiently revived to totter to his feet and say hello (or else goodbye)”impossibly removed, frail, struggling to sit or stand or . . . . Continue Reading »

A Crack of Light

From the October 2010 Print Edition

Lyric maneuvers through a narrow space, a blade of light squeezed under a dark door, hence more condensed (less being more): a distillation of the day’s events, white underbelly weirdly gemmed with dream. But must it not also be thinner and thus slip the more adroitly through the haze of . . . . Continue Reading »

Complete Poussiniana

From the June/July 2010 Print Edition

Deep in myth, these galleries keep their counsel but re-distribute all the elements. Nymph rides goat, at-tended by a satyr who pats her rump to help her keep her seat; putto rides goat, attended by a nymph. Two other satyrs from behind a bush leer at a nymph reclining in a grot. By a Maenadic, . . . . Continue Reading »

Alzheimer’s Blues

From the November 2009 Print Edition

Living with dementia is like riding on a carousel. I said dementia is like a big old carousel. And you can’t get off, though it turns into a hotel. Year after year they reserve you the same place. Year after year they save you the same old place. They forget your name, but they never forget a . . . . Continue Reading »


From the March 2009 Print Edition

Economy of loss: the sly subtraction whereby I give when I have nothing left to give and nothing is acknowledged. When there might be something I can offer, I refuse. The brassy taste of emptiness persists. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Zone

From the June/July 2008 Print Edition

A zone of promise throbs along the horizon where May meets June. Sweet leaf or sap smells: conversations renewed between trees now so graceful in their drapery of green you’d never guess how lately they have taken it from winter storage and have shaken it out and put it on. A similar illusion . . . . Continue Reading »


From the March 2008 Print Edition

The carapace of each past day: undo. Let the scales fall and if remote and small still make my vision new. Hieroglyphic shapes of mystification: you may go.Autumnal mood soggy with desolation: turn your head and glimpse the old decade unreeling like a silver ribbon, like a river running, new and . . . . Continue Reading »