Dead Calf by the Road
on gravel, guts sliding out
of the bowl of itself
like oatmeal, tailbone
a white hammer
obtruding the soft
kidskin, head tucked in
as if napping. I pull
the heavy Enfield
off the road.
Crows on the back
of the calf flap off.
Out of the church
in the hollow behind my right eye,
I see the crows
on their branches,
heads cocked, itching to feast.
It is worse because
the calf did not carry
a gun to school
or insult her friends
but just walked very gently
beside her mother.
They didn’t tell her
they don’t tell you
about dying on a road,
crows the only flags upon you
in a hornetsong wind.
— (from Smog Mother — Palimpsest Press, Fall 2022. First appeared in Dying in Dharamsala (chapbook, Alfred Gustav Press), 2018)
SELECTED poems online
The Hole in My Backyard. Plume. 2022.
Arsonist Song. Permafrost. 2022.
The human sat up in bed… Literary Matters. 2022.
I Received a Bitter Email from a Good-Hearted Man. failbetter. 2021.
Trained Bears. Literary matters. 2021.
Rais Bhuiyan Song. Literary matters. 2021.
How to Float. ONE ART. 2021.
The Triumphs of 1974. Plume. 2020.
Amateur Escapologists. Ablucionistas. 2020.
Josef Mengele Song. Twisted in Time. 2020.
The Narrow Road to Deep Marriage. The Maynard. 2020.
My Houseguest. Border Crossings / All Lit Up, 2020.
Distemper Song. Beltway Poetry Quarterly. 2020.
Child Soldier Song. Alaska Quarterly Review. 2019.
The Most Handsome Man in the Neighborhood. Literary Matters, 2019.
The Tongue of Allan Pinkerton. Prolit, 2019.
The Epic of Senge. Philadelphia Stories, 2019.
A Briefe & Marveyllous Hystory of Franklin. Literary Matters, 2019.
The Dismemberment of Philadelphia. Prolit. 2019
PC Song. The Awl, 2017.
The Unspoken word. Dalhousie Review, 2017.
The Problem with Love. Montreal Prize Shortlist. 2013.
The Stiltwalkers. Montreal Prize Shortlist. 2011.
Tale of the Boy with the Horse Head. The Stinging Fly, 2015.
Utøya. Malahat Review / E-Verse Radio, 2012.
On a Metro Gliding at the Edge of Jungles where Tigers Walked. Subtropics, 2015.
Crow & Fox in Love. The Puritan, 2016.
Last Words of the Old Man with the Photographic Memory. PRISM / Going Down Swinging, 2016.
An Old Man in Black Slippers at Rush Hour. Cortland Review, 2014.
Three Photos of Jayne Mansfield. Rattle, 2011.
Hypochondria Song. American Literary Review, 2015.
The Death of Jolly Dolly. Mudlark, 2014.
Festus, Hansel & Grendel. Literary Review of Canada, 2015.
Only Child Poem. POOL, 2016.
The Prince with No Asshole. The Puritan, 2016.
The Confession of Chunosuke Matsuyama. POOL, 2016.
Hydra. Literary Review of Canada, 2011.
Public Cremation. Asia Literary Review, 2012.
Tiny Pageants of the Soul. The Puritan, 2015.
Returning What was Stolen. Mudlark, 2014.
The Last Death. CV2, 2012.
The Falling Man. Forget Magazine, 2013.