Musings, Poems

Forget Me Not: Autograph Book Exhibit


autograph1This summer I will be replacing the Marginalia exhibit in the Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry with one on Poetry in Autograph Books. I think finding poetry-worthy marginalia in old books was kind of a singular phenomenon, meaning, I am crazier about such a thing than most people. It may be that I am crazier about old autograph books than most people, too, but . . . here goes! Continue reading “Forget Me Not: Autograph Book Exhibit”


His Arrival

tamlinHis hair contains the texture of a long
morning in bed. I kneel beside his body,
my hands near his head, his breath already
in time with my world. Blood marks his forehead.
I rub it away, and like anyone’s mother
Smoothing the part, I let my hand linger
on his head, until I hear others near,
the ground shivering with the quick approach, Continue reading “His Arrival”


The Sister You Imagine


for Kelly

In the ravine west of Grade School Hill,
We discovered a 5-gallon whiskey bottle,
Ridiculous brown totem, impossible giant,
Lying in the leaves behind a wooden shack
Of a house. She cleaned it up and it became
Her piggy bank, stuffed through the years
With pennies and quarters. Unscrewing the lid
Produced the smell of copper, the faint remains Continue reading “The Sister You Imagine”


What Remains

Cabin fire by Ken
Cabin fire by Ken

The ravine is littered with fallen branches
From elm trees refusing to become corpses,
With the crumpled bark of sycamore
And the decaying cedar that crackles
Like popcorn when you put it into the fire.

Beat your chest, lover, and summon the gods
Who made you to gloat upon your power,
Your camouflaged care, your with-one-paper
Kindling responding to the placement
By intentional hands, bringing me beauty. Continue reading “What Remains”


Finding the Place Where

locustOne day the question collides in you,
The curve of its newness slick behind
Your ear, mimicking that same arc,
Teasing you into listening, and this time,
To the way the wind whistles around
Your neck, the adjustment your feet
Make to the undulation of the earth
On this path not taken before to a place
Which tethers you without force
—Cool ageless stones lining
The threshold where you pause to drink
From a bowl of water that has appeared
To ease the burden of the new battle
Blushing its shame through your body. Continue reading “Finding the Place Where”