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title. barbed

date. 2011

city. oakland, ca

size. watercolor 3 1/2in x 5in








like trees







title. barbed

date. 2011

city. oakland, ca

size. watercolor 3 1/2in x 5in

Sestina for Lila

published in New Delta Review


Ekphrastic responses to the letters of writer/filmmaker Marie Seton










title. echo

date. 2016

city. norfolk, va

size. collage 5in x 7in


She writes, Love, and always, through everything, and the blank page

blinks back at her.

She’s wringing her hands about Héléne and her passage to Lisbon.

The pen’s whispering mocks her.

It hisses with loneliness.

 White walls and a typewriter. An armful of books.

Outside is safe.

The only bomb here is in her heart.

But there’s the Blitzkrieg at home,

and loved ones scurrying from Marseille.

She’s writing, stay there, don’t move, then stops. If you must, come here, where it might be better for the both of us.

And then, I don’t know what we’ll become, but we must struggle on. Your poems pull me together.

And always and through everything,



The Rise

She clapped her hands over her ears to drown out the noise of Fascism. It crept up over the persistent bluster of Chicago. She is not even safe from within the brick of Dorchester Avenue. The red and red and red of gasping trees in Fall.


September 10th, 1940

Between mentions of Marjorie and Lee, you say

misery comes pouring into you from some charged center.


Between lines of logistics about where to send clothes and canned food

you let slip a Weilian mysticism, you verse on the justice of God.


God is here, you are writing, I feel Him more than ever.

                      In your struggle to the end of life’s tunnel, there is God.

                                 As you lick the lips of your misery, there is God.

In the world’s indifference, there even, is God.

Each day I feel more passionately that this is the way the wheat is separated from the tare.


A friend of mine once wrote that cowardice is a form of decadence. What would you think of the frills of today?

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