Friday, December 13, 2013


You wake up one morning and suddenly you're older than one of your parents. You weren't sure what to expect. You certainly didn't expect to feel indifferent. For years you'd been wondering about the similarities, the differences, always aware that there was no way of truly knowing. But your heart isn't filled with alcohol and smoke and shards of spirit. You are a better person than they were. That much you do know.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A bad joke I wrote for fun

Mr. and Mrs. Mold attended the leftovers party but were very dull guests. They were sporing.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

Poem read on UK radio program

My poem "Stopwatch" being read on The Open Mike Show, an hour-long program on UK radio station 107.1 FM in Winchcombe. Original broadcast date: 18 May 2013.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Featured artist at A Place for Tulsi

by Evelyn Williams. Photo Credit:
Pembroke College Oxford JCR Art Collection
This month I am the featured artist at A Place for Tulsi, an online initiative to "acknowledge and create an awareness of the cultural diversity in the community of poets." In addition to a short bio, poems included are "A Lament for Sylvia," "Little Girl," "A Little of the Mystery Come," and "Before the Storm Wet the Earth." Thank you to Editor Anna Raman for the honor of including me in your special publication. Click here to visit A Place for Tulsi.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Words are All I Have

Words I'm frightened to say
dangle off deep breaths
and gentle voice.

I listen to every syllable I speak to you,
making sure no bad judgment in word
or accent escapes.
And they fumble from my thoughts
as the thoughts rumble:

I want you back
I can be different
this time

Why I think my carefully selected
phrases might persuade you I don't know.

But if to get you back were possible
with my arrangement of speech,

Then I wish to be king of words,
or poet of my time.


(From the book Kairos)

To You

You laugh, and the world unfolds.
Light falls like rain, stains the dark.
I’m helpless, without speech;
your soul becomes the blue of my eyes.

Forgive me if I stray—
To you.

You smile, and no wars ever were.
You hold time in place, erase the hands.
I’m overcome, filled with adoration;
my soul becomes the brown of your eyes.

Forgive me if I write these words—
To you.

You speak, and the otter shakes a whisker.
You enchant me, a sea horse ballet.
And I swim, deep where tears shed;
now my poetry breathes under oceans.

Forgive me if I expose my heart—
To you.


(From the book Kairos)

The Existence of You

the sky yawns
earth stretches . . .
You near the ending of a peaceful, romantic dream.
The silence of night subsides, you open your eyes—
two emeralds shine beneath the sun.

Another day is born,
another morning blessed.
Such simple truths are easily told
by the existence of you.

the stars shine
earth sighs . . .
You smile and all things are curious—
a shooting star passes over your essence.

Another twilight has come,
another night takes the stage.
Standing ovations are easily understood
by the existence of you.

I hear them . . .
I hear them whenever I'm around you—
the subtle, graceful heartbeats of angels.
They surround you like butterflies gone mad.

And all my love for this world,
all my love for beauty, for nature;
all my love for life was awakened
by the existence of you.


(From the book Kairos)



hooks and chains
hang amid
olive wallpaper
rusty nails
once hanging
other times—
the walls
and took
all the
air away).

of fingers
on the
of a
up to the
shadowed body
of a man
is a
light bulb.

From the book Kairos. Also received an honorable mention at the 4th Annual Skyway Writers Festival in 1999.

Outside, the Silent Garden

and rain.
Silent flowers under thunder.
She tends the garden
by staring through the window.

A downpour of thoughts
mix daydreams and doubt,
splash in her mind
and channel off.

The green in her eyes
runs down her cheeks
like unripe berries
falling and bouncing from sight.

She’s waiting for new scenery
with laughter in her pockets.
The hair across her shoulders

And the heartbeat beneath her skin
waits patiently
for his kiss.


First published December 3, 2011 in Daily Love.

Only a Dream?

As she closes her eyes
for the night
her lashes mingle
and dreams begin behind them.

Fireflies lead her across
a garden he has grown her
as a wind full of whimsy
lifts her hair down.

She steps out of a pink negligee,
igniting her skin with the goose bumps
he’ll conquer with an embrace.

And her beauty commands the killing of a flock of clocks:

Victor Hugo writes one last poem by coffin candlelight;
a blind man sees his wife while reading it in Braille—

The aurora borealis falls in love with a rainbow;
nature sends a new species of butterfly into the world—

Scarlet tanagers drop rose petals over the ocean;
hands of sunlight push lovers face to face—

But before that first kiss the locusts cause an eclipse.

As he tosses and turns
in white sheets
werewolves crawl in
from the shadows.

Fireflies explode
in the wilting garden
as a sky full of bats
pull her hair up.

But it’s only a dream,
Only a dream, she says
as she wakes him quietly
with an empathetic kiss.


From the book Kairos (print version only)

My Love, My Dream

It was surreal, now that I think back,
as if a dream had wandered over the boundaries
to deliver forth the shimmering light
that was you.

And for a time, time was lost.
A halcyon river became our guide.
Its tranquil flow, a symbol of perfection,
its reflection
casting wildly off our eyes.

Love sprang to life, life became love.
Every hue within this plane began to lighten.
Our hearts chased, our meaning held no lies;
our souls tingled with gentle electricity
beneath harlequin skies.

But we awoke one morning, heartsick to find,
pink mist off the river had turned gray.
Suddenly our angels were selectively blind—
Was divinity so busy that it left us behind?

I screamed into a shower of diamonds.
I'd lost you inside this sudden despair.
Through the downpour I heard no reply,
and soon discovered myself alone there.

No one ever told us
that the weather changes in paradise
or that the flowers can cry.
The voice in the clouds never confessed
that true love could die.

And so troubled waters made their way down the river;
somewhere far off the ocean tide had raged.
The dream cracked, then fell to pieces—
leaving us broken
and forever changed.

(From the book Kairos)

My Clearest Day

I went to question the angels
about their reason for tearing her heart from me
but the clouds, they closed their doors
and even the sun looked away—
that was my saddest day.

I pleaded with devils and gods
to obtain some solace in their reason
but they spoke thunder through storms
and left me drenched in rain—
that was my darkest day.

So I traveled across land and time
to find a wise man who knew the nature of love
but the sands of earth became giant pits
and I could not reach him—
that was my most frustrating day.

Then, I decided to look within myself
so that maybe there I'd find a better man
but I had grown so tired that it no longer mattered
and the idea drifted off on a forgotten dream—
that was my clearest day.


(From the book Kairos)

Love Will Glue These Br-oken Pi–ece-s

Love Will Glue These Br-oken Pi–ece-s / She was new again, like she’d been born again, but with the knowledge. Like she had walked down from a mountain: cool skin, fresh thought, light eyes, and a fire burning for life. The past was secondary now. All the old romances turned dust-worthy. All the doubt dispersed. She was ready to face the world with open arms; to follow every step she took into a forward, sun-splashed direction. Love would not shove her away, not anymore—it was her ambition to curl up in its silky arms. It was her walk towards paradise, her vintage wine longing for a taste—and she could taste it now, on the lips of her subconscious; it was bittersweet, like strawberries.

“I love myself. I love my life. Love surrounds me and love will follow me.”

She spoke those words at every corner of every day. They launched her over obstacles with painless effort. Mental wounds healed without scars. The moon, the stars, and the sun smiled down. If it stormed, the rains were pleasant, shimmering with twilight sky. Clouds floated overhead, shaping themselves into chivalries. She hoped all future days would follow such gestures. And they would, when her true love came to embellish them.

He awoke mid-night, mid-spring, midway through a dream. He dreamt of a girl. He recalled vividly: his hands shaking, his heart racing, his mind not sure if she was real or unreal. They were in a meadow radiant with dew. She held poems in her hands, had shooting stars in her hair. Her eyes were earths: blue and green, mixed with sky and gold sunlight. Pollen and strawberry stains covered her dress. She shimmered like a rainbow.

And he became nervous, for he knew he could love this girl, but he had loved once before and his heart had been turned shy. Yet he stood in her path, waiting for her kiss, longing to hold what he so rightly deserved. She was the angel atop his life’s tree, he knew it. So he waited, and as she came closer his eyes teared up and his heart beat with desperation. The world held its breath, destiny exhaled its mirage. Then came a whisper, “We’ll be together soon,” and the dream was over.

That’s when he woke up, feeling new again, like he’d been born again, but with the knowledge . . . . He opened the curtains, looked out the window and said, “I love myself. I love my life. Love surrounds me and love will follow me.”


(From the book Kairos)

Killing a Man on a Bridge for Pleasure

The pavement looks up at me. I look down on it. We exchange a sneer or two before the clouds roll in.

The clouds roll in.

I’m walking towards a man. He is walking towards me. I won’t move, this path is mine—chosen before God played on his anvil and wept when things died by twilight…

Hell comes up through the cracked pavement, has a look around.

I’m the only person who can see you, dear Hell. No one has to know I handed you a snack beneath the table. Please, warm my cold thoughts with your hot cough. Let me kill this man when we meet halfway on the bridge.

“What brings you about, pale stranger?” I say to the man, disrupting his pensive scowl.

He doesn’t speak, just walks past me. “Hey,” I yell, turning around, “I said ‘What brings you—‘“

“Leave me be,” he says without turning, “or I’ll kill you for the fucking pleasure of it.”

“My thoughts exactly,” I say, “but the other way around.”

What is this night, with its laughing moon and hazy air? And where are all the other colors? All is red to me now.

Two men meet halfway on a bridge: God is off doing other things, but the demons below are flicking popcorn into their mouths: waiting, placing bets, black hearts racing with excitement.

I pull out my knife and the pale stranger pulls his. Our faces match grins and our eyes match, too. He kills me, and I kill him. The pavement licks up our blood and rejoices in the ways of man.


(From the book Kairos)

Each Second that Passes

Death peeks at me
through the blind spot of my dreams.
He holds sand in his hands and laughs
as the grains slip away.

(From the book Kairos)

Broken Hearts in Paris

I dreamt last night
Of the last night I saw you,
All covered in deadweight gold
And tarnished by its light.

You stood at the window,
An angel with burnt wings
And a soul tired of dancing.
"It's never easy backing out," you said.

"I know," I replied,
Our backs facing each other
And the voice not quite my own.
"Sometimes it isn't what we imagine."

You breathed against the window
And made a heart with your fingertip.
I closed my eyes
And put my forehead to the door.

When moonlight fell across the bed
You turned to me and said, "Paris, we
Should've gone to Paris. They have stars
And paintings, all the romance you can take."

I fumbled for my keys and opened the door.

"And broken hearts," I said.
Plenty of broken hearts. 


(From the book Selected Poems 2004-2007)

Beneath the Waves

He floats on green sea, sky softens eyes twilight blue.
Fish set course for curious, jump like finned rainbows.
The heart ventured at daybreak, went searching with sail;
anchored soul waits for resurrection, swirls with dreams.

Apart since sunrise, he’s been at opposite ends of her hour.
Life sleeps on shore, sunset bends towards fiction.
Love has splashed her, soaked the heart with promises;
angelic soul lifts, maiden albatross flies.

He waits, she will come—
and they will swim down together.


(From the book Kairos)

Before the Storm Wet the Earth

A ladybug landed on my knee
as I sat alone in a meadow
awaiting the rain.

With its tiny head cocked
and a trust in my silence
it seemed to ask,

"Do you think I am beautiful?"

But all I could do
was look away
and wonder what stories
my face was telling.


From the book Kairos. Also won 1st place for poetry at the 5th Annual Skyway Writers Festival in 2000.

A Poem to My Dead Love

My tears have filled my hands for centuries
and for centuries more, I’ve cried.
A broom of misfortune swept you away
and there hasn’t been a day
I haven’t missed you.

The time between sunrise and sunset
is a region of despair, and my nights
are wretched with the silence of a dream;
a dream which dreams me alone.

I once was a man of polished marble,
strongest simply because you loved me.
Fortune had been my blessing, and you my bloom—
the world then was an answered question.

But my god, how quickly the puzzle drops and splits apart,
a million pieces lost in earth and time;

how in the blink of an eye
my eyes could matter no more;
how I’ve longed for more of death and less of life,
just to be closer to you, my love.

(From the book Kairos)

A Moment is Riding Time

A moment is riding time
like a horse over the hill
bringing strength—

A moment is floating through time
like a ship across the sea
bringing wealth—

There is a moment
tossed by a fairy’s whim,
blown forward by her breath,
and carried away to find us.

There is a moment
set aside for you and me,
but it may take awhile
as these things do, my love.

It may take awhile
as these things do.

Our moment is conquering time
like a white flag rising
ending battle—

Our moment is drawing near
like a heart breaking chains
ending restraint—


(From the book Kairos)

The Impatient

Dress me in medical green, stick me down with pins.
Take your shiny gold scalpel and operate on me.
Do your best work, dear demon,
do your best work on me.

I’m alive you see,
so do your best work on me.

The sky’s beauty smothers all the scenery
like the doctor over his patient’s misery.
His scalpel shines gold in the white moonlight,
slicing down through the muddy breeze:

Cut me please.
Fix me, please.

Dress me in medical green, stick me down with pins.
Take your octopus arms and rearrange the insides of me.
Do your best work, dear deerhead,
do your best work on me.

I’m still alive you see,
so do your best work on me.

From the book Kairos. Also in SNM Horror Magazine's Best of 2012 issue. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Poem reprinted in Leaves of Ink

"The Existence of You" has been reprinted in the poetry webzine Leaves of Ink. It can be read via the link below. Thank you Earl S. Wynn for publishing it.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Poem reprinted in Leaves of Ink

"Though Unseen, Her Soul Is Lucid" has been reprinted in the poetry webzine Leaves of Ink. It can be read via the link below. Thank you to writer/editor Earl S. Wynn for accepting this poem.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A poem written in Washington

Rarely do I share poems I haven't spent time working on. But this one is different. I wrote it for my wife, on her birthday, while traveling across the Pacific Northwest. It was conceived in a bundle of moments filled with introspection and appreciation, and for this reason will always hold more value than much of my "polished" work. Note: a dipper is a small gray bird of fast-moving, rocky streams.

in the Pacific Northwest—
Swept up by scenery
and plucked
from stress & sadness;
fishbone clouds swimming,

We’re cruising,
crossing hemlock rivers—
Dippers diving between the rocks,
a current stretching into forever.

Tonight, as we lie in bed beneath stars,
my eyes will end at you—
The landscape of home;
a full circle
of wilderness & love.

(From the book Wilderness & Love)

Monday, August 12, 2013

An observation

Once, at a Waffle House, I noticed a man and his two children sitting in a booth near the window. The kids were probably eight to ten years old. No one talked; they just sat and ate their breakfast in silence. They were black. All three wore glasses. The little girl had pigtails, and the little boy bounced in his seat. The father often smiled at them, even when they weren't looking.

Never judge a book by its cover

A few years ago, while visiting St. Louis, I was waiting to get my ticket for the ride up the Gateway Arch when I noticed a very handsome man with a baby stroller. A few moments later his attractive wife peeked through the crowd and called for him to follow. I became angry at this man for no apparent reason other than his good fortune. When the handsome man began to walk, it was apparent that he had a disease which made his legs almost useless. Nonetheless, he pushed the stroller forward and kept his wobbly legs from failing.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Poem up at Dagda Publishing

A brand new poem titled "Leaving the Old Us" makes it debut today at UK-based Dagda Publishing. Thank you to Editor Reg Davey for accepting my work. The poem can be read by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Photography published in nature book

Now available for pre-order, The Nature Tracker's Handbook is the latest publication by famous naturalist Nick Baker, and contains my photograph of Northern Harrier pellets taken at Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge in Tennessee. The book is fantastic (I have a contributor's copy) and is a high recommend for nature enthusiasts. Being included in this book is quite an honor, and I have to thank Alice Ward from Bloomsbury Publishing for using the photo.

Click here to see the book description at Bloomsbury Publishing.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Spiral of Flies

Asher took a long, hard look at the pair of stilts resting against the wall of his studio apartment. As the clock struck midnight, the heavy, hypnotic rhythms of the Deftones song “Change (In the House of Flies)” snagged his wavering consciousness. Now in a rage, Asher threw his beer can at the MP3 player, took up an axe, and chopped the stilts into a thousand pieces. 

He awoke on his cigarette-burned couch a few hours later, disoriented and hung over. All was quiet but for the crackling radiator and the hum of the refrigerator. If it hadn’t been for a hint of sunrise pressed against the east window, and light from beneath the bathroom door, he’d have been in complete darkness. 

Struggling to sit up, Asher cracked his back and wiped snot from the whiskers beneath his nose. As dawn slowly filled the room, he flinched to see that the walls now appeared forty feet high and made of amber. Dozens of flies zipped back and forth between them, bumping into one another and spiraling down in aerial combat. 

Asher threw up his hands, mumbled something about having smoked some bad shit. 

He rubbed his eyes hard and picked away the crust. As sight returned, a thin, looming figure shimmered into view beside the TV. It was elevated on stilts and perfectly still, black as a starless region of space save for five red orbs on a featureless head. A long, flat object lay across upturned arms, while a tiny mandrill squatted sleepy-eyed on its left shoulder. 

With a sharp break from rigidity, the monkey leapt onto the figure’s forearm and pushed the object — which came apart and wafted down like a pair of feathers — to the floor beside the coffee table. 

Reluctantly, Asher turned his gaze to the mandrill. The primate squealed once, then nodded at the fallen objects. Now the red orbs on the figure’s amorphous face were moving scattershot. 

All but convinced that his visitors must be the combined effect of hangover and some strange, waking dream, Asher nonchalantly reached down and dragged the flat objects up to his lap. There they gave the impression of large, sturdy sheets of paper, partly sticky and gritty as if sprinkled with tar and slapped against dirt. He pinched a soft edge and wiggled it. 

In that moment they became all too real. 

And though his tongue was limp, and his heart began to race with fear, he managed to say, “What for?” 

But the elongated figure was gone. 

By now the apartment had reverted to its original state, a blazing sunrise pouring in through the east window. Asher sat and scrutinized the objects in the ruddy light. It was then that their true nature was revealed: they were large, transparent insect wings, highly veined, like those of the common house fly. The moment he realized this, they disappeared. 

While smoking a multitude of cigarettes, Asher sat contemplating all he had seen. Explanations arose and fell away. A few of them stuck, and in time, his nerves began to settle. 

After all, it hadn’t been the first time he’d hallucinated. 

By noon he was sprawled on the couch with a can of beer between his legs. Scantily clad girls argued and cried about something on TV. Annoyed, Asher shut it off. That’s when he heard, or thought he heard, moans coming from inside the nearby bathroom. Must be the neighbors, he told himself. But then the silent, bizarre creature and its servant monkey came to mind. 

“So much for drowning nightmares in alcohol,” he grumbled to himself, staring down as he took long drags from his cigarette. That’s when he happened to notice the faded track marks on his left arm; and that’s when the most likely culprit of his hallucinations became apparent: smack. 

Horse. Heroin. H. Many names for the same monster. Asher had recently been using, but managed to quit before the urges got too strong. A residual amount, he figured, or mild withdrawal coupled with the intake of alcohol and marijuana, must have triggered those hallucinations. What logic he still possessed encouraged him to sober up, to give the drug ample time to leave his system. But those hideous visions had raised his anxiety to new heights, so he grabbed another beer from the refrigerator and rolled a joint. 

The remaining afternoon was spent listening to a playlist of Karnivool, Alice In Chains, and other metal bands. He ate cold pizza, strummed his acoustic guitar, wrote bad music lyrics. He was beyond all worry at this point, beyond the constant image of his brain spiraling down a toilet with piss and shit. Gone, too, were thoughts of that haunting figure and its ambiguous agenda. 

But it wasn’t long before the weed had transformed him into a heap of tangled nerves. “Man, I need balance,” he mumbled to himself, pacing the apartment and punching at his head. “Fuck — I need H!” 

Pausing to remind himself of the progress made regarding heavy drugs, of the promises made not only to himself, but to his mother and sister, Asher laid down and tried to sleep off the cravings. 

To no avail. 

By evening he began to shake with fever. That’s when the stilts reappeared for the second night in a row, their quiet, inanimate presence enticing him over. Soon a hissing, inner voice went plugging through the silt of his brain: Go higher, Asher. Go higher. 

Ridiculously, he covered his ears. The mantra only rose in pitch. He pressed his palms tight against his head and hummed, but the voice breached all barriers. 

And then, through trembling hands, that Deftones song from the previous night: some guy changing into a fly and catching fire . . . . 

A new thought sparked in Asher’s mind, one that made him stand up straight as a soldier: destroy the stilts! That’s when the axe reappeared on the coffee table and he made good use of it. That’s how another night passed without H. 

He awoke to more hallucinations in the pre-dawn of the next morning. Once again the walls turned to amber and took on abnormal dimensions. Flies zipped in circles beneath the ceiling, buzzing with laughter. The dark figure reappeared with its prismatic monkey and fly wings. But this time, none of it disappeared like it had the morning before; instead, the room retained its nightmarish qualities and the figure backed into the shadows on its stilts, leaving behind the wings. Something turned on the bathroom light, door now ajar, and the moaning inside grew more audible. 

Asher kicked back with a fresh joint and squinted at the TV — an attempt to ignore the lingering hallucinations. The day carried on as usual, and then it was night. But to his horror, the visions perpetuated; in fact, they had grown more vivid, more ominous. 

In the end, they broke him. 

“Just one bag,” Asher pleaded over the phone. “No-no — two. As soon as you can, dude. Please!” 

Cowering in the amber light beneath the laughing flies, Asher sunk into his couch and wept quietly. 

* * * 

The first dose expelled the hallucinations right away; a huge relief. But then the stilts reappeared, walking themselves back and forth, back and forth in front of the TV. The axe appeared next, so he injected a second dose into his swollen arm, and then a third and a fourth. The objects remained. By then he no longer cared, and this time, instead of chopping the stilts into pieces, he climbed into them. He wasn’t sure how he did this, but he did. He climbed into them, and the walls and ceiling expanded to accommodate his new height. 

For a time he ambled around in the stilts, possessing natural ability without ever having tried. Indescribable sensations blasted through his body and instilled a cliché oneness with the universe. This was accompanied by a loud, rising buzz from behind. And when he glanced over his shoulder, there they were: grand, beautifully patterned insect wings. 

Magazines fluttered and dust took to air. Hundreds, if not thousands, of tiny black flies appeared all around him: some alive, some trapped inside the colossal amber walls. 

The stilts lifted him higher and higher. The wings accelerated and he felt ready to fly. He rubbed his hands together in anticipation. But then the moaning from earlier, now amplified, reached his greatly attuned ears. Far below he noticed a shining rectangle of yellow light: the bathroom door was wide open, a long, spiral stream of flies going in. 

Somehow Asher was able to see inside that bathroom; it was as if his sight had been usurped by a telescopic lens. And through that myopic vision he saw a naked man lying motionless in the empty bathtub: a syringe stuck in his arm, his skeletal body covered with purple veins, his pale face Asher’s face. Nearby, hundreds of flies lined the rims of the sink and bathtub. 

In a burst of red light, the dark figure flashed in front of Asher’s eyes and he lost his balance. The stilts cracked, snapped apart, fell away. His wings buzzed desperately as he lingered in the air. 

And when the man in the bathtub let out a sick, sludgy moan and vomited on his own chest, Asher joined the procession of flies and laughed as he zipped around the convulsing body — laughed and laughed like it was the funniest thing he had ever seen.


First published in the October 2013 issue of Morpheus Tales.