Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Postcard Poems & Prose is a lovely online journal I'm proud to be published by. Peruse the journal and you'll get a personal look at the people who write the poems and stories presented.  Thank you to editors David Morehouse and Christy Miron. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Hunkering Down, Writing

I'm taking a class from The Mill: A Place for Writers, entitled Writing the Lyric Poem with Tom Montag. I'm completely absorbed by it and have not been sending my work to journals. But am writing. Struggling. Revising. Practicing. Changing.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

"Party Sex"

Big thanks to the editors of Mad Swirl, who published "Party Sex" today.

It's another poem inspired by my former roommate, Mark Kostopoulos (see Elegy for an ACT UP Warrior). Who knew in those busy undergrad days in Madison that he would be the one to spark my creativity? But maybe not such a surprise, considering that most people who met him, remember him.

Saturday, August 26, 2017


This poem makes me feel nostalgic for the recent past. I am grateful for every summer I have lived, though they pass too quickly. Thank you, Ron Harton, editor of NatureWriting, for publishing my poem.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

No Longer Silent

Not quite as powerfully anti-racist as the last few days demand. Yet for many of us, becoming engaged in social justice requires small first steps. These are mine.

No Longer Silent in Social Justice Poetry

Friday, August 11, 2017

Borderland Vision

She sings hymns in an Appalachian Church while blood, red as geraniums ablaze in the sun, spreads over white walls.  Surrounded by tuneful voices and the organ's thrum, alone in perceiving this stigmata, she has a vision strange.

Behind her sit white-haired women in polyester dresses.  The smears like the liquid of their labor, messy remnants of childbirth and miscarriage, signify how they fought, on their backs, to bring forth life.  Surviving babes grew into teens, borrowed their parents' cars for evenings out. Easy to push heavily on the gas pedal and miss a switchback while screaming down the ridge road to town. Tumbling over hemlocks and boulders, beloved youngsters became mangled and still (and so the chill sound of late night sirens became encoded into the town's nightmares). Parental tears mingle with the scarlet streaks of each child's pain, manifest on the sanctuary's pristine partitions.

Near the exit is a young father, a handsome soldier sent to the Persian Gulf, where pesticides and toxic agents crept into his brain (a cunning enemy, dispersed by his own side). Undiagnosed, but mysteriously ailing, his forbearance trickles in carmine rivulets onto the floor's molding.

Waves of men and women returned from their wars to this sturdy shelter, built on soil that seceded from the southern states. In this borderland, Confederate sympathizers lived on the other side of their allegiance.  Rebels burned the city below. Soot and ash were carried by the wind to this mountaintop with the sound of animal bellows, the crack of timbers, and men’s hoarse shouts.

Those who remember are dead. The seam of resentment weakens with each generation.  The preacher intones the Sunday prayers and neighbors bow their heads.  Her vision clears, the walls come clean, the flow is stanched.  A scarlet stream of struggle abates. Humanity is made from iron blood and beating  heart, though encased in fragile form. And while she contemplates,  a breeze blows from the open door.

Sweet tenderness flows through her.

Let it waft a little more.


from Whitmanthology © 2016 available from http://www.lulu.com/shop/various-authors/whitmanthology-on-loss-and-grief/ebook/product-22988681.html

Whitmanthology brings a collection of writings with authors from all over the world inspired by “Whitman’s Civil War: Writing and Imaging Loss, Death, and Disaster”- MOOC course held by the University of Iowa in 2016. With a “Forward” by Professor Christopher Merrill, the Anthology aims to bring peace and hope in a world filled with war and pain.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Three Line Poetry

There are wonderful poems in this issue of Three Line Poetry--I'm so proud to be included!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

"Meals on Wheels" in New Verse News

Great to see my poem, "Meals on Wheels" published in New Verse News last Friday. I wrote this one in April, for NaPoWriMo. Dusted it off, revised it a smidge, and sent it off. My thanks to James Penha, who is a very busy editor!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Mulling Over Titles

Titles can be daunting and I go through many mistakes, usually settling upon a one-word summary of a poem, but nothing that's exciting to find in a table of contents. In this case, I puzzle over the name of my blog, "Primordial Ooze." It sounds ugly and off-putting to my ear, though it may accurately express the creative process.

So perhaps it's time to give up all pretense at poetry and simply use my name? Question mark?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"Encounter" in Verse-Virtual

Delighted to have my poem "Encounter" published in the July issue of Verse-Virtual.

It's a special treat to be in the issue with Karla Huston, the Wisconsin Poet Laureate, as well as Neil Creighton, who has given me helpful critiques on some of my past poems.

Please read as many of the fine poems in this issue as you possibly can. My thanks to editor Firestone Feinberg.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

"Unseen" in Young Ravens Literary Review

I really wanted a poem in the "Prayers for the Planet" issue of Young Ravens Literary Review.   Yet though I played around with the idea for several weeks, nothing formed.  Then one day in April, Bob and I took our usual walk to Manitou Park and my prayer for inspiration was answered.

Many thanks to editors Sarah Page, Elizabeth Pinborough, and Jorden Hinrichsen for including my poem "Unseen" in their Summer 2017 issue.  Also, thank you to my friends in the Modern Poetry critique group who were my earliest readers.  

You can read the poem here.  

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing

I'm very pleased that my poem, "Newcomer," is in the June 2017 issue of Snapdragon:  A Journal of Art & Healing.  The theme of the issue is Surrender.  It's an honor to be represented in this journal, which is dedicated to the notion of creativity as a healing art. My thanks to editors Cyndi Briggs and Jacinta V. White! 

The issue, with my poem, is available here.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

"Changing Weather" and "Escarpment"

Thanks to editor Zvi A. Sesling, two poems of mine are in the Spring Issue of Muddy River Poetry Review.  You can read them here:  http://muddyriverpoetryreview.com/ 

Zvi is also the Poet Laureate of the city of Brookline, Massachusetts.  I'm honored that he selected my poems for his journal.  And I love its title.

I am also really honored to be featured in the table of contents with two poets from the Rat's Ass Review poetry critique group:  Alicia Coles and Sergio Ortiz.  They are amazing poets, both of them edit poetry journals, and I'm in pretty august company, wouldn't you say?

I hope you read and enjoy my poems as well as the others in the issue.