Archive for the ‘Sonnets’ Category

The Dream of Art

September 3, 2012

My sonnet, “The Dream of Art,” is in issue four of a really nice online journal from the UK, Antiphon.


News Cycle

August 4, 2012

The New Verse News picked up my sonnet on the conversion of Snoop Dogg.


April 5, 2011

The tiles slid. And two words (one high-scoring)
came together, doubling up in size,
waiting to pop out and yell “Surprise!”

as Sunday Scrabble teetered on the boring.
Emily read a rule—“No proper nouns.
You can’t use words that start with capital letters.”
The players nodded grimly in their sweaters,
as Maureen scooped back EDISON. Such frowns.

“And there goes QUIZBEAR!” I observed. I pointed
where the neologic hybrid lurked,
the character whose fuzzy-wuzzy face
unhibernated when the table jerked….

How everything that followed disappointed.
Two-bit words in Gothic upper case.


February 12, 2011

The Captain throws a delta barrel roll.
His pipes are shot. But that’s how come they sound
like thunder under water, over ground.
The cigarettes and whiskey take their toll?
Well, twilight always opened for The Band.
He cracks the snare and shoots a come-on eye
across the audience. He’s apple pie
on Sunday as he counts off Dixieland.
The man has candy in his pocket, see.
A little toss. A midnight ramble stunt.
He’ll paddle those eclectic tambourines
upstream and shake the biggest hands down front.
His dance recalls the steamboat Reveille,
his song, the sunken light in New Orleans.

Levon Helm
Wellmont Theater, Montclair, NJ
February 11, 2011

The Lullaby Inside

December 20, 2010

American Arts Quarterly has published my sonnet “Sculpture.” Please click on the link below the poem at the AAQ site to see a website on Judith Scott’s work. Click into the section labeled “Judith’s Artwork”, which includes two minutes from a documentary film about the artist. Below is another very interesting video. Thanks to Meredeth Bergmann for taking the poem.

Le Vieux Moulin

November 14, 2010

on the painting by Soutine

Cerét rolls over on a bed of flame
exposing an inflamed intestine turning
in upon itself. The garden’s burning
and the mill sags fallow on its frame.

Upheaval. Earthquake. A volcanic flow.
The bleeding mansard roof beguiles the plaster.
Permanent mementos of disaster
crack the lacquered surface high and low.

And on the yellow hill a gangling devil
relishes the foliating sky.
Impasto gray and blue surmount the wall,
a broken window taken for an eye.

A wheel unwinds. The leaning block and bevel
slide to the consoling balm of fall.

Museum of Modern Art
New York City

Autumn Sky Poetry

October 25, 2010

Autumn Sky Poetry is out with its annual art issue, and I am in it with an ekphrastic sonnet on David Park’s Kids on Bikes. Also see fine work by Paul Stephens, Jean L. Kreiling, and other formalistas.

Spirit of ’76

September 26, 2010

Radio defiled itself on disco
and the Eagles. Frampton came alive
and something died. The Mothers failed to thrive
at Warner Bros as bands in San Francisco
phoned it in or signed on with Scorsese.
Lola bowed to Powerman, the money
talked, the bass line walked…then something funny
happened. Real extravagant and crazy.
A raw guitar, unmitigated riff
of utter filth with missing teeth and splotches—
like history, the chorus was repeated.
The frontman, Johnny Rotten, was obnoxious.
“Ah ha ha!”, he mocked, and asked us if
we ever had the feeling we’d been cheated.

“The Lean Sonnet Zine”

March 21, 2010

My sonnet, “Postcard”, is in the new, and newly redesigned, 14 x 14. Click around–be sure to check the Author Index for sonnets by our favorites.

Mardi Gras Sketches

February 8, 2010

(Ghost of the Quarter)

The gutterline across Lafitte’s is strung
with plastic banners for the Mardi Gras—
the colors of the King Cake, purple hung
by gold and green—the quintessential trois
couleurs. It’s bunting for the old parade
on Bourbon and St. Philip in the Quarter.
Tip the Pleasure Club for Social Aid,
we’re leaning into the shadow, bricks and mortar,

where on the jukebox, Richard Manuel
complains about the sorry shape he’s in.
That rumble in the alley. What the hell—
it’s save your neck or save your brother’s skin
and call a number for the second line.
Let’s say we resurrect Evangeline.

(Roll and Walk)

I met some solid Catholics at St. Ray’s
on Friday morning. In from Washington
(the State), they drove me to a yellow shotgun
out in St. Bernard’s (the Parish). Days
and days (a year or three) of work and real prayer
got this palace studded-up for walls,
and so we screwed the gypsum down the halls—
your typical two-family with a wheelchair.

At lunch, a guy called Tom who didn’t talk
a lot began to juggle hammers, not
that he was any good. A nervous tic.
a little extra energy. It got
the neighborhood’s attention. Roll and walk,
your harder kids looked sideways at this trick.


I lose the echo of accordion
amidst the vials of absinthe on the bar,
the spyboy calls and lamplight denouement…
“Prepare yourself for Krewe Endymion!”
(or Continental Airlines in the morning)
…and focus on an antique silver bowl,
the cubes that burn, suspended, to the toll
of spoon on glass. Their bluish glow a warning,

now they flare and melt into a liquor
green, a scene insidiously steeped
in Degasesque demise. L’enfer, despair,
temptation. Like the wisp of flame that leaped
through blackness to the match at my cigar
expiring as I cross to Frenchman Square.