"Cleave" in Penn Review

The word “cleave” is fantastic—a contronym (or anti-antonym) with contradictory meanings, but it also consumes the word “leave” and leads to “cleaver”. This poem explores the visceral nature of this delicious word.

"30 Seconds" in The Flexible Persona

In 1976, I travelled to Budapest, Hungary while it was under Soviet control. I had brought Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago on my trip. It was an illegal book there, so I slipped it to our assigned guide as I could tell he would honor it. “30 Seconds” tells that story of a little dissident act on both our parts. Later that year I met Solzhenitsyn who was a visiting professor at Stanford in a Round Table pizza place near campus. I told him the story. Given his extreme acts of dissidence, I don’t think mine was very impressive to him.

4 Poems In Angry Old Man

Angry Old Man Magazine publishes experimental poetry forms. I was delighted that they took for of my weirdest--erasures, sonic and one that is math formulas. Despite their unusual form, these poems deal with important global issues for the most part. 


This haibun (Japanese form) poem was inspired by the video created to explain sexual consent. The animated video uses tea as a metaphor for sex. I was struck by how sharing a cup of tea can seem intimate, how there is often ceremony, tradition and expectation involved. This poem eventually evolved into the haibun form which not only played on the Japanese tea ceremony, but also enabled contrast in perspectives (hers/his) (prose/haiku-like) and pacing (fast/slow). 


The Seattle Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna created a grid of poems about places in Seattle from Seattle poets. I was delighted to have "Grace" selected to bring to life my lovely neighborhood. 


I've had the good fortune to attend TED half a dozen times. It is a most extraordinary experience for the people that are there, the talks shared, the theater of it all. I thought I'd share my take on the last one I attended.