Qin 

Was bloody, half the empire would fall
but battle only lays them for a time
they cut and burned the books to quell the live
Rites of Zhou replaced with rule of law

and rule of land and tombs that fit for kings
an infantry to make it great again,
chains of serfs and bastards moved as one
bound the little states that wrapped Beijing.

Two thousand years, about a million men,
a life for every foot of wall when done.
What is blocked and what is kept within?

Caged white roosters, mortar made from bone
like the scales of a sleeping dragon
and as visible, too, from the moon.


So, I just handed my poetry manuscript to a potential publisher. Whenever I do that, something strange happens. I re-read the manuscript and edits that I never saw before come to the fore. It's remarkable. So here is the latest. A freshly revised sonnet.



Rust 
Thorax of tractor, trailer aground.
Letting the metal go.

The gathering is shrinking. Soon
we forget to ask.

Old men idle over tinto and war.
A dyke gives way nail by nail.

It doesn’t stop here, ever.
Through bulging sewers

and guttered debris,
the music snuck back,

slipped on a hot little dress.
What part of love is patience?

A blown-out, boarded-up
city stuffs its windows with toys.

The derelict car lot
polka-dotted.

Abandon as litter
or landscape?

Insides out
mustering red.



Published Halifax Poetry Series, Frog Hollow Press and FreeFall Magazine
2016

100,000 Poets for Change 
Proud to be part of this chorus of voices speaking out on the American election. Click on the link below to read the poems.
  |  related link
Is Poetry Political? 
For some reason, I've been giving this a lot of thought lately.

I like Adrienne Rich's answer to a similar question, "Can poetry affect social change?":

"Yes, where poetry is liberative language, connecting the fragments within us, connecting us to others like and unlike ourselves, replenishing our desire. . . . In poetry words can say more than they mean and mean more than they say. In a time of frontal assaults both on language and on human solidarity, poetry can remind us of all we are in danger of losing—disturb us, embolden us out of resignation."

Also Seamus Heaney crediting poetry with offering:

"a less binary and altogether less binding vocabulary"

The arresting and nuanced challenge positivist normative ways of thinking and moving in the world. Food for and voice of our authentic selves. What is more political than being completely in our skins?

Jean Baker Miller:

"Authenticity and subjugation are incompatible."





A Reading List on Loss, Death and Will 
Nox, Anne Carson

One Crow Sorrow, Lisa Martin

As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner

Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking

A Grief Observed, CS Lewis

Adieux: A Farewell to Sartre by Simone de Beauvoir

A Very Easy Death, by Simone de Beauvoir

H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald

Goshawk, by TH Whyte

The Long Goodbye, Meahan O'Rourke

Freud, Beyond the Pleasure principle

Adam Philips, Darwin's Worms

Schopenhaur, The World as Will and Representation

Walter A. Davis, Deracination: Historicity, Hiroshima, and the Tragic Imperative

When Pain is the Doorway, Pema Chodron

Wave, Sonali Deraniyagala

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Alison Bechdel

Bough Down, Karen Green

The Loved One, Evelyn Waugh




Next