Follow the Shore

This poem appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of The Lyric Magazine and received the publication’s Leslie Mellichamp Prize. Follow the shore as it rises alee,Bereft of the wind and deprived of the sea.Follow it northward, past stone and past tide,And keep to the coast ‘til the current has died.See where the cliff falls away …

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Songs About Robots

None of these twelve songs are about real robots — the self-propelled mechanical lackeys that vacuum our homes, deliver our packages, and show us the surface of Mars. But some of the songs do mock our fears of the little Frankenstein monsters we’ve created, or the bigger ones we might someday. Some are inspired by …

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Characters & Caricaturas

What if the features splayed across my face Did not do justice to my character? ‘They are all male’ and ‘They are all in wigs’ Tom Lubbock wrote, but they are not the same. Each visage has a quirk, a mortal flaw, A human element, a needle in the hay, A miniature totem in a …

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John Milton, Rock Star

You think you know something about John Milton. He was blind. He was English. He was a Puritan. He wrote that interminably long poem about Adam and Eve, the one that literature majors perhaps still labor (or slumber) through. But did you know he was something of a rock star? In college, long before he …

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Van Gogh’s Postman

What does he deliver, the postman? Unfinished pale streaks coming together in one hand, Blood red outlining the other, blue etches that show the sky, What do they possess? What did he see in those beady dark eyes that followed him around the studio, Pink face vomiting green beard? Does the postman deliver only blue?

A Peripheral Glossary

Note: If you landed here because you’re curious about Amazon Prime’s series The Peripheral, welcome! I wrote this post a bunch of years ago about the novel the series is based on, and it prompted one visitor to call me “a slightly crazy reader.” Much of it remains accurate for the show, but I haven’t …

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Why I Write

I write because I like words. The way they sound. Alone. In sequence. The way they mean things. How their meanings change, multiply, when collected together. I like sentences even better. I like to tinker with a sentence until it’s perfect. A perfect sentence is a crazy impossible dream. Like a perpetual motion machine, running …

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Will Poole’s Island

Classic tales can–and should–be told and retold. Will Poole’s Island, by Tim Weed, feels like one of those stories: comfortable, like something you’ve owned forever, yet fresh, because you’re seeing it with new eyes, against a new backdrop. This short, elegantly written book is a coming-of-age adventure about an orphan struggling to find his identity …

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