Poetry

POETRY

My newest chapbook, Time Travel, was released in August 2016. 

Below are poems previously published in journals that are included in the chapbook. 

Many of the other poems in the book reflect my thoughts and experiences while studying poetry at La Romita School of the Arts in Umbria, Italy in 2014 (hence, the cover photo).

I am also completing my next chapbook, Another Point of View, and a full-length collection, Woman of a Certain Age.

Click here to learn about my other Publications






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The Model

He is a handsome man – mid-forties, immaculate, well-hung –
unlike the worn, sagging characters we usually get. 
It’s not supposed to be like this: I know this man.  I know
he is an attorney, a youth soccer coach, that his secretary
books these gigs, and I wonder if she has seen him naked,
if this is a kinky game they play. Unlike other models,

he undresses in front of us, which seems too intimate,
despite the fact we are in a bright, second floor studio
across from city hall, five women at easels, brushes poised. 
It is difficult to separate man from model, to see him,
as our instructor says – grouped shapes, shades, line and form. 
I think of male artists who both slept with their models and painted

the women they married.  I try to imagine a man I adore, naked,
displayed in front of our class, all business, nothing personal.
I concentrate on gesture, how flesh segments space.  I define shoulders,
sketch feet, shape jaw, capture the asymmetry of testicles drooping
in their pleated bag, how late afternoon light dapples skin. I paint
and paint until the man is lost in pigment and what emerges is the art.


Kansas City Voices, Whispering Prairie Press, October 2013

In the Gallery

I am puzzling over the best-of-show painting 

when an articulate apparition appears a few inches behind my left shoulder. 

Without greeting or preface, he begins dissecting the work on the wall. 

His manicured finger hovers over the canvas as he traces

layers of pigment and meaning, his gravel-edged voice confident. 

Is he the man who kissed me wetly and a bit off-center last week 

in my dream?  I want him to do it again, right now, here 


in front of this painting and its blue ribbon. I want him to slip his arm 

around my waist and nudge me from this bright gallery to a dusky bistro, 

where we will order a carafe of house red and meatball sandwiches, 

and it will take a half-dozen napkins to wipe tomato sauce from between our fingers, 

laughing, talking like I used to talk with men in the sixties, men who played guitar 

and knew all of Dylan and Leonard Cohen and crooned Suzanne 

in their candle-lit off-campus apartments before confessing they no longer loved me.  


I hmmmm and nod as he speaks. I sense his height, catch the scent of citrus soap, 

note his beveled wedding band. Is he young and earnest, trying to impress? Or older –

I his naïf to educate?  If this were a movie or novel, by now our eyes would have met, 

mine ribbon-blue, his God only knows what color (though I hope they are green), 

but I don’t dare look at him as he talks of tonality and texture.  By now, we should, 

at least, be strolling languidly toward the wine and cheese in the next room. 

By now, if truth be told, I should be home feeding the cat, but instead I stay 

in the gallery and stare at the painting, desperately in love with all of it.  


Kansas City Voices, Whispering Prairie Press, October 2013

Summer Evening

My brother is dead.  

So are my mother and father. 

 But I am here 

in my study,  

drinking Jack Daniels, 

listening to the washer 

spin my swim towel, 

my husband’s shorts,  


watching the breeze riffle 

the fading blue morning glories 

atop my neighbor’s roof.  

As colors soften,  


more ghosts creep in:

my sister-in-law, who shrank 

from life’s ledges, spirals from  

the Holiday Inn’s twelfth floor;  


my surfer boyfriend loses his grip 

a few rungs from the rescue copter’s hatch 

and plummets back into the sea, 

death so often coming from Icarian heights.  


I swirl my sweating glass, 

crazed cubes clacking 

like dice in a leather cup.  


The Women's Review of Books, January/February 2013

Memorial

I take my mother from the trunk
of the car, surprisingly heavy
in a plush crimson bag with gold cord,
cloaked like fine scotch.

I don’t want to feel the shape of her box,
refuse to prod her ashes. She never found me
thin or blonde or pretty enough;
she loved a beautiful package.

Fourteen hours after she, finally, died,
my brother and I, exhausted, in grubby jeans,
savored fillet and chocolate cake, toasted her
with cabernet at the Monkey Cat,

all possibility of pleasing
her, at last, gone.


Cradle Songs, An Anthology of Poems on Motherhood, May 2012