the clarity and the fogThis chapbook of poetry is the second in my work with traditionally structured poems, which began with my last chapbook, aptly named Pattern and Form. This group of poems continues with one set each of sonnet, waka, and acrostic. And though I draw from traditional forms, I can’t help but take some liberties which fall short of some original demands… which, I understand, makes me something of a poseur. 

This collection begins with the title poem, The Clarity and the Fog, which is my attempt to convey the strange partnership we discover in old age of gaining a clearer understanding of life at exactly the same time we’re beginning to lose the clarity within our everyday lives. It’s as though our traditional senses— sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell —are gradually fading and our spiritual sense, or perhaps I should say awareness, is expanding. The additional poseur sonnets continue with the theme of life’s end game.

The wakas in this collection are a bit more playful, while remaining focused on the process and experience of being alive. They range from the excitement of a decadent lunch to the ennui felt in moments of uncertainty to the acknowledgement that some of our most important lessons have come as a result of our many failures. 

And finally, the accrostics in the chapbook are single word acrostics that strive to capture the essence of a word, and to wrap that essence around an experience life has given me. I’ll post one example from each form below.

          The Clarity and the Fog 

There is a moment within one’s lifetime
when the horizon finally clears, and
all the hope secretly held, all the guilt
secretly hid, simply comes to an end.

Each day thereafter carries us closer
to the thing we had convinced ourselves would
ever remain as it always had been…
sensed but unseen… with time yet to make good

on the myriad unkept promises
that always gave way to needs of the day.
This moment of breathtaking clarity,
wet from reality’s most recent wave,

lights our way through life’s encroaching fog till
our hearts, finally, can smile and be still. 



lacewings are killers.
delicate; oh so refined.
they try to look meek —
too fragile to pierce a heart —
but those fuckers will bite you. 



On its own, that late summer day was not particularly memorable.
More wind perhaps. I’m sure it was hot. Big sky. Feckless clouds.
But after sunset — long after, in fact — day’s deep purple edge
Receded into the blackest, moonless night of my childhood.
Everywhere. That’s where the stars were. Absolutely everywhere.