adams are ghosts

late hour, woozy with memories
that one adam says are ghosts.

how right he is, adams are vapor.

as are bens and jons
and young shadowy men
drinking too much,
driving too fast.

one adam wraps around a tree before i can tell him
anything, how i have a photo of him with birthday cake
poised waiting on his bottom lip for a sugary kiss

my god, we could have been anything by now
if we weren’t spread out across the sky, still waiting
on kisses from little girls like
dew-tipped grass in a morning chilly, ripe.

wearing a dress of the dead

wearing a dress of the dead, lipstick just a shade deeper than yesterday’s
wear, my hair is longer, eyes lined blue, mind sharp, i have never felt such cathexis
for a polyester blend, it is she in my memory choosing this white clutch, she reminding

me of such joy in life with each swish of the bell of such brightly flowered dress,
she decorating all of me and preening like a grave site of daisies in fresh morning spring.

Praying For a Safe Return for Neal and Jason

Friends, please help me in praying and sending positive energy to Glacier National Park where a good friend is currently missing with his hiking partner.

Dr. Neal Peckens is a good friend from St. Mary’s College of MD (and my birthday twin haha). He and his friend Jason Hiser were hiking in Glacier and missed their flight Friday – and were reported missing on Saturday. Searchers are doing everything they can… and I figure a little extra prayer/positive energy couldn’t hurt. Thank you in advance !!!

Latest updates are on the Glacier website.

From a recent news article from WJLA ABC 7:

“Rescue teams at Glacier National Park searched in wintery conditions and rugged terrain Sunday for two East Coast hikers reported missing by family members. Park officials said 50 searchers were looking for 32-year-old Neal Peckens of Virginia and 32-year-old Jason Hiser of Maryland.”

Quietly Disappearing (To Mia)

Friend, I asked the great poets but for all their flowery words
They couldn’t capture your breathless manner of speaking.
I searched the sea and the ocean but they just kept repeating,
(Repeating) and I beseeched the birds but they just kept circling and
I was dizzy; a statue? too stiff, unfeeling.
Flowers? too trite with grieving – I went back pleading with the poets
“Write me a new constellation in the sky and call it Mia!” but they
Gave me cold cracked bells tolling, so unappealing–
More fitting – I on a marble stoop sitting, my beer streaming out,

Watching bubbles slowing, exhales burying a sidewalk steaming,
All… all… quietly disappearing.

how do you tell someone not to worry about sunrises?

the moon hung precarious
on the ledge of the night,
forlorn and feeling worthless
as if the tiniest breath of air
could send it tumbling into midnight

i’m looking up so scared
every frozen winter breath ascending
in staccato
trepidation – don’t worry
don’t jump

don’t give up.

from creative writing class circa 2001 slightly modified (in fact so is “on the pool deck”):

For a Moment

Wrote this quickly a long time ago (circa 2003 maybe). Most people, I think, will be able to relate in some way or another…. Now, heading out to enjoy the weather and a great concert with BRMC tonight (black rebel motorcycle club) Till tomorrow… Oh, and if you can, let me know if you like hearing background on the poems or if you prefer just to see them posted alone!

For a Moment

for a moment
when it was safe
she thought about him
when the world wasn’t paying attention
she ran her fingers through the memories
and remembered him
when the day buzzed by
and clamored on with heavy ideas
she slipped away
and felt him smiling slyly
as he always used to do and
she sang with him
away from the paperweights and mouse-pads
she danced with him
when it was safe
she kicked back and dreamed of him,
sweetly and sadly,
then the world came roaring in again and
she can’t go back again
though for a moment
she thought she had.

Even Memories Fade

Written late in the night many years ago. Found it in a handwritten book of notes. I have no idea, on a beautiful day like this one, why I felt like posting it.

Even Memories Fade

you, disappearing slowly,
a mist
a past a past life
crawling away from here like your life
depended upon it
but you really didn’t care that much about life
you, disappearing slowly,
and I
sit sit still watching
not concerned like I thought I would be
I thought I’d feel
an emptiness for the loss
but instead only numb

Poems to Zach Sowers (9 Months and Decision)

It’s been two and a half years since a friend of mine was attacked in Baltimore a block from his house and a few blocks from where I was living at the time. His name was Zach Sowers, and the brutal attack from three teenagers sent him into a coma from which he would never return. It was a time of immense emotion, waiting, upheaval, anger that rippled across the city, thanks to Anna (his wife’s) tireless efforts to affect change in a city so adverse to it. This profoundly experienced the way I view the city, and the way I view life. You can read the full story at I wrote more than a few poems throughout the time. These are two.

9 months

At 27,
I was walking home from the bars
late, to the house, to my wife of nine months, to our dog,
and then there were shadowy figures and darkness.

The pain was intense. I floated above myself
for nine long months, waiting. Then the pain disappeared.

The waiting is over. I’m with my ancestors
and my heart beats on
in the breast of my wife.

(RIP Zach 3/25/08)


You vomited blood like coffee grounds.
And I read these words
of an unexpected setback
in a quiet office that overlooks a long hall.

I wonder
about the statistical chances of God
existing to send you
a miracle; weighing the prayers of those around me
against all of that
Existential philosophy.

Later on tonight,
when I’m sleeping, I expect to see you in my dreams.
I expect you to say,
“Cheer up. It’s my decision.
I’ll either walk the hall back to you
or I’ll go the other way.”