I am a cab driver from Tucson, married to a Mexican woman. I write poetry and prose and have been published in the small press for almost 2 decades. Please look around.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009



My first full length book of poetry is out from Interior Noise Press. The book is 124 pages and spans 10 years, with my artwork on the cover. It includes poems that have previously appeared in places like Atlanta Review, Rattle, Gutter Eloquence, The Ledge, Hanging Loose, Nerve Cowboy, Nimrod and River Styx.

All of the links to the right go to my work on the net.

Below are some reviews and interviews:








And here are a few samples:


She used to categorize her orgasms
as flowers:
a rose was the very best,
then lilac, daffodil, daisy...
This sounds dandy
except mine was not the little joy
of a hummingbird
poking his beak into a larkspur,
no, I worked
for those orgasms:
I had to start from scratch,
undoing her botany
and everything else she'd been taught,
easing it up
through the hardpan,
hauling the water,
performing feats of endurance
with tongue or hand.
I've sweated less working peat into the ground
with a shovel.
One hot day I explained to her
the type of flower she had
was due to the length of my
servitude down there,
and I'd rather settle
for a dandelion
than dislocate an elbow.
We split up after that.
I don't know what kind of farmer
she finally landed.
You can't get away from nature.
Two months later
I met a biker chick
who grew her own weed.



She uses a flat hot iron
to straighten her hair.
It has a porcelain handle
and burning platypus jaws
and each morning she gets up
and plugs it in the wall.
You can smell it getting hot.
Her hair is golden-
rod laughing, but her dad
told her she was ugly
and her hair was too curly
every god damned day.
It's a delicate operation:
to change who you are
without burning your scalp.
It's been eleven years
since she's seen him, calls
another country home now
but she still gets up
and plugs in her hot iron
every morning. It's ready
when your spit sizzles.



I'm a white American and she's Mexican
but we're trying to make it work.
We've moved in together.
There's a dumpster outside our bedroom window
15 feet away,
a cement block wall
between us and it.
The dumpster belongs to the other apartment building,
the last of the expensive white ones
before it turns Mexican.
At night we are startled
by people throwing things
into the dumpster.
The noises are sudden and vicious, like thunder
or war, as if they are so proud,
as if it was the surest thing in the world
to be throwing a way a microwave at midnight.
Later in the night
we hear the Mexicans
taking things out of the dumpsters
to fix and resell.
The nights are hot in the desert in the summer
and in our sweaty sleep
the blanket on the bed gets pushed
and mashed together
between us.
We call it "the border".
Even on the hottest nights we can't
toss it away.



There was a little bell on the boss's desk
at the collection agency
where we were paid
to telephone people
and make them feel like dog crap.
It was a bell like on a hotel counter
when the clerk's gone.
When a collector received a credit card payment
it was procedure to stand up from the little desk
and walk across the room
past all the others sitting
at their own little desks
and to place the payment slip
in the box on the boss's desk
and to tap the top
of the little bell.
The bell was intended to make us jealous
and mindlessly competitive
like posting everyone's totals
on the wall in big red numbers:
it dug into our hamster brains
and we worked harder and harder
to make the world miserable,
to make ourselves miserable.
We told mothers their sons
were losers
and we told grandmothers if they didn't
pay their bills before they died
they'd go to hell
and their families would never forgive them.
And that little bell
kept dinging
and our mouths watered
for affection.



In that five-foot-wide four-foot-deep basket
the pilot and his wife argued
for the whole forty five minutes.
It was just the four of us:
Josie and I pressed against
the thin wall of the basket
roped our fingers together and looked
as far away as we could.
The farms were laid out all around
like a sheet of stamps.
The pilot made the fire roar
to drown out the sound of their angry voices
and in this way the fuel
was spent early.
We were all sweating.
This is what they do:
travel from town to town
hauling that huge balloon
unrolling it and rolling it back up
for twenty years.
On the way back to earth
we barely missed some power lines
and descended into a herd
of scattering cows.
The woman walked across the pasture crying.
The man drew out
a lukewarm bottle of champagne
popped it
and filled our plastic glasses.
He made an apology for a toast
and then asked if we wanted a photo taken
for five bucks.



She's seventeen years old
and at midnight
she falls through the high school gym skylight
into the dark
like a hard swallow.

The next morning
she is found
on the parquet floor-

the same floor
where the cheerleaders dance
at home games

where we play dodge ball
like killers

where we do wind sprints
until our guts heave.