Highways and Hunger on Substack

A new piece up on Substack. Check it out here.

An excerpt:

Built in 1955 to augment the nation’s first true superhighway, the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike runs from Plymouth Meeting to Clarks Summit, connecting the east-west route from the Philly Metro through the Lehigh Valley, the Poconos, and into Lackawanna County. 

Before and after the Lehigh Tunnel, bored by Army engineers in the 50s, there are stunning views of expansive green…

…Adam Smith’s invisible hand, is, for far too many people, more like a middle finger. Whether or not you contribute to food banks, you likely have accepted them as a para-capitalist solution to a problem capitalism itself was supposed to solve…

Writing and Publishing Year in Review

Thank you to the editors who have published my work this year, and to the readers who have read it!

Taken together, there are some very clear themes to this year’s published work. I am honored to have been published at every one of these journals, and I’m grateful to The Shore for their Pushcart nomination and to have been selected for print anthologies by Nick Virgilio Haiku Association/Nick Virgilio Writers House and Hippocampus Books.

Here’s the list of published works for 2021, again, with my profound thanks and appreciation.

Great Dams on the Land at Belt

Stop Me if You’ve Heard this Before, Superego at The Daily Drunk. This piece was also noted by the Existential Poetics newsletter.

Doorjamb at Bandit Fiction.

A Poet of Hope at Appalachian Review

On Billy Joel and Thomas Pynchon: It Was Always Christie Lee at The Daily Drunk.

Salvator Mundi at Still: The Journal.

Prepositions at VIA: Voices in Italian Americana, Vol 32, Issue 1.

Ospitalità (Nonno Flirts with Death)  at Schuylkill Valley Journal.

The Effects of Ground-Level Ozone on the Ecology of Pennsylvania Highways and Ode to Wallace Stevens at The Shore. The editors at The Shore nominated “The Effects of Ground-Level Ozone…” for a Pushcart Prize. I am very grateful.

Bear and Mountain and Well Past the Harvest at Dodging the Rain.

Last Standing the Closing Country, which first appeared at Brevity, was selected for publication in “Main: An Anthology” by Hippocampus Books. Here’s the description from Hippocampus: “Main: An Anthology, part of The Way Things Were Series from Books by Hippocampus, celebrates small town America. The collection features stories about family-owned businesses, such as the stores and specialty shops that used to rule Main Street America. Our contributors share how these businesses define themselves and their family members, how the efforts evolved over time, through the generations.” Read more here.

Wage Slave was selected for publication in the Haiku in Action anthology by the Nick Virgilio Haiku Association and Nick Virgilio Writers House. From the publisher: “This collection of contemporary poems from around the world includes hundreds of haiku in its various forms, from the traditional style to senryu, monoku, and more. The anthology is perfect for lovers of haiku who want to read poems focusing on the events of 2020 from an international and diverse range of both established and emerging poets. More than just a collection of poems, this book also features haiku categories, writing prompts, essays from the NVHA staff, and an extensive lesson on haiku writing from renowned teacher, Tom Painting.”

Co-wrote the lyrics for “Radio Jesus” with John Hardt. Performed, recorded, produced by John Hardt.

Three Good Things That Happened In the Last Week

Three good things from the past seven days or so:

I found out I’ll be included in the Haiku in Action Anthology published by the Nick Virgilio Writers House. From the publisher:

This collection of contemporary poems from around the world includes hundreds of haiku in its various forms, from the traditional style to senryu, monoku, and more. The anthology is perfect for lovers of haiku who want to read poems focusing on the events of 2020 from an international and diverse range of both established and emerging poets. More than just a collection of poems, this book also features haiku categories, writing prompts, essays from the NVHA staff, and an extensive lesson on haiku writing from renowned teacher, Tom Painting. Pre-order now so that you can be one of the first to receive this important anthology!

I found out that a short creative non-fiction piece of mine will be include in the new Main anthology by Hippocampus.

Main: An Anthology, part of The Way Things Were Series from Books by Hippocampus, celebrates small town America. The collection features stories about family-owned businesses, such as the stores and specialty shops that used to rule Main Street America. Our contributors share how these businesses define themselves and their family members, how the efforts evolved over time, through the generations.

My poem, “The Effects of Ground-Level Ozone on the Ecology of Pennsylvania Highways” was nominated by The Shore for a Pushcart Prize.

I am so grateful and thankful for each of these developments and for everyone at NVWH/NVHA, Hippocampus and The Shore for making things like this happen and everyone who has read these pieces and supported these and other small presses.

Thank you all!

“Doorjamb” at Bandit Fiction

Been meaning to share. This is a personal favorite, and I’m proud to have it at Bandit Fiction.

Doorjamb

In the summer, when school was over,
we picked mulberries in the yard
and spun in circles on the grass.
It was soft and living, warm on our bare feet,
and every day the sun was lightening your hair.
Your mom, she was playing Brian Wilson, and we listened to his brothers intervene. 

In the summer, when we were older,
we smoked kreteks in the street
and the road between your mom’s house and the lake was painted by the moon. 
It was grey and broken, a hubcap glinted in the switchgrass
cracking through the shoulder. 
Our friends, almost at the water, crashed and laughed
against the tyranny of neighbors.

In the fall, when you had gone, 
I struggled doing pull-ups in the doorjamb,
and the attic smelled like pine and lemon. 
I was thinking of all you’d written on the blue path of my forearm
on the gray road to the lake
the pale night you first squared the pattern of my breathing
and began the long division of your forehead and my shoulder.