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Tar Spot

The heart rot seems gone,
hidden at the core.
Tar spot concerns
us now, the black
splotches spread
across each
leaf, curling
like a child’s
hand that has
just let go.
The stinging aftertaste
of gasoline on the
tongue, like a memory
of a fine
tang of faintly
scented urine
infused in
grilled mutton kidneys,
arouses a sorrow
for what’s gone.
Gone are
so many--the trivial,
okra, garlic, kale--
the substantial,
lost relations, broken
lovers, an ash
still stricken with
rot in its heart.

Squirrel at the Feeder
for Frank O’Hara

Vladimir Putin invades the Ukraine!
I am sitting at the window watching
the red, red cardinal hog the feeder
so drunk on seeds he couldn’t be
bothered to crack them open, singing
the frenzied squirrel below skitters
the hard-pack like a Jesus
Christ lizard sprinting across pond scum,
Yanukovych believes menotyou
menotyoumenotyou will stop them, the blue
jay muscles the cardinal, the
goldfinches clothed in winter
flora camo anticipate in the dense
cedar hedge until these
super powers become bored or
drain the feeder, below the
squirrel claws at the siding
to gain height, the blue jay goes
too large to actually feed from the trough
but uninterested in relinquishing
his perch, no sleight of wing even
imagined, the carcass of Hugo
Chavez rots somewhere in
Venezuela, the squirrel finds his
launch on the silver vent cap,
slate colored juncos, purple finches, tufted tit-
mice, Turchynov yells goawaygo
awaygoawaygoaway, Ban Ki-moon
gravelyconcerned, the goldfinches
are greener and greener,
the squirrel has it all figured out

Selected Works

1. Nonfiction
"Completely awesome"--Time "Hill tells the story of the birth of hip-hop with his own catchy rhythm, and Taylor’s illustrations bring out the enthusiasm and sense of community at the heart of this trend-setting sound."--New York Times Book Review
"Phenomenal."–Howard Zinn "Excellent."–New York Times Book Review
Harlem Stomp! is a wonderous new book: it celebrates a time, a place, an energy, and a people who refused to be held back and so they created a culture the entire world is still reeling from.”
--George C. Wolfe, writer, director, and producer of the Public Theater, NYC
3. Poetry
A picturebook poem describing the life of the slave potter Dave. Illustrated by Bryan Collier.
“Contemporary Poetry of New England offers a vivid portrait of a region, its colors and smells, its physical and emotional textures, and the people…. It presents a range of poets, few of whom would call themselves a “region poet,” although each has taken to heart in a private way Frost’s haunting dictum: ‘Locality gives art.’”
--from the Introduction
2. Fiction
A seventeen-year-old is plucked out of the Grande Armee to sit in place of Napoleon for a portrait of the Emperor by the artist David.
"I felt like a kid reading every word on the page! I liked the strains of "magic realism" coming through in Frida's house! Children will relate to this very much! The story is charming and reads like a thriller." –Margarita Aguilar, Assisant Curator, El Museo del Barrio
4. Middle Grade Series
These kids love extreme sports--snowboarding, skateboarding, rock climbing, wake boarding--and are ready to fight when the right to do their sport is threatened.