Insomnia, a sijo

Midnight's crows crowd the bedroom, perching on plastic picture frames Their wings sing lullabies, as they crochet their wooly caws into a tapestry of sleep, black feathers fill my fragile dreams



It started with the jar of loose change, the way the coins glittered in the sun. No matter where I stood in my bedroom, silver and bronze flashes swarmed around me like gnats or doubt. Without thinking, I pushed the jar off my dresser and watched as coins pummeled the floor and the jar shattered. …


“Repeat it,” Brian, the seventh-grade DM, says, holding a cigarette lighter directly under my fist. “I can’t play until I’m 14.” “So stop asking.” His grip releases and I shake the pinpricks from my fingertips. “Now hand it over.” I pull a folder crammed with notebook paper from my backpack. Brian yanks out a character …

Five Things I Learned While Taking Stock of My Genealogy Documents

I invested in a new genealogy database (Reunion for iPad) and most of my research time since has been spent transferring documents and information from my Ancestry account, my paper files, and my Google Drive into the program. The process has been slow, but rewarding. It's forced me to take another look at everything I've …

The Freshest Phoenix

I hear the satisfying plop of wet clay and then the wheel spins and spins. Each hand curves, pushes, and smooths, lifts new life from a formless muck. The past cakes underneath my fingernails; the future, slick with glaze, blazes in the kiln. I wait to greet the freshest phoenix.


“You sure you’re cool with us?” The cigarette in our neighbor’s mouth bobbed as he spoke. Heather was in the kitchen rustling pots. “Us?” I asked, setting my beer down on a coaster, a souvenir from happier days when I still bought Heather gifts. “You know, with me and Heather?”