- Don’t Blame the Ugly Mug Anthology
- Clever (chapbook)
Discovery moment: When something clicks at the back of my skull like a new muscle.
When I don’t feel like working
I think of Benjamin Franklin
rounding the curve of an ‘f’
on a wooden letter block
in his brother’s print shop.
Or maybe the block was metal,
forged by a blacksmith whose
workshop smelled like soot and leather.
The blacksmith must have carried
that smell into his house every night
like a briefcase and his children never
feared fire. Maybe the blacksmith was
friends with Ben Franklin and Ben
would walk into his shop and ask
him to forge a block or two,
maybe get a discount on a pair
of horseshoes. Then Ben would ink up
the blocks and slide them into a press
where they glistened like wet rubies
or maybe he put them into the press first
and then basted them with an inky
roller that sounded like a parched tongue.
Or maybe he didn’t even work in a print shop,
we all know history can be codified bullshit.
Ben Franklin said “A lie stands on one leg,
the truth on two.” What does a poem stand on?
The confused ghosts of the founding fathers
float around in my head and I ask them questions
about war and justice but I get mostly shrugs.
Ben is still trying to understand how lightning
can be trapped on a screen and twisted into colors,
George Washington is amazed by Fixodent.
Don’t laugh, these men are as close
as Americans get to infallibility. Sometimes
the founding fathers just sit together
and don’t speak, turn their heads away
from the frantic world, and wait for the room
that holds them to unwind into nothing.