"Senecio" was published by Dali's Lovechild in 2016. Dali's Lovechild is currently in hiatus but hopefully their publishers will bring it back, because it fills a need for literary surrealism. "Senecio" is inspired by the Paul Klee painting of the same name. "Claire de Lune" was playing on a replay loop in my head while writing it.
No one told me who you were. But bee's tongues
spilled tales in Badajoz. Clues were left on scraps
torn from the corners of Madrid newspapers. And
they all knew your light globe face, your melting
amarilla voice, crossed rightward-shifting eyes.
Mouth like a puzzle, before there were puzzles.
Your stalk neck seemed odd to some. Others
hinted that it was the only way. The right way.
I ate ragweed, blew on puffballs, chased parachutes
zig-zag at dusk beside the riverbank until I couldn’t run.
Anymore. I sobbed your name then—old man—
but I know. Know you are a green green girl.
Girl like a candle, flit and gone.
I asked the garden tiger once. He named you
friend of painted ladies and for that, I crushed him.
Still, I scribble tunes in cinnabar and chlorophyll.
I strum them soft along the Leveche from Murcia
to Asturias. And I will know your blossom. Someday.
"The Spirit of Truckee Lake," referencing the Donner Part tragedy, was published by the literary journal Sonic Boom, based in India, in 2017.
The Spirit of Truckee Lake
It murmurs through the sugar pines, a testament wanting to be told by frostbit lips or writ stark in cursive soot on buckboard planks. Moon-bled nights, you hear it thrashing and stumbling about on the cobalt surface. It mutters through the finest mesh, where even no-see-ums can’t pass. It slides along the mirrored shoreline and you’ll even feel it at noon on a crystal-bright January day, crisp and brittle as dried needles scrunching under your lug soles.
It gibbers incoherent like the last shambling haunt-eyed wreck found half snow-blind with a bubbling stewpot and a pocketful of lies. It scalpels through whiteouts and solar static. It’s what you stage whisper about, snuggled close by firelight. It’s the secret in the belly of the trophy trout, in the stellar jay’s obsidian-eyed stare and the fatal plunge of the osprey. It follows you like a haint and muscles its pemmican flesh up against your very last dream, just before waking.