Sample Poems

From Arctic Accordion

Paean for Kaminsky



After Kaminsky met the God of poetry

he came back deaf. His souls

were burnt rims, orange halves

thrown into the fire.

His poems are the scooped

meat. In a loft


like angels, his hair went mad,

his glasses plucked off his head.

The ghosts of his family follow him everywhere.


In Trieste, I saw chickens

plugging across a road

as an old woman made a sign against me.

The bridge ran water under it

to see how far it would go

before knocking off its head.


If I’d seen Kaminsky there,

in a crowd of tall fissures

he would be reading, reading, reading—

pulling books off a shelf and shrugging,

as if with his eyes,

not saying this one

is good or bad

but maybe. One for Brodsky and one


for Kaminsky, America has two shores.

He is taller than the bookshelves,

on his knees and elbows spying

titles and plucking wings.


When he stands up the wind rushes,

the words clickety-clack open

with all those bodies.

Insidious Agonistes



Insidious is in constant pain from thinking.

His head feels like the inside

of a cement truck turning on its spindle.

Sparrows landing on his ear

can barely keep their balance.

The gravel of his thoughts is mixed

with sylvan light into something incredibly hard.


He thinks he will become a sparrow someday

and fly to a city he knows about in the sky

where a god with one foot rules

a bowling alley full of crows.

Insidious at Zero



Insidious has walked through zero—

a point on the map like the North Pole,

indistinct, uncapturable—


Snow flies through the screen door

of his self-portrait. Obscurum

per obscurius.


He set up a tent

at absolute nothing

on the Antarctic tundra


where he teaches the wind

to spell Horatio,

needing a friend more than words.

Poems Online

Follow this link to see and hear

my poems at


Click here for my Amazon Author's Page where most of my books may be purchased.

Follow this link to Scott's interview with Rachel Cruz on The Blood-jet Radio Hour.

Follow this link to Scott's interview with

Angela Pilson about his work as Consulting Editor for Poetry Translations at Crazyhorse. 

Sample Poems

From The Palace of Reasons

The Children Who Got Up from the

            Heap of Corpses


They got up, they got up, they got up, they rose, they rise, they half-bloom, death’s day flowers, they fell, they fell, they fell, they stumbled, they got up, they got up, they ran, they ran wildly, out of the moment almost, they shook, they shook, they shook in an  abyss shaped inexactly like them, they ran, they ran, they ran, what time could make, they got up, they got up, they vaulted, they seized the smallest part of their death day, they asked, they wanted nothing but to be awake in the comfort of some stranger’s arms before they died.


Pastora, Huddling in a Corner Under the Bed, Watched

            the Carnage



I am anywhere but here, but I am also here. The wood is dark, the fabric rough against my hand also clutching my head, planted in my hair. My ears are the enemy. They will not listen to the order to stop, if the world will not. They will only leak like a rotting boat and let in the seawater of my brothers’ screams. I am breathing dust I am breathing. My father is silent now and I wait in the cinema of my life, which is over.



The Ice-Ax




Trotsky’s last minutes were struggle: the assassin beaten back in shock like pigeons scattering in the square, taken up by the wind of him. He loosened the weapon from Jacson’s hand, bit him as a wasp, and then bleeding like a waterfall refused to collapse on the floor in front of him. His guards roused, his wife running to him, he stood in the doorway and waited, arms limp at his sides like dead eels. The wonder of it all: Natalya holding his face in her hands, and he over and over again returning her kisses.



Thus, I Could Enjoy the Full Benefits of Democracy Only

            as a Corpse




As a corpse I could repeat myself and no one cared. No one waited for me at a station, no visitors asked my address. I got lost in my country and found a way out. My street disappeared, my house was tortured and told everything. I left my shoes scattered like closet leaves. These are the full benefits of corpse-life: no address book, no clothes, no identifying numbers, any room in the basement.

Follow these links to my poems 

online at Verse Daily.

Follow this link to see more of my poems on

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