New Poems


              I want to place a river / In the prison.

                I want to steal the cells / And throw them in the sea  

                —Riad Saleh Hussein


Deaf, you could find a dog whistle

Inside your mind

And ignore it

Because you were writing a poem then.


On the streets of Damascus,

Coffee shops in Aleppo

There is a shadow

Walking around shouting at officials.

Who would erase smoke

With their hands, who would banish

Words for choking

And the way they get inside you

Like aspirin? You wanted

To be an earthquake and shake

Idle hearts. Thieves 

Stole your bed, have hidden it

Inside a cloud.

I am stealing you

Right now. The mist  

Lingers over Asia, extends

All the way to Aleppo. Over your stolen grave,

It refuses to leave,

Denies the wind

Its place in the world—


Cigarette smoke from his lips,

The kiss he gave everyone,

And one last wish for a life

Like love

Blown out of his lungs.



I went to my grandmother’s headstone by myself

Because no one would take me. 

It was quiet by the cemetery road,

And when I spoke to her I could almost hear

I loved you because love is unburnable.

Because the thought of love occurs

Before we can think. Memory 

Before we light the fire. She is in the snow’s star  

Now—I hear a voice 

When it’s dark enough. The less lit below,

The greater the view above. 

Poems Online

Follow this link to see and hear

my poems at

Follow these links to my poems 

online at Verse Daily.

Follow this link to see more of my poems on


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 Translations at


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Poems from the manuscript

of your body and its bones

seven poems in honor of e.e. cummings and sixteen surreal songs

Bishop What’s-His-Name of Buffalo



Bishop What’s-His-Name of Buffalo

scuffed his hat, and for all that


felt something in Erie’s air

combing his cathedral.


A baseball? Boomerang trailing a kite

he might have expected,


but princes of peace 

the last of these. Nonetheless,


it was he in a cavernous

place, wall with crosses and stations


where blame could be raised  

in reverse, like forgiveness


or a curse lifted as if by a tape

over the letters of his name on a page.


Which stage staged this?

he wondered


to his chalice. The fragile set

lit with grace,


it was air, of course, 

or the hair of a dog


wandered in like wind

from a world without


sin or salvation. The cheek of it,

he thought, 


and said his prayer 

to the snows outside


in whom he might confide

the great lakes of himself


like a diaphragm or a door 

between two buildings


burst open quick as the lightning

through his heart.

Buffalo Bill Revisited



Buffalo Bill’s absorbed or maybe not  

lost in a paper lot, who could line up orthodox shots

in a bar, on a wall


dark cherry England and all that

and more skins 

than dust on prairies 


in a hall merry with kings

wives or drakes 

or lakes of snow like eyes 


without a pupil 

where learning had to go,

an ending let’s say,


or something else swept away

as leafs on cobbles and gray curbs 

hard enough to hit you 


on All Soul’s Night, enough 

to wake you. What do you think

of that blue-eyed boy? 

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