Living My Dream

...but one poet that had a big influence on me was Tony Hoagland. I had the pleasure of being his student in a three-day workshop he taught in Houston back in 2014 entitled “Five Powers of Poetry.” He introduced me to the existence of a muscle I was not aware of having before: “the muscle of specificity,” which I have been exercising and using in my poetry since then.

One-Hitter

Being a legal drug runner made you realize you wanted to start your own delivery service, so you bought a cargo van we couldn’t afford even though we already had two cars and I didn’t say anything about that purchase, like how a few months later when I took you to the mental health crisis center at 2 a.m. because you ripped the glass top off your metal desk—eyes all textbook crazy-like, top lip twitching, me praying you would just get on medication already because your moods and paranoia were always my fault, of course, because even though I was asleep that night I had somehow pissed you off, somehow incited your rage while I slept—and I didn’t say anything when you told the social worker at the mental health crisis center that you had a plan.

Cork Oak

She’s gonna be pissed when she wakes up. Realizes I went to the movies without her. But I was too tired to leave. Too tired even to look up movies and instead read the back of the wine label. Those labels either say very astute things or nothing at all, and that’s how you know you’re dealing with a good bottle or a so-so bottle. A good bottle will tell you what to expect in a universally agreed upon vocabulary: floral, levels of oak, that sort of thing, and suggest some pairing options, lamb or pate or crème brûlée. A so-so bottle will describe the wines in terms of ‘the texture of dreams’ or some BS made up to not be read at all, and if read, to not mean anything. A so-so bottle of wine makes no commitments.

Seasons Wither

“Back when I was young, you could work a job and have enough money to live on and to save. You work on the buses don’t you? Driving? Back in the day you would’ve had your own house off the back of that, and the missus would be able to stay at home with the little one, once it arrived.”