Sunday, February 13, 2011

Matthew and Laura

Matthew and Laura
(for Matthew Shapard and Laura Hershey, RIP)

He died after 16 hours hung on a fence
in Wyoming in October
a little over 12 and a quarter years ago
According to Weather Database,
it was 30 degrees and clear,
warmer than average although still too cold
for my spastic body, as well as your newly injured one.

She died the day after Thanksgiving 2010
after an illness of brief we chatted on Facebook earlier that week
leaving behind a twenty year partner and a 14-year-old daughter.

He was 21.
She was 48.
He was going to be a civil rights lawyer.
She was a civil rights activist.
He is a martyr.
She is a poet.
I didn’t know him.
I knew her.

I miss both.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I spy jelly fish morning glory in blue;
trio of artists who find beauty in the mundane.
I can now share the convert beauty
of pool toys and Big E eateries
because they saw it first and blended it
into this perfect yin and yang of pots and photographs
they have presented for our consumption.

Wonderlustful soul resolves
to remember the allure of the average henceforth.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Beauty in the Library

Beauty in the Library
I listen to a book
in the library
across from a woman
who I suspect, like me,
engages in the love
daring not to speak its name.

Her jacket
Says “Sundance ‘08”
and part of me wonders
if she, brunette waves shining
and she laughs on the phone
to someone, was actually there.

She doesn’t notice my staring
and departs.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


(a Matthew Shepard poem)

I must go see the fence;
even if it’s no longer the one
you hang from.

The old farmer cut that one down;
tired of visitors making pilgrimage
into his land to honor your martyrdom.

Perhaps this year,
or maybe the next,
I make my own journey
to this rebuilt memorial
laying my own offering.


(a Matthew Shepard poem)

After I learned what happened
What they did
to your American boy frame-
blond, willowy, privileged-
when they smashed you
into something resembling Cinderella’s coach
meets trash compactor.

I immediately resolved two things:
never to visit the Northwest
and to stop telling people
I wished to engage the love
that dare not speak its name.

But as months pass,
I grow tired of defending
my right to exist and begin to unravel.