I wrote the last poems for Vessels in June of 2021.

But I feel like I finally finished the book this week when, after reviewing the galley proof, I submitted the last edits and my final About the Author and Acknowledgements drafts.

It’s all extravagant press junkets and groupies from here on out.

Three versions of a manuscript: One bound by a binder clip, titled Vessels December 2022; one in a 3-ring binder, titled Vessels March 2023, and a printout of the final galley proof as a series of small packets stapled together, titled Vessels with Dec 2023 written along the top.
Screenshot of my deactivated Twitter account, with the message: This account doesn't exist. Try searching for another.

This was long overdue. I deactivated it last November, but turned it back on a few weeks later to save my following/follower list. Then it lay dormant & forgotten for most of the year, except for some DMs to people who were still nowhere else & who were seemingly impervious to email. It’s time.


My wife and I met thirty years ago today.

I was invited over to a friend’s apartment to meet her — and she ignored me the whole time. No hello, no eye contact. Absolutely nothing. She was utterly unapproachable. Instead, she spent the evening in the other room, forehead-to-forehead with her friend, discussing and analyzing a VHS tape of the modern dance concert she’d choreographed a few weeks earlier. And I could see instantly how smart, articulate, beautiful, and, most of all, strong she was.

We began dating eleven months later, and married eleven months after that. Twenty-two months that seemed, at the time, to span thirty years. And now, thirty years that seem, at times, to have spanned barely twenty-two months. Well, that’s time for you.

Some stories belong to the breath, not to the pixel and keyboard. Some stories need the counterpoint of digressions and indignant amendments, of interruptions to refill the wine glass or the bread bowl, or to choose more music, album by album. They need the bustle and patience of a long evening, the wood and steel rhythms of a well-provisioned table.

So: to hear the rest of the story, you’ll need to be seated across from us, favorite beverage at your elbow, and all the time in the world. And perhaps a story or two for us in exchange.


My author copies of This Folded Path have arrived from Ottawa!

Now I’m just working out how to take money from those of you who wish to buy a copy directly from me. Paypal will probably be involved. Stay tuned.

An opened cardboard box with many chapbooks within, stacked neatly in two piles

My chapbook came out yesterday, and a problem with being an older debut poet is just hitting me.

Almost everyone I’d like to share the news with is long dead.

My parents, most of my teachers, all my mentors. The twentieth century has been dying for years; this week I feel freshly re-orphaned.

Obviously, this is not to diminish how great it’s been to share this news with all the people who ARE still here, but it’s all the more bittersweet because it makes me realize how many others have already gone…

Also… I may have a list of the dead, but I’ve lived long enough that there is also a list of the dead-to-me. This is bittersweet in a different way, but it also brings a grim satisfaction that I never have to deal with any of them ever again.

So that’s been my week.


New from above/ground press: my chapbook, This Folded Path.

close-up of a fallen log at night, lit from one side by a car's headlights, showing the tree rings in stark light and shadow

“I Am Spartacus!”


You know that scene where Faye is mailing letters and she hears “That Thing You Do” on the radio and she and the bass player run down the street screaming like lunatics and then they all dance around Patterson’s appliance shop?

Yeah, that.

Details to follow.


Well. Isn’t that just some of the best news I can’t tell anyone yet.


🎙️ I’m this week’s guest on Micro Monday podcast series.

I know, I know: fifty-four minutes isn’t exactly “micro.” Well, after the main interview, we talked for almost forty extra minutes about Until the End of the World, which we’re both very big fans of.

And “cinephile”? Oh I don’t know. I think of myself more as a song & dance man.


After six years on a shelf, my old Olivetti has a room of its own.

typewriter on a desk

We just moved into our house.


We just bought a house.


I’ve just finished writing two books. They’re very weird, and probably gibberish, but I suspect there’s perhaps — at most — fifteen people who might, briefly, find them curious or even somewhat bemusing. In other words: typical poetry manuscripts. Let’s see what happens next.


I’m appalled to discover I have a book-length manuscript of poetry written in 2020. How is this possible? I swear I spent the year hiding in bed or crushed in a chair staring blankly at the pages of one unread book or another. Frankly, I feel a little queasy that this shitshow year has been so productive for me.

Finished: Week of 31 August


I’m suspending the “Finished” project for the rest of the year, for largely the same reasons I stopped this time last year: I tend to focus on rereads in the fall and winter.

There are several longer books I’m slowly working my way through, and I tend to move between them according to my mood each day. And my mood in the darker months is such that I will need my reading habits to serve my therapeutic, self-medicating needs rather than some goal of finishing books and then reporting out about it.

I’ll continue to keep my own log of finished books, and will post a recap of 2020 sometime close to New Years.

Finished: Week of 6 Apr


I haven’t managed to finish reading anything since mid-March. My concentration is shot, and so I have been drifting through easy books while rewatching TV shows. I’m trying to make a virtue out of my short attention span by concentrating on distracting things.

“Finished” for 2020


In 2019, I tracked what poetry I finished reading each week.

New plan. Until my poetry reading gets back up to speed, I’ve decided to track any book I finish each week, regardless of genre.

Also, beginning in 2020, I will try link to Indiebound or Powell’s and, whenever possible, the publisher’s or author’s website. I hope to go back and retrofit older posts from 2019 in the same way.

“Finished” in 2019


While I’ve continued to move slowly through several collections, everything unfinished last month remains unfinished. My reading has been dominated by nonfiction, and some new work commitments have begun to take up much more of my time.

Both the nonfiction and the work will continue through the winter, so I’m putting this project on hold until the new year.

“Finished” in September


I didn’t finish anything in September, since most of my reading time was devoted to my (I think) 19th re-read of Lord of the Rings. As I have long known, autumn for me is often a time to revisit old texts, like having a familiar TV show or favorite album on in the background while you’re working.

“Finished” for the Fall


I’ve been reassessing my “Finished” program, and I think it’s time to make a few changes.

First, I’ve long been aware that I tend to re-read books in the fall more than I read new books, so I am anticipating a decrease in my willingness to tackle new work. I’ll still be reading some new/unfinished things, but not at the expense of re-reads.

Also, I feel as though I have achieved the root reason for doing this: my poetry TBR shelf is now just over a third of what it was at the end of 2018.

And instead of weekly updates, I’ll be going back to a monthly update, like I did in April. So this will be the last update until the end of September.

Half Finished with “Finished”


I started this “Finished” experiment on the last day of 2018, and I just realized we’re approaching halfway through the year, so it seems appropriate to have a midway check-in.

I have logged 41 poetry books since the week starting on the last day of 2018, and that number would be higher if I included the four or five books I abandoned. The initial “To Be Read” shelf held just under seventy books, so you’d be forgiven if you thought this meant I’d managed to complete well over half of all the books on my TBR shelf.

But these numbers don’t tell the whole story. I’ve bought 17 additional books of poetry this year, so I still have (consults a calculator…) almost 45 unfinished (or unstarted) books waiting for me to get around to them. I’ll never cross the finish line if it keeps receding before me (said every bookworm ever).

However, I consider this experiment a complete success so far. It has encouraged me to actively engage in reading poetry almost every day, and it’s also made me realize just how difficult it can be to do something you love. If I struggle to find time to read poetry, then how much harder is it for people with a far more casual relationship to it?

It’s much easier to find the time for things we’re addicted to rather than for the things we love.

For now, I will continue to post weekly updates, but I may choose to go monthly for August or September, and give myself a chance to focus on a few more longer books (like Laura Kasischke’s collected poems, or Geoffrey Hill and JH Prynne’s enormous collected doorstops).

And at this point, I’m definitely planning to take this through to the end of the year. And beyond? We’ll see.

“Finished” for April


This month, I’m going to let myself off the weekly hook, and try instead to complete several longer books by the beginning of May.

Several book-length poems have resisted my attempts at progress for too long: they always get passed over in favor of the short, skinny things, which always seem so temptingly easy to get through. (The shorties are certainly easier to throw in my bag, so I tend to grab one or two of them, rather than one of the bulky epics.)

So, for April, I will focus on getting to the end of two or maybe three of the big books. This means there will be no updates on my progress until just before Beltane.

Finished: Week of 11 Mar


This is the first week that I haven’t finished reading any book of poetry, and there are several reasons for this.

First was an influx of new books (and not just poetry) that I bought last week during Sixth Chamber’s last week of business, which swamped my TBR pile.

Second was two long nonfiction books I’m reading, both engrossing; one of which I’m sprinting through the last 100 pages. I’ve therefore been juggling the two to the exclusion of poetry.

Third was that I’m trying to finish several poems of my own which are still in draft, and I’ve been finding it hard to read poetry while also trying to write it. (This isn’t always true for me, but it has been recently, for whatever reason.)

Last was the death on Friday of WS Merwin, which meant any other reading was put on hold as I pulled my Merwin off the shelf to revisit his work.



This may be the first week I finish only one book, if that. In fact, this may be a zero books week.

I’m pushing slowly through several longer things while trying to get to the end of a few shorter ones. But I’ve been fighting a cold, and I haven’t been able to focus on much more than my binge-rewatch of The Wire.

“Finished” Begins


In light of the appallingly large number of unread and under-read books of poetry currently glowering from the two full shelves behind me, I have resolved to finish reading two books of poetry each week this year. I’ll be keeping track of what I finish with this tag.