Poem of the Day

My poem “Poem in which Words Have Been Left Out” is the Poem-of-the-Day today at Poets.org, the website of the Academy of American Poets!

It’s based on the “Miranda Rights,” the set of rote statements officers of the law must recite when taking someone into custody.  This practice came out of a U.S. Supreme Court case that originated in Arizona.

Click below to visit the poem:

Poem in which Words Have Been Left Out

You have the right to remain
anything you can and will be.


For the last ten years or so, I’ve had a recurring lower back problem that has only been prevented with consistent exercise, especially yoga, or sporadic visits to a chiropractor.  It flared up again in early December, but I was able to find a good doctor in Tucson to help me work out the kinks.  During treatment, I stopped exercising and then, what with holidays and travel and such, I wasn’t able to recommit to my routine until this week, when my schedule finally returns to “normal,” or what passes for normal for a crazy person.

I use a published weight lifting routine because I’m not confident enough to figure things out for myself.  The routines are tough, though. I do three weeks of three different exercise days.  On the fourth week, I’m permitted to do “any exercise activity that isn’t lifting weights,” which generally means cardio like running or tennis when the weather’s nice.

I’m back into the first set of exercises, which are hard because they are supposed to shore up strength for the more focused exercises to come.  But I noticed I came back from my first workout what can only be described as “giddy,” as embarrassing as that is to admit.  I’d forgotten how good it felt to exercise.  In addition to the routines, I’m also jumping rope on the days I don’t do lower body exercises.

I’m currently 10 pounds from my goal weight–under, that is.  (I have lofty ambitions!)  In the weeks I wasn’t exercising, I frustratingly lost muscle and gained some chub.  I’m hoping over the next six months I can add 10 pounds of good, healthy muscle.

I like working out partly because it gives my creative brain a chance to go hogwild.  While the logical part of my brain is focused on the activity, that other part, the imaginative part, can go off on its own.  I think about revising poems, about poems I want to write, about things I can do with stories and essays and scripts…so the time is dually important for me.  Not only do I feel healthier, I feel more connected to my artistic practice.

As of yet, I haven’t had to drop a weight and run off to find pencil and paper because inspiration struck, but I’ll tell you if that ever happens.

Meet Me at The Collagist

Thank you to Matt Bell and Matthew Olzmann for including three new poems in the latest issue of The Collagist!

Letters to the Editor

Dear Drivers of Suburban Maryland,
my life is in your hands. My life in your hands
is an unpinned grenade.

Prospero’s Confession

What wreckage, I forgot. What
courage to sail, forgot. What
ocean? Forgot.

Poem Beginning with a Line Falsely Attributed to Voltaire

Night arrived with smears across its face

so that I’d know it was coming to me from
someone else. So I’d know I didn’t own the night—

that the night, with unpredictable arrivals,
owned me.

Lost Angels

I’m driving to Los Angeles today to meet up with my colleagues on the Emerging Leader Council of Americans for the Arts for our annual Winter Meeting and planning session.  We’ll spend two days working out how we want to spend our year together, what we can do for Emerging Leader networks nationally, and what we think Americans for the Arts should be more aware of in regards to emerging leaders.

I’m really happy that Americans for the Arts revised its definition of “emerging leader.”  Since the ELC started, it has been defined as an arts professional under age 35 with fewer than 5 years of experience in the arts nonprofit field.  Now we embrace anyone with fewer than 10 years of experience, which I think is a good option since the Great Recession has changed a lot of people’s lives and careers, particularly in the nonprofit world.

For the last few months I’ve been working to reboot the Tucson Emerging Arts & Culture Leaders group, which is just a local network of arts professionals, culture workers, and artists who work both in the nonprofit and for profit worlds.  It’s been slow going but I’m hopeful that 2012 will bring new members and more energy to the group, which has been off to a good start thanks to some highly motivated and committed folks.

Expect photos.  I love Los Angeles.

Coming Soon!



Randall Mann, CAConrad, Lloyd Schwartz, Edward Field, David Trinidad, Forrest Hamer, Alfred Corn, Scott Hightower, Timothy Liu, Tom Healy, Frank Bidart, Joseph Campana, Wayne Koestenbaum, Regie Cabico, Paul Lisicky, Jericho Brown, Peter Covino, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Rafael Campo, Jason Schneiderman, Michael Klein, D.A. Powell, Mark Doty, Reginald Shepherd, Douglas A. Martin, Mike Albo, Richard Blanco, Mark Bibbins, Kevin Killian, Steve Fellner, and more

writing about

Sappho, Alice in Wonderland, Gertrude Stein, Virginia Woolf, Martha Graham, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Frida Kahlo, Carmen Miranda, Lucille Ball, Julia Child, Edith Piaf, Eva Peron, Judy Garland, Maya Angelou, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Taylor, Yoko Ono, Tina Turner, Martha Stewart, Wonder Woman, Barbra Streisand, Jessye Norman, Bette Midler, Dolly Parton, Cher, Patti Smith, Stevie Nicks, Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, Chris Evert, Courtney Love, Bjork, Parker Posey, Mary J. Blige, Princess Leia, She-Ra, Lady Gaga, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Jerri Blank/Amy Sedaris

New Resolution

In keeping with the spirit of the New Year, starting over, and staying fresh, I’ve updated my website, combined it with my blog, given it all a nice redesign, and shifted over to using WordPress to do it all.

Stay tuned!