Poetry, Reviews & Radio

dreams of modern life


The café sits in the midst of warehouses and auto body shops. Pots of geraniums and jasmine overflow onto the concrete, stake out a place, establishing beauty. Behind the greasy garages exists a plate of delicate shortbread cookies and, next to it, the most delectable mocha cheesecake. The man on the other side of the wall, in the blue coveralls, with a socket wrench in his hand, is some days overtaken by smells of the soup du jour – tomato and roasted red pepper bisque, or gingered carrot. Some days he is overtaken by thoughts of a woman, standing, in a white apron, measuring.


We all walk piled with dreams. The ones you had last night and are still plagued by, even though you can’t remember the plots and only a few details, the ones calling to you trying to help, lifesaver after lifesaver hitting the water and floating away.


The alarm clock with its bothersome reliability, its dutiful timing, brings one into the day so unnaturally as to force a soul to pretend it is natural – to say nothing and to show up at work. To move in the world as if you belonged here, as if this were all you needed. And everyone is in on the joke, working because they need the money, doing the best they can. Outside, orange maple leaves go uncollected. It’s as if you can truly live with the knowledge that somewhere in eastern Ohio there is a playground where your childhood secrets are buried in the sand and you may never get back there before it’s too late.


The little girl approaches the fountain with a penny pressed between her thumb and index finger. Qué quieres? her mother asks. What do you want? What do you wish for? Qué quieres? she fires again, without waiting for her daughter to answer. Miras, ‘yo quiero…,’ the mother models. Yo quiero… parrots the little girl, but then is silent. She stands next to her mother with the shiny penny.

First appeared in Enizagam, 2011

Published Poetry

“dreams of modern life” (2011, Enizagam)

“Abandoned Car” (2011, Enizagam)

“Braking” (2010, Red Wheelbarrow)

“Sweet Cancer” (2008, Porter Gulch Review)

“Wish List” (2008, Literary Mama)

“The Slide” (2007, mamazine)

“Escape to a Café: Leaving my Son with a Sitter for the First Time” (2006, Homestead Review)

“Soul Food” (2006, Homestead Review)

“Through This” (2005, Literary Mama; Monterey Poetry Review)

“Lament for Rain” (2004, Anthology of Monterey Bay Poets)

“Moons over Puluagua” (2003, Homestead Review)

“Faith I” (The Throwback)

“Faith II” (The Throwback)

“The Truth about Princesses” (The Throwback)

“Building a Relationship”(The Throwback)

“In Praise of Men”(The Throwback)

“Invitations” (The Throwback)

Book Reviews

Danielle Evans Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self audio (2010)

Grace Paley’s Fidelitytext; audio (2008, bookotron.com)

Franz Wright’s God’s Silencetext; audioMP3; audioRealAudio (2006, bookotron.com)

Dianne DiPrima’s Memoirs of a Beatnik text (2005, kusp.org; Homestead Review)

Select Author Interviews

Donald Hall – audio; transcript (2009, bookotron.com)

Jean Thompson (Throw Like a Girl)– audioMP3; audioRealAudio (2007, kusp.org; bookotron.com)

Helen Simpson (In the Driver’s Seat)– audioMP3; audio RealAudio (2007, kusp.org; bookotron.com)

Ann Cummins (Yellow Cake) – audioMP3; audioRealAudio (2007, bookotron.com)

Frank McCourt (Teacher Man) – audioMP3; audioRealAudio (2006, kusp.org, bookotron.com)

Isabel Allende (My Invented Country) –”Burying Freedom:” audio remix of interview edited by Rick Kleffel; full transcript (2004, kusp.org; Homestead Review)


“Up the Hill” – (2008, MotherVerse)

Other Radio Work

A Lesson in Prison Life” – interview with teacher Paul Karrer about his relationship with his jailed student

Featured Readings

The Hinge, Northampton, MA – May, 2012 (Local Spotlight Poet)

Carl Cherry Center for the Arts, Carmel, CA – April 2012; December 2010 (Tribute to Emily Dickinson); October, 2010; May 2008 (in conjunction with the one-woman play “Wish I Had a Sylvia Plath”)

Cafe 316, Monterey CA – June 2010 (Opening Reading and Reception for Visual Poetry Show “Stumbling Into Ourselves”)

Consortium of Monterey Bay Poets Reading Series, Monterey, CA

Alternative Cafe, Seaside, CA

Robinson Jeffers Tor House, Carmel, CA

Women and Food, Monterey, CA/Santa Cruz, CA

In Celebration of the Muse, Santa Cruz, CA

Rubber Chicken Poetry Slam, Monterey, CA

Henry Miller Memorial Library, Big Sur, CA

Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA