“On Laying Awake All Night” (from _Sunk_ Collection)

In an anxious week for a variety of reasons, I wanted to put something positive out into the virtual world, if for my own sake if no one else’s—though I hope you might find some enjoyment here too.

Here’s audio of a poem from my collection Sunk in Your Shipwreck, about a night spent sleepless in a tent outside Chicago, IL (it’s more positive than it sounds).




state natural area poems #12: rock river prairie

the rock calls us home

evening primrosing with open arms

waves and waves of petal

evening primrose

field bindweed

(Some evening primrose and field bindweed growing in the prairie and its edge.)

Rock River Prairie SNA is a dry prairie above the Rock River b/t Janesville and Beloit. Lots of grasses and flowers, though woody species are encroaching. Still great for a walk, and several first IDs on flowers. Thanks to the Wisconsin DNR for tending this plot of earth.

My first anti-racist essay, in _Dappled Things_

As anyone who is familiar with me, my writing, and my teaching knows, I am a big fan of the arcane, the obscure. And that’s in keeping with my personality and the way I live my life. And so I do not often weigh in on politics and social movements, as I prefer to be private, keep my peace, and cultivate charity and openness where I actually am.

But in recent months with all that’s been going on, I did feel a need to contribute something to the surge in attention to the racial inequalities and injustices in American society. But I did it in a bit of a round-about way, as I tend to do. In response particularly to Fr. Bryan Massingale’s interview with Commonweal that I heard several weeks ago, I wrote up an essay that Dappled Things just published on their blog, “deep down things.”

It’s certainly an “in-house” argument pitched primarily at fellow Catholics, but I hope that it would be of interest to any person of good will. While its argument is about the nature of the Church, it is exactly in its surprising structural and cultural diversity that my point could mean something of import to both Catholics and anyone else “looking in” on this internal reckoning going on right now.

Anyhow, for what it’s worth.