Stories and Poems

I live in Cleveland, where I write poems, stories, and nonfiction. I teach composition and literature at Lorain County Community College and lead school tours at the Cleveland Museum of Art. I attended Berklee College of Music and received an MA in creative writing from Cleveland State University. I was editor of the literary magazine Whiskey Island. My poems and fiction have appeared in several publications. Nonfiction publications include articles and on literature and music. I've interviewed authors David Foster Wallace, Ken Kesey, Studs Terkel, Nat Hentoff, and other artists and musicians.

Recent Publications

"John Coltrane Was My Babysitter." Spillway (upcoming).

"A Wolf's Reply to the U.S. Census."  Clackamas Literary Review 2021.

"American House." I-70 Review  Summer/Fall 2021.

"Paper Airplanes."  Neighborhood Voices 2021 (Literary Cleveland and Cleveland Public Library).

"Song on the Radio." Loud Coffee Press Winter 2021.

"Cleveland." Earth Stanzas 2021.

"Magic Bus." "Backyard." The Poet Winter 2020.

"Sixth Grade." Common Threads 2020.

Pawnshops, Daylight Moons.” Cobalt Review #48 9 September 2020.

"Album Unfinished." Jerry Jazz Musician 16 September 2020.

"Sound Has a Finite Life." Jerry Jazz Musician, A Collection of Jazz Poetry-Summer 2020. 

"Bird Lives!Jerry Jazz Musician 14 August 2020.

"Our Walden Moment." Raw Data: Living in the Fallout from the Coronavirus 20 May 2020.

“Ellington.”  Brilliant Corners: A Journal of Jazz and Literature Winter 2019

“Adolescent Astronomy.” Hessler Street Fair Poetry Anthology Summer 2019.

The Receiver’s Belief in the Long Pass.” Read + Write: 30 Days of Poetry 19 Apr 2019.

"Looking for a Garde of Which to be Avant: An Interview with David Foster Wallace." With Hugh Kennedy. Conversations with David Foster Wallace 2012 (University Press of Mississippi).​

The Receiver’s Belief in the Long Pass


 
I tore down the street to catch the bomb,
impelled by the thrill of the football falling
into my outstretched fingers, a modest glory.
Over my shoulder I looked to time its arc
but it was on my other side. I pivoted
and tripped on a manhole cover, went down
snapping my wrist on the hard asphalt.
 
Six kids, with parents distracted by the daily
struggle to keep us fed, alive, we were
on our own, the masters of making do.
My brother made a splint from a metal plate
from the broken down VW van
in our backyard while my mother found
a neighbor to drive us to the hospital.
 
We waited for what seemed liked hours.
I stared at the weird angle of my wrist,
the radius and ulna both broken
but I kept my nerve, nonchalant
when asked how I felt. I’m fine, I said
when they set the bone, set the plaster
encasing my arm for the rest of the summer.
 
Was that the start of my indifference
to other pains? If I said I’m fine,
then it didn’t hurt if I believed it.
No problem. I’ll make do. But it went
too far. I forgot the glory of the long pass,
the touchdown’s grace. Instead I asked myself,
in the end, what’s the big deal?