Thursday, January 21, 2021

Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow (Piet Mondrian), Sonnet #548


Red speaks first, as always: “I am

Of, with, by, from, and in the sun.

I nurture the ewe and the ram.

I think therefore I am the one.”

“Be still!” scolds Yellow. “Silly fool!

My thought is the ultimate tool.

Who else can turn the wheat to gold

Or teach the telling to the told?”

Blue intervenes: “I am the sky,

The bluebird, the sea. My thoughts fly

Beyond the seeing of the eye.

None can unblue me with their ‘why?’”

Black and White, all colors and none,

Part them, one from one from one.

My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here:

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Ice Storm, Sonnet #547


The insistence of freezing rain

Can darken an entire town,

Bringing a million branches down,

Taxing the chainsaw and the crane . . .

Or it can glaze limb and berry

So lightly it melts as it grows

And only the frailest twig bows . . .

This, the weight we all carry.

This ice vanishes in an hour,

Once the sun ceases to hide,

But before the bushes have dried

Great murmurs of starlings devour

Without desperation or greed

Every trace of flesh and seed.

Note: Photograph by the author.
My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here:

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Poof Taste (Alice Bea Guerin), Sonnet #546


Shape vanishes into shape, poof!

Imagination needs no proof.

Our skies reveal twisted Saturns

In proliferating patterns.

Approaching stars are spiny jacks —

Their ball, made of Jupiter, cracks.

We squeeze the world from a tube,

But we have to invent the cube.

A piece of unchewed bubble gum

Is galaxy Triangulum.

We read a creature’s intestines

Attempting to absolve our sins,

Interpret shapes of the erased

We find deep inside striped toothpaste.

My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here: My Human Disguise.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Mountain in Winter (Paul Klee), Sonnet #545

In Farewell to 2020

The mountains are covered with salt,

Withering the conifer,

Sealing up crevasse and fault,

Petrifying deer femur.

Ragged peaks are crystallized,

Great rhomboids of quartz and calcite —

The imperfect reimagined right,

Its sterility realized.

I ask you, what then is to come,

Or is this all, the obvious end?

Blink! Don’t confuse all with a sum

Of the tatters we cannot mend.

Silently it falls, the slow,

Inexorable, failing snow. 

My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here:

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

His Majesty Receives (William Holbrook Beard), Sonnet #544

He’s demanded they support his habits

Of frothing, striking, biting, and killing.

His followers, all mice, rats and rabbits,

Beg his mercy upon them, his willing

And most abject obedient subjects.

“What?” he soothes them. “I’m only kidding.

Act as you believe, not at my bidding.”

His cringing rodents think he suspects

Some treachery. Their leader, a wild hare,

Steps forward, bowing low, and says, “Please, sire.

We pledge ourselves to your every desire.

For you we would run with our asses bare!”

“Do so! As I am all you’ve ever feared!”

They ate each other when he disappeared.

My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here: My Human Disguise.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Kirkus Review of my book of stories: "The Story of My Universe and other Stories"


This volume of short stories teeters on the edge of plausibility, exploring everything from sinister cults to the coteries of academia.

Seventeen tales are offered in this collection of extremes written by an author who is equally comfortable examining the grisly as he is the demure. The opening story, “Shoot Me,” is one of strange coincidence—a young man accidentally shoots a fellow hunter in the forest only to learn that chance brought them together before. The following story, “Ball,” is a bizarrely intriguing tale about a man who inherits a mysterious sphere from an aging colleague and discovers that it holds wildly entertaining and destructive powers. Meanwhile, “Poet to Poet” is a cautionary tale about the predatory nature of academia. “The Metametamorphosis,” in which a fashion designer awakes to find he has transformed into a beetle, is a thought-provoking rewrite of Kafka’s masterpiece. The collection closes with the title story, which tells of a seemingly ordinary man who comes to the realization that “I murdered someone I didn’t even know.” When approaching Guerin’s writing, it is important for readers to expect the unexpected. Even then, nothing can prepare them for the knockout final sentence the author delivers in “Red,” the tale of a man who stumbles on a cult performing a ritual on a beach. Full of surprises, Guerin’s descriptive approach is refreshingly unconventional: “From this grassy bank wishbone-shaped twigs stuck up like fetishes.” Yet he also has the power to suddenly flip to the remorselessly brutal: “There didn’t seem to be any blood, though my fingers sank in slightly as if the skull had shattered.” The author’s stories are founded on a breadth of literary knowledge. In addition to Kafka, Gogol is a clear influence, even making an appearance as a supposed thief in “Gogol in Paris.” A naïvely pretentious conversation between two students in “Philosophy 000,” the weakest tale here, fails to bestow each character with a satisfyingly unique voice; on occasion, it is difficult to discern who is saying what. But this is a minor distraction in a strong and compelling assemblage that is sure to perturb and astonish in equal measure.

Elegant, impactful writing in a deliciously unnerving collection.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

The Truth Coming Out of the Well (Jean-Léon Gérôme), Sonnet #543


Both the truth and its liars are hidden

And will not come forth to speak unbidden

By necessity’s will or convenience,

Unless called for by fakery of sense.

Only at the bottom of a dry well —

Half way, the easy half, from here to Hell —

Where nakedness — dear Truth — shivers and sighs,

Does Emptiness stitch gorgeous clothes of lies.

He emerges to strut in his glory.

Every sentence he spouts is a story.

His opposite, her body cleansed at least,

Climbs out to the reception of a beast.

They beat and rape her, drag her by her hair,

Throw her back into the well, her dark lair.

My book of the first 200 of these sonnets is now available for purchase. Click here: