Concertina wire
festooned with tumble weeds: O
my America,

I dream of thee. I’ll
make of thee a Dave Matthews
song. I lack his ar—

ticulate rage; I
share his joy in perfecting
tragi-comic noise.


Art Quinn, today
your America closes
in on the Apo-

calypse your stories
took for granted as cancer
stopped your hand. I see

at this distance you
suppress howls of laughter but
you hadn’t an un-

kind bone in your bo-
dy, or in your body of
work (note: in private

Art loved bawdy jokes).
You combined Rabelais and
Melville in one fat

art. Art, if you please,
pray for us who remain and
resist the madness.


Once as often we
sat under the portico
and watched it snow. I

sipped scotch, you smoked your
Virginia Slims. We talked.
Headlights appeared and

rear lights disappeared
up State Street to Memorial
Bridge, invisible

over the river.
That will do, Memory! We
enjoyed it, that’s all.

Now in that dark I
see a togetherness, the
divine passing through.


I wanted the last
move to be to the ocean:
the Interstate will

have to do. Same roar,
without the breathing. No risk
of personifi-

cation. My fellow
mortals up and down the coast.
The sense literal.

Dumb existence? No.
The further in I go the
more outside I am.


Our President whines
like a puppy in the em-
brace of Russia’s bear,

our confidence man
betrayed, the art of counter-
feit (Iranaeus,

pray for us!) lost on
us. We are deeply disturbed—-
you might say, we’re fucked.


On my way to work
on a hot summer day like
this one only on

the other coast I
stop to watch a sparrow take
a dust bath. Not dust’s

epiphany, that
sparrow, yet sacred the space
between god and us,

a difference I
cannot measure. The given
sparrow truly gift.


In William Stafford’s
ODE TO GARLICK he says it
makes us all alike.

That’s so Oregon.
We came here, a right to die
state, from New Hampshire.

We’d met in Rhode Is—
land. The perfume at moth hour
stuck to your screen door.

Here they pan for gold
with words and often find it.
You loved Barbara

Pym. Toward the end
you loved seeing the moon un-
dressed by a bright cloud.