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Scratch Pegasus Cover

Cover artwork and design by Robert Weinstock.

Selected from poems written since the author’s return to Santa Cruz in 2006 after a 16-year absence, Scratch Pegasus, published by Swan Scythe Press, explores themes of time, friendship, art, love, teachers, writing, music, memory, and the streaming present of the everyday, as informed by the epigraph from Albert Camus:  “The aging heart.  To have loved and yet that nothing can be saved.”


Memorial Day

Even between the spark arrestors
of the chimneys across the street
I can discern through the dusky haze
the outline of the smokestacks of the power plant
just above a faint blue slice of bay.
Waves of violence hammer the planet
and people walk their dogs in the gentle light,
which seems to forgive, absolve, all but erase.

The mockingbirds are talkative,
gossiping above rumors of tourists rumbling out of town
on Mission Street after a glorious day off,
and the smells of blooming lilies and magnolias
are mixed with herbicides and barbecue starter
as neighbors grill dinner and I sip my beer
thinking about the ones I never met
whose memories have been eradicated.

Mine too are temporary,
contingent on the whims
of those with whom I was entangled in time,
now living their evening reveries
in reinvented neighborhoods whose skies
are sliced by wires conducting
so many unintelligible messages
even the government couldn’t catch them—

a chorus of complex intimacies,
confessions and incantations
only a drunken cantor might understand
in language even he knows is profane
and sacred at the same time,
a tongue unrecoverably corrupted
yet sweetened by birdsong at sundown
on a Monday at the end of May.


Scratch Pegasus || Poems of Consummation || Street Signs || Confessions of a Heteroformalist || The Redwood Coast Review || The Mental Traveler || More About SK || Readings

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