In June 2005, I began a weekly poetry practice. The goal was simple: to write a 10-line poem every Tuesday. The purpose was to have a manageable deadline to create new work and a dedicated platform to share it. I sent my first 10-line Tuesday poem to about 200 people. More than eight  years and almost 4,500 lines later, I continue to write "10-line Tuesday" each week, and these poems now go out to nearly 1,100 people around the world. A backlog of poems from the past two years can be found here.


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October 28, 2014

the man who isn't my father-in-law

We sit on the stacked bleachers watching Charlie take the field.
In between plays, when the cheerleaders rouse the crowd with their theater
and pomp, we swap stories about the boys. His name is David,
just like my dad, and he comes to every game wearing jeans and a windbreaker,
stays until the clock runs out. I admire his consistency, the way he looks me in the eye,
how he doesn't flinch at the circumstances that brought us here on a Monday night,
his son sidelined from a marriage and starting over at the age of 44, the woman he 
welcomed as a daughter now sharing her life with me. I thought kids were the most resilient,
but David proves me wrong. When the game is over, we rise and stretch, shake hands
before we leave for separate cars. "Thanks for being here," I say, and I know he understands.


October 21, 2014

a marriage

Even the woman who cuts us off at the parking lot.
Even the rubbernecker who turns the highway sluggish.
Even the skunk who contaminates the neighborhood,
and the geese who leave their droppings on the path.
Even the heartache that keeps us hibernating all winter. Even
the letters that say "No thanks" and "We've chosen someone else."
Even the story about loneliness, and the one about loss. Even the year
good news rarely comes, and the shadows look endless. 
How we still keep our gaze on the mess. How we marry whatever we've missed.
How we still tilt our faces toward sunlight and wait - how we wait - to be kissed.


October 14, 2014

the student

She saved the keyboard from last month's garage sale, remembering a duet 
she once played with her father. Someone asked why she'd stopped, but the reasons 
now feel flimsy as her grasp of the treble clef. It's never too late, she tells herself, with what
passes for encouragement, but of course, that first afternoon in front of sheet music turns
her south, and she falls, clumsy, into the heart of innocence, that place where the beginning
is the only thing. It is hard to remember that dance after all these years. Her hands clamber 
up the scale, mistake after mistake, a once-elegant sonata a broken ladder of notes unfit for listening.
But listening is all she has, the room absent of an audience, the lesson absent of its teacher.
And so she stumbles, fragile as a foal, the keys a moonscape of error and wrong.
And yet, inside each tinny failure: something resembling a song.


October 7, 2014

this is what you do

And I know, the movements are so awkward, the pace halting, the results
a little dubious. The landscape is full of better-thans, shining examples fit for 
book jackets and talk show features and the flash of a camera's Cyclops 
eye. If you wanted, you could lose yourself in that Emerald City, get dizzy from the glitter,
feel your fault lines multiply until your body cracks from the weight of all your brokenness.
But this is what you do, and the shape you carve marks a necessary path against a sky
so open, it can hold it all. See how that blue suspends you no more or less 
than the champion showing off her spoils. Feel the air clap its hands to the dance you pry
out of your troublesome limbs, mistaking your ungainliness for grace. 
Believe it. There is room enough for everyone. Come take your place.


September 30, 2014

the chances
Someone is trying to have a baby, and the chances, while slim, stir up hope others thought
long gone. Someone else is dreaming of a painting still absent from the canvas, but she knows,
deep down, the blue to start it. Someone else rises for a job she doesn't love, but a line of light 
stops her midway through the drive and she points her phantom camera. And on it goes,
the tremble of belief that dares us with its smallness. How an inkling seed can bloom
before it hits the dirt. And even if it fails, some flower - stubborn as an itch - remains intact,
our minds a greenhouse where the temperature rarely changes, the air humming like a womb.
It's true, the crash may come, our wild fictions tumbling to earthbound fact.
But I don't want to write about that. Someone is trying for a baby. A canvas, white and rough,
gestates with the thought of blue. The chances, while slim, are always enough.