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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August 12, 2014


When she swallowed her final, decisive pills, did my grandmother know
I would still be talking about our standoff in the kitchen 37 years later?
Did she think I'd remember the particular way she played the piano,
or the dollhouse she built, or the smell of her Cadillac, or the turquoise water
of the pool she guided me through during my first attempts at floating?

It is impossible to fathom that clutch of capsules on her tongue, and the motive
that closed her throat around them. That story isn't made for quoting.
Instead, there is the hatchling yellow of her bathroom. The sleeve
of cellophane around her caramels. The squeak of her garage gates. The sun
like a wink on her face. Her perfume. All those games of checkers she let me win.




August 5, 2014

after the revelry, the reverence

The dance floor was a delirious tumble, the room heating
with each collision. Trips were made to the makeshift bar.
By the time dessert was served, barely anyone was sitting
down. Even Jean, in her shyness, shimmied closer to the center.
But it was the last song I was waiting for. Just us,
barely swaying to the tune, lights down to a single bulb, guests
gathering their things for the night. How in the end, it comes to this:
what we make in our quiet hours, what catches fire after the bursts
and blaze of flame. Her cheek lay against my chest. I touched her hair.
The space between us closed for good. We floated in that prayer.


July 29, 2014

two days before her wedding

Two days before her wedding, the poet saw she wasn’t quite prepared
for the onslaught of guests, the descent of celebrants coming as far away as France
to watch her take the crucial steps and raise their glass. It’s not that she was scared
to make the leap or shy of merriment or doubtful of the truth of each circumstance
that brought her, finally, to this monumental Yes. It was this: she knew the search
for words would fall inevitably short - the poem elusive as a ghost. It is hard to steal
the writer from her pen, let the muscle soften and go slack. Hard to clamber off the perch
of certain distance and land, bare-throated, in the center of the ring, emptied of her well.
But love, she knew, would always win, its quiet verses calling her off-stage.
And so the poet left her chair and peeled her heart out of the page.


July 22, 2014

running bases at the Field of Dreams

It seemed like a gimmick from a distance, and when Craig opined,
over pie and coffee at the highway restaurant, about the place,
the mystic whisper of those rows of corn, I rolled my eyes a little. It was hard
to believe a leftover lot from a movie scene would hold any slice
of magic. But we drove there anyway, and arriving, I saw a boy
and his sister throw baseball after baseball at their father, bent
in full catcher stance at home plate. With every throw, a jolt of small joy
hit me, too, and suddenly, all I wanted to do was run. We took off, went
sprinting as fast as our legs would take us, the bases like a road
we’d come from and maybe, maybe a path to where we’d go.


July 15, 2014

where you can get it

A fire pit in Glenwood. Leftovers in Lincoln. A bike trail. A blueberry.
A tray of watercolors. A full moon. The bear hug from a kindred friend.
An offer of help. The road to Loveland. A cup of ice. A grin from Jerry.
Sawyer's red hair. Clara's fire-breathing dragon. The last poem at the end
of the day. Vacancy at the campground. The sighting of herons. The words
"Come in." An old highway that takes you through a small town. A kitchen chair.
When someone understands you perfectly. A piece of pie cut into thirds. 
When it comes, tuck yourself into this brief and tender home. Lean into the air
of it, the permission slip, the romance of a moment's sweet caress.
Grab more fistfuls of these tiny stars. You need more light, not less.