Cover Art FromAngel Poison

With the death of the wonderful publisher, Jennifer Bosveld, and the demise of Pudding House Publications, Angel Poison is now out of print although I have a small, treasured collection of copies.  I will be re-issuing this as a Kindle book sometime in the near future.  


Why are angels overcome with grief?


Looking at our world and the next, Rilke said that angels could not tell the difference 

between the living and the dead. In  the twenty-first century, this distinction has become more blurred than ever, with more and more people stumbling in darkness. Consciousness helps. That is why I have written such poems as those in this collection.

first the nouns

in the year twelve-twenty-six

tangut a language died

all its words died

verbs adjectives nounds

none was left

after khan

destroyed the city

that had dared to kill his father

as they attempted its defeat

in the morning of that day

longer relatively calmer words

attempted life and died

strung together into sentences

if you let me live

I will give you my treasure

then the morning sun burned on

and frantic intonations died

grab the kids run to the field

try to swim across the river

wait for me at your father's farm

by evening's mop-up time

as swords stalked

through the bloody streets of tangut

requests for mercy died

please no let my child live

oh please my daughter no

near sunset all the words were dead

some communication clung to life

but as darkness fell

screams died sobs died

and tangut wasn't heard again

after twelve-twenty-six in central asia

the year of the wrath of khan

no way out

special comrades

crawl under machine gun fire with you

as rats zigzag away from friends fallen in the mud

when there is no way out

take your classes

while you get your lump checked

keep on teaching

while you wait for the results

are unbelievers


buy perpetual prayers

for your mother's and father's souls

go with you to spray bullets

in the school

that has tormented you

until death seems the only answer

go mad with you

sit quietly beside you in the hospital

crawl into bed with you

comfort your screams in the night

listen to your whispered confessions


absolve you in pain

or with quiet authority eat your sin

when there is no way out

when there is no way out