Takes me in its teeth, it’s a sleek wolverine shaking off glassine beads of the setting sun, gleaming over the river cold and clean; Riverine carries me in its furling current; my soul adamantine, unchanging, always changing, the lean walleye and muskies now follow me, hollow seems what we leave upstream, the tangerine sun bleeds … More Riverine
When I pull onto Sunset Beach Road in the purple twilight, a couple is already standing entwined in front of their truck, tail lights pointed at Lake Michigan, peering into the western sky; I am not the only one who thought to watch from the bay. Do you see anything? they ask, without preamble, as … More Waiting for Comet Neowise
And it’s the beginning of the end of the world – the regulars are turned out of the taverns, red-faced and singing defiantly, swaying and carrying their jackets under their arms into the almost-spring night, leaving behind the warm beer-sign bubbles, the cracked cheer of the bartenders, the pilsner philosophy of their fellow compatriots holding … More The Lights Flicker Once, Last Call in Suamico
The heart is a muscle The heart is a fist it’s strong and it’s wary, this beast in my breast. My heart has been sleeping My heart has dreamed dreams – It wakens, now, flexing, it growls and it gleams. My heart is gone hunting, My heart leads me on Through starless dark forests, on … More Heart in Darkness
It’s the melancholy tail end of summer, a Wednesday night with waning light when I walk into the basement meeting room of the fire department on County Road 342. It smells like 50 years of bureaucracy and a musty bathroom and my claustrophobia tells me there is only one exit but I sign my name … More At The Mellen Township Board Meeting
Five-thirty’s afternoon light fades from the Menominee where this water bug zig-zags northward over the glassy sturgeon-black surface of the river; a needle pulling threads of silver-speckled sunlight together, close as lovers, stitching a narrow pocket into which I slip secretly the ruins of another unmatched summer’s day.
That afternoon at the cabin we sat by the river after I had cut up those small trees that you dropped at my feet with the tractor – (an offering, a challenge, one that I tore through haphazardly with the new chainsaw, black and yellow like a drunken, terrible bumblebee). It was quiet after all … More The Nest (Or, a Father Considers the Odds of Raising Successful Small-Mouth Bass Offspring)
It’s a Thursday in May after five when I swing into the Piggly Wiggly with two bikes on the back of my SUV, and the dog inside; The woman slicing my deli ham struggles with the wrapper on the summer sausage, limps like her hip is bad, too; she paces, trapped behind the glass cage; … More Crivitz Piggly Wiggly Philosophy
So Mercutio cried – and before and since and ever, the years start over in darkness, the face of the earth turned away from the sun; The calendar is a ragged thread of a winter sweater snagged on a fencepost nail; it’s a ball of yarn spooling out into the future, bouncing across the kempt … More Ask For Me Tomorrow And You Shall Find Me a Grave Man!
Tonight we sleep above the ice, (cocooned like mousies in sleeping bags) under an impossible number of January stars, (brilliant like only winter stars can be, Orion hunting alone) over the lake, and the fish in the lake, (swimming slowly in the iced water capped by sixteen inches of ice) in this bitter cold, (as … More Night on Shakey Lakes, -17°F