My most recent prose publications take the topic of death head-on. I find myself very drawn to characters struggling to overcome the loss of a loved one. Finding the strength to carry on when all seems hopeless is one of the hallmarks of humanity’s resilience and so often makes for compelling reading. “Comfort Food” is a young adult story that finds a teenage protagonist forced to confront his long-suppressed grief; meanwhile, “Coffee Run” details the final moments of a cherished matriarch.
CNF is a form I am particularly drawn to because it allows me to take something incredibly personal — whether a situation or relationship with someone — and turn it outwards so that others might connect with it. “The Grammar of Death” shows me discussing the importance of last words, as well as those final words spoken to me by a late relative. In “Masta of None,” I imagine what it might be like to interact with a funeral director outside the walls of a funeral home. “Eastern Parkway” recounts a harrowing experience and the indelible impact it left on me, while “Grapes” depicts, with ironic distance, me — as a child — struggling to understand the reality of my parents’ divorce.
When I sit down to write a poem, it’s usually because an image has stuck in my mind or a phrase keeps repeating itself. In these cases, I don’t necessarily have a story to tell but an emotional experience to relate, so I know fiction will not be the vehicle for this project. Nor does the essay feel right because I don’t necessarily mean to work my way through or rationalize what I’m feeling. I’m drawn to the intensity of the poetic experience that can, in its brevity, recreate that moment.
- “Life Lesson” (2017)
- “My Aunt, On Going Blind” (2017)
- “The Ambulance” (2017)
- “Sautéing Spinach With My Aunt” (2017)
- “Dinner Date” (2016)
- “Imprint” (2016)
- “Rumble” (2016)
- It All Changed In An Instant (2010)