Throw-back poem: “Canon of Disassembling an Iceberg” (+ writing updates)

The writing’s been going well, i.e. shenanigans abound… in a good way. So,

Thing 1: Big project writing updates, in brief.

  • 30% through, if my targeted 60,000 word count estimate is accurate. That remains to be seen.
  • I’m about to start the third section, where the main action will get underway. This is encouraging. (I’ve arrived at this point!)
  • Now using Scrivener as a secondary tool, and it’s awesome.
  • Still working at the dining room table, but I’ve been migrating my workstation to the back patio to write out there several hours each day.
  • Currently listening to Russian music to get my head in the right place.
  • But still need total silence as I write.
  • I’ve stopped with the iced coffees; my current afternoon beverage of choice is flavored l’eau gazeuse. (sparkling water)


Thing 2: (Still) no longer posting new poems here, I’ve got another old one for you who enjoy my poetry and/or come here specifically for that. This poem, “Canon of Disassembling an Iceberg,” was first published in Blackbird: an online journal of literature and the arts of Virginia Commonwealth University.

I wrote “Canon of Disassembling an Iceberg” in 2010, and it appeared in Blackbird’s Spring 2011 edition.





Being more recent, this poem was published with my current name, so I didn’t black it out (my last name, that is).

Without further ado!



Canon of Disassembling an Iceberg

How about this: first
I’ll jolt the gutter,
ache for its town
without mourning—
nothing is unfixable
in light of the inevitable.

Then I’ll taste the blood
you left on the letter opener.

You’re gone;

you’ve always been gone,
disregarding speed
limits on the tundra,
tearing perforated ice—

you’re an assassin
going after sedge, slow
process of lichen
truncating the philosophers’
question, yet pruning
their terraces of syllogisms
and proofs.

It’s a brain-wringing experience.

If I could hear
the bones of the hunted,
feel underpinnings of hunger,
see plasma and red cells
pull apart,
then touching the place
you used to be
could inspire me in the night.

I wait for New Year’s,
for tundra to become ocean.
We’ll say, let’s screw
the champagne,
pop vodka instead.

December 31st,
you’re still gone,
overlooking the sedge.
Your email wants to know
my resolution.

I say it’s to towel dry
an entire submarine.

Pain turns
everything bright,
but anger brings
dark where I can see.
I prefer ire to grief,
indignation to sorrow—
territories I know

well into the reaches
of my own stories.
You won’t
find me there.
What’s light in your eyes
becomes darkness in mine.
Unseen, untracked,
I disappear.  end


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