Reading at Busboys and Poets


I had an opportunity last night to read at the open mic night at Busboys and Poets at 14th & V in Washington D.C. This is such a different venue for me and it was really exciting. With just four minutes for each reader I decided to read my poem, "To Jackson Browne, My Father," which had been getting really good feedback at my recent readings. It seemed to go over well! This was simultaneously the most supportive and also the most intimidating crowd I have ever read in front of. 

Here are a few pictures. Sorry for the low quality! Cell phone cameras are so convenient, but these turned out a bit blurry. Click on the images below to scroll through. 


Everybody's Jealous of Everybody Else -- Bite-Size Poetry

I was chosen to be the Poet of the Month for March 2015, by the Utah Art's Council. They had me travel up north to Salt Lake City to go into a sound studio to do a professional recording of the poem. Reading the poem essentially alone in a room and staring in to a camera was more nerve wracking than I expected, but I am so impressed with how it came out. I really feel like they got my piece and did a fantastic job with it. I've been watching the other Bite-Size Poetry videos as they have come out each month and they've all been so unique; each capturing the personality of the piece and the poet well. If you haven't seen them all you should google "bite-size poetry" right now! (Well after you watch mine, below.)

My Best Friend's Wife

from Rattle #36, Winter 2011

I wish I was in love with my best friend’s wife.

Oh, the tragedy I’d get to be part of.

No one would ever know, of course,

this secret forever locked inside—

but how utterly and painfully romantic,

something out of a Shakespearean tragedy

or, at the very least, ’70s rock.

Every time I would see my best friend’s wife,

something inside me would suffer and die.

How wonderful! I would spend my time

trying to not think of her and writing poems

not unlike this one that I would never dare let anyone see.

Oh, my best friend’s wife and I would never be together—

how tragic and powerful and utterly profound.


But I am not in love with my best friend’s wife.

My best friend is unmarried—divorced,

in fact, and there is nothing wonderful and tragic

about being in love with your best friend’s ex-wife.

I think of that mythical and magical moment

where I approach my best friend and I say,

“Best friend, I am and have forever been in love

with your wife,” and compare it to the moment

where I approach him and say, “Best friend,

I am and have forever been in love with your exwife”

and I think of the two different reactions

I would get from those two possible moments

and, even though he may someday remarry,

I realize that I will not suffer the beautiful tragedy

of being in love with my best friend’s wife anytime soon

and I realize even further that this is entirely his fault.


Published by Atticus Review, December 9, 2017

Ahead of me at the Spokane Airport

security line, a man in a dated plaid suit

is carrying a jar of butterflies

and taking heat from TSA for it.

He’s far ahead and I am standing

in a winding line, but I can taste the tension.

The man is waving his arms while security

stares at and touches the jar,

a jar large enough for two dozen

jumbo pickles. They handle it with incredulity,

lifting it above their heads and looking up

at the butterflies from the bottom of the jar.

I can’t hear any arguments on either side,

but the butterfly man seems to have given up

on this discussion and who knows what else.

He looks firmly at a TSA agent

before grabbing back the jar, twisting off

the lid and freeing the butterflies,

all different colors and sizes. He watches

them dissipate above our heads through

the airport with tears and laughter.

“Are you happy now?” the butterfly man asks,

loud enough for me to hear. “Tell me,” he shouts,

turning to all of us, “if any of you are truly happy.”