Oliva, 2017
Poems & Photos

In September of 2017, I moved to Oliva, Spain, a small city on the Mediterranean coast, 70km south of Valencia.

I spent 87 days taking photos in the streets and alleys, laneways and boardwalks. Nights, I wrote poems and worked on my first novel, often dining at one of the local bars or restaurants. Here are some of my favorite poems, pictures, and snippets from the trip.

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Between kisses,
We draw breaths --
And through the shy crowns
Above our picnic
I glimpse a curious universe.

A woman. A nice woman. A nice, beautiful woman. A very nice, beautiful woman. It's going to be different this time.

A very nice, beautiful woman with child. A family. A family of three. A very happy family of three. A very happy family of three on vacation. A tragedy. A tragedy while walking. A tragedy while walking on vacation. A couple. A morose couple. A morose, inconsolable couple. A divorce. A miserable divorce. A miserable divorce that goes on for years. Someone new. Meeting someone new. Learning to forgive so you can meet someone new. Learning to forgive so you can trust someone new. Learning to meet and trust someone new. A woman. A nice woman. A very nice woman. It’s going to be different this time.

Hang a tiny bell
from a hungry, agile cat,

and alter all things.

Do not seek your abusers
They will be drawn to you
Like dogs to laughter
Just look at Balthazar
Poor Balthazar
He is not a donkey
But a mirror

There is a wasp on my stomach, drawn by the juice of a nectarina. I'll not shoo him, and risk the sting, while you pick naranjas, frejas, and granada for my afternoon Spanish lesson.

You've torn your stitches again.
I tend them with needle and thread,
kissing your lips when I'm done.
You can't keep doing this, I say.
If you want me to kiss you, just ask.
And though you smile that you understand,
we both look forward to tomorrow,
when your fingers will again
undo my delicate work.
We don't know it yet, but you're gonna be dead in the morning.

Saturday, they're gonna drive you to your grave in a bitchin' hearse.

Come spring, insects will break into your casket and tear you apart.

For all time, your energy will cycle through everything and everybody.

In this form, this is our last night together. But we will meet again, because we are one, and this has all happened before.


We are all
woven into
the universe,
and though
some mistake
the tug of
passed loves
for invitations
to cross over,
I know
that you pull
to tighten
my weave.

If she's anywhere,
she's everywhere.
I wake and reach for her,
finding only darkness.
Does she sleep too, and dream that I surround her?
We are locked in a cycle,
turning to power this earth.
Gods wager on the consequence
of our inevitable union.

Tell me everything -- or tell me nothing.
But kill the light, so I can better see your face.

Hanging my hat on my knee
I feel the heat escape my
What went with it?
Is this the process of dying —
tiny, frequent releases
night and day?

& those who appear younger with time —
are they breathing it in?
Can it be learned or
transferred with a kiss,
a fuck,
a handshake?
Where do I go to meet them?
And whom do I buy a drink?

In the fog of a dream,
a swarm of black insects
flew from my mouth.
All the badness in me,

My lover lives in the rhymes I speak to dogs and small children.
They flow as I lower to haunches and move lips to ear.
Can her energy outlast my loneliness and isolation?
Be at my side, little one, and we all, us three, will rise.