Textbook Illustrations of the Human Body

poems from Textbook Illustrations

Textbook Illustrations of the Human Body was my first full-length book, the winner of the Gorsline Prize from Cloudbank Books (2003). (I've also published a chapbook, Elegy for Dan Rabinowitz.)  Here's a short poem from the book. 


Astronomy: Three Families


From this angle they seem

a bright pattern against the darkness--

each separate point 

taking its place in the figure.

As if they were in truth

anywhere near each other,

as if they weren't flying from a common center

as fast as they could go.


Our lunatic cousin's been scarred

so long, his scars have names:

sea of cold. sea of serenity, sea

of fog, sea of rains, 

each a dry bed where the salt

once was, each a discolored

pucker in his jaundiced skin. 

All night he watches himself

by his own light

in the broken mirror of the Pacific

pale zero split into a million ones.


What's this dark matter

holding us together?
Something we can't see

or touch.

It might weigh enough

to bring us home in the end.