“Borderlands” issue #47

I’m pleased to announce that I have two poems appearing in the Winter 2018 issue of the Borderlands Texas Poetry Review. The poems featured are “Fulshear Farms, December 2016” and “oughtism (22)”. Fortunately, even if you don’t like my poetry, there are a plethora of other talented writer featured in this issue. Purchase link here. Continue reading


“The River King”

Written c. 2010-2012ish, maybe. All mistakes are simply proof that I’m human, and that I had no idea how guitar-playing worked at the time of recording (or didn’t care; most likely, I just didn’t care). Since the guitar track and song is old, I thought it was suitable to use an old picture.

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Orthognathic surgery: my experience with maxillary osteotomy

Development, highly-organized cascade of events that it is, is not perfect. Most imperfections are slight, and do not cause us issues as adults; others must be corrected.

For myself, it was the latter case. As a child, my jaws grew disproportionately, my lower jaw (mandible) growing larger and faster than my upper jaw (maxilla), giving me what the orthodontist called a class III malocclusion: that is, an underbite. The problem was more-or-less corrected with some routine orthodontic care: a palate-expander and braces. However, even after my orthodontic care was complete, my jaws continued to grow just slightly, leaving me with a different malocclusion: an open bite.

I had the option, when I was sixteen, to have this fixed surgically. The orthodontist told me and my parents that surgery was not necessary at the time, but might be later in life. I, who was tired of having metal crap in my mouth, staunchly refused to have surgery. And that was that.

Or, so I thought. Continue reading

Hello, hello, 2018. Let’s recap.

In 2017, I:

  • wrote 63 poems and prose-poems
  • had 3 poems accepted for publication
  • published my first scientific paper
  • ran a half-marathon in excellent time
  • was accepted into a lab for grad school
  • had 2 projects fail on me
  • presented at a scientific conference

Not as much as I wanted to get done, but still fun stuff. My first great act of 2018 was to get my face rearranged,  but more on that later.



don’t you, white boy?

This morning, as I was walking into work, there was a raggedly-dressed man on the corner of the ped mall, alternately talking and shouting at passersby. It’s not the sort of spectacle you see often in Iowa City. Homeless panhandlers are usually little more than wallflowers quietly asking for spare cash.

But this man wasn’t asking for anything. Just wanted to get a reaction from people, the way you do when you’re angry at the world and feel like no one is listening to you. It’s the kind of aggressive engagement you do when you feel yourself becoming insignificant.

As I walked past him, I didn’t look at him,  but he called out to me all the same:

“Hey, you hate niggas?”

And, without looking at him, without even thinking about it, I said simply: “No. Just people.”

And he laughed, a quiet wheeze that stretched into a scraggly, throaty chuckle. I heard him laughing until the next person walked by him, and he said to them: “You hate niggas, don’t you, white boy?”

oughtism (47)

This time, I will not put myself
through the paces of disappointment.

Here, the sky turns pink,
a rosy, sleepy lavender
and makes the red dirt seem
to glow.

I think of you, and the dirt
beneath your feet, how it reaches
up to claim you.

You don’t have to be good.
You only have to come and walk
with me through the late day,
our shoes pushing the brown leaves aside,
our voices low in the gathering dusk.