Painting With




Painting With


I don’t like the yellow wind—

all hot and rough, brittle,

fond of sawdust and spinning.

I much prefer the blue wind

that caresses and smooths,

sweeping away the sweat

and the afternoon.

The white wind keeps me up

at night, echoing in my

teeth and unsettling my bones

like salt from the north.

But, the black wind has my respect.

It moves methodically

the wheel of the seasons,

steering a massive rumble reckless

as the other winds bow in silence.

Then it gathers fragments,

scoops them into piles, and

draws closed the bag of time

spun out, till it all but disappears.









They say the walls can feel

the hands that built them,

hewed them out of stone,

that the stones remember the songs

they sang when they thought

they were alone, and

nobody was listening.


They remember the way they

cursed when they accidentally

chipped off too much, or

hammered a thumb red.


The stones even remember the

sun and the moon,

the way it felt to be

illuminated from above.


The walls don’t speak much,

but when they do they

carry prayers.


When a hymn floats up

from the assembled below

they pass it on,

and pass it on.


The stones know that

when you’re praying in the forest

when nobody’s around

the trees may not notice,

but heaven hears the sound.


The walls say the hands can feel

the hands that built them.

Hands and walls

Like echoes in a cathedral.








First, cords like brambles

crammed in the crevasse

between the wall and the

entertainment center.


Second, the wire brigade

with their plug diagnostics

and electrical metering,

mapping the genome of the

audio-visual interface.


Then, the ground crew techies

with their bundles and rolls

of electrical tape and

outlet covers, bristling

with manuals and warnings

for parents about children

—batteries not included.


All for the finale flip

of the switch, the

glorious gentle glow

of the stirring screen



Oh, the auxhilaration!









built it


three                    He

sides and                   said it

three corners.        ought to work.

So                               my                             and

I pieced                        own 3                     dubbed it

   Together                       vertices                             Try-angle.


Carillon Improv

Centennial Tower — BYU Carillon

A carillon is a large musical instrument that is kept in a bell tower. The carillon has bells of various sizes that can be played with a manual [keyboard] of batons arranged like a piano keyboard or an organ manual. A friend took me on a tour of the Centennial Tower carillon at Brigham Young University and I had the opportunity to play it. Below is a video of my improv, which should help you understand how the instrument works. I decided to improv in a minor key because the top of each bell is tuned to a different pitch than the bottom. This causes notes to ‘sour’ (explaining why so much of carillon music sounds dissonant and spooky). I decided it would be lean into the bells’ natural creepiness and have fun in a minor key.



All Three



All Three


He’s parleying at the ice cream parlor.

A truth, a truce, a tune.

She’s sidling down the silo steps.

A might, a night, a June.

They’re shifting to a seaing ship.

A sail, a soul, a spoon.

And angled high above strung love,

The sun, the stars, the moon.








When heartbeats

cease to make


when eyes turn to


when hands

only count

as abaci,

and when minds act

as balances

weighing heavy things

who can’t fly

away free

in the





Note: I am currently studying life, both from the scientific and the literary point of view. In the Lithuanian language there are two words that translate into “life”. The first, gyvybė [gee-VEE-beh], describes the being alive aspect of life—biologically functioning, blood-pumping, moving, eating, sleeping, aliveness. The second, gyvenimas [gee-VAN-ih-mus], describes the living aspects of life—how you are doing today, hopes, dreams, problems, relationships, livingness. This poem was born thinking about the possible opposites of both of these words.