All that summer, I carried around Gray's Anatomy, obsessed with kidneys, spleens, eyelashes, toes—the parts we assume make us whole.  But it's the metaphors—even in medical texts—that connect us, that bind together body and soul, that keep the blood pushing through tight passages.  Since my own father's unsuccessful heart transplant in 1993, I've been awed at the miracle and terror of our bodies and how, both inside and out, we are always part of the other, straining to connect, to correct, to purify, to expel.


Body Parts cover jpg.jpg

Sample Poems:

The Lung

A miniature stingray, it glides only
inside its bone cage, slate-gray and shiny,
sliding about its domain, inhaling anything
within breath: the wind, whispers,
wild weeping, the way
you walk through
the winter air
toward a frozen pond,
a pole, and a cigarette.

You look down
through the hole in the ice
and see the stingray,
or its memory
circling the dark cold
of your body
or life.  What does it take
to breathe in
or out?  To keep the poisonous
spine swishing
in such chilly waters
swimming about the heart?



The shuffling-off-to-Buffalo, toboggan ride slide,

do-not-pass-go short slope to the stomach;

the tunnel of swallows and masticated morsels

bound for the belly, the bowels, and the bowl

on days when everything (boiled, spoiled, or fried)

in the choking world goes down,

the right way.


Table of Contents:

Body Parts

      The Lungs

      The Pericardium                                                                                   


      The Liver                                                                                               

      The Gall-bladder                                                                                

      The Pancreas                                                                                                    

      Sticks, Stones, and Spleen                                                                                

      The Appendix                                                                                                   

      The Intestines                                                                                                   

      The Kidneys                                                                                                      

      The Bladder                                                                                                        

      Cowper's Glands                                                                                

      The Tunica Vaginalis                                                                                        

      The Round Ligaments                                                                           


      The Hip                                                                                                              


      The Stomach                                                                                                     

      Closet Skeleton                                                                                                  


      The Tibia and Fibula                                                                                       

      Elbows, Knees                                                                                                   


      The Big Toe                                                                                                        

      Uncommonly Cold                                                                                             

      The Ear                                                                                                             

      The Appendages of the Eye                                                                             


      The Nose                                                                                                             




      The Epiglottis                                                                                                   

      Vocal Chords