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Charm and Strange

Release date: July 1, 2020












These lyrical poems inhabit a world of dreamscapes, enigmas, and the numinous.
Kirkus Review 2020
An impressive poetry collection that braids the poet-speaker’s rich, interior life with memorable details from the larger world.
BlueInk Review
The title poem of the collection, Charm and Strange, was inspired by the language used by physicists I encountered as I was reading an obituary in the New York Times for Richard Taylor, a physicist who had won the 1990 Nobel Prize for his work with quarks. In physics, a quark is a fundamental particle; there are three pairs of quarks named top and bottom, up and down, and charm and 
The poems in this collection were written and some published in small press journals between 2010 and 2019. Poems often return to archetypal themes of love, death, and the roads to intimacy.
Title Poem 
Charm and Strange
broken down it turned out
charm paired with strange
named for the lifetime of the K
particle strangely long
and charm only on a whim
they came in twos and threes
like truth and beauty until
those names were deemed
too sentimental until that pair
was renamed top and bottom
along with up and down
the lightest of quarks each
fundamental particle unable
to be broken down any further
the way obituaries have the last
word on Richard Taylor
smashing electrons into protons
to reveal what lay within
the heart of all objects his
a story in an invented language
quarks themselves named
for a line in Finnegan’s Wake
three quarks for Muster Mark 
begins the story anywhere
in 1990 when the Nobel Prize
was awarded for quarks
we had so little time to wonder
about the heart of anything
was it fractional charges
that had brought us together
to the blue house a world
built of children and work
dogs and cats lilies and irises
if anything we might have found
time instead for translations
of Octavio Paz another prize
winner that year literature
over physics since the story
begins anywhere
casebeer photo_edited.jpg


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