There's a backstory to this poem appearing in Fourteen Hills. Of all places, the genesis for the piece came from Facebook. Someone had written a post, and a new friend of mine, Susan Klein, whom I didn't know except virtually, but liked immensely, made a remark which I riffed on. I gave an offhand series of staccato responses to a subject matter I find basically gross and finished off my cluster with a responsive kicker. Left it at that. Moved on. Ten minutes later, I heard a "ping" at the computer, saw there was a comment, clicked to read it, and Susan had left a remark for me -- "That's a Zen poem!"
A little polishing here, snipping there and cementing altogether, and most especially, knowing when to back away and leave a little one alone, and there the compact poem stood. And now it is proud to have a home under this striking cover: