This is a poem written in the fall of 1996, after finding inspiration to write after a trip to Nashville with a poet and a baseball player.

fold my hands, close my eyes,
try not to get distracted.
Why is it that you give me this?
Why do you speak
from my simple mouth?
(Something has to come
out of this poem…)
chewed pen-cap frustration
faded in Nashville.

The muse, perched on my
above her usual whisper.
(if my muse had a color it would be green…)

More-than-Mentor, I thank you for
muse and rhyme, and for just knowing what it takes
to awaken me.
In stillness
I see what you’ve taught me,
shown me,
made me.
(I see how black I’ve made myself…)
Why do you speak through my simple mouth,
pink and coated from morning?