To join with those all around the globe celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Seed Thieves, my first collection of poems,  I have decided I will share a weekly poem from the collection with some insider information, because 1) why not, and 2) I’m weary of how so many dozens of famous critics have misread my work over the years and 3) you’ll seem so much smarter at your The Seed Thieves 10th Anniversary Party to have these insider tidbits at your disposal.


Here’s the front door
approximately. Here’s the threshold,
the opening

to a room of charred walls.
Before us now, half-razed beams,
the intricate architecture

of rubble. In our hands,
this map of a place once here,
recovered from ash.

What will we make of this light
through which, now lifting its beams
in emptiness, it’s clear

how the dust unsettles us,
and how, even lifting our hands to pray
we disturb the air.

{This poem opens the book but was written late in the manuscript. I like the superimpositions that occur in a poem that has a lengthy composition process; this poem, for me, layers the house fire that occurred as an adult in my childhood home—with 9/11. The final image of the beams was inspired by the ghost of the twin towers created by spotlights. An origin of the poem came from remembering watching firemen sift through the charred rubble of our family basement: the fire chief showing me precisely the spot where the blaze started, based on evidence of where the fire had burned longest. In writing this poem, I was imagining what our lives would be like if we had the advantage of seeing / feeling the blueprints of our inevitable and eventual tragedies. The last stanza of this poem shocked me when it came—to think that every movement we make, even in prayer, contributes to our demise. What the fuck.—RF, 3/10/16}

For more Revisited poems from The Seed Thieves, hit up the HOME PAGE.