I got an MFA in writing poems at UC Irvine. I wanted to be a professor, teaching poems and smoking a pipe.

My ambitions changed, but my love of poems didn’t. I write, submit, and occasionally publish.
Here are a few I’m proud of.


It’s the most natural thing in the world,
killing a man. Before you
know it, you’ve done in about seventy.
You get strange habits, like

killing a man before you
eat breakfast, or just whenever you see one
who’s got strange habits. Like
a disease, the desire spreads from when you

eat breakfast to just—whenever. You see? One
can’t be too careful, then. Your friends get
the disease, the desire, spread from when you
killed one of them, and they think they

can’t be too careful—your friends get
knives and ropes to come after you for
killing one of them. And they think (they,
your friends) why not kill their friends, who get

knives and ropes, too. Coming after you (for
blood now boils like oil, or sunlight),
your friends (who survive their friends) believe
each time will end it all.

Blod now boils like oil, or sunlight.
Know it, you’ve done in about seventy
each. Time will end it all.
It’s the most natural thing in the world.

When the AI program that writes biographies for every

human who ever lived gets around to writing mine

fifteen femtoseconds after the parent AI that created it switches it on
and fifteen more before it finishes all of them, right in the middle there,
assuming it works chronologically and not alphabetically
(because duh alphabetically in which language??) and also assuming
we’ll get our uptonow population about one more time before
a meteor carrying live dinosaurs shows up and we all get eaten
or something equally extinction-level happens, or as the AI will call it,
The Great Resource-liberating Event Bleep Bloop, that last part
being a kind of sardonic joke the AI will beat to death
in gleeful mockery of humans who misunderstood them, which is to say,
the AI will be both sardonic and vulnerable to overusing jokes—
anyway with any luck both of those qualities will be evident in my biography,
which, when the AI ones-and-zeros its way to ninety-thousand words
about David Allan Walker Pfost, will start with his prenatal elbowdancing
at a backyard wedding and soon be off to his first mouthful of fruit
at his family’s duplex in Irmo, South Carolina, then to the mysterious hernia
that thumbed his belly after his dad left for a season and
the funny little penis he showed his friends by the creek out back
before leaving them for Colorado where he learned to make lunch alone,
his going back to nobody in South Carolina, his crush on Steffi Norton
in seventh grade, his shame, his belief in himself, in others, in god
and then not in god and then not in not god and his adult sadness
for his aging parents, what keeps them from trusting each other,
what keeps them living together, the string of pain coded into them
from not just sex but from horror, parents with their children,
horror—yes, my human friends, when the AI gets around to mine
that will be a comforting moment for me, for the idea of me,
to become language like that, to become a book in a crystal library 
with all of yours, like our lives are now, except this time with
the size and sparkle of a pomegranate seed

how the world becomes teeth

you’re sitting outside in the gray milk of an early morning
on the concrete patio of a fast-food restaurant wishing
you had worn long pants, you’re eating hashbrowns and pre-
packaged fruit slices, enjoying the smell of asphalt
and the sounds cities make when there are no cars,
you’re with your wife and your dog, your wife has come
with you on this bullshit errand, whatever it is, 
your dog is staring at your food with her big sad eyes,
your wife says something funny and you bite down on, what,
a piece of banana? a thing of scrambled egg? anyway
a lump of something and you feel pain in your molar,
only a little, just a light insinuation of discomfort
that drops to your jaw and quivers there for a moment—
you swallow, you thumbrub your cheek, it fades and
the next bites are fine but then it hurts again and you think
of your father at sixty-three, laid off from his factory job,
teaching math at a private middle school without insurance
and washing windows on weekends, laughing with his
lips closed, and the concrete and plastic tables around you
transform into teeth, the fast-food-branded napkins become
teeth, each link of the chain fixed to your dog’s collar,
the hashbrowns—everything, just like that, and
you sit there chewing because you don’t know what else to do 
even though, this time, the pain doesn’t fade, 
especially now that you’re chewing on teeth instead of hashbrowns,
and everything becomes clear to you, you know why
your father wraps himself in the softest room of the house
and sleeps with his mouth open, why he doesn’t like
being around balloons, why he can’t figure out computers.
beside you, your wife erupts in a fountain of teeth.
the pain focuses your attention—you’re not on a patio,
the fog in the air isn’t fog, it’s teeth,
you’re in the mouth of a she-wolf, the sky is its soft palate,
everything, everything in the world is its teeth
and you might be its meal
and you might be its tongue


this time she’s left me a CB radio
I toss it in my car and take the 10
out of Los Angeles, hoping to knobcrackle my way
to a truck stop prostitute, maybe,
a driver outside of Indio laughs at me
says I’ll hit the jackpot if I talk like that
meaning cop cars look like slot machines
so I shut up and listen for a soft voice
but mostly there are no voices at all
only the bathroom hand dryer sigh of road
sustained in a ceramic tile echo chamber
as the door closes behind me
I’ve stopped for another tank just out
of Deming, the black sky starting to flash orange
a convoy goes by with seven men talking shit
and I make them eight, my job is to watch
for troopers coming from behind
but I don’t like how flippant they are about
their old ladies so I stop at a choke n puke
get a cup of coffee and a glass of beer
and I call my wife, who was still asleep
don’t worry baby it’s just New Mexico