Category: Published

  • “[animal revolt]”

    “[animal revolt]”

    Three short lines, one ferocious attack.

  • “ad perficiendum”

    “ad perficiendum”

    You discover everything around you is falling apart and breaking down. And then, so are you.

  • “Pangaea Proxima,” “Panthalassa,” & “Juniper Tree, Boy and Bird”

    “Pangaea Proxima,” “Panthalassa,” & “Juniper Tree, Boy and Bird”

    Three poems about parents, children, and their fraught relationships.

  • “From Them Prostrate I Flee”

    “From Them Prostrate I Flee”

    A teenager finds an unexpected escape from trauma in the garage, and it will haunt him the rest of his life.

  • Reorganizing My Website, Reorganizing My Life

    Reorganizing My Website, Reorganizing My Life

    It’s time for a website reorganization that focuses entirely on writing and teaching while burying my past activities.

  • “Bird Chooses to Make a Habitat of Heart”

    “Bird Chooses to Make a Habitat of Heart”

    “Give me back / my heart, beautiful bird. Mistake me for an open window.”

  • “Goodbye to Rock”

    “Goodbye to Rock”

    “We remind them that road trips and human exploration lead back, without adding ‘if all goes well.’ Ride an explosion, walk on another rocky surface, collect some samples, more vials, return with the samples on top of another explosion. We can be there to cheer them on.”

  • “I Can’t Explain Love or Loss if the Only Language I Have is Geology or What I Watch on YouTube”

    “I Can’t Explain Love or Loss if the Only Language I Have is Geology or What I Watch on YouTube”

    “The couple quit uploading to YouTube two years ago. / Their videos are something pitiful and earnest now, / something long buried, sand-scratched, rubbed raw. / Thumbs down, I think. None of my business.”

  • Flash Monster 2020 Short List

    Flash Monster 2020 Short List

    My flash fiction story “A Bird Watcher’s Guide to Malformed and Buzzing Things” earned a spot on the close-but-no-cigar shortlist shout-outs for the annual Flash Monster contest from The Molotov Cocktail!

  • “In Which I Invent a Man”

    “In Which I Invent a Man”

    “I must / still look for / him. My constant / resentment.”

  • “I See and It’s Not Nearly Enough”

    “I See and It’s Not Nearly Enough”

    “I see how police officers and forces and governments react when they are challenged for their violent policies and racist behaviors. I see how they empower and embrace white supremacy groups and vigilantes while targeting Black people, people of color, peaceful and agitated demonstrators. I see how so many Americans have opinions about rioting and…

  • “In a Mirror, Dimming”

    “In a Mirror, Dimming”

    “Beyond the scarred surface, I saw the bones of the Moon, / the geology of a crime. He would not speak of it.”

  • h+


    Richard designed, developed, and maintained the original h+ Tucson website as well as the expanded h+ website for multiple chapters and new transhumanist-related content, including a gallery of transhumanist art, links, and other resources.

  • Painbow


    Richard Leis created Painbow after he witnessed and experienced two incidents of discrimination. His idea was to briefly describe each situation, include the hurtful statement itself, and provide a short response.

  • Flashpocalypse Short List

    Flashpocalypse Short List

    My flash fiction story “The Canal” was shortlisted for The Molotov Cocktail’s latest quarterly flash contest: Flashpocalypse!

  • “Witch House”

    “Witch House”

    “Little girls in white dresses skipping rope / & chanting singsong in slow motion we stole / from an 80’s horror film.”

  • “Passage”


    “I drove Pacific Northwest November numb / through trees like tall green drifts to the ocean / seething with chaos.”

  • “The Yogurt Swimmer”

    “The Yogurt Swimmer”

    A man must hunt down a magical creature in his home before his husband and daughter see it and he loses them forever.

  • “Rail Work”

    “Rail Work”

    You return home, leaving everything, including your future, behind.

  • “Elysium to Lethe Through Athabasca Valles”

    “Elysium to Lethe Through Athabasca Valles”

    “Lava, perfectly happy to flow like water smoothly / around obstructions”

  • “[Aliens are here]”

    “[Aliens are here]”

    “Aliens are here”

  • Shadow Award 2019 Short List

    Shadow Award 2019 Short List

    In the 2019 Shadow Award from The Molotov Cocktail, one of my entries landed me on the short list.

  • “November in Portland”

    “November in Portland”

    “High school like autumn: / rain, mud, dark, / snow seems a day away.”

  • “Distraction”


    “I watch light flicker under the bathroom door. / I watch the clock. / I watch one foot with a sock on jealous of the other.”

  • “Work Schedule”

    “Work Schedule”

    “COMMANDMENTS 1. Work on one project at a time until finished. 2. I’ll be done when I’m done: Don’t set or worry about deadlines; finish and move on to the next task.”

  • “Foolishly Into the Ocean”

    “Foolishly Into the Ocean”

    “Divert the river from the ocean!”

  • “a haunting” & “Annular Eclipse”

    “a haunting” & “Annular Eclipse”

    “the lizard / in the bathroom / where I left it alone”

  • “My Unbelievable Man”

    “My Unbelievable Man”

    “His shoulder next to my shoulder / is warm pressure communication”

  • “The Center of Dirty”

    “The Center of Dirty”

    “Rachel hung up on her mother while she was telling Rachel about her niece’s birthday party. The abrupt silence was packed with glass. Rachel stared at the dark screen of her phone until the greasy prints bothered her. She wiped the phone across her jeans and set it face down on the table. It rang.…

  • “Nervous Bambi”

    “Nervous Bambi”

    “He blinks and I’m not sure if he’s trying / to embarrass me or if he’s confused by me, too. / He has to be lying.”

  • “Looking Ahead”

    “Looking Ahead”

    “I’ve seen the eclipse already. / I’ve seen how it begins: / the radiant sun, the vanished / moon. See how they are going / to collide, the many decisions / the moon made, the sun in its / place and bright and not waiting, / but willing.”

  • “Roadside Freak Show”

    “Roadside Freak Show”

    “The thing crafted from fabric and plaster, / more pile of dirt and wet cardboard / than realistic human skeleton, lies / under glass in a white cinderblock / coffin elevated over the concrete floor / in the last of three corrugated steel sheds / at the roadside attraction.”

  • Condemn


    “Condemn / Condemn / when necessary / Condemn / Condemn white supremacists kkk nazis / whatever name gone by Condemn / always”

  • “Ancient Moments of Telling”

    “Ancient Moments of Telling”

    “Biologists reconstruct the descent histories of life forms on planet Earth as the tree of life, its dense trunks and branches leading from common ancestors to new species. Such phylogenetic relationships are not limited to biology.”

  • “Magic Mirrors on Every Wall”

    “Magic Mirrors on Every Wall”

    “Locations are connected by wormholes.”

  • “Cosplay Buffet”

    “Cosplay Buffet”

    “How far are people willing to alter their appearance?”

  • “What We Lose”

    “What We Lose”

    “What must a boy lose to become a little bird? In “The Juniper Tree,” by the Brothers Grimm, the boy loses more than just his head and his life after he is murdered by his evil stepmother.”

  • “Once Upon a Microchip”

    “Once Upon a Microchip”

    “In ‘A Toy Princess,’ a fairy tale from the 1877 collection On a Pincushion by English writer Mary de Morgan, an emotional and expressive princess named Ursula grows up in a kingdom of such incredible politeness that its subjects have demonized almost any form of empathy or feeling.”

  • “The Technologists Grimm”

    “The Technologists Grimm”

    “New medical technologies may not change boys into birds or the monster-laden into attractive spouses, but they can radically transform both the quality and life expectancy for people suffering from a variety of ailments.”

  • “A Haunting”

    “A Haunting”

    “So when I saw the lizard in my bathroom I decided to let it be. I certainly wasn’t going to kill it, and the other option was to carry it outside, where it was cold and I wondered what beasts might prey on it as soon as I shut the door to my apartment.”

  • “If Everyone Was Standing Outside My Door”

    “If Everyone Was Standing Outside My Door”

    “If everyone was standing outside my door, there would be people six deep between my door and the brick wall that separates the apartment complex from the parking lots and roads of this suddenly populated land.”

  • “Why We Go to the Ocean”

    “Why We Go to the Ocean”

    “We don’t go to the ocean because there is salt water in our blood. The pH and salt content of our blood might reflect our evolutionary path from the ocean to land, but the physiological requirements to support a periodic human migration would be staggering. Imagine the difficulty someone would have with blood singing for…

  • “A Poem Constructed at the University of Arizona Poetry Center”

    “A Poem Constructed at the University of Arizona Poetry Center”

    “human / civilised the most popular sound”

  • “No Graveyard”

    “No Graveyard”

    “Alcor is no graveyard.”