Thursday, December 7, 2017

Houston #3

Walking to work in the dark in the midst of this Houston cold snap. People of means are wearing hats, winter coats and gloves. It's about 42 degrees. The darker figures without means wear blankets in doorways. The police cleared them from their little city of tents under the bridge a few months ago but many have apparently moved right back in, and now it's become a locally talked about civil rights case. They're building lots of condos here but not for them.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Houston #2

I sweat through my new suit walking the eight or ten blocks to work before sunrise. During the course of the day the temperature drops maybe twenty-five degrees. This causes some alarm among the locals like a blizzard might in New England. For me, it's the gift of an October afternoon.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Houston #1

It's humid here and warm compared to the twenty-eight degrees I left in Boston this morning. Checked into a suite paid for by the company, something new to me, then I did what I always do. More like what always used to do when i had the chance to travel- go down to the street pick a direction and start walking.

When I do that, I try to listen to what the place is telling me. I let it take me where it wants me to go, let it show me what it wants me to see. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Morning Chat

I stopped feeding the birds
when the single male
ruby throated hummingbird
moved off in the Fall.
Last night I dreamed two
female cardinals were speaking
to me through the slider
waiting for me to resume.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Broke The Window Of My Chest


It Did Me

So much time has gone now
wondering if finding a strand of
my hair would make you smile
or if hearing a song from those days
would bring tears - I don't think so.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Company You Keep

The snow didn't stick long
but there was a coating in the morning
yesterday and when I walked outside at 
sunrise there was that smell, snow
on evergreen boughs, nostalgia, still 
gray days are coming and the wind, ice,
punishing cold are right behind them
working together to make me something
of a lonely pilgrim with ordinary
hardships and bits of memory
for company

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

First Flakes

Improving my worldview with
a little exercise, watching the first few
snow flakes fall, seems like I'm always facing
them, year after year, with bald tires and I'm
not now thinking about the scattered legions of
likely brutalized half-wits with easy access to
assault rifles in the proud tradition of this nation
see, we're getting even better at forgetting what
just happened and getting on to the next horror show
go getters, long runners, long gunners,
so many goners.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Cinnamon Roll Danish

November feeling
Grey skies and bare branches
Breakfast today with the youngest
Employed again, now paying bills
He tells me he thinks his dog
Likes me

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Fair Is Fair

They gave me a skinny red
Saint to pray to, they told
Me if I asked her she would
Disrupt your present love
And bring you back to me.
I read the spell, but I never
Spoke the words.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Yellow October

A warm rainy night
in yellow October,
warm enough to leave
the slider open and to
listen to the drops on
what's left of the leaves.

I can still imagine you
here with me, lying still,
also listening in the dark,
me believing in
everything.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Sucka

Out of a job
on a Monday morning
and I could get used to
staying in bed, not being
embarrassed to say I have
no current drive or ambition,
just listening to time pass
not playing the mandated
game of debt accumulation in
the service of someone else's wealth.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

In the wind

Another change - drastic, sudden
and unwelcome. I am tired now
with no will to scrap.

Monday, October 2, 2017

October things

A cold morning
and a taste of things to come
winters have been hard on me
lately, the last couple anyway,
I'm sickened by the cycle.

Been worried about fathering
About not doing so, not being there,
the absence. Yesterday, we cut the
top off a pumpkin, removed it's
cold guts with our hands, separated
washed and roasted the seeds. This
time I didn't rush, was careful and
they did not burn.

The youngest called it a successful day.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Please don't look at us

Making America ashamed again,
Trump's treatment of Puerto Rico,
I don't even have words.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Paperwork

The long form needs completing
and with it maybe I can put away
some of this dread of the last seven
or so years.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Warm Imagined

Someone made me look back, suggested I read the past again. I feel it all, still, in my chest and remember the celebration of moments and the desperation of losing them. Well, you're not dead. You didn't die without them, but the landscape has changed and the road you now walk is unfamiliar and strange. It's not good to be alive - it's a heavy pack and a long road, mostly. You take it off to sleep, which you are grateful for, and then you lift it on again upon waking, This while you've really got nothing to complain about. Your house still has it's roof, the plates here have not shifted disruptively, the ground is still and dry beneath your feet. In September, I hear Blue Jays more often and their cries touch me like an imagined friend, leaving me warmer in imagination and colder in the world.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Summer's never been mine anyway

The radio sang
Autumn is hard to love
I've heard those words myself
Which is maybe why I cannot
Help but love her
She'll arrive tomorrow sure
And we'll watch the glory of
Our demise together
And I will burn
Then she will
Go









Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Where's my kilt?

Waking in the middle
of a dream, running
effortlessly up and
down the steep green
hills of Scotland.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Regarding the day

Regarding the day
as another mystery you
were fortunate enough
to wake up to.

You get to participate.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

With the highway overhead

Dreaming in the car
traffic sounds wake me
and it's just after sunrise
get coffee, some molded
bite-size egg and stuff morsel,
splash water on my face in the bathroom
gargle, spit, smooth my shirt
ready for the work day, ready to
account for why we do what we do
and how. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Noonish

At dusk yesterday
there was a mosquito
at the window screen,
I almost wanted to let
it into the house because
it was one of maybe three
or four I'd seen since the Spring

Mosquitoes didn't really happen
here this year, too dry,
unheard of as far as I can remember
but the North is burning too,
the world is getting hotter and
the storms are blowing bigger -
normal is becoming something else.

There's no joy in waking midday
it always feels like I've lost something
and not only the day itself but
the weight of cumulative loss like
you're waking mid-dream remembering
every lost thing in sequence,
every lost feeling, you.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Name of A Mexican Girl Kind Enough To Dance With Me.

Another brewing hurricane
strongest Atlantic storm in history
the computer maps all probable routes
I live along one of those with
my paycheck freshly deposited
doing my own calculations
finding that I can't make the math
stretch far enough to cover
what is owed.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Reminder

You have to remember
when your world gets too
small to walk through the
door. There is more.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Weather or Not

Waking to the sound of rain
there's been so little of it here
not a problem in East Texas, and
did you hear that Greenland
was burning, yeah, it's up there
where there should be mostly ice
and then foggy, chilly, San Francisco
hit a record of 106 Fahrenheit degrees
but whatevs, I'm sure it's fine.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Holiday Weekend

Catching up on sleep,
that is something I can afford to do,
wiping out the microwave with
a lemony bleach solution and a
paper towel, overgrown grass to
mow, an unclean house and kids
who live elsewhere. A state of inertia,
a particular brand of anxiety.

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Numbers

These are the days of numbers
Appraisals, debt to income ratios, 
Interest rates, mortgage totals,
Monthly payments, weekly installments 
You'll be dead before they're paid
But won't it be better to have it behind you?
Before you answer,
Do you multiply or divide
By twenty years?

Thursday, August 31, 2017

What You Might Find

Long sleeper
Waking without a known destination
You know you've got to go though
And that you're moving vaguely
Toward your end
Between now and then is
Worry and trivia and maybe
Just a little more
Glory

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Called In

It's hard to feel Texas
from here, vastly sinking
under endless rain, when you've
got your own shit going on
and have to employ all of your
resources to get through. It's relative
I guess, unless you're there where it's
absolute, like these young men
striving for another day clean
and to avoid sudden death,
while the roommate's dog
seems to have found it, and
the single male hummingbird
has moved on too.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Wheel

The pain of returning,
those words in my head
without context

I'd like to stay in bed
this morning but
there can be none of that

Some of the leaves are
starting to turn already
so maybe there's your context

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Cool Nights

Autumn has been in the night air
And what scares me about it is that
Winter's close behind and somehow
Spring and Summer never really happened

But I'm making changes,
Small ones every day and
Something is starting to turn.
I''m getting out from under.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Something To Be Said For It

Falling asleep when
you're good and ready without
worrying about how you look or
smell and waking up the same way,

Monday, August 21, 2017

Some Regular Things

A hacker tries
to buy shoes out
of my checking account,
Boy, are you barking up the wrong tree.

Today the sun goes away, but
I've grown accustomed to that
And last night required blankets
Autumnal, meaning

The hummingbird will be off soon
With it's 5 to 9 years of life,
Its unbelievably long journey, and
Its three mighty ounces of fortitude




Sunday, August 20, 2017

Action

For three months, at least
there has been a black economy
mailbox, mounting bracket and post
taped inside a cardboard box standing
in my unlived in living room.

Today is the day.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Message

She told me I'd never really get over it
Twin flames
Fate, in the other's words
You'll run to the other side of the universe
And I'll wait, staked to this spot,
Focused on not chewing my leg off

Someone make me a soundtrack with
Elements of morose and
A driving beat that I can march to
Give me resolve and my suffering
Purpose that I can hear and feel
Both gritty and ethereal

All at once, tragic and
triumphant, suicidally depressed
and manically transcendent.
Let it drive me out to where
I can smell the coursing of my blood
And see with sharper eyes

This is our song,
whether or not

Friday, August 18, 2017

Sobriety

I had the habit
of looking for your car
in my driveway and
the physical sensation of
a nightly let down upon not
seeing it there. I noticed the
night before last that I don't do
that anymore.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Strife, She Said

But without strife
There's no reason to write

I woke this morning
After good sleep
Most of my thoughts were pleasant
Except for a lingering crazy dream
Which spoke to neglected familial
Relations, psychedelic music and
Catastrophe

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Curs

The dog with its single note
mechanical bark sounds different
this morning.

There's pain in it,
and its nails on the floor
sound like anxiety.

These sounds reveal the fact
that we don't know what to say
beyond cursing at one another.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Rather Than Backward

Waking up and looking forward
to the work week,
to things requiring follow up and resolution,
maybe even to things I'd like to do.

This is new.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Chances

Try to slow the kid down
He tells you he's got no intention of stopping
Only came here because he needed a place to stay
And now he's conned his Dad into wiring 40 bucks.

He's got a long way to travel, back to his dealers
The game he knows, and he's got to walk three miles of
Heroin and crack to get to the train station.
Everything here is wired to kill you.

Why don't you charge your phone here?
You'll need it. Hang out. Eat some dinner with us.
Wash your clothes. Take your time.
Why not crash here? You can go in the morning.

He knows it's a stupid thing to do
Knows his tolerance is down
Knows his usual 5 grams a day will likely end him
He knows but he goes

Salivating, eyes fixed on the distance
Every second he's closer
To shutting down what's trying to
Swallow him now

He called this morning.
Still alive
Made a detox in the city late last night.
He calls leaving the stupidest and smartest thing he's ever done

Wants to know if he can come back
After detoxing through the weekend.
Yes, is the answer.
While you still have life, yes.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

May We Be Well

No response
Not that you expected
Or even wanted one
It might have done you harm

I found sleep anyway
She's been good to me

Yesterday, the mediator
An agreement
The cost of a lost
Twenty years

Things are moving towards resolution
Soon you will remove these heavy coats
And step forward
Into new

You receive a list of suggestions for new bedding
Coach says to fix your bedroom
Then your kitchen
Then your life

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Spanish

El Camino De Santiago
A single red Columbian thread
An assignment
The Secret
Green blanket and curtains
Of Jealousy
Rolled edges on the floor of
Your prosperity
There's a lot to think about
Here.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Out of Storage

Traces found and
the sound of her voice 
still does what it did before
and you're tempted to call her
or send a message but you don't
because of where she's living now
which is not in this world you're trying to
dwell in knowing you don't live there anymore
either. Killing time in the dollar store and the woman
in front of you is ordering balloons - three hearts and
a smiley face - and you talk to try to feel human asking her
if it's her little one's birthday. She smiles, says no, it's her friend's
birthday. She's in a coma. This lady's birthday is also coming up, Thursday,
and the two always celebrated together. They're not yet 25, you're thinking.
Happy birthday, you tell her, you're a sweet friend. Yeah, she says, thank you.

I found three voice mails in the trash left months apart. One was your easy open smile asking a favor with detailed instructions. One was your grief, the wrenching sound of a heavy heart. And the last one was your distance.



Saturday, August 5, 2017

Weekend

Torrents introduced by a single
thunder crack and I am trying
to get on the road to Brooklyn
which seems tiresome, and my
head fills with black smoke, but
I get to the shower and there's lemon
in the soap there that helps to clear it

An angry
message from the present
and shortly after, one from the past,
joking while choking on struggles
all her own.

The rain is coming down hard, and
I'm going somewhere today.
I can't stay here just thinking bleak.
Take your shot, I'd say.
Take your shot if you have one.

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Quiet Here When It Isn't Trying To Kill Me

Grateful for good sleep and work
that feels worthy of your effort
but almost afraid to say it aloud
so convinced are your cells of
the presence of a jinx that makes
whatever you love or like or want
disappear.

What you don't like is hit radio
and televised sports, repetition,
and being stuck in a place where
you cannot get away from these things.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Shift

I am not the same
Some other door must have opened
And I walked or fell through it
Not better off or worse
Just different

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Home

Picked her up at the ferry
leaving her summer island
duffle and suitcase sensibly packed.
On the ride home, we talk as two adults
and it feels like one of the best things
I know.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Remedy

What I guess I needed was an occupation
Something to busy my mind and absorb my energies
Something outside my own head

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Marina

Put your lonesome in a box for now and
open yourself to the day - a meeting with
Edgar Allen Crow, for example, who talks to people
and has a penchant for grape jelly.

Walk the sidewalks of a new town,
comfortable, marvel at the price of
boats and glimpse, from without, a life
you'll never know.

Your lonesome is in a box now like
a tamed house fire, and the smell of it
will cling always to your clothes and hair,
but there's still a lot of life happening out there.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Talizman

Last night I walked past a painting of a
winter Eastern Blue Bird mounted on a wall
and it twisted my heart, but then I
remembered the moment, undeniable.

Imagining what's happening for you now,
without allowing myself to go to deep,
seeing the results to come
made me smile.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Epidemic

Yesterday I thought heroin might eat us all
A hungry barracuda slashing through a school of
Hapless smaller fish, disappearing one by one
And in small groups.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

It's Only 8:30.

This place smells of dust and the bathroom needs cleaning badly.
Your room should be a sanctuary, I've read. Not hardly.
Maybe my bed is, but once you climb up out of there
It's pretty grim.

Tried to sleep with thoughts of a young addicted mother in treatment
Visiting with her two very young children who didn't want to let her go
When it was time for them to leave with their grandparents
 "Don't leave us1", they cried. And she cried too. Rivers of tears.

And then a phone call that one of the staff, barely in her 20s, suddenly lost her
Father tonight. She is also crying. And then the other job calls
To say there are three people already waiting to be seen - heroin, no doubt
Having something to do with that.

People lose things, people break down - all so lonely and tied together.
I should at least vacuum in here, dust, unclog the drain in the sink.
I should drag everything outside and pile it high and,
With a gallon of accelerant, ignite a pire in memory of it all.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Apes Strong Together

The phone wakes me an hour after falling asleep
A cool wet night, and it's so quiet
That I wake lost again
She served as a point of reference
During moments like this, but that was before
And now, for me, the light is out.

There are no stars to steer by, so we drift
And make the best of the fact that we are afloat.
It's so quiet here.
I'm thinking of my boy watching
War For The Planet Of The Apes
And the empathy in the eyes of those monkeys.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Outing

Talked mostly with radios and birds
and people living cigarette break to cigarette
break last week, otherwise I was alone, and it
still hurts waking up remembering doing so
in love.

I know someday you'll have a beautiful life
I know you'll be a star
In somebody else's sky
Why, why, why, can't it be...
Can't it be, mine?

You're speaking my heart,  young Eddie.
I feel it open, swamp and sink again.
But I'm not blaming you, man,
It's just where my head goes.
You know?

Tattooed all we are indeed, Ed,
and I pick up this tasty Brazilian glass
with my bitter hand and sip the citrus-alcoholic power
through a straw, but it does nothing to keep me
from seeing her eyes.

I'll hold my course though, Eddie.
I ain't going down.
A lady is coming to tell me something tonight,
and I'm here to seep a little blood and listen
to the news.



Saturday, July 22, 2017

Thanks, Bill.

Bill Withers sings from the jukebox and
four men who have never been introduced
begin to harmonize:

"When I look at you,
everything's alright with me..."

They all remember how it felt.

a lovely daaaaaaaaaaaaay

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Still At It

I was in that parking lot again, at midnight and then at 3 AM.
Same bird atop the same light post singing continuously.
Not a call and response but a solo, a soliloquy, a filibuster
On and on without breaks and at first blush I think how lovely
And then I wonder what's really happening here
Are you beseeching someone to return to you through a sacrificial marathon?
Are you up there wild-eyed, manic and hoarse, speaking your delusion?
When will we know it's time to stop?


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What a Pill

Woke in the car at dawn
serenaded by a very active solo night bird
the sounds of which took my dreams in all directions.
Got out and immediately a man is talking -
"I'm seeek - my troat! I just came from Ohio".
I keep walking slowly maintaining eye contact
in order to determine if I am really awake and if he is talking to me.
It's the parking lot of a community health center, and there's no one else
but his loose beagle mix sniffing around.
He must think I'm a doctor. I nod to him gravely, wave, shrug,
but I do nothing to help his throat. It's going to be hot today,
humid.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Pursuit Of

Unfamiliar here but moving forward anyway
This world is not my home, I'm thinking, like the song says
But I am here none the less learning lessons like
What you want will certainly make you bleed
And evade you and if you manage to catch it,
It will only slip away or crumble in your grasping hands.
What you do not want is plentiful and ubiquitous though,
So you'll not go entirely without.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Can't

And so everything suddenly seems to be all
mother and baby related. It's like I'm dreaming
and I know it, hurting myself with it.

For Want Of A True Companion

You know, I think the male hummingbird is on his own this year after all
Thought I spotted the female once last month but haven't seen her since
Haven't heard the buzzing of their aerial antics outside my slider either
A ruby throated man alone - feeding, moving frenetically - to what end?

Not all that different from two calls last week from human males
Who no longer share feeders with their former mates, asking about having a beer
We are not buzzing so well in our respective territories
They talk about other females with little relish, about how anyone can be replaced

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Another Step

Humid
No particular distress
But without going to that place
There is nothing to write about either
I'll take it

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Price of a Ticket


Direct Experience

Spent a good part of yesterday
realizing how frequently in the course of
a day I check out of my life in avoidance
of direct experience.

There are reasons for this, maybe justifications
I could make, but I sure do it a lot. Where I go is
into this loop, and there is no hope to be found there,
so I tried to avoid flying off and just sat in the inane.

Empty words and stage laughter to fill space and time.
If I stay, I feel assaulted and confined, want to respond with aggression -
parry, slash, thrust, vertical butt stroke - bleeding, they might take pause
next time. Let's not talk just for the noise, ok?

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Brick

I'd like to be able to form this kind of sleep into bricks
And store them for dry spells, leave them on pillows as gifts,
Sell a few on E-Bay, or at crunchy
Farmer's Markets.

Rest or remission?
Dormancy or depression?
Exhaustion or acceptance?
My memories have worn me out.



Friday, July 7, 2017

Step

Sleep's been better
that counts for something.
Now, the rest of it. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Cruel Dream

5:45 AM
He is showing me how she moves.
They are very much in love.
The line repeats until I wake up.
The latest physical sensation in my heart
Is one of being pressed
Flat. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Some Found Items Of Note

Let go of what I can't control.
Fireflies.
Cool night.
Bright moon.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Spirit Radio

He said I had spirits about me to keep me from despairing,
but there are moments when that feeling comes on,
the way events arrange themselves, when you believe
he's right

The car radio this morning,
a new leaf having been turned,
experiencing post-acute withdrawal
symptoms in mind and body...

{When you resist the unwanted thoughts (craving not wanting), you are attending to them - feeding them, making them stronger. This makes them come harder, as they do now.}

... Don't you cry cuz she is gone
She is only moving on
Chasing mirrors through the haze...

Start the car, try to exhale the distress,
try the approach of welcoming them in, letting them pass through
even if they smash the furniture. But if you just stand here staring,
remembering, feeling their vibrating wings - they will sting you to death.

Don't stay here. Push forward off this well worn track. This place is no longer habitable.
Driving the same route, familiar sights represent moments in time, cueing the same memories, evoking the same rush of blood from my heart (how can there be any left?) and the same pain.
This has got to change. Take another route home. make another way, build a different home.

I need a graceful, proud way to let go
Says the Spirit Radio five minutes out from work.
You're either talking to me, or there's an awful lot of us
down here who could use your help.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Properly Relieved

A year of waiting and looking inward
writing about a heart and its fixation
waiting without hope or reason
carving a deep canal in my brain's neural pathways
an easy access super highway
built on a roadbed of repetition
a chant, a mantra, until it became
muscle memory, habit, addiction
my brain has been trained - think of it in those terms -
moving on means thinking differently, more
time in the wasteland, or building another highway.

You can begin that work any time,
but you must begin it now.
Today marks a year.
I am standing down.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Last One About That

After she told me, I know I talked but don't know what I said
I couldn't open the door,  then out on the street, I walked to the right
Then changed direction, and then crossed the street blindly.
I saw my car, something familiar, and walked toward it.
Inside, I turned on the radio, gagged, and the song said
Love drives everyone crazy.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

And How Gracefully You Let Go Of Things Not Meant For You

Not delusional at all.
The connection remains
And remains unexplained.
News arrived today of your new life,
And although I might have looked like
I died when I heard it, I didn't.
Didn't I already know?

I lay this heart down tonight for good with only love
and a small but greater understanding, wishing
you and yours love and beauty together.

I hope she looks like you
and that you love her
with all that you are.

She will expand your heart.
And you will be all to her. 

Fifty-One

Another birthday coming
I guess I've learned to celebrate things
Like a full night of sleep, no physical pain, having some hair,
And my body sometimes working something like it did when I had
Fewer birthdays to my credit. I'm employed.
My kids are healthy and in my life.

The past year was for losing things and trying not to drown.
I didn't, but I still spend more time in the cemetery than anywhere else and
Seem tattooed with the idea that you never looked back, that it meant so little to you.
I kept the vigil anyway, not because I am more faithful, but because I had to somehow.
When hope died, I folded her hands upon her breast - her last breath was white and thin.
You can still wait without hope, no ticket for the bus, no service in this town.

Today, my heart is still the dog at the window.
Tomorrow, I will allow it to become something else.

Friday, June 30, 2017

End of June

The hummingbird feeder fell last week
due either to mechanical failure or a raccoon
stretching arms and legs with a taste for sweet.

I've been looking for a similar replacement since
but haven't found one like it yet so
I filled the old one and set it on a stand

It feeds and consumes ants
drawn by the sweet to their
drowning

The hummingbird I thought
might have moved on or starved
during the week I neglected him

But I saw him this morning out there
siphoning below the floating drunkards
and gave him a refill, relieved.

I dreamt this morning of an older love
turned to bitterness, distrust, even hatred
worse in the dream than in reality, but still a symbol

And then you, this morning I thought it seemed
likely that you would walk in and join me here
and we would get past the questions and the tension

And ease right back in to liking each other
but you didn't, and I know you won't, and find
the waking world littered with broken things

A black ant floating in sugar water
with fifty of his dead mates, crumpled in a wet ball
when I dump them out, antennae seeming to twitch.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Sky Over The Black Hills Tries To Get A Message Through

Wasting a day or recovering
The fan and a drowsy feel
There's nothing I want to do
Badly enough now that will mobilize me
The usual neglected chores, delayed projects
I could go out and meet people who want to develop
Relationships which really sounds like a bother of
Effort and Hope, Expectation and Disappointment.

Love I've known - more felt for another than
Shared with another - radiated out
Never knowing for certain if it reached it's intended
Target

A video of a man standing in the foreground of Bear Butte
Indian kids running a 500 mile sacred hoop
"Hoka Hey!", he yells toward a boy who
Talks to himself as he runs - I can do this, I can do this...

I ran not far from there once, took my prayers with me too,
Repeating them until pain and concern for my own survival
Replaced them in the forefront of my mind.

A prayer worn down to its essence - keep going, one more step...
The pain in your body becomes the words of the prayer.
Simple, honest, desperate and direct
All you really have to give.

Friday, June 23, 2017

What?

An invitation to an after work networking
event which I  arrived to very late after being called a hermit because I was still at work.
No one told me it was a Republican fund raiser
which I was able to ignore until the person in front of me
told me she supported the same candidate I did, but when
that person didn't survive the primaries, she voted for the
individual in the other party who, I pointed out,  is  just about the
polar opposite of the candidate she originally supported.

When she started telling me how we need to send more troops to Afghanistan to kill Isis, although she's got no son or daughter or husband or nephew in the fight,  I lost my shit. First time I ever had to excuse myself from a bar. I am no longer interested in participating or "networking'. The bartender said, somewhat alarmed, that this was the most she ever heard me say. I left and went to a karaoke place in which I sang "War Pigs" between Taylor Swift and Journey to no applause and a single fist bump. I felt somehow avenged.  The next man up sang Lou Rawls (you'll never find, another love like mine) very, very well and I shook his hand.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Shortest Night

I never really dream of you directly.
There have been references though
Thinking about you, waiting for you,
In occasional dreams of the anxious variety.

The night before last I dreamed I was with you
But you didn't really feel like the you I knew
More like me doing a mundane version of you
Uneventful, small talk, but you asked me more than once

How someone named Richard was doing
And I didn't like the way that question felt in my guts
Both times you asked. That felt like you, the you I think I knew.
There's a reason I keep you out of there,

Sometimes delusions are beautiful though. Remember?
The hard world, the one we call real, has shown me a place
Without any version of you, a place with less air
For nearly a year now, and I am still alive on its surface.

On the surface, I am still alive but not happy with the conclusions of these
Rationalists here reducing my colors to blacks and whites;
Reducing my religion to biology; Reducing all the contents of my heart
to the mere scratching of an itch.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Prescribing

Wrote my first prescription for a tired girl.
She goes to school and works the overnight shift.
She's never in a bad mood, never shows distress.
In fact, miserable myself at 3 A.M. a couple of weeks ago,
I asked her how she managed to be so perky all the time
at this this ridiculous time of day.
"I don't know", she smiled.

Last night I saw the first visible signs of exhaustion.
"I'm exhausted" she said, so I told her I'd write her
a social worker's prescription and she could give it
to her significant other or her Mom or whomever
she lived with to have it filled.

She held me to it - made me actually write it down
before I left at 2 AM.

"Feed this girl, bathe her, tuck her in and
rub her head until she falls asleep".

She seemed happy with that.
I hope it works.
I could use one of those too.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Harvard Yard

I find myself around the corner from a bar
in which we ate our last meal and drank our
last drink together. It's attached to a hotel
with a kind of, to me, high end ambiance,
the people in there dressed their parts- suits,
techies, academics- overdone social laughter,
awkwardness excused by high net worth.

It's still a place I'd never choose to stay
for very long on my own, but it was a gift,
and with you in those days, anywhere
was good.

But not that night,
despite the fact we were there to celebrate,
everything fell short, nothing felt natural, and the
fucking winner's circle ambiance oppressed me.

There's no nostalgia here for me. No yearn to return.
But I can clearly see, retrospectively,
you behaving dutifully
while wanting to be elsewhere
and the very next day,
you were.

The last memory I have of your face is you rolling your eyes.
Someday, maybe I'll thank you for that.

Restorative

Almost all of this first real day of summer spent
in bed with the fan blowing and the sun shining
and I'm laying here dry and cool and calm and alone
half-making plans for things maybe I should be doing
but, if truth be told, I'm tired of striving. It feels right not to.
Just to rest and go slack and not to make any effort at all.
The mourning doves make a gentle sound, the red cardinal
makes due with what's in the feeder and does not ask me
for anything more.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Something To Get Up For

"Hi ya, Zippy" says the man to the hummingbird
who checks him out quick and zips back into the leaves.
The man gets up to prepare the nectar for the widower,
 or the bachelor- Zippy's marital status isn't clear, but
he's been on his own so far this year.

Two cups of water and a half cup of sugar,
leave it to boil and can't help remembering her
in the kitchen, everything prepared at maximum
temperature, scorched pans, then turning back to the
window to see what appears to be a female on the feeder,
if his eyes are good enough and it's not a trick of the cloudiness.
She's smaller,without the colors on head and neck, and more curious,
regarding the man steadily without apparent fear.

Taking the feeder inside, cleaning it with hot water
to kill the bacteria, not wanting them to starve to death
with swollen tongues - a horror.

Living things need care.
Letting the mixture cool and
hoping what he thought he saw is true.

Whenever the man sees the bird alone, he seems, on the surface, alright.
To the man's eye the bird eats, moves with purpose, at what seems its normal frenetic pace.
The man also can't help but see her absence, his loss, motion only for motion's sake.

The man hopes he has found someone,
and wouldn't it be cool if it was her.

Time to pour the mixture into the feeder- it's cool enough - then
store the rest in the refrigerator.  A small ritual worth getting out of bed for.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Type

Another rainy morning.
Waking with irritation
Not sure why
Don't want this
Thought or mood
To set the
Tone for the
Day so I
Try to let
It pass as
All things must
It's June 5th
And there's nothing
More to say.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Trying to Sleep

A chance to sleep but it evades me
Internal hum of anxiety
Like I'm listening for something
Like something is happening
And I wonder if everyone is ok
And I wonder who everyone is
And I wonder where everyone is too

Monday, May 29, 2017

Fade

Memorial Day - wet, cold - for remembering the war dead.
Our war dead, I guess, those who died in uniform.
Doesn't the "thank you for your service" thing feel a little flat though?
I guess not as flat as silence, but
When the war(s) go on forever, when the thankers are insulated from any impact,
Unless it's you, or your loved one, or the ones the bombs fall on
Or the drones kill while you're at a wedding.
Do they count on Memorial Day?
The regular people caught up in it all who do most of the dying?

I couldn't come up with fifteen sentences this morning.
So I laid around most of the day then got up to get a mail box
To replace the one the plow destroyed over the winter.
The post office took the trouble to let me know they would no longer leave the mail
in my semi-crushed, non-water proof mail box after May 30th.
What else? The hummingbird is still single.
I'm told to drink solar water out of blue bottles to heal myself,
I'm told to read a certain book. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Amusement

The caw of a morning crow wakes me from anxious half-dreams.
Occasional passing car tires sound like gusts of wind in the trees.
I dreamed a friend from Japan who was a sound engineer at a heavy metal show.
We stood up front in the dark waiting for the music, braced, as if for an explosion.
It's cool for the last day of Spring, but everything is as green as it should be.
The lilacs have all but passed, and I feel that loss more than I probably should.
The crow, in patterns of four, calls its tribe.
Grey squirrel arrives to eat 90% of what I meant for birds.
They tell you to write what you know.
My world here is small.
Yesterday, I went to the fair with a boy.
He had a plan to meet his friends last night and ride all the rides.
The Zipper and the Sky Master were the most intimidating.
For some, and I am one of these, thrill rides offer no joy.
I watched his face on the Hang Glider - eyes shut tight, grim set mouth, barely enduring
among all the other smiles and shrieks of delight.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Finding a Name for A Ritual

Solid sleep is maybe better than love or at least it is the idol I worship today.
The morning is cool and quiet, and I can lie here for awhile yet without time pressure.
They left me alone last night, and my sleep was entirely uninterrupted.
Upon waking I had a feeling of wholeness inside my head, like what was shattered had been magically repaired.
I'm a little tea cup, all better now.

Yesterday, I came across a book called  A Lover's Discourse.
"I keep swallowing and regurgitating my wound", that sentence resonates.
Morning is like that - waking, waiting, noticing, remembering, regurgitating the wound.
And then, in order to live, I must swallow again.
Choke and step forward with a little less enamel.

It's a holiday weekend.
In a few minutes I will rise, shower, dress, swallow and walk out into the day.
I will try to savor these last days of Spring.
Spring without hope, unfolding regardless.
I'm hungry for breakfast, and one has to be alive to feel that.







Friday, May 26, 2017

Date Night

Steamed clams and a conversation about suicide that had us both laughing heartily by the end is a good way to make an acquaintance.

Dispense with the small talk and get on to Love and Death, the only gods we need concern ourselves with in the here and now.

We told one guy we were planning a murder, and the guy told us he was a cop.

She likes sky diving, bungee jumping, "The Sling Shot", and extreme roller coasters while my palms sweat profusely driving over a bridge.

She's been intentionally alone for five years recovering from heartbreak, conquering the career world, getting her own mortgage on a big house.

She keeps telling me about her money, expensive car, big house.

I tell her I don't care.

What I want to know is what your soul looks like.

And so she opens a curtain and lets me catch a glimpse.

I see it in there bounding across the room, throwing itself against the walls again and again, hating the confinement, howling in that sound-proofed box.

You're a little like me.

I have a lot of secrets.

Don't ask me to hurt you.

They all say that.

In the parking lot, it's raining, and we're both feeling good from laughing and strange about what could happen next.




Thursday, May 25, 2017

Not Quite First Thing

Called out at 3 A.M. to see two people post-Narcan and one post-prescription-stealing-girlfriend-beating-boyfriend, I wasn't able to write from bed listening to the birds this morning.

It seems to me that the vast majority of the world is medicated and those who aren't are rich from medicating them.

I woke in my car after a nap with a disturbing word pair in mind which apparently describes an increasingly popular sexual pastime.

What would we be like without the influence of poison of any kind?

What does a pure human being look like?

Would it be more animal or angel?

A friend lets me know she and hers are safe from an explosion in a far away land.

I call her a friend, but we've never met, and I don't know her at all.

But I feel better knowing she's out there, on the other side of the world, giving an occasional thought to who she imagines me to be - something pinging on the radar screen, something more than ocean.

I dreamed of a love from long ago while sleeping in the car.

She was waiting for something, like public transportation, and I wanted to go and hug her but couldn't without making someone else mad or jealous or contemptuous of me.

Nothing is simple, not even in dreams.

But I remember she was tall, and holding her felt just right - thigh to thigh, chest to chest.

More than once I've had the feeling that this is perfect, about a moment in time, only to wake from that dream by becoming aware of it.

Here's to sleep and dreams, in cars or beds or wherever we may find them,
may we let them be as they are without the need to catalogue, quantify, or test their reliability.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

First Thing #3

I've got two minutes to write fifteen sentences.
A friend from another country texted me goodnight last night.
I closed my eyes and felt the strange sensation of being on a ferris wheel, only rolling forward.
Sleep started puling me down, then the phone rang summoning me to my night job.
A girl with a ten inch self-made incision spoke to me calmly.
I did the paperwork, drove home, crawled into bed, and slept lightly until they called me again with a question.
It's not easy to sleep when you are stiff with anger.
Someone just recently, on our second meeting,  laughed at me and said I was stiff.
Well what did you expect- a yogini?
I'm late for my primary job now, but trying to get to fifteen.
The raccoons came in the night and bent the shepherds hook again.
It's time for a little spice for those dudes - make 'em think a little bit.
There's a day unfolding in front of me.
I'll try to make it more than a paycheck and the drowsy passing of time.
This, right here, is called kicking through the doldrums.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

First Thing #2

I write about birds, I guess, because of the proximity of the feeder to my bed.
Yesterday there was a grosbeak, last night a raccoon, and this morning a lady cardinal.
The birds remind you of her, that's been established, and to be honest, done to death.
Write about something else, like how your body changes as you age.
What will occupy you when love is no longer a realistic pursuit?
This will, I guess, memories of love and birds.
What kind of a man watches birds?, she joked.
She doesn't ask those questions anymore.

A phone call arrived last night. I could hear her exhaustion. She said she's started eating again, her kids are with her ex, and she has to stay until Thursday to appease the authorities if she is to get them back.  She's like me in the sense that she misses someone who no longer wants her, and that has rendered her low. She said she had a breakdown. What do I call what I've been having? Let's call it a dynamic process - disintegration and a loose re-consolidation into a changed thing.

An intrusive thought about a swollen tongued hummingbird starving to death outside the screen prompted me to clean the feeder with hot water and refill it. McCullers said it, start with a small love, something manageable - a tree, a rock, a cloud.

Monday, May 22, 2017

First Thing Writing #1

A Facebook friend mentioned a writing exercise he has so far failed to adopt - to write fifteen sentences first thing upon waking every morning. That sounded like something worth trying, and so I am here this morning.

The morning is green, chilly and wet. There's a Nuthatch darting back and forth between the feeder and a tree outside the slider. I didn't sleep well because of a dinner comprised primarily of cheese which is unwise when you have become lactose intolerant in middle age. A Northern Cardinal arrives, a blur of red and a single distinct clipped note. Yesterday, there was a Paliated Woodpecker announcing himself and knocking on the trees. I'm remembering the time she summoned one.

"I want to see a Paliated Woodpecker", she said, as simply as that.  In a matter of minutes we heard one laughing like Woody Woodpecker, and it appeared for us on the other side of the screen. We watched, amazed and laughing, because it wasn't the first miracle we had witnessed together involving birds. This confirmed for me my notion that birds are actually Angels, and that something special was happening between us. As I write this now, a song comes up on a playlist I didn't create, the immediately recognizable signature slow-tempo and saxophone. It was sacred music to us then, or so I imagined, played only in candlelight. This is more than I want to remember this morning, but the visitation comes anyway bringing awe and pain. I say good morning to both.

It's good to feel. It's good to still be able to feel something. And to see Angels.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Singing His Hearts Out

Walked the streets last night and ended up
outside the place where I sang for you. I went in.
The place hasn't changed. The owner shook
my hand, and I drank one of his artistic
mojitos. I remembered where you sat
but could not imagine you. I was
looking for something, but I did not find it
there.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Cold May

The male hummingbird seems less skittish than he was last year when I'm standing in the window. I think he arrived alone, or at least I've not seen his lady thus far. They don't feed well together generally.  They spend a lot of energy running each other off the feeder. I don't dress as flashy as he does and I'd let my lady eat first, but we're ultimately in the same place.

Friday, May 12, 2017

6:30

Two nights back to back
of solid sleep and I feel better
but wake lost in familiar
surroundings somehow
undefined and without meaning.

I am here, that's all I know.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Arrival: As Though Things Are Going Your Way

Got home before dark
and stood in front of the
kitchen window chewing
a slice of ham wondering
if the hummingbirds would
decide not to return this year
A ruby-throated male appeared
at the feeder, just then, hovering
three feet from my face like he did
for her three years ago now delighting
her This time there's only me to see but
I am delighted none-the-less and grateful
to see you again, old friend who came so far

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Your Completely Untroubled Face

At the bar watching a brown girl in black
Getting all the male attention
A line from a song repeats
Should I shave, or end it all?

Three beers and he leaves
Then a piss in McDonald's
After that, through the window,
A completely untroubled face

A little girl, four or five,
Black hair and eyes, like yours
Eating french fries blissfully
With her mother and father

Watching, he loves her
Loves you - sees the little girl
You might have been, or
You might have made together

Next to her sat her mother,
Pretty, confident, legs crossed
Enjoying a moment of safety
Contentment, watching easily

Watching, he loves her too and
Loves you - sees the mother
You might have been, or
You might be becoming now.

Near tears in a parking lot
Forgetting where he is
Remembering all of it
But where is it now?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Lilacs

Lilacs and hummingbirds are due.
It's that time, and I've put out the feeder
And seen the flowers in the lower, warmer
Regions but haven't smelled their perfection
on a warm evening, and kind of hope not to,
Because these things are still attached to someone
I haven't seen in ten months. It takes a great deal of 
Energy to assign new meaning to everything and 
Doing so, though necessary to continue, seems
Faithless.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Hummingbirds Soon

Something has shifted
Accept it as a kindness
Let go of what wants to leave
Welcome what comes next

Nothing original about those words
Some Buddhist sounding platitude
But last night it was clear to me
And this morning, it's no less so.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ride

Some kind of path
real or delusional
guinea pig in a hotel
thick smell of ganja
instructions, rhythmic
contractions, a dirt
truck lot and crows
talking in the branches
above the dumpster...

A diner, a straight and tall
hostess checking on the tables,
Polish, all the cakes made by her hand,
the owner, introduces me to them all
individually, not too sweet, she leaves
her number for me, an invitation,
with a tired smile, hopeful...

Next the rock shop across
the parking lot, healing rose
quartz, others looking for it too,
electrified hand shakes,
unabashed,  she calls herself a
visionary, says so on her card,
you walk out with a pyramid,
a smile, and a belief that something
just happened.

It's Spring,
something's shifting,
letting the car take you
where it will. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

All of us looking at the moon alone

Radio story of Walt Whitman
casting his gossasmer strands
seeking his soul's companion
never finding, always longing,
making his music from that.

You're driving through moon
and starlight, bright white streaks of cloud,
remember walking with her at 3 am
under cold stars and silent moon,
her mittened hand in yours.

You watched her, bundled and seeing,
wondering if your hands touching,
under that magic sky, did to her
what it did to you, wondering if she
could hear the music too.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Progress I Guess

When I look back
from here
I can no longer see you
without straining, 
it's as though I've traveled 
around a bend in the road
and there is now
a stand of trees
between us.

You are no longer always
there.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Signal

A red balloon held
in the low branches of a pine tree,
it wasn't trying to fly, in fact
it seemed more concerned with
making sure I saw it there.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Robin's Story

Yesterday was the final day of winter
though he didn't know it driving to work
on a Sunday with no traffic on the
highway.

He noticed Robins in small groups of
three or four darting about with a sort
of teenage exuberance, in fact he hit one
of the revelers with his car.

There wasn't time to react, though he saw
it flying in low from his right oblivious
to the car bearing down at 70 miles per hour,
yelling joyful nonsense to its friends.

He yelled too, hearing the light thump of bird-body
against the plastic of his bumper though in the rearview
he didn't see the bird fall or fly and imagined it
stuck in his grill looking beautiful and untouched like
that Empire State Building jumper on the cover of
a 1940's Life Magazine.

Like it or not, he murdered the Harbinger of Spring
while scrambling to get to work, grubbing for money,
maniacally running down the only thing that might
have saved him from eternal winter - you know?

The author started spinning that kind of narrative -
giving the event Apocalyptic significance because
the author tends to write and rewrite that kind of story-
but as it happens he was also listening to Steinbeck.

The audio book story line advanced as he drove,
and the forward motion had the effect of digestion
upon the Robin Incident so that within ten minutes
it was a part of the remote past, nearly forgotten.

He thought there is genius in that approach -
moving forward without assigning significance,
and he thought of her moving forward from him
in a similar fashion, and then he started thinking of
himself as the bird with X's for eyes, spinning
along the surface of the highway, thinking of love.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Bird In The Wind

All I've managed to do today,
the day of the blizzard
when I stayed home from work
and slept until 11:30 in the morning,
is put sunflower seeds in the feeders
because I saw a single female cardinal
sheltering on one of them, her back to
the feeder, making herself small for the wind
to have less to ravage. Seeds are calorie dense
and calories are heat, so now others have come.
I see three cardinal pairs, chickadees, others
I cannot name, hear a bluejay's distinctive call
and the wind blowing on and on pushing
a continuous rolling wave of snow.

I'm trying to think forward since
accomplishing anything today seems out of the question,
the wind is making the prospect of shoveling painful and futile,
and on days like this I usually think backward

And by that I mean I am trying not to rummage through
memories because standing by the side of that grave
long enough looking down, well, it becomes me I see in
that hole in the ground.

What I did wrong was to twist Love
into the shape of her name - a mistake
because, although loved
She is not Love

But you believe it easily by repeating the association of Love
with her name, her eyes, her kiss, her sleeping body, her thick black hair
and with her memories, given to you in such a way
that they now feel like your own.

You can very easily confuse this feeling,
these memories, this world
with that woman, the real one,
who no longer has time for you.

My thoughts walk me again
around the edges of the cemetery
while something else quietly begins
watching for a gate

The time will come when my duties to this
observance are met, when I have unravelled
and untwisted her name from Love.
That day will come.

On that day, I will lay this heart,
swollen with the entirety of that world,
at the Angel's feet and walk away,
Yellow Girl.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Bared

Warmer temperatures and thin
cloud cover make a luminescent
ring around the moon,
the shiniest object,
and tonight's lovely feature.

You remembered her
undressed and how it stole your
breath and stopped the clock,
nude,
a perfect moment of art.

You remembered all
you did to enshrine that moment and how
the agony of its passing stripped you
naked,
which is an altogether different thing.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Garage

Spring giving way to Winter today
Letting the batterer back in the house

Didn't you feel the sap in you stir though?
Didn't you forget yourself for a moment?

Smiling into your mouth
A wet ticket, walking away on lighter steps

Is this how you get on?



Saturday, February 25, 2017

You Should Make An Effort.

Three days in a row at, or close to, 70 degrees Fahrenheit in Massachusetts. It's February, and we're loving it - polar bears and sea ice be damned. A Brazilian bartender made me two strong caipirinhas this afternoon, and I felt fine for a while, driving around the city with my elbow out the window. There was no one beside me to laugh with, but you have to get over seeing that as some kind of negative state. Like compare it to now, for example. I'm typing this tensely in a room full of people. There's a man playing guitar - open mike night. People around me are eating, talking about their food, about being dropped from someones snap chat. I'm thinking I should be serving a higher truth, what am i doing here? The singer is now singing Gordon Lightfoot's "In the Early Morning Rain" .  I feel a little better. When he finishes, I'll clap, the two chatty, 18 year old girls beside me will look at me blankly, and the besotted fruit fly will continue circling my glass. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Fate, You Said

Call him the dupe of Chinese fate.

Destiny calls one "Lover"
he's bleeding his offering,
feeling his was deeper
into his Beloved

Destiny names one "Beloved"
she's holding her Lover vaguely
looking over his shoulder
wanting something else

Saturday, February 18, 2017

A Certain Way

The sun arrives today hinting at Spring,
even though the promise is mostly false,
you like how it sounds coming out of her
mouth, the birds do too.

Last night I laughed with strangers,
hard and well, and it made me realize
how long it's been since I used those
muscles, making a friend.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Just Tuesday

Work kept me focused and busy most of last night and all day
today seeing plenty of things worth writing about like the
cleaning ladies liking my salt and pepper saying I should
have kept my little mustache and beard, one is newly married
and su esposo brought a big bouquet and chocolates to work
but for me it's just Tuesday - and that's it - almost confining me
from the memory of how tender I was and how long you will be

Friday, February 10, 2017

A Mind Of Its Own

A voice mail saved for seven or eight
months now, I listened to it today.
The sound of your voice hurt a little, but
at the same time it ignited the process 
which used to result in my heart kind of soaring, 
but I intervened before it was touched off, 
not wanting to fly just to fall, as I do,
and then I accidentally deleted it.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Snow-psych (gone now)


Pine

Staying home through the snowstorm
after very nearly sliding off the road
in the early morning, glad they didn't
shut the wireless down like I told them
to, now I have means to pass the
time beyond staring out at the snow
remembering past snow storms holed
up and snug with someone I wanted to
be with. I'm alright like this, here
with only my self and the blowing snow,
my memories becoming more about
looking out windows and pining than
about who I was actually pining for. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

For Now

Twelve hours of sleep
and I wake up erased.
This is the way to let
time pass - without
remembrance or
desire. Wake up,
step out, move
forward.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Gods Look Down In Anger On This Poor Child


When you coming back?

The room smells bad - squalid
evidence of babies, drugs, condoms
talks about how cutting himself
evolved into an addiction to
being tattooed

Progress...
medical marijuana, willing to share
sister wants to go to the mall
enters in her underwear - all curves
unconcerned with my presence

The rest of the apartment
would make you gag
trash and shit and a toddler
living here with no apparent
source of nourishment

Beautiful black hair and dark eyes
the black rings below indicating trauma
probably and sleeplessness making
you wonder how anyone ever
gets to feel safe anywhere

Turning to wishes, you declare
everyone deserves someone
who strokes their hair until
they fall asleep but that
means less than shit now

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Would You Be Interested In A Fake Marriage?

A voice on the phone told me she could see me
lost in fog, stuck in a vicious cycle, losing years of life.
Money is only energy - it comes and it goes - a flow.
You are only a fish, you are not the ocean, but you are
also the ocean. Your heart is connected to the ocean,
the universe, God, and not to trust your heart means
not to trust God, means that you think that you know
better than God does by trying to control things.
And you try to control because you don't trust (fuckin' aye),
and because you don't trust, you operate from a place of fear
which blocks you from being able to really give and receive love...

She had a lot to say while carrying heavy worries
of her own, and you listened, enjoying her accent,
remembering a summer night in a clearing
under the stars, under the medicine,
when you thought she was an angel, an innocent,
and a porcupine waddled across the clearing and
touched her with his nose.

She advised you to use the gift of your heart:

There are many cowards
many assholes
many cruel people
who do no have what you have.

She advised you to look in the mirror and to have a straight talk with yourself:

You tried it this morning
saying your given name
but the face squinting back didn't
realize you were talking to him.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Checking In


sometimes it seems nice to go out among people
not just travel between jobs sleeping when possible
sometimes it seems nice to see life in the eyes of others
buy a beer, find a seat, start to listen but before long
all I want is to finish the beer and make the faces memories

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Unpunctuated

Regressive state of mind
wonder where she is and
who she's with and about
what happens after that

Each question a station
for a runaway train
to rumble through blaring

It's just a flare up
not a steady state

Just say the word to end the pain
You know it well and yet refrain

Friday, January 20, 2017

I Had A Dream Too

Tonight she thought of me
maybe as she might
a neglected patient,
out of a sense of
propriety or
boredom

She almost came to visit
providing cause to clean the toilet, 
make the bed, straighten the room,
vacuum the carpet, burn incense, 
look for candles, and plug in
the long-fasted string of
twenty-five Christmas lights

But I knew not to wait too eagerly, 
and just as I started to conceive
the line about the neglected patient, 
she texted a change in plans

I’m sorry, she said
Of course, I replied

And the sacred lights, 
not yet ridiculous, 
returned to their fasting. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Methadone Crow

Tried to take a nap, the quiet end of the overnight shift,
On the cement floor, single blanket and pillow brought from home,
Space heater not stepping up to the plate, but I must have fallen asleep 
Anyway because I woke with bed head and that disoriented feeling
Inside my head that makes me think of crushed glass.

Outside it was still dark and the parking lot was full of cars
Coming in and going out, brake lights and head lights, people bustling about
The frenetic, industrious feel of a morning commuter coffee shop, 
It didn't make any sense at first, but then it clicked, it's the clinic..

People stopping in for their morning dose before their day begins
Methadone (Dunkin Donuts) or Suboxone (Starbucks)
Some of the people were dressed up, girls in cute winter attire,
Everyone was moving with purpose.

My muddled head ached and I noticed
A black crow standing in the new snow
Taking it all in and then looking at me 
Like it wanted to say something.