December 6, 2013
Where men are finished with their speeches and can finally hear God
I hold my arms above my head and gravity pulls them down against my muscles
And I can hear the earth spinning—all the groaning of millenniums—
Trucks braking on abandoned highways, wheat stalks bending in forgotten fields,
And all of it spinning—held close—and forever fragilely intact,
With the precarious balance of a top—that in a moment it should fall.
December 4, 2013
We sat in the basement, my cousin and I,
The prescient phrase, “one more year” exultant on our lips.
We savored the imminence.
One more year until he would have his driver’s license.
What a long time coming that had been, and how far off it had once appeared in the future.
And how far off it is now in the rearview.
Adults drove cars. And we were almost adults.
But all I see any more are children.
In the checkout line there is a tear-off calendar next to the register.
It says, “Born after this date? No Tobacco.”
But I cannot stop looking at the date. 1996?
That’s five years younger than my baby brother.
Those are children.
Can these children really buy cigarettes?
They used to be preschoolers; drooly-mouthed and training wheels.
They’re just kids.
It’s children who are drunk driving.
Did they believe that this moment would come so quickly?
Did they think it would never come?
Will they, like me, find themselves wondering what has happened to all the children?
Do they know they are not children anymore?
December 1, 2013
we align our shoulders to roll balls
of wax across a slippery ice surface
and handle toilet paper in to wads
to stop the momentum.
December 1, 2013
I wake up, and pull back the covers in my box
to the sound an alarm ringing on my box.
I walk from my box into the box.
I step into the box; soap and rinse.
I open my coldbox to find something for breakfast.
I take my kids to the schoolbox.
I climb into my box and drive to work.
I stare at my box; type on my box; answer my box; write notes on a piece of box;
eat leftovers for lunch in boxes; and at the end of the week
I’ll get a box to take to the bank that’s worth lots more boxes.
This way, I can go home to my family in our big box,
where I can sit on my box and watch my 60-inch box.
Or read a chapter in my favorite box.
Maybe if I save enough boxes I can buy an even bigger box.
Or a new box.
And when I die they’ll put in me in a box.
November 18, 2013
this is for the ones
i left unfinished:
fuck you anyway
i hope you are waiting
and shivering at an
abandoned bus stop
mouth full of cotton
i hope you grow real
just as the sun sets
i hope you walk to
and put one in my dome
while i’m sleeping
and then it will be
November 15, 2013
And in the perfect chill evenings
of this little city I am happy
And maybe the happiest man on
this little green Earth and
I don’t know much about anything
really but I know how it feels
when I breathe in this perfect
chill evening and this little city
keeps on singing it’s catchy
November 12, 2013
I sit in warm light
and a draft like ice
cuts through me
The man on the stereo
he never stops playing
even when the temperature
Oh to be trapped in
an entertainment center,
and worry not about
the world at all
say what you will about ball sports
the truth is there are guys out there
with the talents to make incredible
things happen in split second decisions
without a second thought and then
they’ve the muscle power and memory
to execute in a way that i can only
ever hope to mimic in my pipe-packing.
speaking of which, football is on
and i have a particular latakia blend
waiting for me
November 10, 2013
i feel i’ve planted something
here, by this place for words
but forgotten to water it or
something equally as life
threatening. i return with some
regularity to check on things but
find the withering distressing
and move on, blaming my lack
of a green thumb for the death
here. the decay. but I know a
bit of elbow grease and forgetting
for a moment myself for the sake
of these organisms would do some
good. i’m just unsure of how to
proceed from here. i know its
hard to begin to kneel and get to
the work when your back is
out of shape from lack of kneeling.
and these fingers. they need newly
November 5, 2013
The Raven in my pants.
The Black Cat in my pants.
The Cask of Amontillado in my pants.
A Descent into the Maelstrom in my pants.
The Gold-Bug in my pants.
Hop-Frog in my pants.
The Imp of the Perverse in my pants.
The Purloined Letter in my pants.
Eldorado in my pants.
The Masque of the Red Death in my pants.
The Oval Portrait in my pants.
The Pit and the Pendulum in my pants.
The Premature Burial in my pants.
The Haunted Palace in my pants.
Annabel Lee (Er—I mean my wife!) in my pants.
The Tell-Tale Heart in my pants.
The Bells in my pants.
The Conqueror Worm in my pants.
A Dream Within a Dream in my pants.
i can’t believe these new surroundings
are smelly like this
and the grass grows so thick
i can rub my toes through it
(you know, it it weren’t covered in dog poo)
the driver says this is what it’s like
and i should get used to the rain
and the grey.
the neighbors tell me it doesn’t bother
the police work with the shades closed
and terrible dark blinky blue lights
reflecting off pale white walls and
a grey ceiling somehow pretending they’re
not in deep depression, or perhaps
but foolishness and foolheartedness,
and fattiness will be life.
October 30, 2013
many good men set out
on that raft
with good ideas, in their hearts
and yet the waves cared not
for the goodness
only humans consider
and the waves were ceaseless
and goodness was no
October 28, 2013
Roads run red in New York City
or so I hear from time to time
on various news-stations speaking
over stereos and PAs in public
houses and restaurants
But here I sit at 25 years
and I’ve played a few parties for
guests who I knew would never
arrive but those times were the
hardest that I’d ever played
And blood in streets doesn’t
scare me, much, but bodies in
boxes bother me more than I’d
really care to admit right now
And I want to sing a lot of songs
but none of them really say
all the right words in just the
So this sappy poem will have to do
October 28, 2013
scars. While we
were yet sinners.
exhale. Release. Fall apart. One. Scars.
In the hands. In the feet. The scar from
the rib that
The scar from
the spear that
scars in his
The scars on
our wrists and
by his wounds
we are healed.
October 27, 2013
the one who knows
does not worry about the future
or about the myriad of reasons
condemning him to drudgery
he maybe of mud, but he knows
as long he breathes, he breathes
and when, he loves- he loves
not just when it’s convenient or
he does not acclimate
to seasonal pettiness or
begrudge in silence
he speaks his mind
he shows you the end of the road
says “what have you done?”
when you’re trying to hide from your
mistakes or from
all the time wasted
he changes your mind, but will not
cash up on the lies you’ve given him
he may be too late to catch on
on what’s floating in your mind
but he is not indifferent
he sees the good in you
he wishes to read happy endings in
the palms of your hands
but the one who knows
knows he knows nothing at all
he simply puts forward a sincere heart
October 21, 2013
A child of God.
Yes, I know.
But when you gaze long into an abyss
the abyss also gazes into you.
But when did the abyss get there?
Did it begin there, grow there?
Who put it there?
And how long has the abyss been waiting?
Since first son killed the second?
Wanting to know what lies beneath.
Wanting to know what crouches at the door.
We who fight with monsters.
Maybe we built it.
The abyss in us salivates at the wreckage:
Gasping over twisted metal.
Moaning with the whining rims.
Thrusting in severed limbs.
Making love to splintered glass.
The abyss in us stares into an innocent chasm.
A one world craving.
It feels so good to fall in.
The abyss is in us.
Look what we have become.
A monster with the eyes of a child.
A child with the eyes of a monster.
Can you tell them apart?
They are a part of all of us.
We are all monsters.
October 21, 2013
uprooted for weeks
in the in-between
waiting in nothing
living with nothing
hoping for little
until the dust settles
and is swept away
then replaced with
new carpet and the
sunshine is removed
for rain and gray
because life sometimes
throws you a fastball
you mistake as a
curveball but discover
altogether too late
to do anything about it.
at that point you’re
waiting on nothing
living with little
and hoping for nothing.
October 16, 2013
if i could live
i would meet you
in the open field
with your boys
at 2 or 3 am
and knowing then
what i know now
i would close my
and walk miles
in the cold country
fight you with
everything i had
even if your boys
came in, as i
and stomped me
i would lie my
on the thick,
dew covered grass
of my hometown
and laugh a crazy laugh
and spit the blood
out and laugh
and if you didn’t
i would be better
maybe better, some
than i am today
maybe i wouldn’t shake
or worry so much
maybe i’d be a better
October 11, 2013
All of us are interconnected.
There are no boundary lines
separating Pacific from Arctic
the tremor of their waves, the Atlantic, the Indian.
Do not think that the Aegean or Erie are distinct
when precipitation from their currents rises in mother clouds to rotate
over continents we pretend are separated by something more than wars and canals and money
but that isn’t enough to make-believe that we are so very different
separated by space and creed and nomenclature
no, that isn’t hardly believable at all.
None of us remains untouched by the hurricane winds that caressed us as autumn breezes
shouldering in a chassis of slate nimbus
to saturate the gardens that we eat from.
All of us have tasted the savor on our tongue, the salt in our perspiration, migrating to the ocean
where some have said we started.
But do not be so narrow-minded; we are the ocean.
When I look at you, I am looking at my brother
Dear sister, don’t think that we are strangers.
And who is my brother?
We will see the constellations
our bodies return to the same soil
I drink the same water that you drink
drawn from springs stretching back to the world’s only ocean.
October 10, 2013
a lengthy buzz ricotches
between my eyes-
I hurtle from the bed
before the second splits,
lights on, shoe
in hand, manic
with mosquito possibility.
is shrunk into a crack,
pillows launched into closet,
hands lusting to smash frantic,
too late. The itch,
the unbearable itch
pistoned into dwarf bumps
begins. Left arm, three bites.
Right arm, five. Forefinger
marred, my back
one big bug bite, pulsating
scratch down my veins.
I blanche and blotch pink,
speckled skin crawling
so fast it vibrates.
I can feel them on me,
one million tiny feet
a well is spring
I lose myself, straws
sticking out into lips
red like I’ve never
The windows are sealed.
I check under the bed.
fills my mouth,
I cough out MOSQUITO,
legs caught in my teeth
whole body surging
bug wave washes over me, clinging
to every vein. Three
fly up my ear
and my brain goes MOSQUITO
bones buzzing I claw wings
from my back, fly
through the crack in the door.
What is that light and why
is it so beautiful?
Where did all these legs
But the thirst,
the incredible thirst.
and I drink,
and I give nothing back.