I stand at the top of a mountain

A six month ascent has brought me here

I am cold and winded. I am alone

A six month trudge through Hell and up hard passes has brought me here

I feel as I have died a hundred times, only to be born again

Each new life shorter and crueler than the last, yet long enough to climb another hundred yards

(climb I did, though it killed me)

now I look over the great wide range

And in a moment of quiet respite, I stand at the top of a mountain

Only as I plan to climb another one

‘Please Talk To Me’

December 25, 2015

I would say at points
‘I want to make things right’,
I would always insist

Then I would proceed to
steam-roll and ignore;
beg you speak your mind
and then simply disregard

all the while getting annoyed
as you deigned to speak out less
and less

Now we hardly speak at all

and it’s all I can do to stop myself
from sitting and writing: Please

talk to me

please talk to me

please talk to me

please talk to me

please talk to me

please talk to me

please talk to me

please talk to me


Keeping Score

December 24, 2015

I could make a list
of everything you didn’t do
and I could set it next to
my own and I could assemble
a committee of fair and reasonable
unaffiliated parties who
with some deliberation
could assign point values
to each individual lack-of-movement
and when they tallied the score
I guarantee that those numbers
would be so damn close
it would come out in a wash
and Goodness knows we need
a good scrubing-down

The Ceiling Fan Is On

December 22, 2015

As much as I love each waking day
there’s a laying night to match
often empty and these days
clouded with not a star to see

would that I could trade in
all these laying nights for
all the waking nights that
had come before instead

I think we’d both be happier
or I think we’d both be
a little less sad,
at least

But your smile and laugh
were as sweet as my memory
had ever over-exaggerated

You were the bullet-point
at the beginning of the word

You shined bright enough
for me to shade my eyes
but not so bright to blind me

And You were ready to say
what you had to say
when I did just the same

And I’m not sure
that I’ll ever be ready for you

I can’t stop thinking about your eyes

I only want to stare at them forever

or at least until I am trapped inside of them

then I will rest easily and eternally

I will know what the word ‘peace’ really means

but I am toiling now for certain

I am only pausing some of the time

and in each of these fleeting stolen moments

I can’t stop thinking about your eyes

Lay Here, Thinking About Love

November 20, 2015

To stand on the cusp of a waking dream
is a dream all itself
and yet I stand coughing up
a bittersweet backwash
as I lay here, thinking about love
and I am tempered fully
because the adage is true;
you can’t have everything
and Pat Carroll was right, too
about everything, just like I feared
he may be


November 10, 2015

There is a monster inside of you
and inside of me, too
and it is the same monster
because this monster is omnipresent
like a God, or like an Elder God
with wrapping tentacles
with venomous teeth
and it does not feed so much as consume
and it poisons us with dark dreams
with horrible sadnesses and imagined perils
it’s toxin will teach us to fear everything we’ve ever loved
there is no medicine to bring us back to health
and even reason and good faith can do little to assuage its infection

This monster will go eventually
but only after feasting to it’s content
after we are left white and meek and beaten
We will lay in our own sick
and wretch over our hopes and dreams
but if we remain resolute
and only let our disease get the best of us sometimes
we will be able to stand eventually
and the tightness will leave our chest
the aches will leave our beleaguered muscles
and we will walk again nearly as assured as before

Then we will be as we have always been
but for the monster that we know to be lurking
everywhere and anywhere at once

Tuesday Dawn

November 3, 2015

I jumped at a shadow
And woke myself

My muscles tense as mid-crunch,
Sweat soaking brow as well

Soon I calmed and settled
In the dark of my bedroom

When the lights are out
There are no shadows, I noted

Or everything is shadows.
Perhaps it is the same.

The Sun is warm
as it reveals the world
to those who would discover it

It casts shadows, too;
it creates mirages
when it burns too bright

It blisters skin,
it boils out moistures,
it saps all fight from a man

And I am thankful for its light
And I am fearful of its shadows
And I wonder, is this what dying feels like?

Would that I could find an answer
But only the dead have it
And the dead I know don’t say a word

Friday Morning

October 30, 2015

Now I travel South
Towards a break in the clouds,
Sun, with any luck

And I need you to remember
that even after the coldest,
darkest, rainiest days,
sometimes the clouds break
just enough for the stars
to shine through,
and sometimes the night
warms up enough for you
to take your coat off,
after all

So I
Guess I’ll
Float through

Every now and then it hits me
like a kick in the teeth

The stinging will pass, sure enough
but the ache and soreness eeks on
for hours afterward

then I’ll go a week, let’s say,
and everything will be just as good
as it could be, considering

but then the truth, like a startled mule
will stop suddenly in front of me
and out it’s hind leg will spring

Luckily my lip never seems to split
nor does anything seem to pop loose

But my jaw has been consistently stiffer,
these days,
and my gums are stinging real bad now,
that’s for sure

Diatonic Fourths

October 11, 2015

My fingers struggle to process input
from eyes that struggle to remember
how to interpret dots and marks
in such a way as to associate them
with a letter, and in some cases
a modifier that when read together
make up the pieces of what would
in the modern parlance be called
a ‘universal language’

it sounds awful as I stumble over
notes that don’t go together the way
that I think they should, but really
these intervals are new to me, or
at least they are as an exercise
in movement, but I have been assured
that even as the tones clash and
cluster, and even though my muscles
feel as dumb as they have ever felt,
I will be better off when these
sounds are under my fingers

I am not sure that I believe them
but I will stay in this woodshed
just the same


October 7, 2015

Missing you
was infinitely easier
when it was only

so I perch on hands and knees
blowing dust from stone slabs
painstakingly interpreting
the newly uncovered hieroglyphs
hoping they are not just
striated sidewalk cracks

Most Nights Now

October 3, 2015

‘let’s not do anything too drastic’
I say to myself most nights now
and instead of venturing forth
into the darkness with a gun
on my hip and cheap whiskey
in my gullet I swaddle myself
in the folds of a blanket that
radiates with memories so warm
they quickly overwhelm me
and as I lay with half-closed eyes
staring at the wall while
a sad old record hums through
the speakers of my stereo
I wonder if perhaps a spot of
hot hooch and some adventure
isn’t actually drastic enough


September 30, 2015

Every forty minutes or so
It happens

Liquid starts to swell
Behind the corners of my eyelids
And begins to push outward
Threatening to escape
In front of everyone

I have never been such an avid blinker

But the blinking only partially belays
The sad parts leaking out. Hell,
it doesn’t even really stop the water

And even though this only happens
Every forty minutes,
The water is always bubbling up

John Coltrane

September 26, 2015

One day
I hope to be
half as tempered,
half as true

Until then
I will try to try
and dream
of distant planets


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