the law

a fearful hush is felt
as a blanketed pressure
of extra gravity falls
upon the suburbs
as everyone tries to hold
the same looks on their faces
whenever the law sulks
around

but count yourself lucky
if you have forgotten about this creature
the law

who started innocently
as homework, chores
but has grown with you

now with eyes that pierce the night
like spotlights in the sky
like magic
walls can materialize around you
cold and thick
thrashing you around
the law will grab you by the neck
sudden and deadly

the law exists to traumatize
those who do not fit the mold
whose faces cannot hold long enough
when the spotlight is upon them

light is warm

i must confess i still see you often
well, parts of you
that is
in other women
whom i dare not talk to
selfish
embarrassed
i feel
that i wish those parts were whole
and backwards in time
always backwards in time
like out of a cannon we would go
on fire, too

i think
if you could see me now
able to lift both feet to walk now
and quickly,
even
you would smile that
hungry smile
for a cut of meat deeply within
and i’d have no choice but to smile back
i never had that choice

On Hiding

There was a time when the world was new to me
When I was a blank page
fresh and full of possibilities
Stories and dreams brimming unhindered
An ink away from greatness
Before thoughts of fear and uncertainty
Crystallized and masqueraded as experience
A Preemptive tactic against failure
A delusion

So out of unease and unreadiness
I hid

I hid from the world, from family and friends
Most tragically, I hid from myself
I made myself smaller so others wouldn’t feel threatened
I retreated inwards
A crushed paper in a bin
I refused to shine
Perhaps for fear of being seen
Or perhaps,
For fear of being pinned down and quantified
For fear of finding out I didn’t add up to anything much
Or for fear of dissolving
akin to a drop of sugar in a cup of water
For fear of hearing others call me sweet or other gentle things
And having those things become the standard to live by

But by hiding,
By selling myself short,
I unknowingly
enhanced and inhabited my smallness
I denied myself the chance to soar
I dulled out my light and forgot how to be great
How to answer
the call of every human being to figure out and fulfill their life purpose
The need to be great, not greater than
The need to be all that you can be
To at least try
meet the world unabashedly
with all your talent, passion, and resolve
To wrestle with your limitations and
stay true

***

R.i.p A life truly un-lived
Coming Soon: A gung-ho resurrection

tin man’s dance

when a man’s an empty kettle
he should be on his mettle
and yet
i’m torn apart

just because
i’m presumin’
that i could be kind of human

if i only had a heart

i’d be tender
i’d be gentle
and awful sentimental
regarding love and art

i’d be friends with
the sparrows
and the boy who shoots
the arrows

if i only had a heart

picture me
a balcony
above a voice sings low

“wherefor art thou
romeo?”

i hear a beat
how sweet

just to register emotion
jealousy
devotion
and really feel the part

i could stay young
and chipper
and i’d lock it
with a zipper

if i only had a heart

(Originally written by Edgar Harbug)

Birth

Petulant child Pumped into a vortex of pains and joys
Floating like a cloud,
dissipating on the sheets of eternity.

‘Universe, do you love me? Wind and stars, come out and love me. If I could I’d Capture Time before it lays new eggs. And I’d Gaze at Love without fear… or watery tingling eyes. Only dreams bubbling within…’
And to my surprise,
A gentle whisper…
and Grace, soft
pure and soothing akin to a mother’s embrace but warmer
A pure Love like no other
And Then the illusions of my life ceded their control
deflating like air balloons
Without pills or self-deceit
I am out
I am free
from the belly of the one eyed monster that clawed at my spirit and gobbled me down
Gone are the days when i died and died with no one around
Drifting back and forth in a bottomless pit
Not knowing how to break free
Day after day despair came a crushing, and
God, I was raised to believe,
was everywhere and somewhere above, close yet far from the sinner…

I Regret that belief that made me lonelier

Lately,
I have been growing
into good days…
Of fondness, connectedness and compassion
and it’s gotten easier to breathe
Than to fray and burn
And Now when I think about All the time I spent thinking myself unneeded and useless,
that Time was the biggest Lie

I was never alone
I was never broken
I was never rootless
I was never powerless
I was never unworthy
I was never unloved
Wherever I was, God was
I now can see myself
without judgment
Or fear.
I am, unmistakably I am
In this all too human experience
Let me stay true
to the beauty within
to the thread of light connecting
me to all that is

if i

if i better understood what was happening
perhaps i could control it better,
keep from being swept away

look forward to the right things
have hope where i should

if i cared less i could do more
if i was humble more i would move straighter in exactly the direction I thought we should all go and then everything could just line up and work and be easier than it is and there would be profound rest instead of mild dread.

it would be nice
if i could just… somehow…

Water Poem

Pools are fine to tarry in
until the weather cools
and you are forced to drain it
half-of-the-way down
and add a mix of special chemicals
and wrap the top with a thick
taught tarp until springtime

The river becomes quite attractive
should you have a proper vessel
and though the ice won’t form
so heavily to stop your cut
the cold will be close to unbearable
at times, and there is always
the fear of rough rocks and
hard current and capsize

I think I’d like to brush up
on my sea-faring bends and shanks

The pool was perfect, after all,
for learning how to swim

Almost North of Town

It is early in the season

The leaves have slowly begun
to turn and fall and scatter

You cut a fine form in this
chill, half-covered moonlight

You don’t want to hurt anyone
(you don’t make any promises)

I mention I have toughness in spades
(you assure me I do not)

When we turn back down the trail
I am not cold or uncomfortable

(but I shake sleep from one leg)

When we return from the trail
I think we are both smiling

It is early in the season,

after all

you are a great adventurer

although my soul is an overgrown
jungle
where both the smallest and
largest things exist to eat you
wholly
you perservere there, in the middle
carving out a home and making
friends with the monsters hidden
by shadow
you are a great adventurer
and what’s more, you are still beautiful
even as the vines encroach upon you
while you sleep
to hug you in a deathly way
your smile is the only light around
as you carefully trim your way through
looking for me

i don’t know where i am and why
you would look for me
and it is my confusion that grows the
jungle, anyhow
yet you search for me
with a warm embrace
you, a great adventurer
whose heart is warm like a million suns
whose beauty shines beneath layers of
jungle-trash
and i love you very much
for searching
for finding me
and so much more

loci

up ten stairs
through the bare wooden
door with no handle
and around the 180 degree
turn passed the small room
on the left and the attic
door on the right there
is a white door with an axe
mark just up and left from the
fading gold doorknob

on the left there is a big,
wide bed and on the right
a CRT tv sitting on a
flimsy wooden stand with a wooden
facade and broken plastic wheels
next to maybe sometimes an equally
flimsy corner-desk with similarly
broken wheels and ugly wooden facade

i can stand here whenever i please

in the middle of the room
with two windows facing
west raymond st
and maybe a 6 foot ceiling (if that)
a converted attic room with strange
stucko patterns scraped carelessly
on a ceiling that feels eternal

there is a large, wide, white bookshelf
in the middle
of the two windows where so far
all i have are two pictures inside
one manilla envelope
one of myself, wearing the vicksburg
bulldogs junior varsity soccer outfit
at 16 years old, young dumb and athletic
and the other of my two parents before
they hated one another
holding me in front of a tractor somewhere
my mother was pretty with big hair
my father had bleach white sneakers

the newest addition to the room sits
in the right windowsill
he looks black but in the sunlight you
can see that his dark fur is brown
he has big, loving green eyes
and although i used to come here to sit
and contemplate things and store away
memories in devoted silence

i now just sit with tiny

his purring so loud that it clicks
as he rubs his head against my arm
and licks me a few times
as he is happy to see me
frozen in time

Thoughtfulness

I’ve thought about you on and off since February
sometimes in broad daylight on short walks
other times in the calm dark shadow of a ceiling fan

Once I hoped we would be good friends forever
regardless of how the hammer fell and the shoes dropped
I hoped we’d be on speaking terms, at least
Perhaps that I’d keep your photo in my phone’s directory.

I don’t hope for anything to do with you these days;
not to speak to you, not to catch your smile,
not to get your regards from a friend of a friend

I think my only hope, these days
is that you don’t think of me
at all

hip hop will make you (jump jump)

wood legs and broken glasses
you wade down this river on tubes
gliding on your asses

the water freezes your arms
and your legs
you never know if you’re just
someone’s misplaced pegs

pegs out of place at this job
pegs out of place in a mob
breakfast, dinner, more broken glasses,
on your couch like a worthless blob

but you live life you get up every day
you work hard, or (so you think) till you hit the hay
and your girl she smiles at you faintly
and your dog still listens to you gaily

now it’s the weekend, screw on your leg
and get down to the river you worthless peg
these tubes aren’t going to wade by themselves
this river is effing cold even forĀ elves

that shit

done gone and hit the fan
like a flood in Louisiana it was no small deal
and now (due to the fact that the fan was on high)
shit done gone and been flung all over all your other shit

time to clean that shit up and get on with your shitty life

exit

today I heard a bright man give terrible testimony
if what he values is truly what matters I’m damned
if what he advises is true I’m saved
if how he lives is right, l’ll never find rest.

never.

Five more than a circle

It was August of ’15
and all the colors and sounds
were perfectly in season
with the heat just so,
though the humidity was
lower than it often was

I remember riding an empty bed
clutching a pillow imagining
all of the ways a man could
betray his brother

A shoe dropped 210 days later
and in a moment I thought I knew
at least a few of those ways
as plain as if they’d
come to lay on me

But now, in august of ’16
I am left sitting on the porch
of my old-fashioned city home
and I am forced to wonder;
if a man could betray his brother,
were they truly brothers at all?

Distant Points in Space

Perhaps I am no bigger than a pin-head and
no brighter than a firefly fluttering
in an infinite blackness dotted by
yellow lights, some that flicker and some
that seem to have burned forever and ever

Perhaps those lights are just like me
in the vast wide blackness that I flutter in;
perhaps they flutter about, too, hoping
to reach one another

Perhaps they are simply distant points
in space, flashing as a beacon so I may
know just how much of infinity I have
fluttered through

I have not fluttered through much

flies live so long

flies live so long
on excuses to stay
with crooked flight patterns
both pointless and unique

oh flies live so long
and yet you can’t kill
themĀ  fast enough
for more will fill
in their place

is it best to just wait
them out?
until there’s nothing
left for them to eat?

and do your best
in the meantime

but why do flies
have to live
for so long?