A Work In Regress

One was asked permission to breathe,
the other granted,
and soon they were huffing and puffing along
as if they knew what to do
with these intricately overcomplicated bodies
of theirs.

One felt is if they were falling,
the other as if they were
The Walking Dead, and together they
made a pair of fools with
too-high a limit on their credit cards
to be healthy.

Then they got to jostling and one,
he bumps in to the wall, and the other,
she falls over, and it’s all
his fault but she’s the one that
takes the fall and now everyone is screaming
and now everyone is slamming doors and
now everyone is leaving
and now everyone is gone except for me,
With only enough nails to board up
half the broken windows.


you find yourself
washed up on a foreign shore
and you must get to know
the indigenous people
the language
and look around
and blink
as if you’d woken up from
a dream
as if you’d been here
all along


“are we alive?”
dancing in the night
give us light
desert sand
a run for our veins
floating trees
purple rain
“are we real?”
fluorescent birds
half notes
crashing out in air traffic
of sky blue pain
“are we …?”
scattered keys
porous terrain
boundaries of grace
give us meaning
(a filling for our soul cavity
a rhythm to our decay)
peace to our howling scars


You are: here.
Unseen narrator: the ravine lies before you
and it is narrow.
Walk through, the path is present.
Do not wander, do not touch.
The walls, they appear as stability,
as opportunity.
They are distractions.
You must discern the difference.
Stay vigilant, focus on the task at hand.
Walk through.

When the walls end,
you will have come to the other side.
To: a valley of efflorescence.
A verdurous mountain rising.
in the vista’s breadth.

He is in the mountain.
You will meet him there.
But the people are in the valley.
Life more abundantly awaits.
Go: there.

on the whole thing about living

my life would read like a red cross
volunteer straight out of a brief
bio in readers digest or a lifetime
original movie. everything played just
right and everyone cared for in
just the right way. but really while
i’m tying the bandages around this guys
leg, or helping this old lady across
the street . . . while i’m scooping
poop out of the clogged septic tanks
or de-toilet-papering a house for a
neighbor, the whole time my head is
in town. at a pub where i plan to go
the moment the sun hides behind the
mountains. a place i know where i can
climb inside a bottle, hole up, and soak
into every pore, the brewed nectar of
the fruit of the earth. enjoying life and
joy in a bottle so many others are there
abusing. just waiting for the day to break
so i can hop back in my thirty-year-old
chevy truck and head back to do
it all again.

Winds of Change

There is a place between where I was—
Geographically straddling home (and where home will be)
Intellectually flailing at what I know (petrified of what I don’t)
Emotionally committed this cause (a compelling enigma)
Romantically ready, so ready (so far from prepared—but ready)
Spiritually tender and ready to be transformed (more than I can imagine)
And where I am going—

Like a flag buffeting in the wind
Declaring an identity which has been attached to another foundation
For as long as memory recalls

Flings loose

A movement begins.
This house grows wheels, bears the weather—no apologies, howling.
Purpose served, shingles tear up, await replacement.
A new roof—trappings intact.
The old precedes, but now concedes.
One is silver, the other gold.

The summer storms usurps a leaf from his stagnant perch
And for a moment—though turbulent and unknowing—
Deposits him to transformation of life yet untold.
Greatest mystery with only the promise of a seed intact.

Change and I have never seemed to get along,
But if it’s like they say and, “opposites attract”—
Then I suppose I’m right where I should be.

The Only One Worth Living

He was a Career Man
and a Red Cross Volunteer
and his life read just like
a bottom-shelf dime-store novel
with all the characters stuck
in all their own little worlds
and the two-tracks tying their
countryside together would freeze,
every winter, and split,
right at the seams,
but he drove a giant pickup truck
and didn’t abide by snow-drifts
or stuck tires, and the folks he knew
hardly knew him at all, hiding
behind kitchen cabinets and
dead-locked storm doors. No,
they won’t be joining him.
Not any time this lifetime.
So he drives to town each night
and crawls inside a bottle,
waiting for the dawn to break
it open so he can drive
back home again.

if you work hard enough you can get from anything to beer.

there is a certain amount of death involved when you purchase a heavy duty battery but what you really wanted was an alkaline and you get home and plug the crap into your electronic device and find the power is gone within just a few minutes.

you mourn

through things like overeating or returning to the store to purchase new batteries, but you know that something significant has taken place in your failure to purchase the right thing the first time.

because it’s relegated to the dump

and this saddens you as you are well aware of the environmental damage your two little wimpy batteries will cause to the landscape around the area far from your home but near to that trailer park where you know that guy who you bought a beer for once at that pub downtown

and this has brought you back to beer

which you must admit has made this full circle, even this brief bout with death, something less than as bad as you thought it would be because nothing calms your nerves or settles your stomach like bubbles slowly rising on the inside of a green or clear bottle and the flavor of a slightly too strong


Spring is for Cleaning the Winter Mess

I have no use for February Snows
or the salt on the half-iced roads,
and there is no great love with me
for plowblades or 2-stage abominations

But when I breathe that iced serenity
and I know that all the bugs are dead
I can let some ghosts be bygone and
prepare to bury all of the rest
under snows so directly-metaphorical
it makes my fingers cold to even
think of them.

like picking pistachio ice cream because it’s green, you’re not bright enough to read the sign, and too stubborn to admit the mistake, so you take lick after lick till the cone is clean and you smile with hubris because in your (very very backwards) book this is a tick under the category marked “win.”

like a child just learning to walk
i’ve wandered these halls in the dark
stumbling into walls
tripping over myself
and all the others here with me
believing we all have some idea
of the way out.

like a child just learning to eat
i pick up a piece and try to fit it
perfectly in the mouth hole
but find myself hitting nose
cheeks and occasionally shoving
a cheerio at great velocity into
my open eye.

i see you there offering me help

like a child just learning free will
i figure i’ll do it better myself thank you.