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


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

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

Do you know what your problem is?

You do not understand passion

So, when it overtakes you,
you feel as if you are crazy
and you became disgusted
in your uncontrol

Then you make up reasons
that you hate yourself
and you sit quietly on a sofa
with the television loud enough
to dull your senses

and you wait for every feeling
that you do not understand
to slip away from you,
not realizing that they
are what could save you
all along

April 13

Sometimes biking back at night
I cut across a nearby church parking lot
and as my wheels spin beneath me
with the darkness around only broken by
the dim burn of nearby streetlamps
I imagine that I am gliding
across a sea of thick, black ink,
poured over the world to cover
all of its cracks and pock-marks
and eventually dissolve it down
so it can more easily melt back
in to the empty space it hovers in

April 12

This back is racked with nerve pain
from somewhere in the hip I think
Making it harder to stand up
under the weight of gravity and
self-doubt and all the other things
that so regularly and traditionally
tend to pile about the shoulders
and dangle from the neck

Perhaps this pain will dissipate
in time, or perhaps it never will
and I will stand a bit less straight
until the day I never stand again

April 9

I can only collect stories
to shout at people over
the din of too-crowded bars
as they half-listen half-text
someone they’d rather be talking to
or sleeping with or staring at
from across a mostly-empty room
pretending that they are being coy
but mostly just hoping they
will be noticed by a person
who will make them feel more whole
instead of all these other ones
who touch their shoulders
in the heat of drunkenness
and shout their stories
over the din of too-crowded bars

And if they found that person
oh, what a story worth shouting that would be

April 8

Snow is falling
In a half-attempt to make things
Look clean and white again.

Maybe if everything looks clean
It will be clean, is the thought I’m sure

It never works anyway,
But the snow falls nonetheless

April 6

This cold rain dripping outside
is part and parcel of Michigan spring
but I wonder if it’s truly necessary,
the way I wonder if this flu must come
like clockwork, every thirteen months

April 5

Some men are made of brass
that is bent and flexed
and pounded with hammers and
treated with heat until
a form is taken

and it is hardened from the work
that was done there

Other men are made of
similar stuff, but laid
upon mandrels and pressed
with sharp tools
on spinning lathes until
a similar form is conjured forth

but this is a soft, thin form
born of ease-of-production and
dreamed with cheapness in mind

It is a reasonable enough facsimile
of the part it is meant to resemble.
It will even do the job it is slotted for,
more or less

One day, though, this form will flex;
the ends will crease and the lengths will bend
so that it is useless to its purpose

And though it could be straightened out
and made to serve its use again,
scrap is what he’ll probably beceome, as
such cheap parts are always better off
replaced anyway