Every Man

poetry

I was king of the broad strokes
he said to me as he leaned back
in the worn and dusty recliner
that was stuffed in the corner
between plumes of cigarette smoke
and a half built chevy 305
but it was always good enough, you know?

in those days, he told me,
it wasn’t so hard to just get by
with a toolbox and some elbow grease
why I bought this place just four years
after dropping out of my junior class
but I can’t hardly keep my car insured
without a trip to the boys on Cork street

but I’m old now and that’s all there is
he said ashing in to an empty glass
I can’t work like I used to
and I sure as shit can’t go to school
but I still got this place, he shrugged
and I guess I’ll at least be able to eat
until the social security runs out

Long Distance Charges

poetry

I called you up
at 12am my time
10pm yours
on a Saturday night
in January
and you told me all your secrets
like it was nothing at all
as you cut onions on a cutting board
and danced to the music
that played in the back
real low

I was laying in a fat recliner
that was jammed against the wall
so the broken spring was less apparent
as I tried to write those secrets down
and trade you some of mine
but they all just came so fast
that my head started spinning
or at least that would be my excuse
because we’d both rather
leave the alcohol
out of this

January 1, 2021

poetry

I held the broken glass to my eye
in the dimming winter sunlight
examining the chipped edges
like a jeweler a gemstone
as the wind fluttered from the distance
bringing a bare chill from the north
until I looked at you
and told you it was perfect
and I tucked it in my pocket
to be forgotten by the following afternoon

Already Dead One Time

poetry

We stood in rapture on a dew-soaked lawn
in a chill that was early for the season
and you were lit up in that little park
with bright lights on every side
guitar and voice electrified
crooning out hymnals of your own design
while for just a few short moments
all those gathered found themselves
at home again

and I cried in that summer dark
swaying behind line after line
of friends and loves and neighbors
as your voice rang loud enough
to cover the sound of passing cars
while I laughed and smiled
while you shivered and sweat
and if that wasn’t home for you
I hope you find your home one day
for just a few short moments
too

10.24.20 2am

poetry

sometimes the feeling of being so drastically alone
hits you in the stomach at 2am on a Saturday
after all the beer has been drunk and the people
you had spent the day with were all no doubt sleeping
in their various beds in their various houses
and you would almost prefer to choke on something
to take your mind off the throbbing in your gut
and the slight spin that your head is reeling in
but the lights are off save for the glow of your phone
and the loneliness would be stark and maddening but it
is softened by the last few texts you answer and cushioned
in the low growl of the furnace until the thermostat
is triggered by the temperature’s rise and that growl
finally
stops

Montana

poetry

You’ll wait for her
watching a single leaf fall
as the colors change,
blowing cold breath over cocoa
as the window fogs over
in January

Maybe every January

it’s been brisk each autumn
since before you could buy your own
but you’re off the bottle, now,
and even the summer sun can’t offer
any respite from the chill

and it’s so much colder

but you’ll wait
as the last orange bag is tossed
in to the open maw of a garbage truck
and the light jackets go on sale
at the vintage store
on Vine street

god is for man to notice that he is alive for no reason

poetry

it’s late and the sound of things you could have done pitter patter across the hood of your car and you’re a little under the weather but nothing you can’t handle and you wish yet again that time could travel backwards but that’s the one thing it just won’t do and even though you saw the red light as far back as your twenties you just couldn’t stop in time although you knew precisely how slick your tears would make the road you pressed the brakes too late and at first you think this is fine, you’ve made peace with the whole thing, but then suddenly you’re not at peace and then in the last seconds time really does go backwards and you wrote a check that your ass couldn’t cash this time but you had saved a joint just for a situation like this just for a final drag i guess that’s how it ends and i guess that’s all it ever was the familiar smell of forbidden happiness out in the garage on a summer day before you struck your head and everything started blinking and then it stopped.

All Part Of The Plan

poetry

God stands with a paring knife
that has never been sharpened
so it tears when it cuts
through each of us,
through our guts and flesh,
as we are checked
for worms or for ripeness
or for whatever else God
might be checking for

when God makes his checks
we are left to bleed,
to clutch at our pieces
until we figure out
how to sew them back together
so we can keep on living
except the few that find
that the pieces don’t fit
together anymore,
or realize to their shock
that they never really did
in the first place

Sure

poetry

the color ran freely
and warm and thick
and so much brighter
than I’d ever thought it would

Oh and I had been so tough
and righteous in my ways
for after all mine was the truth
for after all mine was the real live truth

my hands grasped and quivered
trying to keep it in
but there was no stopping
the pooling in the low spots
and the running down the cracks
between the rough-worn floorboards
as paint that had been laid on
as reckless as I

Divinity 2

poetry

there was a torrent of frigid rain
cutting through the morning black
cascading over sheeted ice filling
every pore coating every surface
forging an unlivable Hell
and we lost our footing there
clamoring for safety scratching
frost from our eyes screaming
each other’s names in the tempest
praying to anything to hold on
but then the lightening started
and when the woods caught fire
on either side and I could see
the curling haze in the distance
I reached out for you blindly
but my hand found nothing in that atmosphere
and by the time the smoke had filled my lungs
I had already hit the frozen ground
and lost all of the feeling
in my extremities

walking in circles

poetry

you’ll be killed by a dumb man
who doesn’t know what he’s doing, or why
and he will rule the world

it won’t be good, because good
is smart and smart is an
aberration to god

the king of man must be lied to
for at seeing the truth would
tear out his own eyes

even love, as beautiful as it is,
lives in the moat of the
stupidest castle in the land

it must live there else it
be devoured by all the retarded
senselessness of each passing minute

a stubborn boy, i thought i’d live
to eat each fruit but now i
wretch loudly throughout the jungle

it’s too sweet, i don’t know
maybe poison in the last one
feeling very drowsy now

last we spoke

poetry

i guess i don’t know how you hunger
and it may be that i never really will

when i said you’d eat the eiffel tower
from a place where that idea
seemed dumb, i’d not known i, too
one day would want to, in a way,
consume things as well, of a similar substance

too similar to obviously
discern the difference

i mean,
i want to say it’s different
but i don’t know that it is

because i woke up with you
in my head today feeling like
i selfishly wanted every thing that i could
see all for myself and no one else

and i don’t care why

so maybe i should have
listened differently or
you should have
explained yourself better

or i should have explained
you better to myself

oh well, either way
as pain builds strength
so too does
being wrong build wisdom

i am used to missing the
mark, after all

but it’s not about me

figuring

poetry

the mountain is not a metaphor
but a mountain made of rocks
as you are made of rocks as
rocks are states of energy
seemingly stagnant but a
story an infinite number of
pages long with letters too
tall for you to read.

the mountain is a letter too
tall for you to read in an
infinite story and appears
to be made of rocks as
you are made of rocks are
not a metaphor but just
differing states of energy.

give them no quarter
in your mind and run them
out. remain at a distance
of at least 6 feet, for to
prevent the virus from
passing. take on the mountain
alone, or with trusted few.

this is all there is.

run them out, and give them
no quarter in your mind.
keep at a safe distance
of 6 feet for to prevent
the virus from passing.
climb the moutain alone,
or with trusted few.

there is no more than this.

mind virus

poetry

the devil
lives in my mind

and you can bet on that, as sure
as the tide stays at bay

and you can even set your clock to it

and I won’t die, no
that’s too good for me

i will see the virus wear me as a mask

so sad that i am afflicted
by this virus of the mind
and i don’t know how it
will end
but i know how it began

the truth
makes an uncomfortable chair