back-of-the-book answer-man


you keep being right
and knowing things

you’re never wrong
or finding that out

and go about brandishing
the accomplishments
of the authors of the
books you have so
dutifully read
every word
come dripping
out of their mouths

and unless someone
says it to you
i guess you’ll never really know

a big wanting


it’s a big wanting
without purpose and
without reason

but it’s not about you
that’s for sure
on august 9th, 2021
whatever that means

it is both highly personal
and entirely universal
like tasting loss for
the first time or
rushing back to sleep
to catch the end of a dream

and it’s about lying

because it’s a quest for self actualization
at the cost of all things

it’s a big wanting
without purpose and
without reason

but it’s not about you
that’s for sure
and all the things you should or
should not have done or wish that
never happened

it’s about the friends you made along the way
clutching their chest in a parking lot
and the diseased oak leaves drying out in the baking sun
and the consequences, of it all

jump into the fire


you lose everyting
you love
being over-conscious
because your brain
is a million little germs
that make up a disease
that slowly eat away
at your life
a disease, being
something like your self
something in the mirror
something like acid
in your stomach
eating away
with no cure

a poem titled untitled


in some ways we still live in the garden
asked to make decisions on things we don’t know about
and to accept the repercussions
then banished for following foreign thoughts and feelings

i think, as i round the corner to your house
suddenly lost and talking to myself in languages i don’t understand
i decide to stop looking for anyone and sleep on the curb
fever dreams of drug filled mansions and the ability to fly

since god won’t love me and i can’t read street signs
i decide to recoil into myself

in many ways we live in a purgatory of sorts
where happiness sits at the end of a tractor pull
and we feel different on the inside every morning
but look like day-walking zombies

i eat and shit and laugh and cry alone
even moreso when others are around me watching
thoughts of suicide-by-apathy filling my
mind and following me around in my dream-

when something is lodged in your airways
you can’t breath even if you try

why we stay inside


dax the cat wants to go outside
although maybe she doesn’t know what
awaits for her there

so i make the decision for her, that it
is safer for her to stay with me

but i don’t know if she really knows
and i don’t know if she would agree with
my decision even if she did know

but the language we speak to eachother doesn’t cover much
and she’s a very smart cat, so sometimes i wonder

i wish i could tell her that if i let her out
i can’t be held responsible for what happens
and i can’t be timely when letting her back inside

she’d not be able to come and go as she pleased
and the city has laws against this kind of arrangement

but when i look at her eyes
i know
she knows
and i know
she wants to
go anyway

to be honest, i know it for certain

a cat wants to roll in the grass
and eat bugs and small game
and bathe in the sun all day

“tis better to have loved and
lost than never to have loved
at all”

and maybe it’s selfish to keep her locked inside
with wooden floors, and air conditioning
and a strict regimen of nutritionally viable chow
and even my love is not enough

shut up, fuck off, and/or go away


it’s chess against myself but i don’t even want to play
and it’s bringing me to tears
win or lose, i don’t understand what i am saying
and i can stop talking or stop listening
and i can take bong rips until my eyes water
for a different reason
and take solace in the fact that

i decide to get up
because i’m hungry

and i move my feet
to get to the kitchen

and get a bag of chips
to make the hunger stop

but i have not yet understood a thing about it
and it’s not their fault that they can’t understand
i don’t even speak my own language

April 14th, 2021


Stasis doesn’t stop time
and as the clock tied
to the bomb inside your
skull wound nearer
to the double-zero,
we were all out playing
parlor tricks on porches
for our friends
in open air
in case some other illness
were to wander through
and kill us to a man

But maybe
it’s a roulette wheel
and the double-zero
is just the space
you put all your money on
as the dice bounce
over and over again
but slower and slower, now
as the stasis sets in
and brings things
nearly to a halt

perhaps we’ll watch them
spinning in nothingness
a fraction of a fraction
of a degree at a time
with baited breath
still just guessing
where they’ll land

and things may slow
to an almost infinite still

but stasis doesn’t stop time
so maybe now
you’re just borrowing
against the house

the share cropper’s dream


parched and dope sick in kansas
cutting through the bramble
haven’t i been here before?
i mean, everything looks the same
guess i aint goin nowhere

another zombified mother’s son
no clouds in the sky
just eagles flying round
or maybe they are vultures
or military jets

a consistent abundance of nothing
a prison of your own decisions
where other places are just stories
you think about as you drift off
into sleep

Every Man


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


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


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


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

10.24.20 2am


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



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


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


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