Sometimes blue, Sometimes green

poetry

I can’t stop thinking about your eyes

I only want to stare at them forever

or at least until I am trapped inside of them

then I will rest easily and eternally

I will know what the word ‘peace’ really means

but I am toiling now for certain

I am only pausing some of the time

and in each of these fleeting stolen moments

I can’t stop thinking about your eyes

Lay Here, Thinking About Love

poetry

To stand on the cusp of a waking dream
is a dream all itself
and yet I stand coughing up
a bittersweet backwash
as I lay here, thinking about love
and I am tempered fully
because the adage is true;
you can’t have everything
and Pat Carroll was right, too
about everything, just like I feared
he may be

on wichita, ks

poetry

wichita is a pretty crack whore
who was cool in high school, once
but now an addict
selling her self and begging

as i sit with her on a street corner
before the winter when kansas
has warm fall breezes that travel
far across the empty plains
we talk sarcastically about
old inside jokes shared between
normal high school friends
but i won’t leave here without her crying
and begging me for change
and if i refuse
offering to sell me ass

it’s the oil running through
her veins that makes her cheap
and desperate

Monster

poetry

There is a monster inside of you
and inside of me, too
and it is the same monster
because this monster is omnipresent
like a God, or like an Elder God
with wrapping tentacles
with venomous teeth
and it does not feed so much as consume
and it poisons us with dark dreams
with horrible sadnesses and imagined perils
it’s toxin will teach us to fear everything we’ve ever loved
there is no medicine to bring us back to health
and even reason and good faith can do little to assuage its infection

This monster will go eventually
but only after feasting to it’s content
after we are left white and meek and beaten
We will lay in our own sick
and wretch over our hopes and dreams
but if we remain resolute
and only let our disease get the best of us sometimes
we will be able to stand eventually
and the tightness will leave our chest
the aches will leave our beleaguered muscles
and we will walk again nearly as assured as before

Then we will be as we have always been
but for the monster that we know to be lurking
everywhere and anywhere at once

Sunday Afternoon (Is This What Dying Feels Like)

poetry

The Sun is warm
as it reveals the world
to those who would discover it

It casts shadows, too;
it creates mirages
when it burns too bright

It blisters skin,
it boils out moistures,
it saps all fight from a man

And I am thankful for its light
And I am fearful of its shadows
And I wonder, is this what dying feels like?

Would that I could find an answer
But only the dead have it
And the dead I know don’t say a word

Nobody Tells You How Long It Takes

poetry

Every now and then it hits me
like a kick in the teeth

The stinging will pass, sure enough
but the ache and soreness eeks on
for hours afterward

then I’ll go a week, let’s say,
and everything will be just as good
as it could be, considering

but then the truth, like a startled mule
will stop suddenly in front of me
and out its hind leg will spring

Luckily my lip never seems to split
nor does anything seem to pop loose

But my jaw has been consistently stiffer,
these days,
and my gums are stinging real bad now,
that’s for sure

Diatonic Fourths

poetry

My fingers struggle to process input
from eyes that struggle to remember
how to interpret dots and marks
in such a way as to associate them
with a letter, and in some cases
a modifier that when read together
make up the pieces of what would
in the modern parlance be called
a ‘universal language’

it sounds awful as I stumble over
notes that don’t go together the way
that I think they should, but really
these intervals are new to me, or
at least they are as an exercise
in movement, but I have been assured
that even as the tones clash and
cluster, and even though my muscles
feel as dumb as they have ever felt,
I will be better off when these
sounds are under my fingers

I am not sure that I believe them
but I will stay in this woodshed
just the same

the ballad of the penguin and the polar bear

poetry

you’ve got the heart
of a bird
that can’t fly
but you want
to be
the mighty bear

you gather your strength
in numbers
sharing your warmth
and empathy

he’s got the heart
and the skin
for the blistering cold
and all alone
though he longs
to share

he sings his sad songs
into the wind
longing for warmth
and empathy

when the world is a giant iceburg
you see what you think you need
floating among
the shards of ice in this vast ocean
the missing puzzle pieces to
a heart that doesn’t bleed

you swim for it
and you find it
but they don’t fit

some foreign things
are foreign
for a reason

some opposites
repel
too hard to touch

you find it’s the things
that make you different
that keep you apart

no matter how you dream

Most Nights Now

poetry

‘let’s not do anything too drastic’
I say to myself most nights now
and instead of venturing forth
into the darkness with a gun
on my hip and cheap whiskey
in my gullet I swaddle myself
in the folds of a blanket that
radiates with memories so warm
they quickly overwhelm me
and as I lay with half-closed eyes
staring at the wall while
a sad old record hums through
the speakers of my stereo
I wonder if perhaps a spot of
hot hooch and some adventure
isn’t actually drastic enough

I Must Have Been Dead Before Now

poetry

I would spend each night
dreamless, or at least
I did not know my dreams

or if I knew my dreams
they were dark dreams.
They were black ink
that washed across my world

Now I spend each night
dreaming, or at least
I know my dreams

They are wonderful dreams,
too; we are happy and
healthy and smiling

I think that I dream
the rest of the time now, too,
and before I must have been dead

The dead don’t dream so much,
I think, and this waking dream
so often makes me feel
like I’m dying

we run from the easiest answers

poetry

i believe i knew before the dive,
anyway

i knew when i forgot where you were

i mean you know when someone goes
missing

at the bottom of the lake
and at the bottom of everything
you thought you needed to find
and was dead already
with your face,
and your eyes wide,
purple-ish blue
dead long before
you knew it was missing
dead already when
you realized it was gone

so what there is now
left
to hold onto
must endure.

let me know if you’re ever in Wichita we’ll get coffee

poetry

i know you’ll never be
in Wichita
and if you were
we would only
get coffee

we could share
maybe a half an hour
in the local flavor
and reminisce
on times we were
in the same
geographical
location
and what happened there

we could make jokes
so it wouldn’t be
awkward

then like addicts
retreat back to
reality
and dispense
with the dry
niceties

take showers
like call-girls at sunrise
wipe away shame with
our saved up social
capital
and smile,
next we
should meet

but seriously

let me know

if you’re ever

in Wichita

we’ll get coffee

and call ourselves

friends.

chaos

poetry

it’s true that most of us
would hate to have coffee
with the authors on our
coffee tables

i mean
i thought it funny you
had hitchens on yours
when you two have almost
nothing in common

nor i, with nietzsche
or bukowski
i guess

the tuth is not some minutea
it is much bigger
than that

it is that you should
see the world as art
which is to be a neutral observer
stumbling, perhaps
onto your own soul
and then to learn a new thing about it
told to you by someone else

you don’t search the mona lisa
for yourself
smile, smugly when you find it
and walk away content
with what davinci drew
as if it was your idea
all along