What now

Cooperation only lasts as long as the status quo is unchanged. As soon as this guy gets to wherever this thing ends… he won’t need you anymore -Patrick Gates, National Treasure

Yesterday changed the game
the status quo shifting
from what was assumed
to what we have no way of knowing

What in the world was I thinking
taking off my gas mask
before the war was over–

You don’t know me still
and I thought the truce
was still in effect
thinking–what if
we don’t make it to Sunday

Are we heading into space
because you know I still can’t fly
I am already in danger
of drowning for crying

That was your dream
of going to the moon
that was your dream–not mine
I always wanted
my feet on the ground

Crying and begging don’t cut it
it was you on your knees
during the good times–my
hail Mary pass
when all seemed to be lost

I like when night falls
in fog
obscuring the naughty bits
the ugliness best forgotten–
last night
it fell like bricks
bruising and

I try to write in the dark
where my thoughts
are most honest
I grieve lately
choking on the words
to tell
how you keep me
in the dark

I saw it coming

Once upon a time, there was a damsel in a red dress
the young prince jealous of all the dashing penguins
surrounding her, courting the lady with words, fancying themselves
new Byrons, and one in every crowd, a Bukowski in tights
catching her eye

She wasn’t much to look at in the midday sun, but when the shadows were cast across the folds of her dress, he would turn his head, his eyes soft and lost in daydreams of what could be done with such a woman

Knowing that the nights, such as they were, were payment for days of ludicrous loss they would never see coming, the wars fought without swords, inflicting wounds that would never heal, festering fathoms of ache

Allowed one indulgence, one glorious night under the moon, wrapped up in her tresses, the rising sun giving away the messes of what would be their great romance, a lifetime in one night, an ending before they were ever begun.

The end.

Again? (so many Mondays)

Is this Monday again? I wasn’t looking. I wasn’t paying attention. I walked right into it, writing while walking, sulking while my feet were still moving and she was above me, in thin air

I ordered roses for her from the florist. They sent her lilies. How did they know? Were they looking through my window when my face pinched in pain? Did they read my letters and follow my halting steps

I wish this wasn’t a true story. I wish it was a horror that people read, dog-earing the pages to the ghastly parts they want to show their partners later. I wish it was fiction in the purest sense

At what point did I realize that there was hope? What was elusive, dodging me, mocking me, is at arm’s length. That is a good deal closer than in my youth, giving up the dreams for thralldom.

Pleasure is fleeting. But it returns, I know it, somewhere around Thursday of the month, a refreshing gust in the middle of swelter

Speeding ticket

I am in the kitchen writing out my life
Chopin in the living room,urging me not to quit
for the sadness (over breakfast
and a hurried car ride home)
is heavy and burdensome

I don’t care (I said)
because of course
I care more than life itself
but if I have to give up my life
in the process (I don’t care)

Then what is the purpose of living
this strangling, overarching plot
that no one would buy
is dancing in my last nerve
threatening to end us

So it is like this, that you will
treat me kindly in the future
and I will continue to write my life
both wonderful and terrible, and
this is the contract I implore you to sign

Little bro


We often say
that time passes too slowly
when we all know
it slips out of our grip
way too quickly

I didn’t pay attention
and time has rambled on
and I remember
(don’t forget)
the old times
(don’t forget)
I remember some good times
(they weren’t all bad)
and I remember some very bad times
(but they weren’t all bad)

A birthday’s just a day
and today it is your turn
to be man of the day
little boy with a deck of cards
and a magic wand
grown up, come on little brother
show me some magic
because I’m feeling tired

Then let’s toast to the days coming
the ones we look forward to
and the ones that will lead to eternity
for there are many smiles left
of your reflections
your golden faces looking up to you
for some good old days

here, kitty kitty

sitting in this bar
fifty miles from home
that does not feel like home
blue Persian cat making love to my legs
nearly obscene how he rubs against them
the beer head-splitting cold
I drink deep, then reach down to scratch his head
against my knee
I came here to forget
and to disappear into a dim crowd
his amorous
attention to my shins
making my eyes misty
a lick of pretzel salt
from my finger
tongue rough
throat vibrating
against my palm
when he purrs


Thoughts one upon another
rolling over rocks over water
give me a sheltering branch
taste and see if my thoughts
are bitter or sweet
or rotting on the vine


Jesus, I need your hand
like a wing around my bare sores
beaten down and tired–
heal me please with your tender care
remind me why I need you daily
oh cover me in sweet grasses
and help me not to forget

wisteria 2.jpg

Every step the stones loosen
on this road I fashioned myself
thorn and burr on each side
and a rising tide
I press on–trying to stay upright
keep my feet from slipping
one arm raised–a hand
outstretched to feel yours


In the ring

Each day we brushed
up against one another
(we could have had
all the chocolates
a friendship can offer)
sweet notes
spoiled by bitter tones

I was in awe
of you on a pedestal
you did not ask for
walking around me
in bullfighter stance, when
bending my head to charge
I watched you crumble

While regrets ate my resolve
no sleep, and no inclination
to count days
measuring quality of life
sucking up oxygen
and strawberries