Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Another Hand Through a Wall.

What are you supposed to do in moments of anguish
but to emote
to say SOMETHING brilliant

The thing is,
that's not how it works.

My heart is in the middle of my throat.
My heart.
Though I'm uncertain of it for the first time in years.
Is it there? Is it as unhealthy as I fear?
I've smoked the first cigarette in a long time.

...and it all makes me feel old.

How do you progress?
How do you become the best person that you can be?
another person lives inside?

No, not that I've seen in a long time.

I've always wanted to die first.
Not some morose, momentary lapse;
but a decision. After all,
who am I compared to them?
Let me be that selfish.
It's my skin.
My bone.

...but I care about the outcome.

Who am I compared to the same self that was there, living free,
living in my home and acting like the mother-fucker that I wanted to be?
I was something else, a force, a breath in the wild,
I was the wild, at least in the right crowd.

Now I'm screaming over middle-aged things.
I'm crying over things I'm not sad about.
I'm giving in not to feel uncomfortable.
I'm sharing the things that make up my soul but not getting the return.

Who am I?
Who am I after all of these years, with less hair and jealousy in my heart?
Why do I ache at night?
Why do I feel so much more than I want?
Why am I not in control of love and loss and money and passion and


We all secretly don't want to care-
some of us feel it all for the rest of us
whether we like it or not.

What a curse it is to care.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Southern Rain

Five years ago, he was walking in the rain in southern California hoping for a good photo.
It was night time- and he had just met a girl not long before-
one that would be the undoing of his heart.

He told himself he wasn’t going to date her, that she looked too different than his normal fare.
But it became something anyway. 

Of course it did, he was him
he that did things like that
heart before head.

There was a book.

A bit of writing he’d been plowing away at for sometime, 
about the last time his heart was run through by a long

“This was different” was the thought when coming out of that bar in downtown a few nights before
her voice is different, her face is different, and her hair-
from a dark raven to a golden fleece.

He would never think clearly again.

There was this book though.

He was a painter, a sketcher, and a poet (on his drunken days)
green bottles with little Scottish ships on the label clinking underfoot of this apartment
then one day, after the raven, he began to string together thoughts longer than a paragraph,
longer than a page,
then longer than a chapter.

There was the book.

And it was good.

But it was lost when he lost himself.

Five years later-
he’s in Kentucky, away from everything
it’s raining
there’s another girl- an incredible one
a woman.

and It’s about time he tried again. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Happiness is not a warm gun
though in a moment one can sympathize.

Happiness is shared experience
moving though the world seeing it through new eyes
finding joy, in day to day
that has been day to day
for year and years.

I never saw that sign before
until I saw it through your smile
I never heard that song before
until I heard it through your heartbeat.

Speed can be a great assurance or proof
when a heart is to be trusted ahead of a head
though hidden pain is often swept under a puppy love rug.

Paranoia. Blah.

Let love combat doubt
let doubt fade into uncontrollable smiles and
a heart fluttering
like the tatters of the flag of a once sunken ship
in a soft early morning breeze
in a paradise bay.

let yourself feel love.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Rounding the Bases

Rain and thunder outside of a small room
a brief tour of San Francisco comes to mind
you didn't know me then
I was just as bad at making decisions.

I'm better now...
still not perfect.

My book pile is swelling again, 
driven by flight of fancy or the insistence of new friends
just good titles
and flashy covers.

A trip to Tennessee with
someone new
rainy roads
familiar corners

and still:

My hands ache 
and bleed-
one new hobby 
a tentpole in my chest;
punches driven by
a heart full of 

Saturday, June 20, 2015


I cant seem to decide if I'm wandering enough 

or too much.

If dinner out with friends will lead to seeing pain pull up just outside of the restaurant.

It would be hell on earth to see that smile, knowing that I would be the one to take it away.

I haven't slept for more than a few hours in more than four days,

anemic, exhausted.

I don't want to wander.

I want to go the airport and sit,

let the world wader by.

You don't see people you know in airports.

I'm getting smaller too, watches and shirts hanging on bone joints,

I don't see the point in eating when I can just cook. 

From all fast food, to some bread

and some water


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Letters Not Sent

I'm sorry for letting you down,

I know you can really be depressed at times
I'm really trying to understand.

You thought that there was something better out there
I get that, really
I've seen some of the sights and had a taste of
certain lives too.

But it never lasts does it?

I get that certain looks can make you forget that you have a home sometimes
that when people look at you, and you don't look back because you're afraid, or you know that it was wrong to look back


the fact that it was wrong made it exciting.

I'm going to let you in on something I've learned-
Rob told me this once, you know Rob, from the record shop?

He said that all those times you look back, well, those are just fantasies because
all you imagine is the good stuff, you never imagine the fights and the tears and the stress over bills and where to live-

but in the end, the fights and the stress,
that's still a team sport
and you need that person around or you're going to fall apart


Take a second and think back to all the bad...
Now think about all the good.

One outweighs the other, right?

"Well, that's a matter of perspective" -I can hear you saying that.

I was there most of the time, there with you when you were fighting with her,
and she was right a ton of the time, you were wrong sometimes too.

...but you loved each other. The fights would always subside.

Those fantasies would only last a few days too, a couple of weeks maybe if you didn't try and shake it immediately.

You should've had the fantasies about her.
You should've danced more.
Flowers don't hurt.

Now, I'm really writing you this letter because I got yours, and I know you're hurting, that after five years of back and forth and trying and fighting, but loving too- that after all that time it only took her a few weeks to find someone to make her forget about you.

Yup, I get that, it really stings, especially when you found the clarity you talked about on the phone, in the middle of the night. You said your brain snapped in two when you saw them together; but it's too late.

It's too late.

Live now. Sleep, laugh, keep crying (maybe cry just a little less, it's getting excessive.) Maybe you'll have another chance someday, but until then you're old news. Let her go.




Families split and never get back together.

You screwed up.


you can love yourself again. Forgive yourself.

I love you.

Thursday, June 4, 2015


There is no sleep left-
chest heaving, empty;
and cold feet.

I am alone here,

my family is gone.

I have been called "a cancer"

I have driven dark roads,
the only direction I knew,

I have reached out
and been told to move on, but also
to learn,
to grow,
to pursue
to pray
to hope, and
to wait.

My chest is empty,
there are still tears,
and cold feet.

Now there are new arms around her, and

I am alone

and Sleepless


Years ago there was a boy that lost a girl
now there is a man that lost a woman.

I'm not sure what to tell him
to console him when he is at his worst

he made the decision
he did what he thought was best

it was wonderful while it was there
feet rubbing feet when sleep was seconds away

he thought of other women,
torn apart on the inside
fantasies, never materializing
all the good
no reality
none of the bad

she said she thought he would propose
he thought he would propose
her friends thought he would too

but doubt was there

one drunken evening
she said she would never start a family
she laughed at the idea
and he's the only witness

then, a few months later,

she said that his ex was right:
that he was a cancer.

...he is not a cancer
he is not a fool
he was kind of a fool


he was fighting for clarity
he was fighting for what he thought was right
he was fighting for what his heart ached for

and now all he is fighting for
is the ability to breathe
the ability to keep the hole in his chest from sucking in the rest of his being

he is in pain
and theres nothing to do about it but walk forward
and into the clear.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Elephant Graveyard

When I was young, I learned that 
there is a place 
where elephants go to die.

As a boy 
I thought that this was sad;
but now, as welcome grey 
wanders around my ears,
I have realized-

I don't think that they went there
that they would expire-
but more like that man 
who climbed a very high mountain-

and they, 
to live.

Sometimes I forget why. 

Why I'm walking
clawing, and
dying for an idea that even I sometimes question.

I'm doing it to live
and that's enough for now.


This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Chilly Morning

Complacency flowers into compassion.

The treadmill doesn't want you and
the microwave doesn't whine so much anymore.
These things aren't pure evils.

Don't forget how to come back home.
Don't forget how to be uncomfortable.
Don't forget how to scathe,
how to ignore flirtation
and how to scorn.

Yesterdays nerves are
todays cold showers-
are tomorrows grins.

Remember the good work,
do more of it.

Remember the good coffee
drink more of it-
enjoy the bitter
shirk the sugar.

Remember the poor work.
The endless lines about the color and 
of scotch.

Remember that whiskey will always be king.
but water will always be a steady queen.

Remember that the desires of the flesh are never wrong
but aren't always right.

Remember the first time.

Remember the best of friends resemble the most pernicious viruses
cropping up
in the darkest of places 
in the most inopportune times.
Never inoculate yourself to them.

Remember that bow ties are worth the effort.

Remember to breathe
Remember to love what you do
Remember to enjoy the fall, and be always wary of

the climb.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Journal: Entry 1.

It hurts more to see the past in lively motion, 
not just a photo 
or from passive memory- 
but from a flickering film;
life looks forward
through the frame 

and not regret,
but shame
clouds into my blood.

Feelings I've long since felt,
feelings I've done my best to compact and bury,


and, for a moment,

I feel terribly, blindingly

Friday, November 2, 2012


There is something irresistable
about loving an idea and only and idea.

We are captivated by the past 
and the paths that we never walked.

Sometimes, without knowing, head wins over heart
and we watch passively, as 
love fades 
and reality grows.
We will love as we are expected to 
we will think about the hard fought dreams
of our youth's persistence 
as if they were only the fanciful, 
flickering, frames 
of someone else's home movie.

We all sit in the dark sometimes,
contemplating the features within the shadow of a face 
not yet illuminated in our foyers mirror.

in a porcelain tray
are the keys to cars and 
houses, alongside
the invitations to relatives' weddings 
and birthday parties for neighbors' children-
a whole reality never once dreamt as a child,

an unwelcome truth,

a bitter pill tasting eerily similar to the taste in the back of our mouths
when the first step down the wrong avenue was taken

Staring back in every reflection is the dark outline 
of someone,
we should have been.

When did we lose ourselves 
to the other side of the mirror?

Thursday, August 16, 2012


A far off storm
ripples through the moist

Laying there,
eyes moving beneath taught lids,
my muscles tense as
a stiffness spreads like moist cobwebs
just beneath my skin.

Then, just as
an anesthetic failure on the operating table-
my eyes peel wide with silent panic,
a warm tear falls down my temple;
my tongue is cotton, and
I cannot cry out.

It's not a masked
killer, or an oily, 
tentacled monster that chases me-
but the rotten seed of a plant
sewn from love and left to the frost,
many years before.

We are all each other's
nagging feelings.

They say our ears turn red 
when thoughtful people remember; but
cold fright is more accurate
tale as
a shadow slithers 
across my grave.

Long hours I've spent with ghosts;
judging, questioning,
continuing ill-fated affairs and
imagining unwritten romance.

All the grudges held 
out of unfounded, misplaced pride
and embittered in the fires of 
childish haste;
fall back, turning around
and sour only myself.

All of these things are chasing me

and every moment I lay calm,
resigned to deep dreams-

she finds me,

she hugs me,

and I wake 


This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Concerning the Blank

One would think
a crisp, white plain
broken only with lines
of blue
and red
and sometimes a blinking 
would be met
with the spoils of prior
great things brewed 
in grey matter tea.
One should be reminded of
great masters
poised fingers over
worn keys;
thundering concertos to come.
Yet the perceived
masterpiece simply sits
behind otherworldly tension.

Dust tends to gather in these moments
tumbleweeds crisscrossing
reminding us of our own stillness
glasses fog, smudged fingerprints appear
temple screws mysteriously
unscrew themselves
and housework becomes an

Paper cuts become a

For all the notes that came before;
in showers,
unromantic dates,
and long,
lonely walks;
only the lost bits 
of grocery lists remain
the twice forgotten red onion
remains in the miserable
of your 

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


The mad ones
drink in dark, unmemorable bars
avoiding everyone
but secretly
hoping for their own reflections to walk out
from behind the frosted glass, behind
the liquor bottles and beer neon;
someone to talk to 
someone to hate
more than their last great love.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rubber Duck

What good is pain 
if we can't sit in it
from time to time?

Sometimes we need to fire up
the old, brown and pink seventies
spa tub and get a little drunk while
watching our past
swirl about our bloody,
bruised bodies
like so much flat champagne.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

No Longer Dreaming

I've never feared the sea;
not even as it bubbled and
swirled around
my little island.

I've always seen far away lights-
signs of other islands or
reminders of ships that have past
or have yet to.

I watch the fish as they shimmer and 
dance in the cloudy water.
They seem fascinated with the delicate 
far off 

But I know better.

For I fear the lights more than the sea.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The One

One line
one direction:
tequila to hangover,
cause and then on
to effect.

No time machines, and
not enough forgiveness
to go around.

We all miss what never was
though we're supposed to know
what perfection was-
even before it shines clear in the
rear view mirror.

The past was, and remains all smokey eyes
and cringe-worthy first time drinks-
there's always that one, blinking
almost, burnt out filament
in the nasty bathroom
where we questioned everything the first time.

It all looks so perfect now.

We hate ourselves often;
catholic guilt if we're catholic
regret if we fall under the banner of
'everyone else'.

Nothing can be said
nothing can be done
but hope,
to bump gently
on the shoulder of the future,


and carry on, 
where we once were.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Walking through a darkened house

There is a moment in sleeplessness that I find myself;
when the flirting drowsiness has faded and the wretched, twitching mania has 

I stop feeling my own fingernails clawing over me,
I stop looking for the next sign of worth,
I stop cursing the birds flight and the dogs life of ease
and I stop dreading the silence of each darkened room
as I creak among the floorboards.

When I've stopped trying to find-
I am found.

I am found in the dark with eyes closed;
records spread out- carefully chosen albums of regret and triumph;
but none on the player.

I am found among
piles of notes straightened into yellow towers,
all of them scribbled with great intent
though, none worth remembering.

I'm found when the rain taps a paltry 'hello' at 5 am,
hovers momentarily over this particular address,
then washes away a moment later,

I am found when, all at once, I feel the warmth of words in my heart, and they
pour like blood through my outstretched fingers
and pool together in front of me.

I am found when my hands stop shaking and my
eyes begin to see white dots bobbing in the haze of a mew morning.

I am found when I think of you.
I am found for that one moment
when I forget myself.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Staring Back at the Dark.

These walls around me are so tall
but my nightmares persist;
an uneasy existence with myself remains

The streets in my head
all wander about;
knotting together 
in the wrong end of town-
but my feet stay firmly, 
in the right.

These days of endless summer,
these days of passing worry
are enough to keep my stomach
seeped in it's own blood;
it seems to clearly know,
what I've only been able to guess at.

Each moment falls away
and the rainfall gauge creeps along;
filling, and climbing towards 
nothing new,
nothing more,
nothing gained and
nothing spent.

I remember the idea of the road
the wind
the sun
the scrapes and bruises
forgetting to brush your teeth in dirty motels and
opening your eyes under the waves of a brand new coast.

Heaven exists in closed eyes
and bloody knees.

It seems my scars are fading
exactly when I want them to be raw-
pinned on medallions
of mistakes proudly made
moving towards 

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I cannot stand the sight of their deaths.

Nights, interrupted with sweat and a chest of pain,
a towel down to soak it all up; then
sleeping again, but not on yellow-ringed sheets but unaware,
on bathroom tile and a time-flattened rug-
each morning realizing a phantom bender,
devoid of a single drink from the night before.

They are all older in the great scheme but younger in my mind;
they are forefathers, mothers, and siblings.

I hope to lose all of my warmth before then
for my veins could not stand the chill
my mind not take the jolt
and my head would lose the world in a dizzying instant.

Their deaths are ahead of me, always,
my life is looming over them and
I curse each time, at the youth wasted on self;
the same self so occupied with the right words
and the selfish pursuit of grey temples.

They will always be in heroic scale from
where I choose to stand,


as I stare upward and watch them flourish-
their lives rich, and their hard work realized-
I conceptualize my own mortality
and am unwillingly reminded of theirs.

Then, all at once, I jerk awake once more-
the rug impressed on my cheek,
and the lines of tile, marked red on my side.

I remain still, and listen
as a clear pool of shame
escaping my coward's brow.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Walking in the Wind

We carry our homes in our hearts,
no matter the pain.

we may 
wander to find greater inspiration
in the wide open-
far from
familiar corners 
and childhood windows,
but the grit beneath our nails will never lie,
for native soil lies deeper.

And while it may be undesired,
never spoken of again-
and hidden away to spare the judgement
city boy
or country bumpkin,

Home will always remain steadfast.

It is a secret,

Thursday, September 29, 2011

It Comes From The Air

Lines on a page,
blue and red,
create a sensation-
a light touch,
a hand on my forearm;
pulling and
willing me on.

Fingers at the top of my spine;
eyes seeing through my own-
as a camera
through a blinking television.

"Perhaps this has happened before."
words hanging in the air for a moment...

the TV goes blank

the fingers recoil into black

and I'm truly alone-

staring at familiar lines on a page as they slowly fill
with words that are somehow

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bourbon Sweat


written out on a beach
on a sunny day
in the back of your mind-
words that
never quite washed away
when the weather
turned cold.

You will never stop hearing the echo,
you will never stop feeling that certain pain,
you will never stop reaching for another,
then another,
and another.

You will never stop shivering when a cigarette is
snubbed out
beneath a tall

You will always think of those glasses-
that musty car
and the smear of make-up.

You were the one that made them cry,
but you never remember it that way.

They left you,
they abandoned you like some spoiled thing
like some festering boil
like some unwanted child.

They called you 'too much work'
and somehow
you were indifferent.

We are often defined by such stupid things
moments of insanity,
moments that were once so clear-
so cut and dry.
Now they seem like
would have been better.

So many nights of staring into mirrors and
splashing cold water onto warm, red faces
over and over,
and over.

This is where you should be
here and now,
and we know it,
but that will never assuage that certain pain
and the thought of how much time has passed will never
muffle the echo.

You will always reach out for another
and no matter now strong the tide,
that message way,
way back,
in the sands of your mind
will never wash away.

It all sounds so depressing
so dire,
so in need of a stiff drink;
but it amounts to little more than
splashing cold water
onto a hot,

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


The clouds are faster here
or perhaps the earth is moving
that much slower or
steadier than in the metropolises I've known.

Nature declares herself unabashedly, not through
cracks in the concrete
but in in the marbled atmosphere swirling
with the changing seasons and in
the emerald colored life, further spread
than the industry of man.

There is a different beauty found in the
tremble of thunder out here.
The unobstructed sound of unearthly light
tearing it's way from the heavens to the soil.
I can only wonder if rainstorms on the great central plains
are this stunning.

This land is so different from
my own. I feel ashamed to think that I knew better,
that I wasn't going to find a new world
but there is magic here in the fireflies and the
burning piles of leaves.

I have known the sound of cicadas to be synonymous with the heat
of summer, their song so prominent in films of the humid south; but now-
now that I hear their call and feel the muggy air I can't help but think myself deep
in a foreign land.

This place is older,
the trees all have deeper scars that have
healed over long ago-
their branches darker,
more knarled
just as the knotted, callused hands of the
people; seventh generation workers with
the minerals of the earth in their veins.

I am breathing better now.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Breaking Point

Old Matchbooks
worn and empty.
Thick green glass ashtrays,
and smelling of bleach.

The man I once knew is
hiding from me
pacing in the back of my mind.

I find myself trying to reason
with hallucination
debating with a sickness.

There is no secret pack,
there are no more cigarettes dancing
in the bottom of some deep desk drawer.

There is no flask in a hollowed dictionary
there are no answers in bottles.

There is only some bizarre faith
in the next

Thursday, May 26, 2011


You were warm once
back when I was.

Now you are a sheet of lace
floating on an incandescent ray and
a pair of crimson lips
on a lifeless face
staring back at me through
a golden polaroid.

I feel you in the damp concrete during
a summer storm;
I hear you in the cadence of a sweet hymn,
in the caress of a country bow and
in the crackle of decades-worn vinyl.

And now I press on,
and now I press on.

I have to press on.

Monday, April 4, 2011


I have spent thus far
staring out of frosted sills
watching empty streets
in the dead of night
waiting for car crashes
or the off-handed,
in car,

I have sat in still rooms
dissecting florid wallpapers and
picked at crumbling walls.
I've imagined myself asleep-
sweating into corduroy couch cushions,
waiting for the sun to rise
and then hating it's arrival.

I have watched the play of sex.
I have watched her lipstick fade as it all progressed,
I have watched her come and
I have seen her walk away;
frame by frame.

I've been sick
hugging stained porcelain
and thinking of when my throat didn't burn.
I've sobbed from that tile floor
eyes blurring at the halo of an incandescent god
and begged it for forgiveness.

I've stared into the crevasse of
a darkened bathroom mirror
and imagined that I was different
or just not there.

I've watched her from afar
I've fumbled over coffee
wondering how to look into her eyes
choking on words that were never so thick
and I will always remember
the picture of her with him.

I will keep watching
I will keep sobbing
and perhaps,

just perhaps;

I'll smile
at all of my

Friday, March 4, 2011

Smoking is Sexy

Lucky Strike promises.

Eternal health.

Masculine appeal.


and detectives in black and white.

Blues bars- formerly 
choking with atmosphere.
Cigarettes stuck in the strings of
Gretch and

Embers glowing in
Dylan's shades

Then there was disease-
black lungs in elementary school jars and
holes in the throats of 
ancient puffers speaking with
robotic tongues.

what should be believed
what is inside them?
what is inside of us?
we know
we don't care
we should.

Bogart and Bacall
sharp eyes through hazy air

HS Thompson, pulling through a filter.

Dean eternal,
McQueen eternal-


Where is masculinity?
What is it?
Where has it gone?

Where is my pipe?
my violin?
my revolver?
or my faithful horse?

Gone they say;
consumed in 
a grey cloud of cancer.

Bitter betterment
at the hands of
medicated patches
and electronic
fog machines.

Habits die hard
cultures die hard

Nothing for coffee but pastry
nothing for behind the wheel but the radio
nothing to make the throat singe after sex
nothing to complete the image.

ghost limbs
reaching out of celluloid
reaching out of every smoking area
reaching out of the back of your mind

ghost limbs of