Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Day Of December

I don't really wish to comment on this year gone by.
You don't want to wish them away, but...
Anyway, let's imagine a better one in 2012
and hope that maybe the Mayans
just got sick of counting.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Cold Out There

Thirtieth Day of December

Awakened suddenly and late this morning realizing that
I'd been sleeping hard and deep - which is rest,
which is good - marking something said in my dream
to write here later, but it's faded now or
I've lost the context, but
it had something to do with someone and his
gone-away smile.

There's a snowflake or two in the air this morning,
cold, as it's supposed to be,
and outside the Bank of America
there's an armed security officer posted there
since the grafitti incident, bundled up tight -
black watch cap, scarf, upturned collar, combat boots
and a territorial scowl undermined
by the ear buds of his I-Pod.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Little Drummer Boy


Snow Tires

The temperature plunged thirty degrees in twenty four hours
and that change was ushered by winds which
had us all bracing for the sound of breaking trees falling
on our house, on our heads.

We don't speak it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Twenty Eighth Day of December

Put everything on credit cards,
everything everyone needs and wants,
and then go to work and prepare yourself
for another year of busting your hump to pay creditors.

It's raining and you hydroplaned your way to work
but you made it there alive after signing the waiver
at Wal-Mart following your oil change which let you know
yet again that your tires were far too bald for safety.

In the morning, if you live, you've got a 7 A.M. appointment
to get four brand spanking new snow tires for just a little over 500 bucks.
In the meantime your typing on this brand new computer that cost
your credit card just a little less than that.

The winds of austerity are blowing in this direction.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Twenty Fifth Day of December

The night, so far, is relatively quiet
as the magic of the day slips back into shadow.

There's no snow, but it was a good day - a family day,
free of tension and painful exchanges.

The kids were so happy, and I noticed
for the first time
that my daughter is suddenly
taller than my wife.

She sat on my lap for awhile,
my daughter.

I left them at home watching a movie
and came to work an overnight shift
already trying to figure out
how to pay for the day and
all that is yet to come.

But I'll call this day a blessing
and leave it in peace.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Twenty Third Day of December

Lase night we went to see my son graduate from one belt to another in his karate class.
Christmas music was absolutetly blaring as the parents assembled and waited in the seating area.
It really got to the autistic boy behind us who began to scream in real pain.
Jack, the youngest, sat on my lap and rested his head against my chest.
Limp, frail, trusting - he said,
 " I only dream about bad stuff or things I don't want to know"

You wonder how much he heard of the other night's loss of control.
You wonder whether the boy is a prophet,
or if he is afflicted, like you.

He wonders aloud why the karate guy - barefoot in a Santa suit -
has black hair under his hat and behind his white beard.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Nineteenth Day of December

Last night I visited with an old friend
whose friendship I've neglected for about seven years,
nothing much has changed -
only everything.

Worlds have risen and fallen,
children who didn't exist the last time
we spoke are now a part of both of us
and we have traveled far in different directions,
but he is the friend I remember.

That word is good - friend.

Today the sun's light , a kindness, like burnished amber
all the shades were up, all the blinds were open.

She Passed. Rest in Peace. What a Voice.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Love Sick

Sixteenth Day of September

what a miserable word,
I always think of it as effete -
the leisure class needing a siesta after some
low stress and frivolous recreational activity.

Then what do I call this,
this steady state of lethargy
accompanied by a foggy brain
and heavy eye lids following
a night of more than ten hours of sleep?

I don't know its name,
or I dare not speak it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fourteenth Day Of December

Shots fired,
and of course it's the children - the innocent,
who end up catching the bullets.
1,000 miles doesn't seem like enough
distance to make her happy.
stop counting.
stop keeping score.
stop shooting back.
there are no answers here,
nothing to win,
only more obstacles, more moments,
to be negotiated and lived.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Original Safety Dance?

Thirteenth Day of December

The music in my mind is not always a fitting sound track for my glass-half-empty temperment.

And that's a good thing because if we are more than just our parts,
then it stands to reason that we are more than the sum of our parts -
which is fortunate, I think, because during quiet moments lately,
I've been doing the math, and it's not adding up to very much.

You heard something on the radio today, oddly enough,
a self-destructive comedian playing himself talking about suicide
in a sit-com while another comedian tries to tell him to cut the crap.

You sense something is wrong.
No, you know it with every cell.
What difference does that make?

This Is Following Me Around This Morning

Monday, December 12, 2011

Twelfth Day of December

My fear of writing fiction has to do with not believing the product and the sickness to follow. I catch sometimes a glimpse of how it's sold. Writing about zombies for instance, something trendy and kitsch. There's nothing wrong with it, but I'd be sick after and wouldn't believe it. I want to write my heart, really, and without irony. But earnestness is a bore, maudlin, sickening, right? Maybe that's it, write your heart (saying it twice has made a sound bite out of it, I'm nauseous) and call it fiction. Like when you were a kid trying to screw up the courage to ask out a girl, your heart pounding, your brain in total panic. Asking her, then before she can respond, telling her you're only kidding. Write your heart in joke form like a suicidal comedian - throw yourself through a picture window or a coffee table for some laughs. Learn to speak truth by telling lies.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

George Winston

Eleventh Day of December

Have I become Mr. Wilson of the Dennis The Menace comic strip,  a chronic cranky curmudgeon? I'm telling you, I am consistently attracting strange negative energy. It happens when interacting with office
equipment like fax machines and copiers. It happens when I watch or listen to my favorite football team.
It happens when I try to go to a movie with my family. It's remarkably consistent. Anyway, a negative event tried to sabotage our activities yesterday, as a family, but it eventually turned around, which it will do sometimes if you allow it to. You have to let it go. We laughed a litttle in the last couple of days. I brought a Christmas tree home on the roof of the car, trimmed it up, brought it in and stood it up without injury or incident. It brought about some happiness and made me feel like I got something right.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tenth Day of December

On the Ninth Day, I took a break, because even complaining gets tiring.
Today is new, and a dramatic voice implores me to see it as
my first day and my last day simultaneously - to be grateful.

Today the plan is to see a movie as a family, and to buy a live Christmas tree, to bring it home tied to the roof of the car, and to stand it up in the living room. You're thinking that what's missing is laughter.

How long has it been gone?
And here is a part of the problem, illuminated in Christmas lights,
by looking for what isn't, you overlook what is. Something like that.

The moon is full, and there's a restlessness these last couple of nights. You try to find the proper state of mind in a box of fading memories and half-remembered songs, your grandfather's missing hat and coat.

Jack's Favorite Christmas Song

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Eighth Day of December

Torpedoed while trying to finance Christmas.
Forget the spirit, this holiday means pay stubs and financial disclosures.

Is that who you are?
I'm as tired as I've ever been.

In city news, the vigil I saw earlier this month was for a teenager shot in the chest at 2:30 in the afternoon in front of City Hall. Gangster bullshit - an army of morons, several arrests have been made but no difference has been. Last night, a burning three story house fell on another Worcester Fire Fighter trying to save people from inside a supposedly abandoned building. The last time this happened they lost six,
all the civilians, who shouldn't have been in there in the first place, on both occasions survived. Today, I say, fuck this.

Blood on Blood

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Seventh Day of December

Pearl Harbor Day, that should put your shit in perspective.
What do you have to complain about in the face of that?

Brought the car to the garage, it was raining too hard to walk the mile to work without soaking my computer, so I got a coffee in the Vietnamese place where they sell sweetened flavored coffees out of the drive-thru and cook strange, fragrant food for the men playing unfamiliar board games in the outbuilding.

I used to walk everywhere, all the time, but I didn't travel with a computer then, and I found that after half an hour or so, my body temperature would level off - hot or cold - and my clothes would dry.

The rain lets up a little, I head for a cafe with Wi-Fi, it starts again in earnest when I'm less than half way there. I take it personally,you bet.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sixth Day of December

This morning you had big plans to incorporate yourself,
make a business plan, but that fell off the truck
some time before noon.

What's half of not very much? Obsessively checking your dwindling balances
as the job creators wait for more tax incentives from a government they say they want to be left alone by and continue their hiatus from creating.

Half of not very much is something, alright?
It's more than half of nothing, ain't it?
So quitchyergoddamnbellyaching and get some sleep, get up early, and go.

Your front right wheel is making an ominous racket when you apply the break -metal on metal - rotors are probably shot, deferred maintenance.
Yeah, that'll cost you.

If We Make It Through December

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fifth Day of December

You didn't get the Christmas tree over the weekend
and money's tight for the rest of the week.

Someone burglarized the baby sitter's house this morning,
stole the television and a laptop,
rifled through their lives.

Makes you think about getting a dog,
a gun, an alarm system,
or better yet, of just leaving the door
wide open when there's nobody home.

It's not only Santa who comes down through the chimney
at this time of year.
Now, in between the sugar-plums, we've got you jerks to dream about.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fourth Day of December

This one was different - a day spent in silent meditation
as part of a stress reduction retreat through my place of work.
I liked the quiet.

One of the exercises we did was the Meditation of Loving Kindness.
You start with a focus on yourself, and you say:

May you be safe.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy
May you have a life of ease.

It's like sending a blessing, a wish, or positive vibes.
Each time I sent one of those statements to myself, it arrived
in the form of a question asking, are you really deserving?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Third Day of December

On the third day he rose again, it is said
and you remember that now because it was so oft repeated then
and that idea was a little easier to swallow before it came out
that the priests were having their way with the children of the flock
and the bishops and the cardinals kept it quiet,
so they all get just lower case titles from me.

I'm off today - what I mean is, not working.

Rum is good, and so is wine, as good as
all those shiny pearls cast before swine.

I'm cooking sausage jambalya from a box right now.
It smells real good, and me and the kids are hungry.
It's just as simple as that.

Story of The Minutemen

Thinking Like That

Friday, December 2, 2011

Second Day of December

Hard and sad to remember that the blues you sing are entirely your own.
Another fight about money, the division of labor, also hard and sad and
real- if a worn thin stereotype - and the most common deal breaker of all.

I'm due at another job, but right now there's the issue of a psychotic kid
who speaks to himself in two voices and sets the shower curtain on fire. He's out there on the run, and we're trying to convince the police to get interested enough to pick him up and bring him back.

There are larger violins than yours that need playing.

The voice in the elevator says, going down.
You don't need her to tell you that.
When you reach the bottom, she says lobby in a sly and sexy manner.
Outside, looking up, the sky is clear, the stars are blurred.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

First Day of December

Warm for the beginning of the first day of the last month of the year.
The boy, asleep, seems a body surfer among torrents of sheets and blankets
Blond tusseled, untroubled, his still hands held in super hero flight.
I take this picture with my eyes, sad that I'll forget, and go to work.

She's watching a movie featuring a boy asking big questions of God:
Why should I be good, when you aren't?
Reduce your expectations of others to zero and go on, Son, go on.

A swarm of undercovers circle two men spotlit in handcuffs and low pants.
In front of city hall, teenaged girls standing vigil around some candles.
Someone young is dead again, you guess, stupidly dead, needlessly dead.

We're expert here at shrine building, the theater of paying respect to the taken, but less accomplished at giving a shit about them while they live.

An Aim For December

Well, November is over, and I abandoned my National Novel Writing Month goal of completing 50,000 words somewhere just north of 19,000. I've been working more than an additional 40 hours a week on top of my day job so I've got an alibi, but the truth is I can't sustain interest, energy, and attention long enough to write a novel. At least not now.

My idea for December is to post 12 lines a day and maybe a photo taken that day too.


This is a photograph of me pre or post religous experience, I cannot now remember which. It all just dissolves into something I do not really understand. A child smiles with everything - its entire being (if left to do so on its own without prompting, without the desire to be pleasing to its keepers). An adult smiles with pre-meditation and intent, the pre-requisites for a Murder I conviction. Then there is the question of malice afore thought.

Sometimes cosmetically, wryly, sardonically, nervously, defensively, seductively, bitterly, photogenically; but how often honestly, spontaneously? There is no smile in this photograph of me pre or post religous experience. There is no expression at all, in fact. My head was turning, maybe distracted, and my eyes were more than half closed. Someone thought it was beatific, but I may also have been sneezing.

This Crept In This Morning

Monday, November 28, 2011


the inside of your head
is filled with mashed potatoes
burnt around the edges into
a mildly painful filling

close your eyes,
leaning forward, hands
clasped together in what
might seem an attitude of prayer
while you're only wondering
why your body never stops trembling
when you're awake

the facilitator reads a poem aloud
while you are positioned this way
and it's a little crazy because
as you listen to the words
you are writing one of your own,
automatically, in something like
a lucid dream

when she stops reading,
you have finished,
but when your eyes open
both the words and the feeling

you are left with only this notion
that there were moments in this life
when you were a lover

almost a lover

Oye Como Va

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Run With Me

Fault Finder

Behind some kind of glass
you cannot touch or feel
you see your family
your memory
right there, but not quite real

Or is it you?

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Thanksgiving day
make no proclamations
be modest in you celebrations
speak infrequently and quietly
and hope the trouble blows over

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Some Measure of Progress

you sicken and
you heal
at the same rate and
at the same time
all you can change is you and
all you can do is time
time tells you that it's leaving and
time knows you are alone

Who Are You Now?

The Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers

Because everyone needs to know.

Excerpt #19

We find ourselves in a state of incredible flux – within and without, individually and universally. It’s moving so fast right now you can’t see it clearly. You can’t define or interpret it. You are changing, being pulled through change, and so is everything around you. Some call it The Great Unraveling, and if this is truly the case, then you are, for once, entirely in sync with the world.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Full Episode

Full Episode

Excerpt #18

You came home and saw a piece of video of a police officer in riot gear pepper spraying student protesters as they sat passively on the ground on the campus of one of the University of California schools. Yesterday, you saw a photo of an 85 year old woman in Portland, Oregon who’d also been pepper sprayed. The day before that there was a still photo of a white police officer spraying a little black girl’s face – very specifically - as she tried to leave the area holding her mother’s hand. Peaceful protest isn’t going to stay that way long, with police tactics like that. It was interesting to note that in the video from U.C. Davis, students chanted their outrage at the police after the seated protesters were unnecessarily sprayed, but there was no violence. All the students though had recording devices – phones, cameras, video cameras, tablets. These will probably prove to be a great deal more effective than thrown rocks and bottles, but you think that if the police continue this trend of unwarranted force, a violent reaction is sure to come. You admire these kids for standing up in the face of this and having the discipline not to lash out. The president is going to have to weigh in on this pretty soon. Things are getting weird.

Meanwhile, Stephen Hawking says it’s time for us humans to expand into space, time to leave the ravaged Earth behind.

Why write fiction? This is all so much stranger. We’re all right here on the edge of winter, but you're thinking we've just recently gone over the edge into something of far greater consequence.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Excerpt #17

An old friend calls unexpectedly. What a difference it made. Your drowsy eyes are gone. You can feel your circulatory system at work. You are revived. That’s all it takes? Precious. It's so simple, it's stupid - so why haven't you called him in ten years?

The woman at the reception desk has only one visible tooth, the eye tooth on the lower left side. She’s very friendly. Yesterday she asked your name and told you hers. Today, you both struggled to remember but finally did. You said you just needed it repeated a few times before it sticks – like 100. She laughed a loud warm cackle, the laughter of a good witch.

And just like that, it’s almost good.

Greener Than The Hill

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Hearty Sampling of Joe Frank on Hearing Voices

Excerpt #16

As you are trying to leave, to back away slowly, because you have clarified their problem without solving it, a small baby is carried in by his mother. Both look hyper-alert. He’s a scooter, or a crawler, not yet walking and he just fell down 20 stairs. He’s bleeding from the nose a little, but like you said, he’s very alert and he’s not crying. You think he’s okay, but during the exam he starts to cry, and your heart is broken instantly by the high pitch of it - the fear in it.

You tell the nurse that you can deal with all manner of insanity in psych patients and then just put it behind you as soon as you walk out the door, but babies, man - hurt babies- you don’t know how they do it. She says, we put up a wall. You say that you've adjusted your memory to go no longer than 24 hours. She says the wall doesn’t really work that well. You confess that the memory thing doesn’t much either.

You bury what you see and hear and smell and feel as deep as you can with the time that you have available, but you bury it inside. It’s still in you.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Overload

Excerpt #15

It’s 12:30 A.M, and the voice on the phone asks you if you are sleeping in that valley-girl-sounding way that seems to have become the universal dialect for everyone under 40. You feel cold and murderous, and ask what she has for you. Does she realize she just pried you from your dream research in such a startling fashion that no memory of your dream activity remains?  No, she doesn't realize anything at all, you guess. There is someone in the ER waiting for your help. She is described as depressed and anxious. You are relieved to know that at least the two of you will have something in common.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Excerpt #14

Your feet smell pretty bad these days. You have two pair of ruined shoes in need of replacement. One, purchased just last summer, you were wearing during the freak storm and they were water logged on your feet for about 24 hours. They didn’t smell good at all after drying out, and several Lysol treatments have failed to address the bacterial count. The second pair, almost five years old, are just flat worn out, moisture coming up through slits worn through the soles.

Your car needs work too. You’ve been ignoring the check engine light for probably 50,000 miles and that clunking sound coming from your right front wheel well – a tie rod maybe? Christmas is coming. You’ve got to frantically shovel your money into that, so just use some more Lysol and a little duct tape and drive slow.

If your wheels fall off, don’t be on the turnpike.

Lydia Lunch

Excerpt #13

Are you growing tired of the sound of marbles slowly rolling across the wooden floor of your head space? The more tired you become, the louder they are – relentless. You don’t want to write anymore about you, about you being tired, about you working too much, about you going mad and running screaming around this oval track that gets smaller and deeper with every lap. You should make up some characters or you should tell the whole truth - a memoir that none would care to read. What is this place?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Old Man

Excerpt #12

You think there is a choice to lying down in this grave you are digging, a choice to this tone you are setting – you should view it as freedom, a golden opportunity. Get yourself a passport now and go whenever you can, celebrate, stretch, party, wiggle your toes in the sand. But when you think of it you picture yourself drunk looking into a small hotel room, mostly bare, tropical colors, a single bed made up with a sheet and light blanket and, within, what you feel is not celebration but something like a suicide only you’re still walking. Or you are standing like a sagging alabaster statue, as heavy and stiff as lead, on some beach while people whooooo! and smile all around you. You are going to have to take charge of this, or it is going to take charge of you. What will you make of your life? What will you make of your altered self?

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Excerpt #11

The writing has slowed to a snail’s pace and your word count is about half of what it should be. Just keep it coming, string together words, get to fifty thousand for the sake of your psychological survival. You just broke 11,000. You got home this morning ready to sleep and she left you with the kids and went for coffee and to grocery shop. The kids have been on their own for the last six or seven hours waking me occasionally with their escalating and alternating laughter and arguments. They have their own resources. It’s important to realize that. You’ll need that knowledge one day. You wish they’d go outside and remember being thrown out in the cold at that age to blow off steam and keep the house intact. You remember the smell of wood smoke; stinging ears, fingers, toes; the creak and sway and sadness of bare trees.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Excerpt #10

As far as the dreams go, your sleep was so interrupted by phone calls requiring you to solve problems, provoking you to anger, that you cannot remember anything beyond a single scene. You and a co-worker heading into the woods, the sun setting, not dressed or prepared for it, realizing this and going anyway, with the unmistakable feeling that this is a very bad idea.

Speaking of work, you sat with a junior co-worker today and watched her tears fall. It’s this line of work, man - constant crisis - it messes with you, impacts the entirety of your life - just ask you (me). Just ask your marriage. She said she finds now on the weekends that she doesn’t want to deal with anybody. Just ask your kids.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Can't Sleep, 3 A.M., And This Song Came To Visit Out of The Past.

Excerpt #9

It’s dark early now, and tonight, raining. There is time to sleep and silence. You feel unfamiliar to yourself here. The sound of rain is good as is the sound of passing tires on the wet road. There is something about that approaching then fading sound that has always brought about a sense of heartbreak and comfort at the same time. You were set on this track long ago. What will your dreams say tonight?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Boy With A Gun

Excerpt #8

White clouds race across the moon’s silver circle of illumination. Is that as far as the moon can see? You wonder this while faking innocence trying to make poetry and boyish wonder out of this mess. What you sought so obsessively was no relief. The darkness is deep right here on the corner, a wall of shrubs, a pocket knife, headlights insert condemning fingers of judgment – threaten you with exposure. You refuse the offering- an offering of refuse - tempered with a sort of kindness. The moon is full, you feel it – disarray. Its light doesn’t reach you, but the darkness does, and it sucks you in, a slow rhythm leading only to sickness and regret.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Excerpt #7

The Occupiers spray-painted Break The Bank on the walls of the Main Street.branch of Bank of America a while back. You noticed today that the graffiti has been removed. Over the weekend, the police arrested the Occupiers in this city for failing to leave the common right behind City Hall when so ordered. You wonder if it was retaliatory.  It’s interesting to note that if you travel down Main Street a few blocks, away from downtown where there is less commerce, or less business being done in offices anyway, you will find gang tags spray-painted all over small stores, bakeries and auto-body shops. What’s the difference, you wonder?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Toward a Definition

Excerpt #6

You can’t remember the entire dream, only the scene you last witnessed before extraction. It seemed like an interview with a woman, maybe an American Indian, who was planning to play music as a kind of vigil for something or someone – a cause – as some kind of cure. She was certain of the necessity of doing so and confident of its potency. She called it playing God’s Banjo.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Excerpt #5

When they come home, you are sleeping. Someone comes into the bedroom, and it wakes you partially, but you just lie there, rectangular in your mind, almost square, like a life raft or an inflatable mattress, You do not alter your face, you are careful about this, remaining impassive, letting the eyelids rest lightly without flickering. You imagine your face Chinese. In your head, you start writing this –  doing a better job describing the scene than you are doing now as you try to remember when it was effortless, unencumbered by your graceless typing. Your typing is gimpy

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Excerpt #4

It’s actually about 75,000 homes now without power in the state, according to the radio, and many folks may not be back up until Monday. This is small talk - not that it isn’t important – if it’s you without heat, lights, water and the ability to cook or keep food, or it’s your job to answer for why people are still living like that, it’s pretty damn important. You just mean to say that it’s not a part of this novel. It’s not a fictional story. What we’re doing here is blurred non-fiction. It’s a car ride while you’re drowsy – part dream and part car-wreck-unfolding

Friday, November 4, 2011

I Love You No One

Excerpt #3

A girl walks by the window with an intense, searching expression on her face. She’s hard-bitten and frayed at the edges, obviously an addict. A black girl, early twenties, under a beat up, straight-haired wig – for a minute you think you know her from when she was a kid in your program, but you don’t. Your car is parked right outside with you lap top on the floor, and you can’t help but glance that way as she goes by. Not far behind her is a man looking very alert, taking everything in, barely contained desperation. He’s a hungry fisherman, and she’s his lure, cast into the stream of this street. To say she is a hooker and he is a pimp is not the whole story. They’re addicts first. It’s a little like being Irish- American

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I'm Gonna Tell My Kids A Bedtime Story

Excerpt #2

Your world is small. Your experience is narrow. This ocean you pretend to swim in is as shallow as a kiddie pool. You have no expertise. What do you have to write about? The number of steps you take to complete your unconscious circle, the weather conditions, the pain of others, the joy your children stir in you and the fear, the guilt your children stir in you and the fear, the deafness you’ve developed in your marriage, the way you’ve closed your self down, working and maybe more about working, about sitting at a desk and watching time go by and not even wringing your hands over it when that’s the very least you should do, about planning a life that you will not live to see, that you will not take steps to implement? You want only to escape this moment.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Excerpt from Yesterday's NaNoWriMo First Entry

It’s not a life without humor – not entirely. Just a few moments ago you were interviewing a suicidal woman in the emergency room worn down by family problems, depression and chronic pain, hanging by a thread with her 11 year old daughter, crashing between the homes of friends and family and trying with heavy footsteps not to wear out her welcome. We determined a hospitalization might be the safest thing, the quickest way to get an anti-depressant started, being that an outpatient appointment is unattainable in less than 12 weeks in this state. You go to consult with the attending physician who is presently being consulted by a physician’s assistant who is bragging about how she just successfully installed a nasal trumpet.
This makes you snigger a little. You tell them you played the nasal trumpet in 4th grade band. The doc laughs a little, the P.A. ignores you entirely. You do the consult. The doc agrees with your disposition. You leave the ED blowing one clear half-note out of your right nostril while pinching closed your left.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Freak Storm

I spent the day walking
up and down Manhattan's
streets through a rain-snow mix
with a hangover's headache,
not dressed for weather,
and missed my bus.

Tourists leaned their umbrellas into the wind
and laughed defensively.

I didn't have an umbrella -
and soaked to the skin,
would not buy one from the street sellers -
was not laughing.

I found another bus
and spent the rest of the day
trying to will myself dry,
as cars spun off the highway
across the slippery
snow and ice no one
here was ready for.

It's not even Halloween,
for Christ's sake,
and now everything is blindingly white
and the trees are bent under the burden
like my back will soon be, as I shovel and curse.

But it was good to come home to
all three children sleeping
peacefully in one room and
to dry sheets
and warm blankets.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Beauty And Its Ruin

First snowfall.
Beautiful, I guess,
and shift immediately into
thoughts of low heating oil,
bald tires pushed twice as far
as they're rated for, trees
too close to the house
that might not hold up under
the weight of snow and ice
and wind.
Will we?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

About How We Treat Ourselves

The word was soften,
and it took you by surprise.

Say a Spell

Meet Them At The Door Laughing

This came to me yesterday, and I had to share it, all the way from the 13th Century.

The Guest House

This being human is a great house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Rumi, (as translated by Coleman Barks, The Essential Rumi)

Thursday, October 20, 2011


October hints at Winter this evening

There's crisp bluster in the wind,
and bare trees creek against a darkening
patchwork sky in motion

It quickens, threatens, warns...

From Malta Via NPR

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More Good Words From Jack

" My hair gets nervous when you brush it, just like a shirt gets nervous in the washing machine".

Monday, October 17, 2011

Oh, Death


You have to charge your batteries,
find a source of nourishment,
I mean we all do.

No one really does it alone.

I heard a man talking about
encountering Bright Lights
out there in the world
once in awhile.

You know one when you see one,
but is it in you to be one?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Twist and Crawl

Yellow And Falling

Try to sleep in the car with
the seat tilted all the way back
in the parking lot of a neighborhood bar
then wake to find it's dark now
and there's a tree branch with yellow leaves
framed just so in the window
it's beautiful but desolate and
you would take a picture
if you had a camera
make beauty out of this
but the flash would only ricochet
off the window anyway
capturing just the
desolate part

Monday, October 10, 2011

Leaves Fall Away As The Sun Sets On This Missed Day That You Try Now To Forget

Spend a little time lost.

Spend a little time in a place where
you dare not call out for fear that
no one will answer back.

Spend a little time here and
do not panic or despair.

This is the world you have made.

How I Thought Spain Might Be

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Sometimes the room inside
smells of fresh paint and starvation
a colorless monochrome 
the smell blanches all the color
out of you
leaving dry piles
of bleached bones
starched sheets and pillow cases
you are alone, alone , alone


Friday, October 7, 2011

The Cardinal Sin


Overnight, a co-worker informs you that
you might be being called by God
Take a leap of faith
but all you see is a stone
falling straight down
to Earth.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Never Get Out Of These Blues Alive

No Left Turn

He screamed at me for over an hour
through broken teeth
(we graduated from high school the same year)
showering me with bits of Cheetos
laying out a diatribe of discrimination
condemning me and all the other
white bitches for the help we
failed to deliver.

I ask him if he thinks maybe he had some role
in not getting the help he so swiftly and vociferously
rejects in a hail of insults and dismissals.

Listen, motherfucker
I got the devil and angel thing going on
on my shoulders, and I'm about to go left

Really, part of me is looking at you
for an excuse to go left, even though
I'm trying to go right.

Now the brother speaks true,
and for a moment,
we're both real.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

One Meatball

Wake Up and Get To Fretting

What makes you tired
is the list in your head
of the things that you need
to pay for which
sucks up all the money
before it's even made.

This is what's called
paycheck to paycheck.

Fretting about money,
a ready-made life's work,
just sign on
and have at it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Of Silence

Four Hours

Four hours of sleep,
a hot meal,
and the heart is
when only a moment before,
washed out and solitary,
I was ready to give
up the ship

How much of us,
this human spirit,
can be reduced to chemicals
mixing, rushing
and finally depleting?

This thing you call will,
battered by your open eyes
and replenished
by the fetal position,
a small dream lacking
coherence -
meatloaf and gravy.

Alaska, shining eyes,
fur ruff, pinking cheek
and the wind cutting in
straight from eternity.

Grip Slip

The loss of all sense
again and a bad
taste in my mouth while
outside the sun is rising
and my day is not yet half over so
be careful what you curse and
be thankful for the employment,
the shelter, the ability,
always be grateful,
cultivate gratefulness,
or grapefruit or gravitas.

Always remember,
gravity will kick your ass.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Rive Droite

Slow To Move

The consequences of your
actions cannot be foretold,
only guessed at,
isn't that what it boils down to?

Would that stop you
from taking a risk
if what you think is at stake
is attainable happiness?

What about when taking
that risk involves the lives of others?

The signal changes from red
to green, but my foot
won't leave the brake.

Jesus The Mexican Boy

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Was It Like This?

I'd like to ask you
what it felt like
when you learned you couldn't stay.

Too late
 to get well
too young and 
 then gone

A younger wife
 a small boy and
a toddler

Left adrift...

There is no us
 out here

You Are My Destiny

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Jack brought an assignment home from Kindergarten having to do with how he got his name.

I suggested the name because it's strong and solid, with a little bit of mischief sprinkled in, and there just aren't enough strong, solid types in this country today.

He had to respond to the following prompt: I think my name is...

And here is his response: Golden like a crown, or a school bus, cheese, or the sun. It feels so yellow!

I know talking about your kids is bad form, and usually deathly boring to those without close blood ties, but I can't help it with this kid.

He's poetry.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

In You, Me

A reader in Bangkok and one in Brazil,
I can tell you both that my head is very tired now,
very tired, and I am honored by your visits,
and I am working today with people's needs -
needy people (there are so many of them)
 - ringing and ringing -
everyone's suicidal tonight or addicted to heroin
or living with an abusive boyfriend or coping with
the loss of a child given up for adoption
because life is too crazy living with you
and you understand that.

She is nearly falling apart, shaking in her room.
The story that sustains her is one of a biblical nature
she says, though I am not familiar with it.
God sees two women fighting over a baby and asks,
Who is the child's mother?
Both answer, I am.
God offers to cut the baby in half to settle the dispute
One woman agrees selfishly and the other says no in horror.
Thus the true mother is revealed.

May we all try to help a little where we can.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Super Center

The young woman tells you it will be
at least an hour and fifteen minutes
before they can even get your car into a bay
like she's trying to talk you out of the
$26 oil and filter change you're 5,000 miles
overdue for.

Nobody really wants to do their job.

You don't have much choice, the car is making a sound
that seems to indicate that instead of having five
healthy quarts of oil churning through its circulatory system
there's nothing there but a smear of slick, black mud.
It's arteries are hardening,
a stroke is inevitable, so, you have to wait.

You walk the aisles of the place and think about
who you will become after the status change
and there's an emptiness in the distance,
blurry, don't bring it into focus
leave it out there.

You go to the bathroom, it's empty,
and you remember security camera footage of a small child lured
into an identical restroom in another state by a teenager
and strangled.

This is no place to die,
and on the wall of the stall
there is a distasteful joke
and a message
Escape This Hell

Back in the aisles,
staring at one thousand varieties of cereal
for too long.

Middle-aged man by himself
walking slowly in the aisle
creep, some one's thinking, watch the kids.

I think about the instant grits, the butter flavored kind,
and am suddenly hopeless for everything,
so I escape to this thought of just hiking -
walking a trail on and on,
working hard, muscles tight, sweat running
getting somewhere,
and never stopping to think
or to look.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I Could Use This

We should all have regular opportunities to lose our minds and to return cleansed.

I Really Need To Clean Out My Car

Never been to Iceland
or Peru, but looking around
I find myself friendless
in a vastness
and it's a little...

Thursday, September 22, 2011


You receive the message loud and clear,
and is it through the anger or because of it
that you draft your letter of resignation,
your terms of surrender?

Take the symbol between your fingers
and consider launching it out into
the world on this meaningless spot,
in this inauspicious moment,
but you think of the boy and his observation,
it never comes off
no matter what.

There are three reasons:
the best of all possible reasons.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Invitation To The Blues

On Call

The boy says the Dad's job is
to protect the family.

The boy also says that
he will choose to live alone,
that is if he doesn't marry Catherine,
who's brother Luke
is the strongest baby.

The father has a chance to sleep
but misses most of it
half-listening for the phone

If it rings, it's income -
not much, but some...
and if it doesn't,

Or at least that was the plan.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One Way Ticket To The Blues

Middle Class Slide

Arrive tired to find the money spent
with ten days to survive until next pay day
an empty gas tank, 5 gallons of heating oil at a time,
and a kid with an abscessed tooth.

Dream angry dreams,
wake up and do it again.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I'll Wear Sable Some Day

5:13 AM

Looking at you
through eyes of sand
sleeping off your opiates
dreaming quietly now
of something better
while my head
empties entirely
of sense.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Double Shift

Race to get here on time
to make the bread,
to bring home the crust
and the crumbs.

You are not appreciated,
nor do you appreciate,
you just resent

Use all the restraint you can muster
to keep from rattling
the bars of the cage
that never bend or break
because, like the metaphor,
it makes you tired.

It is tired.

You are in the world to labor
to suffer
and to die...
remember that.

Anything else is a bonus,
but you won't find any of

Monday, September 12, 2011

To remember without malice, to forget without indifference

Yesterday was bright and warm, and my daughter stood for seven hours amongst several choirs, as part of a remembrance ceremony on the ten year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. All week, I'd been wrestling with a nagging question - do we really want to remember? I mean, is remembering horror a good thing?

It's a question no one wants to ask aloud because it evokes instant anger from the listener. I experienced that anger myself. It's as though not formally, not publically, remembering is somehow disloyal. Like breaking the vigil, forgetting those who were lost.

During the ceremony, a few hundred of us sat on the grass in a park and listened to multiple lecters read the names of the victims. In listening, I heard the names - first, middle, and last - of myself and all of my children in there, like in a word search puzzle. So many names...

And then there were religious leaders from the major faith communities here who spoke, prayed and sang - Jewish, Muslim, and Christian. The Imam, when it was his turn to speak, thanked the organizers for including them in the service.

What a strange mix of emotion in myself, and in the crowd, at that moment. Something primitive in me was almost angry, almost bristled against this...what, affront? Something else felt fear for them, for their safety in this place, fear that someone would say or do something ignorant to them.

The Imam asked us to stand, and I was quick to get my boys on their feet, and self-concious about it. The great majority of the people stood respectfully while the prayer was so beautifully sung. One man turned his back to the singer, keeping his seat, stone-faced. A boy of 8 or 9 sat in his lap, trying to play with him, seeming not to notice the man's anger.

I couldn't help but wonder how whatever was inside the man would come to shape whatever is inside the boy. Another man lay on his back in the grass, hands under his head, not moving an inch in what looked like silent defiance.

Two among hundreds are hardly worth mention. The people were moved and reverent. The choirs, my daughter, sang beautifully. Small children played happily in the grass. Dogs wagged their tails and sniffed one another excitedly. And the sun moved slowly across the clear early autumn sky. The ceremony was a real production - equal parts gravity and syrup - very American.

We are the affliction. We are the salve. We are war and we are mercy.

Salvation is...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September, in the morning.

September, in the morning
leaves still mainly green
after so much rain
grey squirrel picks his way
through the overgrown yard
next to the trunk
and tangled ball of root and earth
the hurricane downed tree
stood tall just two weeks ago
a crow caws
and now it is as though
it has always been so.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Things No Child Should Know

The talk on the radio news is of the ten year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Ten years, and though I was not there, I can still feel that day. It's one of those reference points, like the Kennedy assassination or the death of Elvis, in which almost everyone seems to remember where they were and what they were doing.

I was late for work, driving through traffic in a four way intersection. When the second plane hit, I remember punching some part of the car and screaming, "fucking terrorists!" before I, or anyone, even knew what was really happening.

I ran a shelter for abused and neglected kids then. Word of the occurrence got through to them in the basement classroom through the internet. As the director, I felt like it was my job to tell them. The staff and kids gathered in the group room. I remember thinking that I was a very strange person as I gravely made the announcement - sounding like Walter Cronkite, an old time TV news anchor.

It was quiet for a minute, and a hand went up.


What's a terrorist?

A second hand shot up, but she couldn't hold the words back.

Why do they want to kill us?

I couldn't answer right away.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Sound of Autumn's Colors

Put it Away

September, and today is rainy, grey, cool. Wanderlust strikes me hardest in the Fall, this year especially so. I want to run. Travel doesn't seem to be in the cards right now living paycheck to paycheck in the richest country in the world. I'm fortunate, I know.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Is at the very least
a state of mind,
present in the
absence of something,
a kind of half-life
from which there is no
visible exit or alternative
imagination can

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Find Your Seat On The J

The last one is off to school
a little nervous
but looking cool in his
green shirt and blue Chucks

It's good to see him
find his place
sitting on the only J
on the teacher's alphabet rug

It's hard to leave him there
and be confronted in the hallway
with the passage
of time

Heard A Cover of This on The Radio in The Car Today

Sunday, August 28, 2011


She dumped a lot of rain
surged the seas and scattered leaves.

She dropped a tree, quite mercifully
right beside the house with no damage.

The last of the winds
are still blowing through here
now, after midnight.

Clear skies
all quiet, save for the wind
scoured, cleansed

There was a time this afternoon
when the winds waned
and the birds, all at once,

Friday, August 26, 2011

Goodnight, Irene (Be Kind)

Four O'Clock And All's Well!

Sunny, calm - it's eighty-five degrees
as Hurricane Irene churns this way
whirling malice and raining flood

The Oracle says she's staring directly at us
her course set for right between my eyes

I'd like to be drunk in the sunlight
listening to one of the patrons
sing along with Dinah Washington,
maybe I'd sing some too.

I'd like to be drunk and
worried about nothing at all
content to let tomorrow
blow us flat or drown us deep
if that's what it's got a mind to do.

All this struggle and worry
and how much can you
really prevent?

I remember the story of an
Irish ancestor in the bar after work
on Friday evenings -buying and drinking:
drinks, all around

And in the midst of the happy din
a little girl appears tugging at his pant leg,
sent by her mother to save the rent
before it's all drunk - you see
nothing could reach him
like she could.

I couldn't understand then how he could be
so weak, so mean, so addicted, 
so whatever it was

In this moment, from this stool,
I wonder if maybe it was something different,
some kind of sad universal love,
that and knowing tomorrow wasn't his to have
at all.

She's working her way up the coast as we speak
and my little boy is nervous,
but right now the sun is shining,
and I have but one beer to toast
your health with,
and I do.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Because I Forgot Just How Mighty It Is

The sound on my computer is far too puny for this song. I hope you have hardy speakers and can enjoy this at the maximum freakout setting the song deserves. For you youngsters, if anyone reading this is a youngster, this is Rock.

Where Does It Come From?

Last night he spent awhile sleeping next to me
waking me with jerking limbs
and fear in his voice
more than once

What did you dream?
I asked in the morning

One hundred monsters
one hundred tornadoes
one hundred hurricanes...

A young woman with
too many kids
and not enough help
calls the crisis line
routinely at midnight
in a panic:

tightness in her chest,
dread without a source,
certain she's going to die

Where does anxiety come from?

and you search the darkness for an answer
to give her that might help
and say something like
it's depression's twin
which doesn't help
and only gives her another illness
to worry about

you want to tell her
anxiety comes from believing 
that you are just too small
to handle the enormity
of all that you are dealing with
combined with all that's still to come

instead you tell her to exhale fully
and take a big, slow breath

slowly out
slowly in

slow your breathing down
and your heart will slow down too

focus only on the next breath
just the next step

she says thank you and hangs up
and then in the darkness
you find sleep has slipped
out of the room
and you try to focus on
breathing the next one

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


documenting your own descent
on you tube
brilliant, confident, beautiful
recent graduate
private school
full of promise
you would have made them all
so proud
if not for
what runs in your blood

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hold On

Another Tidbit From The Mind Of Young Jack

He's getting dressed and ready for kindergarten orientation this morning, his hair still mussed from his pillow. He finds a tiny figurine of the Statue of Liberty that he dug up in the basement yesterday and shows it to me.

"I want to live in a big city. I don't want to live in this old lazy town", he says, making a sweeping gesture with his arm.

"I want to live in New York - like the Statue of Delivery!"

Monday, August 22, 2011

To Wear Still The Coat

Slammed on the breaks
and came to
on the highway's edge
snapped awake in panic

where are you?
who are you now?
and how did you get here?

you're going to change
so much more
before this is through

how much so
you cannot know

will you recognize

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Paycheck To Raincheck

now you've given
yourself a fever
smart guy
trying to work
an extra week
on the weekend

I've got the chills

it's been a quiet
shift and my bed
is just another
three hours away

I line them up in front of me
in segments of 8, 12 or 16
and then I look for more

I scramble
for crumbs
while dreaming
I am a vagabond
always walking away
to find a better

only to find myself
startled by every
child's laugh
or cry
haunted by
memories of home

some version of home

a helluva

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Town With No Cheer

Welcome Chicken Underwear!

It is wrong to work 24 hours in a row
even if during some of it
you're really just marking time.

It is also wrong to be away
from your children
for five weeks.

Right is falling into bed,
before the heat of the day hits,
the sound of crickets and
nothing else.

It is also right
watching your boy through
a window playing pirates
with his best friend
first love
his face brightening
even more when
he notices you.

That's enough for today

Friday, August 19, 2011

What Am I Doing Here?

Notes on This Place

My son asks why it is so bad,
at ten years old,
and I know what he means,
but am compelled to defend it

Estrella de Jacob
tries to outshine the
piles of syringes and decay,
the pimping of a white girl

Jesus and Heroin in
endless running skirmishes
for dominance of these blocks
and it's people

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


A chorus of experts
between well and ill
there's but an inch.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Here Haiku

enter a place where
the patients tell versions of
my own life story

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Morning

I feel like
I am coming to the point
in the dream
where there are no

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Carousel of Progress

Lesson From A Five Year Old

Yeah, it was cool to stay in the resort hotel with its miraculous ceiling and polka dotted rugs. Then there was an afternoon in the pool complete with tropical themed waterfall which was very nearly a dream come true all by itself.

That night we could hardly sleep in anticipation of the Magic Kingdom. 

Breakfast was tasty, if incredibly overpriced, and we had our pictures taken with Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy (coolest of them all). We made our way to the Magic Kingdom, like Mecca, thronged by pilgrims and devotees. It was at least 95 degrees and the sun was in a sadistic mood all day long. We bought a Goofy hat and rode a couple of rides in Tomorrow Land. The five year old melted down in the super-loud, strobe-shattered darkness - Stitch, on the loose and menacing.

That was it, not a full hour into everybody's dream-day-come-true, and he was all done. He spent the best part of the rest of the day with his fingers in his ears and a look of sheer terror on his face. "It's too loud with music, train whistles, parades, and too many people talking and laughing all at the same time...". We never made it to "It's a Small World After All" after all.

After dark, a sudden drenching downpour sent him shrieking. He must have assumed it was the moment of the absolute end of the world after this day long Apocalypse of the senses.

After the deluge ended, we found a relatively quiet corner and a bench to sit on.

"Dad, eventhough we didn't ride too many rides, I loved the "It's a great big beautiful tomorrow!" ride, and the Country Bears. I got to have some fantastic snacks and bought this awesome Goofy hat, and we walked around and we were just hanging out. It's still half a dream come true".

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sleep Walk

I'm world weary. Going on vacation. See you in a week.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wonderful World of Disney

Matter and Anti-Matter battle for dominance of my tattered soul. I'm tired. I'm tired of crisis - the experience and the management thereof. So I will join my wife and children for a vacation next week. I will relax - try to relax. I will not think of work and I will allow any crisis to occur or not without my intervention. I will try to focus on Matter, on what matters.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Al Green

Chinese-Americans Digging On Al Green

A bar called Winnie's in Chinatown
in the shadow of The Tombs -
Central Booking - Manhattan's jail.
We drank and sang
almost fought then felt ridiculous
and we met people, talked, joked
liked them just fine
and seemed to be liked in return.
How unusual.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Beach Boys - Wind Chimes

From The Shuffling Madness

We goofed on the train on the way down to the Lower East Side. While most of the other commuters rode with their earbuds in, shutting it out, I was straining to listen and taking it in. Of course, I was only visiting.

I made stupid faces for my sister-in-law's camera.

I thought of a story I recently heard on the radio, set in this city, of a man falling onto the tracks while in the grip of a seizure directly in front of an oncoming train. Many people saw this happen and looked on, I imagine, helplessly. One man, there with his two young daughters (4,6), jumped down to try to help as the train hurdled toward them. The seizing man was limp and could not be moved. The train could not stop. The intervening man laid the man down between the rails and then covered the man's body with his own. The train passed over them, breaks squealing, finally coming to a stop with the two men somewhere underneath. The little girls screamed. The on-lookers looked on.

Both men were unhurt, and the radio show went on to investigate why, in times such as these, some people act heroically while some do not act at all. What is the thought process? The motivation?

I like to think it is some kind of inborn nobility. On top of the rest of the mess, we are more good than not. But that rings of mythology, simplistic, and I'm just not sure.

We find a Nepalese restaurant where the food is cheap, simple and excellent. The people running the place are working hard. They have come very far to engage in this struggle -the American Dream. My companions go for vegan options, while I seek out meat. It's a small place and a crowd of people come in. They're loud. Listening, I feel as though I can write the dialogue before they speak it - stereotyped, flat, moronic. I scowl, as do my companions, not because we have anything against them, really. It's just that we wish we did not have to endure their fake good time.

Vitriol, Senhor Coelho might say. Not good.

I wanted to ask each of them who in their group would they cover with their body to protect them from the harm of an oncoming subway train. That'd sober them up. But instead I ask what's wrong with me, and where the hell my vision of nobility went.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

For The Lion On The Lamb Now Gone

Not Much Thought About A Visitor Now Deceased

They killed a mountain lion in Connecticut. I don't know why: because it didn't belong there, because it ate a pet, menaced a grandfather, held the town in it's metaphorical carnivorous jaws - or just because they could.

We have the technology now to find out how the mountain lion came to be in Connecticut, a place where mountain lions were pushed out by human encroachment ( if they were ever even there) a hundred years ago or more.

DNA evidence showed that the cat was from the Black Hills of South Dakota - a sacred place to the Plains Indians - two thousand miles distant.

That mountain lion walked two thousand miles only to be shot by strangers. What was it looking for? Elbow room? Maybe a place without fences or Wi-Fi?

Or was it a messenger from a holy place carrying a warning? What happens when the sacred meets the profane? What comes to pass when a spirit endures two thousand miles of Wal-Marts and Burger Kings?

 "Honey, there's a sacred being tipping over the trash cans on the patio. Better call Spirit Animal Control"

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Island of Lost Children

Another call for Calm and Unity
More dead children
More anguish,
Terror, loss

Another call for Calm and Unity
How do we recognize violence
Before it is unfurled

Another call for Calm and Unity
How do we deliver this message
in every language
for all to hear and understand?

Another call for Calm and Unity
Insanely, this blond man proves that
One person can make all the difference
Or is it only true in the delivery of pain and evil?
Who will be his opposer?

Another call for Calm and Unity
We will mourn, rage, despair, spit in disgust, cry helplessly -
Maybe conclude that the whole damn thing has gone sour

And then we must stand up,
calmly, united,
and get to work
tipping the scales
back the other way

Blog Archive

Visitor Map