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.

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