Friday, August 31, 2012


Stagger, a little, the streets of nostalgia
under a bright moon this warm summer night
and look for traces of your past.

So hungry most of the time then,
thin and cold
bruised by every hard face,
the brick and stone of the place.

Tonight, you're older
harboring less intensity
not out of maturity or development
just bad faith, exhaustion,
faltering spirits.

You stagger under spirits now,
you and your friend,
it's good that word,
say "friend" .

All that moves out here, besides you
are the disproportionate number of police
daring you to get behind the wheel.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Brace for change
or don't brace, just be fluid
figure it out
so you'll know what to tell them
and what to do
It's happening now.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Something Blue

Working late while they're out
looking  at potential new lives
and I'm trying to jam the summer fun
into one eight hour block tomorrow
while one little boy gets jealous of the other
and the rain is coming down like it hasn't
for the last several months threatening
the whole plan to kayak around a
reservoir in a state park before going off to my second job.

This is better than the picture
of a cool blue drink on the bar
sweetly exotic promising
to drown you painlessly.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Exiled to a child's too small bedroom
it's no wonder they don't like it in here
but I'm already drowsy
with the drone of the fan
and the rhythm of cricket chirps.

Listening to the music of longing
without really feeling it,

Write what you know, what you've seen,
a story of a brown skinned girl looking down from
her prisoner's window
or five drug addicts stuck in the car next to you
sweating with the windows down,
swearing fiercely at each other in the most desperate way,
and the strange civility of their stillness and
in using each other's first names.

Write something that can take us out of here,
something set to music and sung sensuously-
slow as smoke
by someone like Sade
or something.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

To Be or Not To Be

There was a guy I knew in school,
older than the average student,
like me, and he worked with his hands,
built things.

He said he wanted to be a writer
and you know what?

Today, he is one.

So what's your problem?

This On The Radio This Morning

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Took a right turn this morning
on to the wrong track,
and stayed there all day long
around and around and

You chose the vile thought,
the shameful act -
you built this ugly world.

empty miles
wasting life.

Monday, August 13, 2012

So Long I Think It's Me

I undertook this thing
in part to change the voice
in my head.

I've been listening to it,
living with it, for such
a long time.

I want to know what I am
without you,
what I can be.

If I can shake you

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Numbers Like 40,000 Men, Women And Children In An Instant With A Single Bomb

Hearing numbers you thought you knew repeated years later
they mean something they didn't back then
the magnitude, you have more of a sense of it,
but still can't imagine it with any real clarity
sadly, you know enough now for it
no longer to be unbelievable

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Owl's Name Was Called

The owl didn't make it,
I should have known by it's
one-eyed stare that the
damage was too great.

The kids are doing other things,
life keeps moving,
so let's hope they don't ask.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Cry For Love

Ruins: What Rises From Them and What Falls Into Them

There's a burned bed in the median
hardly more than metal springs, black char, and grey ash
disconnected from any memory of whatever purpose it once served.

The call about the owl didn't come in today,
the suicidal one that flew out in front of the family van,
the bird I was willing to forsake if not for a child urging
his father to seize upon an opportunity to become a hero.

Thirty minutes after impact, we find the bird in the headlights
flat on it's back, wings spread wide, motionless.
It's dead, I say, disgusted.
It's midnight and, like any working man off the clock,
I want to relax not mess around with dead birds, lost causes.

When I step out onto the road though,
the owl leaps to its feet and looks at me drunkenly
through one open eye.

Uncertain, I drop a blanket on it and gently lift it into a cardboard box.
The owl offers no resistance thinking, perhaps, that I am the reaper come to take it home.
We drive thirty miles to the 24 hour emergency room at the school of veterinary medicine
which is different from emergency rooms that treat humans in that it's not very busy
and the staff are polite, humane and like their jobs.

The receptionist asked us to complete an information card which inquired
as to whether we wanted to be included in the release of the animal when it was fully mended,
and I thought what a great family moment that would be - to see the despondent owl cured and liberated, soaring strings in the background...we, beaming skyward.

But that call didn't come in, 
and I have this fear that the poor owl
may have hung himself in his cage
while the staff were laughing and having pizza.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Antlers Of The Midnight Sun


There isn't a great deal of difference
between being boxed in
and being boxed out

Timed the merge wrong
and got caught looking
you're too old for this
and the awkward moment
passes with you playing it off
outwardly while inwardly
burning stupid

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