Category Archives: poetry

Minor Existential Crisis in a Corn Field in a Small City in Ohio

Tonight the dusk

seems like it will last forever

and the silver crescent

moon is going to hit me on the head

if I don’t duck in time.

But the last paleness leaves the sky

when God spills

an inky black mess

across a beautiful sunset

then

as an afterthought

decorates with a dash of glittery stars.

 

I wrap the luxury of my earthly concerns

across my rounded shoulders and exhale and wonder

about my heart and if perhaps I should try to

break it just to see if it still works.

 

A Friday the 13th massacre in Paris and

yet I had a pretty good day on Friday,

and for this

I am not sure if I am grateful or guilty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frame of Mind

Gunshots ring

outside my window but

no big deal, I live by

a sportmen’s club and

they routinely practice

firing rounds

less than a mile away from

where I sleep

and shower

and it’s a funny thing

how perspective

can frame the mind

to where I can be

conditioned to see

something like

hearing gunfire as typical

and safe everyday business

but for some, it

means the end of the world,

outside their windows,

right there and

right then.

Tree in November

I see your skeleton again.

It’s that time of year

when you have cast aside your leaves,

unflinching, unapologetically

departing thousands of tiny foolish notions

that it was ever better to hide behind

some contrived beauty

that is now wasted away,

quietly fluttering to the ground,

softly shattering beneath my footsteps

and returning to formless earth.

I see your skeleton again.

Not just your finest, greenest moment on boastful display,

but every single mundane one.

Every inch of limb and root telling a story of an instant

when you grew,

when you were,

a notation of times even when the sun was not shining

and the earth was frozen,

each moment equal and part of something larger than itself,

a timeline of winding curving branches

like the lifeline across my palm,

a map of a life spent

sometimes bending yet remaining

unmoved.

“The Solace of Leaving Early”

“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” – Twyla Tharp

There is a car broken down on the side of the freeway

near my house

and it’s been there for over a week now,

a note taped in the back window

which I keep wanting to read.

I wonder what it says.

Left to start over,

time for a new life,

or maybe

This car sucks, free for takers.

I got caught in a traffic jam last week

and thought about walking away from

the car and my life

and starting anew

and it’s not that my life is so bad

because it isn’t really

but I’m just bored with feeling like

a hamster in a wheel,

going and going and not getting

much of anywhere.

I wonder what note I would leave

taped in my back window:

Gone fishing

or maybe

Stopped sweating the small stuff.

What are the odds I would have a Post-It note

in my possession

at the time?

Write it on my grave

instead.

 

No Brakes

Today I heard about the woman

in Oklahoma

who they think was drunk driving or losing her mind

in some way and she

plowed into a parade and large crowd of

people and small children.

4 people died and more injured,

including a 2 year old child.

Everyone scratching their heads to figure out

why she would do such a thing

as they still struggle at the crime scene

to piece everyone and everything back together.

Her dad said she is a good person

and can’t understand why this happened.

They say she never hit the brakes and

actually accelerated at the

barricade and the crowd.

Her attorney is already positioning for

a mental illness defense.

Call me self-involved to think

about myself at a time like this

but I couldn’t help but feel a

small degree of gratitude that

not even my most prolific episodes of

Completely Fucking Everything Up in My Life

has never reached this level

of horrific nor any amount

media coverage.

Smoke and Fears

In a past life I was a dragon

because I want to breathe smoke

and it was a lie to say I quit

doing it when every day,

I still daydream about breathing fire.

I had settled for cigarettes instead.

Even if I never smoke another cigarette in my life,

I will never lose the urge to see the wispy

tendrils of the contents of the insides of my lungs

curl about me with every exhalation,

then see if the smoke makes shapes like clouds.

Funny

how vomit is not the same like that.

Or blood.

I love the way each cigarette

involves a constant optimistic mastery of fire –

it can kill you immediately if you are not careful,

just like with some people.

You have to hold it right

or it can burn your house down.

Impulsively impulsive

I’m consumed with wanting to consume,

Feeling so fast-food,

this racing craving to transform,

burn,

exhale

tangible into vapors

into nothing much left at all

but a yellow residue on my walls and teeth

and maybe a tank of oxygen later,

I can kind of pull it behind me.

But everything dies sometime.

In the quietest secret part of my mind,

I wonder what is so wrong with me

to be constantly restless and

craving something that can hurt me

more than I crave

not craving it.

I get up and go to work tomorrow

And never speak of this broken-ness within

which is far easier to hide

than the hanging stink of stale cigarette smoke on my clothes from the car

as I drove every morning into the city.

Raising a Generation of Accidental Feminists

My daughter’s hair is

long now. She twirls it very

slowly around her right index finger

and down the bridge of her

upturned nose, stares with her favorite shade –

“General Disdain.”

She knows what’s up, knows the deal

with her cycles and all that stuff, I told

her last year before it hit her, but

after her first panic attack,

I just found out I’d completely forgotten

to mention PMS.

My bad.

She has never once let me

curl her hair. She brushes it very

smooth and straight now and she

talks in the confident unwavering manner

typical of a boy. I know it’s wrong

for me to say that. I would never

mention it to her.

I suppose I can tell you a

thing or two about raising a

smart and interesting daughter, but

I can’t yet give you a girl

who knows how to shave her legs.