Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I Write Poetry

"What do you write?”

“Oh, you know, stuff and things.”

“Really, what stuff?”

“You know, about like how hard it is, and like, stuff and like how it is.”

“No, I’m not sure. Does it have any substance? I mean, who do you like as a poet?”

“I dunno, I don’t actually read any poetry.”


“Yeah, like I just write some, like, stuff, and like, if anyone likes it I’m like, cool.”


“Yeah, so, it’s cool to express myself in, like a meaningful way.”


“Yeah, so, like, do you write poetry? Cause I love good poetry.”

“What the…?”

“Cause I like, to like, you know, like, express the things that are, like, messing with me.”

“Are you serious?”

“Yeah. I’m like, super deep and stuff.”


“Yeah. All my friends are like, “You should do a book of your poetry,” and I’m all like, “Yeah.”

“You’re a grown man right?”


“What do you write about?”

“ I mean, like, the things that, like happen to me.”

“Like what?”

“Like, the stuff with, like, fucked up families and stuff.”

“Do you have a fucked up family?”


“So how can you write a poem about it?”

“Cause, like, I can, Ummmm, like, relate.”


“Cause I, like, get it.”

“What’s ‘it’, that you get?”

“Like, how it is. Like how hard it is to be.”



“That’s pretty awesome. I mean, really. That’s awesome. You must be the voice of a generation.”

“Yeah. I guess, kinda, but not though, cause I’m modest.”




Monday, February 24, 2014

A Curious Standard

An older gentleman in the bar
the other night admitted his
and adoration of
Earnest Hemingway.

He lauded his achievements,
and his toughness,
and courage,
as well as his being
an ass.

He touted Earnest’s adventures,
his loves,
his devil may care attitude,
and generally seemed to
wish that he had known him.

I thought to myself that if
Earnest Hemingway was the
standard of which to judge our
own lives against then we’re all in

I never fought a bull,
I never was a war correspondent,
I didn’t get to hang out with
Picasso or Flynn. I don’t have
a strange affinity for cats.

I have, however, loved with
passion, patience, rage, and
jealousy. I have thrust myself
against the ignorance of commonality and
been broken on the beach, only to find
out that I was actually standing at a
bar complaining about the lack
of napkins,

after I spilled my own beer,
because I was gesturing wildly about
something stupid.

Hemingway is a tough
standard to compare
yourself against.

And perhaps admiration
is due,               

but I’ll never
know what old man
will talk of me,
with honored and
cherished tones,
once I shuffle

Hemingway always

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Clarification on St. Valentine's Day

             Be it a recovered Pagan Holiday from Roman times under the guise of Christianity or a Hallmark holiday left out in the rain, St. Valentine’s Day is an important holiday. While most people say that every regular day is an opportunity to love, I say that this day in particular is really a great reminder of what love really means.

             Love is certainly different for all of us. I know that I have loved many people in many different ways. Yet I still appreciate love in a very profound way. Love is important to me. It stands for trust, acceptance, honesty, compassion, empathy and warmth. I say warmth at the end there because when I think of love I think of a warm and cozy environment. A roaring fire in a fireplace and a special person to snuggle with on a cold winter’s eve is an ideal picture of that warmth. I’ve of course, never had a fireplace or dated a woman that had one either, I can only speculate on what my imagination considers warming love.

             I do not think of St. Valentine’s Day as a Hallmark Holiday though. I am not that cynical and I do still believe very much in the power of love. (Cue Huey Lewis) I think that love between two people is a real and amazing event that transcends time and space. I believe in it wholly and think it is marvelous. When I see two people in genuine love I get a little misty. I think there is no more beautiful thing between humans than love. It is an abstract concept however. Love.

             We really don’t know what it is. Is it a biochemical reaction to the release of certain pheromones? Is it a bonding instinct left over from our days as pre-evolutionary homo sapiens? Is it alien control? Is it just a fiction created by a religion to encourage people to stay with their tribe? I don’t really know, but what I do know is that it exists and I see examples of it every day. It is our capacity for love that makes humans so very unique. We want it and we want to give it. We want it in our lives. We are aware of the consequences of a loveless life and do all that we can to avoid it.

             I like love. I miss love. I miss the love of a woman, present in my life, in the very here and now hoping the very best for me and I miss doing the same for her. I like to give love. It’s a shame that we all have to hide our love for each other due to societal protocol. Although I will admit my guilt in this matter as well since I tend to treat love with an almost Edwardian/Victorian air. A sort of cloistered and reserved feeling I hide beneath my lapel. Yet, it’s still there, beating and humming, under my ribs. I feel it quite often actually. I probably fall in love at least three times a day; with bartenders, waitresses, women walking their dogs.

             I fall in love with ideas, I fall in love with the imagined life I would have with a woman, I fall in love with the sparkle and smile on a woman’s face even when I know I shouldn’t. I’m fiercely jealous for my loves and feel deeply the wounds of un-reflected adoration.  I just know that it’s important. Somewhere deep in my soul I just know that it counts for something and I want it ever the more.

             Love, especially on this St. Valentine’s Day is a real thing and should not be chalked up as some corporate greeting card holiday, but a real and true celebration of the greatest achievement of humankind. Our capacity for true and real love, real or imagined, exists. And it deserves a day of recognition. It is our greatest strength and at times our greatest weakness, but it is truly ours and we should own it as best we can.



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Run Guy, Run

The light is about to change guy,
you better get running.
Look, it’s turning yellow,
hurry up your little man

The cars are waiting,
engines rumbling as
you trudge sadly
through the crosswalk.
Run Guy, Run.

You’re holding up
everyone’s lives
with your slow pace
as the light changes.

Almost to the curb guy,
you’re almost there,
just one more step and
life can go on.

I should stop looking
out my window.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


            “Are you going to finish that,” asked Gary.
            “What, my waffle? Yeah, I’m gonna finish it,” said Ed.
            “Oh, just cause I thought with your diet and everything that you weren’t going to. Maybe you shouldn’t,” said Gary.
            “Dude, I’m not on a diet and I’m just trying to eat my breakfast,” said Ed.
            “Oh, I thought with your weight issues that you’d be on a diet. I mean, that’s so much syrup on that waffle. It’s gooey with syrup,” said Gary lustfully.
            “You’re a jerk,” said Ed.

             Ed cut a piece of his waffle and hoisted it to his mouth. Syrup trailed along the plate in a long string and found its way to Ed’s chin.

             “Ick, watching you eat makes me sick,” said Gary.
            “Watching you breath makes me sick,” said Ed as he chewed the thick waffle.
            “Dude…,” said Gary.

            Gary tried to roll forward but his girth prevented any forward motion. Ed smiled a syrupy smile and took another bite of his waffle.

             “If anyone needs a diet, it’s you tubby,” said Ed.
            “I have a gland issue,” said Gary.
            “Yeah, mammary glands,” said Ed as he pointed at Gary’s massive man boobs.
            Gary looked wounded through his heavy face, which reddened at Ed’s barbs.

             “Why do you come over here,” asked Gary.
            “You’re my brother and I love you, that’s why,” said Ed.
            “No, I think you just come here to torment me,” said Gary.
            “Yeah, there’s that too. But I do love you bro,” said Ed.

            Gary looked to his left for his grabber device but remembered that he had left it on his get around scooter. That scooter, the thing that kept him mobile but still a figure of ridicule. He was fat. He knew it. He didn’t need children and teenagers and old women laughing or shaking their heads at him as he scootered his way through the Walgreen’s. He stopped feeling human at 300 pounds. Now at 450 pounds he was practically a shut-in, some elephantine man, an elephant man. At least John Merrick had his dignity and proclaimed that he “was not an animal!” Gary sighed.

             “You know mom wants to come and visit you,” said Ed as he placed his knife and fork down on his empty waffle plate.
            “Yeah, but don’t let her. I don’t want her to see me like this,” said Gary.
            “Then when is she going to see you? You’re always going to be like this as far as I can tell,” said Ed.
            “You’re not helping me,” said Gary.
            “You’re not helping yourself,” said Ed.
            “I CAN’T,” yelled Gary.

             Ed stepped back from his larger than life brother and looked at the fear and sadness in his eyes. He took a deep breath as Gary lowered his head into his thick neck.

            “I’m sorry man, I just, you know, want to motivate you to get back to the way you were, like, when we were young,” said Ed.
            “Well, telling me that I’m morbidly obese and that I’m a Jabba the Hutt or I’m some disgusting thing isn’t helpful,” said Gary.
            “I’m sorry man. I just…you know… I dunno, I just want you to be better,” said Ed.
           Gary reached up and wiped the sweat off his forehead. His hair had gotten too long since he hadn’t been able to go to a barber. He brushed his hair from over his ears.

             “Ed, would you cut my hair?”
            “Of course brother. Of course,” said Ed.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Every grown man is
a heartsick teenage boy.

Heartsick, it beats
and pumps, but every
pulse is a thump for
the one that got

A thud of the heart,
echoing through
the head, bent on
moments that
never were and
never going
to be.

Misremembered beats,
unremembered beats,
missed beats,
hard beats,
soft beats.

An illness of the
making each breath of
life somehow
worth doing.

Friday, February 7, 2014


           I have been having a hard time facing these blank pages over the course of this week. The words that have found their way to it felt as if they were haphazardly spray painted by some terrible street artist. The words I so carefully need to express myself haven’t been capable. They seem weak or foolish. They do not feel right. The selection of words is important. Yet the words that have been found do not work on this white computer screen page.  They trickle down like some cereal box Wacky-Wall Crawler toy. Cheap and rubbery, sticky yet unable to stick.

             I blame my inability to trust what I’m writing to be honest and real. The stories seem trite and without any redeeming virtue.  The poems are always about the woman I let get away, the woman I am crushing on, the woman I want in my life or the woman that can’t be with me. It’s pretty much the same all the time. It’s depressing. When I share that depression with the readers I do have, I get no real constructive feedback. People only tell me that I shouldn’t write so much about being lonely or depressed, that expressing the things that are troubling me appears to be desperate. Especially when I write about women I love or want to love. I’m told it makes people uncomfortable to know that about me. They say it somehow weakens me, whereas I always thought it gave me strength to be real and express it.

             That’s stifling, especially to the creative process. I think all great art, words, painting, poetry and music can come from some place of great sorrow or mournfulness. To be told that I shouldn’t express myself honestly is like blinding a painter or gouging the throat from a singer. People want happiness and good feelings glazed and shellacked over the internal troubles of a deeply feeling person. They do not want to think about their own sorrows in the words that I write. So I’m torn by what I want to write and what I think will be enjoyed. This conflict has prevented me from writing anything at all this week. I’ve been stunted.

             I’ve been out a lot this week too. The stunting has caused me spin into a web of foolishness and badly planned overtures of admiration. I try to live for the moment, yet the moments I live for are usually the wrong ones, causing me pain and others some amount of pain. Embarrassment, bashfulness, silliness and general stupidity are the traits I’ve been suffering from of late. I’ve been careless with my heart and the hearts of others. I’ve been ashamed to stand up for the right things and allowed myself to acquiesce to the wrong. Which has again resulted in this page of ongoing whiteness staring at me every morning.

             So I paint over it all. I paint it all white, burying the words, the thoughts, under a thick coat. I know it’s temporary. I’ll get back to the words in time and I’ll feel a smile waltz under my nose when a phrase I love returns to my fingers. It’s all temporary. I know. It’ll get bet better. But let’s lay off the stifling for a while and remember that we all have ways to express ourselves, for better or for worse, hopefully for the better.   

             Sometimes I just have to get this crap out. Thanks.