Saturday, November 26, 2011

Seven kids stacked in a dog-pile
After the snap in a game of touch football
They have no referee, so they manage themselves
Based on the honor-system.
Screams and shouts echo off of the sidewalk
Scribbled with chalk;
Hashed out games of tic-tac-toe,
Hopscotch, and foursquare.
They play all of these games until the rain comes,
And washes it all away.
Or until the snow shows its ugly face and blankets the earth,
All the while saying,
"Here's a new playground,
Try something else."

And the kids, they make do.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The problem with being stuck in perpetual motion
Is that you never get the chance to slow down
And clean out the old artifacts of your life.
The empty soda can stuck underneath the passenger seat.
Last week's history assignment on the floor, gathering more
Dust and dirt, trampled under life that has since passed.
A piece of popcorn remaining in a couch cushion for months
Long after the kernel has been dug out from your gummy jaw.
Those dead vegetables in the garden, well past ripe, bent and rotten
Waiting for decomposition before the first frost.
The vacuum bag's still full from last spring's cleaning; the lint:
a now petrified stratum among layers of other neglected maintenance.
New cobwebs form among boxes of your adolescence;
Spiders find life in the lowest levels of prioritization.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Let's cool things down for a bit,
I burnt the roof of my mouth.
My tongue sometimes spits acid,
While my pen spills poison.
Enough searing and antagonizing,
I hate that carbon smell of burning,
And that sound of shrieking;
Who can get some sleep
In an atmosphere such as this?

So let's put down our dukes
And sheathe our sharp wits.
Box up your words,
More blunt than any bludgeon.
And I'll cork this corrosive substance
That resides in my throat.

Time to practice something other
Than what we preach.
Time to put away polemics,
And start talking peace.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

You spit in the wind
And are surprised that you get wet.
You talk through your teeth
And get angry that no one can hear you.
Lost and frustrated,
You don't ask for directions,
Refusing to pull over.
Just keep making right turns,
You'll end up right where you started.
You should get your shit together soon,
Aimless travel is strenuous;
You'll run out of gas before you know it.
So pullover to the rest stop and stretch you legs.
Use the bathroom.
Get a candy bar.
Look at the map with a big red arrow
That reads,
"You are here."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Astounded With Every New Day Dawning

Oh hey there mountain girl
Climbing the highest tops
In order to get a peak
At what's on the other side.

Wild hair blowing in the wind,
Bones stiff in the cold,
Head light in the air,
You continue to climb---
Capturing my imagination
And putting it in a jar.

Singing your songs
Praising nature and love,
But to you, the two
Are indistinguishable.

Scaling trees swaying,
You come closer to heaven.
Reaching an arm to the stars,
Creation from chaos you wax lyrical.
So spread your wings little bird
And take off to tomorrow,
For more adventure.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'd be lying to say I loved you,
Or you had a special place in my heart,
But I don't. Love is a drill that bores,
A chisel that carves out a shrine for itself,
In which we worship each other as prophets.
But your toolbox only has a hammer,
Bashing and breaking, but never building.
So instead of poking holes in my heart,
You just hammered in a soft spot in my mind;
One you keep poking leaving me found dumb.
No wonder I'm always dumbfounded.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hurting bad, you resent every smile that presents
A white glimmer reflecting in your eyes.
You feel those mouths that won't stay closed to be
Just another tormentor, but you don't really know
What it's like to be someone else. Consumed
by a self-centered inferno, you pay no mind
To how much others can suffer day to day.
Sure they may flash smile your way
But battered people cover bruises all the time.
It's a lesson in life only learned through experience:
Don't let on to your pain, and maintain.
What's a headache compared to a dying mother?
Some people have it way worse.
I see you fraying the fiber that composes
Your mortal coil. And the lens
Through which you see the world, is scratched and cracked,
Like the glass that holds your wine.
So propose an ear toast.
"Cheers! To our troubles, may we meet again in oblivion."
Bottoms up darlin'.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Someone at the bar gets shoved and a shouting match ensues
And drunks in the back keep talking.
She tells him she doesn't love him anymore
And the band keeps playing.
The dog crawls under the porch for a place to die
And the birds keep singing.
Her heart pounds harder than anything watching her car smoke
And traffic keeps moving.
He doesn't leave his basement for a week while steeped in depression
And the Sun keeps shining.
The hunter misses his prey, frustrated he calls it a day
And the season keeps going.
A rock flying through space hits a celestial body
And the Earth keeps spinning.
A salmon is caught by a bear migrating upstream
And the fish keep spawning.
The teacher keeps talking about last week's assignment
And the kids keep slacking.
The evening news reports some awful event far away
And the families keep eating.
She can't afford to buy stamps to send her mom a card
And the bills keep coming.
The boy gets his first kiss behind the schoolyard
And hearts keep breaking.
Dad is preaching about the value of hard work
And Mom keeps napping.
The world is crying out for the attention it needs
And we keep on keeping on.

Tired of this fair-weather bullshit (Mother Nature's too ambivalent),
So guess It's time to mosey and just maybe take a hike south,
Or west, or southwest, wherever things can stay sunny for a while longer.
It seems at every season's end, things get a bit colder. It's time
For things to dry up and get stale. This autumn's fruit has gone from sweet
To sour without warning---not even a solitary fly to note decomposition.

I don't mind the time, but you seem to be counting the seconds.
I punched the clock and broke its nose long ago, and now its hands are broken,
Not knowing it's too late for everything. So it's time for someone to trek
towards the sunset, knowing it's just going to rise again. I don't mind
The chill, I was bred for this weather. If I feel so inclined, I'll take the road
To find a better climate, but like I said, I don't mind, so I'm gonna stick around.

Take your idyllic fantasy of transience, traversing borders, giving up any home
That'll have you, and move on to find some warmth, space heaters just don't cut it.
And when you're finally out of gas, stick out your thumb and flash a smile,
I'm sure someone will give you the time of day and maybe a short ride
Down the road to nowhere. Hands always fold before my chips are on the table,
So I'm cashing out (or is it in?) without a chance for any bluff to be called.

Friday, November 11, 2011

In this solitary, rooftop coop, I take my time choosing my words,
Letting in deep breathes to steady a shaky right hand scribing the fine print.
My message crafted, I'll calm a cooing bird at its temporary roost,
Nestling its head against my softly bent knuckle rubbing its neck,
Adorning the avian leg with paper and a bow, wrapped up just like a present,
I prepare my words to take flight and reach you in timely manner.
With a hand of feed and a peck on the head I send it back to its mate.

I anticipate nothing reciprocated from this flawed system;
The homing pigeon lives true to its name, knowing only its home
And not the nests it has visited. You may read what I write
But I'll never be privileged to read your reaction.
Only hoping the bird wasn't taken by a pellet or as prey
I only assume you get the message.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

As I kid I was taught to observe and be silent.
Lessons from the pedagogy telling me to,
"Sit down and shut up," Well that's what I did.

My dad used to take my sister and I on car rides
To the next town over; it was a nexus of commerce
That contrasted our quaint, little town of homes.
The purpose of these rides were to gawk at the
Potpourri of people who patronized the shops.
We would scrutinize people on their appearance,
A practice ill-advised to parents trying to raise
Their children in this society concerned with an
Evermore increasing importance on political-
Correctness. "Look at that jerk!" I once said.
My dad critiqued me, telling me that I should
Only pass judgement on their looks, nothing
Was indicative of being them being a jerk.
This past-time taught me my observant ways,
Which is how I became interested in the
Idiosyncratic behaviours of my fellow humans;
People became another text that I poured over my mind.
Instead of in a library turning pages, I sat in public
Turn my head with each passerby.

Bukowski wrote,
"If you have to sit for hours
Staring at your computer screen
Or hunched over your
Searching for words,
Don't do it."
I don't do it. I live my life
Letting words find me
Through my thoughts and observations
Being in a constant dialogue
With my surroundings, my words
Come with brevity
Or in great length.

Sure I sat down, and I kept my mouth shut.
But I never let one room contain me,
Be my cage, my think-tank; and I never
Gagged my mind's soliloquy while
My tongue lies in silence.
Why sit catatonic, hoping inspiration will come?
When inspiration comes with experience
And experience comes from breaking free
From that banal routine in the doldrums of life.
Now, I only sit when my feet begin to blister.

Monday, November 7, 2011

If there is ever a time to commit a crime, it during a funeral
Of a fallen officer of the law. With such a large line of mourners
Stopping traffic down the Avenue, it raises questions of who is
"Protecting" our not-so-fair city---whose funding is anything but
Ample. Members of the progression are dressed in their uniforms,
Riding in their civilian vehicles with hands clasped solemnly at
"Ten and two," keeping their wheels from veering, anticipating
More white-knuckled grasping when 21 shots are heard overhead
---They'll still flinch with every "fire" despite knowing what to expect.

Witnesses of the parade, may hear a faint cry, before the wails
Of sirens screaming in passing. Their eyes may sting with the flashing
Of red and blue, in front and behind. They may shiver in the reflective
Pools of the sunglasses worn by the motorcade escort; somber, sober,
Sentinels letting you know not to progress too hastily. No one is there
To write up their tickets with charges of impeding traffic.

Even as I thought out these words, I met their grief cordially;
It's normally hard to empathize with an presence you find contemptuous.
Today, I was moved by the spectacle, despite my schedule being stifled.
As I mulled over what I experienced, I defied traffic law;
Running through red lights, I expected to see a lone cruiser, red and blue
Alternating on the roof. What would I tell them I was thinking
While I committed my infraction? Would my words excuse me in the occasion?
"Gee officer, I have no excuse, but I have this poem about y'all."
I coughed so hard I gave myself a black eye.
Trading blows with a sickness, a one-sided fight that I can't win.
With each deep reach into my lungs, I'm struck in the gut,
Air violently passing from my body. Fights like these
Happen daily, and every morning I wake up from being laid out
The night before. Often my hair is askew, each errand tendril reaching,
Stretching out, grasping at a new day; I have to wet it down with reality.
In my feverish delirium I often dream of life uninhibited;
Taking action I would not take while awake, speaking words
That these lips would never utter, and stoking a fire containing flames
That would surely burn if I got too close. Dreams of horror and fantasy;
Genres in which, my imagination is well versed. Lately,
These sleeping hallucinations are a bridge on which we meet.
Lovers reunited, reconciled, embracing passionately over now calm
Water. The tender moment beaten to a pulp long through
The start of the alarm bells ringing, I stir in the first stabs of sunlight,
Rolling over to my disappointment, to find my bed empty
Under an arm reaching for warmth. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Try sending a smile a stranger's way,
Or sparking up unexpected conversation.
Ultimately, put a smile on someone's face.
Many people exist wrapped in individuality,
Insular to the world that surrounds them.
Be the conduit of kindness that the many need.
There's no point walking around hunched-over,
As if the world is on their shoulders,
Or having that look on their faces,
One as if they're about to burst into tears
---These floors may be dirty
But there's no need to mop them up
With your dewy lashes.
Stash away your egos and
Hold a door open to happiness
Even for a moment, light up this cloudy day
Better than the blocked out Sun ever could.