Tuesday, December 31, 2013


The affair I was having with your spine is over. Your vertebrae betrayed the trust I placed on your lower back. It cracked and so did I.

You were leaning against the column at the courthouse the day when I prayed to whomever above that I would not have to pay the thirty-three dollar fine. Each dollar counts and I had to eat that week. I saw you. Your neck was bent and you were looking away, but we still connected. Each bone counts and I had to meet the skin that housed those bones. I said hello.

Tap tap tap. You hit your finger on my forehead to prove that I had a third eye. You said I was wiser than I believed. You believed I could see what was ahead of us. I have a gift, you said. I wonder if I still have the receipt, I replied. Tap tap tap.

What protects us also separates us. We place ourselves in cages, the row of bars like bones in our back. We are trapped in each other. We are tapping on a third eye that will never open. The key is too close that we can't see it. The key is to keep closed so we don't have to worry about finding a key.

I never had to pay the fine. I kept the thirty-three dollars in my pocket with my car keys. I must have spent it on something that week, but what? Did I grow bold and take you out to dinner? Did I use it all on lotto tickets? You looked up. You said hello.

new year's drag

Aside from Arbor Day, New Year's Eve is my least favorite holiday. Pulling your chain(saw) about Arbor Day. Trees are so much cooler than humans. And maybe that's why I don't like NYE? Because of the humans? If I could just go to a damn NYE party surrounded by sugar maples and green ash drinking champagne out of recycled glasses, I would be content. I would converse with the leaves in the shade and perhaps even kiss the bark when the ball drops from the branches. But alas.

Fine fine fine, humans are not that bad. They aren't always that great, but the great ones give me hope for the rest. It makes sense that NYE isn't my favorite because of the whole "I'm an introvert and hate parties" thing. I think a lot of it has to do with the "I a professional at avoiding everything and I don't want to be reminded of all the shit that happened these past 12 months and be forced to make future-failed plans for the next 12 months" thing. Yeah, I think it's the latter. With the right amount of substances, I can stand any social situation. But reflect on the past and the future? No amount of Xanax will get me through that.

Soooooo... Maybe I have my unintended New Year's resolution? Maybe I should resolve to not make resolutions. Maybe I can stop tripping back into the past and stop tip toeing into the future and instead rest semi-comfortably in the usually uncomfortable present. And eventually with enough practice and gentle reminders, the present will just become the present without any adjectives. That sounds like a good commendable exceptional plan.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


I am more than qualified for a few jobs. These include complainer of having to wear pants, hater of shopping malls, lover of desert bones and ice cream cones, observer, non-participant. So is there a job out there for the non-participant? I will submit my resume tonight.

I am not marketable and I doubt I ever will be. I am not a "readily available" person. I would rather be a curmudgeon living alone in a trailer in the middle of Red Rock Country than be sold to a life that is "lived" just so one doesn't die with any debts.

Let me be in debt for eternity if it means I get to watch the stars at night and say hello to trees in the morning.

Keep your cuff links and briefcases away from me, boys. I have a not-so-brief case of cabin fever and a million miles of trails ahead of me to wander. The moon is my silver dollar and the only banks I know of are by rivers rich with breath.

Saturday, December 28, 2013


What is your day like when you become a minor character in your own life? Do you shuffle around the kitchen in socks too small while the main characters sit by the window deep in conversation and their third cup of coffee? You exit into the hallway while the spotlight's still on in the kitchen. You remembered your cues, good job. Now you can become the audience while the life around you continues. Sit. There's no need for a standing ovation.

And you feel like throwing a grenade. You feel like that's the only way you can gain control of the scene. The ghosts of who you might have been will disappear when they hear the pull of the pin. It's not like you meant to portray a soldier. That wasn't who you were cast to be. You were supposed to be in the kitchen with the conversation and coffee, not on a battlefield full of abandoned booby traps.

Still, the explosion is expected, so you shuffle out of the way. You aren't in any hurry. You have no place to be. The stage directions were left out of the script. All you have to do now is shield yourself from the fragments of what might have been.

Friday, December 27, 2013


I bought legal pads in bulk. Nine hundred sheets. Each sheet held the promise of scribbles which held the promise of genius ideas which held the promise of words to express those ideas which would be published into a book which would make me millions or at least book me a few readings at your local Barnes & Noble.

But it's not that I exactly write. In fact, I tend to do the exact opposite of writing, which includes all activities that are not writing. Reading, pacing, reading while pacing, baking banana bread that I will binge eat at 3 o'clock in the morning, falling into debt from following a fleeting (and pricey) passion, and pacing. Did I already mention pacing? Writers pace. Writers pace a lot.

So I could write. I have the sheets for it. And I should write. I have the need for it. Something as simple as inking up a piece of paper saves me from insanity while simultaneously diving into it. Funny how that happens, right? I don't want to write. I really really really don't want to write. I want to feel compelled to do almost anything else. Can I get a paycheck for pacing? "Anything else" has no interest in me, though. Anything else is a pair of two left shoes. Anything else leaves me at the door and drives away. Writing follows me in. Writing walks into my room and sneaks into my sheets. Writing stays the night. Writing won't wake up until I give in and cook it breakfast. Writing wants to feast with me. When will I sit down and learn how to eat?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


I search for a religion, but not a god. I want community, not commandments. I want the seasoning, not the meat. I want just enough to whet my appetite without baptism. I want stimulation without submersion. Do I have your permission to prefer perpendicular lines over parallel? Your symbol synchronizes with my style. It makes for an interesting design. I wear it with an aesthetic eye.

But maybe we aren't right angles. Maybe we are crooked little souls with crooked little canes that we use to help us walk down a path that is not straight and narrow, but overgrown and nonsensical. It leads nowhere, but then again nowhere is a destination. We are always the ones who design our travel itinerary. The details breathe, not the relics.

I wash my face in a mountain stream. This is my rite of admission. This is my dedication. The vault of the sky opens up and I walk into the web.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

opposes the wait

Even as a baby, I had tricks. I had tricks that took me out of the arms of others. I'd arch my back to escape an embrace. There was something about folding into another that made be uncomfortable. It still does.

I know this doesn't bode well for future relationships. I know hands should be held instead of made into shields. I know I have skills to learn before I can slide into society as a functioning member.

I know I am stumbling. I know I'd rather stumble than fall into a biography penned by a stranger.

I sink just enough to touch the bottom with my toes. Those depths make the oxygen above an obvious joke. Who could ever use up all of this air? It is abundant, it is enough. The heart is buoyant, the soul is not science.

Concrete sinks. Wine turns into water, which turns into ice. I touch the surface of you with my razor-sharp spine. You crack. Bone floats. I glide.

Monday, December 23, 2013


Sometimes I wake up into a dream. I wake up and I am dreaming. I dream that I am dreaming and then I shake things up and awake that I am awakening. If you can awaken to the fact that you are dreaming, then you can place a framed diploma on your wall. You are legit. You have no reason to quit your day job because your day job happens to be rare and magical. People want what you can sell. You can sell what you can see. And what you see is what others only perceive while deep in their rapid eye movement. Don't wake up yet. I haven't sealed the deal. Do you want to dream? Do you want to wake up? Do you want to materialize while you simultaneously fade away? It's difficult to do, but once you do recognize this transitory state, you will relapse into rapid eye ear nose mouth finger movement. It's all connected. It's all recycled. It's all vapid and apt to become blurry and slip through the cracks while you shield yourself with sheets and sheep and counting down from one hundred. You are one in a million. You will now wake up by the time I get to ten. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


We run side by side, bonded and twisted to form a single assembly.

I couldn't catch up with you that day you took me to the lake with your friend's dog. You said he needed exercise. The dog or the friend? I asked, charmed with myself. You laughed in a distracted way and instead of answering you parked the truck. We got out and started throwing sticks. You lifted me up over a swampy part. Mud doesn't scare me, I said. But alligators might, you replied. You and the retriever ran together while I sat and watched with spotless shoes.

We laid clockwise alone. We laid anti-clockwise together. We needed both to produce a strong line. We needed the line to act as an anchor. These ships are apt to sink.

It started out as a cough. You caught me covering it up with my sleeve and said I was wrong. It's all in the shoulder, you said. You cough into your shoulder, you said twice. I smiled like I've been taught, but I disagreed. The cough probably isn't contagious. Plus, what I've got would be rejected. A fight would break out before another body accepts what I've got. I've got this under control, I smiled and coughed and said in an unintentional accent. When I get nervous I can't pronounce my Rs. You rolled your eyes. I swallowed my words.

We use our strength to lift, haul, tow, and to sometimes convey force through tension.

You kept expecting more joints to crack in your hand. I can't walk down the hallway without looking around at anything but your eyes. If you catch me staring at you it's only because the walls have already caved in.

We build up the potential for fire. We are a source of fuel. We insulate to protect.

Your jacket catches on to the nail that once held that funny picture of the dog. We took it down because the dog died and it was just too sad to see it anytime we took out the trash. Luckily your jacket didn't rip, but it did add one more thing to the growing list of things to do. Hammer in nail. Take out trash. Two things. We had just two things to do and there was nothing we could do but keep walking out the door. Don't forget to lock it. Three things.

We are easily cut during excavations. We are found on side roads. Being exposed is impractical and dangerous. We are buried.

Thursday, December 19, 2013


My life is not an assembly kit. I am not a printed circuit board. People purchase kits to have fun and see how things work. I've come to the conclusion that I am unable to offer others fun and insight. But I can provide a tornado or two. There are hurricanes weighing down my pockets, like tokens. I can play pinball with all of the cluttered life I've collected. Maybe you are more of a Space Invaders person? That machine is broken, but you should be able to invade next week when I'm fixed.

And it's a constant item on my to do list to remain viable. I have to offer redemption games and pizza. I will close if I cling; dedicated hobbyists just don't foot the bills. And neither do tokens. I have to find a way to pay for prizes no one will ever win. They collect dust behind the glass case and fall out of fashion. Who wants a boombox in 2013? But a yo-yo is classic. My fortune may soon fall from the palms of a kid with too much time on his hands. I have faith in the yo-yo.

To tell the truth, it's just Tetris. It's just assembling blocks and blocks until they break down and disappear.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


In order to revise, we divide. In total disorder can we ever hope to become whole. When you are already whole, you don't know it. You aren't thirsty enough. You haven't wanted water.

I've wanted water, but only so I can conquer it. I can't swim, but I am determined not to drown. Most of me is made up of what one day might be swallowed up by the sky and showered down upon your head. Where's your hood? Don't you want to protect the part of you that I once anointed, that I once blessed?

To be so bare invites isolation. We exist in abundance, but we die with a deficiency. I will lack whatever it is that you cannot -- will not -- give back. It is a choice. It is a way to weigh what matters most: water or blood?

So tonight I will fight the fact that from a biological standpoint we are made to dissolve. I will linger in the shadow of a hope that fire and water can coexist.

One can drown in one drop. Who would deny that? Who would deny Ophelia's thirst?

Thursday, December 12, 2013


I am too old to not know how to swim. Still, it's a handy excuse to give when someone invites me to go sailing the Dead Sea or, I don't know, enter into a delusional phase with them and believe that we are both Jesus, walking on water while the monsters saunter below. But I am too old. Maybe even older than the Savior, with his swimming skills and faith in His feet. My feet are full of bunions and crooked toes from years of youthful shoes. I haven't a clue how to stay afloat, but I do know how to drown in style. There is a high heel for every occasion.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I think I am just tired. And my brain is frazzled. And I am upset that I just used the word "frazzled" and that I keep starting sentences with "and." And I guess it's useless to keep second-guessing myself. It's useless because all it does is keep me spinning in a circle until I get dizzy and give up. Maybe it would be wise to walk the perimeter of my brain. Let me see what's up there, inch by inch. I want to hide away in the right angles and lose myself in the obtuse triangles. Maybe most of my brain contains "maybes" and "ands," but there must be some space dedicated to the traces of light that leak out of the cracks of my half-closed eyes. If I only see what I perceive, then I will be blind to both beauty and despair; in other words, I will be bland. I want to give richness and flavor to whatever's cooking up there in my head before it fries. I want to try to taste the subtleties before they become casualties and have to be thrown out with yesterday's news.


I begin writing only to find that the sentence quickly becomes a death sentence. The exclamation mark, a decapitation. The question mark, a sickle. The cell I place myself in will never swell. Instead the walls get closer and the spikes grow sharper each hour that passes without a decent paragraph. The turn of a phrase would be a welcome relief, an appropriate idiom might be the spoon I need to dig myself out of here. But let's be clear that my muddied mess of words still serves some purpose, even if it's just material for the therapist to decipher.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


While in the kitchen killing
a fly, it occurs to me
that I may die having never
seen a pregnant seahorse
or a peacock flounder.
I'd be okay with missing
out on the flounder,
but please let heaven (or
hell) wait until I can
witness this sea monster
swim around a coral reef
with a brood pouch full
of fully developed darlings.
I see I've grown attached
to these juvenile fish
I have yet to meet.
Did you know biology calls
them "fry"? I can't help but laugh
and cry at the idea
of frying up a thousand seahorses,
right at the moment when they learn
to feed themselves.
Their knowledge is useless now,
as I dip them into tartar sauce
and chow down.
Adieu, little darlings.
You are so delicious
that I've forgotten about the dead
fly and the egg
I had meant to crack
and fry.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


If I could announce the arrival of the sun
every morning like Aurora
I wouldn't worry so much
about taxes and health insurance and pensions and
funds and other words I don't really
If I could have a resume one line long
"Goddess of Dawn"
and have Sol and Luna
as my references available on request
I suspect I would not get
many interviews,
but that would just leave me time
to communicate with the shape
of mountains, with the rusted color
of the winter bark,
with the divine found only in the
body of a mother bear
sheltering her cub from
the oncoming storm.
If I could renew myself
after a night littered with loss
and lacking of light
I would know myself
and I would rise.

Friday, December 6, 2013


I worry about my teeth.
I worry about what's housed in my mouth,
these little calcified whitish ships
docked along a gummy bay.
I worry that one day they will suddenly decide to set sail
and fall down the waterfall
of my throat into an acidic pit.
I worry that the acid can't handle the vessels' demands.
My teeth insist on a high life.
Polished and bright and
cutting and crushing
whatever gets in their way.
Today they are crowned and sit upon their thrones,
tomorrow they are thrown into a cave
with only two sticks to light their way.
But there's a bridge.
And even though ships don't normally walk across bridges,
maybe just this once
they can grow legs and escape.
Maybe just this once
they can stumble their way upon a shore
stocked with sunken treasure now earthed.
It's full of gold and scrolls,
bones and skulls,
conversation and stars
and everything one needs
to replace the small spaces
lost inside.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Sometimes the bread we buy is just dust in disguise. This also applies to apples and pudding and non-edibles, such as bandages and potted plants. I prefer my bread, apples, pudding, bandages, and potted plants to be upfront with me, but I know that for the time being they can't. We want the disguise and the lies, and these items aim to please. There is pleasure in the suffocation. Stamp out what can't coexist with the fantasy. They listen; we don't. Somewhere along the way we've forgotten that the feast is still figuring itself out. We consume what is unknowingly half-baked. We save room for dessert, but forget to leave a trail of breadcrumbs back home. We stumble. We somehow figure out the key and the lock and enter our empty living rooms half dead and full.

There are cells and volcanic ash in every bite we take. We are part of the universe, thriving inside burnt meteorite particles also present in the dust we partake. This will worsen our allergies unless we suppress.

An appetite for what is already gone is nothing new. But for the few who choose to chew and swallow their manna, they will want for nothing more than the stars at their feet and the ocean in their eyes.

Heaven is nothing more than what's placed on our plate.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Is my brain a sheep or a walnut or the classic cauliflower? Maybe it's playdough. Maybe it has fallen into a pool and can't remember how to swim. It has to be selective with memories. It is a filing cabinet. It is cold sheet metal, sterile office furniture. Depress the body of the lock and it will open. No key necessary. The drawers are full of whole walnuts.

And it's late at night when I try to rewind and begin again in my mind. I would take your suggestion and order the steak off the menu. I want to tell you that I like your funny idea of wearing those traffic cones as hats. And we can do it! It probably isn't a great idea, seeing as traffic cones are hard to come by, but at least I'm willing. And I'm willing to admit that I'm never going to love you as much as I do when I don't love you anymore. I file you away until I need to crack open some nuts to feed my words. You are a blog post. You are a convenience when I can't sleep and feel indulgent. You are alphabetically tucked away in the middle shelf. It's okay to say I'm a sheep.

I will suspend this until I remember how to swim.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Words I overuse: maybe, probably, perhaps, also, and.

I doubt, I second guess, I can't settle. And I'm also always adding on, maybe as a way to insure and protect and soften the eventual blow.

But all of this makes me blow it. "It" being the opportunity, the game, the chance to live an afternoon free from worry and instead wrapped up in the warmth of the ripe peach straight off of the tree. The branches are arms that will either embrace or strangle; which type of branch will I choose to see? How far down the path will I go until I stop to take in the view? Nothing will offer a clue because there is no detective searching. We live the mystery and that's what makes everything worth living. The mystery is what makes the peach so sweet.

I want to sweat more while I work. I want to try, to care about the result. I don't want to protect or soften these hands. I want calluses. I want proof that the peach is worth it. And it is. Maybe, probably, perhaps one day I'll believe it for myself.